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Caroline Forward’s Three #PortraitsForNHSHeroes

Throughout lockdown hundreds of artists from across the UK produced portraits of NHS workers for free as part of the #PortraitsForNHSHeroes initiative which was launched in early April by Oxford-based portrait painter Tom Croft. There was an incredible response to the project inspiring similar initiatives across Europe and North America.

Caroline Forward, a Cambridgeshire artist and member of #WeAreCambsCreatives, completed three portraits as part of this inspiring initiative and we feel privileged to share them with you here on the blog with notes about each of the frontline heroes she painted, including a local nurse who works at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

You can find a detailed explanation of how #PortraitsForNHSHeroes came about over on Tom Croft’s website here. He talks about what portraits represent and how they immortalise people. He poses the question of who should be immortalised and “line the walls of galleries” today. Tom says: “The people who put self interest and self preservation to one side and literally risked their lives knowingly on a daily basis for our well being. The NHS workers. Absolutely.”

Tom helped to match NHS workers with participating artists directly but due to such high demand he also suggested that any artist willing to get involved with the project posted their offers of free portraits on Instagram. Caroline did just that and was contacted within minutes of posting her offer by Kate, a midwife working in a busy maternity unit in Barnsley.

Kate said to Caroline how difficult it is for mothers giving birth without their nearest and dearest around them. She described the exhausting impact of working in personal protective equipment (PPE), the high levels of staff sickness and therefore staff shortages, and the long shifts.

After completing her first painting Caroline agreed to do a further two portraits. Her second portrait is of Katie, a staff nurse in Coronary Care at Addenbrooke’s. It was incredibly meaningful for Caroline to be able to paint a local frontline worker and she was able to deliver the finished artwork in person – socially distanced of course!

It was a very special moment for Caroline when she met Katie outside her home.

Katie told Caroline that she tries to keep her patients as calm, comfortable and reassured as possible whilst giving them the treatment they need to get better, being their advocate and being there for them especially when they are at their most vulnerable. With no visitors allowed she does as much as she can for their mental health so they feel less alone.

Caroline’s third portrait is of Karen, a paramedic in the West Midlands Ambulance Service. Karen moved her four daughters into her brother’s home at the start of lockdown in order to protect them from her potentially bringing Covid-19 home with her after work. To be separated from your young children for several months is a hardship. Caroline says: “These stories of personal sacrifice by our frontline workers need to be heard.”

It has been a touching and emotional journey for both the artist and subjects. Caroline explains that although the portraits are of the individuals, and that they have been gifted to them as a thank you for all they do, they are also painted in gratitude to and recognition of all those who have done so much during the pandemic. She received some wonderful feedback, notably: “No one has ever done anything like this for me, given me their time and talent in this way.”

You can browse over 13,000 images which have been shared on Instagram with the project hashtag here – it is truly a wonderful and visually moving social media curation. You can also find a small online exhibition of selected works over at The Net Gallery.

It is hoped that there will be a physical exhibition open to the public of #PortraitsForNHSHeroes sometime in the future but in the meantime be sure to follow @tomcroftartist for updates and @carolineforward to see her latest work over! If you are a local artist who has also produced a portrait as part of the project we would love to hear from you – please do get in touch.


Keep up-to-date with what is happening across Cambridgeshire’s creative scene by subscribing to receive our latest news posts via email – and follow our #CambsCreativeScene tag on Instagram.

If you enjoy content from The Trove Cambridge then please consider supporting what we do by buying us a “coffee” at: ko-fi.com/thetrovecambridge

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Lele Saa – Shortlisted: World Illustration Awards 2020

We are really pleased to announce that Lele Saa, member of #WeAreCambsCreatives, has been shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2020 presented by The Association of Illustrators (AOI). Lele’s submission was previously selected as one of 500 longlisted projects from more than 4,300 entries – and has now been selected for the final shortlist of 200 projects!

Lele Saa, an illustrator and visual designer based in Cambridge, balances her part-time role as Creative Director at a UX design and innovation studio with her art practice which involves illustration, frame by frame animation and ceramic experiments.

