An archery club that lost its grounds used Google Earth and online fundraising to secure a new home. Bowmen of Darenteford, in Kent, shared with us how they did it.
In June this year, Bowmen of Darenteford were told a 3G football pitch would be built on their current field, kickstarting an exhaustive search to find a new space.
The club is 46 years old with over 70 members, aged 8 to over 80. They provide coaching, competitions and a home for archers of all abilities who take part in fun shoots, tournaments and themed events as well as competing in multiple leagues, welcoming other clubs to their ground and travelling for away matches.
Archery clubs will know that finding a new home is no easy feat, this was no exception. After many hours measuring bits of land on Google Earth and contacting well over 40 sites, the club was lucky enough to be offered a new home at a local farm on the Meopham/Cobham border in Kent. Due to the rural nature of the site they are starting completely from scratch with storage, toilets, parking and everything else that a club needs.
The committee researched funding opportunities and applied for a couple of smaller grants but they decided their best chance of raising the bulk of the money was to crowdfund with match funding from Sport England.
With a carefully thought out campaign plan, including some incredibly generous rewards offered by local businesses, members and friends of the club, they were able to raise over 80% of their target and received the promised £1,200 donation from Sport England. They now need to reach their £4,000 target in order to keep the Sport England grant.
Leanne Kite, club secretary, said: "I think the way forward when looking for new ground is to think outside the box, talk to anyone who looks like they have a space that could work rather than sticking with just schools and be willing to do some work. I also never looked at this as a business relationship, I always spoke to people in a realistic, human way and found them much more receptive, with some saying that this attitude encouraged them to reply rather than just bypassing my email.
"We have the beginnings of a fantastic relationship with our new hosts, it's early days but our approach is one of cooperation, figuring out how we can work together and how we can add value as a team."
She added: "I'm proud of how our members have responded in a difficult and unknown situation, with more people turning up to work parties, sharing personal quotes or photos and donating to or sharing the campaign. I'm very hopeful that our club will survive, and even thrive, in this new home."
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