History of White Gold Cornwall Foundation
In 2003, Alan Milliner a serving Police Officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, started work with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Youth Offending Team in the St Austell area of Cornwall to tackle a high degree of anti-social behaviour that was making life difficult for some people in the community.
Alan identified a hard-core of young people who, for a number of reasons, were actively involved in serial offending and causing the local community concern and harm. Despite the problems, Alan could see the great potential in these young people and realised that with help, support and guidance there was a good chance that he could turn around some of them and show them a better way.
Using his own research and local knowledge, Alan decided that the best way forward was to Provide ‘one to one’ interventions and a tailor-made programme for individuals to deal with the causes of their issues including repeat offending. The ethos of Alan’s thinking was to create positive engagement and experiences for youngsters through personal mentoring. This would improve their personal and social development as well as develop other skills such as good communication and engagement in learning.
A multi-agency ‘pilot’ scheme was developed and under Alan’s leadership it was decided to form a voluntary service to target those young people most at risk and vulnerable to offending. The project was to be called White Gold, the inspiration for the name came from the St Austell area, which is famous for the huge mountains of china clay that is the product of St Austell’s 300-year industrial heritage. These mountains of china clay are locally known as white gold, which is a representation of the wealth the china clay brought to St Austell.
Growing the Project
The Pilot was started in the St Austell area in late 2003 and the main thrust was for Alan to pro-actively target a hard-core group involved in offending and provide one to one mentoring. The interventions proved very successful and resulted in positive engagement with previously ‘difficult’ young people who were by and large on the fringes of society. The successful outcomes of the pilot scheme resulted in a significant reduction in recorded anti-social behaviour and associated crime in the area and an improvement in community safety.
Due to the positive outcomes of the Pilot, it was decided to increase the level of resources and extend the scheme across Cornwall. A partnership arrangement between the Police and Probation Service was agreed and in 2004 the Project then officially became the ‘White Gold Project’
For six years the White Gold Project went from strength to strength, there was a dedicated team of ten people employed and delivering real positive outcomes for young vulnerable people across Cornwall and winning a number of awards along the way.
In 2009, for his inspirational work through the project, Alan was awarded the MBE by her Majesty the Queen in recognition for services to the community.
In 2011 the coalition government decided to withdraw funding from many schemes across the UK in its drive to reduce public expenditure and despite the well documented body of evidence produced to underpin the stunning success of the White Gold Project, cuts were inevitable and the project was in danger. This sequence of events forced Alan and the team to re-evaluate the Project and it was decided that with so any endorsements and support from any key agencies, all efforts should be made to save the Project for the young people of Cornwall.
This difficult period proved very hard for the White Gold Team and it was decided that in order for the team to survive the Project had to reinvent itself and align the outcomes already achieved to the Governments ambitions for the ‘Big Society’. This is where organisations like White Gold could apply to become a Community Interest Company where opportunities to draw down public finance for social enterprise was available to worthwhile projects that could deliver needed community outcomes.
We are pleased to say the application process was successful and the Project’s immediate future is now secure. On the 1st April 2011, ‘White Gold Cornwall’ Community Interest Company was launched and is currently providing a much-needed service that is available to young people as a ‘one to one’ commissioned service on application.
On 1st June 2017 White Gold Cornwall became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and is now operating under the name of White Gold Cornwall Foundation.
From its inception as a Community Interest Company in 2010 White Gold Cornwall has developed and grown and, after considerable discussion, it was agreed that becoming a charity would further enhance our ability to support children, young people and young adults throughout Cornwall.
The changed status will have no impact on the services that we provide. We will continue to support, guide and, where appropriate, challenge those who are vulnerable, at risk, facing challenges, or having a negative impact on our communities due to their behaviour.
We anticipate that we will now be more effective in raising funds and, therefore, be in a position to broaden our scope to assist those in need of support.
The Advisory Board has been replaced by Trustees who will provide appropriate governance. The majority of those on our previous Advisory Board have become Trustees and we are delighted that a number of additional Trustees have been appointed who have a wide range of skills and experiences that will benefit White Gold Cornwall. Details of the trustees can be found on our The Team > Board page.