First, a massive thank you to the 208 people who made pledges adding up to £14,627 in our crowd funding campaign run for 6 weeks before Christmas.
The overall campaign has just about hit halfway, with the amount raised getting close to £100,000 comprising the crowd funding, a grant from the Swire Foundation, grants from local Waitrose branches, a bequest and various individual donations as well as a contribution from Society funds. Quite simply this is fantastic progress at a time when monies are tight.
From the comments left by contributors, clearly the cause of trying to save Kitty and replace her with an electric boat struck a note with many people:
“The canal is a wonderful place for everyone to enjoy. Making it more accessible with an electric non-polluting boat is a joy for me to contribute”
“Best wishes for your project to replace Kitty with a sleek and silent new electric Kitty II!”
As well as giving others the opportunity to provide feedback on the canal and the Society:
“What a very worthy cause, I love the Basingstoke Canal and I’m really grateful to all the volunteers looking after it. Looking forward to a trip up the canal with my 7-year-old son on the new ‘Kitty’”
“Hope you make the amount quickly and can proceed with the environmentally friendly replacement. Good luck in your endeavours. In my youth the canal was a muddy ditch full of rubbish. You have done amazing stuff.”
We had hoped to receive more funding from granting bodies, but this has proved far more difficult than it used to be. During the worst of the pandemic funds were diverted to keep charities and sports bodies afloat with virtually no project grants handed out. Now these bodies have finally opened upagain to project-based grants, the pent-up demand is massive making it extremely difficult to obtain grants. A lot of hard work has gone into raising just £5,000 in grants so far. One of our volunteers, Diane Sanderson who has had a lot of success previously in winning grants, has spent many, many hours filling in forms to apply to seemingly endless numbers of granting organisations and sadly mostly received refusals.
The next big fundraising event will be at The Lightbox in Woking where we will be running an Art Auction from February 22nd to March 6th. As well as local artists we will also feature nationally and internationally known artists. Mark Weighton who had a sculpture displayed at COP 26 has kindly agreed to contribute – Mark is local but internationally known. In addition, Ian Mowforth who has a national profile will also be providing an artwork. Jonathan Lord MP will formally open the exhibition, we look forward to seeing you there. Click here for more information.
In the next year we’ll continue to push towards our target. We’re looking to see if we can obtain corporate donations – the right amount gets your company’s name on the side of the boat and a lot of positive publicity, so please let us know if you’re interested.
So please keep supporting us – and thanks to everyone who has helped so far.
In the meantime, we thought that it would be interesting to see a few shots of Electra, the Bedford and Milton Keyes electric boat that they launched after fundraising last year. Clean electric power is coming, so let’s help lead the way along with replacing Kitty which has done admirable service butwill shortly need a rest!