Hidden Treasure Trust CIO
Since opening in 2018, The Hideaway has been operating as a CIC - a registered not-for-profit social enterprise for the benefit of our users and the local community.
Since then, the range of free services and support we offer has grown and grown until it's become apparent that we are much more than just a social business. On 2nd September 2022, we received our official charity number from the Charity Commission (1200251). Hidden Treasure Trust CIO is now officially registered!
Over the coming months we will be moving most of our operations from the social business under the full control of the new charity.
Our donation rates and the Hideaway
As with all businesses the Hideaway is facing incredible financial pressures due to the ever-spiralling costs of running an organisation and building. There are many decisions around the running of the Hideaway that we make for the benefit of our visitors, and would probably not make from a commercial business perspective. For example, we don't have machines or extra rides available which are designed to encourage children to make parents part with their limited resources. We have a lot of additional staff available, running sessions and activities which are not funded by the low entrance fee.
We have worked incredibly hard to keep our entrance fee as low as we possibly can so that the Hideaway is accessible to all. We find additional funding and donations to make up the short-fall, a gap which is currently significantly widening each month. However, we have to do something to help plug this gap a little more. For this reason we have now introduced two pricing options, the 'standard' rate and the 'donation' rate. The Donation rate is far closer to the rate that we should be charging as a commercial business, and is comparable to other similar businesses and we believe still represents excellent value for the facilities and activities your children receive at the Hideaway. If you're a tax payer, in time we will also be able to reclaim Gift Aid on this amount which is an extra 25% for every £1 you pay to come in. The extra money helps towards our charity costs as well as supporting the other work we do as an organisation (see below). If you are in a position to choose this rate, it is hugely appreciated and will help us to keep doing what we do.
That said, we also recognise that there are millions of families currently struggling to afford the basic essentials, let alone price increases at their favourite play centres. We don't want our price increase to be a hindrance to visiting the Hideaway, and therefore if the Donation rate is beyond what you can manage you are welcome to opt for the 'Standard' rate price. We can't claim Gift Aid on this rate, but the most important thing is that you're able to come and enjoy the Hideaway and spend quality time with your kids.
What else does our charity do?
When you visit the Hideaway you should see a programme of activities coming up. This includes many free courses and workshops which range from ante-natal courses to dad and kids camp. These courses are offered free and usually available to all, no matter where you live. Paying the Donation rate helps to fund these courses and the support of our family team.
If you don't live in Partington, you may be unaware of the work of the Hope Centre. The Hope Centre is a building down the road run by our team for the benefit of the local community. It's a community hub for Trafford, and offers a range of services and support for local residents. This help includes a food pantry, pre-loved school uniform, new toys (for birthdays and Christmas), information and advice, an emergency household support fund and much more. All of these services are provided for a low nominal fee or free for local people.
Alongwith proving food, energy, education and support for thousands of people each year, we have a number of smaller growing projects. These include Hope Green - our gardening project which sees paid staff and volunteers transform the green spaces of residents who can't do it themselves, and we produce a number of free resources and books for children. There's lots more support too - a Savings Union, mentoring, working in local schools and much more. By choosing to pay the donation rate you help enable our charity to use all our resources available to see families be provided for and grow together.
How much funding do we need?
Originally we set out to be entirely self-sufficient with all of our income from the Hideaway supporting the projects we run. As we hit the pandemic and our range of services and support grew and changed exponentially, we became more and dependent on external funding and donations. Now with the running costs increasing so much and the demand for our support growing daily, that gap is widening again. Currently we're able to self-generate around 50% of our running costs as a charity, mostly through entrance fees and our cafe. Our aim over the next year is to increase that to 70%. With rising costs, we expect the 50% shortfall now to be similar figure to a 30% shortfall in 12 months time - still a huge amount of money to find!
How can you help?
There are lots of ways in which you can support the work that we do.
- Choose to pay the donation rate
- Make a one-off or regular financial donation
- Donate food (you can bring these with you and drop at the Hideaway desk)
- Buy someone a weekly food shop in the pantry (just £3 a week will do it!)
- Give your time. Can you help with gardens? Run the craft table? Deliver food parcels? Wash up? There's something for everyone!
- Do a fundraiser. If you can't donate, perhaps you can think of a creative way to encourage others to do so!
- Donate some of your government energy support payment this winter (we'll use it to top up the energy of a household in dire straights. You can even send a message of hope with it!).
- Anything else? You may have another idea too! If you would like to help, please get in touch.
Updated 2nd September 2022