A bit of a turn for the worse

An update by Bik on our current family situation (if you haven’t been following our posts this summer, please click here for details)

My Pops is made of sterling stuff, but his chemotherapy / uninvited guest, are taking their toll.

Waiting again with my Dad - aka 'The Feet'

Waiting again with my Dad – aka ‘The Feet’

Most of yesterday was spent sat with him in examination rooms and waiting rooms at St Richards after he woke up on Sunday with a swollen arm and hand which were an alarming shade of blue. Ultrasound revealed a whopping great clot in his shoulder which can’t be cleared unless the chemo stops, so there’s a decision to be made later this week. Anyway,he’s out mowing his lawn today, regardless. We’ll keep you posted of the outcome.

It’s been a trying weekend for a number of reasons and through all this, our crew have been an inspiration, juggling to keep all the plates spinning. But I’m behind on my tasks, mostly on booking gigs for this month and November (October is pretty full!) so we’re now facing a drop in income that’s growing steadily, and we’re having to dip into our reserves (of money AND energy.)

The Magnificent Patrons who have signed up to donate a fiver a month (and more) have helped to take the strain, and although we now have 130+ it’s well short of or 300 target. If you think you can help us out with a regular donation of just £1.25 a week, you’ll help ensure we can keep going while our family crisis plays out. Thanks for reading, and hope to see you all soon!


“So what’s all this about then, and where can I sign up?! ..   click here

A quick financial update from Jani:

Our current Patrons are contributing around £700 per month to help meet our running costs, helping us to plug a shortfall we were anticipating through the summer, as we do every year.

The good news is, the ‘summer slump’ was less slumpy than usual this year.  The bad news is – in the current financial year, we are running around an average of £300 a week short in our cafe income, needing an extra top-up to meet all of the costs of running the space.

The donations and Patrons have helped a lot with this, quite literally keeping the wolf from the door these past few months.

But costs keep rising and we must keep working to get that income flowing in consistently.

We also are working to bring all of our crew to the living wage by April 2016 – which means a series of increases so it doesn’t all hit at once.  It seems impossible to run an ethical business when our paid workers, however dedicated and willing, are paid below the National Living (as opposed to minimum) wage – a wage calculated on actual living costs – and we can’t keep doing this.

Our target for Patrons is to get 300 people giving an average of £5 per month, which is £1500.  This will cover both our current shortfall and the increase in wages.

Honestly?  We need those extra 170 people.  130 have signed up so far, and it’s helping immensely.  It’s so hard to say ‘but we need the other 170’ without sounding churlish and ungrateful.

We are SO very appreciative of every penny anyone spends or donates here.  We are so committed to delivering the very best value for every one of those pennies, encouraging creativity and making a space where people can truly spread their wings and change their lives for the better.

In order for this to be viable, long term, we need that extra income from Patrons.  We have tried everything else, but staying ethical, affordable and financially viable takes some extra, imaginative effort.

If you can help out with a regular, small donation every month please click here

If you have anything you can donate one-off right now, please click here

If you (like me!) are short of cash but not short of support, please share this here on Twitter or here on on Facebook

Thanks so much for reading!

About arthousesouthampton

The Art House is a not-for-profit café, gallery and arts venue in the centre of Southampton. We are a place you can meet new people, meet up with friends or just come in by yourself. Our licensed café offers delicious organic lunches, Fairtrade tea and homemade cake. We also have a busy programme of events, workshops, and art exhibitions, a clothing and crafts boutique and lots more. Most of our crew are volunteers and you might even want to apply to join them. Come along and enjoy our unique, community run space.
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