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Published: June 2, 2020 | Updated: June 2, 2020

Dorset Biz News round-up: JPL Telecom, Inspire Professional Services and Carer Support Dorset

James Clarke, CEO, JPL Telecom, wearing the X-500 wireless headset.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Company develops and brings to market new headset in just six weeks

A Dorset telecommunications company which designs and engineers wired headsets brought a new product to market in just six weeks.

JPL Telecom, based in Sturminster Newton, moved quickly after another business removed its product, severely impacting customers with impaired hearing.

James Clarke, CEO, said: “We noticed an increase in customers asking for a hearing aid compatible headset and observed that these users wanted the same looking product to users who do not need a hearing aid.

“We found that one of our headsets, the JPL-Connect, could be modified with a ‘telecoil’ as a hearing aid compatible headset.

“Alternatives in the marketplace not only looked different to regular telecom headsets, but also seemed to penalise the hearing aid users by being more expensive than they needed to be.

“JPL came up with the ‘JPL-HAC’ as the solution.

“It was clear that there was limited and expensive options, for those who rely on assisted technology to function normally every day.

“I asked our Technical Manager, Jonathan Nuttall, to investigate and he discovered people were having to use alternatives such as gaming headsets.

“This was affecting people with a hearing disability in the workplace and highlighted that they were different, with a knock-on effect on employees’ mental health and wellbeing.”

JPL Telecom worked with speaker experts in collaboration with a specialist telecoil manufacturer and, using the housing from its JPL-Connect headset, produced a headset which was ready to trial in the UK market within just three weeks.

After meeting with a major UK hearing loss charity they tested and approved the headset in their London laboratories.

The JPL-HAC-1 and JPL-HAC-2 headsets were then put into the marketplace.

James said: “From start to finish we were able to close the gap in six weeks.

“The nice thing about the JPL-HAC is if the user changes and they do not need a hearing aid, the headset can be used as a regular headset and the non-hearing aid person would not notice the difference.

“Everyone involved with this new headset is delighted to have brought this cost-effective and British design solution into market.”

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Webinar will focus on options for employers with staff on furlough

Furloughing will be under the spotlight at a webinar this week.

Inspire Professional Services, in collaboration with Ellis Jones Solicitors, will be holding a free interactive webinar on Thursday June 4 at 11am.

It will focus on the options for employers with staff currently on furlough once the government begins to reduce its contributions to the Job Retention Scheme from August.

A Q&A session will follow, giving all attendees the opportunity to ask questions to the expert panel.

Inspire launched a programme of free business advice webinars at the start of the lockdown.

So far these have been attended by more than 350 business leaders, covering a range of topics related to the government’s measures to help businesses during the pandemic.

To register to attend Thursday’s webinar, please email events@inspire.uk.net or call 01202 717867.

For further details visit Inspire’s Coronavirus Business Resources Page providing the latest news, opinion and links for businesses to access information, alongside details of the webinar programme.

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Carer Support Dorset gears up for Carers Week 2020

Carer Support Dorset is running a series of virtual events and activities for this year’s Carers Week.

Running from June 8 to 14, Carers Week shines a light on the thousands of unpaid carers in the UK.

An estimated 6.5m people, or one in every eight, are carers.

The figure includes many thousands who live in Dorset.

‘Making Carers Visible’ is the theme this year and Carer Support Dorset, along with other Dorset-based organisations, is encouraging carers, and everyone in the community, to celebrate and recognise the contribution of this often-hidden group of people.

Despite the Covid-19 crisis making this year’s event an entirely online one, research carried out by Carers UK demonstrates the recognition is more important than ever.

70 per cent of unpaid carers say they are providing more care due to the crisis and 55 per cent feel overwhelmed as a result.

Carer Support Dorset is running virtual cuppas Monday to Friday as an informal way that carers can connect with other Dorset carers along with Carer Support Dorset staff.

The team is also launching a cookery video that carers can follow as well as fun downloadable activities children can get involved with.

Across the Carer Support Dorset website and social media platforms, Carer Support Dorset will be sharing stories from local carers about some of their struggles, successes and ways that they cope with caring for someone.

Anna Elston, Manager, Carer Support Dorset, pictured left, said: ““We are looking forward to taking part in a wide-range of activities to highlight Dorset’s unpaid carers.

“Many carers are ‘hidden’ and don’t consider themselves to be a carer.

“They can be mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, neighbours or friends and can look after someone with physical, mental or substance misuse problems.

“By working with other organisations, we hope to raise awareness of our unpaid carers and the incredible work they do, often behind closed doors.”

To find out more about this year’s Carers Week, please visit https://www.carersupportdorset.co.uk/news/carers-week-2020/