A popular East Devon community project based in Honiton will receive nearly £7,500 from East Devon District Council, and £5,000 from Devon County Council in a crowdfunding campaign worth more than £20,000.

TRIP has spent many years working in East Devon’s communities, helping to reduce loneliness and isolation with services such as transport and befriending. Prior to the covid pandemic they provided community transport for over 35,000 journeys a year and recognising that for the community to be healthy, the environment also needs to be healthy TRIP have raised over £23,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. The money will help them buy and run a new 100% electric vehicle. This new wheelchair accessible vehicle will replace one of their 17-year old vehicles, providing not only a better experience for their passengers but also zero emissions.

The decision to help them reach their crowdfunding target and make their project happen was made by East Devon District Council’s Community Grants Panel and by Devon County Council.

East Devon District Council still has £50,000 of funding available to local community projects through Crowdfund East Devon.

To find out more: www.eastdevon.gov.uk/grants-and-funding/grants-available-from-us/crowdfunding/

At the same time as raising money from the local community by crowdfunding, organisations can apply for up to £10,000 from the council for East Devon projects, and for a large amount of county-wide crowdfunding money available from Devon County Council and from Devon and Cornwall Police. If you are interested and would like crowdfunding training, please email jbuckley@eastdevon.gov.uk

Sharon Thorne from Honiton TRIP said:

It’s been amazing to hear the wonderful comments the community have made about TRIP and this fundraising project. To ‘see the support’ in terms of donations, well this is completely overwhelmingly and wonderful. I will admit I have cried a few times as well, as it was hard not to become emotional when someone you know is ‘only just managing’ and they insist on donating £10, or also when someone calls to offer £500. They all mean so much to the team, knowing people care about support TRIP and the environment with this project.

Also, knowing we had had support from EDDC has been fantastic. Jamie Buckley and Community Engagement team have been encouraging throughout – and at the end of the phone for advice. I would suggest other groups apply and I’m happy to offer some adhoc advice/support”

Councillor Jack Rowland, Chair of the East Devon District Council’s Community Grants Panel said:

On behalf of the EDDC Community Grants Panel we were very pleased to be able to support TRIP in view of their successful crowdfunding effort. As I have in the past been a volunteer driver for TRIP I’m fully aware of the help that is given in so many ways to residents across a wide area of East Devon who would otherwise struggle to find alternative help.”

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said:

During the pandemic it was groups like TRIP that made such a difference to people’s lives, supporting those in the community who felt isolated and lonely and needed to hear a friendly voice. I’m happy to be able to support this project, it’s exactly the kind of community project Crowdfund Devon was set up for. If you have an idea that could help improve your local community, we’d like to hear about it.”

Cllr Phil Twiss East Devon District Council Ward Member for Honiton said:

TRIP is an inspirational organisation that we are fortunate to have based in Honiton. It provides unrivalled and invaluable community transport services to very many residents, many with mobility issues. Purchasing a new 100% electric vehicle with wheelchair access will not only help continue to operate vital services but also demonstrate a commitment to operating it with zero carbon emissions."

Fellow Honiton Ward Member Councillor Mike Allen added:

TRIP is a vital part of the Honiton and district community and the volunteers have worked beyond any expectations and during the Pandemic to ferry people and food to so many places of need. I wish we could put another nought on the end of the cheque we are sending.”