Hooray! It’s a totem parade! is a mural painted on the exterior of Horizon – a centre for adults with learning disabilities in Cambridge. This piece by Lele stands alongside work by various local artists designed to uplift the outside of the organisation’s facilities.

Lele says: “I tried to create a bold image using the space of the wall in an exciting way. The whole mural can be only seen fully from a specific point of view; marked by a spot on the floor. The main totem figure depicts a Phoenix Bird that is reborn from its ashes and gives a positive message to the viewers.”

The mural was completed across 12 sessions between August and October 2019. Lele notes that ‘the composition grew organically’ taking into account ‘the limitations of the bricks and wall elements’ – although the design was planned digitally beforehand.

The project has been shortlisted in the ‘Site Specific’ category for this year’s World Illustration Awards by the AOI, who have been running an annual illustration competition for over 45 years. You can take a look at all of the shortlisted projects here.

The AOI is the world’s leading illustration body supporting and sustaining illustrators and the illustration industry. They present the awards in partnership with The Directory of Illustration which is widely regarded as the world’s leading marketing program for illustrators. This year they had entries from illustrators in 79 countries.

Congratulations to Lele Saa for being shortlisted – this is such a fantastic achievement!

Image by @lele_saa

The award winners, category specific and overall, will be announced on Wednesday 21st October 2020. Celebrations for this year will be rounded off with an online programme of events which is set to include masterclasses, panel discussions and social opportunities for illustrators, agents and commissioners from around the world to meet, explore and celebrate.


Keep up-to-date with what is happening across Cambridgeshire’s creative scene by subscribing to receive our latest news posts via email – and follow our #CambsCreativeScene tag on Instagram.

If you enjoy content from The Trove Cambridge then please consider supporting what we do by buying us a “coffee” at: ko-fi.com/thetrovecambridge

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‘Hector’s Perfect Cake’ by Lily Clarke

Cambridge-based author and illustrator Lily Clarke is crowdfunding via Kickstarter to publish her first picture book titled Hector’s Perfect Cake. Less than 10 days into the campaign, Lily is close to hitting her initial target of £3,000 – but she really needs your support as the project will only be funded if it reaches its goal!

Lily Clarke, member of #WeAreCambsCreatives, works full-time as a technology consultant and also runs a small illustration business, Lily In Space. Lily decided to self-publish her first illustrated children’s story so that she could write whilst continuing the career she enjoys deeply.

Hector’s Perfect Cake is a 28-page picture book about accepting that sometimes things just don’t go to plan.

Lily says: “Children can become fixated on ensuring everything they do is ‘perfect’, believing themselves to have failed if they are unable to achieve this. Hector’s Perfect Cake is a story that teaches children that perfection is not always as important as it might feel.”

THE STORY

Hector is baking a cake for his Granny and he’s determined that it’s going to be perfect. It’s almost finished, there’s just one more ingredient to add – peanut butter! But when Hector discovers that the jar is empty, he decides that he must head out to find some more, or else his perfect cake will be ruined. It’s not long until the party though, so he’ll have to be quick! As time begins to run out, Hector’s luck begins to run out too. He may have to accept that sometimes perfection just isn’t possible.

The campaign is live on Kickstarter until the end of July and you can pledge your support here. Choose to donate any amount or select from one of the project rewards which include signed paperback editions of the book itself and full-colour illustrated bookmarks based on the characters from the story. There are also activity packs and teacher resources available too!

A fixed-format eBook edition of the book will be created if the project hits £3,500 and it will also become available as an additional reward. Pledge for any of the rewards and you will have your name listed on a dedicated supporters page at the back of the book. Find out more at: hectors-perfect-cake.com


Keep up-to-date with what is happening across Cambridgeshire’s creative scene by subscribing to receive our latest news posts via email – and follow our #CambsCreativeScene tag on Instagram.

If you enjoy content from The Trove Cambridge then please consider supporting what we do by buying us a “coffee” at: ko-fi.com/thetrovecambridge

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Could you sew Scrubs for Cambridgeshire?

Sewists from across the county are joining forces to help make scrubs for our local NHS and healthcare workers! Groups have been established and they are still looking for volunteers to get involved to assist in producing these vital items for hospitals and other organisations across Cambridgeshire.

