The Millin Charity projects are unique. They have been co-created with local people to make sure they are person-centred and really make a difference to their lives. All of our projects are delivered in the local community, making them accessible and relevant to the needs of local people.
Our projects are designed to help people to get further by working together, and most of our current projects are geared to supporting women. (Find out why women below.) Adaptation of our projects to meet the specific needs of non-gender based groups is also on our agenda for the future.
In our quest to enable social inclusion and the improvement of local communities, overwhelmingly it has been women who have approached us for help. Women in deprived areas across the North East region are experiencing cycles of life-time poverty, and their barriers to achieving financial independence are significant and deep-rooted. A high proportion of the women we help are long-term unemployed, have English as a second language and have few or no qualifications. Without routes to financial independence, women living in poverty are more vulnerable.
So women are currently our priority for support – by helping women to move forward in their lives we are also enabling life changes for their families and for the whole community.
Through our projects we aim to make a real difference, by improving women’s chances of becoming employed, self-employed or moving on to further education or training to improve their future job prospects. Through tried and tested methods we have concluded that enterprise can be used as a highly powerful vehicle to help women to build their self-belief and confidence, and to gain experience, skills and social capital so they can make progress towards social and economic empowerment and independence. For that reason, most of our projects build on the principles of enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Cooperation and community
Many of the challenges faced by people living in the most deprived communities are associated in some way with social isolation. So we design and deliver projects that encourage cooperation and enable people to learn alongside each other in their local community. Through our projects we aim to help people to get further by working together.
Local Women Local Enterprise
Local Women Local Enterprise has developed a reputation as a uniquely accessible learning and development programme that helps women who face barriers to mainstream employment to begin their journey towards financial independence. The project was launched by The Millin Charity in 2014, following a successful 2 year pilot and consultation with hundreds of local women.
Women’s Trading Collective
In April 2017 The Millin Charity launched the Women’s Trading Collective, an innovative, 3 year action-learning project funded through Big Lottery Reaching Communities and Newcastle Fund. As members of the collective, women can gain accredited learning and development opportunities Local Women Local Enterprise, whilst embedding and developing their knowledge through volunteering to set up and grow a women-led community enterprise which will become a self-sustaining legacy for local community in the West End of Newcastle.
In April 2018, we secured funding from the Virgin Money Foundation to develop the Women’s Trading Collective Brand. From this, B Collective was born. The project continues to provide opportunities for women to gain hands on experience by working directly with key consultants and specialists to develop the B Collective brand and products. Read more below.
B Collective is The Millin Charity’s developing social business, developed from the Women’s Trading Collective project, which aims to create collective support and trading experiences for local women.
B Collective offers ethically produced, environmentally friendly, design-led products and provides opportunities for women to gain enterprise experience & skills through participating in the running of the business. All profits are invested back into our projects to support local women.
A Chance To Trade
In August 2018, The Millin Charity secured funding through the Natwest Skills and Opportunities Fund to deliver this exciting new programme. #ACHANCETOTRADE is a project which supports women to fast-track their business ideas to start selling to the public. Through this project, women will have access to a range of accredited and non-accredited training, specialist enterprise workshops, one-to-one business advice and trading opportunities.
Before joining this programme, members will receive a one-to-one appointment from the #ACHANCETOTRADE Project Coordinator who will guide members through the programme and support them to decide where to start.
In 2016 the charity raised £2,000 through a crowdfunding campaign, donated by local people and businesses to remove barriers to trial trading for local women. We plan to invest the majority of the donations into an Enterprise Grant Fund to help up to 30 women to take their next steps towards self-employment by removing the financial barriers that are getting in the way of being able to start trading.