Community Heart Fundraising shop and Hub

by Robin Markland in Falmouth, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 20th March 2020 we successfully raised £3,450 with 74 supporters in 35 days

To open a community Fundraising Shop and Hub; with a Community Fridge and to set up and sustain the Falmouth Community Orchard.

by Robin Markland in Falmouth, England, United Kingdom

The vision is to open a fundraising shop and Hub here in Falmouth. It will serve the whole of Cornwall as many people will see the genuine benefits of the initiatives.  It will be centred around the Fundraising shop.  We will take in donated items from the public and sell them to generate funds to sustain the initiatives which include the Commmunity Fridge in which any one, particularly those who may be struggling can help themselves to free healthy fruit & Veg - with surplus food sourced from local supermarkets due to not being sold. Alongside this will be a Hygiene and contraception Bank, where such items will be available. Holistic Therapies, a drop in, super affordable CommuniTEA cafe, and a meeting session space which other local organisations will use, enhancing the benefit to the public by providing a free and made for purpose venue. There will also be a resource library with useful information relating to healthy eating on a budget, environmental sustainability and practical help for the Homeless. Managed by us is the new Falmouth Community Orchard, and will be planting thousands of trees throughout Cornwall.

We will stop many tonnes of useful items from being put into the bin and provide affordable items for people to share.

The Hub will be the vibrant community space which is so needed.  

How we will use your investment:

The main priorities are to provide the venue for the Community Fridge and the Fundraising shop so that we can have a positive impact from day 1. We will do this by putting all of the funds together and securing an affordable shop within walking distance of Falmouth town centre. We can then look at delivering the other initiatives as soon as possible.

Falmouth town Councillors have already kindly pledged the money for the purchase of the commercial standard fridge from their Community Chest funds and local supermarkets and cafes are ready to donate food items.

We have also set up a team of 10 fully trained Holistic therapists and professional counsellors who will be providing free sessions at the Hub - They are ready to share as soon as we have the right space. The more we raise, the more we will offer straight away, but we will continue to grow.

We will secure one of the dozen empty shops in Falmouth, immediately open the Community Fridge and appeal for donations of clothes and other household items.

We can build stronger and more resilient communities - using food.

Teachers are feeding hungry children in schools and parents are skipping meals due to higher living costs.  We will help people to create healthy meals on a small budget. Many local residents struggle due some of the highest rents and the very lowest incomes in Britain. 

Empowering our Community

There will be many volunteer spaces for people to enjoy such as in the shop, cafe or by joining the ''Friends of Falmouth Community Orchard''.  Volunteering is proven to be great for peoples health and wellbeing. 

Join us in planting the first trees this spring. The site is in the heart of Falmouth.

Our new community orchard will be a vibrant community space which will bring so much to our town.

In January 2019 Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency, recognising the need for urgent action to address the climate crisis.  

The planting of trees is one of the biggest and most economical ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis.

Trees greatly benefit the people living around them by having a positive impact upon mental health and wellbeing, reducing stress and encouraging outdoor exercise. This is in addition to the benefits they will receive from enhanced environmental quality and improved amenity which comes with planted areas.

Environmental benefits:

Planting Trees will empower people will feel more inclined to make other positive steps to protect and enhance the environment.

There are numerous benefits which the Falmouth Community Orchard will give to the community:

  • Builds community spirit and solidarity.
  • Provides food; Apples, Pears, Cherry’s, Plums.
  • Positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, by reducing stress and encouraging outdoor activities.
  • Improves awareness on the benefits of trees and nature.
  • Creates wildlife habitats.
  • Increase in pollinator numbers.
  • Removes and stores Carbon from the air.
  • Reduces flood risk.
  • Protects sites from development.
  • Improved aesthetics.
  • Provides shade.
  • Reduces green space maintenance costs.
  • Provides us with oxygen.
  • Cleans the air, absorbs odours and various pollutants.
  • Prevents soil erosion.
  • Improves soil conditions.

The drop in ''CommuniTEA''cafe will be super cheap. It will be a way of providing a friendly place for all to relax and socilialise. This will combat loneliness and isolation which is really bad for your health.

Ok, so why me who is going to deliver this beautiful vision?                               

It's all about insight -  and I believe in this with my heart and soul and feel energised by how right this feels.

