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The TIMS Educational Trust Fund: a molinological charity

The TIMS Educational Trust Fund was set up in 2006 as a registered charitable body, raising money through donations for the financial promotion and support of objectives concerned with mills and milling that have an educational purpose i.e., for example: research, publications, publicity, attendance at conferences by people wth limited resources. A particular aim is to support efforts of this kind in countries of the former Eastern Europe where funds, both government and individual, are less readily available for such activities, compared to the situation in more fortunate countries in Western Europe and USA.
UK ChillendenOur official brief, as accepted by the Charity Commission includes:

“The trustees must apply the income of the charity in furthering the following objects:

1. To advance education in mechanical devices whose power is derived from water, wind or animals and which were used for industrial purposes but which are now not the primary source of power for such purposes, including not only the mechanical details and operation of such devices but the social, economic and political environment in which such devices were developed, improved and applied
2. For the benefit of the public to preserve the mechanical devices mentioned above by working to support best practice in such preservation for the protection of our heritage” (“The income may be applied to such activities outside the UK”) “The trustees may fund the provision of millwrighting expertise to educate and train local people in relevant skills and best practice, thus facilitating the conservation, protection and/or improvement of the mechanical devices mentioned above.”

Charitable status means that donations and legacies can become more effective as the Fund benefits from Gift Aid, whereby tax (paid by the donor on his/her income) can be claimed back by the Fund.
So far we have raised £580 from donations and Gift Aid. The main source is the gifts of UK TIMS members who are encouraged to contribute when they are sending their annual TIMS subscription to the UK Council member in January.
The tax breaks of this system mean that only UK residents and taxpayers are likely to take advantage of them. It cannot be used for increasing the effectiveness of subscription payments, nor for processing symposium payments, for example. No direct benefit can accrue to a TIMS member and our objets must be open to all, not just TIMS members.
There are 6 trustees, TIMS members and including the UK Council member, who meet twice annually. Grants, from income, are made after consultation with the TIMS Council. In 2009 the Trust has paid the TIMS subscriptions for 3 years for a Romanian open-air museum staff member and an Estonian millwright, both of whom could not have afforded the expense themselves.
Projects we would like to back in future if they become urgent and/or possible are the preservation of the ‘mud’ mill in Lithuania (perhaps by funding the advice and input of a recognised millwright), and the recording of mills in danger of collapse or threatened with deliberate destruction. Our funds are very slender so far. However, even modest grants indicate practical concern and may help to free up more substantial ones from the EU etc.

Michael Harverson
(Chairman)
November 2009

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