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Video: Oscar and BAFTA winners pledge their support for Brimscombe Mill

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Academy Award and BAFTA winners have pledged their support to save the Brimscombe Mill community.

The social enterprise headquarters has been sold for warehousing, putting the Grace Network, including The Long Table, The Furniture BankBike Drop and Kids Stuff, at risk of permanent closure by the end of August, with the loss of 53 jobs.

Stellar acting stars have joined forces with members of the community in a video campaign to save a vital organisation that last year welcomed more than 35,000 people to eat at below cost-price – many for no charge at all.

Inspired by Stroud Times’ heartfelt video interviews with Edith Bowman and Grace Network co-founder Tom Herbert, which led to subsequent national exposure in The Guardian, a raft of actors have stepped forward to back the Save Brimscombe Mill Community campaign.

The array of stars includes extraordinary screen actress and this year’s recipient of the BAFTA Film Fellowship award, Samantha Morton. Stepping forward to show his support is Lennie James, The Walking Dead star and writer of BAFTA-winning Sky hit series Save Me.

Also backing the Save Brimscombe Mill Community initiative is Black Panther and Halo star Danny Sapani, who recently gained plaudits for his portrayal of King Lear at the Almeida Theatre.

Embracing the site to remain in Brimscombe is Suranne Jones, BAFTA and multi-award winning star of Doctor Foster and more recently, Vigil and Gentleman Jack.

Gloucester-born actress and comedian Bridget Christie – BAFTA nominated 2024 for The Change – alongside Monica Dolan, BAFTA winner for her portrayal of Rosemary West, and star of the hugely popular Mr Bates versus the Post Office. Siobhan Finneran from Downtown Abbey and BAFTA-nominated this year for her reprisal role in the hugely successful Happy Valley joins the roll call. 

Other actors offering their support feature the cast from Save Me – Alice  Feetham and Thomas Coombes, along with Jason Flemyng, star of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. 

After Life’s Kerry Godliman, and Sam C Wilson – the upcoming star of Chris O’Dowd’s Sky comedy Small Town Big Story feature alongside Shameless star Karen Bryson MBE, as well as James Martin MBE, Oscar-winner for An Irish Goodbye

They are also joined by Stroud-based actor Susan Lynch, star of Happy Valley and The Change, Sheepscombe-based actor Simon Chadwick, award-winning Brimscombe actress Laura Ashcroft and Brimscombe dog walker Pam Wise of Wise Tails, along with Jesse Carrington of Trainspotters, an industrial lighting company based in Slad Road, Stroud.

Families at the mill have also joined in this powerful message of support.

“What has been created and nurtured in this space at Brimscombe Mill is important,” said actor Susan Lynch, who joined a video message alongside Long Table staff.

“Even if we don’t go there, eat there, work there, there are people from our community, who do. Older people who have coffee mornings, and kids who have play events. Mothers who buy second hand clothes and furniture. Workers who have put their hearts and souls into the place. The bottom line is we are all in this together.

“Whoever we are. Community is family… it is sacred… it’s truly the only thing we have. Society is broken without it, whatever the circumstances, we should all try to preserve it.” 

Founded by Tom Herbert and Will Mansell in 2018, The Long Table moved to its current Brimscombe Mill location in September 2021 after their former Brimscombe Port site was demolished and earmarked for residential use.

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