Friday, 14 October 2016

Remember that proposed magazine for Care Kids?

Do you remember that proposed magazine for Care Kids? I do, Ella does but I bet that most of you don't! Well the idea has been dropped, I imagine for good. In three months "almost nobody" signed up for 12 issues and issue 1 didn't, so I'm told, get past the proof copy stage.

It was back in May 2016 that I received a flyer seeking my support for the publication of this monthly electronic magazine targeted at care-leavers. Enthusiasm there was in plenty but not much relevant experience nor much financial or commercial realism that we could see.

Strangely this was going to a subscription based business model - £12.00 per year for 12 issues. This, of course, made the already slim chance of success even more emaciated. None of the many ideas for regular content were particularly original and it wasn't obvious who was going to write the 16 pages required each month. Any subscriber is going to expect around 200 pages of content (16 pages x 12 issues) for their money and creating that was never going to be either quick or easy.

The business model I saw predicted an income of £3000 per year in the first year. Income not profit. Not nearly enough I hear you saying and you would be dead right! Who in their right mind if they have the skills to write 200 pages of content would do so at little more than the minimum wage. So having ruled out paid for content the only other option is a volunteer or volunteers and that would have been an organisational nightmare.

Theo, the #2 in the organisation, is as honest a person as you could ever hope to meet so there isn't any suggestion of a scam. The other names on the flyer were unknown to me but that isn't surprising given how fragmented the world of care-leavers is. Many people  have wondered if there are many semi-organised groups of care-leavers scattered around the country totally ignorant of the existence of other similar groups? Nobody I know believes that with all the thousands of care leavers in a place like London there isn't somebody with the drive to set up a self-help group. Yet of my circle of "inside the M25" friends none have ever seen proof that such a group exists. 

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