It is with sadness that we write to tell you that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the huge impact this has had on The Methodist Church of Britain’s finances, there will be no grants given to any projects. SAW’s core costs have been provided by the Methodist Church for the past 5 years, funding which will come to an end in August 2020. In the past few weeks we have worked hard to secure emergency funding, and have received 5 months of skeleton funding from SHED. However, this still leaves the project with a highly uncertain future, and the very real possibility of closure in January.
We are working very hard to secure new funders, but with a great deal of uncertainty for everyone at this time, we have to be honest and say we think this is going to be very difficult.
SAW would not be possible without the care, prayer and encouragement of our supporters. However, at this moment we find our greatest need is financial, and we need to ask directly for your help in this way. Your support will give SAW security and stability to develop the project further and lead to a flourishing of all our work.
If you give the following amounts each month for one year you could help pay for:
£5 the food provided at 6 Mixing Bowl evenings
£10 the paint supplies in our Painting for Fun class
£50 a community celebration event which will bring together different ages and community groups through art and social activism
£100 14 community gardening workshops which will upskill local residents and embody our research of land ownership and stewardship
During the Covid-19 crisis, we have endeavoured to continue our work in a socially distanced way with our Shieldfield Cooks, Shieldfield Grows and Shieldfield Draws Together projects. As well as continued pastoral care of our contacts and communities, we have also developed an online Painting for Fun gallery, grown our Shieldfield Wheatfield community project, hosted online Mixing Bowls and continued our Mixing Bowl blog. We have also shared our thinking on some national podcasts including the Methodist podcast, Exile and Imagination: Hospitality in Lockdown and City Church Bristol. After demonstrating we can respond to this level of crisis, we believe it would be a crying shame if we cannot continue our work simply due to lack of funds. Our commitment to and plans for SAW are still very much alive, despite this current difficulty.
We are incredibly grateful to all those who choose to support our work financially, however much they are able to give. Without your gifts, we would not be able to achieve our vision of exploring the intersection of contemporary art, theological reflection and community activism whilst also supporting the Shieldfield community.
Thank you for your continued support,
The SAW Team
How can I support SAW’s future?
Whilst we have always appreciated support through the giving of time, we have to be honest in the fact that at this moment our greatest need is financial. It costs around £50,000 a year to run SAW, so every penny helps. Below are some of the ways you can give to SAW so we can continue our work.
Just Giving [Emergency fund]
You can donate to our emergency Just Giving Crowdfunder campaign where we are trying to raise £50,000 in order to enable SAW to carry on its work in 2021.
Giving directly is the most effective way to give as it avoids funding platform fees and allows us to claim Gift Aid. Please email email@example.com if you would like to give via direct debit, bank transfer or cheque. To setup a regular donation and to add Gift Aid to that donation, please complete this giving form. For a one-off donation, please use this form instead. No printer? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address and we can send these forms to you.
You can help us raise small donations, at no cost to yourself, by simply doing your online shopping via Easy Fundraising. It’s easy and completely free – 4,000 shops and sites will donate to SAW when you use easyfundraising.
Earn a £5 bonus donation when you raise £5
Below we’ve tried to answer any immediate questions you may have about SAW’s future, but please be aware the situation is evolving day by day, especially in terms of the lockdown.
Will SAW’s Covid-19 response programme continue?
Yes, our current programme will continue whilst we also work to find a funding solution for SAW. This includes the Covid-19 response programme, Mixing Bowl blogs and Zoom calls, Painting For Fun online gallery and Newcastle University Strand programme. Any adjustments to the lockdown may alter what we can and can’t do.
Can I still hire the building?
Lockdown restrictions mean that the building is currently unavailable for hire. The safety of our visitors is always our top priority, and when government and Methodist Church guidelines change, we will assess how social distancing can be best put in place in our building. Once restrictions are lifted, hiring our building is also a great way to support SAW as all money generated through hiring out our building goes towards SAW’s costs and programme.
If you have already booked the building for a future event please contact email@example.com if you have any queries.
How will this news affect Painting for Fun?
SAW is committed to the Painting for Fun community and its wellbeing. It is one of our top priorities to ensure that Painting for Fun can continue in our building once it is safe to do so. During lockdown, the Painting For Fun online gallery will continue, as well as support from SAW staff and volunteers. Alongside the tireless care and dedication of Kim who leads the sessions, Painting for Fun is funded by the sale of paintings at the PFF annual summer exhibition (not directly from Methodist Church funding, although this supports building running costs). Since this is not able to happen this year we are looking into organising an online sale of work from the class. Watch this space.
How will this news affect Mixing Bowl?
SAW’s team is striving to find a way to ensure Mixing Bowl can continue. We are committed to supporting our Mixing Bowl members and the growth of the community throughout the lockdown and beyond. We are in conversation with the Mixing Bowl leadership team (which includes SAW staff) about what the next steps to support the community may be.
Will this news affect Dwellbeing?
Dwellbeing and SAW are separate organisations which are funded separately. Dwellbeing is not funded by The Methodist Church. Dwellbeing and SAW have always been close friends and collaborators. SAW will endeavor to continue in its future collaborations with Dwellbeing. We are in conversation with Dwellbeing about the impact these developments may have, but whatever the outcome we will continue to be cheerleaders for the work of Dwellbeing.