As 2017 draws to a close one of our secrets to success has been the support we’ve had from far and wide following our crowdfunding campaign and the link to the Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club. Set up by Sarah and Barney Storey in 2016 the club operates nationally as a vehicle to help spread the word about the charity which raises funds to buy diagnostic equipment for NHS Hospitals in the North-West of England. Such has been the success of this fundraising the charity has plans to expand nationally and so with the support of the cycling club, it is hoped this will happen very soon.

The unique link between the crowdfunders, club members and Storey Racing has meant that each and every person involved is helping to fund the team, as Barney Storey explains, “So frequently Sarah and I would have people say that they’d love to be able to help us by paying for something for the team but didn’t have sufficient money to be a sponsor. It made us think that if these people all donated collectively we’d have a sizeable sum, so that’s when the crowdfunding idea started.”

More than 70 people donated, and thus became members of the BOBC Cycling Club, raising more than £5000 which allowed the team to create some additional plans for team riders on top of what had been funded by team sponsors.

Sarah Storey explained why the crowdfunding had been important, “As a small team we are very frugal to make our valuable sponsor money go as far as possible but there’s always plans in the pipeline for times when additional finance is found. The crowdfunders all know they are providing extras that make our riders experience even better and that provides a feel good factor.”

In 2017 the crowdfunding allowed the team to have a training camp in the Lake District which minimised travel during a busy period of Tour Series racing, it also allowed Beth Crumpton to expand her plans for the Cyclocross season by providing funds for her to fly to the USA and race earlier than she would have done in previous cross seasons. This early start meant she hit the ground running for the domestic cross season and now enters 2018 as leader of the National Trophy. It was also possible to add additional training days to a couple races so as to ensure good course recons had been carried out. One of these was for the Tour de Yorkshire event, preparation which proved vital as the team succeeded as the highest ranked amateur team at the event.

Every donation from £20 receives a membership to the Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club, whilst donations of £50, £150 or £300 from individuals saw their names appear in 3 different sizes on the rear panel of the Storey Racing Motorhome. Small businesses who wished to get involved donated from £500 and had their names at the top of the rear panel.

“It’s been a popular way to get fans involved,” continued Sarah. “Everyone genuinely wants to play their part in supporting talented cyclists and giving them the best possible experience and opportunity. I think it’s a really nice connection to have fans and small businesses who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to be a sponsor.”

A number of the donors also pledged their own time to assist the team in other ways, such as Jasvinder and Samantha Jugdev of Thirty-Three Dental in Witney who will be providing dental screenings during the HMT medical screenings in January. Ian Baggott of Community First Partnership attended events to take pictures of the team in action whilst Ian Emmerson and Tracey Wilkinson arranged for the team to be involved with some PR and media and a course recon for Tour of the Wolds a new event for 2017 in Louth. Pete Stanton underwrites the costs of the Women’s Cicle Classic which was a favourite of the team during the racing calendar and where staff from Cafe Ventoux in Leicestershire turned out to assist with in car mechanical support and on the numerous off road sectors. Colin Baldwin, himself a president of his own Southport Cycling Club,  supported as soigneur during the Tour de Yorkshire.

So many of the donors also turned out to cheer for the riders and it was a great buzz to be able to show them their names emblazoned on the Motorhome. Alan Collins of Portsmouth North End Cycling Club won the prize for managing to get to more events than anyone else! In addition other members of the Boot Out Breast Cancer loaned their time for taking pictures at events, or working with the riders. Mark Jones turned out for the team with his camera at Stoke on Trent and Northwich Tour Series and Rosie Crumpton played a huge part as a soigneur around her University studies.

In addition the support on social media has been immense with good luck messages and congratulations pouring in from every part of the UK.

“It’s been a real team effort,” said Barney. “We’ve met some amazing people as a result of reaching out with this crowdfunder and it’s really helped the riders knowing so many people are keen to see them succeed.”

Plans for the crowdfunder to be repeated in 2018 are already in the pipeline with a great many of the 2017 supporters already pledging again.

If anyone else would like to be involved please email StoreyRacing@talktalk.net and check out this link for a list of businesses and individuals who donated in 2017.