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Project’s huge popularity drains stocks and forces it to delay official launch party

One of the Thame Equipment Bank Marquees that featured at the Thame Food Festival, as a pop-up bar. Picture from Sonja Francis

One of the Thame Equipment Bank Marquees that featured at the Thame Food Festival, as a pop-up bar. Picture from Sonja Francis

The success of an innovative community project has forced it to delay its official launch.

The Thame Equipment Bank hires out equipment to charities, schools, community organisations and individuals so they can put on events.

After only a matter of weeks community groups in and around the town had hired out all the equipment, leaving the project team without anything to show off at their planned launch event at the end of July.

Far from being disappointed at having to delay the launch, 21st Century Thame, which is delivering the project, said it was delighted the equipment was in such high demand.

Michele Pethers, one of the project leaders, said: “This project is a success thanks to the support and commitment of organisations like the Chinnor Rugby Club and specifically Linda Conafray who has volunteered an inordinate amount of time to getting this project off the ground.”

The equipment offered by the project was compiled after consulting with a range of local organisations to be sure it met their needs. Included in the bank are round and rectangle tables, a PA systems, marquees, gazebos, bunting, traffic cones, a trailer, generators, chairs, litter pickers, high visibility tabards and much more.

The project is run on a not-for-profit basis, with any surplus income being ploughed back into the equipment, its maintenance and administration. 21st Century Thame has been working on the project for more than two years. After initial funding was withdrawn, the group had to search for £30,000. Eventually a grant was awarded by the Leader programme and this was matched by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The launch will take place later this year. For more information visit www.thameequipmentbank.co.uk

 

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