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust based in Cambridge have said: “To increase our provision of scrubs, we are asking the community to make scrubs and drop them off at the South entrance of the hospital.” They are encouraging anyone who is handy with a sewing machine to help out and have said there is no restriction on the colour or design of the material.

The pattern requirements can be found in the Scrub Hub document here.

Image Credit: Scrub Hub

Scrubs for Cambridgeshire, organised by local fashion and jewellery designer Gioconda Gomez (Gorgeous Little Things), is just one of the amazing community groups working together to help make a difference and support the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis.

Gio set out with the intention of creating and donating just 10 sets of scrubs but soon realised that the demand was very high and so reached out to students of her sewing club for help.

A Facebook group and fundraiser were also launched to help the group meet the requirements of Hinchingbrooke Hospital who were in need of over 100 scrub uniforms. Having raised over £2,000 in just 12 days, Scrubs for Cambridgeshire are now working to provide scrubs to other local hospitals and GP surgeries, including Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth – with the help of over 200 volunteers and supporters.

Image Credit: Jane Dean

Over on Instagram this week we have been following the #ScrubsForCambridgeshire project as well as Gio – who usually specialises in bridal and evening gowns – and other local creatives who have switched up their services in response to the pandemic.

Clare Szabo of River Elliot Bridal says: “So what does a dressmaker do when most of her work has been postponed? She makes scrubs. I’ve started on a mass production of scrubs to donate to the NHS.”

Clare also shared that she was able to make a special set of scrubs for her sister who works for the NHS – and that the donations received so far, which go towards buying fabric, are really helping the amazing workers on the frontline.

Image Credit: River Elliot Bridal
Image Credit: River Elliot Bridal

Frances Guinee of Frankie and the Sewing Machine who has been put in charge of making scrub hats says: “The demand is just crazy!” She has kindly shared the information you will need if you would like help out making scrub hats! You can find the printable pattern here and a video tutorial here.

Fran informs us that the fabric must be 100% cotton or polycotton, washable up to 60°C and not see through. She suggests you can use new or used bed sheets in good condition – and the fabric can be any colour or pattern. Please ensure you pre-wash any fabric at 60°C before you sew with it.

Image Credit: Frances Guinee

Cambridgeshire Scrub Hub is another group who are looking for volunteers and they are currently raising funds through a GoFundMe campaign. They say: “There is a now national shortage of scrubs and we are hoping that by setting up our own small local hub in Cambridgeshire, we can help at least some of the doctors who live and work close to us.”

The Cambridge Fabric Company, who are working alongside Make Cambridge Fashion School, say: “We have been blown away by all the amazing work our customers are doing to help the NHS. Masks, scrubs and wash bags are desperately needed and you guys are amazing. We are donating whatever we can – miles of elastic and cotton to help the cause.”

Katie, owner of the Cambridge-based fabric store, posted on social media earlier today saying that the response had been great but that more help is needed to meet the demands.

Kath, who is coordinating Make Cambridge’s effort, has received a request from the Stroke department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for a large quanity of scrubs and is asking for your help. You can find out more information by contacting her via email to: info@makecambridge.co.uk

Image Credit: Gioconda Gomez

Do you any experience with dressmaking or are you a seamstress that could offer your time over the coming weeks to help? Please consider reaching out to one of these groups to help with their efforts in supporting our incredible healthcare workers.

If you are a member of a group making scrubs that we have not mentioned – or if you are a local business who have risen to the challenge of manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) or other products – then do get in touch as we would love to share your story.

Keep up-to-date with what is happening across Cambridgeshire’s creative scene by subscribing to receive our latest news posts via email – and follow our #CambsCreativeScene tag on Instagram.

If you enjoy content from The Trove Cambridge then please consider supporting what we do by buying us a “coffee” at: ko-fi.com/thetrovecambridge

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You’re Invited: Virtual Launch Weekender

There’s just five days to go until our Bring It 2020 crowdfunding campaign ends – and we would like to invite you to celebrate the launch of The Trove Cambridge’s business venture with us online this weekend, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March 2020, over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Our plans to host a launch party were quickly put on hold when local events across the county started to be cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. We hope to plan an in-person launch event later this year – but in the meantime we are taking the party online and we would love for you to join us!

