BH Living Spring 2024

Page 1

News from the three towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole

‘School Streets’ Pilot scheme a big success

– page 4

Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner talks to BH Living – page 16

80 years since D-Day How Poole played a key part – page 26

Find us online at

One magazine distributed to over 170,000 homes across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Spring is in the air!

Great ideas for things to do around BCP

– page 14

Spring 2024

Homecare you can rely on

With our help, clients are able to stay in their familiar surroundings that they have spent their lives shaping. Our visiting and live-in carers adapt and work to support you in your own home, so you can keep your independence, possessions, family and pets around you regardless of your situation.

From 30-minute visits to round-the-clock live-in care, GoodOaks’ care professionals help people in their own homes with:

• Personal care

• Preparing meals

• Medication administration

• Companionship

To find out more call or visit:

01202 125765

• Housework

• Shopping and escorting to appointments

• And much more!

Hello readers,

Welcome to another jam-packed edition of BH Living with even more local news and some feel-good stories too (It seems much of the ‘news’ online, on radio and on TV nowadays is bad?)

We’re featuring a good-news story in the edition. Picture this: A young SBS soldier is dropped into Afghanistan on a dangerous mission. Whilst in the course of his duties, he’s shot in the neck and falls to the ground severely wounded. His comrades attempt to check if he is still alive under heavy gunfire. He’s so badly wounded, they assume the inevitable but miraculously he survives. Page 10 tells the subsequent story of how one man looked adversity in the face and then proved that success is not necessarily dependant on circumstance.

We were also fortunate to speak to David Sidwick, as he approaches the third anniversary in the post as Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner. We put some of our readers’ questions and concerns to him and ask him the big question: “can he actually achieve what he originally promised to do?” Read the interview on page 16.

Few of us have not heard the phrase “You learn something new everyday” and it’s very true. We are all pupils in the school of life. No matter what our age or ability (or disability), we all have the capacity to learn more, to broaden our horizons and open up more opportunities to ourselves. We wanted to inspire our readers to think about what the possibilities could be, with a little more learning. See page 20 for our ‘Learning for Life’ feature with ideas and inspiration for learning and education whether you’re 5 or 95.

Finally, it’s here! The tulips are catching up with the daffodils which’ve already been open since early February – spring is just a breath away! So throw off the winter blues, fling open the doors and welcome in spring. There’s lots happening this season across BCP, so be sure to check out our feature on page 14 for family days out, or see page 29 with ideas for the grownups.

Enjoy spring and I’ll see in the summer edition, coming out early/mid July (it’ll soon be here!)

@bhlivingdorset BH Living 03 BH Living Magazine, both in print and electronically, is produced, published and distributed by IMS Group who are an independent magazine publisher with no affiliation to any council or political party. All views and comments expressed in editorial content or by advertisers do not necessarily reflect views of the IMS Group. BH Living is distributed door-to-door in Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole to over 170,000 households. It can also be found at selected pick-up points across the three towns or downloaded at All content is copyrighted by IMS Group and may not be used or reproduced wholly or in part without the written consent of IMS Ltd. Jason Harris Contents Published & Produced by: IMS Group Distributed by: IMS Group Editor: Jason Harris Editorial Assistant: Ellie Hawkins Graphic Design: Dan Bartlett For editorial enquiries contact: For advertising enquiries contact:
4-9 Local News 10-12 Business News 14-15 Family days out 16-18 Police & Crime interview 20-23 Learning for Life 26-27 D Day in Dorset 28 Book Reviews 29 What’s on in BCP

BCP Council’s ‘School Streets’ pilot scheme a big success

An innovative pilot scheme by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council aimed at restricting traffic and parking outside four local schools during peak times has had such a positive impact, it’s being rolled out permanently.

The ‘School Streets’ initiative was introduced back in spring last year at Hamworthy Park Juniors and St Michael’s Church of England Primary, as well as Livingstone Road Infant and Juniors and St Clement’s & St John’s Church of England Infant schools, with the aim of enhancing safety and encouraging active travel.

The recent trial saw roads directly outside the schools closed to motorised traffic each day throughout the school week at peak drop-off and pick-up times, with exceptions made for residents living within the closed road and blue badge holders.

BCP Council labelled the results ‘very encouraging’, with an 11.5 per cent rise in parents and carers opting to leave their cars at home and either walk, cycle or scoot and 92 per cent requesting the scheme be introduced on a full-time basis.

Around 80 per cent of those surveyed also revealed they felt much safer outside their respective schools during the period the pilot was rolled out.

Cllr Millie Earl, BCP Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities, said: “We’re delighted the School Streets pilot has been so successful and popular with our participating schools, parents and children.

“It’s achieved our ambition of creating safer spaces around school sites and encouraged more people to seek alternative ways of travelling.

“Due to its success, we’re now trialling the scheme at two other schools across the local area this academic year and more in the future, where we hope for more great results.”

Andy Poole, head of St Clement’s and St John’s Church of England Infant School said: “We’re delighted with how our School Streets trial has gone and we’re pleased to be rolling it out permanently.

“It goes without the saying the safety of our children and parents is paramount to us, and it’s been fantastic to see how it’s been embraced by everyone.

“But this simple idea doesn’t just provide peace of mind during the busy school run, it has an environmental impact too which will help

improve air quality as we reduce the number of vehicles travelling to our site, often twice a day.”

School Streets volunteers Tanya White, Mike Manser and Phil Newton in front of the road barrier for St Clement’s and St John’s Church of England Infant School.

Mike Manser, a local dad who is also the volunteer head steward for School Streets at St Clement’s and St John’s Church of England Infant School, said: “School Streets helps parents to be more active and has really given us a sense of community.

“Most people live within a mile and the idea is to encourage more people to walk. It’s taken a while, but we are definitely getting there. We’ve had parents who didn’t want to stop driving but now walk their children to school every morning.”

The School Streets pilot scheme forms part of BCP Council’s wider Transforming Travel programme, which focuses on giving people greener, healthier and better-connected choices when it comes to travel, as well as reducing congestion and making walking, cycling and using public transport more attractive, especially for shorter journeys, and is now being adopted by other local authorities across the country.

It also ties in with Government’s aim for 50 per cent of all journeys in towns and cities to be walked or cycled by 2030.

Enhanced Partnership delivers bus route changes and frequency improvements on Bournemouth to Wimborne service

Morebus has announced its popular Route 13 service will now run every 20 minutes in the daytime, thanks to funding from the Government.

The service from Bournemouth to Wimborne via Winton and Ferndown has been enhanced with extra journeys from Sunday 18 February.

Morebus and BCP Council are working in partnership to introduce the changes, which have been made possible thanks to funding from the Government’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

LOCAL NEWS @bhlivingdorset BH Living 04

Are you ready for the 2024 elections?

Photo ID will be required for all 2024 elections. Find out what is and isn’t acceptable photo ID or register for a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’

Voters in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area are being reminded that they need to show an accepted form of photographic identification for forthcoming elections.

In May, elections will take place for the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (other local elections are also taking place outside of BCP)

A UK general election must also take place before 28 January 2025 and could be called at short notice.

In both elections, voters will need to bring a valid form of photo ID in order to vote. The requirement to show photo ID at the polling stations was introduced under the UK Government’s Elections Act, and was in place during Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council’s local elections last year.

