Published: November 18, 2021 | Updated: November 19, 2021

Biz News update: Sunny Bird PR, River Island, Dorset Growth Hub and Carer Support Dorset

Sunny Bird, CEO, Sunny Bird PR and the Perfect Dress Company.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Sunny Bird PR win ‘dream’ international brand River Island

“We have worked on some big and amazing brands at Sunny Bird PR, but having River Island contact you to work with them is an absolute dream come true.”

The reaction of Sunny Bird, CEO of the Bournemouth-based PR agency after it was appointed by River Island to handle consumer and trade PR for the new ‘River Island Boutique’ in Portsmouth.

A first for the retail giant, the two-floor concept opens this weekend.

Womenswear is set across the entire ground floor while the first floor is occupied by menswear and kids wear, stocking older kids, mini and baby.

The client was especially sweet for Sunny Bird PR as it also has its own ‘innovation hub’ fashion brand, the Perfect Dress Company.

Sunny, who is CEO of both ventures, said: “Before we launched the Perfect Dress Company, we had no previous fashion brand experience and now an international, high-street brand requests us to pitch for them.

“All our hard work paid off as this week we have got to work on the launch of ‘River Island Boutique’ in Portsmouth’s Commercial Road as well as the party they are throwing instore on December 4 to celebrate.

“It is still very early days but working with the brand and with their incredible team, we have been lucky enough to get an insight into how an international fashion brand work.

“Obviously we can only hope that one day we can replicate just some of that success with the Perfect Dress Company.”

Sunny Bird PR is also organising the involvement of influencers.


Dorset Growth Hub releases two new grants supporting small biz

Dorset Growth Hub (DGH) is inviting applications for two new grants.

They’re the New Business Grant and the New Product Grant.

In July, DGH reached a total of £1.5million in grants paid to local businesses.

It hopes to hit nearly £2 million in the first half of next year.

Nick Gregory, Operations Director, pictured left, said: “It’s incredibly important we keep supporting Dorset’s business, small or large, new or established.

“We hope these grants, although small, along with our larger Growth Grants, can encourage and support further or faster innovation in our area.”

The New Product Grant is for a business looking to launch a new product or service.

The grant must contribute towards the manufacturing or marketing (digital or consultancy), and is fixed at £1,000.

The New Business Grant is for businesses that are under 12 months old and looking to grow.

The grant supports the cost of capital equipment, marketing (digital or consultancy), and is also fixed at £1,000.

There are only 50 of the grants available so be sure to apply soon.

To be eligible for the grant the business must be based in Dorset and registered with Companies House or be self-employed with a UTR number from HMRC.

In order to celebrate the launch of the grants, Dorset Growth Hub is holding a breakfast event on Wednesday November 24, 8:30-10:30am, at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth.

You’ll be able to find out more about the grant process, as well as hearing from individuals who have previously received a grant via Dorset Growth Hub.

Shelley Collins-Trevett, Programme Delivery Manager, pictured helping a client, said: “There is traditionally a lack of grants available to startups so this is a brilliant initiative by Dorset Growth Hub to provide non-match funded grants of £1,000 to the startup community.

“Money is often really tight when starting out so the chance of getting a grant for £1,000 to help your new business thrive is a chance not to be missed”.

To register for the breakfast event please click here.

To find out more on the grants please click here or e-mail with a brief outline of your business and the proposed project.


Carer Support Dorset celebrates its second anniversary  

Carer Support Dorset will tomorrow, Saturday, celebrate its second anniversary of supporting unpaid carers across Dorset.

As the lead carer organisation in Dorset, Carer Support Dorset quickly adapted to the needs of unpaid carers throughout the pandemic.

It went online to offer information and training as well as a new befriending service and regular newsletters, keeping carers informed of services and support available during lockdowns.

Now, nearly 4,000 unpaid carers are signed up to Carer Support Dorset’s service and this continues to grow.

With 34 per cent of unpaid carers feeling lonely and isolated and 66 per centre wanting more support and recognition of their role in the last year, Carer Support Dorset says it is needed now more than ever.

Since 2019, Carer Support Dorset has supported thousands of unpaid carers with information on benefits, respite and other support available for carers.

Over the next year, Carer Support Dorset aims to further increase the number of carers it supports, with a particular focus on those who live in more rural areas or are looking after someone with mental health or substance misuse issues.

There will also be further face-to-face training sessions available to unpaid carers.

Carer Support Dorset will also be heavily involved in the Carers Dorset Festival on Thursday November 25.

Judy Walker, Chief Executive, Carer Support Dorset, pictured left, said: “Carer Support Dorset has achieved a huge amount since its launch, especially in the last 18 months through the global pandemic.

“Unpaid carers have been working harder than ever.

“This is why Carer Support Dorset exists, to give carers access to the support and resources that is available to help them look after someone else.”

If you think that you are a carer, please call us 800 368 8349 or visit our website by clicking here.