Sherborne Preparatory School winners of Rotary Youth Speaks Intermediate competition

The Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles has held the local round of the national Rotary Youth Speaks Intermediate Competition at the Gryphon School. This year teams from three local schools took part. The winning team was one of the teams from the Sherborne Preparatory School. Their speaker Matthew Dick who spoke about ‘Time’ was ably assisted by the team’s chairperson Felix Beddow and Rory Gibbs who gave the vote of thanks. Second place went to a team from Leweston School and third place to another team from the Sherborne Preparatory School.

RCSC - (P) Youth Speaks 2015 - Teams

All competitors at Rotary Youth Speaks

Mrs Christine Stones the chair of the panel of adjudicators which also included Mrs Sally Westlotorn and Miss Anne Salt commended all the teams and gave a special mention to Jacob Burgess-Rollo from the Gryphon school who stepped in at the very last minute due to the illness of a member of one of the teams from his school.

The President of the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles David Havard thanked all the teams, their schools and supporters for making the competition such an enjoyable evening. He also thanked the headmaster of the Gryphon School Steve Hillier for the use of the schools facilities.

The winners now go on to a district final. If successful there they will go on to the regional final and ultimately on to the national final which is being held in Preston, Lancashire in May 2016.

RCSC - (P) Youth Speaks 2015 - Winners

The winning teams with the president of the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles David Havard and Mrs Christine Stones chair of the panel of adjudicators.

The winning team from Sherborne Preparatory School are in the front row with blue certificates from left to right Matthew Dick, Felix Beddow and Rory Gibbs. In second place were the team from Leweston School who are in the second row with red certificates from left to right Eliza Dawson, Emillia Brazier and Daisy Pilkington. Finally in third place the second team from Sherborne Preparatory School with green certificates from left to right Hugh Ridgway, Harry McGinty and Will Chesterman.

Report by Russ King

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Memorial Garden in Klaipeda a gift of Sherborne Castles Rotary Club

On 28 September Helena Peart and her son Christopher arrived in Klaipeda form the UK in order to present a cheque for 34,000 Euros to the St Francis oncology Centre.

Hellena and Christopher

The money had been collected by the Sherborne Castles Rotary Club in England as a last request by Michael Peart who died in April. Michael asked his son Christopher to take part in the annual Run for Hope held in Klaipeda in May of this year. (For further information see

Michael Peart had been the first British Ambassador to the newly reindependent Lithuania from 1991 to 1994, a patron of the St Francis Cancer Support Centre and the President of Sherborne Castles Rotary Club from 2009 to 2010.

During the presentation Aldona Kerpyte, the Director of the Centre, presented certificates of appreciation to Sherborne Castles Rotary and to Helena and Christopher Peart.
The money will be used to create a Memorial Garden in the central courtyard of the St Francis oncology Centre to commemorate the life and work of Michael Peart.

Nijole Raudyte,
Public relation specialist,
St. Francis oncology centre

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Welcome to our new members

Our club has been really busy in and around Sherborne, and in the past few years and many of our projects have become regular annual events in the town, including Hidden Gardens of SherborneSherborne International Film Festival, and Classics at the Castle, which raise thousands of pounds for local organisations, national charities and our international projects.

Each of these events is only possible because of the skills, experience and contacts which our members have, and are prepared to use to help organise these projects, and also to be there on the day to marshal and support as necessary.

So it has been a great pleasure to welcome 5 new members to our club in the past couple of months, bringing new skills and experience, and whatever time they are able to commit to our clubs activities.

Welcome to  Neville Huxtable, Steven Pleasance, Frank Skinner, Jo, Harper and Rachel Goodfellow.

If you are interested in joining our club and sharing in the fun and fellowship as well as assisting with our projects, then do contact us to find out more.

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What a busy year we are having!

The Rotary club of Sherborne Castles deserves its reputation as an active club which organises professionally run major projects in our town, in aid of charity.  Many of our events have become regular fixtures in the town.

Jazz at the Red House

This event held on the day before our Hidden Gardens event, was very much enjoyed by those who attended, and the Wriggle Valley Band were on top form.

Friends of Yeatman July15

Mike Hatch, Chairman of the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital receives the cheque.

This event raised a total of £2,660 of which £1,330 was presented to Friends of the Yeatman in Sherborne.  There is a plan to establish a second end of life care unit in The Willows to supplement the Jean King Suite and this sum will help to achieve this.

