It’s not long since we celebrated our Golden Jubilee – half a century here in West Dorset. So much to be grateful for! But we face the future too. We believe now is the time to ask our friends for support towards our next fifty years.
The Othona Gold Appeal aims to secure our future at this Dorset centre. We’ve always been a charity that keeps its charges low and its doors open to all. So we rarely make much of a surplus. But old buildings don't look after themselves. Sometimes they need more than make-do-and-mend. And that’s where our lack of funds is a serious problem.
Beloved Buildings Have Seen Better Days
At the moment, for example, we are replacing the beloved but bedraggled art and craft building with a new Four Seasons Studio. Over 75% of the projected cost is already covered by donations from many generous individuals, funding trusts and Othona's own reserves. We started building in August 2019 and completion target date is Spring 2020 in time for Dorset Art Weeks 2020! Learn more about the project by visiting our Four Seasons Studio page.
And Community House, our main building, is nearly a hundred years old, with all the maintenance headaches that implies. Without major investment before long, to keep the place welcoming and fit for purpose, we may struggle to remain viable at all.
You Can Help
Fortunately, we know how generous people can be – financially and in other ways. Especially when they and their family have been touched by experience in this community. In fact, without the generosity of people like you, no major building project in Othona's history would have gone ahead!
So we have launched the Othona Gold Appeal, hoping everyone who loves and supports this centre will feel they can be part of it in some way or other.
To help, you can go straight to our Make a Donation page.
For leaflets with more info on ways – and reasons – to help, just click on the three links below:
- Ways to Support Othona Gold – some options for giving
- Where There’s a Will – how to support Othona with the vital gift of a legacy
- Four Seasons Studio – our exciting current project, and the guiding principles of our vision for Othona’s next half century
On A Personal Note
Having been here as warden since 1995, I'm amazed – and a bit overawed – by how much has happened in that time. Not to mention Othona’s previous 30 years here in Dorset.
Back in 1965 we were given this house by its former trustees. It was pretty basic, with no electricity, no mains water and no flush toilets. Ever since, there have been all kinds of developments to bring us to where we are today. Some of the key changes show up in The Way We Were – a new summary of our history elsewhere on this website.
But often the most significant things don't show up on a timeline of events, do they? They are the moments of acceptance, of insight, of transformation even, which a time spent in community can make possible.
These moments may not shout or draw attention to themselves. But suddenly we see with new eyes. We gain fresh courage for the daily challenges. We are freed to live a life rooted more in love… and less in fear. A liberation that Christians may meet in the example of Jesus – and that I believe all healthy spiritual traditions can lead to.
Over the years, my team and I – with numerous volunteers, trustees, and committee members – have tried to maintain the community space in which such everyday miracles can happen. We’re grateful to all who’ve supported our work any time in this last half century. Today, we invite you to help us prepare for another 50 golden years!
Please, if you can, be part of Othona Gold.
With every good wish
Tony Jaques Warden