'About Us' - Reflections
Prior to becoming a registered charity in 1998 LOT existed as a voluntary organisation, taking its original inspiration from Schools Outreach, a charity established by Gordon Bailey. The Founder trustees of LOT were Tom Jane, David Viol and Maggie Roberts.
In 1997 LOT received a minibus with tail lift for wheel chairs from the Variety Club Children's Charity (Golf Section). LOT had to make a £2,000 donation, but not having free reserves for capital expenditure, this looked impossible. However, Dennis Casley, President of Mullion Golf Club, entered into discussions with the club committee and they agreed to allow us to have the course free of charge for one day to run a competition to raise the money. This generosity has been extended with the Golf Day becoming an annual event which raises funds for the running costs, tax, insurance, and ensuring that transport does not preclude anyone from participating in an activity. This day also enabled LOT to make the necessary donation to receive a second Sunshine Coach, without a tail lift. The Golf Club Juniors also benefit from this transport.
Local support for LOT was demonstrated by small donations from various sources including Cornwall Rural Community Council, parish councils on the Lizard and the Prince's Trust, which donated £500 to explore the potential of Study Support. The first Study Support initiative was a homework club in Mullion School library, organised to take place after school by the Librarian, Marion Bradley.
In late 1997 The Prince's Trust was invited to support government research into the possible development of Study Support nationally. The Prince's Trust suggested LOT as one of its recommended centres, being representative of a remote, rural, maritime locality.
In February 1998 LOT was nominated as one of fifty DfEE pilot centres, and received £20,000 to deliver out-of-school-hours activities. LOT became part of the National Evaluation and Development Programme (NEDP). It is impossible to overestimate the value of being part of this; LOT received first class training in monitoring, evaluation and development of projects. LOT was also able to appraise and understand the national (mostly urban) perspective of Study Support, and to enjoy being part of a bigger team.
At one early national conference in Tower Hamlets London, LOT met Rex Hall, Education Consultant. Rex has given us invaluable advice and enthusiastic support, which continues into 2006. LOT has arranged two conferences at the Polurrian Hotel in Mullion; one on Study Support and NOF funding led by Tony Kirwan (NEDP) and Sian Scott (DfEE); the other on Summer Schools led by Rex Hall. Students also benefited from this national network by being invited to take part in preparation workshops and subsequent filming of the Study Support video Extra Time, in Birmingham, the Lizard and London.
The Headteacher of Mullion School, Ian Hamilton, made office space available from which to co-ordinate and run projects. This was an extremely exciting if somewhat hectic year, since there were resources to pilot as wide a range of projects as we could manage. Using the resources of Mullion School we were able to talk to young people, bounce ideas around, and assess what was feasible. Happily for us, Fiona Lucas took early retirement from teaching and entranced us all with her enthusiasm and IT skills; she designed LOT's logo, stationery and subsequent portfolios. We didn't know it at the time, but her Newfoundland dog Tansy was also to become a crowd-drawing volunteer.
Extra "Get-to-know" Days in Mullion School were arranged for year 6. 'I Love Latin' attracted year 7 upwards and staff; we could have run this forever if our inspirational teacher John Eddy had had the time. Girls equalled boys on the Cornwall County Council Referees course. We didn't manage to run the tractor driving course, but there's still time! The coastal path and Gwavas Jersey Farm provided the locations for Wildlife Painting with a local artist Andrew Barrowman, assisted by Avis Allum, a teacher at Mullion School. There was a variety of music and drama workshops. We purchased two table tennis tables, then the MSA bought another and a club was formed. The homework club developed into a Drop-In Centre. Ros Jeal, an excellent climber on the staff at Mullion, started indoor roped climbing for primary and secondary pupils. ICT clubs for the primaries took place in the Lion's Den at Manaccan.
These pilots were monitored and evaluated by the NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research). LOT was subsequently followed up as one of ten centres demonstrating best practice, and was invited to an Excellence in Schools reception at Downing Street.
In March 1998 the Prince's Trust gave LOT a grant of £12,500 to extend Study Support; this was enhanced by a £500 grant from Cornwall County Council. A great number of man hours were needed to set up, run, co-ordinate and staff these activities, of which only a few have been highlighted.
From the outset LOT determined that projects should be run from the "bottom up" i.e. in response to students' suggestions, aspirations, and needs. (Latin, however, was suggested by an adult!) We felt we were succeeding in this, but then a group of school leavers suggested we might offer something useful…by that they meant Boatbuilding: this stopped us in our tracks! Our other foundational aim was that projects could, in spite of our remote location, take place on the Lizard. It seemed that most facilities and centres were beyond the Lizard geographical area, and young people had to travel off the peninsula for many activities.
