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Banbury & District Community Bus Project

£1,270 of £50,000 goal

Raised by 75 people in 11 months
Public Campaign to Help Save The Banbury & District Community Bus Project

After 23 years of providing pre-school and early-years play services across North Oxfordshire, our Banbury-based Charity announced in March this year that it will be forced to close at the end of June due to significant funding cuts by Oxfordshire County Council.

Despite some new sources of income, the Charity (better known as Banbury Play Bus) has struggled to find sufficiently large amounts of new funding to replace the OCC cuts in the time available to ensure that the project was sustainable for the next year and beyond, to continue providing an extremely important resource to children and families across North Oxfordshire and in particular in areas with very limited play provision.

This was a hugely difficult decision for the Board of Trustees to make and will result in:

·         the loss of three jobs, years of childcare experience and early years skills and dedication;

·         the removal of play services for hundreds of children across Cherwell using the bus thousands of times a year and

·         the elimination of a crucial opportunity for young parents and families to come together to socialise and support each other in some geographically isolated areas.

We are very aware of the impact the Charity’s closure will have on families and communities but are unable to continue without securing substantial funding to cover the main costs of employing the experienced, qualified team and keeping the bus maintained and on the road. However, we are not prepared for this to happen without a fight and so we need everyone “On Board”.

 All involved agreed that people were probably not fully aware of the Charity’s closure and that the public needed to be aware of the potential loss of a well-loved and widely-used service and would be “On Board” to help preserve this unique local resource if a public campaign was launched to help Save The Banbury Play Bus.

The challenge that has been set is a difficult one, with the Charity needing to identify and raise £50,000 within the next 60 days, by the end of June, to be able to assure it can sustain itself.

Every option that can be explored to find funding is being explored, however as this is a community project and asset, the team believes that the community in Banbury, Bicester and across Cherwell District will help us in finding the way forward for the Banbury Play Bus, providing the urgent short-term funds whilst the Charity works to secure longer-term income.

As part of the campaign we will be looking at a range of ways to generate income;

·         public donations and fundraising activities would be hugely appreciated;

·         a range of charitable funders are being contacted to request help;

·         company sponsorship is sought to cover specific costs (such as fuel for the bus);

·         regular donors via direct debits, payroll giving and gift aid;

·         we will be running a competition for local schools to win the right to name the bus;

·         we will consider requests for attendance at events, corporate days etc

·         and we are also open to offers of advertising to be displayed on the bus itself.


We as an organisation are “On Board” to Save The Play Bus - all we need now is for every member of the public to say "I'm On Board" and to help us by donating to help Save Banbury & District Play Bus.

There will be another online appeal set up which we hope large funders and those providing match funding will use to match any monies raised here, so please donate if you possibly can so we can prove we have the support of our local community in Cherwell District.



For more information, please contact:

Michelle Pollard
Project Manager
Banbury and District Community Bus Project
Mobile: 07557 354763

Email: bdcbp@btconnect.com

or 

Tine Nicholas
Telephone: 01295 273 027

East Street Centre, Calder Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 3WR

Banbury and District Community Bus Project

Registered Charity Number: 1085917

www.banburybusproject.com 


This page was set up by Tim Tarby-Donald on behalf of the above charity who he is supporting as a consultant, via his Charity Ninja consultancy. None of the funds raised here will be used to pay consultancy costs.
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Get “On Board” to Help Save The Banbury & District Community Bus Project

Here is some great input from users of the bus:

“Great staff, wonderful / magical place for my daughter to play, create and socialise!” Abi

“Me and my kids love this play bus - so friendly and important to get us out and about in our new area” Tina

“Such a fantastic project! Children are always excited to go! Michelle and Sarah make you feel very welcome, we get the chance to interact with other parents and share ideas. Every week the resources are changed making a new opportunity for children to develop new skills while at play.” Roberta

“It is now commonplace for mothers and fathers to work and not to know the people who live around them. When a new mother who has been used to the professional workplace is suddenly left at home with no one but a tiny baby for company, it can be hugely overwhelming and isolating. This is especially true when living in a village. The genius of the play bus is that is visits right to these villages that need them the most. Even if a mother, father or other carer doesn't have a car, it is likely that they can still find their way to the play bus.” Joy

With some externally-funded help, we are making one last appeal to local businesses and organisations to help “Save The Community Bus”.

As part of the campaign we are looking at a range of ways to generate income:
• public donations and fundraising activities;
• a range of charitable funders are being contacted to request help;
• company sponsorship is sought to cover specific costs (such as fuel for the bus);
• we will consider requests for attendance at events, corporate / family days etc;
• we are also open to offers of advertising to be displayed on the bus itself and
• we hope to run a competition for local schools to win the right to name the bus by raising the most money.

Your support will help us continue providing an extremely important free resource to children and families across North Oxfordshire and in particular in areas with very limited play provision, supporting both children and their families.

“For myself and my daughter the Banbury bus has been important to us for different reasons. It has supported my daughters social and language skills and as a parent has widened my network of social friends. This has been particularly helpful for me as I suffer from extreme anxiety issues. The charity is an asset to Oxfordshire and therefore I feel strongly it should continue for many others to enjoy.” Karen

“Being an army family, we depend on things like the play bus because we are far away from family and friends. Play bus is a lifeline for army families! It is a way for us to meet people and for our children to make friends. When our husbands are away with the army it is our only way to socialise!” Anon

The charity’s closure will result in:
• the loss of three jobs and years of childcare experience, early years skills and dedication;
• the removal of play services for hundreds of children across Cherwell using the bus thousands of times a year and
• the elimination of a crucial opportunity for young parents and families to come together to socialise and support each other in some geographically isolated areas.

The challenge is a difficult one, with the Charity needing to identify £50,000 by the end of June, to be able to assure it can sustain itself.

We have started well in terms of media coverage and awareness raising in the press, on social media and on local radio but now we need to find a number of kind donors who can support the charity with donations.

If we can secure a small number of donors of £500 to £5000 we believe we can generate some match funding but we need the initial donors to show the lead and to Get “On Board”. Please could you do whatever you can to help us. Every donation helps us reach a figure that could get match funded.

With many thanks in advance,

The Trustees, Team and Supporters
Banbury & District Community Bus Project

Facebook www.facebook.com/Banbury-District-Community-Bus-Project-261600967229583/

Twitter https://twitter.com/BanburyPlayBus

Media Resources:
Hear Michelle on BBC Radio Oxford www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p065qynb (at 38 mins) and interviewed 2 years ago after the charity won the Cherwell Business Award www.youtube.com/watch?v=75P7pPd9yp0&feature=youtu.be
Press Coverage www.banburyguardian.co.uk/news/appeal-for-50-000-to-stop-banbury-play-bus-from-closing-1-8490806
See supporter Tim on Banbury Sound www.facebook.com/banburysound/videos/10156405551099458/
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‪Today we’ve been at #BanburyFriendshipFestival - lots of people are On Board‬

‪#WeAreOnBoard #BanburyPlayBus‬
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‪We’ve been at #BanburyFriendshipFestival - lots of people are On Board‬

‪#WeAreOnBoard #BanburyPlayBus‬
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£1,270 of £50,000 goal

Raised by 75 people in 11 months
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