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Belper News Article 03/11/14

Philanthropy and Strutts

The old Herbert Strutts School building and its grounds are the highly visible side of the Strutts Community Centre Project in Belper. It is timely to reflect that the School building was one of many acts of philanthropy by the Strutt family for the benefit of the community of Belper and that this support went far beyond the purely financial.

There are a number of major issues critical for the future of Belper which are now raising public concerns, especially housing and employment. With increased demands, Belper's facilities need significant financial investment from local government and, in this time of financial restraint, it is unlikely that sufficient funds will be available for anything other than essential services. However, there is much that we in the Community can do to make Belper a better place to live, and that is through giving of our time. Fortunately, like financial philanthropy, time is a commodity which some are prepared to give freely for the benefit of others.

If the Strutts Community Centre Project, and other like it in Belper, are to continue into the foreseeable future, there needs to be a culture of philanthropy in the town, and it is not just a question of money but of time. All the voluntary groups in Belper rely on the unselfish giving of precious time by the few. For example the River Gardens, the North Mill, the Community Hall, the Drop in Centre, local sports clubs, the arts and craft groups all make Belper a better place to live in and enjoy at minimal cost to the Community. We have all benefitted from the voluntary efforts of others and there comes a time when we should all put something back into our community.

If we all wait for someone else to provide us with local facilities and organisation of activities that we say we need, then we may suffer the consequences and end up with nothing. Belper will become a less attractive place to live and its long term future will be of progressive decline. We are all busy, but are we really too busy to help in some way? Volunteering can be very rewarding and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your bit for your community. You can make a difference.

If you would like to help in any way with the Strutts Community Project please contact me, Nick McLeod, at Strutts tel: 01773 599993.

Nick McLeod

Chairman of Trustees

Guardians of Strutts