Not only did we reach our target, we smashed it! Was it easy? Well there were a few moments that I was pretty nervous.
When I started the project I knew that social media would be the key to success. The TRF has about 3,500 members and beyond that there are far more trail riders that use green roads, maybe 10,000. My aim was to get 1,000 people to donate £10. Out of 13,500 people that doesn't sound so hard does it?
We made a short snappy film to get the ball rolling and help people understand the situation and what we are trying to do. It was purposefully emotive as we wanted it to be shared on Facebook. This really helped, it's very difficult to get people do part with cash. The donations started to come it, it was exciting to see the figure going up, from £10, to £150 to £1500. I think I had hoped that we would reach our target on our first few days with is pretty unrealistic really, we rounded off at about £3000ish. At this point I realised that we were going to have to try a lot harder. I put a plan in place to create new media every week to help keep attention on the campaign and inspire people to get involved.
One of the most surprising elements was that all of a sudden we had non-TRF members donating. Trail riders, ex trail riders and 4x4 users seemed to latch on to the idea that Hexham Lane was worth making a stand over, not just against DCC but all authorities.
I think this has been one of the biggest successes of the project so far, that the TRF is spearheading a campaign to save a lane but all of a sudden we have the weight of a far wider user group behind us. The Just Giving site encourages you to leave a message to go with your donation - how much value can you put on this? It's massive!