How one York man plans to save Greece with €1.6bn crowdfunding campaign

Thom Feeney, ready to bear gifts to the Greeks
30 Jun 2015 @ 5.37 pm
| News

He may be more than 2,000 miles away, but that isn’t stopping one 29-year-old man from York helping the people of Greece.

Fed up of “dithering” politicians, former Fulford School student Thom Feeney is taking matters into his own hands – and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise more than €1.6 billion (£1.1 billion) to lift the Greek people out of debt.

Thom, who grew up on Hull Road, reckons there is “every chance” the campaign could reach its total.

He hopes he can talk to the Greek government once the target has been reached.

He told YorkMix:

I would be happy for them to take the money and put that to good use by rescuing the Greek economy.

But I’d also be interested in talking about how we can use that to stimulate the promises and how we could use that to stimulate the economy at a more personal level, helping people into jobs and creating more products.

Give Greece a chance

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Photograph © Zagreb1234 on Wikimedia Commons
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Photograph © Zagreb1234 on Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of people have so far pledged money to the IndieGoGo campaign, which must reach its goal by Sunday, when the people of Greece head to the polls.

In less than 48 hours it had brought in more than €220,000 from 14K people. At one point so many people were visiting the Indiegogo page crashed, and by 8am on Wednesday morning more than €500,000 had been pledged.

If it fails to reach its target no one pays anything.

Those who do donate are being offered a range of perks.

  • Donate €3 and you get a postcard from the Greek Prime Minister Alex Tspiras
  • Donate €6 you get Greek feta and olive salad.
  • A “super-rich kind-hearted person” who gives €1,000,000 will get all the perks and a lot of “gratitude from the citizens of Europe”.

Thom, who currently lives in Bethnal Green, London, and works in a shoe shop, said the idea of perks was about “stimulating the economy through trade”.

“There are lots of Greek products that we all love and enjoy,” he said.

“That might provide the incentive to get involved in this campaign.”

30 Greek women want to be friends

How to help

Pledge what you can on Thom’s Greek Bailout Indiegogo page

Support the campaign via @GreekBailout on Twitter with the hashtag #crowdfundgreece

One of the highest pledges made is €5,000, and that person is set to receive an all inclusive break to Athens for 2 – if the campaign reaches it target.

One of the smallest donations is a frugal €1, but Thom is encouraging everyone to donate no matter how much.

I haven’t done a great deal of promotion. I contacted a few journalists over Twitter on Sunday night and then from there, it’s just been people getting in touch with me.

I’ve not spoken to anybody Greek just yet. I’ve had thousands of well-wishers on Twitter and a few emails.

I actually woke up this morning to thirty friend requests from Greek women on Facebook.

– Thom Feeney

Thom moved to London two and a half years ago with his girlfriend who is also from York.

He was born and raised in the city before going to university in Lancaster. He worked on the Mystery Plays in 2012 at the York Theatre Royal, where he was the press and media manager.

Thom’s campaign has spread across the globe, with reports in national and international media and an interview with the BBC World Service.