Really good idea

Stockwell is one of London’s most deprived areas, but now a bid to build an urban jungle play area by sharing the cost using crowdfunding could open up a whole new world for youngsters.
Oasis, a Stockwell-based kids charity, is planning to build a forest-garden – an urban jungle where kids can learn about plants, wildlife and biodiversity. They are using Spacehive.com to raise the money. The charity wants youngsters in this deprived part of south London to gain first-hand experience of nature.
With public funding for these projects now non-existent in many areas, the concept of crowdfunding – where local people and firms pledge small amounts towards a single idea – is growing in popularity.
The ‘learn as you play’ adventure garden – known as Stockwell Urban Oasis – will feature a quirky tree house designed by a local artist, as well as useful and edible plants for children to experience.
Oasis also encourage local adults to become involved with the space – be it through gardening or getting involved in projects with the children – helping the playground to become a more multi-generational space, and to generate more volunteers for the charity.
The project has been supported by Spacehive, an online platform that helps anyone design and fund neighbourhood improvement projects. Spacehive’s open financing platform allows any local person to contribute towards the costs of making community projects happen and improve their local area. Spacehive is looking to help in the creation of something that will make use of dead and declining inner city sites.
Kam-Lyn Chak, a Project Promoter and volunteer at the Oasis adventure playground told The Landscaper
“Planting this exciting new garden in a space that’s already proven popular with local kids will create an array of opportunities for different play and learning activities. This project also benefits the local wildlife and will enhance the the natural beauty of an area that deserves a bit more love.”
Find out more about how you can support the project at
www.spacehive.com/stockwellurbanoasis
Crowdfunding is like a financial version of the concept underpinning Wikipedia – the idea that many hands make lighter work. The model works by taking online cash pledges – from businesses, public bodies and ordinary members of the public – and using them to fund popular projects.As well as raising money, crowdfunding maximises community engagement. Even though some people may only contribute a few pounds, every contribution represents a degree of ‘buy-in’ that accentuates their sense of ownership of their community. The model was pioneered in the USA by Kickstarter, which has been used to fund hundreds of millions of dollars worth of creative projects: from an Iraqi Shakespeare group who wanted to attend Oregon Shakespeare Festival through to new feature films.

Spacehive.com is a crowdfunding website specifically designed for the built environment. It’s been live since March and is now catching on across the UK.
Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, BITC and the BPF and co-designed by Deloitte, the social enterprise maximises funding sources by allowing cash raised through the site to be combined with grants and other funding streams. People are only charged if the projects hit their targets.
Spacehive.com offers bespoke project management tools for public space initiatives. Each project is also verified by independent partner organisations (ATCM is one of them) to ensure they are viable before they start funding.
Spacehive projects have already attracted funders such as Tesco, Asda and Deloitte, as well as celebrity support from Stephen Fry, David Suchet and Ian Botham.

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