With voter turnout for a general election expected to be greater than for a local election, BCP Council is urging residents to make sure they are ready to vote by checking now for an accepted form of ID. Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth driving licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass.

Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo, however If voters don’t have an acceptable form of photo ID, they can apply right now for a free voter ID document, which is known as a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’.

Graham Farrant, Returning Officer at BCP Council said:

“The next 12 months will feature two very important elections that offer our residents the chance to have their democratic say.

“The introduction of voter ID at last year’s local elections was a challenge our residents responded to, with only 0.1% of people that wanted to vote in BCP on the day finding they did not have the right ID to be able to do so.

“It is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May and prepared for whenever the general election is called.”

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections – or wishes to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate - must also be registered to vote by Tuesday 16 April 2024.

Residents can check to see if they are already on the electoral register by calling 01202 123400, or emailing elections@

Find out more information on BCP Council’s elections at: elections-and-voting

Those needing to register to vote can do so at:

Residents will not need to provide photo ID to vote by post. To apply to vote by post, applications must reach the council by 5pm on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

Morebus completes two years of fundraising with total £3600 donated to Dorset Mind

Morebus celebrated two years of fundraising for its corporate charity of 2022 and 2023, with a total of £3600 raised for Dorset Mind.

The local bus operator has been throwing its support behind Dorset Mind by raising funds and creating awareness to help the mental health charity provide a range of services to people living across the county.

“Dorset Mind challenges mental health stigma and encourages recovery by empowering individuals to develop resilience,” said Morebus’s, Annette Geyser.

“Those living within our local community have relied upon the charity’s support even more over recent years, and I’m delighted my colleagues have been able to raise £3600 to help this vital resource.

Linda O’Sullivan, Dorset Mind CEO, added: “We’re incredibly grateful to Morebus for their fundraising efforts, as our charity partner for the last two years. The support of local businesses not only ensures essential funds for vital service provision but also supports our vision of creating a community where living with and talking about mental health becomes acceptable for everyone.”

Morebus will spend the next two years fundraising for University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity, which it has named as its corporate charity for 2024 and 2025.

‘May the fourth be with you’ –gamers unite for a Star Wars themed gaming day

On 4th of May 2024 - The Gaming Circus and Retrocave will partner together to share the love of Star Wars with the local community by putting on a games day at the Retrocave on Ashley Road to raise money for local charity, Julia’s House. The day will be filled with a variety of games for people to get stuck into along with a raffle for Julia’s House. A delicious Star Wars themed menu will also be available – we’re wondering if this might include ‘rock’ cakes or ‘Ham-solo’?

And for those who enjoy the retro consoles or want to be transported back to their childhoods, Star Wars video games will be available on consoles like the SNEZ, Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1.

For more information: Email: or call: 01202 579976

LOCAL NEWS @bhlivingdorset BH Living 05

Hospice charity celebrates 30th anniversary with special glass flower display

Forest Holme Hospice Charity has announced details of a special display of 1,000 handcrafted stained glass fritillaria flowers to mark its 30th anniversary.

2024 marks thirty years since Forest Holme Hospice Charity was set up to raise funds for the then new specialist palliative care unit based at Seldown Road in Poole. Since then the charity has grown and now needs to raise £1million each year so that the team can deliver the highest level of care, when and where it counts.

To mark the important milestone, members of the public have the opportunity to own a piece of commemorative handcrafted stained-glass art, skilfully created by the talented artist Ellie Drake-Lee from Garden Glass Art. The public will be able to view the stained glass fritillaria flowers display free of charge from Saturday 27th April - Thursday 2nd May in the garden at Merley House in Wimborne.

The keepsake flowers are now available to pre-purchase via https://register.enthuse. com/ps/event/GlassFlowers for delivery or collection following the event.

Help BCP Council improve bus services in Bournemouth

Residents, businesses and visitors are being asked for their views on how bus services can be improved across Bournemouth town centre to enhance their reliability, encourage greater use and help reduce congestion.

It is all part of a five-week public consultation being run by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, which gets underway on Tuesday 27 February, running until Tuesday 2 April.

People are being encouraged to complete a survey which forms part of the government funded Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) – a joint commitment to the National Bus Strategy by BCP Council and local bus operators.

This latest consultation will focus on bus travel between the Bournemouth Travel Interchange and town centre with several proposed improvement measures split into four different areasHoldenhurst Road, Old Christchurch Road, Gervis Place/Hinton Road Junction and Westover Road.

These include:

• Improved journey times and reduced delays by providing a new two-way route for buses directly into Bournemouth Town Centre.

• Improved passenger waiting facilities, including new shelters with widened pavements, real time information and CCTV

• Reduced congestion and improved traffic flow which will help improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

• Improve connectivity and access to Bournemouth Town Centre, the Lansdowne and the Bournemouth Travel Interchange.

• Create safer options for pedestrians, people living with a disability and cyclists, along with improved safety and visibility for all users.

Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy and BCP Council, said: - “Significant congestion on the local road network, especially during peak seasonal periods, has had a severe impact on bus services and passenger journeys.

“Bournemouth Travel Interchange to the town centre is a key route causing delays for passengers, with a nine-minute journey from the station to the square often taking up to 50 minutes during the busiest months.

“This affects more than 40 different bus services which operate in this area daily, so tackling this key section will make a big difference to the reliability of bus services across the conurbation.

“I’d encourage as many people as possible to complete this survey and share their views on our proposed plans.”

This latest public engagement exercise builds on the Bus Back Better consultation, which was held from November 2021 to January 2022 after £8.9million of funding was secured to help deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan initiative.

It asked people for their views on ways to make buses faster and more reliable, providing valuable insights into how elements supporting the National Bus Strategy could be implemented effectively across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Since then, BCP Council has finalised the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Enhanced Partnership Scheme, which set out exactly what will be delivered alongside local bus operators, with the shared aim of increasing the number of bus journeys and reducing car use.

This latest consultation is the next phase of this work, with all the feedback used to help formulate a detailed plan of improvements in May. Further consultation will then take place over the summer months to deliver these in early 2025.

The survey is available to complete online at: - https://

LOCAL NEWS @bhlivingdorset BH Living 06

National award for Bournemouth hospital porter

A porter from University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) has been nationally recognised for his services and dedication to the NHS.

Gordon To won in the ‘outstanding contribution to patient experience’ category at the My Porter Awards 2024.

The awards, in association with NHS England, are a national celebration of portering teams and individuals who go above and beyond in their roles, and there was a record-breaking number of nominations this year with other 300 entries.

Colleagues who put Gordon up for nomination described him as “quite simply an outstanding individual, and the best ambassador for portering imaginable.”

“Gordon’s approach is kind, caring, empathetic, proactive and effective. This is welcome and reassuring as Gordon undertakes routine patient transfers and other duties, but in much graver situations, two of which Gordon was an instrumental part of, he has literally been lifesaving.”

The ward staff that Gordon supports see him as an essential member of their team, always there to help them when they are under pressure or short staffed. We are so incredibly proud of him for this much-deserved award.”

Gordon said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call. Before becoming a porter I was a healthcare assistant, and my partner suggested I give portering a go. I love my job and work in a team that is great and full of support. This award means a lot to me and I feel thankful to have been recognised in this way.”

Following the awards ceremony Gordon was interviewed by Kay Burley on Sky News.

A life-changing service for people with diabetes

University Hospitals Dorset’s (UHD) Diabetes Centre has teamed up with Bournemouth Heart Club (BHC) to provide a programme of unique exercise and education courses aimed at helping people living with Type 2 diabetes regain control of their condition.

