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Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC raised £2,161 from 58 supporters


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Closed 01/06/2022

raised of £5,000 target by 58 supporters

    Weʼve raised £2,161 to help us grow The Bee Tree Community CIC and support more people who are lonely and/or isolated to connect with others.

    Funded on Wednesday, 1st June 2022

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    I had no plans to start a new business in Lockdown 2020. But when my friend Debbie approached me with an idea to help people who are lonely or isolated, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

    Her idea was this: bring people together, via Zoom, in a timetable of sessions that would run every day, 7 days per week with the aim of welcoming everyone, but ultimately reaching those people who could not or did not want to leave their homes for whatever reason. People who, often, are lonely and/or isolated.

    Debbie came to me because she knew that our pooled skills and experience and shared life views could mean that something special could happen here. So we set about developing that idea and getting guidance and help from various family, friends and my university to make it a reality.

    We decided that hosts would be volunteers who were either passionate about or ran a business in the subject of their session and were keen to make a difference. In return they would receive free membership and advertising on our social media channels and soon to be website. Membership would cost only £10 monthly and would include a free first month for people to try us out.

    We settled on the name The Bee Tree Community CIC inspired by the bee tree in Winnie The Pooh. During a successful 6 week free trial using predominantly Facebook and Google sheets and forms (with the help of my husband Dec!) we saw both people who we knew already and strangers join our community to meet in various sessions over Zoom. They became our founding members and missed us as soon as the trail ended after Christmas 2020.

    Due to demand we worked hard to come back a few months later with a more solid service. Every aspect was done by us - branding, marketing, our website, policies, safeguarding - you name it, we did it. We didn't have any money to use to help us so we got on with it and spent our time really making The Bee Tree Community CIC something wonderful.

    We opened officially in April 2021 and our members came back to us and were joined by some new faces and some new hosts too. Since then our Zoom based sessions have included:

    Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Singing, Wellbeing, Storytime, Art, Bingo & Quiz Night, Mindfulness, Knit & Natter, History, Family History, Over 60s, Relaxation, Creative Writing, Book Club, Wordplay, Cooking, Gardening, Qigong, Laughter Club, Breakfast Club and Craft Club.

    On 2nd November we turned 1 year old and our community is thriving. Many of our members are not lonely and isolated. Some of them are. All of them adore Bee Tree and thoroughly enjoy the socialising and creativity it brings to their lives. They've loved making new friends and learning from each other. For me and Debbie to be able to be a part of that and to have met all of these new people to spend our time with has been just amazing too. There's a reason we work so hard and spend so much of our time voluntarily on Bee Tree - every session and every difference Bee Tree makes to our members makes it all worth it.

    We were fortunate enough for our now Bee Tree Chief Fundraiser and super fan Tara Humphrey to hear about us on Twitter and volunteer to fundraise for us - she cycled, walked and ran a collective 227 miles to raise just over £2000 for us. We were absolutely blown away then and still are now for her to have done that for little old us and to give us this huge boost in our fundraising efforts!

    What this means is that Bee Tree's running costs are covered for the next year or so. We can use some of that to get us seen by more people in some small advertising campaigns eg leafleting, distribution of posters, some social media advertising. However, it will go quickly.

    We have grand plans for Bee Tree - a befriending service, counselling, more general and specialist sessions and hosts, courses... we can give the time and the effort, as can our current hosts and members. But we need to grow to ensure more people can benefit from our community and more regular funds can come in to be used to develop. For that we need more people to see us on platforms other than social media.

    If you could spare even £1 to donate towards our mission it really would make such a massive difference. We are not a huge company - we are tiny. Seriously, every £1 truly does go a long way. 10 x £1 donations could see free membership for a month for those who can't afford £10. £100 could buy us a shed load of leaflets and posters. Upwards of that we could look seriously at other methods of advertising.

    If you have read this far, thank you. If you could share this across your social media myself and Debbie would be so grateful.

