Biz round-up with Fordington Gin, Sherborne Business Awards, NatWest, Dorset Careers Hub

Ros Nelmes, Founder, Fordington Gin.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: October 28, 2020 | Updated: 28th October 2020

MP cheers Fordington Gin for winning community award

A Dorset gin producer has received a Community Spirit award for its work during the pandemic.

Chris Loder, West Dorset MP, visited Fordington Gin to present the award in person.

Set up by the UK Spirits Alliance (UKSA), a coalition of UK spirits producers, the awards recognise distilleries which have gone above and beyond to help their communities.

Fordington Gin, founded and run by Ros Nelmes, began helping its communities in the fight against Covid-19 by supporting the local Rotary club.

Ros and her team helped with food bank deliveries, distributed prescriptions and supported Age UK in its efforts to help the vulnerable.

She said: “We are thrilled to receive this award and were delighted to have our local MP Chris Loder present us with it.

“We’re humbled that the industry has recognised our work supporting key workers and organisations during the pandemic.”

Mr Loder, pictured with Ros, said “It’s fantastic that the Fordington Gin team are being recognised for their work during the pandemic.

“Their actions have helped so many West Dorset residents, for which I am grateful.”

A UKSA spokesperson added: “Distilleries across the UK like Fordington Gin have been supporting their local communities throughout the pandemic.

“The Community Spirit Awards is a great way to recognise that.

“We are delighted that Chris Loder MP presented this award.

“We hope that he will continue his long-standing support for the distillery and the wider industry as we approach a potential Budget”.


Great response to launch of Sherborne Business Awards

The launch of the Sherborne Business Awards proved a big success with more than 200 viewings of the live-streamed event.

It was held at Leweston School, just outside Sherborne, and hosted by the broadcaster Rick Simmonds of Verbu Communicating Coaching, pictured left.

Nigel Reeve of Marketing West, the organisers of the awards, said that the awards were to promote the range of Sherborne-based businesses.

The event also included updates from:

  • Jane Wood, President, Sherborne Chamber
  • Rebecca Burns, Sherborne Indies Group
  • Cllr Bill Taylor, Sherborne Town Council
  • Laura Hitchcock of the online The Blackmore Vale

Nigel, pictured right, said: “It was a pity the launch couldn’t be open for people to attend but current restrictions made that impossible.

“However, the feedback to the streaming has been great and resulted in many more businesses being able to see the launch.

“The awards ceremony is due at the end of February and will now be streamed live, whatever the restrictions are at the time.”

More than half of category sponsorship has been taken up while award entry forms are now online with entries already coming in.

To enter visit and fill out a form.


NatWest webinar aims to help companies reduce plastic use

Businesses across Dorset looking to reduce their use of plastics are being invited to join a webinar event hosted by NatWest.

The Towards A Plastic Revolution digital event is held on Monday November 2.

It features guest speaker Steve Fletcher, Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy at Portsmouth University, and Simon Terry, Managing Director of global lighting designers and manufacturers Anglepoise.

Professor Steve Fletcher, pictured left, is an expert in plastic waste reduction.

Writing for the Australian Times recently he warned that by doing nothing, the amount of plastic entering the ocean will triple from 13m tonnes this year to 29m tonnes by 2040.

Under the webinar themes of ‘Reducing, Reusing and Leading’, the duo will provide invaluable insights which businesses can use to begin, or improve, their own plastic reduction efforts.

Mairead Taylor, Regional Director, NatWest, pictured right, said: “In order to help drive the UK transition to a low carbon economy, it takes bold actions, which is why as a bank we are trying to lead the way.

“That means supporting businesses too, which is why events like the Towards A Plastic Revolution are so important.

“During the past decade we have been the biggest lender to the UK renewables sector, and recently issued our first green bond.

“We want to provide wrap-around support to help businesses move to greener ways of working.

“That makes for a brighter future and stronger economy, which can only be a good thing.”

NatWest has set itself a goal to be climate positive by 2025 as it looks to help UK businesses follow a similar path.

To register for the free event, which starts at 9.30am, please click here.


Help young people set their sights on great careers

Businesses are being urged to provide virtual work experiences for young people in a move to ensure future talent in Dorset’s key industries.

As Covid-19 and technology change the way businesses operate – and with many regional businesses reporting difficulties in recruiting local staff with the skills and qualifications they need – skills gaps at a county level are holding the local economy back.

Dorset Careers Hub, delivered by Dorset LEP in partnership with BCP Council and Dorset Council, is working towards a solution with SpeakersForSchools to deliver the virtual work experience programme.

But first, businesses need to volunteer  with a call for Dorset’s business community to help create valuable experiences for young people to work in some of the county’s most exciting and promising companies this academic year.

Steve Williams, Careers Hub Lead, Dorset LEP, said: “A small contribution of company time could make a huge impact on a young person’s life prospects, inspire tomorrow’s talent to set their sights on working in one of Dorset’s key sectors and help drive Dorset’s economic recovery.

“Dorset has a healthy mix of established sectors and new, high potential areas – providing young people with insights to these opportunities will help ensure we develop and retain talent in our region.”

An online information information event on Wednesday November 4, 12.30pm to 1.30pm, will provide businesses with more details on the manageable level of commitment involved.

Dorset Careers Hub is especially keen to hear from businesses in the digital or creative industries, finance, manufacturing, health and social care, exporting, construction and tourism.

Register for the information event here.

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