On Saturday and Sunday we will be running our virtual launch weekender across our social media channels. Over on Instagram stories we will be sharing content in collaboration with our #WeAreCambsCreatives members and we have prepared the templates below so that you can join in too! You can access and download all of the template files on Dropbox here – make sure you tag @thetrove_cambridge so that we can re-post:

We will also be posting prompts on both Facebook and Twitter, where you can join in by sharing your response and photos in the comments or as a response to the thread. You don’t have to be a member to join in – it would be great to see as many local residents, artists, designers, makers, small businesses and local creative organisations from across Cambridgeshire joining in as possible!

Not from Cambridgeshire but would like to take part? We invite you to join in the discussion – comment, like and share the posts – and we hope you discover more about The Trove Cambridge and our fantastic local creative scene.

RSVP on Facebook to the Virtual Launch Weekender

There will also be a Quiz on Sunday at 1pm! We have questions about Cambridgeshire, local public artworks and a few general knowledge questions in there too. You can send your answers to us via direct message on Facebook and Twitter – or join in over on Instagram stories.

There are prizes on offer for entries with the most correct answers and we will be randomly selecting five winners on Wednesday 1st April 2020 who will be sent a selection of products from our ‘Books & Bikes’ themed rewards. Winners will be contacted that day by direct message to claim their prize. Please note that this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social network.

We look forward to “seeing” you this weekend and if you have any questions please do get in touch! Be sure to RSVP to the Facebook event here – we will be posting updates in the lead up to the weekender.

You can read about our crowdfunding campaign and ongoing projects in the Cambridge Edition article that was published this morning – and head over to our Back Her Business page to pledge your support here.

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Membership Launch – Join Our Collective

The Trove Cambridge aims to provide an inclusive and supportive network for local creatives and creative organisations across Cambridgeshire through an affordable membership scheme. Save 50% on 2020 Membership Fees by signing up through our #BringIt2020 crowdfunding campaign!

#WeAreCambsCreatives is a forward-thinking collective of creative individuals, groups and organisations from across Cambridgeshire, UK. Membership is available to individuals who are residents of and groups or organisations based in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough) – as well as those just across the border with a CB or PE postcode.

We are inclusive of professionals, side-hustlers and hobbyists looking to promote their work and services. We welcome new and established members – from yarn-bombers to fine artists.

Take advantage of our exclusive offer only available to new members through our crowdfunding project if you pledge before 1pm on Monday 30th March 2020. Sign-up today for 12 months membership at just £30* – saving 50% on 2020 Membership Fees. You will receive your membership pack by Thursday 30th April 2020*  and your membership will go live on 1st May 2020.

*Due to the current uncertainties with COVID-19 there may be a slight delay in posting out membership packs and we will keep you updated regularly. We have also added an option to pay your £30 fee in two instalments – if you choose this option then you can pay just £15 upfront today. You will then be invoiced for the final instalment on 1st July 2020.

Member benefits include: a member profile integrated into our website – see an example here; a welcome pack; social media promotion; content collaboration opportunities and priority access to networking events organised by The Trove Cambridge​.

This week we announced a collaboration with marketing consultancy The Creative Strides who we are pleased to be welcoming on board as a community partner. #WeAreCambsCreatives members can access exclusive offers through their membership including a range of discounted services from our partners.


Active members will also be added to a directory listing in our #CambsCreativeScene magazine launching in 2020. We are excited to be working on this project with one of our members – Cambridge-based illustrator, graphic designer and printmaker Dario Fisher.

We anticipate a production of between 2,000 and 10,000 copies of the first issue launching in June 2020 – which will be distributed to the public and businesses across the county!

Members are invited to join our private Facebook group where we will keep you updated throughout your membership and let you know about opportunities and events. We encourage you to get to know other #WACC members and get involved in the weekly threads. You will also receive access to inspiring content and tips for promoting your work across social media.

Follow our @WeAreCambsCreatives account on Instagram:


Are you interested in joining the collective? You can find out more about our membership offer here including member profile requirements – and sign-up today through our crowdfunding project here! If you have any questions please do get in touch.

