Bowmen of Darenteford is a 46 year old Archery Club with over 70 members, aged 8 to over 80. We provide coaching, competition and a welcoming home for all of our members and visitors, of all abilities, backgrounds and ages. We organise and hold many club events for all to take part in, including festive shoots, club summer competitions, halloween fun shoots and novelty shoots with foam targets of all shapes and sizes. We also compete in multiple leagues all year long, welcoming other clubs to our ground and visiting other clubs for away matches. We are proud of our family atmosphere, the bonds we have created as a club, as well as the achievements of our members on all levels, from a junior archer getting all arrows on the target for the first time to two of our members who are current county champions.
Our club has been happily resident at our current field for around 7 years but due to the upcoming development of a 3G football pitch we have found ourselves having to find a new home. This is no easy feat with Archery, the requirements of our insurance mean the space we need is extremely difficult to find and with the cost of living and energy crisis the price of outside space for sports clubs has rocketed. After an exhaustive (and exhausting!) search, we are so incredibly lucky and delighted to have secured a new home at Bluebell Barn Farm in Cobham, Kent.
Due to the rural and off grid nature of the new location we are unable to bring our current storage, a shipping container, and will need to start from scratch, installing appropriate, high quality and inclusive facilities for our volunteers, members and visitors.
To achieve this and to ensure we are sympathetic to the environment we need to install:
- Storage - a new timber storage shed
- Toilet - an accessible composting toilet
- Parking - improve on the parking available to ensure that people are safe, able to access the field and don't get stuck.
- Archery Range - we will install small, inconspicuous markers to mark our distances.
- Additional Storage - smaller storage areas at other areas of the farm.
- Temporary Facilities - Possible rental of a portable toilet while fundraising and works are carried out.
- Any further works that are required to ensure a quality archery facility
We estimate the full cost of the entire project to be over £8000. Although we have reserves, they are stretched to capacity. The impact of Covid-19 and the following cost of living and energy crisis is still being felt, we lost crucial income - including a full year of beginners courses, taster sessions and events. In addition we reduced or delayed club fees to keep ourselves ticking along without impacting our already stretched members. We are recovering, but this sudden and unexpected move has been a real curve ball for us. We are very keen to make this new site a long term home, so it is imperative that we can spend enough money to make it a good, solid facility that will last for years to come. Our ability to be resilient and come together to face adversity is something that we are particularly proud of, the Covid-19 pandemic showed the commitment of members in sticking with the club and the willingness of our volunteers to do whatever it takes to help the club survive.
Our aim with this project is to provide only what we need, while ensuring we don't damage or detract from the beautiful surroundings that we are so lucky to have been given the chance to shoot in.
(Don't worry, the sheep have another great field to chomp on while we borrow this one!)
As this was a rather unexpected move we are having to start preliminary work already but are planning to continue to fundraise as much as possible to develop our facilities sensibly and with proper thought and planning, to do this we need to ensure we can provide for the needs of the club in the meantime.
We hope to use the facilities we create for many years to come to provide fantastic archery training, taster sessions, beginners courses and competitions for our members, visitors and the wider community.
Without this opportunity our amazing club would have been without a home and very well could have closed. We welcome and relish the chance to build something amazing for our future.
Funds raised will be used to create a fantastic and inclusive facility that blends into it's surroundings as seamlessly as possible.
We will endeavour to install all robust timber/sustainable buildings, use sustainable or recycled materials to reinforce parking and use the byproducts of the composting toilet as it should be.
Our club offers beginners courses every summer for anywhere from 20 to 40 new archers, taster sessions for our own waiting list of archers as well as outside organisations such as army cadets, corporate groups and family groups. Our current site has a charitable open day in aid of their school Community Farm which we have taken part in and we intend to continue these activities at the new site, which our hosts are delighted with. We have also taken part in sport relief activities in partnership with the school during our indoor season and intend to continue to make ourselves available for any events of this nature. We are ready to ensure we are providing a great facility for the local community in this new area and bring archery to anyone who wishes to take part.
There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.
1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!
2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.
3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!
4. Fundraise for us. If you want to run your own fundraiser – maybe a sponsored activity or similar – use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!