The award will begin in May 2012. This funding will be used to keep our part-time administrator in her post, a role vital to keeping the building open and supporting all the community groups who use The Mill every week. This is the only paid role we have with everything else now being run entirely by volunteers.
The award comes at an important time for The Mill, as its participation in Nesta’s Neighbourhood Challenge Programme comes to an end. The initial grant from Nesta, made in February 2011 to the Blackhorse Action Group residents’ association, helped fund The Mill in its early days and during its crucial first year to employ a small number of staff (John, Tash & Nathan), who worked with volunteers to get the centre up and running as quickly as possible.
At the end of the financial year for 2012 half of Nesta’s funding had been spent on the staffing required to deliver the objectives set for The Mill’s as part of the Neighbourhood Challenge award. A small surplus is likely to be carried forward to help meet costs as The Mill builds on the achievements of its first year.
Our first annual accounts are currently being prepared for audit and submitting to and publication by Companies House and The Charity Commission (well in advance of the January 2013 deadline).
Mo Gallaccio, Mill trustee and co-chair:
“Comic Relief funding is very competitive, and we see this award as a big vote of confidence in The Mill and its work. Local people have put in so much effort to make The Mill such a success in its first twelve months, and this is great news as we plan into the future.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of The Mill. We owe our place at the heart of the community to all the people who have lent us their time and expertise, and I’m delighted for everyone who is part of the project”.
A Comic Relief Local Communities Fund spokesperson told us:
“[We] were so impressed with what you have achieved so far and know there’s a lot more potential for The Mill yet”.
Details of the Comic Relief Local Fund are available from http://www.comicrelief.com/apply-for-a-grant/programmes/local-communities
The programme provides grants for community projects and sports projects that empower local people and enable them to make lasting change in their communities.
Grants are made of between £1000 – £10,000. Priority will be given to small, locally based groups and organisations in areas of disadvantage. Funding applications to: increase local services; build skills of local people; increase community cohesion; respond to local economic needs; increase access to sport and exercise for people who face social exclusion and isolation.