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'Books & Bikes' Treasures Box Launch

Through our Bring It 2020 crowdfunding project we have launched a limited edition Treasures Box which is themed ‘Books & Bikes’ – a lovingly curated gift box featuring high quality prints and products from five local artists. A celebration of our beautiful city Cambridge, this box is available to buy for £40 (including p&p) until 1pm on Monday 30th March 2020.

By buying a box you will be supporting both the launch of our business venture and the artists themselves, with a proportion of your pledge going directly to the contributors; Naomi Davies, Alison Hullyer, Snowtap, Maureen Mace and Lily In Space.

Funds from the crowdfunding campaign will support an ongoing project to support local artists, designers and makers from across Cambridgeshire through the launch of an online shop.

You can also find the ‘Books’ Treasures Bundle or ‘Bikes’ Treasures Bundle reward options which are available to backers for just £25 (including p&p) – find out what prints and products are included here.

‘Books & Bikes’ Treasures Box

Buy now: ‘Books & Bikes’ Treasures Box – £40 (including p&p)

WHAT’S INSIDE THE BOX?

– 1 x A6 ‘Bridge Street Bike’ Greetings Card by Alison Hullyer

– 1 x A6 ‘Tree of Knowledge’ Greetings Card by Maureen Mace

– 1 x ‘Book Badger’ Wooden Pin by Lily In Space

– 1 x ‘Bikes’ Tea Towel by Alison Hullyer

– 1 x Coaster by Naomi Davies – Various Designs

– 1 x A5 ‘Blue Tits in the Library’ Print by Lily In Space

– 1 x A4 ‘Snow Leopard Reading’ Print by Snowtap

MEET THE ARTISTS

“Born and bred in Cambridge, only straying to Newcastle for my degree in Graphic Design, I now work full time as a professional printmaker and illustrator. My work is inspired by patterns in nature such as skeletal winter trees, pebbles, seed heads and the birds I see on my daily dog walks. I also incorporate chine-collé, silver leaf and relief printing into some of my drypoint prints. I have a range of cards, coasters and tea towels which I supply to many shops, including Anglesey Abbey, Houghton Mill and Wicken Fen.” — ALISON HULLYER

“In early 2016, whilst having a catch-up coffee in Kings Cross, the idea to form a collaborative venture and work for ourselves came about. Less than a month later, we took the plunge and launched Snowtap in Cambridge with two greeting cards. We now have over 60 card designs and are stocked in shops across the UK. We sell our original illustrations at markets and fairs throughout the year, including the All Saints Craft Market in Cambridge every Saturday, and work on bespoke projects for people all over the world. Specialising in watercolour and gouache, line drawing, printmaking and collage, together we create whimsical illustrations, handmade coasters, cards and screen printed apparel, all inspired by the extraordinary natural world.” — SNOWTAP

“I live in Cambridge and spend my time painting and teaching art in my studio. I feel very lucky to be able to pursue my dream and love welcoming people to see my paintings and to inspire others to paint. You can find out about my tuition over at Cambridge Art Classes. The beautiful historic city of Cambridge full of cows, scholars and learning is a huge influence in my work. I add rich night skies, a shining moon, a taste of Medieval Art and this forms the basis for my intricate, detailed, dream like paintings full of stories. The results are magical and slightly surreal.” — MAUREEN MACE

“Drawing has been a compulsion and a comfort all my life. I had an unusual childhood travelling the world, and drawing was my constant. Once I moved to Cambridge to study history when I was 18, I knew I had finally found my home. Most of my drawing and painting celebrates the beautiful city I feel so lucky to live in. I generally work in pen. I like concise lines and like to record what I see, not what I want to see. It’s there, and my fingers start itching to record it. I think that’s the historian in me. I then use watercolour to add colour and vibrancy to my lines.” — NAOMI DAVIES

“I’ve been a Cambridgeshire-dweller from the start, having spent the first 18 years of my life in Peterborough. I then spent five years studying for my Physics degree in York, where I decided to set up a small business to keep myself creatively fulfilled during her 3rd year. Not one to stay out of Cambridgeshire for long, I decided to return to the county after graduating, and I now work as a physics consultant in Cambridge. I run my business in my free time, and I love how varied my life has become!” — LILY IN SPACE

#CambsCreativeTreasures

In 2014 we started to use and promote the hashtag #CambsCreativeTreasures on Instagram which has just hit an incredible 10,000 shares! It has been amazing to see hundreds of local creatives and creative organisations from across the county joining in and sharing their work and discoveries with us.