‘Refocusise’ trials in 2023, sponsored by Sport England, produced such compelling improvements in the physical and mental health of patients attending the classes that it is now being trialled for a further year at BHC to provide integrated care within the community.

Each course runs for eight weeks, with 20 patients per cohort, and consists of a pre

and post-course health assessment and one-hour weekly exercise classes under the guidance of specialist instructors.

This is followed by a Q&A education session providing expert advice on diet, medicines and lifestyle; factors that can all help patients manage their diabetes better and, in some cases, have the ability to reverse a diabetes diagnosis.

Samantha Whittle is UHD’s diabetes specialist community nurse and project lead. She said: “We were astounded by the results. Average blood glucose levels, cholesterol and waist measurements were all significantly reduced. There were also improvements in blood pressure and most importantly, the course has equipped

patients with the knowledge of exercising the cardiovascular system regularly and safely, leading to higher levels of physical motivation and mental wellbeing”.

“Feedback from patients on the first trial courses has also been extremely encouraging, and we are so pleased to be part of this successful collaboration between UHD and BHC, providing such a beneficial service for people with Type 2 diabetes.”

David Isaacs was one of the first patients to be enrolled on the programme. “The course completely changed my life to be honest, helping me to take control of my diabetes, and in turn, improve my lifestyle. Since completing the programme I’ve been going to the gym daily, walking more, and making better decisions with my diet.”

Another patient from the first cohort is Mark Ratcliffe. He said: “I feel amazing. The course has given me a positive outlook on living with diabetes now that I’ve been given the right tools and motivation, and I’m feeling so much better in myself both physically and mentally.”

People living with Type 2 diabetes in Dorset can apply to join the 2024 Refocusise programme via a referral from their practice nurse or diabetes clinician. Courses will run from the Bournemouth Heart Club at Royal Bournemouth Hospital throughout the coming year.

LOCAL NEWS @bhlivingdorset BH Living 08

Poole care home resident scores a goal against AFC Bournemouth captain

A Poole care home resident, life-long Cherries fan and retired steward at The Vitality Stadium scored a goal against the captain of his beloved football team during a special event.

John, who is a resident at Elizabeth House care home in Dolberry Road, received a surprise visit from Cherries captain, Neto recently. John was a steward at AFC Bournemouth for 55 years before retiring from the role in July last year. He was thrilled to be reunited with Neto, and AFC Bournemouth legend, Steve ‘Fletch’ Fletcher, for a kickabout in the home’s communal living room.

The surprise experience was organised as part of an ongoing partnership with the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust. The partnership enables residents, home care clients and staff to get involved in a range of activities including weekly seated football sessions, meeting players, coffee mornings, and visits to the Vitality Stadium.

Afterwards, John said: “It was fantastic. I loved it. I have always supported the Cherries, so it was brilliant to see Neto and Steve Fletcher. I loved being able to shake their hands, and chat to Steve Fletcher, who supported me over the years while I was a steward at the stadium.”

Record year for council ‘reuse’ shop as sales soar

An innovative reuse store which sells items discarded at recycling centres is celebrating after recording a bumper year.

The ‘new to you’ shop, owned and operated by BCP Council, salvages items taken to Bournemouth and Poole’s recycling centres and resells them in its store in Cabot Lane, Poole. In 2023, ‘new to you’ generated more than £103,000 in shop and online sales with one item selling for £1,600. Approximately 46 tonnes of waste were diverted from landfill thanks to the scheme.

Find out more here: uk/news-hub/news-articles/ record-year-for-council-reuseshop

John also got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to score some goals into a small pop-up goal being protected by Neto. It was a special moment for John’s family who also got to meet Neto and Fletch, including John’s grandson, Richard, who has taken over the steward role from his grandad. Richard said that he was very proud to be part of the special day, which was an experience ‘he’ll never forget.’

Reflecting on the experience, Premier League star, Neto, said: “It was a very nice afternoon and lovely to see the smiling faces of the residents. It was lovely to meet John, who did a great job of distracting me so that he could kick a goal into the net. It was so nice to be part of such a special moment for John and the other residents at the care home.”

Bournemouth Pavilion opens its doors for FREE community open day

Residents and visitors are invited to Bournemouth Pavilion to celebrate the magic of theatre, music and film at their annual free-to-attend open day on Saturday 13 April 2024,10am – 4pm Behind-the-scenes guided tours* will be available and visitors will also be able to explore the building’s more intricate workings in the wings and watch backstage footage of areas not previously seen by the public. This includes original stage equipment from the 1930s, the fly floors and the stage loading gallery.

Acclaimed theatre organist Elizabeth Harrison, who plays regularly at Blackpool Tower, will demonstrate her talents on the Compton Organ and the theatre’s Steinway grand piano will also be available on stage for music enthusiasts to take a closer look.

The theatre’s projector will be exhibited showing short film excerpts throughout the day on 35mm vintage film.Programmes, photographs and posters from the venue’s archives will be on display in the East Corridor. Children can also take part in a ‘Star Trail’, a fun quiz leading them on a trail of discovery around the iconic venue.

*Guided tours will run at 10:30am 12pm, 1:30pm and 3pm. Each tour is limited to 20 spaces only and will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. Visitors should ask at the main reception on the day to check availability. Each tour lasts approximately 1 hour and will be hosted by key members of the Pavilion team. Places will be limited, with some areas containing steep stairs.

LOCAL NEWS @bhlivingdorset BH Living 09

Eco hub wins sustainability award

A cutting edge eco hub, created using old wooden seaside defences, has won a sustainability award.

A cutting edge eco hub, created using old wooden seaside defences, has won a sustainability award.

The beach-based venue at Durley Chine, one of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council’s developments, won the prestigious Sustainability prize at the Constructing Excellence South West (CESW) awards.

The two-storey building was designed around themes of recycling and reusing, featuring an educational amenity and meeting space, welfare facilities for seafront waste collection staff, a beach-side kiosk and toilets on the ground floor.

Over 45 tonnes of reclaimed timber, collected from old groynes removed from the seafront as part of the 17-year Poole Bay Beach Management scheme, were used in the

creation and decking of the main building.

One side of the hub’s roof has been planted with species of vegetation matching those growing on the cliffs behind, while the lowlighting design accommodates bats.

Photovoltaic solar panels overlay the rest of the building, drawing solar power from the sun which helps to create a zero-carbon environment. Any excess energy can be fed back into the main grid.

The kiosk has been formed using low-carbon concrete and recycled glass, and drinks and snacks are available while avoiding any single-use plastics. Visitors are encouraged to use the free water refill station, situated by the main entrance.

Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy, said: “We are proud of our Durley Chine

The Waterfront in Poole scoops

‘Best in Europe’ Award at International Property Awards

A cutting edge eco hub, created using old wooden seaside defences, has won a sustainability award.

Following its success at the UK Property Awards earlier in the year, where it secured three awards including ‘Best in the UK’ for architecture, The Waterfront has continued to win plaudits by securing the ‘Best in Europe’ accolade at the International Property Awards 2023-2024, held at The Savoy London on February 22.

Renowned for celebrating excellence in architecture, development, and interior design, the International Property Awards are the largest, most prestigious and widely recognised programme celebrating excellence in the property industry.

