Company launches bid to save beloved spaces

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Crowdfunder and Cornwall Council are encouraging people to donate to a fund for green projects which could help to protect thecounty’s beauty spots; pictured, Fistral Beach, Newquay PICTURE: PAUL WILLIAMS

14th July 2021

By Kirstie Newton

Cornwall-based fundraising platform Crowdfunder has teamed up with Cornwall Council to encourage locals and visitors alike to help save the spaces they love, so they can be loved forever.

The Love Where You Are campaign asks people to donate by scanning a QR code on their smartphone. The money raised will be channelled into a fund dedicated to supporting the projects enabling Cornwall to move closer to being carbon neutral in a variety of ways: for example, reducing carbon emissions from households, businesses or organisations; promoting sustainable choices, and creating new opportunities for renewable energy.

Retail, hospitality and accommodation providers outlets are encouraged to download a branded QR code poster to put in windows, on noticeboards or in other easily spotted settings, and to include the message in email marketing or social media posts using the hashtag #BackTheFuture.

Other suggestions include bus stop advertising, transparent signage in Cornish hot-spots (to avoid obstructing the natural beauty of the location), and powerwashing QR codes onto pavements.

Dawn Bebe, co-founder and director of Crowdfunder, said the campaign was being rolled out purposely ahead of what looks set to be a bumper summer season.

“We’re coming out of lockdown, but can’t go abroad as easily as before, so the entire world is heading down to Cornwall in a 4x4 for a staycation,” she said.

“The resident population here is around half a million, and in a normal year we might expect to see four million tourists over the summer. Cornwall has a beautiful natural environment, but local people worry about the impact of so many visitors, as well as the effects of climate change.”

“This is a mechanism for people who love Cornwall to give something back to help protect that environment. If you’re standing on the beach admiring Looe Island, for example, you can zap the code and logo onto a location donation fund.”

“Your money will be distributed to projects tackling climate change at a local level. Past projects focusing on the environment have included Land For Nature, a plan to transform depleted agricultural land into a woodland wildlife refuge; Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s successful efforts to introduce a beaver population in Ladock, near Truro; Newquay company Granite&Green’s seaweed plant pots, which reduce plastic pollution whilst benefiting plant growth; Padstow’s Beach Guardian, reusing plastic bottles collected on beach cleans to make bee hotels; and Bude’s community refill shop, which opened in 2019.

Dawn launched Crowdfunder in 2011 with co-founder Rob Love and a work experience student in a first-floor office. Today, the company employs 60 people, and has been kept very busy during the pandemic, helping businesses who needed to “pivot” and find new income streams in order to survive.

In 2019, all charity-related campaigns were fee-free, and in 2020 this approach was extended to covid-19 related fundraising.

“We’re really keen to engage with grassroots businesses across Cornwall restaurants, shops, cafes, anyone who thinks it’s great to get tourists involved in protecting Cornwall to put up a poster and help support Cornwall’s natural environment,” Dawn continued.

“We’re very much about being people- and planet-positive. Our mission statement is ‘to tackle society’s challenges by making ideas happen’. We are really excited about this campaign, which tackles a few things for Cornwall, and Cornwall Council is pulling in its network connections. We’re doing this as a county, and getting some really positive responses.”

Crowdfunder campaigns can often attract matchfunding from Cornwall Council, from pots including Forest for Cornwall, Carbon Neutral Cornwall the Grow Nature Seed Fund.

Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for the environment and climate change, said: “We know how much people value Cornwall’s unique environment, and we need our communities and visitors to work together and take action to lower carbon emissions and enhance our natural places.”
“This fund is designed to collect donations from everyone who loves Cornwall and wants to make sure we are leading the way in the fight against climate change and the loss of biodiversity.”

For more information, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk

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