The Sail Lofts chosen charity of the year

Peter Hutchinson

It’s that time of year when we are encouraged to think of other’s, be they extended family, friends and neighbours, or people who are less fortunate than us.

Since we opened the Sail Lofts in 2008 we have been very involved in the St Ives and extended business community in Cornwall, supporting local charities of our choice each year. More details are on our web site:

St Ives often seems to be an affluent sleepy village, where we drift through life, surfing and eating out (of course this is not true; anyone who understands the business world knows hard work is the bottom line), but there is another side to living in Cornwall. It is not a wealthy county, and wages that reflect the rest of the country are not easy to find. Many of us have two jobs to make ends meet; it’s part of the way life runs.

The Sail Lofts has also been close friends with Colin Nicholls, proprietor of Colenso DIY (‘if we don’t have it, you don’t need it’), well-known local businessman, town councillor and the best Mayor St Ives has had for many years. Amongst the many things he somehow manages to watch over, has been the specific needs of local people. Beyond being the only place in St Ives for everything DIY, his shop is also, if you have ever been in, a place to air concerns and discuss issues, with perhaps the most sympathetic person in town.

As a long-standing counsellor, and with the help of one of the Sail Lofts regular guests, last year Colin launched The St Ives Community Fund, a charitable trust to directly address the needs of the community, be it for individuals or projects that benefit the town itself.

What we like most is that the Trust it is not burdened by asking you to make incomprehensible applications, by lengthy trust meetings or bureaucracy. When the trustees become aware of someone struggling, or of a project that is threatened by cash flow, the Community Fund can respond within 24 hours. Often this is to help those in, what is professionally termed ‘critical short term need’, as a result of redundancy or simply when they haven’t been called into work for a couple of weeks. Of course we also recognise this is the nature of a seaside town, but to be able to contribute to a fund that can practically help our immediate ‘neighbours’ when their lives are disrupted is something we here at Sail Lofts see as very worthwhile.

If this is something you would like to know more about please contact:

Tamsyn Williams on 01736 795696 or

Or call into Colin’s shop: Colenso DIY, 2 Gabriel Street, 01736 796711.