The Pearl Exchange: Nurturing Creativity and Resilience in Bude

by cf_admin | Aug 22, 2023 | Stories

The Pearl Exchange: Nurturing Creativity and Resilience in Bude
  • Raised £42,120 from 142 supporters
  • +£13,500 Extra funding from multiple +Extra funding partners
  • To improve the quality of life and resilience of young people in Cornwall

Nestled in the charming coastal town of Bude, Cornwall, a modest building hosts an amazing calendar of events ranging from creative workshops to therapy and counseling sessions. In May 2022 The Pearl Exchange – a dynamic creative hub for 18-35 year olds – embarked on a crowdfunding campaign in order to ensure their future.

After their daughter Pearl passed away in 2019 at 19 years old, her parents, Rose and Johnny Bamford, felt driven to give a helping hand to young people in Cornwall. Pearl’s struggles taught them that young people in the area lack support, guidance, and hope. Her passing showed that there was a need for the community to have activities that brought them together, and so The Pearl Exchange was founded to offer these experiences to the local community.

While situated in a beautiful part of Cornwall with a thriving tourism sector in the summer months, like other seaside destinations, Bude can lack opportunities for its young people. “For me personally, growing up in Bude, there’s a lack of things that are aimed at young people,” said Phoebe, a workshop host who regularly works with The Pearl Exhange. She continued, “there’s not the same kind of sharing of ideas and creativity that you’d get, maybe, in a bigger city.”

Sayer, a member of the hub went on to say, “In the south-west in general, if you’re not into surfing or skateboarding, or going to the pub, there’s a reasonably limited area of engagement in a community space for young people.

The crowdfunding campaign

The heart of The Pearl Exchange’s crowdfunding campaign lies in its commitment to fostering essential life skills and resilience in young people. Through engaging workshops and courses, participants not only refine their creative talents but also develop their resilience through new connections and availability of vital counselling sessions.

Sayer went on to explain how The Pearl Exchange has benefited him, saying “The Pearl Exchange… and the work that they’re doing, for me, has been a really interesting opportunity for me to engage with the more artistic, expressionist side of myself that I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable engaging with.”

The Pearl Exchange raised £55,620 from 142 supporters over a 69 day crowdfunding period. During this time, they relied on the close connections with their local community to provide support, including reaching out to local businesses to contribute rewards.

As part of this total, £13,500 was provided by Crowdfunder’s +Extra funding partners including Devon and Cornwall Police Community Resilience Fund, Cornwall Social Inclusion Fund and Power to Change.  

Giving the community something positive

What makes The Pearl Exchange’s campaign truly remarkable is its ability to rally the community around a shared purpose. The campaign is a call to action, an invitation for supporters to become a part of something larger than themselves.

Fliss Loxley, Project and Funding manager explained, “The Pearl Exchange is literally here to give our community something positive. The 18-35 year old bracket in this area don’t really have anything… so we’re here to give that demographic of people something positive to look forward to, to have fun with, which in turn is really helping our community and it’s made a massive impact.”

By contributing to the campaign, a huge crowd of supporters not only gave support to The Pearl Exchange’s future, but also to the future of the young people who benefit from its programmes.

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