Friends of Bathampton Meadows Riverside
Friends of Bathampton Meadows Riverside was formed to maintain the beautiful riverside space at Bathampton Meadows for its wildlife and visitors.
In 2014, Bath and North East Somerset Council installed a cycle path along the riverside of Bathampton Meadows. However, no plan or budget was put in place to maintain the space. Realising the potential of the space, a Volunteer Group was formed and started to implement some key maintenance tasks.
The ‘Friends’ was born out of this volunteer group. As Peter Fear, a member of the group, explained: “Momentum was picking up and the Volunteers decided to formalise themselves into a Friends group with a bank account and begin fundraising. We had very little experience with fundraising and the opportunity to join Localgiving arose at the time we were considering how to raise funds. Localgiving was a perfect solution”.
The Friends joined Localgiving in January 2017 and have gone on to raise an incredible £2,500. These funds, including gift aid and match funding, have enabled the Friends to implement a regular mowing contract, purchase equipment such as scythes, manage areas of the riverside that have been set aside for their ecological value, and cover the costs of the Volunteers Third Party Liability insurance. They have also benefited from a Magic Little Grant which they are putting towards a professional survey of the footpath route to identify where best to focus their future work.
Peter believes that being a Localgiving member has given the organisation an air of professionalism and helped instill trust and confidence among their donors.
“(Localgiving) gives donors the ability to submit their personal data with confidence. The ability to claim gift aid is also a major benefit along with being able to build a pool of direct debit donors. This has been a very important outcome for the Friends in that it has removed the time consuming task of having to find new donors each year. The Friends now have credibility and an excellent track record for raising funds and spending the money wisely. This has proved highly beneficial when applying for additional funding”.
Having already achieved many of their initial goals, The Friends are now exploring new ways to maintain and improve the riverside.
“We have developed excellent contacts and are well respected and hope to be involved in the B&NES sponsored Bathscape and WaterSpace projects. Through these, we have the potential to enhance the riverside space beyond our initial ideas. Localgiving membership will enable us to continue to raise funds to support our ideas and plans going forward”.