2nd January 2012 – 6th February 2013
Having this idea of the Sarah Bird Foundation come to me, I sat with it for a month wondering if this was possible or beyond reach, a goal too far. Then I put together a focus group of business professionals and friends I trusted, got them all into a room in the Stillorgan Park Hotel and told them about my vision for the Foundation. I asked them to be completely frank and tell me if they thought I was mad – now was their chance. When I finished outlining the vision there was complete silence for about a minute and in that minute I thought “O God, they do think I’m mad” but then one by one they started to tell how they thought it was a wonderful idea, totally feasible and that I should definitely go ahead with it.
We formed a limited company and I invited members of the focus group to sit on the Board of Directors. Our monthly meetings started and work on the business plan began. Compiling the business plan has taken 10 months of research, hard work, frustrations, design concepts and learning by the Board and the Advisors but it all paid and we now have a robust plan that we are very proud of, and have applied to Revenue for our charity status.
Personally, it has taken me into new depths of soul searching and gaining clarity around what I trust and believe is my place in the world and the work that I offer. I’ve come to realise that I’m actually quite strong and that I have reserves of courage and persistence that I didn’t know I had. And a good deal of stubbornness too! When the going got tough I have been able to use all the tools and practices that I use for other people, to help myself. I have also come to realise how incredibly blessed I am in the friends and supporters that I have as without them, this would never have got off the ground in this way.
The last week of tying the final bits together ahead of the launch on February 7th had its own challenges but we are finally there and this is becoming very real. To say I wasn’t nervous would be a lie – I am feeling nervous because I am actually stepping out into the world and putting a public face on my values and beliefs that the work of the Foundation is based on.