TheraTeds (SMW) CIC are looking for sponsorship for their “Bear In Mine’d” museum.
TheraTeds (SWM) CIC was established (31/12/2021) to protect and manage a significant collection of teddy bears. and display them as Cornwall’s first teddy bear museum. We opened the museum, which we called The ‘Bear In Mine’d, on the 1st May 2022 with an official opening on 2nd June 2022. TheraTeds (SWM) CIC has 3 directors and the aim is to try and provide as much as we can for the well-being of the local community as well as educating, presenting, supporting, where we can.
We host a weekly Memory Cafe ‘TheraTeds Friends, a bi-monthly community craft group and monthly workshops. We hope to be holding more groups soon including a baby/toddler group, a diversity group and a repair cafe and are always open to new ideas…
We see the teddy bears as ‘actors’ who tell stories connected to the mining past, happy memories and the unique nature heritage of Cornwall, through staged displays incorporating the teddy bears. Teddy bears are so much more than children’s toys and can be used for education, health, memory aids, adult companions, etc. They represent all different people of all different shapes, sizes and colours. TheraTeds (SWM) CIC also looks to use the setting and the teddy bear displays as a way to engage disadvantaged groups within the community, increasing access and inclusiveness of hard to reach groups in activities such as art, music, heritage, nature and therapy. The displays are changed every month to encourage repeat visitors.
Alongside the museum, we have a shop where we are supporting over 15 local independent crafters and business owners; a reading area with tea/coffee making facilities;, an office area upstairs for up to 7 people, and, soon to be unveiled, a Cornish study library) ; 2 toilets (1 with disabled and changing baby facilities); and a kitchen. The building used to be the mine’s blacksmiths but then was abandoned before a restoration/conversion project 10 years ago. It has been virtually unused for nearly 60 years and we love it to be used by as many people as possible. There is a range of possibilities we probably haven’t thought of yet!
Anyone who can share this building in a fairly remote location with respect to the heritage and our museum. The building is a heritage listed building and the shop and museum area are of double height. The building was part of a restoration project by Cornwall Council and so are installed with the up-to-date installation, electrics, etc. It is also well lit with automatic lighting and would suit a lot of ages.
Key Dates and Timings
The lease is reviewed end of March 2024 so we are looking for sponsorship up to then. However, if the sponsorship is working well and we decide to carry on the lease, it will be for longer.
Specific Opportunity Details
Over our first year, we’ve had nearly 600 visitors, most of whom have enjoyed their visit and given us lovely feedback. Some have even visited several times! We have profiles on Facebook (Bear In Mine’'d page, 228 followers; TheraTeds-SMW CIC page, 99 followers); Twitter (122 followers); Instagram (111 followers).
We are based in a lovely 1850 building which housed the original Blacksmiths belonging to King Edward Mine in Troon, Cornwall. Although we are in a beautiful part of the country, there are a lot of problems due to remoteness, health, lack of jobs, etc. The area is in one of the top areas of deprivation and we have, over our first year, welcomed both individuals and groups working with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged to come to our site and use the exhibits and the relaxing atmosphere as a therapeutic activity. This will expand their horizons, generate better health and wellbeing at a time when the cost of living crisis will further disadvantage them, generating poor health outcomes and isolation. This, in turn, could help you and if applicable, your employers, partners and customers.
Features and Benefits
We have over 500 exhibits on display in the museum. Some of these, including Great Pooh (a 1960's 6 foot teddy bear) could be used to advertise products or a sponsoring company. Advertising signs can be displayed throughout the building. Products can also be sold in our supporting shop. There are also opportunities for companies/partners/sponsors to use the office space, internet, telephone, kitchen and toilets when the museum is open and also after hours. We could also hold promotional events. With the space available, there are lots of possibilities which we may not have thought of.
£15,000 - £30,000 cash investment to pay for the year rent and salary of an extra employer. Although we have 15 sellers in our shop and are getting more visitors, we are struggling with the rent of our lovely heritage home. Having done this, up to now on goodwill and personal inheritance, funding is required to enable us to keep the conditions of the lease and to make the company sustainable. We also want to offer employment to the local communities we are supporting, apprentices and other opportunities. At the moment, we have one staff member who comes in 1 day a week to help with the records, but everything else is done by me, Victoria, who is unwaged. We want to develop a ‘befriending/management’ role to help engage with the public, encourage hard to reach groups and individuals and enhance their experience by educating and engaging them in our ongoing activities. We would benefit from advice and we will also help and support any partner.