Tuesday 7th May, 2013

Celebrating CUP Partnership

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Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury) and Dame Mary Archer were amongst the guests at an event celebrating Romsey Mill’s two years as Cambridge University Press’ Nominated Charity.

For the past two years, Romsey Mill has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Cambridge University Press as their nominated charity. This drew to a close on 30th April and has been extremely valuable for us, both in terms of financial and in-kind support.

Cambridge University Press has supported Romsey Mill’s work (particularly focusing on the educational element of our work) with donations, gifts and services, lots of enthusiastic staff volunteers and some ingenious fundraising initiatives.

In celebration of this successful partnership, Cambridge University Press hosted a wonderful evening of drinks and canapés on Wednesday 24th April at their Museum. This included the opportunity to hear from young people about the very real difference that Romsey Mill is making in their lives.

The highlight of the evening was hearing from two of the 3500 young people, children and families that we work with each year.  Tom Groome, aged 16, who is about to take his GCSEs as part of our Alternative Education programme ‘Step-Up’, overcame nerves to tell guests,

“Romsey Mill cared about my education but they also cared about me, giving chances I wouldn’t have had.”

“Romsey Mill has taught me that other people know what they’re talking about. It’s not all about me. I’ve learned to listen to what other people have to say.”

“When I started off in year 10, I used to have so many mood changes; I’d flip out and throw chairs and stuff like that. Now I’ve calmed down a lot and it feels like I’m going to get somewhere.”

Guests also heard from 22-year-old dad, Jonny Allen, who has benefitted from support from Romsey Mill’s Young Fathers’ Worker, Ben Wilkes, through complex court processes.  “It has helped a lot because without a Young Fathers’ Worker I would never have known how to get access to my daughter. I also had someone to talk to and get advice.”  With Romsey Mill’s help, Jonny was able to find work and is now an assistant leader on our ‘Reboot’ course, helping other young people to prepare for finding work.