The awards, now in their 30th year, are judged by an independent panel of over 100 industry experts with judging focussing on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability. Notably, the panel is chaired by esteemed members of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament, Lord Best, Lord Thurso, Lord Waverley and the Earl of Lytton.

Hub development and are thrilled that its sustainable credentials have been recognised by CESW in their latest annual awards ceremony.

“Our multi-agency teams worked seamlessly throughout the planning and construction processes to create a modern, unique structure which is helping to encourage positive green change to our seafront and will continue to do so for future generations.”

Councillor Millie Earl, Deputy Leader of BCP Council and Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities, continued:

“BCP Council recognises the importance of acting, developing and operating sustainably. We will be investing in our seafront over the next few years to ensure it remains an exceptional destination for residents, visitors and businesses.”

What happens at the end of the building’s life has also been taken into consideration, with many materials capable of being recovered and reused in other projects.

Read more about the project and how it was developed here: www.

“We are immensely proud of The Waterfront’s achievements at the UK Property Awards and now at the International Property Awards,” said Mario Luca Balducci, CEO of London Land Group.

“Our team are dedicated to delivering an iconic addition to Poole’s quayside, further enhancing the local landscape and enriching the lives of our residents through unparalleled quality, convenience and innovation and these awards are testament to everyone’s hard work to date. It’s particularly gratifying to see The Waterfront identified as a pinnacle of excellence among competitors from across Europe as we progress closer to completion.”

@bhlivingdorset BH Living
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Former SBS Soldier left for dead becomes a brave business trailblazer

A Special Forces soldier who was shot through the neck and is paralysed from the head down has astonished the medical profession by building himself a fast-growing brand – called Bravery.

Toby Gutteridge, now 38, was never supposed to live, let alone turn himself into an entrepreneur. He is permanently ventilated and ought to be existing in a hospice-style environment. But he refuses to let his condition stop hold him back.

His brand is unique because of the story behind it and through it Toby wants to spread the message that anything is possible. His message is that people shouldn’t hold back, but go after what they want.

He took some GCSEs and A Levels and completed a degree in Operations Management, and in 2016 registered the company name Bravery.

“It has given me a new lease of life and a purpose” Toby enthused. “It is a cool, California-style brand and I want to build it into the next Red Bull. Bravery is about strength of mind and just wanting to contribute to society

“All the products are unique to Bravery and include surf boards and wetsuits, which are all made by leading manufacturers to our design. There are male and female clothing ranges as well as sunglasses, bracelets, backpacks, surf wax and skateboard decks. We are adding British-made products all the time.

“I thought to myself “how can I pick myself back up and stay involved in those things?”
And that was how Bravery was born.

Bravery sells various clothing and outdoor products and has been endorsed by football manager Harry Redknapp as well as a number of other celebrities including SAS TV star Jason Fox.

Toby was just 24 in 2009 when he was shot whilst on active duty in Afghanistan. His SBS colleagues assumed he was dead. Miraculously he wasn’t, but medics gave him little chance of long-term survival and at one point it was advised that his life support should be turned off.

Struggling to come to terms with his situation, the former thrill-seeking adrenaline junky seriously considered taking his own life. Toby said: “I was into all the thrill-seeking stuff; extreme sports, surfing, dirt bikes - then the injury took it all away. It got to the point where I wanted to end it all and I was admitted to The Priory.

“It took me four years to get over the devastation and the dark side of the injury” said Toby, but summoning his boyhood motto ‘never will I die’, he made a decision to make the most of his life.

“I thought to myself “how can I pick myself back up and stay involved in those things?” And that was how Bravery was born.

Bravery is a local BCP business based in a huge converted warehouse in Poole, where there is also a café and hub. The products are also sold through the Bravery website.

As well as his Bravery product range, Toby has put pen to paper and written his own book called ‘Never will I die’, named after his childhood motto. The book is available at all good bookshops including Amazon.

@bhlivingdorset BH Living 12 BUSINESS NEWS

Dorset by bus this Summer breeze around













*Breezers 50, 60 & 70 are normally operated with open top buses but in certain circumstances we may have to use an ordinary bus

@bhlivingdorset BH Living
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Spring Family Fun

Those dark evenings and winter blues are past us! The trees are starting to blossom, the sun is starting to shine and the kids are eagerly awaiting the Easter egg hunts. So get out that post-Xmas rut, add that spring back into your step and enjoy the great outdoors!

Here are our top picks of events across Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and beyond for all the family to enjoy this spring. Swap the umbrella for your sunnies and enjoy an Easter egg…or three.

Easter Hunt at Brownsea Island

Enjoy an interactive trail of fun Easter activities in Brownsea Island’s Easter egg hunt. With no need to pre-book, simply arrive, collect your trail sheet, bunny ears and maybe even a chocolate treat at the end!

Date: 23/03/24 – 14/04/24

Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Brownsea Island, Poole

Price: £3 per trail

Find out more:

Easter at Farmer Palmers Farm Park

Visit Farmer’s Palmer Farm Park and enjoy Easter fun for all the family. Be entertained with their daily Egg Hunts and keep your eyes peeled for those special golden tickets to exchange for a big chocolate egg! With all the fun, you must remember to watch out for those sneaky, egg stealing, Bandit Bunnies on the Rescue Tractor Rides.

Date: Easter Egg Hunt – 29/03/24 – 01/04/24, Bandit Bunny Rescue Tractor Rides: 29/03/24 – 4/04/24 and 09/04/24 – 11/04/24

Time: Easter Egg Hunt – 2:30pm each day

Location: Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park, Poole

Price: adult - £21 (all day admission), 3 years + - £21, 2 years - £12, under 2’s go free, tractor rides – extra £2.50 per person

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Easter Trail on Swanage Pier

In this exciting Easter activity trail you will hunt for eggs which will hold a secret clue within them. Once you’ve found all the eggs on the pier and worked out your answer, you can exchange your trail sheet for a tasty treat in the shop.

Date: 29/03/24 – 14/04/24

Time: 9am – 5pm daily

Location: Swanage Pier

Price: £1.50 per trail, plus £1.80 per entry charge for 14 years +

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Easter Holidays at libraries across BCP

Over the Easter Holidays, libraries across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are holding fun, spring themed activities and events. Easter treasure hunts, arts & crafts, and bonnet competitions will keep children entertained in the spirit of spring!

Date: 29/03/24 – 12/04/24 Time: various

Location: various across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Price: free

Find out more:

Spring Fun at Lulworth Castle

Lulworth Castle are spreading Alice in Wonderland inspired joy this Spring Holiday. Join them for trails, games, hunts and crafts in a day of Easter fun. You could also explore the Castle, climb the tower, visit the playground and savour some tea and cake in the Castle Tearoom. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome.

Date: 31/03/24 – 11/04/24 (Sunday – Thursday)

Time: 10:30am – 5pm

Location: Lulworth Castle and Park

Price: Adult – £9, 4-15 years - £6, under 4’s go free, all day car park - £3

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Jurassic Musical Adventure

Step millions of years back in time in this mind blowing new stage production, featuring the UK’s most realistic dinosaurs. Made for the whole family to enjoy, you will follow the adventure of dino rangers on the hunt for an evil man stealing dinosaurs and their eggs! Be face to face with dinosaurs in a show like no other.