Hidden Gardens of Sherborne

This event is always popular and good weather ensured plenty of visitors to the 20 gardens kindly opened for the weekend by Sherborne residents, to raise funds for charity.   The total surplus from the event was £4,600 which will be shared between Marie Curie and St Margaret’s Hospice and other local charities.

We are very grateful to our sponsors Churchouse, who donated wine for the thank you party for garden owners, which was held on Sunday evening.

Charity Golf Day

Held at Sherborne Golf Club, this was a great day with 17 teams, and support from hole sponsors and providers of auction prizes, ensured this event created a surplus of £3,671. Of this sum £3,000 is to be given to St Margaret’s Hospice in memory of Michael Peart, and the balance will be held in charitable funds for local donations.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event.

Classics at the Castle

What a day to remember.  So many cars and so many people enjoying a great day out.   Some 8,000 people and 1,300 cars were on site at Sherborne Castle on Sunday 20th July to enjoy the 12th annual Classics at the Castle event.  This is the second year that this event has been run as a partnership between the Rotary Clubs of Sherborne Castles and Yeo Vale.

Brian Culcheth one of our celebrity visitors photographed by Philippa Annett

For more information about this event check out

………..  and still to come this year:

Historic Vehicle Rally -Sunday 30th August – Sherborne School

SHIFF – Sherborne International Film Festival in October.  -Thursday 29th October to Sunday 1st November.

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Collection for Nepal

Both Rotary clubs in Sherborne were in Cheap Street last Friday collecting to help the victims of the earthquake in Nepal.  We are so grateful to everyone who gave so generously to help with this cause.

We raised  just under £1,800 from the collection last Friday and have receive additional donations in the last few days which will take this total to almost £2,500.  All the money collected is being sent to Shelterbox this week to enable them to provide more shelter and essential supplies to those in Nepal who have lost everything.

In addition, The Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles has funded 3 water survival boxes boxes provided by World Waterworks, a Rotary project run by Chelwood Bridge Rotary club in Somerset.  Supporting these Rotary projects ensures that all the money given goes directly to those in need.

water box 2

Thank you everyone who gave so generously last week.


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Michael Peart Appeal

Michael Peart

Michael Peart Past President of the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles is terminally ill in St. Margaret’s Hospice, Yeovil. Before retirement Michael was the first British Ambassador to Lithuania following the break-up of the Soviet Union. During his time as Ambassador Michael forged strong personal links in Lithuania which have continued throughout his retirement years.

Amongst his enduring connections is the St Francis Cancer Support Centre in Klaipedia of which Michael is a Patron. On 17th May the centre will be holding their annual 10K Hope Run which is one of their principal fundraising events. In talking to Michael his son Christopher has undertaken to take part in the event this year in his memory. Christopher hopes to raise as much money as possible for the centre so others can receive the same sort of care and support as his father has received in St Margaret’s.

The Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles is supporting Christopher Peart and has set up an account with Rotary Charity Fundraisers. As a result Gift Aid can be claimed on all qualifying donations.

Please take a moment, use this link and read Christopher’s story. Hopefully you will be moved to donate to this cause in memory of a very special Rotarian.

Update from Christopher Peart: It is with great sadness that Dad passed away peacefully at St Margaret’s Hospice in Yeovil on Thursday 2 April 2015. Mum and I are truly devastated but are determined to make Dad proud through this fundraising appeal. 03/04/15 11:31

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What’s behind the garden wall? Hidden gardens of Sherborne June 2015

Hidden Gardens A4 Poster 2015-page-001

The Hidden Gardens of Sherborne has become part of Sherborne’s annual calendar, and the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles is delighted to be able to hold this event again this year with new gardens as well as some favourites  6th and 7th June 2015
2pm – 5pm

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Sherborne’s Olympic Bursary Winners 2015


For the third year since the 2012 Olympic Games, the Rotary Clubs of Sherborne and Sherborne Castles have awarded a bursary to some highly talented young people from the Gryphon School who are already competing at county level and above in their chosen sport.

Each year choosing the worthy winners becomes more difficult and this year we have awarded three bursaries as we found it impossible to reduce this final three to two.  This years winners are:

Madelyn White  – Swimming and Accro Gymnastics
Madelyn spends 20 hours a week training for swimming, and is ranked top 3 for her age group (16).   Her highest achievement to date is making the ASA National final as part of this regions 4×100 freestyle relay team, finishing 5th overall from 40 teams competing.

