2017: The year in review by the Managing Director

Early Years Sector AwardsJanuary: 

The Early Years Sector Awards was held at the Life Centre in Winton. The event highlighted the work that happens every day to provide outstanding care and education and the best possible outcomes for local children and their families.



Bournemouth was awarded £8.5million to create a world class business district at the Lansdowne. The Lansdowne area will be completely revolutionised to become one of the South West’s leading commercial districts.

The funding has been secured via the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, and will see investment in improving the access from the train station up to what will eventually be the major new business district.


Tech NationMarch:

Bournemouth came out as top for high growth digital businesses in the UK Tech Nation 2017 Report, which identifies the top five cities for high growth digital businesses. Out of the 30 clusters profiled in the Tech Nation Report Bournemouth and Poole were listed at number one in the report’s findings ahead of London, Glasgow, Brighton and Newcastle.


Russell CotesApril: 

The Russell Cotes Museum was a finalist in the “Best Small Visitor Attraction” category of the “Visit England Awards for Excellence 2017” which took place at the Hilton Waldorf in London.


Bournemouth beachMay: 

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the exclusive Blue Flag awards and we were delighted to host the milestone event at Chineside at Durley Chine, a prime location which has held Blue Flag status for 30 years. Keep Britain Tidy announced that four Bournemouth beaches had once again been awarded Blue Flag status for 2017 – Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk and Southbourne Beach; alongside this, Bournemouth and Boscombe Beaches gained Seaside Awards.



The General Election 2017, which was called with very little notice, took place and required significant urgent organisation. Team Bournemouth rose to the challenge and delivered it in a safe and accurate way – an excellent example of Team Bournemouth at its very, very best.


Adoption agencyJuly: 

Aspire Adoption was the first Regional Adoption Agency in England to be fully implemented to enable better targeting for the recruitment of prospective adopters, speed up the matching and placement of children, improve adoption support services and potentially create efficiency savings.

Aspire Adoption brings together fifty staff from the three local authority adoption services in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. This is another great example of partnership working with the aim of improving vital services to our residents.


Red Arrows at the Bournemouth AirshowAugust: 

This year we welcomed an estimated 710,000 festival goers over three days to the Air Festival, alongside senior representatives from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the British Army. Every year the festival seems to just get bigger and better and it is testament to everyone’s talent and hard work that the Bournemouth Air Festival now has an international reputation for excellence.


Metropole MarketSeptember: 

The first Lansdowne Metropole market was held on Sunday 24th September.  The market is named in honour of the grand Bournemouth Metropole Hotel which was situated on Lansdowne Roundabout before it was destroyed in an air raid during the Second World War.

The market forms part of the investment and focus on Lansdowne which the Council is working on with local businesses and the University.  An additional Christmas extravaganza to end the market will be held on the 17 December.



October saw the Arts by the Sea festival and Hydromania saw the reimagining of the Town Hall with a multi-sensory display of light and sound. Our arts and cultural offer is one of the many reasons our region is thriving and growing and is such a great place to live, work and play.


Future DorsetNovember: 

After a nine month wait, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced that he is “minded to” implement the Future Dorset proposal for improving local government in Dorset, by replacing the existing nine councils with two new unitary authorities.

Before the Secretary of state takes his final decision, there is a period until 8 January 2018 for any representations to be made.


Bournemouth GardensDecember: 

This year we introduced a brand new market and lodge to the town centre as part of our Christmas celebrations.  With its fresh look, new stalls and addition of a Santa’s Grotto the Town is looking wonderful this year.

2017 has been a fantastic year for our town and our council. Many thanks to everyone for your contributions in ensuring we continue to build a better Bournemouth.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.


Jane Portman, Managing Director

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Raising awareness of domestic and sexual violence

Domestic violence

In the UK, an estimated 2.1 million people experience some form of domestic abuse each year – around 1.4 million women (8.5% of the population) and 700,000 men (4.5% of the population).

In my role as Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordinator for Bournemouth Borough Council it is evident to me that we, as a society, have a long road to travel to eradicate domestic abuse and violence. The facts speak for themselves.

In England and Wales:

  • The police receive a domestic violence-related call every 30 seconds; yet it is estimated that less than 24% of domestic violence crime is reported to the police
  • The overwhelming majority of domestic abuse cases are not prosecuted; and fewer than 10% of incidents reported to police will end in conviction
  • Women experience domestic violence with much more intensity – 89% of people who experience four or more incidents of domestic violence are women
  • Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner
  • It is estimated that around three women a week commit suicide as a result of domestic violence
  • 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed
  • One in two young women have experienced controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship

We recently took part in a series of events to mark The United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) on 25 November – a day for governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to raise public awareness of violence against women.

