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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Crowdfund Lancashire’s first funding goal reached by sewing project

Gemma Allen
As part of Crowdfund Lancashire, an accomplished sewer, who wants to bring people together through sewing, has been fully funded.
Working in partnership with Spacehive, the UK’s leading civic crowdfunding platform, Crowdfund Lancashire allows Lancashire County Council to support grassroot projects being supported in the community through crowdfunding.

Organisations can apply for up to £20,000 to boost projects towards their funding target. Parish and Town Councils can apply for up to £5,000, while individuals and businesses could get £1,500 towards their live crowdfunding campaigns.

Gemma Allen, who lives near Barnoldswick, launched her ‘Sewing Together with Sew Gemsy’ project on Spacehive in January. Gemma initially set up the sewing group out of her own pocket and turned to Crowdfund Lancashire, which is powered by the County Council’s £500,000 Lancashire Culture & Sport Fund, after being unsuccessful in acquiring funding elsewhere to purchase new equipment.

After learning about this exciting new funding initiative, Gemma joined a Crowdfund Lancashire workshop where she learnt how to launch a crowdfunding campaign.

“I want to be able to help our local community and give them a safe, friendly space they can learn how to sew and gain extra knowledge and skills in the art of sewing,” Gemma said.

Gemma says sewing is “extremely beneficial” to your mental wellbeing, adding that sewing groups create a space for people in the community to make new friends.

The project will enable the group to have a diverse range of sewing machines for various types of sewing. Gemma hopes this could drum up more interest from other people in the community, as the group would be able to offer more than use on a general sewing machine.

After attending the Crowdfund Lancashire workshop, Gemma was empowered to launch her project, asking for £744 to fund the purchase of two specialist sewing machines for her sewing group.

“I have never done any form of crowdfunding before, but then I thought ‘if I don’t try, I’ll never know’ so I easily created a profile and set up my project,” Gemma said.

“Once I created my project, I was matched to Crowdfunding Lancashire, and I had the option whether I wanted to pitch my project to them. The questions again were really clear, and these helped me explain the benefits of my project in the community. 

She added: “I shared my project on social media and had some amazing support from my family and friends.

“I also made a poster which I put up in local businesses with the QR code on so people could easily pledge if they wished to.”

It didn’t take long for the pledges to start rolling in, including a £357 contribution from Lancashire County Council, helping ‘Sewing Together with Sew Gemsy’ become the first project to be fully funded as part of Crowdfund Lancashire.

Gemma praised the support the received throughout her crowdfunding journey and described Spacehive as a “brilliant” platform.

“The support Spacehive offers is excellent and the whole process was clear and really well structured,” she said.

“Throughout my launch I felt safe in the knowledge that if I had a question Spacehive would reply promptly and help guide me. 

“It’s just incredible and such a streamlined option for crowdfunding.”

The deadline to launch crowdfunding campaigns on Spacehive for the first round of funding has now closed.

The second round of funding is expected in early summer 2023.

Cllr Peter Buckley, cabinet member for cultural services at Lancashire County Council, said: “We were excited to see the innovative and diverse array of culture and sport ideas people came up with, and we have not been disappointed.

“We already have our first successful campaign, which will improve the offer of a community sewing group in Barnoldswick, and we are confident many more will follow.

“And with pledges starting at just £2, everyone has the opportunity to get involved in supporting community-led projects in their local area.”

To find out more about Lancashire Culture & Sport Fund and to see what other projects you can pledge to, visit https://www.spacehive.com/movement/lancashire


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