Chinley & Buxworth Community Centre: A hub for sports and so much more

by Issy Walker | Oct 24, 2023 | Stories

Chinley & Buxworth Community Centre: A hub for sports and so much more
  • Raised £31,782 from 501 supporters
  • +£7,500 Extra funding from Sport England: Active Together
  • To build a fit-for-purpose Community Centre to replace the current building in order to continue to provide a vital hub for the community

Chinley, Buxworth & Brownside Community Association is a registered charity that delivers the community and leisure priorities identified in the parish. They manage the Chinley & Buxworth Community Centre, which is a highly valued and well-utilised resource, used by both the residents of the parish and the neighbouring towns and villages.

Their aim is to facilitate and support a wide range of activities and events for people of all ages, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of local people and enrich community life. It provides a home for numerous activities:

  • Provides a home for 15 different sport, health and fitness activities
  • Offers physical and social activities for pre-schoolers and a vital social network for new parents
  • Gives a base to a range of weekly children’s groups and clubs
  • Accommodates a variety of regular arts and crafts groups
  • Hosts a number of social groups for the over 50s, to combat potential isolation and loneliness
  • Delivers an array of sessions aimed at supporting vulnerable residents within the community
  • Been the focal point for annual events and special celebrations for the whole community

Their existing Community Centre is over 50 years old and is expensive to both maintain and run, and regular repairs are required to the fabric of the building to keep it in a safe working condition. The building is well past its shelf life, no longer fit for purpose and in desperate need of replacing.

Despite tirelessly exploring all possible options, it was deemed beyond refurbishment and so their only option was to rebuild. In order to build the community centre they needed, the Chinley, Buxworth & Brownside Community Association set up a Crowdfunder to turn their ideal community centre into reality.

We caught up with Sam from the Chinley, Buxworth & Brownside Community Association; “We initially looked at a whole variety of potential sources and felt that our project might be a good fit for Sport England funding. The crowdfunder campaign was an essential component for achieving this funding.”

“The crowdfunding campaign turned out to be a fantastic platform for talking to everyone in our community, to make them aware of what we were trying to achieve and how they could help. It was a real catalyst for moving things forward and bringing in donations.”

The crowd rallied around their project, with one supporter commenting, “Good luck Chinley community center! I hope the community gets behind you – as a player of Chinley Netball team I certainly will try support your great cause.”

Another commented; “This project is well needed. The centre is at the heart of our village and used by many. We took the kids to Toddler group there 20 years ago and then to the football club there. A great cause for the community use.”

In the end, The Chinley & Buxworth Community Centre project achieved their initial target and went on to raise £31,782 from 501 members of the community. This included £7,500 in funding from Sport England: Active Together.

Sam went on to say; “The campaign really kick-started local discussion about our cause. It brought our community together (both businesses and residents) and focused everyone’s attention on raising money for our project. The first few weeks of the campaign was very exciting, everyone was talking about it, and we had lots of people come forward offering to organise their own fundraising events and challenges to support our cause.”

“We received £7,500 in matched funding from Sport England. Whilst it’s only a fraction of the total needed for our project (over £1 million), the additional donations that the campaign generated and number of individual donors, have helped us to demonstrate the significant level of community support. This should help us to access additional strands of funding over coming months and we hope to be in a position to start construction early in the new year.”

The project used a huge variety of fantastic rewards to help them to reach their target including dance lessons, art by local artists, money off local cafes, and a family photo shoot. Their crowd loved these rewards, with one commenting; “Not only am I donating to a greatly important and necessary cause, but I’m getting REWARDED too. I am looking forward to my Angel, my pack of Greetings Cards and my Vodka. I’ve already started on my dance classes. Can’t be bad.”

After such a successful first experience of crowdfunding and using rewards so successfully, as well as receiving the +Extra funding from Sport England, we asked Sam and the team at Chinley, Buxworth & Brownside Community Association for their top crowdfunding tips;

“Give yourself plenty of time to contact local businesses for Rewards and to set up the campaign page. Don’t rush it and put yourself under additional pressure.”

“Whilst the online crowdfund campaign was a massive success, we also had a significant proportion of the community who did not use social media. We found that it was really worth investing the time to create posters and leaflets etc to spread the word, and identifying ways that they could donate in cash, as they brought in a further £20,000 in additional donations.”

“We also painted a fundraising tree at the centre and added a leaf for every donation received. It was a great way to show just how many people had supported our campaign, and really exciting to watch it grow.”

Feeling inspired? Find out if you could receive up to £10,000 from the Sport England: Active Together fund!

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