Green’s Windmill Trust has won a UK award for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The charity was one of four winners at the UK Charity Governance Awards 2021, which were announced during a special online ceremony. The winning charities each took home the prize of a £5,000 unrestricted grant.
Green’s Windmill Trust of Nottingham won the prize for the best response to the pandemic (the category ‘COVID-19 Response: Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk’). The Trust, which operates Green’s Windmill and Science Centre in Nottingham, was praised for its vital role supplying the local community with flour during the shortages of the first lockdown in 2020. Over five months when it had to remain closed as a visitor attraction, the fully-restored 19th-century mill fulfilled 830 flour orders – five times the amount it produces in a normal year. On one notable day, the historic mill ran for an unprecedented 16 hours to take advantage of a good wind. The local community had not been as reliant on the windmill for their flour since the 1800s.
Jamie Duff for Green’s Windmill Trust, said, “What an honour it is to receive this award. I think back now to the meeting we had as a group when the first lockdown was announced to discuss the closure of the site. It was ironic of course that the meeting kept being interrupted by the ringing of the phone and the ordering of flour! And it was clear from then that we couldn’t close entirely. The demand has been overwhelming at times but making flour is what we work for and enjoy doing so we’re just really grateful that we’ve been able to make a difference. It wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing board of trustees. As we’re classed as a museum it would have been very easy for them to close the site, but that’s not what they’re about. They champion innovation and creativity to meet their charitable objectives and aims, so carrying on and keeping milling ensured we could still have a positive impact on local lives, just in a different way to before. Being recognised for our efforts with this prestigious award rounds off what has been a challenging year. We’d like to say thanks to all the judges and organisers of the awards and to everyone who supported us during the lockdowns. This award means so much to us”
The online ceremony featured a ‘keynote’ from guest speaker Ndidi Okezie OBE, CEO of UK Youth, ahead of the announcement of the four winners from the 13-strong shortlist. Other winners included the Muslim Women’s Network UK, TLC (Talk, Listen, Change) and EdUKaid. Stories of all of the winning charities, and the shortlisted entrants, can be found at www.charitygovernanceawards.co.uk.
Michael Jarvis, who chairs the Awards for the organisers The Clothworkers’ Company, said, “Many congratulations to the winners – and to all the nominees for making it onto the shortlist – each one of them has shown ingenuity and determination during one of the most difficult periods we’ve known.
“All charities have experienced once-in-a-lifetime challenges during the COVID pandemic – these winners, and nominees, show us all what is possible and how creative thinking, innovative programmes and committed investment can help the sector continue to deliver for its beneficiaries. I urge all charities to read about these inspiring boards on our website – sharing ideas and best practice can help raise the bar for excellence across the sector.”
Posted on 01 June 2021