De Beauvoir fundraisers hit �500,000 target

Fundraisers in De Beauvoir have finally reached their �500,000 target to revamp a church crypt, after two years of quizzes, art fairs and an auction.

The Big Lottery Fund announced this week it will give St Peter de Beauvoir church in De Beauvoir Road �262,000 towards converting its crypt into a modern community space.

Fundraising to refurbish the Victorian crypt began three years ago, and by summer 2010 there was enough money to carry out the first phase of work.

The lottery grant, together with funding from Veolia Environmental Trust, means that work can now begin on the final phase.

“The money hasn’t just come from large funding bodies” said fundraising coordinator, Amanda Davies.

“Two years ago we set the local community the challenge of raising �50,000, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.”

The community began running quizzes, second hand book sales, swear boxes and even an auction offering lots like a tour of the House of Lords by Lord Carlisle.

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The Scolt Head pub around the corner have been charging 50p extra for burgers, and the last spurt came at the weekend with an art fair selling work by 30 local artists.

“We are absolutely thrilled to bits and very grateful to so many people who have contributed and done their bit to raise money, it’s been a real successful community effort,” said fundraiser Gillian Borrie.

“St Peter’s Crypt has been used to provide services to the local community for over 100 years but it is well past its sell-by date,” added vicar Julia Porter.

“Projects like the Cold-weather Night Shelter and Peter’s Community Cafe have been struggling to operate efficiently in dilapidated surroundings.

“I am delighted that we will now be able to provide them with the facilities they deserve”.

It is hoped the work will commence in July and be finished by the end of the year.