'Live Book' session at Bournemouth Library

‘Live Book’ session at Bournemouth Library

At Bournemouth Library we held a special ‘live book’ session, attended by practitioners, professionals, students, elected members and dignitaries, where visitors could speak to those with personal and professional experience. It was an engaging way to learn about the support available and to understand the dynamics of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

A drop-in event, hosted by Addaction and with the support of a drug and alcohol social worker, enabled the newly appointed Specialist Domestic Abuse Practitioner to introduce themselves and the work they do supporting people experiencing domestic abuse who are also managing potential challenges, such as mental health or substance use.

A visit to Royal Bournemouth Hospital also provided the opportunity for staff and members of the public to talk about any concerns, find out what services are available and learn about the impact and rates of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

White Ribbon Pledge

Andy Williams, Community Safety Manager, signs the pledge

Danielle Hetherington-Parker signs the pledge

I signed the White Ribbon pledge

Finally, we supported the White Ribbon campaign and invited people to make a pledge to ‘never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.’ (Although it is clear that men also suffer from domestic violence, this campaign explicitly acknowledges that domestic abuse and sexual violence is, predominately, committed by men.)

It will take all of us to make a change and end domestic abuse and sexual violence. However, working alongside many experienced, passionate and committed individuals through training, education, direct work and by consciousness raising, I hope that we can start to make a difference. We are working together with our partners to reduce the harm caused by domestic abuse, increase the safety of those experiencing abuse and provide appropriate intervention to reduce reoffending.

Thank you for reading and for spending your time thinking about this crucial need within our community. A special thank you to everyone who has, and will, contribute to ending violence and abuse. If you would like further information, advice or support our website is a good starting point BUT if you are at immediate risk please call 999.


Danielle Hetherington-Parker

Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordinator for Bournemouth Borough Council

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Brrrrrrr! Keeping you safe in extreme weather

As Bournemouth’s long hot summer becomes but a distant memory please spare a thought for the dedicated team of gritter drivers who are on standby throughout the winter months, ready at a moment’s notice to keep Bournemouth moving.

Gritting operationThere are 300 miles of roads in Bournemouth and thousands of journeys being made so we have a team of people working, sometimes through the night while you are sleeping, to grit the main routes and help you get where you need to be when temperatures drop.

Gritting is the spreading of rock salt on the road surface to prevent it from freezing in cold weather. We grit roads so that normal journeys to school and work are not disrupted. We decide to grit the roads based upon the latest weather forecast, not from BBC South Today, but from a bespoke weather forecasting system. If we are alerted that, for example, the road surface temperature is due to drop below freezing at 10pm, we’ll go out beforehand to pre-treat the priority roads to prevent them from freezing.

Snow plough

We also use an ‘Ice Prediction and Management System’. Did you know that throughout the county, we have several road sensors which give us accurate and ‘real-time’ road surface and air temperatures?  We continually monitor this system and if there are any significant changes to the forecast and predicted weather patterns we will be alerted and can take the appropriate action.

Here are 10 other things you may not know about our gritting operations:

  1. We have four priority routes that we treat each time we go out
  2. We use approximately 20 tonnes of rock salt each time we go out
  3. We have four gritters – (currently unnamed!)
  4. Our rock salt is treated to aid performance and mitigate the corrosive effects of chloride on the road surfaces
  5. Our covered barn at Southcote Road depot holds around 1600 tonnes of rock salt – that’s about the same weight as 200 elephants!
  6. At times of heavy snow-fall we can fit ploughs to our gritters
  7. It takes two hours to treat our priority network
  8. Our gritters are fitted with GPS technology so they can be monitored remotely
  9. The cabs have an audible direction system to keep the driver on the right route
  10. We actively use Twitter and Facebook to notify you when we are out gritting

Aside from gritting the main routes, we have over 110 salt bins throughout the town. Please use them when you need to treat icy areas, and look out for your vulnerable neighbours during the winter, and offer help to the less able or elderly if needed.

Find out more about how we keep our streets safe in extreme weather. 

