OLD SCHOOL, QUEEN CAMEL, SOMERSET, OPENS FOR BUSINESS AND LAUNCHES A COMMUNITY SHARE OFFER
When the Countess Gytha Primary School, Queen Camel moved to new premises the Queen Camel Community Land Trust Ltd. (QCCLT) came up with a plan to breathe new life into the site. The original Victorian schoolhouse, now Grade II listed, was built in 1872 and was gifted to the parish by the Mildmay family. The school was transferred to and extended by Somerset County Council and has been educating children from the local and wider community almost continually ever since.
The Board of QCCLT shared a vision of developing the site into a self-sustaining, vibrant enterprise which would support new and small businesses and provide services and facilities that would help the local community and those in need. With the help of a grant from Power to Change, QCCLT purchased the site from Somerset County Council in May this year and is now bringing the dream to fruition.
Thanks to a band of willing volunteers, the outdoor wilderness has been tamed and may eventually contain a children’s play area and sensory garden. The 1920s building now has its first tenants who have gamely decorated their own rooms and provide practical help and support to the Directors of QCCLT.
Of course, the road to sustainability is costly. Bridging Bonds need to be repaid and there are a number of urgent works that need attending to. QCCLT is, therefore, asking both the local and wider community to help by buying shares. The share offer was launched on 27th and 28th September when the Old School threw open its doors inviting everyone to see the work in progress and to be part of the Old School’s future by becoming shareholders. Many came to reminisce about their own or their children’s time at the school, met QCCLT Board members and the wonderful and talented tenants to date:
- Jo Noall of ReactiveK9 – a dog behaviourist and trainer,
- Marcus and Glenda Colquhoun of Affinity Arts – glass artists specialising in kiln-formed glass,
- HomeFirst Plus, a not for profit organisation helping elderly and vulnerable people live independently,
- Amie Hancock of Helping Hands, offering a holistic approach to working with families, children, young people, adults and parents, and
- Marilyn Upton, a qualified practitioner of hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helping people cope with anxiety and stress.
Whether you are interested in the share offer, renting some space, meeting the tenants or are just curious you can go along to meet the Old School Community 5.00-7.00pm on Wednesday 6th November over a glass of wine and nibbles or 11.00-1.00pm on Saturdays 9th and 16th November over coffee and biscuits.
You can communicate with the Old School, find out about the share offer and find contact details for the tenants on the Old School website www.OldSchoolQueenCamel.org.uk . You can email them at email@example.com. You can find them at The Old School, High Street, Queen Camel, Somerset, BA22 7NH. They would love to hear from you!