Not-for-profit new waffle house urges diners to ‘pay it forward’ with an act of kindness

A newly-opened not-for-profit waffle house in Axminster is giving diners the chance to ‘pay it forward’ and treat someone struggling to afford food and drink.

The aptly-named Waffle, in West Street, is dishing up special tokens so kind-hearted customers can boost someone less fortunate.

Crowdfunding has been used to create the unique community-owned and run café.

It aims to bring people – old and young – together to form unlikely friendships with a particular focus on tackling loneliness and isolation.

As well as organising care home visits, hosting free community events and education workshops, the eatery also provides a space for teenagers to go in the evenings.

The £5 wooden tokens entitle the holder to a free waffle and drink. They can be left with staff at the café to pass on to someone they know is in need, or the customer can choose their own recipient.

Waffle raised the majority of the funding it needed to start up a Community Interest Company by running two crowdfunding campaigns.

Matt Smith, a director at the Axminster waffle house, said: “This just simply wouldn’t have happened without the incredible support that we received from all over the community in all sorts of ways.

“Crowdfunding with East Devon District Council (EDDC) was a brilliant way for us to not only gather funding sources in one place, but also to share the passion behind our vision.”

Councillor Ian Thomas, portfolio holder for finance at EDDC, said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to be part of Waffle, as they’re passionate about finding innovative and intentional ways to tackle isolation, loneliness and exclusion in their community.

“Well done to the people who had the idea, put in the hard work and have now seen their idea become reality!”

Crowdfunding enables not-for-profit organisations, including town and parish councils, to raise money all in one place to make their project happen quickly, without having to fill in multiple application forms.

There is currently £100,000 available to community groups in East Devon. The district council is staging an information session on how to apply at its Blackdown House HQ in Honiton on July 25.

The six-figure sum available from EDDC is in addition to a large amount of cash available from the county council and police as part of the Crowdfund Devon partnership.

Visit: to find out more.

The free Introduction to Crowdfunding session takes place from 4.30pm to 6pm. Booking is essential and places are limited- email:

How to use Crowdfunder

How your groups can put its project onto the Crowdfunder website and start raising money, including from Crowdfund Devon:

  1. A group has an idea for a project. This could be constituted voluntary and community groups, town and parish councils, registered charities, registered community interest companies, constituted not for profit organisations.
  2. They fill in a form on the Crowdfunder website and make a simple video giving details about their project. Their idea is published on the online crowdfunding website.
  3. They publicise this project and its presence on Crowdfunder as widely as possible, ie they tell their ‘crowd’. The crowd can include the local community, visitors, businesses, users of the service, local and national organisations and funders, East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police.
  4. The crowd pledges cash to the project, and shares the project more widely.
  5. If the project reaches its target it receives all the funding that has been pledged to it.


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