Successful crowdfunding pilot paves way for bigger community projects

Deputy mayor with Deputy mayoress hold a non venomous python

Families from the Alpha Road Estate in Surbiton have had the opportunity to make friends with some furry and exotic visitors thanks to the generosity of people from across the borough.

The pop-up petting zoo, the highlight of the estate’s annual fun day, was paid for through a crowdfunding initiative. 

Jackie Paddon, Secretary of the Alpha Road Community Group, who came up with the idea said:

“We wanted to give kids on the estate the opportunity to interact with a selection of animals and insects at the fun day. Keeping pets on the estate is not commonplace, and for many families, a trip to the zoo is beyond reach, so to bring the zoo to them, we needed to raise £300.

“Donations ranging between £2 to £75 were received online, and before we knew it, we had the funds we needed. I’d like to say a big thank you to all our supporters, the kids loved it, especially Nancy the chameleon lizard!”

Berrylands ward members, councillors Mike Head and Andy Johnson-Creek, got behind the initiative, using their ward funding to contribute towards the zoo.

Ward member and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mike Head, said:

“Crowdfunding is an excellent way of independently financing a community project. It enables communities to take control of their own destiny by allowing them to decide where they want to focus their efforts and donate their money.

“I used my ward funding to contribute towards the petting zoo because the fun day promotes community cohesion and offers young people on the estate a memorable and stimulating experience."

Council officers supported Jackie to initiate her crowdfunding bid. Its successful outcome paves the way for two larger bids that are kicking-off this month:

  • Malden Manor Mosaic Makeover - a grafittied and overgrown railway bridge, separating a housing estate in New Malden from a beautiful public meadow, will be transformed with planting and a mosaic created by the local community - target £13,000 [launches later this month].
  • Kingston Environment Centre (KEC) Community and Wellbeing Garden - KEC is transforming its yard at the centre of New Malden into a community sanctuary where people can come to relax and/or learn about wildlife and food growing - target £14,000 [live and accepting donations].

Further details of these two community led projects will be released shortly. If you would like help initiating a crowdfunding bid, contact [email protected] for more information.