Date: 05/04/24 – 07/04/24

Time: Friday – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday – 11am and 3pm (duration – 90 minutes)

Location: Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Price: from £15.75

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Family Nature Bingo

Get outside with all the family and enjoy a family activity trail and nature bingo at Upton Country Park. You can pick up your free nature bingo sheet at the Welcome Centre before setting off on an exciting trail.

Date: 04/04/24 – 17/04/24

Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Upton Country Park, Poole

Price: free

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Highcliffe Castle’s Spring Fair

‘Creatives in the Castle’ is being held this spring in the beautiful 1830’s Highcliffe Castle. With stunning surrounding and springtime fun, you’re bound to have a great time!

Date: 13/04/24 – 14/04/24

Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Highcliffe Castle, Christchurch

Price: £3, children go free

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The Dorset Spring Show

Head to the Dorset Spring Show for a celebration of springtime in the picturesque Dorset countryside. You can enjoy local delicacies, shopping and educational areas with fascinating demonstrations, exciting entertainment. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

Date: 27/04/24 – 28/04/24 Time: 9:30am – 5pm

Location: Kingston Maurward, Dorchester

Price: adults - £12, 15 and under go free

Find out more: dorsetspringshow/

Teddy Rocks Festival

Teddy Rocks Festival has been raising money for children’s cancer for over a decade after founder Tom Newton started the charity following the loss of his 10 year old brother Ted, to a very rare bone cancer. All profits from the 3-day family music event go directly to cancer charities. You can expect to see a variety of talented tribute such as, Queen, AC/ DC and Oasis as well as fun activities for all the family.

Date: 03/05/24 – 05/05/24

Location: Charisworth Farm, Blandford

Price: from £11.10, weekend or day tickets available

Find out more:

The 34th Bournemouth Scouts Summer Fete

The Bournemouth Scouts Summer Fete is back this May for the first time since the pandemic! Enjoy the array of entertainment including a magic show, bouncy castles and dog shows at 11am and 2pm, and don’t forget to look around the selection of stalls where you could pick up some tasty treats and gifts. All of this and you could even win a cash prize of £25 to £100!

Date: 18/05/24 Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Redhill Park, Bournemouth

Price: free

Swanage Pirate Festival

The Pirates are coming to Dorset! Head to Swanage for 2 days of exciting pirate fun with thrilling displays, crafts, a pirate parade. You can also witness battles with canons, muskets and swords, this is definitely not something you and your family want to miss out on.

Date: 25/05/24 – 26/05/24

Time: 9am-5pm

Location: Sandpit Field, Swanage

Price: free

Find out more:

The Little Mermaid at Regent Theatre

See Bournemouth Musical Theatre’s latest fullscale production, this year based on Disney’s Classic, The Little Mermaid. Dive deep beneath the waves with characters you know and love such as Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian.

Date: 29/05/24 – 01/06/24

Time: 7:30pm, + 2pm matinee on 01/06/24

Location: Regent Centre, Christchurch

Price: Standard: £21, Concessions: £19

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Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival

Set across Highcliffe high street and recreation ground, this family-friendly festival is a celebration of the finest local produce, crafts and cookery. Highcliffe’s great celebration and huge street party all in one. You’ll find gourmet artisan stalls, delicious street food, celebrity chefs doing cookery demonstrations, fantastic live music, children’s entertainment and more.

Date: 08/06/24 – 09/06/24

Location: Highcliffe High Street & Green

Price: ree

Find out more:

Harry Paye Pirate Day

Organised by the Pirates of Poole and supported by BCP Tourism, the popular shindig gets underway from noon until 6pm. Starting with a parade of pirates, followed by live music, best dressed junior pirates competition, pirate games, children’s rides, live history areas, cannons and the usual Harry Paye Day shenanigans.

Date: 15/06/24 Time: 12pm – 6pm

Location: Poole Quay Price: free

Find out more:

Shake & Stir Vintage Music Festival

The Shake & Stir festival has been revving up fans of vintage and retro music, vehicles, dancing, fashion and lifestyle living… for many years now.

Date: 22/06/24 – 23/06/24

Location: Fishermans Walk, Southbourne

Price: free

Find out more:

David Sidwick: 3 years in the job

An Interview with Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner

In May 2021, David Sidwick (Conservative) was elected as Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner. During his first six months in office, he put together a ‘6-Point Police and Crime Plan’ which set out his vision for Dorset. Despite destined to only having a three-year term in office as PCC, his plan was for seven years “I did a seven year police and crime plan, and it’s deliberate because some of the things we need to address are long term.” Said David, suggesting that some of the issues and concerns that currently affect Dorset residents needed a more long term approach.

The 6-point plan aimed to, ‘Cut Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour’, to ‘Make Policing More Visible & Connected’, to ‘Fight Violent Crime & High Harm’, to ‘Fight Rural Crime’, to ‘Put Victims & Communities First’ and to ‘Make Every Penny Count’. As we approach the third anniversary of Mr Sidwick’s election, we felt it was a good time to look back on the six point plan and find out what progress has been made.

We published an appeal on our social media channels asking our readers what if any, were the burning issues of the day and after receiving some of your questions, we had the opportunity to put them to David and also get his take on his last three years in office – how does he feel about the progress he and Dorset Police are making on the plan?



Anti-Social Behaviour is defined by the Metropolitan Police as ‘behaviour by a person which causes or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person’. After reading your questions, we were overwhelmed by the amount of comments from those experiencing ASB in the area so we asked David “How is the tackling of Anti-Social Behaviour as featured in your six point plan actually progressing?”

And to underline the point further we said: “We’ve had numerous comments and questions from readers which included one from Bournemouth resident David McArthur who says: “No individual or family can walk through Bournemouth without being harassed by professional beggars, alcoholics or drug dealers, which is ruining the town, when are you going to take responsibility for Dorset Police actually doing something about it?”

Addressing this, David did sympathise with readers frustrations saying: “The problem with anti-social behaviour is that it is something that will always be with us. When I came into office I wanted to make sure that it was a priority for Dorset Police.” Said David, stating that there has been a “25% reduction in anti-social behaviour across the county” and there are 165 beat areas in Dorset of which 83% have seen a reduction [in ASB]”.

“It doesn’t matter what the numbers are, if someone’s doing it outside your house or outside your business, then it’s there. I’m very clear that the centre of Bournemouth has been allowed to decline for years, it needs police to be tough in the community and visible in the community”

“We gained a further 174 officers which is why there’s now a town team in the centre of Bournemouth, which there wasn’t before. Every neighbourhood policing team has anti-social behaviour on their priority list.”

David also told us about ‘Operation Relentless’, a scheme which has been introduced to drive down anti-social behaviour. It aims to remind residents and visitors that the force takes a tough approach on ASB and that it will not be tolerated in Dorset. David also told us about his ‘Operation Relentless Community Fund’ where people can apply for funding to address ASB in their locality and help to put a stop to it.

“I’m very proud in what we’ve achieved with that, we’ve helped 31 places across Dorset, a significant number of them in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, in order to address something they were worried about.”



We received many questions on the lack of visible policing on our streets with one reader stating, “The area used to be safe to go for an evening walk in but now it’s not safe to.”

In March 2023, Dorset Police announced the addition of 174 new police officers. In the announcement article, David stated that he was passionate about having more visible officers in our communities and that “these additional officers will ensure that is achieved.” A year on, we asked him why so many residents were still seeing a lack of visibility and put the burning question that was on every local resident’s lips: “174 new officers….where are they?”

