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£3,685raised of £33,000 target by 84 supporters

Weʼre raising £33,000 to Prevent the forced closure of The Woodman Inn and the loss of a family home, by sponsoring Stuart on his 3 peaks hiking & cycling challenge

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Crowdfunding is a new type of fundraising where you can raise funds for your own personal cause, even if you're not a registered charity.

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Story

Stuart and his wife, Jenna, live at the Woodman along with their 4 small children. When they took the business over in 2010, the business was in a considerable amount of debt. Much like most country pubs, times have changed and business has suffered. Necessary building work and other updates have been carried out over the years and business slowed down for some time.

After years of building and modernising the business, Stuart’s hand was forced to put the pub on the market as, even with more income, the overheads from expensive debt payments were causing the business to fail. The price of the pub has been dropped by vast amounts, as the pressure of the financial situation increased. In the meantime, we have tried to get planning permission for some of the land that comes with the Woodman, in order to get the cash injection the pub needs to be viable. Even with the support of the village, the planning application was refused twice by North Herts District Council and once by appeal. The Johnson’s really were hopeful for a positive outcome on the planning application as most other pubs in the area have been successful.

The Inn is steeped in local history, being in the centre of what was an American airbase during WW2. There is a museum at the rear of the car park and regular talks held at the pub to raise money for the museum. We have regular visitors who come to find out about the local history and the history of the inn, which we have a huge interest in ourselves and are more than happy to give tours and information where possible. We display many interesting, historical photos and artefacts around the inn, which have been given to us over the years. This could all be lost when the inn closes as the future of it will be undecided.

The pressure of our financial situation has increased once again and we are now in a situation where, if we are unable to raise £43k by 7th November 2018, then it is likely that the doors of the Woodman Inn will have to close by the new year. £43k would get us out of immediate trouble and certain closure, hopefully buying us enough time to be able to sell the pub (there is a lot of current interest) and keep it trading. After extensive research and number crunching, we have worked out that we would need to come up with £120k to make the business viable for us to continue running it, without making a loss. The biggest shame of all of this is that business is good, we are just crippled by debt.

Stuart spent his childhood in the pub, Stuart and Jenna were married here, it is the home we brought all of our children to from the hospital when they were born and we don't want to go. There is no home for us to go to and we will have no money or employment so we really don't know what will happen if we have to leave.

So, what do we do? Do we sit and wait for the bank to take the pub, put metal shutters on the doors and windows, allow our home to crumble then auction it to the highest bidder? Or do we fight? No brainer. We will fight for our family home and business until the bitter end.

Stuart has been training for an endurance challenge, to help raise funds, which he will complete before the deadline date in November. He will be climbing the 3 peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden) and cycling between them all! That’s 23 miles hiking and approximately 450 miles cycling. Please sponsor him for this extreme challenge and he promises not to let you down. There will be photos and training updates added to our page so you can cheer him along.

As you can see, we have exhausted every way of raising the money we need but to no avail. And so that is what brings us to this last attempt. We are opening up and asking for your help. If you want to keep The Woodman Inn trading then please invest in it. Because we really are at crunch time now. We thank everyone for their support and will keep you all posted with updates.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Much love,

The Johnsons

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Updates

4

  • Jenna Johnson15 days ago
    Jenna Johnson

    Jenna Johnson

    15 days ago

    We are very busy plotting some great fundraising events over the next few months so please do come along, if you are able. All details will be on our website and Facebook (as well as around the pub). Please share information with as many others as possible – word of mouth is our best way of getting it out there at the moment. Thanks again for your continuing support. #savethewoodman Much love, The Johnsons

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  • Jenna Johnson15 days ago
    Jenna Johnson

    Jenna Johnson

    15 days ago

    There has been some interest in forming a ‘Friends of The Woodman’ group to help with organising fundraising and potential investments. If you may be interested in helping with this, or indeed investing in the pub, we will be holding an evening for presenting a proposal and Q&A on the situation. Please check our Facebook page for updates on this. You may have noticed that we have been able to drop our total by a huge £10k! This is due to a private arrangement with some very kind customers who want to keep the pub going and believe it's future.

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  • Jenna Johnson15 days ago
    Jenna Johnson

    Jenna Johnson

    15 days ago

    Update from the Page owner

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23 days ago

Jenna Johnson started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 9/15/2018 5:18 PM

Supporters

84

  • Jake Greene

    Jake Greene

    Sep 15, 2018

    Keep this pub open - best one in miles!(And that's before I even mention the pizzas)

    £30.00

  • Chris and Ian Welch

    Chris and Ian Welch

    Sep 14, 2018

    Good luck with the hiking and cycling challenge Stuart. Hope you achieve your goal.

    £50.00

  • Rosemary Chapman

    Rosemary Chapman

    Sep 14, 2018

    We don't want to lose you

    £100.00

  • Ann-Marie Kirkham

    Ann-Marie Kirkham

    Sep 13, 2018

    Sorry it can't be more.

    £10.00

  • Thomas Hodge

    Thomas Hodge

    Sep 13, 2018

    Good luck

    £100.00

  • Mark

    Mark

    Sep 12, 2018

    All the best with fundraising and the cycle challenge!

    £10.00

  • Lauren Anderton

    Lauren Anderton

    Sep 12, 2018

    Good luck guys, such a lovely family pub would be a shame for it to go x

    £20.00

Jenna Johnson

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Jenna Johnson

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