Whitchurch Silk Mill has won a £1,000 Movement for Good award thanks to nominations from the public.
The Mill is one of 500 winners in specialist insurer Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good awards, which is giving £1million to charities this summer.
Whitchurch Silk Mill is a 200-year-old Grade II* textile mill on the River Test in the small Hampshire town of Whitchurch. It is the only example in Britain of a working silk mill open to the public, where visitors can watch skilled workers operating historic machinery. At what is usually the Mill’s busiest time of year, they closed to join the national effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Mill is funded by visitors’ admission fees and income from the sale of gifts and refreshments; normally 30,000 people visit every year to see this unique working museum. The closure means the Mill has lost vital income. The Mill is now at great risk – a risk that increases with every day that we remain closed. The donation from the Movement for Good will help us preserve living silk weaving heritage at the Mill and re-open when the Government allow museums to open.
Members of the public were invited to nominate causes close to their hearts, with 500 gifts of £1,000 available for donation. 13,695 charities were nominated by an amazing 253,879 members of the public.
Sue Tapliss, Mill Director said: “Thank you to everyone who voted for the Mill, they have helped us get a step closer to saving this unique working museum. The Mill was recently transformed by a major restoration project which also created a modern visitor experience. The closure due to Covid19, while necessary, means we will have fewer visitors than we need to survive, and with very little in reserve to reopen, the Mill is at great risk.”
Mark Hews, group chief executive at Ecclesiastical, said: “We would like to thank every single person who took the time to nominate a good cause as part of our Movement for Good awards. Ecclesiastical is a unique financial services group. We are owned by a charity which means all available profits can be given to the good causes that are so important to our customers. As a company whose purpose is to contribute to the greater good of society, charitable giving is at the heart of our business. We know that £1,000 can make a huge difference to the incredible work that charities do and we’re looking forward to seeing how this financial boost will change lives for the better.”
You can find out more about the campaign to save the Mill on their Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/supportwhitchurchsilkmill