Outdoor music room

St John’s CofE Primary School crowdfunded £6,820 for an outdoor music room

Image: Hayley Watkins (https://www.hayleywatkinsphotography.co.uk/)

‘Our school is situated near Grymsdyke Farm, a countryside getaway for architects, artists and designers. Architect Clementine Blakemore approached the school with the idea of making a beautiful, ecological building for the community to enjoy. Music plays a key part in our school’s educational vision, but music classes have to move around the school, which is why a permanent music room was needed. Clementine worked closely with the school, running workshops with the pupils, parents and teachers to develop a design for the new space. She also coordinated the first round of funding and donations for the core structure of the building. All of the design work, materials and labour were sourced from communities near and far and together were worth £40,000.

After we missed out on a big grant to fund the enclosing of the structure, we decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Our enthusiastic parents helped with the video and shepherded the campaign through PA meetings and school approvals.

The Crowdfunder project revealed that our network of supporters reached further than the school community! We took a risk by creating an “all or nothing” campaign, meaning if we didn’t reach our target of £6,000, we wouldn’t get any of the money. This really helped to motivate our donors!

Once the campaign went live we pushed it via our school Facebook page and email with the help of school staff and class representatives, updating followers on how much we had raised and how much time was left. Your Print Solution printed promotional posters, leaflets and booklets free of charge.

Depending on the amount pledged, supporters could claim a reward. These were donated by local and international artists, parents and Grymsdyke Farm craftspeople. Rewards included private tours of the workshops of local carpenters and ceramicists, a five-course tasting menu at former pupil Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, and the opportunity to contribute to the time capsule that will be buried next to the music room.

We raised £6,820 over a six-week campaign, which will contribute to the cost of insulation, cladding, bi-fold doors, lighting, heating and electrical systems, burglar and fire alarms and labour. Now that we have a significant amount of funding, we will apply for grants to help get us to our overall goal of £66,000 to complete our vision.

  • Sara O’Connor, Former Parents Association Secretary, St John’s CofE Primary School, Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire (250 pupils)

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