Published: May 7, 2020 | Updated: May 7, 2020

Dorset Biz News round-up: Hall & Woodhouse, Unique Fire and Security & Christchurch Online

NHS staff at Poole’s Alderney Hospital receive their bottles of Rio Tropical Light soft drink.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Hall & Woodhouse spreads community spirit with soft drink donation

Hall & Woodhouse has donated more than 5,500 bottles of its Rio Tropical Light soft drink to NHS staff, other key workers across Dorset and Poole Community Exchange’s Foodbank.

Anthony Woodhouse, Chairman of Hall & Woodhouse, pictured right, said: “With our pubs being temporarily closed, we wanted to use this time to give back to our local communities and acknowledge the amazing work that NHS staff and other key workers are carrying out across the county.

“During this difficult time, our team members have nominated charities and causes close to their hearts, that they believe deserve a donation of Rio soft drink.

“We are committed to living and breathing our company’s purpose of making people’s day and serving our communities even in these unprecedented times.”

Donations have been made to the NHS frontline staff at Poole Hospital, Dorset County Hospital and Alderney Hospital in Poole.

A delivery of Rio soft drink is made to Poole Community Exchange’s Foodbank.

The key workers at Dorset County Council’s Charminster Depot also received a Rio Tropical donation.

Rio is a soft drink made with ten per cent fruit juice and sparkling water with a unique tropical taste.

It is owned and nurtured by Hall & Woodhouse.

The independent family company also brews award-winning Badger ales, and runs a collection of around 180 pubs and inns across the south of England.

The business has launched a Community Chest Emergency Fund to help those in financial difficulty in the coming months.

The remaining Community Chest funds will be distributed later in the year, to focus on supporting voluntary and charity organisations through their recovery and resilience phase.


Thermal imaging cameras could be a Unique solution, says company

A Poole company is talking to a number of potential clients, including care homes, schools and transport providers, about installing fever screening thermal imaging cameras.

Unique Fire and Security says that with people able to be carriers of Covid-19 without showing symptoms the ability to quickly screen, or detect, the infectious disease and limit the number of people present in an area is more important than ever.

Thermal imaging cameras translate heat into visible light to analyse surroundings.

The cameras have the ability to aid fever screening by detecting raised body temperatures within one second and in large groups of people.

The accuracy can be plus or minus 0.3 degrees Celsius.

Bradley Williams, Managing Director, pictured left, said: “Fever screening is a new technology being brought to the market as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, offering schools a solution to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus among teaching staff and pupils.

“We are already in contact with a number of organisations across a range of sectors including care homes, schools and transport providers who are keen to install systems to limit the spread of the virus, ultimately ensuring limited staff sickness and isolation, increased confidence and a speedy adaptation to ‘the new normal’.

“Being able to quickly and safely spot someone with a fever entering the premises allows schools to offer an enhanced level of personal security which extends beyond social distancing measures, so it isn’t a surprise that our customers have already taken a keen interest in this technology.

“We are expecting to see a substantial increase in sales and installations over the coming weeks and months as the current lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

“We expect fever screening technology to play an important part in allowing businesses to reopen, schools to return and getting the economy back on its feet.”

Family owned and run Unique Fire and Security was founded nine years ago by Bradley and employs 14 people.

It is part of Unique Group Southern Ltd which  has a total staff of 23.


Dedicated website launched for Christchurch businesses

A dedicated website – Christchurch Online – has been launched to help the community in Christchurch.

The free-to-list site is for traders open and/or serving Christchurch during the lockdown.

They include businesses offering takeaways, groceries, virtual fitness classes and essential services through to charities.

DH Websites, the Christchurch-based web design business headed by Zelda de Hollander, is behind the site.

Zelda, pictured right, said: “I just wanted to do something that would help my local community during this time.

“It’s a place that local businesses can advertise that they’re open, with up to date opening hours and services, and where the general public can quickly see who’s open and serving in one place.

“The more people know about it, the more it will help everyone

“I’ve had such a positive response already, saying it’s a great resource, and it hasn’t even been live for a week yet!”