A Little Goes a Long Way for New Forest Charities

The Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF) has donated over £1 million to organisations in the New Forest and surrounding areas since 1995, it has been revealed.

The donations – established from funds provided by members of the Barker-Mill family – have been provided to help local charities, schools, organisations and individuals needing support.

A handful of the latest beneficiaries have appeared in a new video produced by the BMF, to highlight how the funds from the Foundation have been used. Featuring the New Forest Bike Project, the Butterfly Conservation, It’s Your Choice and Millbrook RFC, the video also demonstrates the breadth of organsations benefitting from the funding.

The Butterfly Conservation received £2,500 from the BMF. Dan Hoare, head of England regions for the Butterfly Conservation, said: “The money from the Barker Mill Foundation has been critical to help improve the habitat quality and boost the population of rare butterflies in the New Forest. Our aim is to basically try and make rare things less rare.

“Very often local people don’t know what’s on their doorstep, so our role is to help them enjoy and understand what’s there, to appreciate that it’s special and to help them learn that the wildlife in the New Forest is often dependent on the way it is managed. If you get things right for butterflies, you’re getting them right for bees, birds, bats and lots of other wildlife.”

It’s Your Choice, a youth charity working with young people aged 12 to 25 in the New Forest area also received a £2,500 donation from the BMF. It used the funds for vital IT equipment. Chris Garey, chief executive of the charity, said “When we get that kind of funding, it’s particularly special to us because it means that people are recognising the value of this charity to the local community. It’s enabled us to buy essential items that we need to deliver our services and we wouldn’t have been able to afford that without the donation from the Barker-Mill Foundation.”

The New Forest Bike Project – a not-for-profit community and social enterprise which takes in unwanted bicycles to repair, restore and relocate – received £1,000 from the BMF which was used to pay the rent on its storage and workshop premises.

A £5,000 donation was made to Millbrook RFC. The funds were used by the Club to preserve and maintain its sporting facilities, enabling it to continue to promote the game and maintain high standards of rugby.

Tim Jobling, BMF Trustee, said: “The Barker-Mill Foundation was set up to make donations to organisations that need support in the areas in which the Barker-Mill family has owned land for generations. We aim to help as many and as wide range of charities, schools, organisations and individuals as possible. I’m delighted that the donations to those in the New Forest have made such a difference to what they are trying to achieve.”