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 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joe-Faber-Optimists-Gill-Oliver-ebook/dp/B089B5PS4W

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 bookshop.org

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: www.ourstrokeblog.org

Get in touch with Gill and find out more on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gilloliverbooks/?tn-str=k*F

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

Do you need help to re-open your business after lockdown?

Are you planning to re-open?

HomeFirst Plus, a not-for-profit social enterprise based at the Old School, are offering a full clear, clean and repair service.

This includes special cleaning rates for organisations that are preparing to re-open after lockdown. It is a professional service to help combat and minimise the risk of the spread of the infection.

Click here for full details of what’s available.

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.



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 us, we would still love to hear from you. Please email admin@oldschoolqueencamel.org.uk.

Details for our tenants can be found here.

Old School Queen Camel