Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and our answers to them. If you don't find what you are looking for just email Mac here and he'll get back to you
- Why do we exist?
- Who is our Patron?
- Do I have to be ex forces?
- What if I fought British or American troops?
- Are you a registered charity?
- What is a "Corporate Partner"?
- Will there be a translation service soon?
- What about DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), why are you not compliant?
- Why not ask for a Lottery grant?
- What do you do?
- What funds do you have now?
- What will you do with any income you receive?
- What will you do with the funds when they exceed running costs?
- What is this about publishing books?
- Who runs FLOW?
- What web sites belong to FLOWforALL?
- What should people expect to get from here?
- Are these the only questions you have?
Why do we exist?
"FLOWforAll" and its associated website's (see below), was set up to offer help to those who suffer from the affects of war, including the suffering shared by family members and friends too. We provide a place where anyone can send in their poem or story "as is" and we'll publish it so others may read it.
You can express how you feel and get rid of some of those demons. Find people who not only know how you feel and can relate to your emotions but who will give you time to chat and give comfort too. Just reading through the wonderful poems and stories on our sites has been described as a very uplifting experience.
There is a vast amount of research which explores the therapeutic value of writing down ones thoughts and emotions and there are many books on the subject too. Our website's offer a form of invisible/self counselling to anyone who has been affected by war. Allowing people to have their poems and stories published on our sites provides a method by which we can all say what we feel, and that is very important.
Who is our Patron?
Our Patron is none other than Dame Vera Lynn DBE. Dame Vera is a wonderful lady who supports us in all we do. This nation already owes so much to this lady and here she is standing by our men and woman of the armed forces and their dependants again. She is a shining example to us all.
Do I have to be ex forces?
NO, certainly not. You can be anyone at all from ANY country. The site was designed for anyone affected by war so we welcome ALL. So if like two of our members who watched scenes about a war on TV and felt affected by it, you also want to write a poem/story saying what you feel then this is the place. Got a sore heart? Want to express how you feel, then this is the place.
What if I fought against British or American troops?
You ARE welcome here too. We are not judges nor jurors, FLOWforALL and its website's were designed for ANYONE affected by war, from anywhere. We do not ask anyone to forgive, excuse or do anything else they don't want to do. Just take this site for what it is; a place to come and belong to.
Are you a registered charity?
No, not yet. Before we are allowed to become a registered charity we have to secure a minimum annual income of £5000. We are raising funds to pay for our running costs and the publication of our books which will be published in November this year. We long to become a registered charity and we are always looking for ways that will help us achieve this.
What is a Corporate Partner?
A Corporate Partner is a person or an organisation who has pledged an annual sum of at least £250 to our funds. We then create a page on our site for them to publicise why they support us and what they are all about.
Will there be a translation service soon?
We are working on this but it will be a slow work in progress project. We will focus on more important projects like the next one first.
What about DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), why are you not compliant?
We would love to be. We just don't have the funds to pay for the job which was last quoted at £2,300. If you know a kind web developer who would help us with this please let us know and we'd be delighted to let them do it for us.
Why not ask for a Lottery grant?
We are looking into this now. We need to ensure we meet the criteria first which we are doing now and then we'll apply.
What do you do?
At the moment we invite people to publish their poems and stories on our sites. Your poem or story does not have to be what others believe is a good poem or story, just write it the way you feel. Spelling is not a problem as we will spell check anything (if you ask us to) otherwise it will be published as we receive it. Speling is not as importent as sayin what you feeel . Just send us in your work and as long as it does not intentionally offend anyone we'll publish it.
How do we help people?
We provide our facilities for anyone affected by war especially serving and ex serving members of the forces their families and friends. What we do has been described by a soldier as “a really good self service counselling facility”.
Two of our websites www.ForcesPoetry.com and www.ForcesStories.com, offer a form of invisible self counselling to people who have been affected by war and other events in their lives. People send in their poems and stories and we publish them on our sites.
Another of our websites www.FlowsForums.com offers a place for people to gather and discuss their thoughts with other people from similar backgrounds and experiences. There is a vast amount of research which explores the therapeutic value of talking about our thoughts and emotions.
What books do you publish and how is content chosen?
Every October/November we publish a collection of the poems and stories we have on our two sites. Our first book published in Nov 08 was “Voices of the Poppies” and the introduction was written by our Patron Dame Vera Lynn. (see here). Future competitions are expected to be open from January each year.
To enter your poem or story into the competition to be published in our books you need to keep your eyes on this page we have linked to below. http://www.flowforall.org/competitions.asp.
The cost to enter the poetry competition is expected to be £5 which will allow you to submit up to 5 poems.
The cost to enter the story competition is also expected to be £5 which will allow you to submit up to 5 stories.
What funds do you have now?
We are totally reliant on donations and the proceeds from our first book of poems published in Nov 08. At today's date (27 Aug 09) we now have a balance of £65. We need to use funds from proceeds and donations as shown below.
What will you do with income to your organisation?
For now we run this site and pay for the things we need to run it, things such as the publishing of two books a year, printing of flyers and cards, printer ink, paper, postage and packing, envelopes, and on it goes.
Mac Macdonald, who now runs the organisation, works full time but his hope is to generate enough income to let him be paid from that income so that he give 100% attention to FLOW for ALL. It is then hoped that in time he can then be joined by others such as our moderators and counselors as and when funding becomes available.
What will you do with the funds when they exceed running costs?
This is where we want to get to as soon as possible. We want to be able to find and pay for counselors to visit and assist those in need. If we get to the stage where we have surplus funding, that is where you all come in. There will be a vote for a sum of money to be paid to another charity, one working with ex forces personnel and their dependants etc. Suggestions so far have been SSAFA, Resolution, Royal British Legion, Combat Stress , Help for Heroes and any other charities from the UK, the US and around the world. Just let us know the charity "you" want to see on our list and we'll check it out and add it.
Who runs FLOWforALL?
Mac Macdonald runs the organisation ably assisted by wonderful moderators looks after the website's with another man called Rui in Portugal. Annie has now handed over the running of the organisation to Mac as she was quite unwell during 2008 and now wishes to take a back seat.
We also have some unpaid volunteers/moderators who are:
What web sites belong to FLOW?
- www.FLOWforALL.org - our organisation
- www.ForcesPoetry.com - for all your Poems
- www.ForcesStories.com - for all your Stories
- www.FlowsForum.com - a place to chat with like minded people
What should people expect to get from here?
A place to come and share your thoughts, feelings and emotions. A place to find like minded individuals who have been through similar experiences to yours, a form of extended family. Good reading to soothe the mind, sad reading to tug the heart and funny reading too, so you can laugh with us as well.
Are these the only questions you have?
At the moment yes, but if you have any you'd like added just send them in and we'll add them on. Send your question to Mac.
Together we will light up the darkness
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