About us

Our mission and aims

Love Mill Road is a charity which nurtures and celebrates the Mill Road community, ensuring it continues to be a special place that is welcoming to all and where the most vulnerable in the community are offered the support they need. 

Many residents will remember Suzy Oakes who did so much for the annual Mill Road Winter Fair and for the whole road. Love Mill Road has grown both from the Winter Fair and from her legacy: The Suzy Oakes Trust. For more information about Suzy and the Trust see https://mill-road.com/suzy-oakes/ Her Trust did not have charitable status which in this day and age is a necessity so its trustees are fully supportive of Love Mill Road and happy to donate the remaining funds to the charity. Love Mill Road has been established to provide a way to channel sponsorship and donations to local community projects throughout the year, concentrating investment within the Mill Road area so that we can sustain our distinctive, diverse and inclusive community.

We will support people, charities and organisations in the electoral wards of Romsey and Petersfield[1] to undertake activities which:

  • tackle inequality and create a more inclusive society
  • enhance the Mill Road environment; and
  • celebrate local arts and culture

What’s so special about Mill Road?

Mill Road has long been the core of a thriving Cambridge neighbourhood. From Victorian times, the combination of relatively cheap housing and plentiful work encouraged railway workers and migrants to settle. Many have stayed and the legacy is Mill Road’s wonderful mix of ethnically diverse shops, an independent local economy and a very distinctive character.

The neighbourhood’s typically open-minded and inquisitive residents support a concentration of community activities and each December, the Mill Road Winter Fair is a fantastic celebration; the road is closed, local businesses set out their stalls, music plays and the road is literally thronged with people and performers. The Fair is completely organised by volunteers from the local community.  

Why Love Mill Road?

Mill Road is a popular place to live. Close to the city centre and the station, with a strong identity and a mix of shops, cafes, pubs, churches and mosques it is a sought-after neighbourhood where property is now relatively expensive. But the apparent prosperity masks the inequality that so often accompanies gentrification. Many of Mill Road’s independent shopkeepers can’t afford to live in the area. Rents and rates often prove crippling and a proportion of independent local businesses face ongoing insecurity and hardship. 

Mill Road is also home to those who struggle to keep pace with Cambridge’s high expectations; the neighbourhood includes people who have become isolated and distressed due to poor mental and/or physical health, addiction and deprivation; some are vulnerable due to inadequate English language skills and there is also a relatively large homeless community.

Love Mill Road will help to facilitate a culture of community action and support and will specifically fund activities that address inequality, isolation and hardship. It operates under the scrutiny of Charity Commission regulations with a remit that also includes projects which enhance the Mill Road environment and celebrate local arts and culture.

Love Mill Road will raise funds through donations from the local community, including residents and businesses. It can benefit from Gift Aid and will act as an enabler, directing funding to community organisations which deliver successful projects on the ground. One such organisation will be the Mill Road Winter Fair Association, which will apply to Love Mill Road to fund its non-commercial activities and to help establish a new forum for local performers – ‘Mill Road Fringe’. However, Love Mill Road aims to be a catalyst which generates multiple projects organised by different organisations and individuals, from teenagers engaged in Duke of Edinburgh award activities to larger charities such as Romsey Mill, Lifecraft and the Kite Trust. We aim to make a difference by concentrating investment within the Mill Road area (defined as the electoral wards of Petersfield and Romsey).

[1] For ward maps see: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/ward-map

Our Trustees

Dadhi Ram Chudali

Dadhi is the Postmaster at Romsey Town Post Office.  He is originally from Nepal, where he was brought up in a large family with 5 other brothers and 2 sisters.  He left home at 16 to look for work in India. Dadhi was a Post Office counter clerk for many years before becoming Postmaster in 2011. He is also a poet, a hobby that he has continued since his school days in Nepal. 

Kate Collins

Kate is a landscape architect and environmental consultant who spends too much of her time getting embedded in local community activities. She has helped to organise the Mill Road Winter Fair for the past six years and currently chairs the Mill Road Winter Fair Committee. Kate is also a Trustee of Lifecraft.

Susie Biller

Susie has worked in museums and galleries all her life and has lived in the Mill Road area with her family for 20 years.  She has been involved in the Mill Road Winter Fair in the past and loves living in this area of the city.