Lisa, Gap's founder, launches the "Help Us Seal The Deal Appeal" with the following words...

Dear gawd, please bear with me as this is going to be so long and so rambling and I simply have no idea how to put it all into words. I will start with the exciting bit, I hope as we are you will all be extremely proud of that news, the input over the years you have had and how close we are to the final dream...then I will continue on.

14 years ago I had the mad idea to set up a *co ordination* only rescue. A rescue that would save lives, move those lives to other safe facilities and then continue on happily moving more. Within 12 months that dream clearly showed us it was not that easy and there would need to be another path. Thats when Greyhound Gap in its whole entirety was born.

Fast forward 7 years and the realisation that we had quite the reputation for being one of the front leading welfare organisations in the UK able and willing to deal with the more difficult dogs and with mounting private boarding kennel costs for rehabiliation purposes it became evident our end game needed to be our own property.

Fast forward again to 2015 with private boarding costs amounting to £8000 a month we managed to finally secure a lease on our own premises at a rental of £5000 a month and more excitingly with it the option to purchase. A purchase that would drop that rental from £5000 a month to just £1800 a month in mortgage payments.

However to seal that deal needing a commercial mortgage we needed to raise a vast amount in down payment to be precise 30% of the property cost plus additional for goodwill and to make sure it was a fair price to the vendor our landlord! The amount we were talking was around £240,000 and it makes me extremely pleased to say that with legacies saved and ringfenced and individual donators and fundraisers souly aiming quietly behind the scenes to raise funds for JUST the purchase over the last 8 years we have the money we need in place. That left us needing a loan to secure purchase of £350,000......

(and this is the bit where I get both teary, excited and stressed even typing it because I can not tell you how far from joyous this experience is and how horrific behind the scenes it has all been. At 44 years of age I have felt I am heading for my first stroke and taking the other trustees with us)


We are just awaiting a report on title then we are clear to go ahead and purchase! Yes, thats right we are now 95% of the way to reducing our outgoings and securing our dogs future for ever and to allow Greyhound Gap to continue to be here serving the dogs through if necessary future generations once we are all long gone.

Having budgeted and planned for all this for 8 years I do have to laugh when I see random property fundraisers being launched. I thought WE were prepared but nothing and I mean nothing prepares you for the horror of the red tape, the crossing the i's and dotting the t's and the amount of work necessary. The fees now are getting huge. Around £12,000 worth of huge to be fair. Is really is not simple.....

Valuers, surveyors, searches even though they had all been carried out before we took the lease on needed doing again, insurance, indpendant financial advice to satisfy the bank and the charities commission that we are acting in the rescues best interests. The banks solicitors fees which are £4000 our solicitors fees which are £2500 and so much more I could go into BUT it has to be done. The fees are now the only thing that has gone over expected budgeted for costings and the £3500 1% arragement fee could not be factored into the loan either. Its not as simple undertaking this when you are a charity as it is when you are a business!

The plain and simple fact is that no matter how wonderful our supporters are the bank wont just accept that. We have had to prove our worth through business plans, prove that non of our revenue streams are singular and that we work hard to help ourselves.

Not one single penny so far has been taken away from the dogs and once again we want to help ourselves to raise above and beyond with the legal fees so this weekend on Friday 22nd September, six of our wonderful volunteers will be sleeping over with the kennels dogs in the hope to kick start our appeal and in the hope we can start to raise some of the costings back. We are more than alive to the fact that we are heading into Winter a time when fundraising oppurtunities dry up so WE are willing with your help to do anything possible we can to safeguard our reserves.

If you have stuck with me this far thank you! There is so much I could say about how hard we have all worked mainly quietly and frustated behind the scenes on this the last 8 months but we are now on the homeward stretch!

If any of our loyal supporters can think of any other ways to fundraise or is willing to sell cakes at work, hold a carboot for us this weekend or run naked through the streets at this point in time we would be honoured and grateful. Other than that if you can root behind the sofa and put in those lose pound coins again we would be appreciative. I have set up a Just Giving page below.

A couple of months ago people BEGGED me to put up a Just Giving page so that people could help with the purchase by donating small amounts and I held off until the right time. We had a feeling that the fees would end up higher and now is that time and the reason I held off.

In advance once again I cant thank you all enough.

Friday night, as a precursor to the sleepover, we will be holding a curry night at the kennels if anyone would like to join us.