Hi, my name is Helen Bigham and I’m the newly appointed Business Development Manager at The Mill. Here is a bit about me, I look forward to hearing your story and how we can work together.
My role is a new one at The Mill with a focus on generating money to support our recently launched marketing strategy for the next five years. Our aims for this include getting people together, getting involved, getting creative and to support improving our space. I’ll be looking at funding opportunities to refurbish the building. My work will not be in isolation as I hope to build on the many internal and external partnership already firmly in place.
I first found out about The Mill a couple of years ago when in my last post as the Charity Manager at Waltham Forest Dyslexia Association I had to find a room to host a monthly adult dyslexia group. Working with The Mill to get the group up and running I saw first hand what makes The Mill so unique – not just the place with the home-made solid wooden tables to the honesty library to the artwork on display. But also the warm welcome and dedicated ‘can do’ attitude of the staff and volunteers. Everyone’s commitment and willingness for this community space to be available for local people to run activities that address gaps that they’d identified as needed to be filled.
Last summer I was honoured to be awarded the Leaders’ Individual Award at the 2016 Love Your Borough Gala, chosen by the then Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Councillor Chris Robbins. At the ceremony, some staff and volunteers from The Mill sat near to me. There was a joyous cheer from their table when they were announced as the winners of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Award. It appeared to be around 15 of them went up on to the stage to receive the award collectively. That night I thought to myself “that is something that I would like to be part of”.
Serendipitously, a few months later I had the opportunity to apply for this role. The job appealed to me as it allowed me to use all my experience gained during my varied career path. For the last nine years I’ve worked in the local community previously five years in the charity sector and in the public sector as a Centre co-ordinator at 0-19 Children’s Centre. Throughout I’ve used my expertise gained from 18 years in international marketing both in the advertising and book publishing sectors and my education degree gained as a mature student. On a personal note I am very much part of the community as I have lived in Waltham Forest all my life and I am the proud parent of two teenage girls.
To be able to contribute to the local community and help play a part in shaping the future of The Mill is very important to me. I can see what a difference having a place like this can provide in people’s lives. I look forward to being part of something that is very special and to be part of the process that enables The Mill to grow and grow.