I know what its like to live in poverty. I lived a virtually feral childhood, I was not sent to school and was treated very badly so I taught myself how to read and write by reading old newspapers. I spent days collecting aluminium cans from the streets and then would take them to the scrapyard to recycle and buy food with the money which I earned from them. With a tear in my eye it then makes me laugh when I think of how I used to push a rattling shopping trolley full of cans over the cobbled streets of Leicester city centre as a scruffy little kid -  at least I can say that I was one of the first recyclers !  A community Fridge or a safe oasis of a Community Orchard would have been amazing. I found much needed tranquility in nature as a child, sowing the seeds of my love of being in green spaces and awareness of the benefits. 

There are children out there today who aren't eating properly due to low incomes and lack of food education, lets tackle this now.  We will be making super food smoothies out of some of the fruit and veg donated to the fridge and perhaps adding a bit of icecream to make it more appealing for kids ! 

Warmth for the Homeless is an award winning initiative of Community Heart. Members of the public currently drop items off to my flat such as sleeping bags, tents and clothing. I then clean, sort and distribute to the local street homeless and the hidden homeless who live in refuges, hostels or cars in Cornwall. Although it has been going exceptionally well, it is non sustainable to continue this from my flat. Once we have the Hub people will be able to donate specifically for the homeless and then they will be able to pop in when it suits them and collect what they need and perhaps access food and hygiene items or have a counselling session. 

Quotes about my work in the press:   

"A Falmouth man set up a charity to help the homeless in Cornwall which has already been credited with saving the life of a rough-sleeper." Cornwall Live

"50 people who make Cornwall a happier place" -  Cornwall Live 

"Cornwall's coolest male role models for International Men's Day  - These guys are bringing positive change to the world". Cornwall Live

Local Hero award - "Being nominated for this award and receiving this trophy is lovely and I am very touched. The light it can shine on our aims of helping the homeless is the best part, that I am very grateful for."  Falmouth Packet.

I was invited to a posh awards ceremony where I received an award. I was allowed to take up to 10 friends with me - So I took the local homeless people along and we had a great feast and Champagne !

The Hub will act as a catalyst for numerous other initiatives such as free makeovers where those in need will be able to select nice clothes from the shop and enjoy a free haircut from a local hairdresser working in partnership with us and a befriending service. The intitiative of empowering the public to help the community will be called ''Whats your cause'', where we will facilitate people to ger involved with any positive cause in the area.

This really will be your hub, and we will work with you and your suggestions.

Community Heart is a non for profit community interest company registrered with Companies House.   We have fantastic board members in Eamonn Murphy and Jennifer Forbes - plus me.

Feel free to message us through the crowdfunder link above or via -

email; communityheart.cic@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/heartfalmouth/

www.communityheart.co.uk

                                            Join us for the greatest good.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

Plant a Tree or one planted on your behalf

Come and plant the foundation Fruit trees at the Falmouth Community Orchard, or if you prefer we can do it for you or a nominated person. We are planting the first 15 fruit trees at the Orchard this spring ! Secure your limited edition tree in this spot. Plus feature on the colourful wall of thanks if you would like to. Can not guarantee location / site of Trees planted at this stage.

£11 or more

Community Heart Seed Bomb

The Community Heart Seed Bombs are great news for Bees and Butterflies.

£50 or more

Person Centred Counselling session

Benefit from a counselling session by our in house Person Centred Counsellor - Affiliated by the BACP. This session can be used by yourself or gifted to a person of your nomination. You will also feature on the colourful wall of thanks if you would like to, once we have a wall !

£75 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Cosy Hoodie with the lovely Community Heart logo

Own a stylish and warm Hoodie with the Community Heart Logo. You will also feature on the colourful wall of thanks if you would like to.

£150 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Family photoshoot or Pet photoshoot

Enjoy a photoshoot with your family / loved ones or an exclusive photoshoot for yourself or your Pet, (Or even your car or boat etc) anywhere in Cornwall. You will also feature on the colourful wall of thanks if you would like to once we have the Hub. Professional photography by Robin Markland. You will also receive a Seed Bomb - Perfect for the Bees and Butterflies.

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Commercial Photoshoot for your business

Photogrpahy is proven to enhance businesses and increase sales. You will also feature on the colourful wall of thanks if you would like to. Professional photography by Robin Markland any where in Cornwall or Plymouth. You will also receive a Seed Bomb - Perfect for the Bees and Butterflies.

£1,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Feature as a key supporter

Have your companies logo or your name feature on the website and on the social media pages of Community Heart (facebook and Instagram) - showing you as a key supporter. Will also display your support in the shop and Hub. You will also receive any of the other rewards listed above, its up to you.

Got an idea like this?

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