The History of the JDP - Shovelling Sugar!
As we explained in our previous article, we needed to raise £20,000 towards the facilities we needed for the Junior Development Programme, and all we had was 14 tonnes of manure!
So that became the focus of our efforts over the next few years…. Every Sunday, weather permitting, we shovelled bags and bags of manure until we actually came to love the smell!
I would put the seats down in my car and deliver all over the East Riding, plus one delivery in Lincolnshire! Huge orders from Southwood House in Cottingham meant shorter deliveries but loads of bags.
For three years we dug and delivered until we neared our target.
So that became the nucleus of our funds and the ‘business’ grew to such an extent that we were also working mid-week in the golf season.
Our brand name was ‘POO 4U’, which became quite well known in the area after 3 years of graft!
Whilst this was going on in terms of physically hard work I was also writing and phoning various organisations to try to get funding for our project, but all to no avail because as soon as I mentioned that we were a Proprietary Club the shutters came down and the funding was closed to us.
In a way this was just inverted snobbery as the only people that were affected were our Juniors.
England Golf and Yorkshire Golf were not interested. I even contacted the R & A in Scotland and had a lovely chat with a man in Junior Development who explained that their only source of income was the British Open and those monies were spread very thinly throughout the world of golf, administered by the R & A. He did promise a boxful of treats for us that duly arrived a few days later so well done the R & A.
2010 then saw the first JDP Am-Am which gave us our first operating profit of over £1500. Since then we have regularly raised over £1200 annually to keep our JDP afloat. This has become our no.1 fundraiser.
These funds, although very welcome, were taking a lot of effort to raise and so onto the next phase: I had a word with a few of the Past Captains, both Men and Women and asked if they could contribute via a standing order a few pounds each month, and this proved to be another stable income which continued until the green was built.
Nearly half of the Captains gave us lump sums, and some gave via their standing orders, but it all mounted up and very soon we were becoming self-sufficient.
Two Juniors, Joe and Jess also raised a few hundred pounds by nagging their parents to supply a hamper to raffle off at our monthly quiz.
Everybody associated with the JDP was starting to pull together to achieve what looked like an impossible dream to becoming a reality.
One funny incident occurred when two of our talented Juniors got bored with shovelling ‘Sugar’ one Sunday morning and decided to fill each other`s wellies up instead!
A friend of mine who was on the local Cottingham Parish Council was having a chat with me one day and I was bemoaning the lack of help from the golfing world in general when he mentioned that the local CPC had funds to help with projects such as this so long as there was a benefit to the local community. Another begging letter went in and lo and behold, the funding started to come in.
Hundreds of pounds came to us from the local Parish Council for which we are eternally grateful.
This funding then continued for a further 3 years until we were on our feet financially.
Many thanks to all who ordered POO4U even if you didn`t need it!
By Ken Hilton
(The picture shows Ken, Mandy, Curtis, Matt, Harry and Jess shovelling "sugar" in 2011)