Find out how crowdfunding could help your community project at a free introduction event on Monday 2 September

The Beer Men’s Shed project, which helps the mental health and isolation of men in Beer and its surrounding area, has raised more than £10,000 in funding to build a workshop thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, which included a £4,500 contribution from East Devon District Council.

More than £95,000 of funding is available to East Devon’s community and voluntary groups and other not-for-profit organisations through crowdfunding from the district council. The money available is in addition to a large amount of county-wide crowdfunding money available from Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police as part of the Crowdfund Devon partnership.

Beer Men’s Shed uses a workshop environment to get men together from the area to make things, which helps them socialise, improve their mental and physical health, and feel less isolated. The funding means that they will be able to build their own workshop in the centre of the village and buy good quality tools and equipment. Previously the project participants had to use their own tools and meet in garages and small sheds, which restricted the number of men able to take part.

Through crowdfunding, they managed to raise £10,030 for their project from 50 supporters in 56 days which included £5,700 from Crowdfund Devon – made up of £4,500 from East Devon District Council’s Crowdfund East Devon fund, £700 from Devon County Council’s Community Chest and £500 from Devon and Cornwall Police’s Community Resilience Fund. Devon County Council gave a further £1,300 from its other local funding pots. Other supporters included local businesses, local residents and community groups, people who visit Beer on holidays, other local grant organisations and people already using and wanting to use Beer Men’s Shed.

Crowdfunding enables community groups and other not for profit organisations, including town and parish councils, to raise money online all in one place to make their project happen.

The Crowdfund Devon partnership uses a specific website where groups can find out more, put their project forward for crowdfunding and start raising money.

If you’re involved with a not-for-profit group and want to find out more about crowdfunding, East Devon District Council is running a free ‘Introduction to Crowdfunding’ session in Honiton on Monday 2 September from 4pm to 5.30pm. To book your place please email crowdfund@eastdevon.gov.uk

Places on the sessions must be booked in advance as they are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Councillor Ian Thomas, portfolio holder for Finance at East Devon District Council said:

I’m pleased that we were able to get involved in supporting this great project, it’s imperative that we try and improve people’s mental health and reduce social isolation.

Well done to Beer Men’s Shed for carrying out this very successful crowdfunding campaign that attracted support from all across the country as well as locally. If you have a project in mind that you think would benefit from crowdfunding, book your place and come along to our event on Monday 2 September to find out more.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Communities, said:

The County Council is pleased to support local groups, including those like Beer Men’s Shed that help tackle isolation and that support people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

This group in particular has gone from strength to strength, and is popular now with people from towns and villages further afield. It’s a brilliant project, and one that Devon County Council is very keen to support.