Published: August 2, 2020 | Updated: August 2, 2020

Biz News update: VisitEngland, Hendy Group, Lighthouse and Lewis-Manning Hospice Care

Exeter Cathedral was the stunning setting for this year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards. Picture: Nick Williams Photography.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Three of Dorset’s best through to finals of national VisitEngland awards

A Dorset pub, country park and museum are through to the finals of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

The Three Horseshoes Pub & Kitchen in Burton Bradstock, Durlston Country Park and Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester are among 53 finalists in the national contest.

In total, 13 of the national finalists are from the South West reinforcing its position as England’s top region for quality.

The Three Horseshoes is a finalist in the Pub of the Year category, Durlston Country Park is up for the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award and the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum is in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category.

Nominations for the national awards were put forward following the South West Tourism Excellence awards in Exeter Cathedral in February, following a record year for the awards with 773 entries into the Dorset, Cornwall, Bristol, Bath and Somerset, Devon and South West awards.

Since then the nominees have been through a further round of judging leading to the announcement of national finalists.

Robin Barker, from South West awards organisers Services for Tourism, pictured left, said: “In what is an extraordinarily difficult year for tourism and South West England it’s great to have this positive news to share.

“The success of these businesses – and the region as a whole – pays real testament to the innovation, passion and commitment of tourism across the South West and I pay tribute to every one of them.

“This year’s regional awards are also currently open for entry and I hope this news will encourage many more businesses to get involved.”

The finalists are all invited to attend an online virtual event on Monday August 17 when they will be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold award.


Hendy Group teams up with Pennies to raise funds for local causes

Hendy Group has joined forces with fintech charity Pennies and its micro-donation movement to support Hendy Foundation.

Hendy customers in Dorset can now top up their card purchases by an optional 50p to make a donation to Hendy Foundation which supports good causes in the region.

Paul Hendy, Chief Executive, pictured left, said: “Hendy Foundation was set up in 2019 to formalise the support Hendy has given to the community in its 162 year history, and it has already helped a wide range of projects in the area.

“By offering our customers the opportunity to make a small donation with Pennies, they can enable the foundation to support even more local causes in their own community.

“Initial feedback from our customers has been extremely positive and they are really keen to help the foundation support their local communities.”

Paul said that with all payments now made by card, rather than any cash transactions, it made perfect sense to add a digital element to fundraising.

He added: “In the past retailers such as Hendy would have had collection tins in showrooms.

“But as with all parts of our business digital is the way forward and Pennies is an award winning fintech charity with expertise in the field of digital donations.”

Hendy Trustee Mark Busby, pictured left, said he was delighted to introduce Pennies into Hendy showrooms across the South and South West.

“As a charity we are delighted that Hendy Group and its customers have partnered with Pennies to help the foundation continue to make a positive impact on the local communities where its customers live,” he added.

Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO of Pennies, said, “We are sure that Hendy Group’s customers will quickly adopt this simple way of giving and support the growth of micro-donations – at a time when they matter now more than ever.”


Lighthouse needs you to help bring live shows back to Poole

Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is calling on local businesses and organisations to help return live performance to the town.

Unable to welcome audiences back to live shows indoors, Lighthouse is planning a short season of special outdoor performances in the amphitheatre at the side of the building… but it needs help.

Tom Shallaker, Lighthouse Fundraising Manager, said: “It has been heart-breaking for us to have to cancel so many shows, and we really miss being able to provide our community with the opportunity to enjoy live performance.

“The government has said that we can start to have live shows, but social distancing measures mean that in order to do so we have to severely restrict audience numbers so that many shows are simply not financially viable.”

In an unprecedented move Lighthouse is seeking commercial sponsorship for the amphitheatre season of broad-appeal outdoor shows featuring live music, stand-up comedy, family entertainment and Shakespearean drama.

Tom added: “Despite the financial crisis caused by the pandemic this outdoor season is not a money-maker.

“We are doing it because live performance is at the core of why we exist, and we want to make Poole feel great again.

“We’re taking positive steps to reconnect with our community, but as long as social distancing is in place, anything that we do remains at a financial loss to Lighthouse.

“For that reason we need the financial support of the local business community to ensure we can bring back live events without compromising our ability to continue planning future work.”

Sponsors will enjoy a wide range of benefits in return, from brand association with Lighthouse and bespoke advertising offers, to unique hospitality for staff and clients.

They’ll also know they have played a major part in bringing live shows back to Poole

Headline sponsorship starts at £3,000 +VAT.

For more information or an informal chat about the outdoor mini season, please contact Tom at


Par-tea on down with Lewis Manning Hospice-Care

Enjoy a tea party for a very good cause this summer.

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is urging you, your businesses or organisation to take part in The Great Dorset Tea Party in August.

It’s a fun sociable event that will help raise much needed funds to provide extraordinary hospice care to local people in our community.

Tom Goodinge, Director of Fundraising, pictured left, said, “We would love as many people as possible to sign up and take part in this great initiative.

“Taking part is easy, simply call or email us and we will send you a free tea party pack with invitations, a poster, recipe cards, including wonderful Dorset apple cake and vanilla cupcakes ideas.

“There’s also a sweepstake game, which will allow tea party hosts to help raise funds with their guests and a prize pot for the winning players number.

“Why not invite your friends, family and work colleagues to have a socially distanced or virtual cuppa and cake with you this August?

“We ask people to make sure they stay safe when hosting or attending a Great Dorset Tea Party and that you are following the latest government guidelines accordingly.”

Register today for your tea party pack by phoning 01202 708470, emailing or download it at