We were told that many of these new officers had been utilised in specific areas and that the nature of crime and crime detection had changed over modern times. Specifically, that some types of crimes may not have been investigated because they happened behind closed doors such as cyber-crime/fraud, child abuse or domestic violence. These crimes now needed more police time to investigate and this often involved officer’s time using the internet and online mediums to help investigate those crimes. More officers had also been deployed in rural areas of Dorset resulting in noticeable reductions in rural crime.

Even though, visible policing had been a pillar on his plan for the last three years, David shared that “Where we need to go next though is the visible, on-street stuff and I’m very clear that that’s where we need to go, and that that’s what the people want.”

“A lot of this is to do with resource, but we’ve got those extra officers now, let’s start being smarter. The public want to see more visibility and engagement and connectivity.” He told us that “The ‘making policing more visible and connected’ is the ‘oil tanker’ if I’m honest, that’s going to be the hardest to achieve but I’m determined to do it.”

@bhlivingdorset BH Living 16


This section of David’s 6-Point Plan focuses on organised and violent crime. He discussed the importance with us of tackling organised crime and more specifically drugs and organised gangs with the help of the extra 174 officers drafted into the Police. David said “The South West as a region does more organised crime gang disruptions than any other region in the UK. Dorset is up there in the top 3 for disruptions.”

David touched on the issues surrounding violent crime, with knife crime as an example of the work they’ve done in section. “The issue is, there are too many young people in the area carrying knives and *stab*(David makes a short sharp stabbing motion), that can happen in a second, it doesn’t matter if there are two police officers there, that’s happened. That is why I’ve been so keen that we have something called a ‘Violence Reduction Unit’ because that takes a public health approach on knife crime and it puts in place things like extra social workers, extra programmes for different demographics, to try and educate and make them more aware of the dangers they are getting into.”

To read more about David’s fight on drugs and county lines in Dorset, see page 18.


Rural crime tends to fall into four different categories, agricultural, equine, wildlife, heritage and it also covers environmental crime such as fly-tipping and polluting watercourses. 46% of Dorset’s population live in rural areas but with BH Living Magazine’s audience being mostly people from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, we didn’t receive many questions on rural crime.


David told us about the link they often find between rural crime and organised crime. “Organised crime criminality is what happens in our rural communities. If you nick a tractor, it’s connected usually with international crime groups and it’s heading across the channel…When someone steals 20 sheep, that’s not Sunday lunch, that’s a food chain somewhere. When somebody is doing ‘hare coursing’ and they’ve got a computer, so they are actually filming it and transmitting it, that’s about organised criminality and gambling.” He went on to say, “They [Dorset police] started giving the stolen goods back to the farmers, from when it was stolen.”

David stated, “The cost of crime in Dorset, in the rural areas has gone down 28%, according to a report from NFU Mutual, whilst across the country it’s gone up 22%.” He explained that the allocation of some of the 174 new officers for Dorset to tackle rural crime has paid dividends. “Our rural crime team has gone from 3 to 18 and our innovative partnerships to tackle serious and organised crime have been recognised nationally. I think in [terms of] rural crime, it’s been a stunning success, thanks to those 18 officers who have really gripped it.”

We wanted to understand more about how David and Dorset Police are putting victims and communities first. We asked what steps he had taken to understand what it is victims of crimes need.

“The thing about victim support is it has to be tailored to the person in my view.” David said. He told us that his ‘commissioning money’ goes to two main things, victim support and crime prevention, “every victim who has an issue, we’re paying for their support in Dorset.”

He explained that it was important to him to “make sure we have the right tailored approach for the victim.” An example he gave was ‘The Bobby Van’, which helps victims of burglary, “we do know that if you’ve been a victim of burglary, there is a chance they might try again.”, “The bobby van comes out to you and will sort out your locks, sort out other prevention items around your home to make it safer.”

In terms of supporting the communities and putting them first, he told us “I generate more [understanding] from going out and talking to people, I was elected by the people, I should talk to the people, and that’s what I’m doing all the time.”“I don’t sit in my ivory tower at police headquarters; I would say that 70-80% of the time I’m out and about.”

“There are now 72 community ‘contact points’ across Dorset; these are places that the force will use to meet the public.”“I met with 30 residents yesterday in Weymouth; they had the opportunity to grill me with questions. I do that all over, if there’s not one or two a week then I’m quite surprised.”

Christine Hopkins, a BH Living reader, asked “Why could you not hold surgeries like local councillors do?” We posed this question to David, “In effect I do, in these meetings which I hold across the county, if anyone wants to talk to me privately I’ll sit down and talk to them afterwards. If someone’s got a genuine issue, then I will find time to go and talk to them, anyone can just contact my office.”


The final aim on David’s 6-Point Police and Crime Plan is to ‘Make every penny count for the need of the people of Dorset’. We pointed out to David that for the last two years he had used exactly the same wording in his letter to local council taxpayers when justifying another significant Police precept rise to Dorset’s residents: “It’s no secret that I am frustrated with the lack of funding from central government and I will continue to fight for more funding for Dorset”. To which David shrugged, nodded and said: “I continue to be frustrated.”

He explained that Dorset Police’s funding comes from two sources, one being a government grant and the other, the precept from the local taxpayers in Dorset. “We are the second worst funded force in the country, it’s not right, we don’t get a penny for the tourists that come in summer, we don’t get extra money for being a very rural county, which costs a lot more [to police].” However, “I’m very pleased that the Home Office and National Government have agreed when the national funding formula gets changed, it will take into account sparsity (rural settings that are very spread out) and seasonality (dealing with increased pubic numbers due to tourism).”

“Of this total 2% funds my office and 98% of the money goes to Dorset Police. I asked my chief financial officer to check it when I came into office. We are one of the offices which puts most percentage into the police, which I am very pleased about.”

BH Living 17


How Dorset Police are tackling drug-related and organised crime

During our interview with Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick on page 16, he repeatedly made references to ‘Organised crime’ and ‘County Lines’ but what exactly are they and how is Dorset Police tackling it?

According to The Office of National Statistics, across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, the number of drug misuse/poisoning related deaths went from 62 in 2021 to 81 in 2022, a rise of 19 deaths since 2021. Throughout our conversation with David, the issues surrounding drugs in Dorset became a frequent topic of discussion. He expressed to us how drugs are often linked with other crimes in the UK. In an article on the Dorset PCC website from March 2023, David states that “drugs are the driving force behind a lot of crimes, with half of all homicides and thefts believed to be linked to drugs. Drugs can also, often be the root cause of anti-social behaviour; an issue I know many Dorset residents are concerned about.”

In our interview, David voiced that “the big issue is the fight against the drug dealers; the high harm was very clearly around ‘county lines’. We’ve lowered the threat of county lines, not just in Dorset but across the whole of the South West. The South West as a region does more ‘organised crime gang disruptions’ than any other region in the UK.”

Dorset Police have two operations in place to help tackle these issues, according to Dorset’s PCC: “We have ‘Operation Viper’, which is ongoing and which is dealing with the county lines and the drug dealers, but there’s also ‘Operation Scorpion’ on a quarterly basis where the five police forces come together in the South West. That’s dropped the threat of county lines, there has been over 600 arrests, over 900 people safeguarded, so the enforcement side around this is now in place which wasn’t there before.”

