Find out how crowdfunding could help your community project at a free introduction event on Thursday 5 March in Exmouth

The Axminster Gymnastics Club project, which helps children from six months to 16 years of age in Axminster and its surrounding areas, has raised more than £10,000 to buy some desperately needed new equipment thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, which included contributions from East Devon District Council of £4,000 and from Devon County Council of £2,000.

More than £80,000 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.

Axminster Gymnastics Club is a not for profit club, which aims to provide access to the sport for as many children and young people as possible by keeping prices down. This means they do not have any spare money for purchasing new and replacement equipment.

More children of all ages now use the club than previously, including parent and toddler groups, which provide important social and family interactions. The club also has a growing number of 12-16 year old members who benefit from the physical and mental health benefits of the sport, as well as learning about teamwork.

The club needed to upgrade their gymnastics equipment and with the money raised will be buying items such as a sprung floor, a beam and professional matting, a stable landing mat for their bars and a movable foam pit area. 

Through crowdfunding, the club managed to raise £10,420 for their project from 40 supporters in 56 days, which included £6,000 from Crowdfund Devon – made up of £4,000 from East Devon District Council’s Crowdfund East Devon fund and £2,000 from Devon County Council’s Community Chest.

Other supporters included local businesses, local residents and families already using and wanting to use Axminster Gymnastics Club. 

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.

Anyone involved with a not for profit group who wants to find out more about crowdfunding, can attend East Devon District Council’s free ‘Introduction to Crowdfunding’ session at Exmouth Town Hall on Thursday 5 March from 4.30pm to 6pm. To book your place please email

Places on the sessions must be booked, are limited in number and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Emma Rowe, Head Coach of Axminster Gymnastics said:

We are so grateful for the support shown from the community, East Devon and Devon County Councils. We are delighted to have surpassed our target and are excited to begin sessions with our new equipment. Thank you to everyone who has pledged their support.

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

We're really pleased to be able to pledge £4,000 to this great project which supports our health and wellbeing aims. It'll encourage children and young people in particular to be active, and the chance to improve their skills and ambitions. If you have a project in mind that you think would benefit from crowdfunding, book your place and come along on Thursday 5 March to find out more.  

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

We are pleased to support projects, such as Axminster Gymnastics Club, which help promote physical and mental wellbeing within Devon’s communities. The club clearly has a big impact on the lives of children and young people in the community and we hope that the new equipment will help encourage more young people to get involved and learn new skills.

Crowdfund Devon is an incredibly positive initiative and undoubtedly provides vital support for local projects in Devon, helping communities remain well-connected. We are happy to continue to support it.  

Councillor Andrew Moulding, East Devon District Council Ward Member for Axminster Town said:

This is a fantastic outcome for Axminster Gymnastics Club,  which offers great opportunities for children of all ages, enabling young people to gain confidence whilst acquiring skills and possible involvement in competitions.

I’m sure that the crowdfunding award will enable Axminster Gymnastics Club to improve their facilities for its growing number of young participants and enable the club to go from strength to strength.

This has yet again been another example of the success that 'Crowdfunding' can bring to our Communities.

Councillor Ian Hall, East Devon District Council Ward Member for Axminster Town said:

Axminster is truly 'punching above its weight' when it comes to sport & leisure activities in the community and there is something for everyone in Axminster from cradle through to old age.

I have been very impressed with the efforts before and during the funding efforts made by the very popular 'Axminster Gymnastics Club' who have over 200 young people using the facilities on a weekly basis. Well done to all and especially the young people, Devon County Council & East Devon District Council.