Help build a bouldering room for Somerset youth centre

Posted by Tony Ryan on 25/07/2013

A not-for-profit youth centre in Minehead, West Somerset is aiming to build a bouldering room to help local children and young people experience the exciting sport of bouldering. Minehead EYE is hoping that the climbing community will get behind its campaign to raise funds for the project.

The centre is looking to partly fund the bouldering room through ‘crowd funding’. This means that they are looking for small financial contributions from people who want to support the construction of the bouldering room, which will bring the activity to a rurally isolated area, and help children and young people get into climbing. Centre manager Joe Heley explains: “We have 1,000 young members, and they’ve persistently told us that they’d like climbing facilities, but as a social enterprise we’ve never been able to afford it. Bouldering is a way we can give them a chance and encouragement to have a go at climbing in an accessible and affordable way, before hopefully venturing out to the challenges of Exmoor and around Somerset. We know it will give young people huge benefits in terms of confidence and fitness.”

Minehead EYE is offering donors a reward in return for their donation. Joe explains again: “Anyone who gives us £10 will get a free bouldering session for two when it has been built, or a party for them and 10 mates if they donate £100!”. But for people that don’t live anywhere near West Somerset there is still a good incentive – they can pass on their reward to be used instead by local young people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to try out bouldering. This is a real innovation for crowd funding. Usually donors are personally rewarded for their money, but we believe that some people might not only want to donate their cash, but to donate their reward as well!”

Minehead EYE is a youth and community centre on the edge of Exmoor in West Somerset. It is run as a social enterprise – it gets no council grants but survives instead on income from users of its skatepark, music and media facilities, café etc. Many visitors come from further afield to use its facilities, and the higher (but still reasonable) prices they pay enable local children to be subsidised – for example the local youth clubs that Minehead EYE now delivers after they fell foul of local government cuts. This same pricing model will be used for the bouldering room.

The total cost of the facility is anticipated to be around £20-25k and Minehead EYE is hoping to raise £5,000 through crowd funding, with the balance through a number of other funding bids. The all-or-nothing model of crowd funding means however that if they fail to reach their target by the end of February all the pledges so far made will be automatically returned to donors.

You can donate now at www.spacehive.com/boulderatmineheadeye


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