Community projects appeal for donations

Bringing an electric vehicle service to Tenbury is one of several new crowdfunding projects in the district appealing for donations.

The project, by community transport charity Teme Wheels, aims to raise nearly £44,000 to set up and implement an electric MPV (with wheelchair capability) service for the local rural community. The charity has just over a week left to hit their target.

Working in partnership with crowdfunding platform Spacehive, Malvern Hills District Council has pledged £22,450 from the People Make Places: Ticket to Ride Fund which supports transport projects that are citizen-led and community-based.

As part of the fund, the council has made a pot of £150,000 available over three years and across six rounds of funding. The maximum amount pledged to a project will be £50,000 or 50 per cent of the total project costs.

The rest of the funding comes from communities, local businesses and foundations. Anyone can contribute by chipping in as little as £2 to help a project on its way to success.

Now in the second round of funding, the aim is to boost connectivity of communities in the districts by improving local people's ability to travel to services and open up opportunities for social interaction. Also, to promote independence and self-care, as well as empower communities by creating an environment where people stay healthy for longer.

Councillors have also pledged their Ward Budget allowance towards a number of projects unrelated to community transport. Cllr Sam Charles has pledged £500 to the Brook Farm Community Association who have a crowdfunding target of £5,988 to renovate the Octagon Centre in Malvern.

Cllrs Sarah Rouse and Peter Whatley have also pledged £300 each to Suckley Parish Academy and Community Enterprises who have already surpassed their crowdfunding target of £5,553 to create a user-friendly, versatile space in Suckley Church for the community.

Other projects that need funding include the SMILE project by ARCOS which aims to raise £29,630 to renovate an outdoor space into a safe play area for children with special education needs and disabilities. As well as this, West Midlands Butterfly Conservation are raising £13,526 to reintroduce an endangered butterfly species back on to the Malvern Hills.

Just Jerseys Micro Dairy in Tenbury Wells are aiming to raise just over £46,193 to create a traditional mobile micro dairy with more than ten pedigree Jersey Cows producing fresh quality milk daily.

Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: "It is wonderful to see so many different project ideas across our district. One of the priorities of our Five-Year-Plan is to support and engage with communities and our People Make Places: Ticket to Ride Fund provides that opportunity. The funding will boost connectivity across our communities and instil independence in our residents. I would encourage anyone to donate what they can, however small, to these projects as the deadlines are fast approaching".

Spacehive will also be running a programme of events for anyone who is interested in learning more about crowdfunding. Free online workshops will take place on 16 July at 10am and 29 July at 12pm.

The deadlines for the crowdfunding projects are different and can be found on the Spacehive website, visit www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs/news for more information.

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