Visiting Sri Lanka

Headteacher of Heatherside Infant School, Fleet, Mrs Chris Lynch visited Sri Lanka with Ocean Stars Trust in October 2017

Naomi Booth :: Friday 24th November 2017 :: This Story


When I became the Headteacher at Heatherside Infant School I was introduced to the work of Ocean Stars by a wonderful member of my teaching staff at that time, Maureen Johnston. She established the link between our school and the work the charity undertake in Sri Lanka.  Every year we fund raise in the autumn term for the children whose lives are touched by Ocean Stars and we learn a little bit more about their work and we see the smiling faces of the children shining out from the pictures from the teams' latest visit.

Pictures are a wonderful and very powerful thing; however, I knew that I couldn't truly understand how different life was for these children.  I had the growing need to empower our Heatherside children in better understanding how we can make a difference to others but in particular the children of the school in the small and remote Sri Lankan village called Ampilanthurai, who in a small way we support.  I knew that at some point I needed to go and visit and see them for myself.

This autumn my husband, Aidan and I were privileged to be part of the Ocean Stars 2017 team. This was for us both a very enlightening, emotionally humbling and spiritual experience.  I have come back having experienced first-hand and been touched by the beauty of Sri Lanka, both in its landscape and its people. However I am equally very aware of the great poverty and at the same time inspired by their desire to learn. I was equally very impressed with how the work of the Ocean Stars Trust has grown and taken root so that it is really making a difference to the people it really does empower.

As I move forward from this visit, it is clear that as a school we could do so much more to support the work of Ocean Stars. It is also clear that part of that work needs to be founded in empowering our Heatherside Community both parents and children to strengthen these links.  In this way Ocean Stars will have the means to provide the much needed support locally in Sri Lanka which will in turn empower their community to determine their own futures and break through the local prejudice and poverty that they face.

There were so many experiences and moments that will walk with me and assist me as I try to continue to support this work but most of all two things will stand out. The first is my visit to the primary school at Ampilanthurai Village; the second is the formally deserted village along the shore line at Batticaloa that was destroyed by the tsunami. However this year people are being forced to re occupy this village with living conditions that are heart breaking. In these I saw first-hand the need of the children there and what a difference our support could make to the lives of those children!

The principal at Ampilanthurai Primary

The principal at Ampilanthurai Primary and myself.

Jaya and myself at Shining Stars Ampilanthirai

Jaya and myself at Shining Stars Ampilanthirai

My Husband Aidan and myself in our Sri Lankan outfits

My Husband Aidan and myself in our Sri Lankan outfits

Trustees give Presentation at a Somerset OST-supporting Primary School

Dilanee and Maureen gave a presentation at Charlton Horethorne Primary CofE School

Chris Booth :: Wednesday 22nd November 2017 :: This Story

Dilanee and Maureen gave a presentation at Charlton Horethorne Primary CofE School to the children, staff and some parents, in recognition of the school's ongoing support for the partner Preschool in Kirankulam, near Batticaloa. There were all 61 children, aged 4 to 11, present at this small village school.

Dilanee gave a background to the charity, mentioning in particular how terrible life was after the 2004 tsunami, and how OST uses the donations received. Maureen stressed what life is like at Kirankulam, and how the school's donations have helped by supplying furniture, resources, and uniforms for the preschool. Dilanee also taught the children a Tamil song with actions, and initiated some paper activities to conclude.

We thank Mrs Katherine Vaughan at Charlton Horethorne for her arrangement of the visit, and also to teacher Mrs Watkins for presenting OST with a cheque from a recent collection. Mrs Watkins said how pleased she was the school knows better the people behind their chosen international charity.

Picture: /files/latest-news/281/w288/charlton-horethorne-primary-school.jpg

Christmas Floral Workshop

A Christmas flower workshop to make a table decoration. (No experience necessary.) Demonstration by an experienced florist.

Chris Booth :: Thursday 16th November 2017 :: This Story

Picture: /files/events/280/w288/christmas-floral.jpgTuesday 5th December

At the Baptist Church Hall,
Basingbourne Road
Church Crookham

 7pm for 7.30pm

£10 pp to include Christmas refreshments

Please contact 01252 614150 or for more information.

Ocean Stars Team 2

Find out how they are getting on in Sri Lanka

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 24th October 2017 :: This Story

Find our all the latest news at

Day 3 - Trincomalee

Five members of team two had the chance to experience the beautiful sights of Sri Lanka, the elephant safari and the delicious Sri Lankan food. We had already fallen in love with the country but as soon as we arrived in Trincomalee we had the chance to see another even more inspiring aspect of the Sri Lanka community. We immediately joined the rest of the Ocean Stars team and had the chance to see first-hand how the Ocean Stars funds are used. It was great to see the joy on the faces of the local children who received bikes purchased by Ocean Stars supporters. Boxes of very cute and fluffy chickens which will support sustainable livelihoods of families were handed to families in need. However.  The most excitement was generated as the boys from the local cricket team all crowded around and peered into a huge bag which contained a full set of cricket equipment.

