Guernsey Press

Sark sheep racing is successful fundraiser

SARK’S sheep racing event has raised more than £38,000 for the island’s main medical charity, following the return of the popular event to the summer schedule.

Sheep racing returned to Sark after Covid-19 had forced its cancellation in 2020. (30289361)

There was no sheep racing in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, but a few small events did go ahead and the money raised from these was added to the sum for 2021.

Other events to have been organised by the Sark Carnival Committee this year have included Bingo On The Boat, which saw the Sark Belle circumnavigate the island, and a jumble sale. The total raised over the last five years has now reached £152,000.

The cheque for monies raised in the last two years – £38,093.50 – has been handed to the Professor Saint Medical Trust. The handover was itself a fundraising event, held at the Island Hall and attended by Seigneur Christopher Beaumont.

‘It’s a testament to the volunteer spirit of Sark,’ he said, ‘that people are willing to go out of their way to organise events in aid of the only medical charity on the island that supports the whole community.’

Some of the 100 or so volunteers were present at the handover, where they were thanked by the committee for helping with the sheep racing’s planning, advertising, carting, catering, judging and organisation.

‘All give of their time and energy for nothing,’ said committee treasurer Lynda Higgins. ‘We thank them all, as well as the sponsors and those who donate equipment and prizes.

‘Sark Sheep Racing Weekend is one of the largest events in the Sark social calendar and benefits the whole community‚ not just by helping to provide prescription medicines but also increased sales for retail and hospitality businesses.’

The trust, named after former Sark resident Professor Charles Saint, initially drew on funds bequeathed by him to the island and now provides help to all islanders who require medical prescriptions.

‘We have a base cost to prescriptions in Sark,’ Mr Beaumont said, ‘and the trust picks up the balance between this base cost and the actual cost of the drugs. It’s not means-tested, so it’s universal and very much appreciated on an island with no welfare state.’

The dates of next year’s sheep racing event have already been set. The ovine sprint spectacular will go ahead on 22 and 23 July 2022.