Rosalind Cole – Chairman of the Friends
For hundreds of years Charmouth, with its ever-retreating cliffs, has been renowned as a fine place for collecting fossils; about 30 years ago, a group of local enthusiasts developed an education centre near the beach, now known as the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre. The original aim was to provide information about the geology of the area, the significance of the invertebrate and vertebrate fossils found and safe use of the beach and its environs. As the group grew, they became known as ‘The Friends’ who supported the Warden to run and develop the Centre further.
Now with three full time Wardens, the CHCC has over 150 Friends from the local area and other parts of Britain, as well as support from many visitors from other parts of the world. Many local Friends work in various voluntary roles at the Centre, supporting the Wardens to deal with all the visitors as well as behind the scenes to keep the Centre looking welcoming, attractive and informative.
To join as an Associate Member, an individual subscription of £10 is required; other subscriptions are detailed on the Membership Form. All subscriptions go towards developing and improving the Centre. Working Friends pay no subscription but agree to a minimum of 36 hours work per year.
Would you become a Friend?
Being a volunteer at the Centre is never all work and no play so to speak and these benefits are open to all, whether you are a working Friend or an Associate member. The Friends organisation has a busy social programme that runs throughout the year and includes;
- Two summer barbecues every year …
Giving volunteers a chance to socialise on a summer’s evening down at the beach, the barbecues and salads are provided by the Centre, just bring yourselves and something to eat and drink.
- Winter lecture programme …
With a wide range of speakers and subjects covered the Friends meet at the Centre. Past speakers have included Peter Pritchard and the work of the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), The Seahorse Trust, and Duncan Murrell (acclaimed wildlife photographer)
- Wednesday Walking Group …
Every Wednesday throughout the year, Friends get together and walk the surrounding countryside and coastline. This is a great opportunity to discover some of the local gems of our area with knowledgeable guides and a great way to socialise and meet new people with common interests.
- Annual Friends Luncheon …
Every year the Friends gather together for a well deserved luncheon in February at the Highland’s End, Eype, before the start of the busy season at the Centre.