While pondering the Boatbuilding dilemma, we made the acquaintance of Marion Silverlock, from whom we learnt so much, particularly about student-led projects, and received so much wonderful encouragement and help. We shared with Marion that John Hughes, a local amateur boatbuilder might consider helping LOT as a tutor and also convert a garage/space on his property into a workshop. She suggested that we should make an application for equipment, salary and overheads to the J.Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust and the Headley Trust (SFCT). This we did, and in 1998 both trusts each donated £10,000 which allowed us to set up Boatbuilding at Lanarth near St.Keverne. In 2000 the Headley Trust gave a second grant. The project is still running in 2006.
In the early days John would take groups from the primaries to the Helford, giving them some experience of sailing, using the boats which the students had built. We had been given a RIB and provided our own qualified rescue crew, which included Tansy the Newfoundland dog; her skill in pulling a person or a boat to shore is impressive. On one occasion when Pete Townshend saw John using his own small engine on the RIB, he suggested that LOT should apply to his charity for a new, bigger engine. The Double O charity bought us a magnificent £2,790 engine.
Dave Martin, lecturer at Falmouth Marine College presented our first end-of-project certificates; the students also took their boats into Mullion School for the event! The College has always shown great support for LOT and our students. One of our trustees, Roger Philpott, was a student at the College and also at Coverack and Mullion Schools. We had our Special Supper at Helford River Sailing Club.
One of the first boatbuilders was Lisa Pascoe, who wanted to do fibreglass/boatbuilding for her DofE. Her mother, Jacquie, an already supportive parent, offered to do a bit of bookwork for LOT, just to help out. Because LOT grew unexpectedly quickly, we cannot imagine how we would have managed without Jacquie; in 2006 she is still our Financial Administrator, dealing with Inland Revenue, Annual Accounts, bid scrutiny and monthly cheque runs, together with financial advice and support to trustees.
John received a grant from the J.Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust towards the tuition fees of his degree course, which will be completed in 2006: later, this same trust also gave LOT a grant for writing a long-term Business Plan. This was undertaken by Tom Jane, a trustee who had just completed his degree in Business Studies at Camborne. Tom was also a student at both Coverack and Mullion Schools.
In November 1998 under the New Deal scheme LOT was able to employ Vicky Julian. Vicky, a former pupil at Coverack and Mullion schools, had just graduated in Theology. She supported the Christian Union in particular and the Drama workshops, but generally joining in: she also monitored activities and produced an evaluation document
Marion Silverlock also worked with CSV, Changemakers and Barclays New Futures, to whom we had applied successfully for a £7000 grant which would allow us to establish the role of Befrienders in 1999. Befrienders are older pupils who participate alongside younger ones within projects, and also provide help to tutors.
In May 1999 LOT received a £30,000 grant from the Millennium Festival Fund (NLCB) for its Duo Deo project. The brief was very simple; to appoint a part-time coordinator, who would come alongside the disabled children on the Lizard to encourage and empower them to run their own projects or to access projects which were inaccessible to them. The challenge to make this happen successfully was not so easy, but the coordinator Jenni Robertson did make it happen in a truly wonderful way.
The range of activities was extensive, from face painting and jewellery making, to redesigning and decorating the "disabled loo" and making the internal garden open to wheelchairs in Mullion School. Public events included the Rescue day in Coverack harbour, supported among others by Culdrose and the Working Newfoundland Dogs - we needed rescuing from the dreadful weather, but the children had a fantastic experience; their chosen celebrity, M.P. Andrew George came and joined in. As a project Finale they wrote and produced a video play "We know what you did last lesson!" which had a formal premiere in Mullion School. The group was also invited to a Variety Club party in London.
Our minibus has always been used to take the boatbuilders to the workshop at Lanarth. Radio Cornwall interviewed two of the first students, Scott Stanton and Olly Hayes - both boys explained that they liked sailing and were also pleased to learn about boat fabrication; the bonus was that, while doing something which appealed to them, they also saw their friends after school; normally when they got on the school bus, that was it until the next day. When the interviewer enquired about transport, Olly explained that there was a limit to how much you could expect parents to do and his village only had one bus a week, run by Age Concern.
With the enthusiastic help of Vicki Morley, Headteacher at Mullion School, and a steering group from the Primary Heads, LOT wrote a successful bid to the New Opportunities Fund for £148,000, starting April 2000. This money was to be divided between the ten Lizard schools, to deliver out-of-school hours learning activities. LOT was the administrator. The Heads chose the Cornish name of the project Teylu, which means 'Family' in English.
