‘I have one of the best jobs in the region!’

This week we met up for a chat with Steve Turner, member of the Bournemouth & Poole Tourism Management Board and Divisional General Manager for BH Live,  to find out why he describes his role as ‘one of the best jobs in the region’!

What’s the ‘day job’?

I think I have one of the best jobs in the region! I’m the Divisional General Manager for BH Live and look after two of the South Coast’s top venues; Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) and Bournemouth Pavilion.

Bournemouth International Centre

We host more than 500 events throughout the year including high-profile conferences, industry and consumer exhibitions, festivals, dinners, galas, awards, shows and entertainment with international acts including Barry Manilow, Kylie, Snow Patrol and Craig David.

The BIC is the largest event venue in the region and Bournemouth Pavilion is a Grade II listed theatre with a stunning Art Deco ballroom.

What drives you and makes you get out of bed in the morning?

Every day is totally different. We can be contracting shows and performers, building an ice rink or a show set, setting up large scale hospitality events, running creative learning programmes, planning and conducting site visits for major conferences, hosting events across multiple arena spaces and representing the region at national association events.

For example, I sit on the National Arenas Association steering group which influences national industry standards in event venues. I love the unique challenges and diversity that my role brings and I get to work with some amazing people.

It’s such a privilege to be part of our event and tourism scene which makes a difference to so many people’s lives.

Where does tourism fit in?

Visitors at Pier ApproachEach year, thousands of delegates come to conferences and exhibitions in our venues and this drives business tourism. Additionally, more than half a million tickets are sold for shows, concerts and events generating cultural tourism. Combined, this contributes more than £50m for the local economy by filling hotels, restaurants, shops and supporting more than 4,500 jobs across the tourism sector. Furthermore, this creates a real buzz in the town.

I get lots of satisfaction when I see the town bustling with delegates and show-goers who are sometimes experiencing Bournemouth for the first time. It’s so fulfilling to see them having a great time and we hope this generates super reviews so they come back again and again with their friends and families.

What’s your role on the Bournemouth & Poole Tourism Management Board (BPTMB)?

I chair the ‘conference and convention’ sub-group within BPTMB and represent this sector on the main board. Conferences, exhibitions and events provide year round footfall into the region and it is vital that this area of our economy is represented.

I keep people informed about what’s coming up so tourism providers and sectors, including accommodation, transport, retail, hospitality and tourism services, can consider how they can support the events programme and plan ahead. Working together in this way ensures we are all geared up to provide the joined-up services visitors need and to make sure that they feel welcomed. This can make a real difference to a visitor’s overall experience.

In your opinion, what’s the board’s most important function?

I think it’s to work towards common goals for the benefit of the region. Individually, the sectors are all doing fantastic work, but it’s by working together that we can give visitors an even better experience. I also think that by collectively sharing our plans, and working together on a town strategy to drive tourism, we can help to shape town investment such as infrastructure, public space enhancements and new developments.

BAPTA AwardsWhat’s also great is that the board recognises the contribution that business and individuals make in the annual Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Awards (BAPTAs). This is an evening where we celebrate our tourism heroes by recognising excellence. It also promotes a culture of continuous improvement, which is always a good thing, and provides a healthy dose of friendly competition!

 

About BH Live

BH Live is the south coast’s leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

For more, visit bhlive.org.uk  and get social with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter @BHLIVE_UK

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New service preventing people from homelessness

Many of the headlines we see locally and nationally focus on the homeless. Rough sleepers in particular are often in the news, however homelessness goes far wider and affects far more people than you might realise.

In fact, over 567 homeless applications were taken by the Housing team in Bournemouth alone last year.

Worried about losing your home?

Most of these applications are from tenants in private rented accommodation who are being evicted by their landlord.

Our team works tirelessly to prioritise those most in need of help, however it is often the case that by the time people reach us in the Housing Department many people are already in crisis. These people can often end up in B&B or temporary accommodation which has a huge impact on well-being and family life.

