Published: April 27, 2020 | Updated: April 27, 2020

Biz News round-up with Kristian Lees-Bell; BCP Council and Bournemouth Collegiate School

Kristian Lees-Bell, a business psychologist and hypnotherapist.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Hypnotherapist offers helping hand to deal with coronavirus stress

A Dorset hypnotherapist and business psychologist is playing his part in helping people cope with the stress and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the lockdown, reports of stress and depression have risen significantly.

Poole-based Kristian Lees-Bell, who specialises in work-related stress and anxiety management, said he was busier than ever, offering therapy sessions online.

He said: “People suffering from low-level anxiety may have found their symptoms have increased recently.

“Other people might be feeling new physical and psychological strains for the first time.

“To some degree it’s natural to worry, and we all do it – it’s how our brain mobilises itself and prepares for potential problems.

“But it stops being useful if we become stuck in a loop of negative thoughts about things that are out of our control.

“It’s better to focus on the things we can control, and how we choose to respond to them.”

Kristian has released a free download on his website.

The audio recording can be accessed from any computer or device, and requires the listener to be settled in a safe, quiet space, where they won’t be disturbed.

Kristian said: “Even just taking 20 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself, rather than the latest news updates, can help you relax and regain a sense of balance.

“It’s all about relaxing your mind, deflecting negative thoughts and feelings, and replacing them with calm, positive ones.

“Coronavirus has many repercussions beyond physical health.

“One is the potential impact on mental health and wellbeing as people try to manage an increasingly stressful situation.

“If I can help ease this stress and help people feel a little more comfortable during these difficult times, I’ll know my efforts have been worthwhile.”

To access Kristian’s download, click here.


BCP Council hits £55m milestone in grant support issued to businesses

A total of 4,279 businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have now received business support grants totalling more than £55m from BCP Council to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

The council contacted all those on its records who met the criteria within the first week and has set up an online e-form to enhance the application process.

The grant process is not automatic and business ratepayers that have not yet applied are encouraged to use the online application process as soon as possible.

Providing all the information supplied is accurate, BCP Council aims to make payments within seven working days.

In some cases businesses will receive a request to provide further details before payments can be processed.

Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said: “We still believe there are businesses out there who eligible for either the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and are not currently on our records.

“We urge you to check whether you meet the government’s criteria and apply as soon as possible to access this support.

“We appreciate that not all businesses are eligible.

“As a council we have been lobbying the government to make them aware of the business types that are affected and will continue to do so, both directly and through our MPs and with partners including the Dorset LEP and Chamber of Commerce.

“Should the criteria change we will liaise with businesses so that they can reapply if appropriate.”

Once applications are verified and processed, the payments can take three to five days to enter bank accounts.

Businesses may be contacted directly for relevant information to validate claims and prevent fraud.

Business can check their eligibility and apply via:


Hollywood actor goes back to his drama teacher roots

Hollywood actor Ralph Ineson, as seen in Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Guardians of the Galaxy, has gone back to his roots as a drama teacher during lockdown.

He has been working with Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS) to encourage students to get excited about Shakespeare by performing monologues on screen to use in virtual lesson plans.

The actor’s most recent project sees him working with director Joel Cohen and actor Denzel Washington filming ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’.

BCS students are currently studying the play and what motivates Macbeth’s decisions in the first and second act.

The students will then move on to create their own versions of the Macbeth ‘If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly’ monologue at the end of Act 1, submitted in audio or film format taking inspiration from Ralph’s version.

Maria Coulter, BCS Deputy Head, said: “We hope to invite Ralph back to critique some of their monologues, quite a bit of pressure to be placed under but an exciting opportunity for the students.

“We also are looking to combine a professional actor with the work of 14-year olds to produce Macbeth in the future as we return to some normality.

“We would love to see how we can incorporate this work into the Shakespeare School festival.”