Axminster urged ‘keep our community centre alive’ with £10K crowdfund launch

The gauntlet has been thrown down to help ‘future-proof’ Pippins community centre in Axminster, challenging the town to raise £10,000 in little over three weeks.

Author Becca Gliddon

Pippins, in Lyme Road, needs the cash to ‘winter-proof, weather-proof and future-proof’ the Grade II listed building and repair its rotten sash windows.

The crowdfunding campaign for help comes in the same week as the launch of the community centre’s new website.

A spokeswoman for Pippins said the centre was home to more than 40 support and community groups who relied on using the building as a base.

She said: “We are looking to raise £10,000 this year to get this place painted to weatherproof it ready for the winter and then start building up some money to replace our sash windows next year.

“We hope the community will help keep our centre alive and kicking. We’re so proud of all the work that takes place at our community centre.”

She added: “We are really excited about this campaign because we have done everything with our volunteers – thousands and thousands of man and woman hours.

“They have been looking after our building and now we need to get the tradesmen in, that’s what we need the money for.

“We want to future-proof Pippins so that all our groups can continue having a home here.

“So we are going to be painting, we are going to be repairing and putting money towards our sash windows.”

The support groups include Job Club, East Devon Benefits Service, Axminster Memory Café, the town’s youth club, mental health services for young people and church groups.

The campaign hopes to raise funds to pay for for painting, decorating and repair costs to maintain the building for the future and fix ‘quite a lot’ of the rotten windows at the back of the building.

It is hoped East Devon District Council will match fund the sum if at least 25 per cent of the £10,000 target is raised by the October 25 deadline.

“Pippins is in desperate need of a full exterior and interior re-paint, with additional mending and repairs along the way,” the spokeswoman said.

“Funds are needed to foot the cost of painting, scaffolding and essential works so that we can secure our building not just for the winter ahead, but for the future too, to safeguard our vital community facility for years to come.

“Our first crowdfunding campaign focusses on the exterior painting project – with potential to extend to repairs to our windows, fascias, guttering and some interior areas if we hit our target.”

She added: “Pippins was born as a dedicated community centre in 2016, and has come a long way since, growing its usage from just two community user groups to the 40-plus initiatives that are now based out of the centre, each doing amazing work in the community.

“We aim to keep our building a warm, welcoming and safe place for all – and to keep our room hire prices very accessible so that financing should never be a barrier to good things happening in our town. All while on a shoe-string budget ourselves.”

To donate to Pippin’s Crowdfunder campaign, see here.