Biz News update: Julia's House, Haskins Garden Centres, Rachel Knowles and Marketing West

Julia's House which provides care for children with life-limiting and life-shortening conditions.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: October 26, 2021 | Updated: 27th October 2021

Haskins delivers vital grant to Julia’s House to support Dorset families

Haskins Garden Centre has donated £15,000 to Julia’s House to help towards the cost of providing care and support for seriously ill children and their families in Dorset.

The grant will support the charity as it offers much-needed respite sessions for families who are caring around-the-clock for a child with a life-limiting condition, either at home, out and about in the community or at the hospice.

It was made through the Haskins Charitable Fund.

Roland Robinson, Fundraiser at Julia’s House, said: “Our respite sessions are a lifeline for many parents and carers, allowing them to take a break while our specialist nurses, carers and therapists work closely with their children, providing clinical, physical and emotional support.

“The tailored sessions involve specialist toys and techniques to help children develop to their full potential, while having fun at the same time.

“We support the wider family too, from grandparents to siblings.

“We delivered 1,530 respite sessions in family homes during the first six months of 2021, and rely on the support from the local community, including local businesses and grants from trusts and foundations to deliver our life-changing care.

“The generous grant from Haskins will allow us to continue providing this vital support for the remainder of 2021, making a huge difference to the lives of so many children and families across Dorset.”

Jamie Haskins, a member of the Haskins family, said: “Julia’s House is renowned across our county for its exceptional level of care and support for Dorset families.

“We’re proud to be helping their nurses and carers provide expert care where it’s needed the most, enabling seriously ill children to live life to the full, as well as supporting families at the hardest of times at the end of their child’s life.”

The Haskins Charitable Fund was set up in 2017 to benefit charities and community projects local to its four garden centres across the south, through personal nominations from its staff.

Julia’s House was nominated by Warren Haskins, Chairman of Haskins Garden Centres.

Warren has been an enthusiastic supporter and advocate of Julia’s House for a number of years.

The Trust accepts nominations for charities which benefit vulnerable children and their families, for horticultural and environmental projects, or for hospices and respite care providers.


Rachel brings us a decade of Regency love and romance

Weymouth-based author Rachel Knowles is celebrating the tenth anniversary of launching her historical blog – – this month.

The blog contains more than 300 well-researched historical articles about the Regency period of British history – an era closely associated with acclaimed author Jane Austen, writer of classics such as Pride and Prejudice.

Rachel began blogging to share the research she was doing for her own novels.

It’s since become a popular resource for many other authors and has attracted the attention of various media organisations.

She’s also given many talks about the Regency era across Dorset and in London, usually dressed in a historically accurate Regency costume.

Since she began blogging, Rachel has been interviewed several times on local BBC radio and TV, and has featured twice in South Korean historical documentaries.

She’s been invited to various prestigious blogger events, including several at Buckingham Palace.

Rachel has published two historical romance novels – ‘A Perfect Match’ and ‘A Reason for Romance’ – and a third is in progress.

She has also authored a history book ‘What Regency Women Did For Us’, published by Pen & Sword History books.

Rachel said: “I fell in love with the Regency period when I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time, aged 13.

“I also love history and I want my books to be as historically accurate as possible, which is why thorough research is so important to me.

“I enjoy sharing history with other Regency era fans and authors and I look forward to continuing this for many years to come.”

All Rachel’s books are available in paperback or for Kindle, from Amazon.

Rachel is one half of a talented couple.

Her husband, Andrew, is a social media trainer, business to business copywriter and business coach.


Great feedback after 50 attend South West Business Forum

More than 50 West Dorset business leaders attended the South West Business Forum held at the Dorset Museum in Dorchester.

The seminar focused on getting business moving again post lockdown.

It began with breakfast before presentations covering a range of subjects relevant to the local business community.

Speakers included Martin Varley, Humphries Kirk Solicitors; Stephanie Dyke, Blue Fox Wealth; Simon Ellson, Action Coach; Nick Gregory, Dorset Growth Hub; Chris Conroy, Dorset Police Cybercrime team; Jon Bird, Dorset Council and David Mutton and Rebecca Davies from Dorset LEP.

Nigel Reeve, of organisers Marketing West Events, pictured, said: “The new-look Dorset Museum made a great venue while the attendees were attracted by the chance to hear the post lockdown advice of a group of Dorset experts who understand the market we are all working in.

“Since the seminar, we have had great feedback.

“The most common response was how good it is to talk to business contacts face to face again.

“Online meetings are great but they don’t encourage interaction and build long-lasting relationships.

“We all like to meet people and there’s no doubt business will be done through contacts made at the seminar.”

A second seminar is planned for the early spring of 2022.

More details will be available later this year.

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