Sherborne Castle Country Fair - 29th May 2017

Beneficiaries of the 2017 Fair

In 2017 the Committee of the Sherborne Castle Country Fair are very pleased to help the following charities and organisations:


A support group based in Weymouth working with families all of whom have a child or children affected by an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.  They currently work with 60 families who come from a wide area including Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, Blandford, Bere Regis, Wool and Sherborne.

Back on Track

Run entirely by volunteers, Back on Track works with children who have emotional, behavioural or welfare problems and who are not doing well in school.  Their current project consists of 8-10 children who ride and learn horse care for a term.  To date they have run 62 projects in Bridgwater, Taunton, Williton, Minehead, Frome, Wincanton, Cheddar, Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury and Street.

Blandford Opportunity Groupwebsite

A pre-school playgroup that works with children from birth to 5 years who have special education needs or a disability.  Some of the children have short expected life spans and many have life-limiting conditions.  It is open to children from all over Dorset, not just Blandford, and the Group helps the families to have access to education, support and guidance.

Colehill & Wimborne Youth & Community Centrewebsite

This is the only Youth Club in the Colehill and Wimborne area and their focus has been to provide a sustainable building for The Reef Youth Club and the 120 youngsters who have enrolled.

Diverse Abilitieswebsite

A charity that supports children with profound physical and learning disabilities, and their families, living in Dorset. The chidlren have a range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, rare genetic conditions and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  They have opened a new respite home, Lily's Place, where children can have overnight stays to give their parents a break.

Dorchester Opportunity Groupwebsite

The Group offers specialist support for pre-school children and their families, with particular emphasis on the care of children with disabilities or additional needs.  They cover Dorchester and surrounding towns and villages throughout West Dorset.  Each child works through an individual learning plan and sessions are varied and include speech and language, music therapy, swimming, gymnastics and movement.

Dorset Youth Associationwebsite

They provide a range of services and activities, and support a network of youth clubs and projects.  They offer advice, information, guidance and support for young people in need who ask for their help.  Last year they helped tackle issues including: homelessness, housing issues, behavioural issues, mental health problems, hunger, physical and emotional well-being, relationship breakdown family crises, sexual health issues, poor budgeting skills and debt, the need to improve basic Maths and English and to develop positive life skills.

Faithworks Wessex

Through practical and "people-first" projects, Faithworks Wessex works to inspire and equip people on their journey out of isolation and poverty and into a place where they have hope for the future.  One of their projects is "SMILE connect", a community group and support network for lone parent families with the aim of helping lone parents and their children to have increased confidence, self-esteem and resilience, and to help build a stronger family.

Future Rootswebsite

Future Roots is based on a idea called "care farming".  Care farms provide health, social and educational services through supervised, structured programmes of farm-related activities, sometimes including animal-assisted therapy.  They are based at two sites: Rylands Farm at Holnest, near Sherborne: a 30 acre high welfare farm with cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, rabbits and donkeys; and Whitfield, a 4 acre gardening and rural craft centre with a range of greenhouses, polytunnels and allotments.  Up to 100 young people access Future Roots each week.

Gryphon School Ten Torswebsite

The Gryphon School's Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme has been developing steadily over the last few years and 2017 will see it expand to 98 students enrolling on the Bronze Award (from years 9 and 10), 19 enrolling on the Silver Award and 12 on Gold.  In 2016 the School entered two teams into the 35 mile challenge which both teams successfully completed.  This has required more, and better, equipment and they now need a larger and more watertight store for their valuable kit.

Hamdon Youth Clubwebsite

The Youth Club provides facilties for young people aged 10 to 18 in the two villages of Norton sub Hamdon and Stoke sub Hamdon.  They run a weekly Youth Club for 10 to 13 year olds and a weekly Drop In for 13 to 18 year olds.  As a result of their activities they have seen an increasing use of the facilities and a very significant drop in anti-social behaviour from young people in the villages.

Home-Start North Dorsetwebsite

Through their team of trained parent volunteers Home-Start North Dorset offer support, friendship and practical help that enables families with young children who are facing a period of difficulty to cope better and provide a home environment that will give their children the best possible start in life.  They provide practical help and emotional support to fragile families with young children who are struggling with their mental or physical health, rural or social isolation, serious illness, managing their households or coping with multiple children under five.

Home-Start West Dorsetwebsite

Home-Start West Dorset covers West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland. A self-funding charity, they recruit and train volunteers, who are parents themselves, to visit families weekly for 2–3 hours offering practical and emotional support.  Volunteers are able to offer time for listening and talking, reassurance to parents that parenting problems are not unusual or unique as well as practical support in the family home and help to use local services and resources.

