Looking back over the last year of the Crowdfunder and Sovereign Housing relationship, there are some incredible stories to tell.
Since 2020, 49 projects have been successfully crowdfunded with pledges from the Sovereign Thriving Communities Fund of £127,157. Amongst these 49 projects we’ve seen it all; from artistic creations raising awareness about climate change, new minibuses for sports clubs, community kitchens and everything else in between.
The fund exists to find and support projects situated within three miles of Sovereign Housing developments which are benefiting their communities by addressing the wellbeing of those who live there or the environment that they live in.
Collectively, including the aforementioned match funding, these projects have raised £382,921 between them! The money has been raised from 4,580 backers who pledged their support and Sovereign Housing’s own commitment to their communities.
In a year of physical division and distance, Sovereign communities have still been hard at work finding new and positive ways in which to improve the lives around them.
To invest in a community it doesn’t always require something new, sometimes fresh potential or use can be discovered in what’s already found around us. This is just what the ‘Positive Light Projects’ in Exeter discovered in an old retail unit. They raised £37,818 from 405 supporters including a pledge of £5,000 from Sovereign, to ‘transform a dilapidated building into a community arts space, gallery, darkrooms and artist studios’. A new lease of life for a building in what will become in return a vibrant community hub for all to enjoy.
The crowdfunding campaign enabled supporters to donate or choose from a range of rewards offered by artists in the form of photographic prints and artwork, showcasing the talent Exeter has to offer and what can be expected in the future.
One Planet Matters is a Gloucestershire based social enterprise which through the protection of the environment, aims to bring communities together. Their ‘Change Maker Initiative’ enables people to plant trees, join community orchards, share food through growing networks and swap clothes. Their crowdfunder raised over £5,000 from nearly 100 people, including a £2,500 pledge from Sovereign Housing, to link their expanding network of growing communities and orchards with other local allotments and free food sites.
In Shurdington just outside of Cheltenham there’s a community sport and recreation club which has over 20 years blossomed into one of the most successful archery clubs in the UK. Over the last five years, they’ve been leasing the land for the club which has become their home. With an opportunity to buy it, they used crowdfunding to help secure some of the funds they required, successfully raising £17,669, including a pledge of £2,000 from Sovereign Housing.
The club caters for everyone and while looking after their community, they are also custodians for the wildlife around them. Since managing the site which includes both a field and woodland, they have replanted many native species and restored thousands of trees and hedging plants. Their efforts have been rewarded with six species of bats, their own badger set and a resident deer population.