Finally the team walked across to the house of a local villager, where the  wide of a local fisherman and her 5 year old son happily received a boat donated by a generous sponsor. We then came together as a whole team again where we finished off the afternoon with tea and cakes, which took me right back to that first evening where excited but anxious team two participants sat in Dilanee's front room to start the planning of this life changing experience. 

Aidan and Chris

We arrived at Trinco to find ourselves in the middle of the various gifts donated being given out to individual children and families.

Seeing children at the gate so grateful and happy to receive a pair of shoes to wear or a bike to ride to and from school was so humbling. For each of them it meant so much and a number of them  struggled to express their feelings. However, their reaction and smiles said it all.

Being asked to give 20 chicks each, to the mothers of two families so they could have fresh eggs was both emotional and humbling. We were in the midst of people who had so very little and yet their faces and reaction meant they had received so much.

Picture: /files/latest-news/277/w288/ost-chick.jpg

Picture: /files/latest-news/277/w288/ost-team-2.jpg

Although we had heard so much about Sri Lanka and Ocean stars whilst preparing to visit, it is only when you experience a day like today that you realise just how special and important the work  is that Ocean Stars is doing.



Afternoon Delight!

Organ Recital at Hartley Wintney Methodist Church for OST was a delight!

Chris Booth :: Sunday 1st October 2017 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/276/w288/organ-recital.jpgMusic lovers from Fleet and Hartley Wintney, Hampshire enjoyed a real treat on Saturday 19th August. Rev Gisela Lawson a former minister of the Methodist church in Hartley Wintney, brought her nephew Toby and his partner Miriam, to the church to present an organ recital in aid of Ocean Stars Trust. Toby and Marina are both music scholars and they provided an afternoon of high quality musical entertainment for all who attended.

Over £150 was raised for the work of OST in Sri Lanka!  Thank you to Gisela, Toby, Miriam and all the community at Hartley Wintney Methodist Church for your on-going support!

Big Day for Hannah

A big day for Ocean Stars as Hannah Shaughnessy started work as our intern today.

Chris Booth :: Tuesday 19th September 2017 :: This Story

Welcoming Hannah

She received an Ocean Stars Lanka welcome of a garland. Trustees Jo and Kate both came to meet Hannah as well as our Sandra our Ocean Stars Trip Assistant. We would like to wish Hannah Good Luck with her internship at Ocean Stars Trust.

Hannah at work

Our Annual Variety Show

7th October - Enjoy our talented performers and raise money for Ocean Stars Trust at the same time

Chris Booth :: Tuesday 12th September 2017 :: This Story

Picture: /files/events/266/w288/ocean-stars-variety-show-poster-2017.jpgDetails:

Tickets: £10 OAP'S / CHILDREN £5 - tickets available on the door

This Years Acts:



Please come and support your local community fund raising for Ocean Stars

Christmas Card Crafts

Come and have fun making some beautiful Christmas Cards at our Christmas Craft morning - 14th October

Chris Booth :: Tuesday 12th September 2017 :: This Story

Picture: /files/events/267/w288/ocean-stars-christmas-craft-morning.jpgWhen: Saturday 14th October at
Where: Fleet Methodist Church, Reading Road South, Fleet GU52 7TF
Time: 10am-12.30 pm
Cost: £10

For which you will make three cards,
have fun and raise money for a
worthwhile cause
Refreshments will be provided

To book: place please contact
Christine: 01252 647237
Or Tracey-Anne: 01252 786371

In aid of Ocean Stars

Coffee with Bring & Buy

3rd October - Come for a coffee and chat at in Church Crookham on 3rd October

Chris Booth :: Monday 11th September 2017 :: This Story

Picture: /files/events/265/w288/coffee-am-poster.jpg





TIME: 10.00- 1.00 PM   

Please come along and bring a friend.

What is Volunteering Like?

Find out what Katie and Erinn thought of their time volunteering in Sri Lanka

Naomi Booth :: Sunday 3rd September 2017 :: This Story


I thoroughly enjoyed my time visiting Sri Lanka in July this year. I loved being able to finally see for myself the work and support that Ocean Stars is continuing to provide to so many families in various communities after my mum visiting a number of times with OST. I was able to meet the girl that my family have been sponsoring for so many years which was amazing and I loved seeing all of the happy smiling children in the schools who are excited to learn! The Sri Lanka team of Diana, Pooja and Chitra are lovely women who enjoy what they do and love being able to make a difference to so many children's lives!

Erinn and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip and Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country! I am so glad that I finally have now visited for myself!

Picture: /files/latest-news/263/w288/katie%20%281%29.jpg

Katie Holroyd
Volunteer Feedback
June 2017

Over our time spent with Ocean Stars we were able to visit many different pre schools. All of the schools were filled with children who were eager to learn and the most incredible and motivated teachers. It was clear to us that the opportunities provided by these preschools are invaluable to not only the children but to the mothers who get some valuable time to work on things while childcare is organised. We had an amazing time singing songs, playing games and getting to know the children, it was so lovely to see their smiling faces and giggles (especially when there were bubbles and balloons!!).

Thank you so much

Erinn Prentice

Picture: /files/latest-news/263/w288/erinn.jpg

Erinn Prentice
Volunteer Feedback
June 2017

Hope House VisitWith Hope House StaffParachute Games in Sri Lanka SchoolCircle games