Aiming to grow their counselling service and provide mental health support to the young people in their community, Ignite Life enlisted the help of the crowd and Sovereign Housing. 

When it comes to mental health support, young people often slip through the cracks and don’t receive the help they need to thrive. Wanting to change this, Ignite Life launched a counselling service in January 2021 to help the young people in their community form positive relationships, engage in new experiences, and build their confidence, resilience and self-belief. Their aim was to ensure that everyone, no matter their background, could receive equal access to mental health support. 

Every six weeks, they work with 12-15 young people, using their connection with schools and other organisations to ensure they can reach those most in need. They run one-to-one mentoring services, ​family safeguarding and welfare support, and crisis support. 

Since their launch, demand for their services has continued to grow and, due to the pandemic, they’ve seen a rise in the number of calls concerning domestic violence. Wanting to support whole families and keep up with demand, they set out to grow their project to include additional counsellors, including family support councillors to specialise in the area of domestic violence. 

To make these goals a reality, they needed £2,000 which they hoped to raise through crowdfunding

Bethanie Cundy, Fundraising Manager at Ignite Life, explained, “Ignite Life used Crowdfunder as a platform to fundraise as we were successful in our application for the Aviva Community Fund which involved crowdfunding as a way to spread awareness and raise money. We had never crowdfunded before so we were ready to learn and make the most of the platform. However, we didn’t really know what to expect from it! Mainly, we hoped it would help to raise our profile, spread awareness of the services we offer, as well as raise money for our project.”

In the end, they smashed their initial target and went on to raise £3,277 (and an estimated £81.25 in Gift Aid) from 107 supporters. This included £1,750 of funding from the Aviva Community Fund and a further £1,000 from the Sovereign Thriving Communities fund which supports projects benefiting Sovereign communities.

Bethanie told us, “Successfully securing the additional funding from the Sovereign Thriving Communities fund was a huge achievement for Ignite. It meant that we were ultimately able to double our donations and therefore double the amount of people we could support. With the +Extra funding we were able to provide an additional 40 counselling sessions to vulnerable young people with mental health challenges.” 

Since crowdfunding, Ignite Life has gone from strength to strength, expanding their services and helping to ensure that everyone in the community has access to vital mental health support.

She went on to say, “Since the Crowdfunder closed, we have been able to provide 66 counselling sessions. That is 11 young people who have received at least 6 weeks of professional and essential counselling. This support was hugely impactful for us and our community.”

After such a successful first experience of crowdfunding, we asked Bethanie and the Ignite Life team for their top tips to help others out there who are thinking about taking the plunge with this method of fundraising. 

She said, “Our top tip would be to fully utilise all the support and resources available on Crowdfunder.”

Feeling inspired? Find out if you could receive up to £10,000 from the Sovereign Thriving Communities fund