    Thanks again,

    Clare x

    (Co-Creator of The Bee Tree Community CIC)

    Read Tara's reason for fundraising for us below:

    I had no plans to raise money for a charitable cause this year...

    If I'm honest, I didn't want the added stress of raising money on top of training for a 100 mile bike ride, 2 x 50k runs and another 60 mile bike ride.. But when I met the Founders of The Bee Tree Community, I was compelled to help in some way. I was just so struck by what they are doing that I wanted to help them raise awareness and raise funds.

    The Bee Tree Community is an Online Community Centre created by Debbie Bentley and Clare Watson. Their Mission is to tackle social isolation and exclusion by creating a joyful, thriving community providing online classes/sessions and support to those members of the community that are lonely and isolated.

    There are nine million lonely people in the UK. You may not see them, but they are there. They were once like you and me, until their world took an unexpected turn and knocked their confidence/restricted them. Their opportunity to socialise, find work, proactively access healthcare and social care, keep active or try new things is dramatically reduced which has a huge impact on their physical and mental health and well being.

    Four million of them are older people. Many older people find constant loneliness the hardest to overcome. They lack the friendship and support we all thrive on and Bee Tree has created an online community for people to access the support they so dearly need.

    Bee Tree is a Start-Up, and the Founders Clare and Debbie are funding this Community Interest Company themselves at present. They can’t compete with the big charities, so they need people like you and me to help them.

    Will you help us?

    I will do the hard work! Did I mention I’m doing a 100 mile bike ride, 2 x 50k runs and ANOTHER 60 mile bike ride in the space of 4 months, starting in August?

    If you could help us raise £5000, this will not only help with the running costs of Bee Tree, but it will also help Debbie and Clare to set up The Bee Tree Community's free Befriending Service. This will offer one to one contact (online or telephone) for their members who aren't able to come to sessions and who just want a chat to another person. I, Debbie and Clare would be eternally grateful for any support you could give us.

    You can visit The Bee Tree Community CIC and find out more about them/their story/register as a member on their Website

    Thank you so much,

    Tara x



    • Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC2 years ago
      Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

      Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

      2 years ago
      Update from the Page owner

      We can’t believe we’ve hit £2000 of our £5000 target!! This is all thanks to the amazing Tara Humphrey running and cycling so, so far for us! Thank you Tara and thank you every single person who has donated, your kindness is just incredible! Xxx

      Share this update to help us raise more

    • Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC2 years ago
      Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

      Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

      2 years ago
      Update from the Page owner

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    • Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC2 years ago
      Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

      Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

      2 years ago

      Gosh, we can't believe that we're nearly at £1000 already! Thank you so, so much all of you who have donated and thank you Tara for all of your hard work in support of Bee Tree. Every £1 raised really does go so far for us and helps us to develop and grow our online community centre. Have a wonderful sunny Sunday everyone and here's to us working together to be able to reach more lonely and isolated people :) Clare and Deb xxx If you'd like listen to our podcast recorded with Tara you can do here:

      Update from the Page owner

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    3 years ago

    Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 10/4/2021 18.36



    • Becks


      Oct 4, 2021

      You are taking on some amazing challenges. (I don’t know how your ride a bike for that distance. I moan after a few yards). And raising money for a really good cause. You are amazing. X


    • Tom


      Sep 25, 2021


    • Sarah Madigan

      Sarah Madigan

      Sep 16, 2021

      Sending love and support!! Xxx


    • Anonymous


      Sep 8, 2021

      Great work Tara, well done 👏


    • Sy Ganesaratnam

      Sy Ganesaratnam

      Sep 8, 2021

      Go for it. You are confed’s Wonder Woman!


    • Anonymous


      Sep 6, 2021

    • Clare Fuller

      Clare Fuller

      Sep 5, 2021

      Super work & delighted to support such a great project x


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    Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

    Clare & Debbie at The Bee Tree Community CIC

    Hi! We are the 2 Creators of Bee Tree! We run it voluntarily around our jobs and families as we are passionate about helping people to connect with others, particularly at a time when loneliness and isolation are at an all time high. Please help us to grow! Thank you xxx

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