Vix and Neil want to make a difference with 500 Club plan

Neil Worrell and Vix Pritchard-Davies, Brixham fund-raisers

Neil Worrell and Vix Pritchard-Davies - Credit: Submitted

A fund-raising couple who have literally lit up a community with their ideas have come up with their biggest venture yet.

Neil Worrell and Vicky Pritchard-Davies are  behind Lighting Up Brixham which has raised money for national charities and Brixham town improvements. Now they are turning their attention on the whole Bay

Vix was born and has lived in Brixham all of her life. She spent 25 years working at the Quayside Hotel. Neil is an architect who moved to the town in 2012 and refurbished St Peter’s Church (now Fisherman’s Church), then ran and restored The Golden Hind until 2019. 

In three years Lighting Up Brixham have put up signs, seasonal lights, a mural and created Brixham’s Walk of Fame on the Breakwater with over 400 names commissioned so far.

They heard about a charity club run by London radio producer Nic Perrins, which was designed to raise money for local causes. They decided to create a new club which replicates Nic’s successful structure. His club has already distributed £50,000 in the past two years.

The Torbay 500 Club will entail 500 people signing up as members and setting up a bank standing order for £1. The fund creates £500 per week for distribution with the 'little community of 500' keeping an ear out for local people, friends, neighbours, colleagues, worthy causes, local charities etc which can be nominated for the £500.

Neil and Vix say: "Each week a small group of admins will sift through the nominations and decide who gets the cash that week – a decision made by a majority vote.
​"All funds received are given away  – other identical schemes have received many positive comments and have changed lives with gestures of kindness and cash. £500 might not sound like a lot nowadays, but when you need it and have no means of funding it, it’s massive."

They have agreed that causes should be nominated from across Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. 

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They have contributed £5,000 from proceeds of the Walk of Fame project as ‘initial set-up money’ for the new fund. 

Members will invited to join a private Facebook group where they will be kept informed of news, progress and nominations.

The fund is open and will make its first cash contribution on Easter Monday, with weekly donations thereafter.

The money will be used to 'do good' every week. Examples of other club donations include an emergency plane ticket for a girl who needed to get to Australia to see her sick parents' a contribution to the rebuilding of a houseboat that was gutted in a fire leaving its owners injured and homeless; filling freezers with food, kitting out a children’s sensory room, paying rent, even buying a TV for local paramedics who didn’t have one in their restroom

The admin panel is a small group of professional people, each of whom Viz amd Neil have known for a number of years. No cash will be handed out until the majority of the admin panel is agreed on the recipient. The fund will be  transparent and the venture will be a Community Interest Company.

Neil says: "‘We’re committed to making this a success and improving people’s lives. It sounds like a hugely positive and inspired idea to us – we hope that many others will join this exciting new club."

Vix says ‘I’ve always liked to help others and to make a difference Together we can help people in the Bay. It’s a simple idea and we can’t wait see the difference that it will make in the Bay and to people’s lives."

Neil adds: ‘I love the idea of ‘charity beginning at home’. It’s truly inspiring and thrilling to make and see local improvements."

For more information contact Neil Worrell (07565 962229)or Vix Pritchard-Davies (07403 295810).

Anybody can join (there is a 500 limit) Go to www.Torbay500.com. Nominations can be by emailing Torbay500@gmail.com.