Thinking about ways to prevent this, and with an opportunity to bid for funding in 2017, I am proud to have been part of setting up the Housing Early Prevention Service.

Housnig team

We focus on offering advice, support and co-ordination to help tenants to stay in their homes. I lead a team of workers dedicated to homelessness prevention as early as possible, meeting people in their own homes, liaising with landlords and other agencies to prevent the eviction notice from being issued in the first place.

There are many reasons why residents end up being evicted. The issue usually presents itself first as rent arrears however underlying this may be any number of social issues that may be the true cause. This could be a change to benefits or with employment, health, mental health, relationships, family issues or domestic violence for example. We all experience significant changes in our circumstances at some time in our lives.

It’s rarely easy to ask for help as pride and fear can get in the way. Trust is so important and that’s why we’re really pleased that many of our customers are approaching us directly as well as through our partners that already have a good relationship in place.

It’s easier to sort things out without fear of eviction. If you are worried about your situation please don’t wait, act now.

We’re preventing eviction notices being issued over 50% of the time – that’s 178 people and families lives, helped away from homelessness so far!

 

Gary Pulman, Homelessness Partnerships Coordinator for Bournemouth & Poole

Tel: 01202 633457

Email: earlyprevention@poole.gov.uk

 

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Guest blog: TV star Shaine on improving the lives of people with learning disabilities

Shaine SingerI am Shaine, a local actor, writer, poet and empowering activist with a learning disability.

I work for Bournemouth People First, a speaking up charity run by and for people with learning disabilities and have done since 2004. I deliver Learning Disability Awareness Training to students at Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Hospital. The feedback from this training is awesome! It always feels like we have done ourselves and other people with a learning disability proud and I think that the nurses/doctors are going to do us proud with what they have learnt.

Shaine Singer

I am part of Bournemouth People First’s Management Committee; we check services, take part in consultations, have guest speakers and are very busy bees. I also represent people with a learning disability at the Bournemouth and Poole Learning Disability Partnership Board, which aims to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. It has lots of people from the council, carers and NHS staff. We have a great rapport and have our say about how services work and what could be done better.

Shaine Singer

We have done lots of work on the Big Plan (how Bournemouth and Poole will work together to provide health and social care service for adults with learning disabilities) and the future of services. We speak up and make choices and make a difference. It has empowered me and given me confidence to speak up more and have my voice heard as I didn’t use to.

I am also part of Double Act, a theatre company of people with learning disabilities.

I have appeared in plenty of plays since 2004. Last year I was in Grease as a teacher, Mr Bumble, who was a fun guy but was also lonely. He inspired me to write a poem about loneliness. I have written three successful poetry books which are full of humour, science-fiction, and are about being different and about people with learning difficulties.

I am currently writing my fourth book, which is an autobiography. It is a story about a bee that falls in love and helps people find their companion, done in the style of rhyme, and will be out in 2018. My books are available to buy online, or you might be able to order them from your local bookshop.

I also attend open mic nights around Bournemouth where I read my poems. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed writing them and performing them.

 

David Vitty

David Vitty, Service Director for Adult Social Care

David Vitty, Service Director for Adult Social Care:

“We invited resident Shaine Singer (you may recognise him from Channel 4’s The Undateables) to write a blog about his work with the Learning Disability Partnership Board (LDPB), which is set up to ensure that services provided by us and the NHS are meeting the needs of people with a learning disability. 

Shaine’s blog is a fantastic insight into how having a learning disability has not prevented him from leading a rich and creative lifestyle. It also shows the contribution people with a learning disability make to our community, and to the way we plan and deliver adult social care.”

 

 

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Carers Week: Our pledge

Carers WeekThis week it’s Carers Week, a national campaign to raise awareness of caring, and highlight the challenges carers face.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid support to a family member or friend who has a disability, long-term illness, or who needs extra help as they grow older. Many people do not recognise themselves as a carer, it’s just something you do, because you want to, or you have no choice.

There’s 6.5 million carers in the UK looking after a parent, partner, child or friend; that’s one in every eight adults. In the 2011 census there were 17,325 carers in Bournemouth, but we know there are probably more and the number will have risen.

