Axminster community projects celebrate £26,000 of crowdfunding success

Community focused projects in Axminster have been given a cash boost of thousands of pounds thanks to crowdfunding help and council grants.

A pair of projects earlier this year launched successful crowdfunding campaigns, which won financial backing from the community, plus district and county councils.

The not-for-profit Community Waffle House is celebrating raising £18,040 for its On The Move campaign, which included £5,885 from Crowdfund East Devon and £1,000 from Devon County Council’s community chest.

Pippins Community Centre, home to more than 40 groups and organisations, raised almost £8,000 to maintain and repair its building, with the sum of £3,500 from Crowdfund East Devon and £1,000 from Devon County Council’s community chest included in its total.

Councillor Jack Rowland, East Devon District Council’s community grants panel chairman, said the group was ‘delighted’ to grant £5,885 to the Waffle project and £3,500 to the Pippins Centre in a bid to improve facilities.

Cllr Rowland said: “They are a tremendous asset for Axminster and the surrounding area and, on behalf of the panel, I wish them every success for the future in their endeavours to help their community as evidenced by what they have achieved to date.”

Reverend Kay d’Albertanson, Pippins Community Centre director, said: “This money helps us to future-proof Pippins for our local community, so a massive thank you to all those people who have supported us. We are overwhelmed at your generosity.”

Timothy Whiteway, Waffle director, said East Devon District Council had backed the project from the beginning, supporting the organisation ‘in so many ways’.

He said: “The simple fact is that we just wouldn’t be able to serve our community without the tremendous support from East Devon District Council. They have been amazing.”

Pippins Community Centre, in Lyme Road, raised funds to repair and refurbish its building, making it watertight, windproof, safe and warm for the future, while keeping affordable room hire prices.

Community-owned Waffle needed funds for its move to larger premises at Trinity House, to forge ahead with its plans to incorporate a public work space away from the office, a children’s sensory soft play area, and a meet place for all ages to get together, relax and grab a drink – giving a boost to its outreach projects that help the community, including focusing on the lonely and isolated.

East Devon District Council ward members for Axminster, Councillors Ian Hall, Sarah Jackson and Andrew Moulding called the crowdfunding grants from East Devon District Council and Devon County Council ‘excellent news’ for the town and the wider Axe Valley.

They said: “These two organisations are so important in the support they give to the people in the area.

“Partnership working has been vital to support the crowdfunding initiative, so these invaluable services that give so much, for so many, can continue in the future.

“We would like to thank all those generous public crowdfunding supporters who have helped bring these two excellent projects to fruition.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council cabinet member for communities, said: “Both Pippins Community Centre and Waffle House will be vital in helping communities reconnect once the pandemic is over.

“They are places where people can meet, make friends, catch-up and get support. I’m pleased that we are able to help fund their ongoing activities.”

  • East Devon District Council still has £70,000 of funding available to local community projects through Crowdfund East Devon. To find out more, see here.
  • If you would like crowdfunding training, email: jbuckley@eastdevon.gov.uk

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