Providing a safe space for their local community to socialise and grow and promoting unity instead of parallel living, the Community Cafe in Normanton is really putting the heart back into their park.

The small team at the Multi-Faith Centre in the Normanton area are passionate and committed to challenging social exclusion and discrimination. With ongoing projects that tackle these important subjects, their most recent endeavour is a cafe, right at the heart of the community. Having already opened with no funding, the project has thus far made up for this in community spirit to drive the initiative forward, despite continuously facing both financial and staff capacity limitations.

Standing behind the potential of their project, they took their idea to the crowd to find the support needed to develop and grow their venture, offering a safe space for people of all faiths and beliefs. Their aim? To celebrate the diverse cultures and individuals in the area through community based initiatives such as afternoon teas for refugees and asylum seekers, Eid celebrations, Diwali Festival of Lights, drop in support sessions and so much more. Located in the historic Arboretum Park, there is also the incentive to encourage people from outside the immediate area to visit the park, turning the cafe into an asset and beating heart for the community.

Jennifer from the Multi-Faith Centre said, “The Multi-Faith Centre took on this initiative without any funding, so the crowdfunding has meant a great deal.  With the money raised we are now able to purchase items that will allow us to provide low cost healthy food and start generating more income in order to put back into supporting the community through a range of community based initiatives and projects.”

The project raised a total of £2,090 from 35 supporters, including an extra funding pledge of £1,000 from Derby City Council who aim to help raise awareness and funds for the things that are important to their communities.

Jennifer said, “The extra funding that we received from Derby City Council was crucial in us reaching our target as our media platform is quite small and, without it, I doubt we would have been able to raise enough.”

Jennifer added, “Since crowdfunding, the café has already received really positive feedback from locals in the community who continue to tell us how happy they are to see the café open and the youth clubs utilising the space next door for positive recreational activities.  The café has acted as a safe space for hosting events including Hate Crime Awareness week, Eid celebrations and has become involved in other locally organised activities such as Lark in The Park. We have also been using the space to provide training to young people in community organising in order to give them the skills to help shape their communities and address issues that are important to young people in the area as part of an ongoing project.”

But what’s the magic ingredient to crowdfunding success?

Jennifer believes that you need to, “Promote the project more widely before starting the crowdfunding page and make sure that you have a strong media presence. Keep on top of updates and let everyone know what work you have been doing is really important.”

If you have a community based project or social enterprise and are looking to crowdfund, then you could also be eligible for extra funding. Find out more about the funds we have on offer and get in touch today.