Madelyn also does Accro Gymnastics training twice a week and has qualified at National level.   She competed in British Championships as part of a pair and came 16th, and at an International competition in Germany was placed 12th overall.

She will use her bursary money for competition fees  and for training in specialist camps.

William Morris  –  Rugby
William plays for Sherborne RFC, is in his 2nd year playing for Dorset and Wilts, and this year has played for Bath Academy.   He was player of the year 3 times at Sherborne.  He has been awarded the Gryphon School Contribution to Sport Award, and Gryphon Rugby player of the year.

William wants to progress to professional rugby with Bath and also do a degree in Sports development eventually, and will use his bursary to replace equipment and for travel costs.

Sophie Ward  –  Karate
Sophie is a black belt in 2013 was part of the Western Karate club based in Bristol where they have very high level of members including a world champion, and she has won two English National bronze medals, competed at International open competitions, and is a National Squad member.  Sophie trains twice a week in Yeovil, Bristol every three weeks as well as Friday nights and Sunday morning sessions

She hopes to be in the National Squad eventually and competing Internationally in 5 years time.  Her bursary money will help access training in Bristol more frequently and contribute to travel to competitions/entry fees.

Congratulations to all three winners, it was great to see them at our club recently and to hear their plans and dreams.  We where overwhelmed by just how hard these youngsters train and how committed they are to their chosen sports.


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Charity Golf Day 30th June 2015

Golf day poster-page-001

Our Annual Charity Golf Day is this year being held at Sherborne Golf Club on 30th June.

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Donations from the proceeds of Hidden Gardens

The hidden gardens event is always popular with the people of Sherborne and the 2014 event generated a total of £ 4,313 distributed equally between the two chosen beneficiaries, who were the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital and Marie Curie End of Life Care.

At the cheque presentation at the Crown Inn recently, Mike Hatch thanked us on behalf of friends of the Yeatman and advised us that this money will be spent on WIFI and an electronic board at the hospital to improve communications.  He also reminded us that the minor injuries unit at the Yeatman can be used as an alternative to going to Yeovil Hospital A&E.

Sue Hawkett thanked the club on behalf of Marie Curie Care for  “the most generous donation from Rotary Club Sherborne Castles”.

” The amount you gave us, plus that which we managed to raise ourselves by serving teas, will provide 108 hours of nursing care to someone nearing the end of their life. Having the right person at the right time during those last few days of life can make such a difference to families and it is that which will live on in their memory.

 Thank you again – Rotary have been very good to us and we are grateful.”

Thanks also to the people of Sherborne who share their gardens with us all for the weekend.

Hidden Gardens 2015 will be on the weekend of 6th and 7th of June

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Bridge over the Mudi River now complete

David Pearson’s work with Joshua Orphan & Community Care in Malawi, and funding by our club,  has now reached another milestone as the bridge over the Mudi River has now been completed.

Manyenje Bridge has provided easy access to Manyenje Village while the Manyenje villagers now have an easier access to different social amenities like schools, health facilities, financial services, churches and maize mills.

Some villagers crossing the river at its base as they await concrete to dry

Some villagers crossing the river at its base as they await concrete to dry

Speaking when the construction site was visited, the Village Headman Manyenje was all smiles that a second bridge had been completed on the south-western side of his village after the first one was constructed a year ago by Rotarian Club. “As you can see, my village is an island and once the Mudi River swelled up during rainy season, this village was inaccessible. No one could neither go out of it nor come into it. Now everyone would have free mobility”, said Village Head Manyenje.

The Manyenje Bridge from a distance

The Manyenje Bridge from a distance

Manyenje Village is an ‘island’ surrounded by the meandering of Mudi River on its eastern side and its western side has hills. The easier way to get into the village is by crossing the river. During the rainy season after the river swells up, people of Manyenje could be completely cut out.

For example, Manyenje Village is surrounded by three full primary schools; Nchokera, Manyowe and Nancholi and three secondary schools; Nchokera Community Day Secondary School, Nancholi CDSS and Joshua Secondary School. These are the schools children from Manyenje attend. They have to cross Mudi River to access the schools. Attending school could become erratic during the rainy season as it was dependent on the water levels in the river. For example in January 2014 children were unable to visit the feeding centre for more than 5 days due to high water levels.