Holding hands

Most carers are of working age, but many reduce their hours or leave work altogether, as it can be a struggle to manage working and caring. Most workplaces will have someone who is juggling work and caring, but many working carers do not mention this to their colleagues, for a whole variety of reasons. 78% of carers say they feel more stressed because of their caring role.

If you have an inkling this might be you, there is someone to talk to and there is support available to help you at our Carers Centre in Westbourne. We have a Carers Information Service you can join, to find out what may help you. You can also find out about a range of local events for carers and receive a carers discount card get money off local services and suppliers.

CRISP carers service

The Carers Support Service (CRISP) is a small team, but several of them know just what it is like to hold down a job whilst caring for someone else.  How physically and emotionally draining it can be, although you would not have it any other way.

The Government is keen to support carers to stay in work, and are looking at ways employers can introduce more carer friendly policies, including additional paid carers leave, which some organisations already have.  By joining the Carers Information Service you will hear if there are any changes in the law that may help you.

To support this year’s Carers Week we have made a pledge to reach out to hidden carers with information and support to help them to look after their own health and wellbeing whilst caring, and to help others by spreading the word about caring. We also pledge to continue to support carers in Bournemouth and Poole, providing support to help carers in their caring role.

What will you do to recognise, support and celebrate carers this Carers Week? Please get involved and pledge your support for carers.

 

Deborah Hyde

Carers Joint Commissioning Manager for Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole

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Strength of Boscombe community

I am sure you share in my shock and sadness to hear about the two terrible incidents in Boscombe this week.  Our thoughts, like many in this close-knit community, are with the families of those affected.

The two incidents are thankfully rare and we now know that the circumstances around the death of the man with the head injury is not thought to be suspicious. Nonetheless it is very sad that an individual has lost his life. I give my sincere thanks to Dorset Police as they continue to do a terrific job investigating what happened.

I thought it might help to reflect on all the good work which has been undertaken in Boscombe over the last few years.

Boscombe Regeneration PartnershipSince the Boscombe Regeneration Partnership began five years ago, a very successful multi-agency approach has resulted in improved outcomes in many respects.  Outcomes for young children in terms of their readiness for school have improved, under 65 deaths have fallen, access to health and well-being services has improved and the local economy has grown.

Churchill GardensThe work to improve housing and the environment continues and is shaped by the Boscombe and Pokesdown Neighbourhood Plan.  This community-led plan ensures that future developments in the area are through a planning framework fit for the area and its people.  Housing conditions are significantly improving thanks to Operation Galaxy – enforcement action has been taken against rogue landlords to ensure they improve the quality of the housing they offer.

We have purchased HMOs and refurbished them, making them fit for families and now private landlords in Boscombe are investing heavily in improving standards in the area.

Boscombe seafrontAnd let’s not forget, Boscombe is a growing destination of choice for many, famed for its vintage culture, vibrant street scene and fabulous beach and seafront.

We would all be forgiven for thinking that when dreadful events like this happen, then everything about the area is bad.  But the spirit and resilience of the Boscombe community is strong and enduring – we commend and celebrate this amazing place and its community.

Bournemouth Council and all its partners will keep the faith, and continue to work proudly with the Boscombe community with shared long term goals of transformation and regeneration, to improve further the quality of life for residents in the area.

 

Jane Portman

Managing Director

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What I learnt from working at the Council: be alert, resilient and grow a thick skin!

Shanice Taylor

Shanice Taylor, Marketing Assistant (BU Placement Student)

When I first started working at Bournemouth Council I didn’t know quite what to expect. To be honest with you, I didn’t even know where the Town Hall was!

I am one of very few Bournemouth University placement students working in the public sector. A lot of people on my course got jobs at swanky PR agencies in London or at Disney (which the big kid in me was very jealous about), however I chose a slightly different route.

I study Media and Communication at BU and the role of Marketing Assistant in the Corporate Communications team at the Council just seemed ideal for what I was after. It offered me hands-on-experience with services, events and campaigns, all of which are there to help or improve a part of Bournemouth in some way.

