The WJ Mills (Cottages) Trust was set up by the benefactor’s son, Thomas Richards Mills, and was run by him until his death in 1951 when his son, William John Mills, took over the responsibility. He continued to serve the charity for 41 years and during his time brought in his two children as trustees and latterly expanded the team with local people. The board of trustees, today, comprises the following seven members.
An active trustee since 1980, Lizzie took over the chair of the charity in 1992, relinquishing it in 2004, but resuming it again in 2018. Being a direct descendent of the founder and accompanying her father on many visits, she has been exposed to the Trust all her life and has grown up with a real affinity for St Day and a passion for continuing the aims and ambitions of her great-grandfather.
Charity work away from the area has included a “PHAB” week (for the Physically Handicapped, Able Bodied), a befriending scheme with the elderly in Dorset, the Devon County Association for the Blind and at a Day Centre for people with mental health problems and with physical disabilities. She was also Volunteer Co-ordinator in Tiverton for 4 years, recruiting and managing volunteers for many local charities.
SALLY BURLEY (NÉE MILLS)Vice Chair
Sally grew up in North Cornwall and moved to St Day in 1976 when her family returned there. She trained and qualified as a riding instructor and worked with horses for many years. Her husband grew up in Crofthandy and their three sons all attended St Day and Carharrack Community School. She has always had a keen interest in local affairs, being involved with the local playgroup and school. She is interested in Cornish music, dance and culture, involving herself in various events around Cornwall. She is also a keen singer and member of two local choirs. She is very proud of her family connections to WJ Mills and all that the Trust does for St Day.
Paul joined the WJ Mills (Cottages) Trust in the summer of 2000. A Redruth boy born and bred, Paul moved to St Day in 1985 when he married a local St Day girl. Through Paul’s connections in the village, he knows many of the residents personally and is fully committed to supporting the aims of the trust for generations to come. Paul and his family attend St Day Methodist Church, where he is the treasurer, and always support the annual Feast Monday by participating in the Feast Dance. Paul is also a volunteer at Gwennap Pit – an impressive open air amphitheatre and Cornish mining world heritage site.
Donna moved to St Day from London with her husband and son in 2004. After moving to Cornwall, Donna, who’s a journalist, transferred from BBC News in London to Radio Cornwall where she worked until 2021. She now works from home for Premier Christian Radio.
Donna is passionate about the village and its community spirit and is delighted to now be part of the Mills Trust.
Donna is also vice chair of Churches Together in Cornwall and a trustee of Transformation Cornwall.
Keith was born in Redruth and has lived in and around Redruth all his life, moving to St Day in 1998. His secondary education was at Truro School. Keith qualified as an accountant in 1989 and established a new practice in Truro in 1991. Keith is married to Deb and they have two adult sons, who are both at university. Appointed as a trustee of the WJ Mills (Cottages) Trust in 2010, Keith served as a governor at St Day & Carharrack Community School from April 2003 until August 2017, culminating in almost 4 years as the chair of Governors. He is also involved in the leadership of St Day Methodist Church and has been a trustee of several local charities and trusts.
Chris has been married to Lizzie for 23 years and they have two children. Chris’ career has been with the written word, initially in journalism and later in public relations; he is now retired and pursuing his twin passions of genealogy and local history through his work with the Lustleigh Archives and Lustleigh Society in the Dartmoor village where Chris and Lizzie now live. Chris is a comparative newcomer to the West Country having moved to Devon in 1994 creating an ‘outpost’ for the London-based PR firm in which he was a partner; Chris spent his earlier years in the south-eastern counties of England, having been born in Kent. Chris joined the board of trustees of the WJ Mills (Cottages) Trust in 2015.