The Friends of St Peter’s was one of almost 600 charities to participate in the UK’s biggest match funding campaign, The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge 2019.
Through the Challenge, they raised over £14,000 (including Gift Aid) in just seven days to fund the “Read in Peace” Seat in Rectory Lane Cemetery.
Kate Campbell, Community Engagement Officer said: “It was a new departure for us to have a Pop-Up shop on the High Street and we are pleased with the results. As well as exceeding our target of £11,800 we also met many new potential supporters.
“This was also the first time that we have raised funds directly from the general public and we are delighted by their generosity. The additional money will be used to ensure all the proposed seats in the Cemetery can be completed. All that I can add is a HUGE thank you to the many people who have been involved.”
Each donation was doubled through Matched funding which in this case was provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and various local pledgers who committed money in the summer.
One unexpected donation was a children’s Doll’s House made by Dave Allen whose grandfather Horace Allen is buried in the Cemetery, an unrecognized war hero.
Dave has been working with the Rectory Lane team to raise awareness since 2016 and he was keen to help. Displayed in the window of 227-229 High Street, the small but grand-looking house proved a draw for many younger residents to bring their parents in for a look round.
The Dolls’ House was raffled to raise extra funds and the lucky winner will be informed by December 18th. The winner’s name will appear on the website.
The Big Give’s record-breaking national campaign, which ran from December 3 to 10, generated over £15 million in vital funding for good causes across the country, matching donations pound for pound until the funding pot was empty.