A leading Dorset and Somerset law firm’s charitable trust has awarded a record £95,065 to good causes.

Young sportsmen, women and arts lovers were among those to benefit from the bumper boost by Battens Charitable Trust in 2014.

Battens Solicitors, which has offices in Weymouth, Dorchester, Sherborne and Yeovil, set up the charitable trust in 1985 to support community initiatives, local charities and worthy causes.

It has now distributed some £500,000 in total and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Ray Edwards, Battens director and one of the trustees, said: “The trust has become very well established and a much respected part of the community.

“We were delighted to be able to give our highest ever amount to worthy charities and good causes over the past year.

“Actively supporting them helps create a better community for us all.”

He added: “Our thanks go to everyone who has supported the trust and its activities.”

Beneficiaries in Dorset included the Tiny Terras youth football team in Weymouth, which received a stylish new kit, and Julia’s House children’s hospice, which was presented with £1,000.

Support also went to Radipole Primary School in Weymouth with £400 through the Dorset Gardens Trust for a new orchard.

Hundreds of young children have also received life-saving lessons in road safety in an £18,000 initiative with local schools and the Weymouth-based Safewise safety education partnership, including pupils at Evershot Primary School.

Other beneficiaries have included the Salvation Army in Weymouth and Dorchester, youth sports teams and churches for repairs.

The trust sponsored Dorchester Arts Centre’s 30th anniversary Autumn Drama Season and the annual Sherborne Historic Vehicle Rally in aid of the town’s two rotary clubs.

Battens Solicitors contributes to the trust each year, along with legacies left by clients who feel they would like to retain some flexibility in the money they leave to charity, or who simply want to benefit a cause but are not sure which one. The trust also receives proceeds from fundraising events.

Just over £1,500 was raised at a wine tasting event held in aid of the trust by Vineyards independent wine shop in Sherborne.

More than 300 people attended the festive extravaganza, which included a raffle and auction.

Vineyards owner Hannah Wilkins said: “I’ve been told it was our best wine tasting event yet.

“Battens have been tremendously supportive in the community over the years.

“We were very pleased to raise so much money for the trust and help raise its profile as well.”

If you would like to make a donation to the trust or apply for a grant please email Kelly Payne at