Progress towards the “New Normal”

    

The Old School currently remains closed.  Together, with our tenants and practitioners, we are hoping to make a gradual return to a new normal.  Reopening will be in line with government guidelines and we look forward to welcoming everyone as soon as we can.

In the meantime, members of the CLT Board have been continuing to clear the site and to do some internal painting.  Walkers passing by will surely have noticed a digger on Saturday 13th June – and what a mountain of tangled growth, weeds, metal and concrete boulders were dug out of the front beds (‘thank you’ to Bob Holland for operating the digger and to SSDC staff for removing a truck-load of the rubbish).

If any reader has surplus garden tools, also surplus hardy perennial plants that they would like to donate and then see growing as they walk by, e.g. geraniums / hydrangea / azalea / decorative lush grasses / photinea / and bulbs, we would love to accept such offerings.

We have some rooms and shared space in rooms available should you know anyone who is looking for workspace.  If so, please contact Rosemary on 01935 850254 or Simon on 01935 850563.

  

RHC

Great news on our Community Share offer – thanks to you All

As of 31st March 2020 (our financial year-end) we succeeded in reaching the target of £21,735 that was needed to enable the Booster Programme (an arm of Power to Change) to match fund with another £21,735.

Thanks to everyone who has bought community shares, showing your support for our exciting project.  Of course, we aren’t able to celebrate with you all yet, but that time will come!

The wonderful news means that we will be able to repay £11,000 of our loans, which will be hugely helpful when we are able to make future grant applications – to be able to say that we repaid £11,000 within our first year and in this dreadful climate is truly something to celebrate.  The whole of the share offer, including the matched funding from the Booster Programme, is held in a separate bank account and must be spent in accordance with the share offer documentation, i.e. it cannot be spent on running costs – just in case that question arose in anyone’s mind.

We’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Easter and we look forward to meeting you at the Old School as soon as life can get back to normal.

 

March update from the Old School Queen Camel

March update from the Old School Queen Camel

So much has happened since my last update as Coronavirus has crept onto our doorsteps. I  will not dwell on it but will just say that we are doing what we can to keep our tenants, our visitors and ourselves safe.

We still intend to press ahead with all of our refurbishment plans including the café and Hot Desking space although, understandably, coronavirus restrictions are affecting our progress.

Spring is in the air so there is also quite a bit of garden tidying going on and we are removing old outbuildings to make space for a lovely new sign. These are all activities that we and our volunteers can still undertake at a safe distance from each other!

Last month I was able to tell you about our new tenants. It is certainly worth reiterating that we still have space for businesses and organisations who would like to rent a room (or nook or cranny) on either an ad hoc or permanent basis. Rents are very reasonable; we know this is very important in these difficult times. And when normality returns it is worth remembering that we also have some lovely meeting rooms to rent at a sensible rate.

Whilst it would be irresponsible of me to ask you to drop in and see me, I would still love to hear from you. Please email manager@oldschoolqueencamel.org.uk.

Details for our tenants can be found here.

Gale Jenkinson, Operations Manager, Old School Queen Camel

A great review from one of our amazing Groups

We’ve been left this lovely review following one of our events…

“Excellent venue for the launch of the Enhance Somerset Social Enterprise Network launch. Absolutely amazing catering, really friendly staff, fantastic and committed Chair who gave up her time to support our event. Members feedback was that they were really interested to hear how the Old School has developed – the processes, grant applications, business planning they had to go through to secure and convert the historic building into a social enterprise offering flexible space for tenant businesses, start ups, hot desking, community space and their future plans for a cafe and other facilities.”

To find out more about Enhance Social Enterprise in Devon and Somerset, click here

There’s still time to buy shares in the Old School

Our Community share offer expires 31st March 2020.  For just a minimum of £25 (which can be shared among up to 3 people), you can be a part of what’s happening at the Old School, Queen Camel.

Every amount invested will be doubled by the Power to Change Booster fund, meaning that we can make even more improvements to the building and site.

Have a look at our update below or visit our website to find out more about our amazing tenants and practitioners.  The form is also included below or can be found on our home page.

Share launch update leaflet

Share Application Form

Our Community

Have you seen our Community web page lately?  What a great set of tenants and practitioners we have here at the Old School.

We also host a number of regular meetings and classes, and have plenty of space for more.

Why not get in touch if you would like to become part of our community?  Whether you are interested in renting some space, ad-hoc meetings and hot-desking, or are just curious to meet us and our tenants, feel free to email us at admin@oldschoolqueencamel.org.uk or call in to see us every weekday morning.

We would love to see you!

 

Help the Australian animals… Marsupial Pouch Pattern

I have been in touch with my brother in Queensland, where, unlike South Australia, they are crying out for ‘Joey Pouches’ to look after all the orphaned marsupials they are rescuing from the bush fires. Any of you sewing or knitting crafters  who may be interested in spending an hour or two to help out can find the details I have downloaded on how to make up from scrap materials the various sizes need. These materials must be natural fibres and the cotton linings must not be fixed, but removable and have rounded corners.
I am happy to collect any items as well as line those without linings and arrange to get them to Queensland.
My brother is involved with the animal welfare services and making wooden nest boxes for bats and birds but I don’t think I can manage to arrange transport for those!!!!
Any offers very gratefully received …..Frieda Garrett
01935 851266
graygbee@hotmail.co.uk

Making pouches for orphaned joeys
When young wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders or possums come into care they need to be kept warm and quiet.

Frequently Asked Questions about our Share Offer

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of being a shareholder?  

You will become part of an enterprise that is supporting new and small businesses, promoting ethical values and providing local support and facilities.  You will receive a regular newsletter, be invited to an annual open day for shareholders, and have a sense of helping support this excellent facility for the local and wider community.

In addition, interest can be paid once the renovations have been completed and when Queen Camel Community Land Trust (QCCLT) has sufficient surplus.  The shares may be passed on to an heir or beneficiary and in certain circumstances may be redeemed, again, when funds permit.

  • What happens if something goes wrong? 

As with any share purchase, you must only invest what you can afford, because in the unlikely event that the project doesn’t work, you may lose some or all of your investment.

  • Can I lose more than my initial investment? 

No, you will not be asked to pay more than your initial investment under any circumstances.

  • In what state of repair are the buildings on site?

Prior to purchasing the site, Queen Camel Community Land Trust (QCCLT) commissioned a full building survey, which was sufficient to allow Power To Change (Big Lottery) award us the funds to purchase.  They would not have done this if there were unresolvable issues with any of the buildings.  The survey has also allowed us to understand and prioritise the refurbishment work needed.

  • Am I liable for anything that goes wrong with the buildings? 

No.  Your investment is in our project at the Old School.  The building is owned by the Queen Camel Community Land Trust (QCCLT) and by purchasing shares, you do not own part of the building.

  • Am I liable in any way if there is a legal issue with one of the employees / trustees / tenants?

No.

  • What is the situation with flood mitigation

The building is known to be in a flood risk area.  We work with the Queen Camel Flood Committee and are also taking specific advice on protection of the site, from sand bags to larger flood mitigation works.

  • Can I have my newsletter in print rather than online? 

Our plan is to email the newsletter and add it to our website, but we can print a copy for those who don’t have email.  There may be some content that can’t be printed, such as interviews and video blogs.