Creative Kids in BoscombeNow don’t get me wrong, at first I was dubious about what it would be like. As a student you don’t tend to get involved much with the Council. Unless of course you’re calling up about Council Tax because you’re received a letter and you just don’t understand what you need to do.

However, once I started on some engaging and thought-provoking projects such as volunteer recruitment, a homelessness prevention campaign and Boscombe regeneration (to name a few), I realised that my time at the Council was going to be captivating and I really wanted to get stuck in.

Working in the Communications team means you have to be resilient, alert and have a thick skin. We are the first port of call for press and media enquiries and for the general public on social media. We are the voice that represents the Council so what we do and say is extremely important. This role has rewarded me with a confidence that I never thought I would have and shown me what working in a fast-paced environment is really like. It’s also given me an extra cardio workout – there’s a lot of stairs in the Town Hall and who has time to wait for a lift when you’re running late in between meetings!

My role as Marketing Assistant has been varied to say the least, and I really couldn’t list everything. I have done a lot of digital campaign work, written press releases, created videos and online graphics and assisted with events management.

At the Joy Cafe, Boscombe

I have met a lot of people along the way and the teams I work with have made me feel like a truly valued team member. I would encourage any media student looking for a placement with a lot of responsibility, a dynamic atmosphere and in a fantastic location to apply to Bournemouth Council if you have the chance!

Receiving praise and thanks from Councillors, Service Directors and those who have been in the industry for decades, and knowing my work has made a difference – whether big or small – makes all the early starts, late finishes and hard work pay off. It reminds me why applying for the job was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Being a media student, I often feel like a small fish in a big pond and feel unsure as to which route is best for me to take in my career. However, working at Bournemouth Council has given me so many opportunities to explore different aspects of communication and even perfect my phone voice (we all have one let’s be honest).

Beast From The East

Each working week, day, even hour I can be bouncing from project to project, wearing either my creative hat, my PR hat, my marketing hat or even my woolly hat when the Beast From The East hit us – that was an action-packed week at work that’s for sure!

My placement is nearly complete and looking back I can honestly say it was one of the most interesting and enriching experiences I’ve had.

Working in the Communications team is not an easy job but it is worthwhile when it promotes the fantastic services that the Council provides every day and when you see how it affects residents. I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from some amazing people who ultimately want the best for those who live here in Bournemouth.

 

Shanice Taylor

Marketing Assistant and Bournemouth University Placement Student

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Bournemouth’s Beach Lodges celebrate their first birthday!

Beach LodgesAs I was telling some of my lovely guests on the first birthday of the Bournemouth Beach Lodges I am thrilled to have been involved in this project from the very beginning!

Having been in the hospitality industry for 10 years, and the Manager here since April 2017,  the overwhelming success that we have enjoyed makes me both happy and proud,  particularly as we have already received travel industry recognition with a silver at the recent Dorset Tourism Awards – praise indeed!

Although my empire is small – there are currently just 15 stylish over-night stay Lodges on the Boscombe beach site  – my day-to-day tasks can be extremely varied, ranging from regular team briefings, safety checks, guest enquiries and check-in day Lodge inspections to attending marketing meetings, making partnership deals with local businesses and most importantly, ensuring our wonderful guests are happy, comfortable and having the best time possible.

Guest dogOf course my role as Manager working at Bournemouth Borough Council involves a lot of essential administrative reporting and paperwork but I think it’s also vital to take time to chat and interact with guests, and in some cases their dogs too!

In the first year of business the Bournemouth Beach Lodges have attracted a huge variety of people and groups from all over the country and further afield. I always love it when guests who arrive as strangers leave as friends, ideally returning on a regular basis! So, from any pre-arrival correspondence I like to note important details, such as whether they need prosecco glasses on arrival, require a high-chair or need a specific Lodge number. Whenever possible I personally welcome guests on their arrival and make sure they know they can rely on the team and I throughout their stay.

