Guest Speaker, Kamila Cormack, July 2007

Kamila Cormack lives in the UK and she is a professional fundraiser working for local charitable organizations in Bristol. She made an interesting presentation about a project she worked on for about 5 years.

The Church authorities in UK have major problems with maintenance of some of their buildings, especially those which are not used and fall into a state of serious disrepair. Many of them are pulled down, which is a great loss to the community. It is therefore important to find a new use for them. One of those churches, St. Paul’s, in Bristol, and had been empty for 10 years. It is located in a rather deprived area of the city, associated with high crime levels.
The concept of the establishment of a circus school there was put forward. People of all ages would be taught performing arts skills and the church would be brought back into regular use. The Project Team succeeded in raising a very significant amount of money, around 5 MLN Euro, to restore the building and equip it with a dance floor, trapeze, changing facilities, coffee shop and offices.
The finance for the project was sourced from government agencies, charitable trusts and the Arts Council. The project is now self-financing through running various events and performances in the church such as fairs, weddings, and conferences.
Local residents participate in the organised events, and can also learn performing arts. Thanks to the project the reputation of the area has really improved.

Our Members were really impressed with the project and thanked Kamila for the presentation.

Phil Brooks