In June, we appealed to our visitors to show their love to Gunnersbury. Read on for an update on the appeal from our new Business Development Manager, Ciaran Biggins.
I joined Gunnersbury CIC as Business Development Manager at the end of April. My role leads on income generation for the park and museum and that includes donations from individuals like you, through to charitable trusts, corporates and commercial activity. As a local Acton resident and long-time visitor and fan of Gunnersbury Park, I was really excited to get started and the first few months have certainly been eventful.
I’d like to say a HUGE THANK YOU on behalf of the whole Gunnersbury team for your generous support over the last few months. We reached out to you nearly two months ago with our appeal for support having lost over £600k of income due to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent fire destroying our café. I’ve been absolutely bowled over by the generous response from you and our local community, and today I’m really happy to share that we’ve hit and surpassed our first donation milestone of £25k.
Your donations have helped keep us going and ensure that Gunnersbury Park remained open 7 days a week throughout lockdown, giving our community the chance to exercise, escape the city and enjoy the amazing planting displays. We’ve been able to keep our full gardening team in place and they’ve been working tirelessly to keep the park looking beautiful as well as planting and maintaining new ecologically focused herbaceous borders.
If you haven’t seen our Head Gardener, Chris Ellis', virtual tours of the park and formal gardens then I would thoroughly recommend a watch!
Success in Fundraising Bids
Reaching £25k is a fantastic step towards helping us survive and thrive this year, but we still have a long way to go. Whilst you’ve been generously showing your support, our small team have been working hard to raise funds and so far we’ve been successful in applying for two emergency funds:
- Arts Council England has funded us to create a new interactive family activity trail to explore the park. It’s jam-packed with fascinating things to learn and creative challenges to enjoy. Each activity starts in the park and finishes back at home with fun quizzes and chances to get your creative juices flowing. Click here to try it now!
- The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund run by the Museums Association has funded us to develop a remote intergenerational volunteering project that will help us digitise and interpret a collection by Roy Gough, a former stills photographer at the world-renowned Ealing Studios. Roy Gough photographed some of the biggest stars of the mid-20th century British cinema including Sir Roger Moore, Audrey Hepburn, Sir Alec Guinness, Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Michael Redgrave, and we are delighted to have the chance to share this collection with you at a later stage.
As well as continuing to apply each week to emergency funds, we have launched our new campaign #ForTheLoveOfGunnersbury. This campaign celebrates everything which our visitors love about Gunnersbury, and also the people that love it! Over the next few months, we’ll be asking you to share what you love about Gunnersbury, helping us to spread the word about this special place and hopefully introduce you to new sides of Gunnersbury.
It’s been heartening to see individuals and groups come forward with their own fundraising ideas #ForTheLoveOfGunnersbury - a great example being Barnes and Mortlake Angling and Preservation Society who held a charity fishing match in the park and raised £300. We’d love to hear your ideas for fundraising, whether you want to do something active like a sponsored run or walk or perhaps a virtual challenge or online quiz. If you’ve got something in mind get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for support and advice, or click through for more information.
Gunnersbury is not out of the woods yet and is still facing a significant unfunded deficit, but I believe with your continued support and our team’s commitment we can survive and thrive.
Gunnersbury needs your support today, click here to go to our Support Page.