Old Mill Updates

Funds raised in memory of Nick Baker help to build a school in earthquake-ravaged Nepal

six classroom school in Shree Saraswoti

27th June 2019

In 2015, an earthquake destroyed much of the Sindhupalchok region of Nepal, including 475 of the 545 schools in the area. In response, Rotary Club of Yeovil launched a fundraising campaign to raise £64,000 to build a brand new six classroom school in Shree Saraswoti.

One of the charities heavily involved in the project was School in a Bag. The Yeovil-based charity provides school bags filled with stationery, learning resources and eating utensils for vulnerable and disaster-affected children. It also helps fund bigger projects like the construction of the Shree Saraswoti School.

School in the Bag was Old Mill’s nominated charity for 2016 and 2017, and in 2017, 21 of our staff helped to raise £10,000 for School in a Bag by cycling from Cherbourg to Yeovil. The ride was in memory of our dear colleague Nick Baker who lost a short and sudden battle with cancer in 2016.

The ride raised £20,000 in total; £10,000 went to Marie Curie, the charity chosen by Nick’s parents, with the rest going to School in the Bag who then passed on £4,400 to Rotary to commence the fundraising for the Shree Saraswoti School.

On hearing the news, Nick’s parents, Mike and Cilla Baker from Sidmouth, said they were ‘delighted and proud to learn that the money raised has been used for something so worthwhile’.

We have also supported a subsequent fundraising effort over the past few months to raise an additional £3,600 for School in a Bag to provide school bags for each of the school’s first 180 pupils.

Sally Harrison, Associate Director and Yeovil Rotarian, took part in the Nick Baker memorial ride and says she and her colleagues are so pleased to see their fundraising efforts in Nick’s memory have helped such a worthy cause.

She said ‘The communities in Sindhupalchok were already very poor, and then when the earthquake hit, the little they did have was destroyed. The local school was operating out of a shed.

‘This project has had a hugely positive impact on the area. The children have a wonderful new school to learn in, which has raised the profile of education in the region and resulted in renewed interest and investment from the local government.’

The project has also helped the local economy by employing local people in the construction and ongoing running of the school.

Sally concludes ‘When members from Rotary Club of Yeovil and School in a Bag went out there to see the children and give them their bags – which were also put together out there with local partners – the looks on their delighted faces just shows what an important campaign this was.’

We are proud to support such a worthy cause and in Nick’s name. You can find out more here about School in a Bag and The Yeovil Rotary Club.

'We are delighted and proud to learn that the money raised has been used for something so worthwhile.'

Mike and Cilla Baker