Help us secure the future of The Pearl Exchange

by The Pearl Exchange in Bude, Cornwall, United Kingdom

We did it
On 28th March 2022 we successfully raised £55,620 with 142 supporters in 69 days

We need funding to keep our creative hub going, to build the resilience and life skills of young adults in rural Cornwall & Devon.

by The Pearl Exchange in Bude, Cornwall, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

If we exceed our target, we'll use the funds to keep us running for longer. We'll develop our programme even further and offer more people free counselling.


"In 2019, our beautiful daughter Pearl tragically lost her life in a crazy defiant act. One minute she was there, the next we were grieving parents. After her death, there was an incredible outpouring of love and energy that we felt compelled to harness.

Pearl struggled with her demons, but she was also just like any other 19 year old. She wanted to be accepted, loved and to have fun. She was also hugely creative and sometimes she found it hard to find an outlet and like-minded souls. She also found the lack of public transport and places to go isolating.

Our vision was to create a place that would have made Pearl happy. We wanted to create a space for young adults that felt warm and welcoming but inspiring and cool, and a place that would make a difference to people's lives. There were too many young people around that were struggling alone, unable to find support."

Rose Bamford | Founder & Artistic Director



The Pearl Exchange is a creative, nurturing space, open to new ideas and collaborations. It’s a relaxed, artistic hub offering inspiring creative and practical workshops with open access facilities and a space to meet and build friendships and connections.

We curate free programmes of workshops, talks and courses open to anyone aged 18-30 in creative and practical skills, arts and enterprise. These sessions are hosted by some of the most inspiring makers, creators and thinkers from Cornwall and beyond. 

Integral to The Pearl Exchange is access to free professional counselling without long waiting lists to improve young people’s mental health and resilience. We offer people six - twelve free counselling sessions, depending on their level of need.


We have seen how living in rural Cornwall and Devon can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. We understand how unemployment or low paid seasonal work, a lack of amenities, communal meeting spaces and deprivation are all factors that contribute to fewer prospects and lack of hope for young people in this area, and we want to help. We also recognised that there is a demand for counselling therapy not currently met by statutory provision.

Our goal is that participants will gain skills and knowledge that will help increase their self-confidence, self-worth and broaden their horizons. Long-term, our aim is to reduce isolation issues, increase cultural experience, raise employability skills, improve mental health and resilience leading to more opportunities and a better quality of life.


We need financial support to keep The Pearl Exchange running. Our Impact Review has proven the need for our work but now we need to make sure we can continue to provide regular support through our holistic programme all year round. We recognise the need to give our community a programme they can rely on, get stuck in to and grow within. We've also seen the huge demand for counselling and understand how important it is to keep that service running. 

While we're incredibly lucky to have a host of wonderful and very generous volunteers, from our Artistic Director to some of our teachers and even local electricians the reality is that it costs money to provide a cultural hub like this.

So any pledges you can make will help us pay for;

  • Workshops - we're planning a seasonal programme which will begin in 2022. We're hoping to offer more exciting sessions which bring people in from further afield.
  • Counselling - our counselling programme will continue to run. Your pledge could help us give up to 12 free sessions to someone in serious need of help with nowhere else to go.
  • Outreach - we want to broaden our audience and engage with people who might not usually get involved in community activities. We're planning to get out in to the most remote places and encourage people to take a leap of faith by coming along to The Pearl Exchange.
  • Our bills - we strive to keep our overheads as low as possible but we still have to pay rent and utilities on our space.
  • Staff costs - we're very proud to have become a local employer and have created 5 part-time jobs within our Core team, which is brilliant for our local community. Our team all work tirelessly to keep things running smoothly (which believe me takes a lot of work) and with your help will continue to do so.

If you're able to spare anything to help us achieve our goals we would be so grateful.


"The Pearl Exchange has been crucial for me in settling into Bude (as I have only recently moved to the area). I quickly made new friends and they helped me to feel a part of the community. The Pearl Exchange really feels like a safe and non-judgmental space, to try new things and have a chat. Having an opportunity to try different creative activities has really built my confidence, direction and motivation in taking the next steps in my career." Participant

"I felt as if I was treated like an equal, rather than a disabled person" Participant

“Since coming to The Pearl Exchange, I have made so many friends, re-found my creative energy and desire to make things, felt more confident in myself and less socially anxious. Part of this is because of the counselling I received through TPE, but I think it’s mostly because of the warmth and kindness I’ve received from everyone I’ve met there." Participant



What a wonderful whirlwind! The pandemic put a huge spanner in the works both in terms of having to postpone our plans but also in terms of the huge increase in need. However we have managed in spite of Covid to keep running!

We felt it was more important than ever to get things going with The Pearl Exchange - which we did! We've tried and tested our ideas, run a full Pilot Programme, conducted an Impact Review and continued to offer weekly clubs, groups and counselling safely, even through lockdown. 

In our Pilot we worked with 134 people in our practical sessions, hosted 34 different workshops run by 27 different Creative Practitioners and provided 76 people with counselling.

The numbers don't lie;

  • 100% of the attendees said The Pearl Exchange was a supportive environment where they felt listened to. 
  • 100% said that The Pearl Exchange is an asset to the area.
  • 90% said they learnt new things which will help them achieve their future goals.
  • 100% of participants enjoyed the session they came to.
  • 81% of participants learnt new skills.
  • 100% of people said the social side of The Pearl Exchange was important to them.
  • 100% said The Pearl Exchange made them feel better/happier/more positive.

