Following a very successful first five years, the Trust is seeking a new Chair of Trustees to take us forward into the next phase of our development. This is an exciting opportunity to work with our established trustees and volunteers and lead the Trust towards the fulfilment of its mission. Below, out-going Chair Gemma O’Shea explains how she has enjoyed the role, highlighting the progress made and the future plans to be taken on by the next Chair of Trustees.
Back in the 2010s, Landbeach tithe barn was a beautiful but decaying relic; a testament to Landbeach’s long history but also an asset in real danger of disappearing, lost for forever.
Fortunately, in 2014 a determined group of local residents wanted to avoid such a fate befalling this unique structure. As a result, the Tithe Barn Trust was created as a registered charity in 2016 with the mission:
“Ensuring the long-term survival of the rare and ancient Tithe Barn, by breathing new life into the site, for everyone to enjoy.”
I was honoured to take the helm as the Chair of Trustees and have greatly enjoyed this sometimes demanding role. It has given me so much satisfaction and a real sense of achievement working alongside our dedicated group of fellow trustees, volunteers and supporters. Over this period we have successfully fundraised to undertake the extensive repairs necessary to save the physical structure, taking it from this:
For me a particular highlight came in Autumn 2019 to early 2020 with the repair of the barn’s timber frame, brick plinth, floor and the re-thatching of the roof. These costly measures have saved the barn from collapse and made it weathertight for the first time in many years.
Through the efforts of the Trust and its volunteers, we offer free entry to Tithe Barn open days, events and diverse educational activities for all ages. Access is open to everyone. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of others and with their help we’ve trialled and hosted varied community events from theatre, storytelling, to art exhibitions, a country market, preschool visits, heritage days and more. We’ve shown what an intimate and unique space the Tithe Barn is for bringing people together.
Our next steps
We are now focused on the second phase of our project, that of fundraising to bring essential services to the site. Great progress has already been made through our successful ‘Spend a Penny’ fundraising campaign. The money raised is enabling the installation of two eco-friendly toilets later this Spring, before we turn our attention to the provision of the water and electricity services. These will really help to secure the barn’s long-term future through its increased use as a community space and venue hire.
We have come a long way since 2014 and none of this would have been possible without the dedication of our trustees, volunteers and supporters. I have genuinely enjoyed my time as Chair and it has been a great privilege to work with a such a committed group. I wish the Trust and all who support it every success for the future and look forward to returning as a visitor with my family to see future progress.
To find out more about this great leadership opportunity, go to https://reachvolunteering.org.uk/opp/chair-trustees-290