Inside the Lodges

Another aspect of the job is engaging with the local community. Other seafront businesses like Urban Reef or Sorted Surf School are vital to the success of the Lodges while it is equally important to have a positive relationship with the many Bournemouth residents who come and enjoy the miles of wonderful sandy beach right in front of the Lodges.

Being ultimately responsible for guest satisfaction requires a variety of skills and I like to think my passion for customer service shines through. Having one of the best offices on the Dorset coast overlooking the sea definitely helps and I can’t wait for the next chapter in the Bournemouth Beach Lodges story!

Happy Birthday BBL and Many Happy Returns!

 

Kim Bowden

Bournemouth Beach Lodges Manager

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Taking up an emergency bed for the night with St Mungo’s

The Beast from The East is biting hard again by 8.30pm, as heavy snow and icy wind whips around St Stephen’s church hall. The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been activated and the St Mungo’s outreach team are welcoming rough sleeping clients inside, away from the freezing weather conditions.

Hot drinks for homelessThey are greeted with a hot drink, biscuit and some friendly banter. Andrew Teale and his team direct the rough sleepers to the main hall, where they find space to make up their bed.

Bedding is availableMost already have their own bedding, but there’s a ready supply of new sleeping bags and roll-mats. The hall quickly fills, as people neatly line the edges in front of a curtained stage.

It’s a chance for the team to catch up with their clients, update assessments and find out what support and assistance they need.

The ages and accents of the rough sleepers varies dramatically. Homelessness is indiscriminate and every client has their own unique circumstances.

The majority of rough sleepers in Bournemouth (and nationally) are male, but tonight several female clients have also accepted the offer of shelter. The team are over the moon, as this is the first contact they’ve had with them.

It’s crucial for St Mungo’s to connect with clients, gain trust and help them to access the wide range of support available. Whether that’s benefits advice, setting up a bank account or simply a new pair of socks.

They strive to help people move away from rough sleeping and work closely with Bournemouth Council, supported accommodation agencies, Adult Social Care, mental health services and drug and alcohol treatment services, amongst others. It’s a challenge, but one they face with care, always putting the individual at the centre of the support.

By 9.30pm, the hall is just under half-full. Some of the well-known snorers have been moved to the affectionately known ‘snoring room’ and quiet descends.

St Mungo's

But the reality is that a significant proportion of people rough sleeping in Bournemouth did not accept the offer of accommodation tonight. The reasons are complex and varied, but the team continue to try and identify and overcome them.

Here the doors are shut at 10pm and there’s a very strict policy of no drink or drugs whatsoever. As I leave to go home, I’m left with a feeling of relief and admiration for the outreach team and volunteers who work so tirelessly to support their clients.

I’m also much more aware of homelessness. It’s a weird feeling, seeing this parallel universe that exists right on our doorstep in places that are so familiar.

If you are worried about someone rough sleeping you can get information to the team by emailing  BournemouthStreetlink@MUNGOS.ORG or call 0300 5000 914.

 

Patrick Gough

Multimedia & Press Officer

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Future Dorset: one step closer

The Secretary of State, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP has announced his decision to implement, subject to parliamentary approval, our Future Dorset proposal to replace the existing nine Dorset Councils with two new Councils.  One new unitary council will serve the area of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and another will serve the rest of the Dorset area.  The full Written Ministerial Statement can be read here.

Leader of the Council, Councillor John Beesley, said“I am extremely pleased that the Secretary of State has acknowledged the strength of the case we collectively made for a new structure of local government in Dorset, and approved the plans submitted to him. One council serving the established urban area of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will help to protect essential frontline services, will serve all residents far better than the structures we have today, and will be able to positively and strongly represent the area at a national and strategic level, for the benefit of residents and businesses.

