Sherborne Douzelage – About Us


The Douzelage is a unique European organisation…

…which promotes for the public benefit educational, sporting, cultural and employment links for the public benefit within Europe generally and specifically with the Douzelage towns of the European Union.

Douzelage* was formed in 1991 from the twinning of Granville and Sherborne and it now includes one small town in each of the 28 EU countries.

Sherborne is the only UK partner town affiliated to Douzelage, just as each other country has only one representative town. We are a registered Charity and you can see more of that below.

Despite our number of towns, we retain our “Douze” as the EU retains its twelve stars (the number of original members) on its flag.

The aims include to ‘promote and foster the spirit of Europe’ and to establish links of various kinds between the towns for the mutual benefit of the inhabitants. It successfully does this through educational, cultural, sporting, tourist and economic projects and exchanges which are open to all.

It is a non-political and non-sectarian body.

The success of the Douzelage was recognised by receipt of a European Union Gold Star award.

*Pronounced as in ‘fuselage’, it combines the French words for twelve douze, and twinning jumelage because initially there were twelve towns.

Sherborne Douzelage is a registered charity No. 1147562, whose key objectives are:

The following charitable purposes for the public benefit will be furthered in the Sherborne area and in the Douzelage Towns in the European Union (the “area of benefit”):

  • promoting civic responsibility and good citizenship;
  • promoting volunteering to achieve any charitable purpose for the benefit of the public (falling within the descriptions of purposes set out in Part 1 of the Charities Act 2006);
  • advancing in life, educating and relieving the needs of young people in particular but not limited to the provision of support and activities which develop their skills capacities and capabilities and which should enable them to participate in society as mature and responsible individuals;
  • promoting good health and providing recreational, sports and other leisure time activities in the interests of social welfare for the public benefit with the aim of improving the quality of lives of people in the area of benefit; and
    promoting such other charitable purposes (charitable under English law) as the Committee sees fit from time to time.
Signing of the original charter in 1991

Signing of the original charter in 1991


Sherborne Douzelage is very grateful to all of these organisations for their donations and for the support that they are providing to make our projects a success:

Valmeira Glass UK Ltd
Sherborne Kitchens
West Dorset District Council
Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust
Duo Teresa Carreño
The Eastbury Hotel (Three Wishes)
Old Fosterians Association
Porter Dodson
Sherborne Abbey Festival
Sherborne Arts Link
Simon Digby Charitable Trust
Simon Digby (Sherborne) Memorial Trust
Wessex Strings
Castle Gardens
Riley’s Cycles
Aviation Training International