The middle concrete pillar

The middle concrete pillar

The bridge will not only benefit the people of Manyenje Village but also those from surrounding villages such as Maliro, Mwandika, Mpagaja, Chilunduka, Mbinda and Mulanga. People from villages in the western part of Manyenje would find it easier to get to the nearest trading centre on the eastern side of Manyenje by passing through the village saving time and energy spent walking round Manyenje to the centre.

Also children from villages in the western part of Manyenje have been provided with an easy access to the newly built Manyenje Junior Primary School and to Manyenje Under-Six Feeding Centre run by Mary’s Meals.

“The bridge will improve the livelihoods of people in Manyenje Village and all surrounding villages. It has been completed timely when the problems of crossing Mudi River were about to start at the onset of the rainy season. Everyone in the village is very happy with the development,” said an overjoyed Mai Kambila, a Caregiver at Manyenje Under-Six Feeding Centre.

A point where the concrete slab meets earth

A point where the concrete slab meets earth

The Village Head Manyenje concluded praising Joshua as quoted, “my village has become a town overnight. I now have a primary school, an under-six feeding centre, a teacher’s house and now, a bridge. Thank you Joshua! Please, send our gratitude to the donors. Tell them we are over the moon!”

The Village Headman asked if the bridge could have the name of the donor written on it.

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Water Survival Box and the Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Should we be supporting this?

Rotary- volunteering, supporting communities, having fun

Big-Give-2014-Poster-copy1For the fourth year running Worldwaterworks Limited has been accepted as a participant in the 2014 Challenge. Notification came late this year and yet, thanks to a speedy response from 13 Clubs in our own District 1200 we have secured pledges for the full £7,000 we had set as our target for the first phase. In order to be able to draw down a further £7,000 from the BigGive charity we need to receive a total of £14,000 in on-line donations in the second phase. This commences at 1000 am on Thursday, 4 December. The Challenge rules restrict the amount of  donations that can be matched on each of the first three days but, providing enough donations come in during that period the full extra £7,000 can be achieved. In the past three years we Box with contents and Aquafilter 2014have received great support from Rotary Clubs across RIBI – not least because…

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6th Sherborne International Film Festival

Rotary- volunteering, supporting communities, having fun

This year’s SIXTH Sherborne International Film Festival has some intriguing films from across the globe, with ‘The Lunchbox’, a light-hearted romantic drama from India, set to open the event on Thursday 23rd October.


Check out this years programme which will take you from Italy and Norway to Japan and Singapore.  The event at the Powell Theatre in Sherborne, runs from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th October and tickets can be obtained from the Sherborne Tourist Information Office in Digby Road Sherborne or can be purchased at the door.

Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles look forward to seeing you all at this amazing annual event

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Big Lottery TakepArt Project at Sherborne Youth Centre

Members of Sherborne Castles Rotary club show that they are not afraid to get their hands dirty when it comes to helping out with this local project.

Sustainable building techniques are being used to construct a new building in the grounds of Sherborne Youth Centre, which will ultimately be suitable for use as an educational and meeting venue.   It will provide a ‘technology free’ (no mobiles of electronic devices allowed) space where young people can gather for day time group work and socially during club evening sessions.

This is a community project with a large proportion of the labour needed being provided by the local community, building a construction which uses straw bales and cob construction, sourcing local materials and incorporating art pieces such as stained glass, wood and stone carving which have been made at community workshops for this purpose.

It is expected that in the region of 150 local people will be involved in this project building new friendships and learning new skills, whilst also building a beautiful building filled with hand crafted features showcasing the talents of local individuals and groups, and providing a lasting legacy for the TakepArt Big Lottery project.

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Mudi River Footbridge in Malawi

Good news from Malawi. After a late start due to continuing rains rapid progress has been made in the construction of the new footbridge spanning the Mudi River. The latest photograph from Malawi shows the footbridge nearing completion with only the approach paths remaining to be filled-in and the footbridge itself to be painted.

Contrast the scene less than a year ago where the children were forced to wade across a raging torrent in order to get to school. The same children can be seen standing under the new footbridge safe in the knowledge that this year they will be able to use it whatever the weather in complete safety. The combination of the road bridge over the Milo River and the new footbridge over the Mudi River will mean that the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles will have completed its objective of ensuring that no child in the district will be swept to their death during future rainy seasons. In addition their parents can go to market, the new maize mill and to the clinic throughout the year.

HRK 17.09.14

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