Cam’s Kitchen Update

Queen Camel Community Land Trust at the Old School

We are delighted to be able to record our congratulations to Christine & Ian Richardson on a successful launch of Cam’s Kitchen.  The coffee and food are great but also of great importance is the warm welcome and atmosphere.  If you have not yet visited then we commend this café to you (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and Saturday until 2.30 p.m.).

Cam’s Kitchen website



You will spot that the old school sign has been given a place of honour in the café.

We are still looking for old school memorabilia.  Our plan is to make the passageway behind what were the classrooms in this Victorian building into a historical archive.  This may become one of next winter’s projects.

I also want to record thanks to those who worked so hard to meet the opening deadline.  It included painting every tile on the ceiling and filling more gaps and holes on the walls than could be numbered.

If you are interested in work or art space at the Old School please contact



HomeFirst Plus (HFP) is slowly coming back onto the Old School site and a member of staff is now present every day.   We have every kind of mobility aid available. These include electric wheelchairs, stairlifts, armchairs, as well as specially adapted bath and shower rooms.  We can now offer viewings of our seven self-contained Pods for start-up businesses and welcome you to inquire either within or by e-mail through We offer business growth advice and a space to try out your business ideas, and build a supportive trading community. With Cam’s Kitchen having such a successful start, the site will become a hive of activity and creativity over the coming months.

We are also looking for empty homes that we will manage on behalf of the owner and, where needed, will improve using sustainable materials.

The CLT has continued working tirelessly on the site, and now that volunteers are returning, the gardens are taking on a whole new look.       RW

March updates from RHC & news on the Café

The year is flying by and this week (21st March as I write) we commemorate a year since our first lockdown.  Little did any of us know what lay ahead.  It has affected everyone in some way, some with deep pain and sadness, others with great financial loss, many experiencing very real loneliness and most with a greater realisation of how we previously took so much for granted.

At the Old School we have not been able to do all we had planned and this includes starting a café from January but we have pressed on where we could and are delighted to tell our readers that after Easter our café tenants, Ian & Christine Richardson, will start a take-away service pending being able to open the café.  We are all looking forward to freshly ground coffee and homemade cakes as well as other goodies that Christine is planning – do visit her website.

Next month we hope to be able to give an update on HomeFirst Plus’s Pod initiative that is awaiting release from lockdown.  Any enquiries in respect of HFP or the Pods to, please.

We are still welcoming plants – shrubs, herbs, perennials, and all hardy, and also gardening tools, watering cans, etc.


Cam’s Kitchen… watch this space!

If you have walked past the Old School recently, you will have seen the signs for the Cafe.  We are counting down the days to when we can welcome you in.  Of course, initially, it will be takeaway only, due to the COVID lock-down rules, but when you arrive, I think you’ll see your Administrator first in the queue to buy a slice of Christine’s baking…

We will Never Forget

Our Queen Camel soldier will be a permanent (annual) fixture at the Old School.  We hope you have already seen him as you walk or drive past and also the posters in our windows.

Joe Faber and the Optimists, by Gill Oliver

One of our local residents and a Queen Camel Community Land Trust member, Gill Oliver, has published a novel drawing on personal experiences of life after a stroke.  It has been receiving excellent reviews and is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle.

Gill says:

Because of the pandemic, I can’t currently leave a poster or flyers; that would have been a useful means of linking up with survivors and their carers.

I can’t afford to give copies of the paperback away, but Kindle allows me to offer occasional free downloads of the eBook.  These are promoted on my Facebook page.  Also, for anyone enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, it’s free as part of their library.

For anyone in need of a virtual hug, and a dose of laughter, the next free downloads for the Kindle eBook are on 13th and 14th November, at

The link above gives a full description and reader reviews. The book is getting an enthusiastic reception, makes people laugh, and amongst its keenest fans are therapists and medics who have worked with stroke.

Winstone’s (Sherborne) stock the paperback and it’s also available from

What readers are saying:

”It will be the first book [ in our resource library]  which is a work of fiction but I feel that it so clearly gives a picture of life after a stroke and is an accessible way of being introduced to the subject for people for whom it is a new experience as well as being of interest to those with knowledge.”      (A Headway regional centre)

“a profound and moving examination of life struck by adversity which also manages to feel like a light hearted easy read”

Find out more & get in touch:

Terry Oliver runs a stroke blog with an emphasis on long-term rehabilitation:

Get in touch with Gill and find out more on her Facebook page:*F

Please do share this too with anybody who may be interested.