From Sustainable Schools Advisor and Project Facilitator Rosamonde Birch
Tell us about your project in five words…
Outdoor Innovation for Children’s Learning
Why did you want to crowdfund?
Ernesettle Community School was keen to engage local people, parents and staff in the children’s Outdoor Classroom.
Crowdfunding gave the school a platform to promote our philosophy of outdoor learning, the achievements so far and gain support for future projects on the school site.
How has crowdfunding helped you?
Crowdfunding has enabled Ernesettle Community School to promote, engage and access pledges from a range of community members alongside larger sponsorship.
It has been a great way to feature our successes and achievements through the Crowdfunder page and we have had great support from local press to showcase the project.
How are you encouraging pledges?
To gain momentum and support Ernesettle Community School featured the Crowdfunder Campaign through our website and Facebook, as well as featuring it in local press.
We regularly notified parents and staff, alongside inviting local businesses and organisations to support outdoor learning.
Will your project create jobs?
As a one off project it will create short-term employment and hopefully broaden opportunities for volunteering groups who use the school site.
How will the project improve the lives of people?
Outdoor Learning has been shown to increase health, social skills, improve behaviour and attainment, as well as encourage children to build better relationships with their local environment and community.
Overall the project will enhance the lives of the children, staff and parents at Ernesettle Community School for a long time to come.
What’s the best bit about crowdfunding? Has it spurred you to do other things?
Crowdfunding has meant we can gain support and interest from a broad range of people, especially as the pledges ranged from £1 – £1,000s. Everyone’s pledge is important and will enable the children’s plan for the outdoor classroom to be realised.
How has crowdfunding helped your project access other funds, through match funding etc?
Ernesettle Community School has been able to gain substantial match funding through the Crowdfunding platform, especially with match funding from Plutus PowerGen of £5,250 and Plymouth City Council’s Change Fund exceeded our expectations with an additional £3,500 to take us well over our target.
Where do you want to be in five years?
Ernesettle Community School would like to see the outdoor classroom used regularly by staff and children to explore their natural environment, provide a venue for more creative teaching and learning and be an inspiration to other groups or schools that they can achieve their aspirations for learning.