Read our interview with Neighbourhood warden and project owner, Donna Hewart.
Tell us about your project in five words…
Why did you want to crowdfund?
To get local people supporting and pledging to the project to make it a local success. To raise awareness of the project locally and throughout Ernesettle.
How has crowdfunding helped you?
It has helped us reach our project fund target while raising awareness of the project with people living around the site, in the local primary schools and with other stakeholders working in Ernesettle.
How are you encouraging pledges?
We have stood outside local primary schools and promoted the project, asking for parents to pledge on the project and encourage their children to get involved.
We have attended other groups in the community to help raise awareness with all age groups.
Will your project create jobs?
No. The site will be run by volunteers but the skills and knowledge sharing that will go on could lead to employment for people in the future.
How will the project improve the lives of people?
It will build the skills and knowledge of local people and get people thinking about being healthier by producing locally grown food.
All this while getting exercise and fresh air in the process to help people’s general well-being.
What’s the best bit about crowdfunding?
I thought the comments you receive along the way help you to keep promoting your project, spurring you to carry on asking for pledges. The match funding being given is also a huge boost.
Has it spurred you to do other things?
Yes, residents in Ernesettle are already looking at other projects for crowdfunding, such as a new roof for the scout hut, junior youth and mother and toddler groups and a new walking group.
How has crowdfunding helped your project access other funds, through match funding etc?
We raised £6,676 through Crowdfunder, then got £3,250 match funding from Plymouth City Council and £1,000 from Plutus PowerGen and have been successful with a further £2,500 from the NGS Elspeth Thompson Bursary.
Where do you want to be in five years?
To have a community hub for residents with green fingers, that produces fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. And have a thriving allotment project being run and managed by local people but most importantly – enjoyed by all.