We’ve been funded for the last two years by a £150,000 Coastal Communities fund win and have made a massive difference to our town. We think there’s a new confidence about the place and want to keep that going.
The challenge, as ever, is funding. Despite filing numerous funding applications over the last 12 months, we’ve yet to find new backers. Public funding to cover our core costs – running coding and making clubs for young people – is extremely hard to find.
A new partnership
Fear not though. We have a cunning plan. First, we’re delighted to announce a very exciting partnership with Sussex Downs College. In April we’re hoping to move our base to its Eastbourne campus, and will be able to use the excellent teaching facilities and social spaces to broaden our work.
The college is going through exciting changes too. Under a new principal, Mike Hopkins, there’s a renewed effort to work with the local tech and digital sector and we’ll be at the centre of it. We’ll meet many more great young people, and be able to collaborate with them on all sorts of amazing new projects. We’re really grateful to George Hedges, the college’s Programme Manager for IT subjects, for his huge enthusiasm in our work and in leading the charge for this partnership.
The move will also cut many of TechResort’s costs, but we’ll be sad to say goodbye to our home at Kestrel House, and to our neighbours. We’re working hard to keep our links with Bourne School, and are raising funding to run sessions somewhere nearby. Watch this space for more details.
Introducing ‘Future Fuel’
We’ll still have bills to pay, so are today launching a new fundraising campaign. Future Fuel will enable to keep the majority of our young people’s sessions affordable for everyone – that’s our MiniMaker, Innovators and Teens sessions, and many special events.
We really want our know-how to be available to all young people, no matter what their family income is. Parts of our town are deprived, and the average Eastbourne wage is well below the UK norm. Providing engaging tech and digital skills sessions at no or very low cost (typically about £3.50 for a 90 minute session) is one way to reverse that. It’s not something schools can easily do at the moment, which is why we think our work is so important.
Our goal is ten businesses or individuals kindly donating £2000 per year, or £167 per month. We have five confirmed already, and would really appreciate your help. The tax man is helping too – with Gift Aid for individuals and corporation tax breaks for companies.
The more we raise, the more we can deliver. We’ve come too far to stop, so please help us if you can.