“Bournemouth Council has a successful track record of prioritising those frontline services that our residents value the most, whilst putting in place ambitious programmes of regeneration and housing, and returning a balanced budget or better each year. However, the financial pressures presented to all top-tier councils – that is, ourselves, Borough of Poole and Dorset County – in respect of meeting the rising costs of demand-led services of adult social care and children’s services, made the existing structure of local government unsustainable. Despite the best efforts of all councils in Dorset, the ability to squeeze value out of partnership working in its many forms has not and would not reap the financial and other benefits that will be achieved by implementing Future Dorset. I firmly believe public services will be better protected, the economic interests of the area promoted and the quality of life of residents will be improved even further being served by a single, new unitary Council for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.”

This is fantastic news for us all – and the decision has been a long time coming, as we submitted our proposal over a year ago.  The decision gives us much more certainty for the future and we are clear about what we need to do to ensure the new council for our area can operate smoothly from 1 April 2019.

We have a governance model in place to ensure our decision making processes are sound – this comprises of a Programme Board (Chaired by myself with membership of senior officers from Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset) and a Joint Committee (Chaired by Councillor Janet Walton, Leader of Poole, with membership of councillors from the four authorities).

Our programme going forward will include the following milestones:

  • Completion of the disaggregation of services, budgets and staffing currently provided by Dorset County Council to Christchurch residents
  • Approval of the Structural Change Order by Parliament
  • Establishment of a Shadow Authority and Shadow Executive Committee
  • Decommission the Joint Committee
  • Approval of the consequential change orders by Parliament
  • Approval of the Medium Term Financial Plan and budget for the new authority
  • Completion of service planning for the first day of business
  • Appointment of senior staff
  • Staff successfully transferred to the new council

We look set to have a very busy year in preparing for the new council as well as continuing to deliver great services to all our residents.  We are all excited at the prospect of being part of a new large authority, serving approximately 400,000 residents, with all the opportunities for economic growth and development that will offer.  It is, indeed, a once in a lifetime opportunity that we intend to grab with both hands!

 

Jane Portman, Managing Director

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Volunteering: Join the kindness movement

VolunteersI have always believed that volunteering is a key element in the pursuit of happiness. I recently read a paper, published in October 2017, by Harvard Health that described volunteers as benefiting from something they call the “happiness effect.” They identified that ‘doing good’ is one of three pathways to happiness.

There must be something in that because Frances, a volunteer Panel Member, told me that: “working with young people is inspirational and fulfilling. You start off thinking that you’re going to give something to others but soon come to realise that it’s a two-way street. It’s probably the most enriching, satisfying thing that I’ve ever done.” 

At Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service (YOS) we have a team of 36 volunteers who span the whole of the county. From retired school teachers to ex magistrates and university students to the self employed. All have joined us to help offer encouragement and support to our young people.

Our volunteers work with 10 to 17 year old’s on Referral Orders – a contract agreed between the young person and volunteer panel members to prevent reoffending. In 2017 our volunteers spent 677 hours supporting our service and young people.

People volunteer for a variety of reasons. Many of our university students volunteer for us as part of their course. Last year Charlotte, one of our students, entered and won Bournemouth University’s ‘Faculty of Science and Technology Prize’ for outstanding contribution on placement. The YOS being one of three volunteering roles she took on. We had another volunteer attend the ‘Queen’s Garden Party’ in May last year; I was glad to contribute to his nomination describing all the great work he does for our team.

The volunteering opportunities at the YOS are very unique. As an appropriate adult our volunteers work alone with young people in custody supporting them throughout the whole process. As panel members they help a young person write a contract that forms the basis of what they have to do for their Referral Order. I always love to hear it when our team members describe the shock our young people show when they realise volunteering means our team do it for free. This disbelief then turns to comprehension. By doing it for free means volunteers must really want to help, that they care.

Volunteering is not just about the role, it’s often about the social aspect. Meeting like minded people and making new friends. At the YOS we organise social nights that encourage our team to relax and share experiences of life, volunteering and current affairs. Over the years I have been privileged to get to know these inspirational people and also get to call them my friends.

Volunteering for the Council, charities or other organisations can be incredibly beneficial. Not just by increasing skills, knowledge and confidence but happiness, friendships and self worth.

What’s stopping you? Find out more about volunteering opportunities now.

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