Life Education Wessexwebsite

Life Education deliver health and drug prevention education to young children in Dorset. They deliver their service via their purpose-built mobile classrooms staffed by their specially trained Educators. They provide age-appropriate health and drug prevention education programmes to children aged 3 to 13 years so as to enable them to make informed, positive health choices.  Their Life Education is a 7-year programme of prevention and as children leave to go on to senior school, younger children are taking their place.


It is estimated that 2,500 children living in Dorset will be bereaved each year and 250 of those may need the support of a service like Mosaic. Many of the children and young people they work with are already living in families with issues such as poverty, poor housing, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.  Mosaic provides individual and family support, residential weekends and social events.  Residential weekends are held at Leeson House Field Study Centre near Swanage and they spend the weekend remembering their special person, sharing their experiences with others and learning how to safely express the overwhelming feelings that grief can bring. Alongside the therapeutic work they take part in team building activities and most of all they have fun! This can often be something they find difficult as they feel they should be sad all the time.

RendezVous Sherbornewebsite

Last year the team at the Rendezvous helped more than 300 young people move towards a more positive future. By providing one-to-one support their team help young people to build self-confidence and self-esteem. This helps them stay in school and college, develop aspirations and set goals. They have helped reduce levels of self-harm and, where necessary, secured additional specialist help that some needed for issues including alcohol and substance misuse and mental health.

Riding for the Disabled Group – Lytchett Groupwebsite

Horses and ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities.  Riding for the Disabled Lytchett now have more children coming to their Group due to other Groups having to close in Dorset. They are, because of the extra children participating, needing to run a second session. They will have to hire the ponies for this and are looking for help towards the cost of the hire.

Sea Cadets - Somerset and Dorset Branchwebsite

The Sea Cadets exist to teach youngsters (often from very poor or under-privileged backgrounds) some life skills, to give them self-confidence and some “serious fun”.  The cadets have the opportunity to go on sea training trips. For these cadets it is often their first experience of being away from home and of visiting a UK or foreign port, and most importantly of working as part of a team in a challenging but exciting environment.

Sherborne Area Youth & Community Centre, Tinney’s Lanewebsite

The charitable limited community company of SAYCC completed the takeover of the Sherborne Area Youth and Community site from Dorset County Council on 6th December 2016. A dedicated youth club has been formed and runs from the Centre.

South Somerset Mindwebsite

South Somerset Mind is a small mental health charity that is based in Yeovil. Their small but dedicated team work hard to support individuals across the South Somerset and Mendip areas who might be struggling with their mental health. Their Youth Matters project focuses particularly on young people aged up to 25 years old. Their support worker provides a small number of one-to-one appointments, allowing each young person to discuss any issues they may be struggling with and come up with practical ways of overcoming them.

StreetLight, Wimborne

The StreetLight Project is a Community Skate Park and Café.  It is housed in an old factory on the edge of Wimborne. There are skate ramps that are under cover and can be used all year round. They offer free scooter, BMX and skateboard hire, and helmets and pads.  The centre provides youngsters with a safe place to meet their friends, make new friends and have fun. It is a much needed facility in Wimborne, now there is no longer a youth club.

The Hub Yeovilwebsite

The Hub is a Social Enterprise and Skills Development Centre that offers young people and adults, with additional support needs, opportunities to develop new skills for living and working. This can range from a few hours up to regular days per week. For children and young people The Hub offers a personalised curriculum for those who find traditional learning environments difficult to manage. They also have a range of evening, weekend and holiday activities. They have created a number of micro-enterprises that are “live” businesses providing real supported-work opportunities, underpinned by a life skills programme to enable their trainees to lead more independent and satisfying lives.

Yeovil Opportunity Groupwebsite

A pre-school playgroup for children from birth to 5 years. They give help to children with disabilities or additional needs, and support the children’s families.  Their group, Rainbows Time Together, to which families are referred by a range of specialists, is a once-a-week group, free of charge, that offers special time for parents and children. It is a chance for parents to meet other parents, with children with additional needs and their therapists. It provides a place where they can share their concerns with others in a sympathetic environment, but still have fun together. This, often early, diagnosis stage is scary and stressful for parents, and their families often feel isolated and alone. However this small group is able to give a child a little more time and attention and importantly can give parents confidence to look positively at what a child can achieve.

The Fair also helps many other smaller groups and charities providing support and learning activities for children and young people in the local community.

If you are a Children's Charity or voluntary community group and would like to be considered as a beneficiary, please apply here by the end of December to be considered for the following year.

The Committee will review all applications in February and you will be notified thereafter if you have been successful. If successful, donations will be made during the summer (after the Fair has taken place). We look forward to hearing from you!