A GROUP of Brixham pirates have signed up to a new online giving site thanks to help from celebrity entrepreneur Marcelle Speller.
Marcelle, of Channel 4's Secret Millionaire fame, recently launched Localgiving.com in Devon.
The site, for small charities and community groups, aims to transform the way people donate money to local causes.
Brixham Buccaneers, run by 17 volunteers, is one of the first such groups to sign up to the new scheme, giving them the chance to receive online donations and Gift Aid.
With their regular pirate festivals and activity days, the buccaneers attract thousands of visitors to the port every year.
Chairman Nigel James said: "The pirate festival has become a really important way of bringing the community together but costs up to £10,000 for us to stage each year.
"Localgiving.com is a fantastic way for us to tell more people about what we do and provide an easy way for them to support us online — something we've never been able to do before.
"We're delighted to be part of this exciting new venture."
Dotcom millionaire Marcelle, who made her fortune through co-founding the Holiday Rentals website, wanted to use her expertise to help small local charities and voluntary groups get online and provide an easy and rewarding way for people to find and give to local causes and make a real difference to their local communities.
Localgiving.com is owned equally by the Ardback Foundation and the Community Foundation Network, a group of 56 local charities tacking social exclusion by supporting grassroots community groups.
Devon Community Foundation, which has given £7million to small groups over the last seven years, is working with Localgiving.com to identify, vet and monitor small charities, voluntary and community groups in Devon signing up to the website.
Martha Wilkinson, chief executive of Devon Community Foundation, said: "It is a fantastic way to raise the awareness of the incredible work these small groups do in our communities and help them gain direct support from local people."
Community groups wishing to register for a three-month trial should phone Lucy George Foster at Devon Community Foundation on 01884 235887 or visit www.localgiving. com