We've made a stamp on our community and from here we need to keep building our audience but we can't do that without your help!


“This programme gave me a genuine reason to get out of bed in the morning.” Participant

“The Pearl Exchange has helped me to be more confident, believe in myself and has given me the opportunity to meet a host of talented and amazing people. After finishing university, I felt miserable, I hadn’t long been in Bude so I really didn’t know anyone and with Covid limiting my ability to meet anyone it made it difficult for me to do anything." Participant

"I am in awe of the incredible work and mind-blowing testimonials - The Pearl Exchange is AMAZING and we are so lucky to have it here in Bude!" Amanda Tame, Mayor of Bude-Stratton, Cornwall



The Pearl Exchange x

 "Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a presentation and discussion at the Pearl Exchange to hear about the results and findings from their pilot scheme at The Pitch and Putt this summer. I have to say I was absolutely blown away by the work they have been doing, the opportunities they are providing and the enrichment that it brings people from 18-30 in our area. There is a life and vigour to the place that I haven't seen anywhere else and that has the power to brighten up our town. Young people have a hard time here and The Pearl Exchange gives them hope with FREE counselling (they provided counselling for 76 people during the 2 month pilot), FREE workshops, a FREE space to be, FREE music, art and culture, and above all, love and positivity.

We could all use a bit of it sometimes, right?Martin Dorey | Founder 2 Minute Foundation & Bude Stratton Town Councillor 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£500 or more

3 of 5 claimed

£500 Kindness Pledge

For your kindness pledge, we'll send you a signed photo taken by one of our talented photography team

£10 or more

£10 E-Thank You

We'll send you a lovely Thank You to acknowledge your donation.

£15 or more

9 of 50 claimed

£15 Embroidered Badge

An embroidered Pearl Exchange badge, for you to place wherever you wish.

£20 or more

£20 Thank you

We'll send you a personalised Thank You from our team.

£20 or more

13 of 100 claimed

Pearl Exchange Tote Bag

A screen printed Tote bag inclusive of postage.

£30 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Afternoon Tea Hamper from Bellini's Deli Kitchen

A hamper of treats (rrp £35.95 - N.B. collection only from Bude) comprising: Cornico Coffee Artisan Roasted Coffee Josh's Chocolate Gigantic Chocolate Buttons Josh's Chocolate Cornish Chocolate Bar Teonis Dipped Chocolate Cookies The Westcountry Tea Co Herbal Tea Cornish Breakfast Tea Willies Cacao Hot Chocolate Some items may differ slightly from those pictured due to availability but will be of equal value and quality

£35 or more

Pearl Exchange T-shirt

A hand screen-printed Pearl Exchange T-shirt inclusive of post to any UK destination

£40 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Shanti Sundays Yoga and Pilates day retreat

A day of yoga, Pilates and healing for body and soul at St Endellion Hall, Cornwall. Beginning at 10 with 2 hours of playful, dynamic yoga & Pilates before we break for a delicious lunch and a walk or rest in the grounds or the hall. After lunch we will rest and restore with a nurturing 2 hour restorative yoga session, supported by Shanti Sundays bolsters, scent and sound healing. RRP £50

£50 or more

5 of 100 claimed

Limited edition Pearl Exchange Screen Print

You will be sent an original screen print designed and printed by one of our participants.

£50 or more

£50 Kindness pledge

For your kindness pledge you will be sent a letter of thanks from our Founder.

£60 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Gift voucher from Jones Jewellery Co

A voucher towards a custom-sized handmade silver signet ring (worth £75) - see @jonesjewelleryco on Instagram for examples. Can also be used as part-payment towards other jewellery items of higher value items with balance paid by pledger.

£75 or more

4 of 100 claimed

Pearl Exchange Bundle

A Thank you from our team along with a Pearl Exchange T-shirt, embroidered badge and tote bag.

£100 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Gold lightning strike from Trailer Queen Restos

Custom-made, gold metal flake lightning bolt (rrp £125) - a thing of beauty and a real statement piece - see @trailerqueenrestos on Insta to see these amazing creations! n.b. excludes p&p

£1,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£1000 Kindness Pledge

For your kindness pledge, you'll receive an invitation to afternoon tea with the team at The Pearl Exchange

£1,500 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£1500 Reward

An afternoon of screen printing with one of our team at The Pearl Exchange for up to 4 people

£40 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Airculture Voucher

The awesome guys at Airculture in Bude have gifted us a £50 voucher. Airculture is a family run shop in the seaside town of Bude, Cornwall. They have an amazing selection of skate and street clothing, boards, accessories and even some great vinyl. The RRP is £50 but you can get the voucher by pledging just £40! Happy Shopping!

£70 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Meal for two at Temple

A meal for two at one of North Cornwalls finest restaurants. Temple’s goal is to create incredible flavours. They do this by using the freshest local ingredients and by giving local Cornish suppliers the support they deserve. You can expect an eclectic well sourced menu, fantastic service and a wonderful atmosphere. RRP: £100 *Please note the meal is not inclusive of drinks. **Bookings must be made directly with Temple.

£100 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Kudhva gift voucher - an eco experiential holiday

Kudhva is an off-grid accommodation experience on the North Cornish coast, boasting 180 degree views of the sea, 43 acres of diverse landscape and innovative architectural hideouts. They've been featured in The Guardian, The Stylist, Sunday Times, Gestalten - Hideouts and many many more books and features. For just £100 you can get yourself a £120 voucher, gifting you a rare discount for this sought after location.

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