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Can you help St George’s Dragons BC roar again? 

Situated in Morpeth, Northumberland, St George’s Dragons BC is a self funded private bowls club established for over 50 years. A small knit, community club, they provide both social and competitive bowls for our members and guests during the spring and summer months of the year. With the upcoming developments in the area, they are looking to recruit and grow our offering, to both current and new members. Their current members range from 16-80 years of age, which shows that bowls is indeed for everyone! Here Neil Aitchison, secretary, explains why the club has set-up a crowdfunding appeal:

Why are we crowdfunding?

During the recent pandemic we lost two years worth of revenue from club subscriptions which is our main source of income into the club. This coupled with damage from Storm Arwen back in 2021, and further damage from across the next 24 month period, the club has sadly been on the back foot for the past few years financially. Fundraising has continued during that time and coupled with some small Grants and sponsorship from local businesses, the club have kept afloat during the most difficult time in its history. Sadly now, the has come when require the support of members, friends, family, the local community, and the bowling community to support us in our current plight. During the recent autumn and winter (to date), our premises has been battered by increment weather. Causing severe damage to our roof, and internals. We have experienced flooding, and at present the building is at risk of further damage, and most certainly isn’t in a usable condition for the forthcoming 2024 season. 

How we’ll spend the money raised

The damage has been assessed and with materials and labour costs, the club need to find upwards of £8000 to repair the roof and external structure of the building. This will firstly make it water tight, but more importantly a safe environment for our members to access. 

Without such support the club will fail to have moments like the below going forward. In 2023, the club had its most decorated season to date with members of our club representing the club and county in nine different disciplines at the Bowls England National Finals. A remarkable achievement in itself, but namely the biggest success was Phil Harvey’s run in the national Champion of Champions event where he was runner-up for the full country!

Community impact

Not only does this impact our club members, both the wider bowling and local community will be impacted heavily. The space is often used by Northumberland County to host fixtures against our sister counties. Within walking distance is St Georges Hospital, both staff and patients often take time to pop to the club for a break, some fresh air and a warm cup of tea to find peace within our beautiful space.  

Without support we are at real risk of not having a facility.

During the summer months, we host regular open days for the community who want to try the sport, this in support of the Bowls England “Big Bowls Weekend Initiative”. The image on the right shows some of our guests who joined us during the event last season. 

Also during the season, we host an annual fundraiser for Macmillan in memory of one of our club stalwarts who sadly passed away. The image on the left was taken last summer where we achieved over £2,000 which was donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.  

How you can play your part

There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.

1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success! Click on the crowdfunder page https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/st-georges-dragons-bc—renovation-works

2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.

3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out on our platforms!

4. Fundraise for us. If you want to run your own fundraiser – maybe a sponsored activity or similar – please let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!

Caption: Some of the club members alongside the team from Barrett Homes who utilised the club space for a summer social evening for staff, whilst also supporting the club with some funding to assist with the purchase of a new cassette for the lawnmower

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