Dorset Biz News round-up: Dorset Community Foundation, LexisClick and St Edward's School

Adrian Bramley, a volunteer driver with Sedcat, one of 57 groups awarded more than £173,000 from the Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: April 22, 2020 | Updated: 22nd April 2020

Community fund awards more than £173k to 57 groups across Dorset

Dorset Community Foundation (DCF) has awarded more than £173,000 to 57 groups across the county within weeks of launching its Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund.

The projects include medication and food delivery and mental health and online support.

The priority has been helping those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic including elderly people, individuals leaving hospitals and expectant mothers.

Grant Robson, Director, said: “In the last three weeks we have received well over 100 requests for funding for emergency support.

“Our grants team, with the help of five volunteer professional assessors, has been able to support 57 groups so far – from foodbanks to mental health support sessions for young carers.

“We are so pleased that we are able to fund these groups, as within days of the lockdown they were among the first organisations to adapt quickly and help local residents in need.”

One of the groups helped by the fund, Sedcat, assists NHS passenger transport to clear hospital beds ready for Covid-19 patients.

It also delivers hospital equipment and medicines and takes patients to essential hospital appointments.

The DCF grant allowed the charity to cover the cost of fitting sealed protective screens between drivers and patients for protection and also fund volunteer expenses.

Sedcat’s Sue Leighton said: “NHS providers are struggling at this very difficult time and welcomed the help that we were able to provide.

“The organisation can do this with the support provided by DCF to cover running costs and equipment.”

For more details on the funding available and the appeal click here.


Free ten step ‘Innovate to survive’ online course from LexisClick

A Bournemouth-based growth consultancy has launched a free ten step ‘Innovate to survive’ online course.

LexisClick first used social media to test demand for the initiative.

Within a week 127 people had registered their interest, exceeding the target of 100.

Seven days later the consultancy had packaged up the innovation process into a course and released it to the world.

Chris Heffer, Director and Head of Strategy, pictured left, said: “Innovating your business to provide something that your customers genuinely benefit from isn’t a one time project, it’s a constant development cycle.

“We’re aware of this and have built ‘Innovate to survive’ with this in mind.

“This course could, and should, be used to help decide which path is the best to take in the current environment – for the business and for the customer.

“At LexisClick, our mission is to help businesses add more value to their ideal customers.

“From our experience, this is the best marketing strategy any business could implement.

“Adding value to your ideal customers starts with your core business offering.

“Using the ‘Innovate to survive’ framework we have created is a great place to start and we genuinely believe most small and medium sized businesses will benefit from it.”

  • ‘Innovate to survive – a 10 step business innovation challenge’ is available for free here.  All the consultancy asks in return is feedback on how it can improve the course further for others.


School use 3D printers to make much needed PPE for care home

Badly needed protective kit to keep frontline health and care staff safe is being made by staff and students at St Edward’s School in Poole.

The project was sparked by Year 13 student, Will Neville-Jones, pictured right.

After learning how to make bands for face visors on his 3D printer at home, he approached the school’s design and technology department for help completing the job.

He was allowed to borrow one of the school’s 3D printers, along with the materials he needed for the visor front panels, and completed the first batch of ten face visors from his home.

They were delivered this week to The Laurels and Pine Lodge care home in Oakdale, Poole.

Inspired by his efforts, teachers from the school, which remains open for key worker and children who are vulnerable, are setting up shop in the design and technology department to continue the work.

They’re making scrubs bags, ear protectors to prevent skin damage from face masks and more laser cut visors.

All will be made available to the local NHS and care homes.

Jane Morris, St Edward’s Head of Technology, said: “I am incredibly proud of Will for taking the initiative and spending his Easter break working to do something good for others.

“We are so pleased to pick up the baton at school and do what we can as well.”

Ian Finnie, Manager of The Laurels and Pine Lodge care home, said:”We’d like to say a big thank you to Will for his brilliant work making PPE – he’s done a truly impressive job – and thank you to St Edward’s School for joining the effort.

“This equipment is obviously in huge demand and supplies, especially within the care sector, are under pressure, so this act of kindness is all the more appreciated.

“To know that our community is supporting us and getting behind all its NHS and care workers at this time means an awful lot.”

Michael Antram, Headteacher, said: “This is a brilliant initiative which makes me proud to be the head teacher of this school; proud of the technical knowhow of our staff and students, but especially proud of the generosity of spirit which saw those skills and resources directed towards this initiative.

“Well done to Will and the technology department.

“This equipment will directly support front line health and care staff and help keep them safe as they do their vital work – I can’t think of a better school project to work on right now.”

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