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Book celebrating the history of Somerset raises £10,000 for local charity

The proceeds from a recently-published book called Deepest Somerset – which explores the history, the characters, the stories and diversity of the county of Somerset – have benefited three local charities, including Somerset Community Foundation.

The book, written by journalists Fanny Charles and Gay Pirrie-Weir, has an introduction by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, and has been funded by Lord Rothermere’s Rothermere Foundation. Contributors include some of the county’s most creative and engaging residents including Michael Eavis, Cameron Mackintosh, and Alice, Julian and Matilda Temperley.

The other two local charities featured in the book, and who will benefit from sales, are the Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) and The Farming Community Network (FCN).

Deepest Somerset authors Gay Pirrie-Weir and Fanny Charles said: “We are delighted to support the important work of Somerset Community Foundation, which helps so many groups and individuals across the county. Deepest Books has supported the community foundations in Dorset and Wiltshire, with the two previous books, Deepest Dorset and Deepest Wiltshire, and we know that the money from Deepest Somerset will go to very good causes.

“The pandemic and the lockdowns hit everyone, and the community foundations have provided financial and other support to so many in need. We are glad that our books have been able to help this work.

“For us, COVID meant that bookshops and many of our other retail outlets were closed for months, but we have been thrilled at the response to Deepest Somerset, which has enabled us to make substantial donations to our three charities just eight months after we launched the book at an event at Glastonbury Town Hall.”

Justin Sargent, Chief Executive of Somerset Community Foundation, said: “We’re hugely grateful to have been chosen as one of three local charities to benefit from sales of Deepest Somerset. At a time when many of our neighbours are facing incredibly tough times due to the cost-of-living crisis, this donation will help us to support local charities who are working tirelessly to support the most vulnerable in our communities. We are very grateful to the authors, Fanny and Gay, and to the Rothermere Foundation for their support.”

Copies of the book, which retail at £25 each, can be purchased from many local book stockists or online. Further details can be found here:

Somerset Community Foundation is a charity that helps passionate people in Somerset change the world on their doorstep by funding local charities and inspiring local giving and philanthropy. They aim to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. They provide rewarding and impactful ways for donors to give through them, to the causes and places they care about most. Together, they fund amazing organisations and the passionate people that change lives every day.

Since SCF were founded in 2002 they’ve awarded over £19 million in funding, changing thousands of lives across Somerset. Any community group or charitable organisation wishing to apply to SCF for funding should visit the SCF website where they can find guidance on how to make an application:

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