Tyre tracks in ice

In addition to keeping the roads safe it’s also vital to make sure to drive appropriately for the conditions and ensure your car is winter-ready. I recently chatted to our Road Safety Manager, Richard Pearson, who had this advice to give on how to ensure your vehicle is prepped for winter:

  • Make sure your windows are clear before you start your journey
  • Get a scraper and add low temperature screen wash to your cars system and check your windscreen wipers are effective
  • Use your headlights if light levels or visibility are low
  • If temperatures are below freezing or if the road is wet, be aware that there could be black ice and keep your speed down
  • Give space to vehicles in front as braking distances may be longer
  • Have some warm clothes and soft drink in your car in case you get stuck
  • If your battery seems low now it could fail completely in the winter so get it checked and replaced if necessary
  • Check your tyre tread meets minimum legal standards and check tyre pressures

GrittersStay safe everyone, wrap up warm and if you see our gritters out and about please give them a wave!


Stuart Best

Street Services Manager





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Rough Sleeping: how you can help

FACT: People sleeping rough are more likely to die young. A report from the charity Crisis indicates that the average age of death of someone sleeping rough is just 47 years.

Rough sleeper

Nationally, there has been an increase in rough sleeping, and unfortunately Bournemouth is no exception.

Rough sleeping is the most severe and most visible form of homelessness –  however, it might not always be the people you think. It is worth remembering that not all people who beg are homeless, and not all homeless people beg.

However, there are people sleeping rough in Bournemouth and this remains a high priority for the Council. We deliver and fund a wide range of services for homeless people (and those at risk of homelessness), including services for rough sleepers. Every day we work with partner services, charities and community groups to tackle this complex issue and support individuals whose lives have been devastated by homelessness.

One of the services we commission (together with the Borough of Poole) is the Bournemouth and Poole Rough Sleeper Team, delivered by St Mungo’s. These are the people who are out there each morning, in all weathers, making contact with people sleeping rough, assisting with their needs and providing them with the support to move off the streets.

Did you know we provide approximately 150 bed spaces with specialist support for homeless people? Or that we jointly commission a dedicated mental health worker? Or that our Housing Options Team sees about 1,000 people face to face every month seeking help with housing issues? Possibly not, and I think we could be better about telling people about what’s happening and how they can help.

As a Council, we want to make sure that all efforts are focussed on helping people to make positive change, to move off the streets and lead healthier and happier lives. That’s why we’re careful not to undertake actions which can sustain a street lifestyle, such as handing out food or money directly on the street. Although undoubtedly well intended, these activities can deter people from engaging with the support on offer.

To start the process of ‘coming inside’ can be tough. It’s particularly difficult if you have been sleeping out for a while, or you have other issues such as alcohol or drug misuse or mental health problems, because when you come inside you start to also look at these issues. And that is hard. If you know you can be sustained on the street with direct hand outs, then some prefer not to look at these issues and choose to continue as they are, facing a high-risk situation and the increased likelihood of an early death.

Make Change Count

So, you’ve seen a person sleeping rough and you want to help. What is the most effective thing can you do?

Tell the Rough Sleeper Team. Call 0300 5000 914 or notify the team online.

Make your change count. Your money can best help people rough sleeping if you donate to a local charity working directly with people sleeping rough in Bournemouth.


Caroline Roundhill

Housing Strategy & Policy Manager

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Behind the scenes in the Christmas workshop!

Christmas events team

Meet the team responsible for Christmas in Bournemouth (and we don’t mean the ‘big guy’ and his elves)!

Traditionally, Christmas is a time to wind down, take stock and enjoy the company of friends and family without the pressures of daily life… it’s not like that in Events & Marketing! It’s high energy, frenetic and at times, quite anti-social. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. As I see it, if we’re working hard so that people who live, work and holiday in Bournemouth can have a great time, then it’s worth it.

We start working on Christmas at least a year in advance – we’re already preparing for 2018 because we’ve got plans for something really big (watch this space)!

By the summer, when everyone else is in holiday mode and soaking up the sun, we’re well into meetings with our contractors. For the size of the events that we put on, we’re a relatively small team, organising and administrating over 500 outdoor events across Bournemouth’s Parks, Gardens and Seafront. We have good relationships with companies who’ve worked with us for years so we know we can trust them to bring our visions to life. But we also must listen to our residents and businesses.

Alpine Market

In recent years, there were calls to revitalise the Christmas market. When the contract came up for renewal, we cast the net wider and offered competitors the chance to pitch. As a result, this year we welcome a brand-new market and lodge to the town centre. We’ve seen the plans, so naturally we’re excited about it and we think you’ll like the fresh look, new stalls and addition of a Santa’s Grotto.