To celebrate hitting this milestone we are running a competition. If you become a backer of this project and pledge any amount from £1 you will be entered for the chance to win a bundle of our new merchandise – find out more here.

Follow @CambsCreativeTreasures on Instagram
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The Trove Cambridge – Bring It 2020

Stephanie Stott, founder of Cambridgeshire’s online creative hub is crowdfunding to launch The Trove Cambridge as a business venture through which she aims to better connect local creatives, creative organisations and the community.

Stephanie has been developing The Trove Cambridge over the last six years and through a very exciting opportunity with Natwest and Crowdfunder as part of their Back Her Business campaign and Bring It 2020 competition she is on her way to realising her dream career.

What started out as a personal blog is now an alternative platform to showcase the work and services of local creatives and creative organisations across the county.

Stephanie invites you to explore Cambridgeshire’s creative scene – whether you are looking to sign up for a creative workshop, attend an upcoming exhibition, find a printing or framing service, or buy a gift from a local artisan, The Trove Cambridge aims to help you find what it is you are looking for and to spark your curiosity.

Meet Stephanie Stott, Founder of The Trove Cambridge

After a very successful start, raising 50% of her initial crowdfunding target in just the first week, Stephanie is creating a buzz in the local community – with support from local artists, designers, makers, businesses and residents across Cambridgeshire:

“Since [Stephanie] first introduced [herself] to me at one of my open studio events a few years ago, [she has] been such a wonderful ambassador and support to our growing community.” — Sue Rapley, Local Artist/Member of #WeAreCambsCreatives

“What [Stephanie’s] doing enriches the community and showcases so many amazing artists that would otherwise go unseen.” — Stephanie Brown, Cambridgeshire Resident

“Empowering small business is the future. It is tough being a small business owner and what Stephanie from the Trove Cambridge is doing is so exciting, allowing us small businesses to flourish. Thank you Stephanie for taking this giant leap.” — Nadia Williams, Owner of Rosa May Crafts/Member of #WeAreCambsCreatives

“Love everything [Stephanie does] – an excellent business idea that supports other amazing businesses.” — Charlotte Steggall, Local Resident/Founder of The Ganburu Guide

Through the crowdfunding project Stephanie has launched a limited edition Treasures Box which is themed ‘Books & Bikes’ – a lovingly curated gift box featuring high quality prints and products from local artists; Naomi Davies, Alison Hullyer, Snowtap, Maureen Mace and Lily In Space. A celebration of our beautiful city Cambridge, this box is available to buy for £40.

Funds from the campaign will support an ongoing project to support local artists, designers and makers from across Cambridgeshire through the launch of an online shop.

Buy now: ‘Books & Bikes’ Treasures Box – £40 (including p&p)

The Trove Cambridge has also launched a new membership offer inviting local creatives and creative organisations to join their #WeAreCambsCreatives collective.

#WeAreCambsCreatives is a supportive and inclusive community of professionals, side-hustlers and hobbyists looking to promote their work and services. The Trove Cambridge welcomes new and established members, from yarn-bombers to fine artists.

Stephanie is seeking support from local business sponsors to enable her to launch the first issue of #CambsCreativeScene – a magazine which will be distributed to the public and local businesses from June 2020. She is working alongside local illustrator, graphic designer and printmaker Dario Fisher to bring this publication to life.

The Trove Cambridge Illustration Commission by Snowtap

Although she has now achieved over 70% of her initial funding target, Stephanie is hoping to raise at least £5,000 by 1pm on Monday 30th March 2020 to support a number of ongoing projects which will not only provide benefits to the local creative community but the wider Cambridgeshire community too.

As part of Natwest’s Bring It 2020 competition she is also in for the chance of winning a prize of £10,000 to invest in this business venture. You can support this crowdfunding project by donating any amount (from just £1) or selecting from one of the fantastic rewards available.

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