Braving the northern England weather we, along with 19 bid writers, headed to Brentwood, Coniston in early March to get some time to write bids.
The idea of the retreat was to give our project partners time and space to really move their bids along. We did this retreat in July 2018 and it was a great success.
“I found it really useful to have people on hand to give you support and guidance and to critique you along the way that made you think a bit differently”
Arriving for 11am on the Wednesday was the first challenge – Brantwood is a little out of Coniston and sometimes Google maps can take you on a mystery tour.
Our cohort this year was a good mix of experienced bid writers who simply wanted to get away from all the distractions plus quite a few who were practically brand new to bid writing and needed not only the time but also the collective help and advice from ourselves and the other bid writers.
“It’s good to get away from the workplace and have this as your only concern, it allows you to really get your head into it and not being distracted by other things.”
And it isn’t only a case of taking the time to write your bid, having the space to think about your bid is equally important – shaping it, knowing and understanding the funders, discovering the opportunities you might have missed in the busy-ness of your normal days.
“I read a coastal communities funding document … sent to me a couple of weeks ago … and suddenly I found out the town council are putting together a bid with The Bid … and events and festivals is a massive strand so I’ve sent them information about me and my ideas”
It was an intense two days of work, not always serious, but definitely dedicated. At the end of the second day everyone agreed that they had moved forward (or sideways as the time to think enabled some writers to see different ways to approach their aims) and that the time was definitely well spent.