Of course, people who visit Bournemouth at Christmas want to let their hair down. So, someone needs to look out for them and check that boring but critical stuff, like health and safety, is under control. That’s where we come in. We spend months working with council colleagues in planning, transport and licensing, as well as the emergency services, to make sure that all boxes are ticked. We also go out on site visits to make sure that our dreams will work in reality and not just on paper.

Christmas TreeWhen the build phase starts in November, you’ll often see members of the Events team out in their now famous pink t-shirts armed with trundle wheels, tape measures and tool boxes, ready to muck in and help ‘decorate’ the town ready for the big day. And just like any other family, one of our favourite jobs is choosing the tree! We’re responsible for the real one in the Square but this year, we’re also adding 5m cone tree in Beale Place in addition to other Christmas tree themed features in Lansdowne and the Triangle.

We’re all familiar with ongoing funding challenges and it’s only right that we continue to question and review how public money is spent. It means that our base budget is limited and so we start with a bare minimum. We’re able to improve the Christmas illuminations in the gardens and the town thanks to Bournemouth’s Town Centre BID and Coastal BID (Business Improvement Districts).  These collectives of local businesses spend months in talks, agreeing on the activity that’s likely to be of greatest benefit to the town. If they decide to invest in Christmas attractions, then we’re on hand to help deliver the most for their money.

It’d all be for nothing though, if we didn’t tell people what’s happening in Bournemouth at Christmas and encourage them to spend a day, long weekend or seasonal holiday here. Our Marketing and PR team starts working with printers, advertising agencies and national media about six months in advance to make sure that leaflets are delivered, festive editions are targeted and that the resort is included in the ‘best winter break’ features or ‘top ten ice rinks’.

Bournemouth GardensUltimately, the team has to pitch the destination against its UK competitors and to do so, need to sell in Bournemouth’s USP (unique selling point). A lot of towns offer a market and ice rink these days but not many places can boast an unspoilt coastline within walking distance of the shops, as well as illuminated grade II listed Victorian gardens, glistening with fairy lights.

We hope to see you for our Christmas Celebration this Friday 17 November. There’ll be family entertainment in the Triangle and the chance to see everything up and running around the town. As I mentioned, we’ve got big plans for 2018 so this year is just a taste of what’s to come…

Find out more at christmasinbournemouth.co.uk


Jon Weaver

Head of Resort Marketing & Events

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Government is “minded to” implement our Future Dorset proposal

After a nine month wait, the Rt Hon Savid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has announced that he is “minded to” implement our Future Dorset proposal for improving local government in Dorset, by replacing the existing nine councils with two new unitary authorities.  I am absolutely delighted!

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve people’s quality of life and their prosperity and deliver a new vision for Dorset. We want a place where people want to live, visit, learn and work:  a place of aspiration where plans are made and ambitions achieved, with an economy that works for local people.

We want a place that competes on an international stage, rivalling the iconic coastal economies of the world.  We want a healthy, prosperous, vibrant and inclusive place for everyone to enjoy.

In the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area we want to create a 21st Century City by the sea, with significant growth in digital and knowledge-based economies, investment in skills and cutting-edge research and development.

We want a nationally significant arts and culture offer and housing that supports growth and meets local needs.

We want a modern public service delivery that is good value for money and meets the needs of our communities.

And we want to open both new councils in April 2019!

Before the Secretary of state takes his final decision, there is a period until 8 January 2018 for any representations to be made.  This could be confirmed support for the proposal, any suggested modifications to the proposal, or indeed any alternative proposals.

However, we will be getting on with the work straight away in preparation.  As I am sure you can imagine, there is a lot to do!

This is a very exciting time to be part of local government in Dorset, with the opportunity to deliver a new vision for the area.


Enjoy your weekend


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Wearing my poppy with pride

Armistice Day Town HallIt seems only yesterday that I was installed as Mayor; in fact I am almost at the half-way mark in the Mayoral year, a very active year so far.  We have had over 270 engagements to date! They have been varied and in some cases, very inspirational.

