Published: June 18, 2020 | Updated: June 18, 2020

Dorset Biz News round-up with MYTime Young Carers, Not Just Travel and Encore Care Homes

MYTime Young Carers is looking to fund its soon-to-be launched school support programme.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

MYTime Young Carers seeks to raise funds for new school programme

MYTime Young Carers has launched its first-ever crowdfunding appeal.

The Dorset charity has successfully made it through to the second round of the Aviva Community Fund.

It has now launched a crowdfunding page in a bid to fund its soon-to-be launched school support programme.

The programme seeks to encourage schools to review their provision for young carers and is designed to radically improve a young carer’s educational experience and outcomes.

Krista Sharp, MYTime Executive Director, pictured left, said, “It’s all about raising awareness of young carers within their school communities, helping schools to identify and more effectively support their young carers, and, ultimately making sure young carers have everything they need to be happy and successful in their education and beyond.

“A young carer is a child aged between five and 18, who is responsible for looking after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition or drug and alcohol problem.

“Young carers juggle a huge number of responsibilities and, as a result, achieve, on average, nine grades lower overall at GCSE than their peers.

“We really hope that the public will come on board with this crowdfunding appeal and help us achieve our ambitions and make huge changes to the lives of young carers.

“The programme’s launch will coincide with the reopening of schools post-lockdown, when young carers are likely to need more support than ever.

“Aviva employees will be supporting their chosen charities within the community crowdfunding initiative and contributing to our fundraising target of £20,000.

“The charity will need the support of the wider community, however, if we are to reach our fundraising target.”

For more information and to make a pledge, please visit


Not Just Travel appoint experienced industry executive

Dorset-based homeworking giant Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise, its franchisee recruitment arm, has appointed Cherie Richards as Chief Business Development Officer.

She has more than than 27 years’ experience with her appointment hailed as one of “many more to come”.

Cherie’s initial task will be to strengthen all areas of the existing Not Just Travel franchise, overhauling, enhancing and improving the award-winning business model.

She will also be responsible for creating a new, and as yet undisclosed, division of the company which has its headquarters at Basepoint near Bournemouth Airport.

Paul Harrison, Co-founder of Not Just Travel, said: “During the Covid-19 downturn we have used the time to take stock of our past and present and create a new future.

“Cherie’s appointment shows our confidence and commitment, in these harshest of times, as we further invest in our business and create a new vision for what will be the ‘new normal’ as our industry returns.

“We will not return post-Covid and do everything the same.

“Instead we have started to put together a ‘Dream Team’ of talent to help us fulfil our goals and aspirations.”

Steve Witt and Paul Harrison.

Fellow co-founder, Steve Witt added: “In our first six years we have built an amazing story, changed lives for hundreds of people, won many industry awards and yet we are just beginning.

“So far we have just built the foundations so that we can go on and create the best entrepreneurial opportunity in travel, here in Britain.

“The next few months will see some major changes and enhancements to our business as we innovate further and attract the very best, both in our corporate structure and in our amazing Travel Consultant business partners.

“Watch this space as we change through the gears and continue to disrupt.”


Dancing Queen Vera feels the rhythm at care home

A 94-year-old care home resident has put a smile on the faces of carers and loved ones by showing them how to get down on the dancefloor, as part of her daily exercise routine.

Vera Fear, a former Land Girl during the Second World War, regularly performs with the care team at Fairmile Grange care home in Christchurch, showing that she still knows how to dance at her age.

She’s known affectionately by fellow residents as the ‘Dancing Queen’ due to her fondness for music and, of course, the band ABBA.

Kim Butters, Wellbeing Manager at Fairmile Grange said: “We know that Vera’s always loved music, especially up tempo songs that she can dance along with.

“Vera hasn’t got a favourite type of music as long, as it’s cheerful and upbeat. Especially ABBA and happy songs by Doris Day.

“We call her the Dancing Queen and she makes all the residents on the floor happy.

“If ever she’s feeling a bit down, we put on the music and she’ll be up and dancing within minutes, she just can’t help but get up and dance.

“Vera doesn’t need any help or encouragement to dance and wants to do it by herself.

“It’s like she’s really feeling it and it just visibly changes her mood.”

During the lockdown, Fairmile Grange care home and its family of Encore Care Homes across the south coast have had a variety of ‘socially-distanced’ entertainers performing in the communal gardens and via video-calls.

Kim added: “When we had entertainers and singers in the home, Vera will dance solidly for the whole hour non-stop.

“Vera is always smiling and very confident. Vera has enjoyed dancing on the balcony, dancing along with YouTube videos on the lounge TV and often has a dance with her breakfast.

“It completely transforms her mood.”

Cecilia Thomson, Home Manager for Fairmile Grange, said: “We know that dancing is proven to improve mood, is good for physical wellbeing and also helps to bring the care team and residents together.

“Music and dance is important to Vera and all our residents, they’ve literally been singing and dancing through lockdown.

“It allows her to express herself individually, interact in a different way with other residents and team and of course have fun.”

Fairmile Grange is based in the grounds of Christchurch Hospital off Fairmile Road and can accommodate 80 residents.

Encore Care Homes have four purpose-built care homes supporting residents with residential, nursing and dementia care.

The Encore family in Dorset includes Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Oakdale in Poole and Great Oaks in Bournemouth.

Vera can be seen in action here.