If only we had had the services of Alan Rowntree and this web site at that time - there were over 2,000 "bums on seats"! - the school ran an amazing range of activities; they were delighted to exploit the local resources, some off the Lizard like Bishop's Forum, others close to home like horse riding in Mullion, windsurfing at Coverack, sailing with Helford River Children's Sailing Trust; on the Lizard it is a great social leveller when all pupils can have the opportunity to choose these activities. Trelowarren Christian Fellowship ran a first class Hospitality Course for Mullion pupils, with the final event being a Christmas/Hannukah service in the chapel. A real highlight was the chance to meet a friend of Rex Hall, an American astronaut Don Lind; he spent time with the primary children, at R.N.A.S. Culdrose conference centre; he wasn't disappointed when he was asked the expected first question -"How did you go to the toilet?"; he also talked with older pupils in Mullion School.
In 2003 we had a closing Teylu event, show casing so many of the activities; too many to mention all, but here are some! Fun with clay, ceramic on driftwood, disco and country dancing, Study/Reading Club, Bell ringing in Mullion Church and handbell ringing, guitar club, cooking, boccia, pop lacrosse, cricket, table tennis, archery, fencing, soccer, netball, basketball, Learning F.C., uni-hockey, windsurfing/kayaking, climbing, referee course, I.T., website maintenance, jewellery making, face painting, wildlife painting, raised bed garden, signing, - NOF complimented us by being ready to act as a future reference.
Our projects have allowed us to place volunteers from Cornwall Centre for Volunteers. The voluntary sector is very supportive of each other's organisation, and these links are strengthened by the West Cornwall Community Network.
More LOT Milestones
In November 2001 the National Children's Bureau ran a Baby Sitting and Food Preparation certificate course as a partner with LOT and Mullion school. £1,700 was made available.
In December Cornwall Centre for Volunteers awarded Tom Jane £400 to run a project of his choice - he chose a very popular Cinema Club.
In September 2002 Penwith Community Development Trust awarded £3,500 to the BiG older ladies, to develop their project. CITB donated £400 to the 14-16 year olds.
In August 2003, the Daycare Trust used Mullion pupils for research into day care; LOT received £755 to administer the day
In September 2003 as administrator, LOT received £7,880 from the Local Network Fund on behalf of the Lizard Youth Theatre.
In September 2003 Awards for All gave £5,000 for infrastructure capital expenditure which included setting up a web site, Health & Safety report, a computer and software.
In December 2003 the National Children's Bureau invited students to a London conference
In April 2004 the Norman Family Charitable Trust gave us a general donation of £250; they had supported LOT at the very beginning.
Barclays New Futures Political Literacy is featured as a separate project on this site.
2001-2004 LOT gradually reduced the scale and number of its projects, as it prepared and submitted a bid to the lengthy Objective 1 process. LOT applied for money to create its own workshop, thus releasing John's garage back to him, and for money to appoint a small management team to run the charity: the trustees had begun to spend excessive voluntary hours on LOT, which was not sustainable. The process proved far longer than we had anticipated, and finally our bid was refused.
In 2005, after a period of reflection, LOT trustees and supporters decided to seek funds to employ a small management team, but not to pursue the building.
In January 2006 the Headley trust gave a grant of £10,000 to address the issue of increasing the capacity of LOT. This has enabled LOT to pay for help in the preparation and drafting of applications to be submitted in March 2006. If successful, these applications will see the appointment of paid staff to run the charity, allowing the trustees' time to think strategically and plan ahead.
The trustees are currently working with Sarah Davies, Director of Tower Hamlets Summer University, a registered charity. They are arranging a Maritime Business Exchange in July/August 2006. LOT's 2006 Annual Dinner was a meal at the Maritime Museum, Falmouth held on 4th March
In 2007 we received grants from The Archbishops' Council's Mission Fund (ABCMF), J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust, SFCT Headley Trust, the Joseph Rank Trust (JRT); in 2008 various donations and a grant from the Jerusalem Trust: in 2009 grants from Headley Trust and JRT: in 2010 grants from JRT, the Rank Foundation, LloydsTSB Foundation, Norman Family Charitable Trust, Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust, ABCMF, Church and Community Fund, AATeam Exeter, with donations from NCVO Bingo Lottery, REG Windpower and CAF Barclays Bank: in 2011 grants from The Rank Foundation, The Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Lloyds TSB Foundation, Awards for All, DPD Interlink and donations towards the Variety Club Sunshine Coach from Helston Rotary Clubs and Landewednack School.
In 2012 we received a grant from Children in Need and donations from organisations and individuals. (read more)