We have met service users with a drug and alcohol dependency unit and I was flattered to be invited back to open a new facility for them. We have seen exhibitions and I have opened new businesses. We have also met a Minister from the Chinese Government and welcomed diverse groups into the Mayor’s Parlour.  I have presided over citizenship ceremonies, and had a fair amount of contact with the Armed Services too, including attending a farewell event for Commodore Jamie Miller of the Royal Navy with a group of people who had worked with him during the 10 years of the Air Festival; I don’t think there was a dry eye by the time the evening ended!

Whilst talking about the Services I am reminded that 11 November is Armistice Day and indeed it is 99 years since the end of the Great War to end all wars.

Wreath memorial

There is one date in the calendar that is particularly important and that is Remembrance Sunday.  I am pleased to say I have not missed one yet and I know my colleagues on the Council also look forward to showing their respect for those who have lost their lives, not just in World War One but in every conflict since.

I will, like the 104 Mayors before me, proudly lead the procession behind the Mace on Sunday 12 November. A parade of Ex-Service Associations, pre-service and youth organisations will be marching through the Town Centre and the Central Gardens to the War Memorial where our youth organisations will be handing out Orders of Service to members of the public. I would encourage you to please come along and watch the service; Bourne Avenue provides an excellent viewing area for both the Service and Parades.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many staff who take part and particularly the team in Democratic Services that organise the morning and make it so easy for us –  even though it is not.

I look forward to wearing my poppy with pride and would like to personally thank Councillor Anne Rey for the work she does for the British Legion to make sure poppy sellers are where they should be and that everyone who wants a poppy is able to purchase one.

Another huge part of my role as Mayor of Bournemouth, which I am honoured to be able to do, is to support some of our local charities. This year we have been hosting events and activities to raise money for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The Hannah Levy House Trust, Pavilion Dance South-West and the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum.

Christmas Business Come DancingOur next event is ‘Christmas Business Come Dancing’ which takes place on Thursday 14 December in the Pavilion Ballroom. Ten local business individuals will be getting to grips with a dance routine and then performing it on the night! It should be a great evening and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. You can find out more about it, and all our other fundraising events on The Mayor of Bournemouth Charity Appeal Facebook page. I hope to see some of you there!

Councillor Lawrence Williams, The Mayor of Bournemouth

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Bournemouth: the place we love and call home

Autumn is upon us. Chilly mornings are bringing crisp, clear skies and amber leaves are tinting the tree lined streets of Bournemouth.  Hats and gloves are starting to appear on brisk walks taken along the seafront and the River Stour, our beautiful parks and green spaces are awash with changing colours, and dare I say it, festive touches are being sprinkled in shop windows.

Everybody wants to live, work and visit nice places, but few people understand what it takes to get them looking and feeling that way.  That’s where the Economic Development and Sustainability team come in.  We’re working to improve the environmental performance and overall sustainability of both the council and of the whole town, capturing hearts and minds and creating financial value while we’re at it.

We recently published the Green Credentials Report that highlights the key activities council departments are undertaking to save money, reduce carbon emissions, protect frontline services and improve our resilience to climate change.  Most importantly, the report announces that thanks to the fantastic work of staff across the organisation, Bournemouth Council has hit its operational carbon reduction target of 34% three years early and proposes a new target of 42% by 2020. This work to date has created a saving of £990,000 – a figure not to be sniffed at.

Bournemouth has also, for the second year running, become one of only three UK locations to be certified as ‘compliant’ under the global Compact of Mayors scheme, along with London and Manchester.  This is the highest standard for Compact of Mayors members and represents our contribution towards combined savings commitments of nearly one billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2030.

It’s our vision that through all of this work, Bournemouth will become internationally recognised as a Green Economy Leader – a place to live, work and visit that is at the cutting edge of environmental performance and uses its sustainability credentials to attract business talent and inward investment.  We’re working with businesses, local communities and other council departments to safeguard our amazing and unique environment and create the best version of Bournemouth possible.

So how can you help? Well, for starters, switch your tea, coffee, sugar and snacks to Fairtrade – it’s really easy to do and generally won’t cost you any more money.  You’ll be supporting producers and sustainable farming practices across the world, plus eating lots of really tasty things which will help Bournemouth remain a Fairtrade Town.

Next, you could think about the way you travel and if you could switch a journey to a more sustainable mode of transport; reduce the amount of waste you produce and recycle more; and have a go at home composting (the Council offers a discount on home composters).

Lastly, check if you qualify for our latest energy saving scheme (LEAP) which can help you save cash and carbon at home.

