What happens when time passes and those around survivors of trauma or loss have moved on, no longer thinking to offer vital support? Mairi, aware of how difficult adjusting to a ‘new normal’ can be, set out on a mission to help.
It’s no surprise that survivors of trauma and loss sometimes have a difficult time reaching out. Outwardly their day-to-day lives may look like they’ve returned to normal but memories can return randomly and often unexpectedly. After all, events such as these impact a person for life. Coupled with the stresses of living, survivors can feel overwhelmed and—in Mairi’s words—find themselves in a deep pit of darkness and despair.
Opening up about her own experiences, Mairi said, “I have been a trauma psychologist and trauma survivor for many years. From my own experience and the many other survivors I have met over the years, there comes a time when the time for clinical assistance has passed and people have to adjust to the “new normal” version of their lives. At that time, we need to find ways to deal with the stresses of life with things that help us to unwind a bit, find meaning in what we do and potentially help others as a way of helping ourselves.”
Drawing on these past experiences and knowing that creativity encourages healing and relaxation, Mairi set up her first crowdfunding project titled Creative Compassionate Weaving for Trauma or Loss. Her aim was to create a safe and relaxing space where survivors could come and weave blankets for others. By making something beautiful, practical, and useful, the survivor can take time to appreciate their worth and value, benefitting both themselves and those who would be receiving the gift.
Of her crowdfunding experience, she said, “Crowdfunder gave me a way to really test this idea with people who didn’t know me. Getting donations from people who had judged the project on its merits alone reinforced my belief that the social enterprise would have wider appeal.”
The Back Her Business programme in action:
Mairi was also eligible to take part in the Back Her Business programme which was set up in partnership with Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Ulster Bank to help women across the UK get into business. Through this programme she received expert coaching from Crowdfunder coaches, networking opportunities, and match funding from Royal Bank.
In the end her project raised £9,710 in just 28 days, including two grants of extra funding. Along with a £3,750 grant from Royal Bank she also received £2,500 grant from Crowdfund Stirling – one of our extra funding partnership programmes.
When asked about Back Her Business, Mairi said, “People could see I was serious and that the project had credibility, with such a major supporter. Getting a financial boost from the programme really helped push the final phase of funding and it took me through the target amount so I knew my dream would finally come true!”
She continued, “Being a woman in business can be difficult as we don’t tend to have business networks in the same way men do. Our personal networks are often close to home, either family related or with people we meet on a day to day basis. Extending our circles of influence beyond the immediate contacts is difficult.”
Mairi’s final thoughts
After such a successful first experience of crowdfunding, Mairi left us with inspirational words for anyone thinking of starting their own business.
“Believe in your plans. If you have spent time working on ideas and considered how to address any challenges, then you owe it to yourself to give it a go.”
Find out if you could be eligible to unlock extra funding for your business or great idea. Don’t forget to check out the Back Her Business programme and learn about the coaching, networking, events, and grants on offer! What are you waiting for? Start crowdfunding today!