Helen & Mash

Imagine having a fantastic idea but not knowing how to make it happen and who could help. That’s exactly the dilemma Macharia (Mash to his friends) had.

As a builder, Mash saw huge amounts of waste around - from doors to cement and wood. He started to think about how he could put these things to good use; recycling them for DIY jobs and just charging clients for labour. That’s how 2Recreate was born.

Mash explains,

“I got really excited. I thought it could be a great local community project - employing over 55’s, refugees and young people and using recycled materials.”

As a refugee from Northern Kenya, Mash had previously been part of a TimeBank project which had really helped him fit into the UK, so hearing about Leaders Together, another TimeBank project, he jumped at the chance to get involved. Mash was matched with Helen, Chief Executive of TimeBank and they started to pull his ideas together into a plan.

He explains,

“Straight away Helen got me really organised. We talked about my ideas and put together a one year plan. She’s guided me on understanding what donors want helped me manage my time and ideas better, which I was really unsure of before.

I was so lucky to have a mentor who had such a strong and successful background in fundraising too. Thanks to Helen I’ve managed to get £15,000 of funding - an amazing achievement for me and the project.”

Helen adds,

“Mash should be really proud he secured funding – it’s fantastic. I was thrilled to be able to draw on my fundraising skills from when I was Director of Fundraising to help him achieve that. But it wasn’t just about helping him secure funding, he now understands more about what donors want and he’s so much better at time management too.”

She explains,

“Being a mentor for Leaders Together is more than just helping a smaller charity leader secure funding. Mash had all these wonderful ideas but didn’t know how to put them into practice. Now he understands the value of planning and management, which is really important to keep his project going.

I’ll take a lot away from this too. It’s given me confidence and a real feel good factor. Something that’s second nature to me has helped develop a great project, which is giving back to the community and helping vulnerable people.”

So, what does the future hold for Mash and his project? Mash says,

“Helen has given me the confidence and know-how to keep the project going in a structured way and I feel positive about going after more funding. I’d be so proud to go home to Kenya and show my friends and family what I’ve achieved. I’d love to set up a similar project over there – that’s my dream.”