Community groups and good causes in the Dorchester area are celebrating a cash windfall from the proceeds of a weekly car boot sale.

More than £35,000 has been given out to village halls, pre-schools, sports clubs, music projects, the Dorset County Museum and other organisations from the Dorchester Car Boot Fund.

West Dorset District Council collected the money from people selling at the weekly sales held on Sunday mornings in Fairfield Car Park. All the Cash collected getsis paid into the fund, which helps to help local groups.

Community groups that won funding were invited to a celebration tea at the Corn Exchange, where they received certificates from district councillor Molly Rennie and Deputy Mayor of Dorchester Stella Jones, both pictured below with Jennifer Pearson from the Women's Action Network Dorset.

Cllr Rennie, who is vice chairman of the Dorchester Markets Joint Informal Panel said: “Having the celebration tea is a wonderful way to hear about the work that all of these great voluntary groups are doing in Dorchester.

“Everyone agrees that it is very inspiring to see how much community activity goes on and it is fantastic that the car boot grant can go some way to supporting their work.”

Groups in the Dorchester area were invited to apply for funds earlier this year. A panel of town and district councillors awarded the grants from the many applications received. Good causes that have received grants include the Women’s Action Network Dorset, Wheel Keep Dancing, Home-Start West Dorset, the Dorchester Poverty Action Group and the Dorchester Men's Shed.

Other groups that benefitted include Age UK Dorchester, the Alzheimers Society, and Autism Wessex. Bradford Peveraell Village Hall, Charity Royal Voluntary Service, Charminster Pre-School, Chesil Sailability, Cruse Bereavement Care, Dorchester Ballet and Dance Club, Dorchester Amateur Boxing Club, Dorchester Disabled Club, Dorchester and West Dorset District Scouts, Dorchester Judo Club, Dorset Blind Association, Dorchester Municipal Charities, Dorchester Youth Theatre, Dorchester Opportunity Group, Dorchester Strollers, Dorchester Youth Extra, Dorchester Try This, Dorchestra, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, Dorset Rural Music School, Dorset Youth Association, First Dorset Credit Union, Fizzy Boppers, Friends of Dorchester West Station, Future Roots, Haycorns Pre-school, Martinstown Cricket Club, Movers and Shakers, the Rotary Club of Dorchester, Sawmills Development Association, the South West Dorset Multicultural Network, South West Dorset Multiple Sclerosis Society, the South Western Dorset Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum and Stratton Youth Club.

The grant programme is currently closed but will be open again for applications in January. Visit

For more information about the grants visit or call the Emma Scott, community development officer at West Dorset District Council, on 01305 252204.