Strutts North Mill has been accepted onto East Midlands Museum Service's 'Stronger Museums' programme, supported by Arts Council England.
Tom Wyke, Fund Raising and Volunteer Support Officer, and myself as manager have just spent two days in the beautiful surroundings of Launde Abbey in Leicestershire.
This residential start to the programme has given us a chance to meet people from the other museums included in the programme and the mentors we will be working with.
It has been an inspiring and interesting couple of days. Lots to process and think about. We even have homework!
The Abbey is normally a retreat centre, and the peace and tranquility was emphasised by the absence of phone signal and wifi, though there were some hot spots for those who really needed them. I was sent to a tree stump across a field of sheep to find one!
The food was fantastic, including the afternoon break's cream scones.
Not only was there a ha ha, but there was also an honesty bar.
On a more serious note, a lot of hard work was done and I know we came away with a clearer focus for the future and a better understanding of how we might achieve that.
And the buzz word for the two days was 'friend-raising' alongside fund-raising.