Millwall Community Trust - Message from Chair of Trustees
As I write these notes I remember drafting them this time last year and speaking about how, having come through a period of uncertainty that threatened the future existing of the Trust, there were significant grounds for optimism. If 2019 was the year of consolidation, 2020 was designed to be the year of growth and commencement of our three year strategy, aligned to the redevelopment of The Den and the opportunities that this presented to even further extend our reach and impact. Sadly, through no lack of effort or application, these plans, like so many in all of our personal and professional lives, were thrown into chaos as a result of the pandemic. The fixture in March versus Derby County was intended to be a celebration of our work – our first Community Trust Day event – which would not only showcase the programmes we deliver but also open up new income streams. The Club had kindly agreed to donate a proportion of the ticket sales from the match. This was on Saturday 14th March 2020, our first fixture postponed when professional football stopped.
Following the decision to enter lockdown we were affected like many other businesses. Staff were furloughed, our income reduced, and activities had to be cancelled. But we quickly recognised that it was at times like this that our work took on even more significance, and so we set about delivering what we could with our reduced resources and ensuring that safety could be maintained. The Board of Trustees is immensely proud of the positive impact we have continued to have on our community and the dedication of our staff to continue to provide what we class as essential services. These have included those activities for which we are well known, but also new initiatives such as those designed to ensure that those who are there for us in the NHS get the support they need. Our Hospital Heroes programme seeks to do just that, and we are delighted to be able to say thank you on all of our behalf to recognise the efforts that NHS staff have gone to.
It is because of the work undertaken in 2019, led so ably by our Chief Executive Sean Daly, that despite 2020 being nothing like we hoped or expected, we maintain our optimism going forward and we do so on a sound footing. There will be even greater need for the work of the Community Trust in 2021 and beyond as the longer term impact of the pandemic starts to be felt. We will be ready for this challenge.
I would like to place on record my thanks to Sean and his team, the club for their unwavering support and, of course, my fellow trustees.
With best wishes for 2021.