Registered Charity Number - 1169481
Westridge Studio is a former congregational chapel which was owned by Miss Dorothy Rose Gribble, a retired actress, and patron of the Arts who inherited the chapel from her mother.. This was a private venture which was subsidised by Miss Gribble, affectionately known as "D.R.", as she was passionate about the Arts. After her death in October 2014, the Studio was bequeathed to the community of Highclere. Her express intentions were that it be used as a centre for the arts in all its forms. The Studio had fallen into disrepair and there was a need for investment to ensure that it conformed to current health and safety standards. The Westridge Trust was formed as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation to ensure that the future of the Studio was secure. The Westridge Studio is celebrating 215 years as a community venue in 2020.
The Westridge Trust Constitution.
The Constitution was informed by DR's Will and The Charity Commission granted charitable status only after ensuring that the aims of the charity reflected the intentions detailed in the Will.
The Objects of the Westridge Trust charity are:
To promote the arts and to advance education in the arts for the public benefit in particular but not exclusively at the premises (at present) known as Westridge Studio for the benefit of residents in the civil parish of Highclere and the neighbouring area (the area of benefit).
To provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for the education, recreation and other leisure-time occupations at the said premises with the aim of improving the conditions of life (including the good health and wellbeing) of those resident in the area of benefit.
In furtherance of the objects of the charity to associate together with the local residents, voluntary organisations and local authorities with the aim to maintain and manage the premises as an arts, educational and recreational facility for the benefit without distinction of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, disability or political, religious or other opinions.
To promote such other charitable purposes (charitable under English Law) as the trustees may, from time to time, determine.
The Westridge Trust Constitution was informed by DR's Will and fully reflects her bequest. The people of Highclere have communicated their views of what the Studio means to them:
"a chance to honour a lovely lady’s generous gift and wishes and so to bring the community together through the arts, with engagement, enjoyment and fun."
"Inclusive of all ages and backgrounds"
"Arts and Crafts spending time with other creative people to share ideas and give me more confidence to create"
"An opportunity to watch art house movies in a smaller more intimate environment with other like minded people (DR was a founder member of the Highclere film club). "
"Inclusive for the young including modelling clubs "
"Art therapy ...Inclusive to include disability and support through creative arts to improve quality of life"
"To have an opportunity to be inspired, to learn and take part with other artists."
"Have fun and feel good."
"Bring out the Bohemian side of our community and learn through creativity and others talents of our community"