The Board of Directors of Grassroots Training recently cast unanimous votes to move forward with converting Grassroots from a social enterprise to a charity.
This is a decision that has not been taken lightly, nor easily. Our social enterprise status has served us well for nearly six years (our birthday is in January!) and to leave it behind feels risky. As a CIC (Community Interest Company) we have been a very agile company, able to respond quickly to market changes or local/national agendas. When we become a charity our decision process will become slower, with certain decisions needing to go to the board of trustees at set meetings, rather than a weekly or monthly discussion with 2 or more directors.
For the four of us who began Grassroots, becoming a charity means completely letting go of the governance of the company and letting the trustees take it over. I have had a profound realisation of why we call them 'trustees' - letting go is difficult when we have been involved in every step of the way with getting Grassroots off the ground and growing it into the an organisation we are very proud of. Not for the first time we've been struck by the analogy of parenting - our 'baby' has become a young adult and is becoming independent from us.
Having said the above, I am happy, proud and excited to be ushering Grassroots into a new phase! We will be able to become more public-facing and increase our ability to campaign around suicide prevention. New funding streams will become available to us. We can begin to plan for the future, hoping that Grassroots will outlive us all and continue the work we've begun. Onwards and upwards :)
So, all we need to do before we complete our articles of association is come up with a name. Suggestions on an (electronic) postcard please...