Thursday, 9 July 2015

First shift at the Mill

Introducing Tom, fund raiser, volunteer supporter and handy with a mop and bucket!
My name is Tom Wyke and I arrived this week at the Strutt’s North Mill ready to start work as the new ‘Fundraising and Volunteer Support Officer’. On approaching the building I was struck by the thought of the large numbers of Belper residents, just like me, that must have arrived at the Mill for over two hundred years. My first couple of days have been good ones, meeting new colleagues and volunteers who each showed their passion for the Mill and helped to highlight again, through their enthusiasm, the importance of the heritage of the Mill. It was encouraging to see the different roles volunteers have, as on arrival there was a maintenance team fixing doors and cleaning carpets. It was also great to be shown around the Mill site again, by Mary, and get a feel for the place, as well as discuss further my new role and ideas with Nicky the Mill Manager. I even leant a hand with a couple of volunteers as we tried to clean up a flood in the basement, which showed me just how dedicated and flexible in their roles Belper North Mill volunteers are. Moving onto what I’m here to do. The priorities for my new role are: 1. Scoping fundraising opportunities and developing a sustainable fundraising strategy 2. Supporting current volunteers and recruiting additional volunteers, through developing the volunteer experience at the Mill. 3. Working with the Trust, the staff and the volunteers to develop ideas of how to raise funds independently. I’m excited to be involved in such an important project, and even more excited to be in a position to encourage more people to get involved in a variety of ways. I’m grateful to the Arts Council England for funding this role, as we seek to develop a more sustainable and financially secure museum that is embedded in the community, and a place that continues to be enjoyed by visitors, staff and volunteers alike.

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