“The government think about drugs and they think about teenagers, but I’ve got children from eight to ten talking about drugs in the playground. Cannabis has more birth defects attached to it than Thalidomide; it has 26 cancers associated with it, and that’s leaving aside the mental health issues.”“I am calling for it to be a Class A drug, because it’s the first

step on the [drug] train for kids, after vapes, its cannabis and then you’re on the train... And then the next thing is stronger cannabis and then cocaine and then the next thing is heroin and so on….Cannabis and illegal gateway drugs, I refuse to call them recreational drugs, are where we’ve got to put a lot of the prevention money.”

During our conversation we asked David about his views on the legalisation of cannabis, “I went through all the arguments and all the data, the worst thing we could do is legalise it. What they’ve done is potentially groom a population to think that drug taking is great. You’ve increased the market for them; the war on drugs is going to be here forever because they’ll just change the drug.”

David went on to say, “Tackling that, getting that sorted and really driving that down is my main mission, the successes we’ve had so far is great but there’s much more to do in that regard. If you don’t talk about drugs you are failing, and the fact that a lot of the police and crime plans in this country don’t talk about tackling drugs enough is a disgrace.”


The National Crime Agency says that ‘County Lines’ is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries, usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs. The organised criminal groups (OCGs) often use dedicated mobile phone lines to move and supply drugs, usually from cities into smaller towns and rural areas.

These dealers will often target vulnerable children and adults who may have mental health or addiction issues, sometimes dealers could practice ‘cuckooing’ as well which is where they will take over that vulnerable persons home and use it to operate their criminal activity.

The Future: Can Dorset’s current PCC achieve what he originally set out to do?

After talking through the different elements of his seven-year, 6-Point Police and Crime plan, we posed this question; “Is another four years long enough to achieve what you’ve promised David?”

He replied, “Well I hope so; we’re beginning to tick some of the boxes now. Rural crime is significantly down compared to where it was, the ASB is going in the right direction but there are some significant places left which have yet to feel it, like the town centres. The drugs, we’ve addressed the highest harm and we know what we’re doing and how to close county lines. Now we have to get the two bits right that aren’t right yet, the visibility which we’ve started on and also the on-street criminality which most people define as anti-social behaviour.”

BH Living @bhlivingdorset

Learning for Life

In the school of life, everyday is a learning day but how can we tap into our inner potential and realise our true potential? In this article we look at what educational opportunities exist for us, whatever stage of life we may be at.

Learning is for life, from your first day on earth to your last. Every day we are learning, no matter what age or ability. Gaining new skills and starting new hobbies is a way of developing your knowledge, from wanting to further your academic education to taking up cookery classes, there is something for everyone. If you’ve ever found yourself going through a tough time or a sense of feeling lost, you may have been told to ‘go and start something new!’

For year’s psychologists have been looking into the benefits of having a hobby and whether it can actually help your mind. It was found that ‘hobbies specifically provide self-expression, creativity and relaxation’ and is often referred to as ‘Social Prescribing’.

Throughout the pandemic we saw people filling their time in lockdown with learning new activities such as baking, crafts, knitting, gardening and even teaching themselves to make fabric surgical masks. This was widely seen as a way of giving people a sense of purpose in a time of uncertainty. Learning a new skill has been found to reduce stress, increase confidence and energy levels and can be a great way of socialising with new people.

Whether you’re looking to further your education, earn some extra pennies with a side-hustle or simply find something new to be passionate about, here are some tips and ideas to help you find your next endeavour.

Young Years – 0-5 Primary Age – 5-11

New parents may be looking for classes and activities for their babies and toddlers to enjoy. Socialising little ones is vital for their development, it can progress their social skills, cognitive abilities, learning empathy and the ability to share.

Sensory play and music groups are great for developing these core skills for a baby, you can find groups near you on https://

Another area which is key for a child’s growth is exercising their physical activity; Tumble Tots offers programmes from 6 months old, they focus on developing skills such as agility, balance, climbing and co-ordination which all boosts brain development and confidence - find a session near you https://www.tumbletots. com/map/. An important outcome from toddler and baby groups is that they can enable early intervention; it has been found that staff have been able to identify developmental needs in some children, which can be vital to discover and understand ahead of them starting school; you can read the article here https://www.

When children are in primary school it is a time of constant learning; academically, about themselves, social skills, and developing their personality. Sometimes it can be a positive thing for children at this age to look at afterschool activities.

This could take the form of extra tuition to offer extra help in areas they may be struggling with at school or just to help open up their potential at an early age. There are plenty of extra tuition opportunities available; Primary schools sometimes offer after school clubs covering subjects as diverse as computer coding or drama and even some super markets such as Sainsburys at Castlepoint host after-school tuition groups. There are also many private tutors available that offer extra help with Maths, English and even music and foreign languages.

However, learning purely on an academic level might not be the preferred option for every child. Academic ability can often be challenging or overwhelming for some children and so for these, it’s important for them to consider skills other than the academic topics they might learn at school.

Extracurricular activities are a good way for primary children to discover some latent interests or skills, like a specific sport. Children of this age can get involved with clubs outside of school like football, ballet, art and even martial arts. Find a full list of

local activity clubs near you; https://dorset. Girlguiding offers ‘Rainbows’, ‘Brownies’ or ‘Guides’ clubs for these age groups, girls can learn new activities and skills like cooking, perfume making and go on fun camping weekends, https:// The scouting movement also offers a range of similar activities and groups, where children can complete challenges for awards and badges in their different age group clubs, ‘squirrels’, ‘beavers’ and ‘cubs’; https://www.

Learning can continue in the home, there are a number of games and apps which can make learning fun and easy for children, just visit the app store or google store to reveal a plethora of neat, pocket sized apps that can be downloaded to phone or tablet. Here’s some examples of some favourite apps for maths; https:// It is also worth visiting the BBC Bitesize website which offers a fun and interactive way of learning the basiics and explains all topics in a simple form for children; https://www.

@bhlivingdorset BH Living 20

Learning something new can often be difficult to navigate for teenagers with their busy school life. But for those who want to spend their spare time learning something new, finding an opportunity to meet new people with similar interests or work on areas of their academics, there are plenty of opportunities outside of school hours.

There are local youth clubs which can allow teens to take part in new activities and meet people. Joining a sports or dance club is a great way to maintain their physical health, learn a new skill and socialise with other teens. You can browse local activities and clubs here https:// activities.

The British Army Cadets has heaps of benefits for teens aged 12 to 18, from taking part in exciting and challenging activities like fieldcraft, adventure training and shooting, they also learn skills in first aid, leadership, discipline and self-confidence. Visit https://armycadets. com/ for more. Girlguiding, mentioned in the Primary school section isn’t just for younger children. It offers ‘Rangers’ for girls aged 10-18. Here, teens can learn new skills, meet new people and go on trips and make a difference to things that are important to them; https://www. Scouts offers ‘Scouts’ and ‘Explorers’, where teens aged 10 ½ to 18 can explore new activities, learn with their friends and earn badges and awards along the way;

For teenagers leaving school and their parents, it can be a very stressful time when being faced with making decisions about what to do after GCSE’s. There are many options for teens now when it comes to their next steps but this can feel daunting at this age if they are unsure on their goals.

Apprenticeships offer a real, paid job (albeit at trainee level) that combines work with training and study. There is the opportunity to experience first-hand what your career might look like in a few years time whilst shadowing someone with experience.

