We did it
On 1st November 2019 we successfully raised £1,885 with 66 supporters in 28 days

Does a world filled with negative news get you down? Then invest in Clydesider and help share our community's positive and inspiring stories

by Amanda Eleftheriades-Sherry in Old Kilpatrick, Scotland, United Kingdom

Power of the Positive

After three years of shining a spotlight on our community's positive news we need a little help from our friends to continue building our unique model of solution-focused Community Action Journalism, keeping Clydesider magazine free for all to enjoy. 

But we're not asking just for us. 

In keeping with everything we do at Clydesider Creative, our Crowdfunder aims to work with our community. So 10% of everything we raise will go into a Clydesider Community Action Fund and if we reach our original goal of £5,000 we'll increase that to 15% for everything over and above. We also have a stretch target of £10,000 and should we reach that then we will  put 25% of anything over into the Fund.

Please read on for our full story.

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A 'Ray of Sunshine'

In 2014 a small group of community activists from West Dunbartonshire in Scotland came together to set up Clydesider magazine. 

Our aim - to show there is much more to low-income communities like ours than certain politicians, commentators and media outlets would have you believe. 

By highlighting positive, solution-focused stories which are mainly written by local volunteers who are equally passionate about our community we felt we could start tackling some of the negative stereotypes which people have of West Dunbartonshire - and places like ours.

There is a growing body of evidence that shows an overload of negative news leaves people feeling anxious, fearful and powerless. In contrast solution-focused reporting encourages people to take action because they are inspired by others and have a sense of hope that change is possible. There is an excellent book by Jodie Jackson called You Are What You Read which explains this evidence and the psychology behind it.

So with a focus firmly on the positive we launched Issue 1 in September 2016 and for the past three years our free, quarterly publication has been shining a spotlight on that ‘other’ West Dunbartonshire. 

Here's a glimpse of what it looks like.

“A wonderful magazine celebrating everything positive and creative in West Dunbartonshire. In a world of bad news this publication is a ray of sunshine. The community spirit leaps from every obviously lovingly put together page. And it’s free! You couldn’t ask for more. Totally recommend.”  

Dhyani Crawford, Clydesider reader

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Taking Pride

From an initial ‘kitchen committee’ of five we’ve grown to a team of 100+ contributors and volunteers from all walks of life, some professionals - most graduates from the school of hard knocks - all passionate about our community.

Each issue is packed with stories of grassroots resilience, individual creativity and inspiration which deserve their space in the media spotlight as much, perhaps more than, those of the privileged, the celebrity and the political.

And as we've grown we've developed a more solution-focused approach to our reporting.

Our readers tell us they love what we're producing. This is what they like about Clydesider according to our recent Reader Survey:-

“I had moved away from Dumbarton for years and when I moved back I was shocked at how depressed the area – and the people – had become, folk seem to have given up hope. Your magazine is changing that, people are taking a pride in their community again.”  Sam Paton, local business owner

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Inspiring Confidence

Most of these stories are written by our volunteers - all of whom are from West Dunbartonshire. 

Being part of the community they report on they know what our area's bad news looks and feels like. They also know about the grassroots organisations and inspirational individuals who quietly help people dealing with life's challenges. These hidden heroes exist in every community but rarely make the front page.

Few of our volunteers have any journalism experience so we run media skills workshops and provide both 1-1 and group support to work on articles. As our volunteers grow in confidence and ability, they encourage others to get involved. 

Together we have published 10 issues of Clydesider and are currently working on Issue 11 - out in November.

They tell us that being part of the Clydesider team is having a positive impact on their lives. This is what they like about being a Clydesider volunteer:-

“I always wanted to be a journalist and went to college to do journalism but I never pursued it, however I always had it in me that I wanted to write. When I started volunteering at Clydesider I was really nervous because I hadn’t written for a long, long time but as I came in each week I started to realise there was something different about this organisation - it was community-led and not sensationalised. 

"This sat with me because I wasn’t harming anyone with my writing and I love it. What I love most about it is that people don’t run away from you when you tell them you write for Clydesider – they want to tell you their story. It has also helped my confidence grow and I love writing about real people from my community.” Angela Clark, Clydesider volunteer

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More Than A Magazine

But there's a lot more to Clydesider than the quarterly print publication. 

As we all come from the local community we really want to not just report on the positive news stories but also be actively involved in unravelling some of our deep-seated problems and bringing people together to understand how we can develop local solutions.

This year we have run several events that focused on our community's potential.

 Our 'Walkin' Talkins' looked at the potential of our local heritage, the 'Vale in Focus' explored the good, the bad and the downright ugly of life in the Vale of Leven and our 'Focus on Change WD: Learning from the Grassroots' Community Gathering brought together local individuals, organisations, politicians and policymakers to look at how together we tackle the huge challenge of poverty. 

These events bring a solution-focused approach to our problems, looking at what is already happening and what else we can do to bring about more positive change.

The starting point for our events is the same as for our journalism. It's a belief in the power of positivity and community.

"I thought the event was excellent and inspiring. I am always impressed by the fantastic work community groups, voluntary organisations and volunteers do and yesterday wasn’t an exception. I also enjoyed the exhibition."  