Roxanne King

Environmental Strategy and Sustainability Officer

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Boscombe: an alternative point of view

Boscombe signWhat do you think when you think of Boscombe? Some would have you believe it’s an awful place, riddled with crime. WRONG. It’s a vibrant, thriving, up-coming community that recently lost power, but never their spirit. It is extremely heart-warming to hear stories from the residents about how they’ve opened their homes to one another through the well reported power surge that meant a loss of electricity for two days

Staff from SSE (the electricity company), local landlords, councillors, myself and many of my colleagues were ‘all hands on deck’ to get things back to normal for the residents. Meanwhile, the residents rallied round to help one another. From a bacon sandwich to a shower, it was all on offer. I question whether you would get the same community response elsewhere.

This isn’t the Boscombe that the wider public see, and that’s a real shame. Boscombe Regeneration and the creation of Operation Galaxy has been a real turning point in my eyes.

In the last 18 months, we have rehoused nearly 20 people from unsuitable accommodation, or where they needed a little more support. We have inspected hundreds of units of accommodation and improved the housing conditions for over 600 households. We’ve also made over 150 referrals into agencies that offer everything from weight management to mental health support to financial advice. This work is with the help and assistance of local landlords and other council teams, who work with us to better the lives of the people living in Boscombe.

As for drugs and crime, it is not tolerated. It’s as simple as that. The partnership work in Boscombe between the anti-social behaviour team, the police and Operation Galaxy is recognised across the borough as best practice – it is effective and there really is a zero-tolerance approach. The team works extremely hard, and I for one see the difference it makes. We even won an award for our efforts last year!

On Thursday we invited the Daily Echo for a walk around to showcase the ongoing work and introduce them to a key lead resident who, alongside his neighbours, is encouraging this brighter side of Boscombe that we want to see. A really positive article has come out of that, so thank you Alex Winter. It is nice to showcase the other side.

Do you know the names of your neighbours? Do you speak to them in the street? Do you get together to sweep leaves or create a community allotment? Here we do. Churchill Gardens has been nominated for a national award off the back of this hard work, something the local residents should be very proud of.

Churchill Gardens is also nominated for UK’s Best Park! Please show your support, come and visit the park and vote now! Voting closes on Friday 3rd November.

Sophie Ricketts

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My job is like a dating agency!


Did you know that a young person who has had four or more workplace encounters is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training? That’s why my job is to increase and improve work experience opportunities for young people in Bournemouth and Poole.

As Enterprise Coordinator, my challenge is to connect schools with senior business leaders (Enterprise Advisers) who will help inform careers strategy and planning, and provide students with meaningful experiences of the workplace.

We want every student to have at least four workplace encounters, and to have career education from the age of seven. We want to guide and support schools in Dorset and embed an ethos that celebrates career and enterprise opportunities and places them at the heart of schools.

Any new job involves challenges and this one had a nearly blank piece of paper, schools enthusiastic to be involved and 25 Enterprise Advisers to be found.  Visiting businesses and speaking about this role is a passion seated in the belief that “every child should have the opportunity to meet with employers and have workplace experiences”.  This view is commonly shared by the number of people who have volunteered as Enterprise Advisers already.

Six months into the challenge and how many dots have been joined?  Well, all Bournemouth and Poole schools are enthusiastic about the programme, including our special schools and Bournemouth and Poole College. Connections have been made with 20 strategic business leaders willing to provide support.

My daily job is never the same and ranges from meeting businesses, recruiting Enterprise Advisers, visiting schools, making connections with people, and making lots of phone calls!

Inquisitive questions are welcomed and these range from:

Are business organisations supportive?  Yes, very.  They want to be more connected to schools and want an employment feed that supports their needs.  However, this is about people who volunteer their time, commitment and energy to leverage career provision in schools.

Why do people who are already busy volunteer?  Different people have different reasons: “I want to give something back”, “I am working in an organisation and love my job but want to be more connected to people”, “My career education was poor and I want to make a difference to others”.

Is your job like a dating agency?  Yes!  I am trying to connect people; to get the best possible match to ensure that schools have the right kind of support to meet their needs.

The next few months will see schools being connected to their Enterprise Adviser and a tailored plan being developed for each school.

I want it to be easy for schools and colleges to be connected to employers and the best providers of career activities and programmes.

More information about the Career and Enterprise Network can be found on the Dorset LEP website.

If you would like to know more about becoming an Enterprise Advisor or how you can help please do contact me at catherine.beater@bournemouth.gov.uk

Catherine Beater

Enterprise Coordinator

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