In November 2020 we started a Crowdfunder hoping to raise a small amount of money to support KLOTH. Unexpectedly another lockdown happened which left us with very low expectations.
Despite the lockdown the Crowdfunder was successful, in fact it exceeded our expectations and just kept going! Edwin and Frea dedicated themselves to the Crowdfunder for a month and our end total was £8047.00 (£7518.18 minus fees). And we are so grateful to Crooksy who made our Crowdfunder film.
Where’d the money go?
We asked what people wanted to borrow, we looked at other libraries catalogues, we made lists and we stared at each other on Zoom, a lot, eventually, in mid-December we ordered a PAT testing machine and Daisy was off, PAT testing everything she could get her hands on.
We discovered that we are fairly rubbish at spending money, we didn’t buy anything else until February 2021 and every purchase was discussed at length either on Zoom or over WhatsApp messaging, and then we’d have a think……
By February 2021 we had finally started shopping, we were brave, Daisy spent £380 on a set of Makita cordless tools, Jenni ordered 4 tents in time for the summer and Edwin ordered a brand-new heavy duty sewing machine! To date we have completed 820 Successful loans, all items borrowed by members have been returned, some with minor damage (bent tent pegs etc) but nothing we haven’t been able to fix ourselves.
Some of the items we have purchased:
Our most popular items are tents and carpet cleaners. Out tents barely touch the shelves over the summer, they are then checked and stored for the winter and waterproofed and checked in the spring.
Our carpet cleaners have been busy since they arrived, they have been repaired by Anna, one of our amazing volunteers a few times so this year we are hoping to purchase a more hardy carpet cleaner to borrow alongside the originals.
We have received many donations of things and have used some of the money for replacement parts, for example, one of the pressure washers needed a hose and connected and for repairs, the plastic welder needed a small amount of work before it was available to borrow.
And the boring stuff!
Our biggest expense is insurance, this includes the things, the volunteers and public liability cover. We also bought a laptop to use in the hut, a second hand iPad to take to events. A sign, screws, accountancy fees, security lights, keys, leaflets and leaflet stands and a few stationary items.
We tried not to spend too much on the boring stuff but somethings are unavoidable. We are now pretty much self-sufficient, so the money we charge for membership and borrowing is paying our bills.
Donations of Things and Time:
Many of our items are donated, each week we receive at least one more thing and we have a backlog of things to list on our catalogue. If you have donated a thing to us, we are very grateful, and it will be listed as soon as we have been able to test it and add it to the catalogue.
As you may know we started with a Hut, generously lent to us by then Mayor Chaz Wenmoth and Penryn Town Council, a set of second-hand shelves from the CRAP group and a tiny grant from the National Lottery which was used for the first year of insurance mainly. We are eternally grateful to Gareth at Omni Build who in September 2020 donated his time and skills, the volunteers who helped him, including Frea, Jane, Paul, Jonny and Duncan, along with Bradfords Builders Merchant's Pendennis Shipyard and Jo Sawmills who donated wood for the build. Within 2 days we had a purpose build shelving system full of donated items.
Over the past 2 years we have had a number of volunteers who have helped us in different ways, Anna has been with us almost since the beginning and is a genius at fixing things, Liam and Yannis manned the Hut over the winter and have both now moved on to other amazing things, Josie and Carrie are our newer volunteers and have come up with brilliant new idea for the Hut and for our social media.
Looking to the future:
We have ideas, we would like to have a space for people to use the equipment we have, to run workshops, a men’s / women’s shed space along with a number of joint projects with other community groups.
We are time poor, we all have other full time jobs so we are currently working on how we can achieve these goals in the most effective way. Watch this space, we will update you as soon as we can.
The most important aspect of the library is our members and their needs. With the current economic environment we anticipate that more people will need us, we feel that a lot of our members are using us for environmental reasons which is one of our core aims, but we think we will also be used more by members who are effected by the cost of living crisis. We are looking at ways to offer lower cost memberships to those who need it, for example people who have been homeless and now have accommodation may need the things to enable them to settle into their new homes. Most importantly, we want to remove any barriers to borrowing, for example, transport, opening times or costs.
Our Mission Statement:
We would like to change people’s behaviour and thought processes, so instead of thinking ‘how much will it cost’ they will think ‘can I borrow what I need’. We encourage people to borrow rather than buy and hold the joy of experiences rather than the brief thrill of a purchase.