Brian McQuillan, Communities Team West Dunbartonshire Council commenting on our Focus on Change WD event

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Help Needed

We want to continue this way of working, and use our near unique mix of journalism and community activism skills, creative expertise and local grassroots knowledge to develop solutions as part of our community.

It takes time and trust to build our brand of positive community action journalism and with the end of two grant funds fast approaching we need the support of our wider community to ensure Clydesider has a sustainable future.

That takes money - and yes, a lot more than the £5,000 we hope to raise from this Crowdfunder.

But this is Phase One of our sustainability plan and we will use some of the money raised to develop our Clydesider Membership scheme. We need to do this because advertising alone doesn't cover the magazine's costs and we want to keep the strong editorial focus which our readers enjoy. 

We don't want to put a cover charge on the Clydesider and believe a pay-what-you-can afford membership scheme will allow us to keep the print publication free for all to enjoy. 

To do this we need the expertise of a web developer and digital support to build our social media audience to ensure the scheme is successful when we are ready to launch it - that is what the Crowdfunder will pay for.

But we're not just asking for ourselves.

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Invest in Us, Invest in Our Community

As part of our membership scheme we intend to establish a Clydesider Community Action Fund to help resource some of the ideas and initiatives that come from our solution-focused events. 

Members will help decide how that fund is spent and we would like to start this Fund by putting 10% of everything raised from this Crowdfunder into it. 

If we reach our original target of £5,000 we'll increase that contribution to 15% for anything over and above and should we exceed our stretch goal of £10,000 then 25% of everything over the £10,000 mark will go into the Fund.

So by supporting us, you are supporting our community and putting West Dunbartonshire at the forefront of a truly positive news story!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£30 or more

3 of 50 claimed

Clydesider Feel Good T-Shirt

Look good and feel positive in our new Clydesider T-shirt 'The Good News Is, I Read Clydesider. Plus receive a pin badge and car sticker and your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame which will be printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£5 or more

Clydesider Supporter

Your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame which will be printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£10 or more

Clydesider Badge of Honour

Receive a Clydesider pin badge and car sticker plus your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame printed in Issue 12.

£35 or more

1 of 30 claimed

Bespoke Clydesider Handmade Gift Bag

We hate anything going to waste at Clydesider so we have teamed up with community partner ISARO Network who are recycling some of our back issues into these trendy gift bags and we're popping a Clydesider badge and car sticker inside. Plus your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame which will be printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£50 or more

Clydesider Subscriber - one year

Receive a copy of each issue of Clydesider posted direct to your door throughout 2020. Plus we'll send you a pin badge and car sticker with the first issue and your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame which will be printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£75 or more

0 of 30 claimed

Clydesider Expert Workshop

Want to tap into the expertise of some of our Clydesider community? Then we have just the reward for you. We have teamed up with several local experts who will be running one-off workshops in community venues across West Dunbartonshire. These would make excellent Christmas gifts and will come with a personalised gift voucher. Plus your name will be added to the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£100 or more

Clydesider Champion Subscriber

Receive a copy of each issue of Clydesider posted direct to your door throughout 2020 plus receive a Clydesider hoodie with your first issue plus your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame which will be printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£100 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Ask Me Anything Clydesider Exclusive

Join the Clydesider team and some of our inspirational interviewees and creatives for a virtual coffee in the Hobbit House. This will be your chance to see behind the scenes and interview us about the Clydesider journey. Plus your name will be included on the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame to be published in Issue 12.

£100 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Clydesider First Edition Signed Copy

There are just a few copies of the first issue of Clydesider left and to make this reward even more exclusive we will ask each volunteer contributor to sign their article. Plus we will send you a pin badge and car sticker and your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame which will be printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£150 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Creative Clydesider Goodie Bag

Enjoy a selection of handmade items lovingly created by local artists and makers from West Dunbartonshire. Included in your bag will be a Clydesider pin badge and car sticker plus your name will be added to our Clydesider Community Wall of Fame and published in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£200 or more

Clydesider Long-term Supporter

Receive a copy of Clydesider posted direct to your door for the next five years plus a Clydesider badge and car sticker sent with your first issue and your name will be included in the Clydesider Community Wall of Fame which will be printed in Issue 12 of the magazine.

£450 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Clydesider Communication Services - Scotland only

We have a team of talented creatives all keen to share our talents with our community. Whether you need a photographer, a film-maker, a designer or someone to write copy for a website or a funding application - we have the expertise to complete that task. This reward is for one-day communication service (we will offer a discount if more than one day is required)

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Clydesider Mystery Tour

Let us take you on a mystery tour of West Dunbartonshire's hidden gems. This day-long excursion will start with coffee and homemade cakes in the Hobbit House where you get to meet our team and have an exclusive look behind the scenes. From there we'll take you on an adventure introducing you to some of the stunning scenery, fascinating history and inspiring individuals that few outsiders get to see. We'll make sure you're well fed along the way.

£2,500 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Clydesider Community Media training

This reward is for 6 x 3hr media training workshops. They are ideally suited for groups of up to 8 people and you can choose between our Solution-focused Reporting or Photography for Community Media programmes. (This reward is only available in west of Scotland)

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