Sherborne Castle Country Fair - 25 May 2020

Beneficiaries of the 2019 Fair

In 2019 the Committee of the Sherborne Castle Country Fair were very pleased to help the charities and organisations listed below. If you are a Children's Charity or voluntary community group and would like to be considered as a beneficiary seeking funds for a specific project or an individual in particular need, 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!


Based in Weymouth, A Stars provides a weekly support group and youth club for the families of children on the Autistic Spectrum.  The club has been running for 12 years and has supported more than 200 families during that time.

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.

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.

Dorset Youth Associationwebsite

Their mission is to "improve the quality of life for children, young people and families in Dorset".  They provide support for volunteers and staff running youth clubs and groups.  They also provide a range of other services and activities including support for volunteers aged 15-24 (many of whom have additional needs), delivery of the Strengthening Families Programme and support for families in their homes and communities through the Family Link Worker Service.

Equilibrium Youth Work CIC - The Big Yellow Bus Garden Projectwebsite

Equilibrium Youth Work supports children and young people with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, developmental delay or life limiting conditions.  Their Big Yellow Bus Garden Project is an attempt to help address the growing numbers of children and young people who are suffering from mental health issues or could simply benefit from being out of doors.


FarmLink aims to provide teaching for pupils of as many schools operating within the North Somerset catchment area as possible.  Teaching covers the practical process of farming, food production, land management and conservation and is carried out both on farms and in school classrooms.  Teaching complies with the requriements of the National Curriculum concerning food, farming and the environment.

Freshwater Fundraisers

They help to fund caravan holidays at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Burton Bradstock for children with special needs. 

Future Rootswebsite

Future Roots is a social enterprise based at Holnest, near Sherborne.  The dedicated team use farming and the countryside to help young people progress in their education and their lives.  They work with young people at risk of exclusion from school, children with speical educational needs and disabilities, as well as families in crisis.  Over 100 young people visit the farm every week where they learn new skills and develop personal qualities by caring for animals, growing plants and learning rural crafts.

Hamdon Youth Clubwebsite

They are a youth group which serves the two villages of Stoke sub Hamdon and Norton sub Hamdon.  They operate two nights per week, every week, offering a Youth Club on one night with activities and discussions around issues such as drugs, sex, personal development, CV writing and education.  On the other night they run a Drop In Coffee Shop specialising in small groups of young people who need more individual attention.

Life Education Wessexwebsite

Life Education helps children make healthy choices and avoid risky behaviours.  They work to prevent substance misuse (alcohol, tobacco and drugs), obesity, bullying/peer group pressure and mental health problems in children and teenagers.  In 2018 they delivered health, drug and emotional well-being programmes to 50,000 pupils in primary schools across Wessex; 30,000 of those were in Dorset.  They deliver their service via their purpose-built mobile classrooms staffed by their specially trained Educators.

Marine Society & 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.

Mind in Somersetwebsite

1 in 4 people will suffer from poor mental health during their lives.  The pressures of modern daily life, social media and other factors are seeing an increase in those suffering from poor mental health across all age ranges.  Mind in Somerset's vision is to promote good mental health and well-being and champoin a greater understanding of mental health issues in the community.

Mosaic - Supporting Bereaved Childrenwebsite

Mosaic provides bereavement support to children and young people living in Dorset who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or other close relative or friend.  Mosaic also provide support and advice for those young people facing the death of a loved one.  Their priority is to reach every bereaved young person in Dorset who needs support and advice.


PROMISEworks provides inspirational and intensive one-to-one mentoring of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and adults who are on the edge of care or who have just left the care system.  Experience has shown that these children/young adults are equally as vulnerable as children in care because they either live in dysfunctional familites or are on their own having been in care.  These young people fall outside the area of statutory responsibility of Somerset County Council.

Riding for the Disabled – Blackmore Vale Branchwebsite

At Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), the horses and ponies benefit the lives of disabled children and adults by providing therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement.  The Blackmore Vale Branch holds riding sessions two and a half days a week, has on register some 90 child and adult riders and over 50 volunteers who facilitate their riding.  To see the joy on a rider's face truly makes it all worthwhile.

Sherborne Area Youth & Community Centre (Tinney’s)website

The SAYCC at Tinney's Lane, Sherborne, provides a wide variety of amenities for the community in general and for youth services in the Sherborne area in particular.  They plan to run another "Focus on Youth" week during the 2019 school summer holidays, catering for young people from Year 6 to Year 11.  Each day there will be a wide range of activities and interest groups ranging from football training, drama, craft and art as well as many other off-site activities such as paddle boarding and windsurfing.

Shine 21 Dorset DS Buddy Club

The Shine 21 Dorset Down Syndrome Buddy Group is a friendship and life skills club for primary school children in Dorset with Down Syndrome.  It gives them an opportunity to access a range of age-appropriate social activities to their level of ability, make new friends and develop their independence.  The achieve this by having regular meet-ups, going on outings for the day and holding workshops. 

StreetLight Projectwebsite

The vision of StreetLight is to work with local churches, schools, other organisations and individuals to be a community resource, initially focused around an indoor skate park and café which provides a local faciity that previously did not exist.  It offers free use of the skate park for up to 2 hours per day, allowing local people who cannot afford to pay to use the skate park time to ride free of charge and be there with friends without feeling left out.  They offer free scooters, skateboards and helmets.

The Hub - Yeovil Community Support Charitywebsite

The Hub is a place where those with learning difficulties and autism get to meet, master new skills and move forwards. It provides support and training to empower the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism, helping each individual achieve their own personal independence, support their community and work together, beyond disability.

Yeovil Opportunity Groupwebsite

Yeovil Opportunity Group is a specialist pre-school and centre of early intervention for children with complex special needs.  Many children come to the Group with a range of needs including unable to communicate verbally, blindness, hearing loss, physical disabilities, high medical needs and genetic disorders.  Equally important is the support that is offered to parents and carers.

Youth Rescource Services (The Rendezvous, Sherborne) Ltdwebsite

The Rendezvous has been working with young people in Sherborne for over 20 years. They provide advice and information, help with social, emotional and mental health issues (now 50% of their work), English and Maths qualifications and help into college and employment.  They have adapted their work and can now take the support where it is needed - in schools, the home and other settings.

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