On 12 June 2020 Bracknell Forest resident David Baker pledged to run 500km in aid of South Hill Park Trust’s major public fundraising campaign following the potentially devastating impact of Covid-19. On Saturday 12 June 2021 David will complete this mammoth feet at the iconic Bracknell Forest mansion house.
At the start of his journey David said, ‘I’m aiming to raise £1,000 for my local arts centre. South Hill Park Trust has served the community for almost five decades and the aim of raising this money is to help it continue for many years to come. Am I crazy? Maybe I am but someone has to do something to help South Hill Park. I’m not much of a runner but I’m going to try my best!’
Since launching its appeal South Hill Park Trust has successfully raised in excess of £120,000 (including pledges) from over 3,000 local residents, organisations and businesses and a further £345,072 from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE). The extraordinary support shown by Bracknell Forest residents and the commitment from the DCMS and ACE has not only secured the Arts Centre’s future but demonstrated the value and social impact placed upon this much-loved regional venue as a thriving arts, entertainment and education centre for everyone.
South Hill Park Trust Chief Executive Craig Titley said: ‘The love shown for South Hill Park Arts Centre over the past year has been humbling. David is just one of hundreds and hundreds of people who stepped up in the venue’s hour of need. The support shown by the public and central government meant the Trust did not have to make any of its staff redundant and was even able to offer some online and in-person performances and courses throughout the lockdowns. Saving South Hill Park, protecting jobs, keeping the arts alive, supporting general well-being and mental health and reducing isolation and loneliness were central to the Trust’s Covid plans. On behalf of the Trust, a very big thank you to David and all of our supporters’.
David has raised a fantastic £1,095 which brings the Trust’s current fundraising total to over £465,000. This remarkable achievement not only enabled the Trust to survive but ensured it was financially strong enough to re-open, welcome back audiences and visitors and make plans for the future.
As a registered charity South Hill Park Trust will need to continue to raise funds for the foreseeable future to deliver its charitable objectives. The Trust attracts over 200,000 people to the Arts Centre every year for an arts, entertainment and education programme. It employs over 70 members of staff – many Bracknell Forest residents and relies on the generosity of 150 local volunteers.
Thank you to all for your continued support.