Published: March 24, 2020 | Updated: March 24, 2020

Biz News round-up featuring the Julia’s House HIIT Squad; Dorset Business Angels and ICAD

Martin Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Julia’s House, takes part in the two-hour high intensity interval training fundraising challenge.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

What a HITT! Gruelling challenge raises funds for hospice charity

More than £33,000 has been raised for Julia’s House after a gruelling two-hour intensity training fundraising challenge.

Martin Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of the children’s hospice, was joined by AFC Bournemouth Manager Eddie Howe and a team of enthusiastic business leaders in the Julia’s House High Intenstity Interval Training (HIIT) Squad.

Jason Gault of TeamJobs, Jamie Wollen of JWA Consulting, Hugh Roper of Rockets & Rascals, Tim Brown of Superior and Natasha Chedgy of Dynamic Health all took up the HIIT Squad challenge alongside Martin, Eddie and Julia’s House Director of Care Ali Acaster

It was held at BH Live’s Littledown Centre in Bournemouth under safe outdoor conditions reflecting the social distancing advice for coronavirus..

After two months of intensive training, a few injuries and numerous 5am starts, the HIIT Squad, led by a team of instructors from BH Live, pushed their bodies to the extreme and completed their mammoth workout.

Pip Woods and Peter Gordon, of Rockley Watersports, and Chris Symons, of BH Live, weren’t able to join on the day but have been training hard with the HIIT Squad and wished the squad all the very best for their challenge.

Martin said: “When we started this appeal in January we were looking to raise enough money to fund two Julia’s House nurses.

“That seemed a big ask but with the spread of COVID-19, the appeal is now much bigger.

“We are still visiting families in their homes and offering a lifeline of care to hugely vulnerable children, when they may otherwise be isolated from the outside world.

“We will continue to do so for as long as we possibly can.

“At the same time, we are having to postpone and cancel some of our flagship fundraising events.

“We’re almost 100 per cent publicly funded and we estimate this is going to take £1m of our income this year.

“We know these are difficult times and everyone is worried, but we so need people to support the HIIT Squad.

“Our families often don’t have anyone other than Julia’s House to turn to, so people giving today will help us ensure we can carry on supporting the children in our community who need us the most.”

Julia’s House is dedicated to the care of children with life-limiting conditions in Dorset and Wiltshire.

The charity can only continue its vital service thanks to public donations, fundraising and gifts in wills.

BH Live is hoping to hold its own HIIT Squad marathon at Littledown on Wednesday September 16, subject to the coronavirus status.

To donate to the HIIT Squad, visit Martin and Eddie’s JustGiving page at


Dorset Business Angels goes virtual with pitches

Dorset Business Angels’ April pitch event has been relaunched as a virtual platform allowing five businesses the opportunity to continue to seek investment.

Don McQueen, Chairman of Dorset Business Angels (DBA), pictured left, said: “Despite the current coronavirus pandemic, and the extremely challenging times that we are experiencing, we have decided to carry on with our pitch event.

“We had initially considered cancelling the quarterly pitches but it became very evident that the businesses involved were very keen for it to continue.

“The DBA investors and our partners feel that it is our duty in the current climate to reach out to businesses, help out with funding, provide inspiration, mentoring and much needed enthusiasm and commitment.”

The five pitching businesses will upload their presentations to a DBA members’ hub online.

Angels will be able to submit questions to the entrepreneurs and register interest, where appropriate.

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses.

It provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth and sophisticated investors.

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event when they can pitch their business to the savvy angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario.

Angel investment could come from a single investor or two or three angels pooling funds together to support a company.

Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan.

Investments are made across all sectors.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment.

To find out more about Dorset Business Angels, visit


Women empowerment through skills development

Bournemouth University (BU) is collaborating with the Indian Cultural Association in Dorset (ICAD) through the charity impact programme for empowering women from ethnic minority groups in the region.

The innovative collaboration is led by Dr Mili Shrivastava.

The first ‘setting the scene’ was held at BU on International Women’s Day.

It was well attended by both women and men from different cultural backgrounds.

The speakers included:

  • Dr Mili who spoke on the business case for gender equality
  • Sarah Ali Choudhury on the need for women to put themselves forward
  • Dr Elvira Bolat on the enabling power of social media
  • Adel Padiachy on the need for taking care of mental health.

Dr Mili (left) and Sarah Ali Choudhury.

The interactive session included quizzes and Indian cultural music.

Dr JP Tamvada spoke on behalf of ICAD.

He emphasised the primary importance accorded to women in Indian history and the commitment of ICAD in supporting the aspirations of the women in the community.

The event ended on a high note with everyone taking personal pledges to support the cause of gender equity on several fronts.

Refreshments were provided by a budding entrepreneur of the region, Subhashini Maripalli.

Dr Mili said: “The event demonstrated that ethnic women are a fantastic group that need to come together to inspire each other to excel in a country that they have made their home now.”

Planning for a follow-up workshop on skill development is underway for this summer.

The workshop will aim to empower women from ethnic minority groups through workshops on skills required in various walks of life such as self-employment, labour market entry, social media marketing, higher education, health and wellbeing.

For more information on ICAD, please go to