When the An Saol Foundation applied to the Revenue Commissioners to be registered as a charity, the foundation was told to register with the Charities’ Regulatory Authority (CRA) first. When we did that, we were asked to fill in a questionnaire which had to be amended several times until it finally met the requirements of the CRA. When we then applied, again, and many months later, to the Revenue, we were asked to modify part of the information we had provided and which had been accepted by the CRA and check with the CRA whether they were ok with it. Once that’s done, we need to make a whole bunch of internal changes. And then, finally, we hope to have all the magic numbers, the CRA and the Revenue charity numbers, together.

Sounds boring, complicated, complex, and repetitive? – Yes, it does. And it is.

About two weeks ago, a report was published and widely reported on in Ireland stating that almost half the people in the country do not trust charities.

It also found that 83% of people think charities will have to be more transparent about their spending, while 60% said wages in the charity sector are too high. About two-thirds of respondents, 64%, say there are too many charities with similar functions and roughly the same proportion (68%) say such charities should merge. Broadly, the same share of those interviewed (68%) think charities should hire the best professionals available. However, only 41% feel that charities should pay competitive salaries for these professionals, while 64% of people believe most of the work carried out by charities should be done by volunteers. (The Irish Times, 26 October 2017)

Which explains why the authorities are making it increasingly difficult for organisations to register as a charity.

Sounds boring, complicated, complex, and repetitive? – Yes, it does. And it is.

Finally, something that is the antithesis of boring, complicated, complex, and repetitive. Pádraig’s new assistant is doing what I had heard about so often and always meant to do, i.e. making the service of daily health care and personal hygiene part of his daily rehab effort. While I often ask Pádraig to help me by lifting and arm, a foot, or a leg, I often do not wait long enough to give him a chance. Since we have started to wait, to be more patient, and to give him a real chance dressing or eating or washing will never be the same. It will only happen with his determination, his help, and his support.

Sounds marvellous? – Well, that’s because it is!