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Obituary for Reg Gilbert MBE

Reg Gilbert MBE

One of Frome’s respected citizens, a former head of PE at Frome Grammar School, later to become Frome College, has passed away peacefully, aged 95, at Gracewell of Frome on Saturday 23rd June.

Reg spent most of his teaching career in Frome and organised ground-breaking student expeditions from the late 1960s, taking Frome students to Iceland, the Sahara desert, Ghana and Papua New Guinea. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of his very first student expedition to Iceland.

With the support of Frome businesses and the local community, sponsorship and funds were raised to ensure local school students could undertake these exciting ventures.

In 1986 Reg founded the Reg Gilbert International Friendship Trust (now known as the GIFT Trust).The ethos of GIFT is to encourage and financially support young people from all over the UK to travel abroad and to live in a homestay in another culture, whilst helping in that community. Previous work projects have included digging toilets, teaching English, managing community centres and medical electives.

Reg was subsequently awarded an MBE for his work with GIFT.

GIFT is now in its 32nd year and is currently run by trustees from the local Rotary Clubs and Inner Wheel. So far, more than 400 young people from across the UK have received financial support from GIFT, enabling them to undertake projects in over 63 different developing countries, with applications for bursaries being continually received.

Pam Brewster secretary of GIFT said, “Reg has left a lasting legacy to the young people of the UK and will be sadly missed by all who knew him, but especially the trustees and the many beneficiaries of his own charity.”

Donations can be made by cash or cheque made out to “Reg Gilbert International Youth Friendship Trust” (Charity no: 327307), to William Adlam Funeral Service, 68a Locks Hill, Frome, BA11 1NH.

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