Bramhall youngsters have been creating memories and friendships at The Mill Youth Centre for almost two decades, and this longstanding feature of the community has recently been brought bang up to date with a new look and a fabulous new location. I Love Bramhall met up with Chairman of Trustees Angela Rowley to find out how everyone is settling in.
Previously situated in a disused mill above Costa Coffee in the village, The Mill has moved just down the road to its current spot above the old pharmacy in July 2019 and now the new shoe shop Arnouts. The new centre was opened by the Mayor of Stockport, along with the Mayoress, local councillors, Mary Robinson MP and the landlord (grandson of the original pharmacist).
The newly renovated building is cosy and colourful, with a beautiful bay window letting lots of light into the lounge area.
Aptly named in a nod to its roots, The Mill was set up in 2000 as part of a millennium project by Churches Together in Bramhall and Woodford. Since then, it’s been creating a safe and fun space for ten to 18-year-olds to hang out, unwind and learn new things.
Open every weekday from 3:30pm until 5pm and on Saturdays from 1pm – 3pm and 6:30pm until 8:30pm, The Mill is the perfect spot to head to after school. Around 100 children and young people attend weekly, meaning there’s always a buzzing atmosphere – although it’s never too busy for one-to-one chats with youth workers and volunteers.
Speaking of volunteers, The Mill is always on the lookout for people who can spare some time to help out at the youth centre. Those completing a Duke of Edinburgh award can earn points by volunteering at the centre, while some adults who attended the centre as kids have now come back to lend a hand. Anybody over 18 is welcome – even an evening a month can be a big help, just get in touch for more details.
The Mill is free to attend (although a small charge applies for the Saturday evening sessions) and relies on sponsors and donors in order to stay that way. The generosity of the Bramhall community has proved invaluable to the success of The Mill, with Amans hosting an annual fundraising dinner and The Mounting Stone putting on a monthly quiz night to raise money for the centre.
A Christian ethos lies at the heart of The Mill’s work, although kids and teens from all faith or non-faith backgrounds are welcome. Above all, it’s a fun and fulfilling local hangout that builds and nurtures all kinds of talents.
One of the best-loved features of The Mill’s previous location was the music room, so naturally one of the new rooms is decked out with a keyboard, guitars, electric guitars and more. The musical talent of the kids at The Mill was showcased last Christmas, when they impressed diners at several Bramhall restaurants by singing carols and spreading community cheer.
As well as music, there’s no shortage of activities to try at The Mill; there’s a Nintendo Switch to play on, a pool table, board games, art supplies, a sewing machine and much more. Youth workers bring their own abilities and interests to the table, such as Jake’s woodwork skills if visitors want to try their hand at carpentry.
The snack bar is always brim-full of treats and snacks, with toasted bagels and smoothies proving very popular. Since the move, The Mill has made a conscious effort to supply fairtrade, healthy snacks for visitors, all at very reasonable prices, for a perfect after school pick-me-up.
If you’re interested in finding out more about The Mill, or would like to support their fantastic work by becoming a Friend of The Mill, get in touch using the links below.