Teens – 11-19 School Leavers – 16-18

Businesses will usually hire teens from the age of 16 for a part time job. Consider local volunteering opportunities at places like charities, radio stations and nature conservation sites, local volunteering information can be found here Working in professional environments can help young teenagers develop customer service skills, professionality and business knowledge, it can also be a good way for them to learn about money if they are earning.

It’s not uncommon for teenagers to find that one particular subject is more of a challenge than others and where this is the case, online or in person tutors, or extra support at school can be very useful. A good place to start is an online at sites such as Tutorful which claims to have 8,000+ tutors all with background checks. Find it here https://tutorful.

There are also a host of apps and games on the Apple app store or GooglePlay such as Photomath which has over 21,000 ratings and an average rating amongst those reviewers of 4.7. One Reviewer labelled it as a ‘gamechanger’ claiming she had failed her Maths GCSE’s twice before turning to the app and then passing with a ‘C’.

There are also websites such as which focusses on the national curriculum and posing typical questions you might find in an exam or test paper. There’s also BBC Bitesize which isn’t just for the little-ones. Bitsize offers informal tuition to secondary school children too covering all the subjects such as humanities, sciences, languages and even music.

Apprenticeships are available in hundreds of different work sectors, find more information here

There are now ‘T Levels’ which provide a mix of classroom and on the job learning, and Vocational Technical Qualifications (VTQs) which are practical qualifications to help you gain skills in a specific job sector. Learn about these options here https://www.

For students wanting to stay in full-time education, A-Levels give you the qualifications that many Universities are looking for before granting entry and there are ‘UCAS Points’ to access University and Higher Education. However, you can achieve this in some courses other than A-Levels, such as BTEC diplomas at some universities. Find more on A-Levels here, https://www. Most colleges offer A-Levels and Apprenticeships, but not always. Bournemouth and Poole College offers a range of Apprenticeships, A-Levels, T-Levels and even Hobby Courses which allow you to learn new skills and meet new people in subjects such as pottery, fashion design and brickwork, find more here;

Learning outside of the classroom can be just as important as inside, at this age teenagers are learning how to be adults before heading into work or further education. Learning something new could take away stress from academics, you could consider activities you enjoyed through school and carry these on, such as a sport or a musical instrument. To learn new skills such as cookery, pottery or ceramics or even car mechanics and computer programming visit Adult Skills and learning at, a list of local classes and workshops can be found here, or if you are looking for something more informal and relaxed there are local independent classes that can be found here: Attractions-g186261-Activities-c41-Dorset_England.html.

@bhlivingdorset BH Living

There are many different options within higher education for people 18 years old and above. University is an option, with the correct qualifications or requirements for that course and university; you can search for undergraduate courses across the UK at

It can be hard to set aside time from busy life to learn something new or practice a skill. From wanting to change work sector and needing to brush up on some skills, to having some spare time you’d like to fill with something new and expand your mindset, there is something there for you no matter how much or how little time you have free.

A change in work sector can often be difficult to navigate if not having the knowledge or education required, this can be solved by a variety of different options whether it’s a short skills course or completing a degree at university. If you’re keen to further your education by means of a short course, there are a number available for specific subjects like mathematics, ICT and essential skills courses which teach the skills needed for most jobs; you can find information and options on pages/adults or for more local based options, you can visit

Going to university is a great way to gain a qualification and learn heaps about an area of study, if commuting or childcare is a struggle, the Open University allows you to study

Higher Education Adults

Going to university is not only about learning in the classroom, generally for most 18 year olds, they will be moving away from home for the first time and suddenly need to live on their own and solely care for themselves like an adult. This can be so beneficial to teenagers of this age, time at university can really help to shape their identity as an adult for when they leave and go into the working world.

For many, the holy grail is university but this might not necessarily be the best choice for some and with degree level apprenticeships now available, there is the opportunity to enter the work marketplace earlier, whilst achieving degree level qualifications. You could do higher and degree apprenticeships which allow you learn, earn and get a university degree, without the tuition fees. Find more about degree apprenticeships by searching for ‘Degree Apprenticeships Guide’ on https://www.

Higher education qualifications such as a degree can help you in getting a job in the future but it is not always required, depending on the field of work. If there is a very specific end goal in sight or dream job, it is important to understand the qualifications required ahead of going into higher education and choosing a course. At most universities there are a variety of societies and clubs you can join in many different fields, from lacrosse, to debate clubs. These societies allow you to learn much more about the activity, more about yourself and meet people with the same passions and interests.

remotely and can be flexible around your lifestyle. There are numerous options when it comes to higher education including part-time courses, you can find more information here;

No matter if you are a full-time or part-time worker, single or stay at home parent, there will be an activity out there that will suit you and your lifestyle. It could be useful to think back to your childhood, was there anything you particularly enjoyed? You could take up art lessons, IT, cookery classes or jewellery making. You could buy yourself an instrument and take 20 minutes out of your day to learn it. There are apps which make learning something new, quick, fun and remote such as for learning a language. Or if there’s a sport you’ve always wanted to play, consider joining a local sports club.

@bhlivingdorset BH Living 22

Retirement/LATER YEARS

When you think you know everything you could possibly need to know in life, it has a habit of teaching you something new, no matter what your age. Everyone of us are still learning every day and our brains have an amazing, almost unlimited capacity to take on more and more information. Learning and education is not a preserve of the young, it can be just as important at 75 as at 25.

Retirement can leave many individuals feeling bored and lacking a sense of purpose in their day-to-day life, this is the perfect opportunity to try something new! No matter your age, you are able to learn anything you put your mind to.

With regular developments in technology, it can be hard to keep up with the latest devices and software, brushing up on tech skills could be really useful. Whether you want to learn how to use your mobile phone better or just have a better understanding of the latest tech, there are books available to buy and videos online to teach you. There are a host of courses available and some are even free with many possibly being only a short bus ride away. Find out more at you can visit You can also find some useful self-education books here; entertainment/books/bookstore/technology-innovation/.

Thought you were too long in the tooth for University? The u3a (University of the Third Age) is a collection of over 1000 charities across the UK that provides learning opportunities for people who no longer work, to come together and learn for fun. They provide


Adult community education (ACE) services educate, train and retrain more than 600,000 adults each year* *figures from

There are many adult education courses available at Skills and Learning and some are even free.

learning across a multitude of topics which are available in person and online, find out more here;

Local charities and organisations are always looking for volunteers and helpers; this can be a really rewarding way of learning about different causes, learning from others and helping the community around you.

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What a waste of space!

Poole Harbour & D-Day

L ooking back on the crucia L ro L e P oo L e PL ayed in the d - d ay L andings

This year will see the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of France and with it the reflections of the substantial contribution that the people of Poole and Poole Harbour played in that historical event.

In September 1939 as war was declared the eyes of the Royal Navy were returned to Poole Harbour and the significance of Poole as a Naval Base. Poole was as of strategic importance as Portsmouth and Plymouth.

The responsibility of this was assigned to Commander Cosmo Bowyer Hastings RN who was appointed as Naval Officer in Charge Poole from the Staff of Flag Officer Portland Rear Admiral The Hon E R Drummond CB MVO.

Commander Hastings was a WW1 Veteran who saw Service and was wounded at The Battle of Jutland and being a local man was affiliated with Poole Harbour and the local people who worked in and around it.

Launching an LCT

By May of 1940 the Naval Base at Poole was well established and its HQ set up on the Motor Yacht Florinder (The Club House for The Royal Motor Yacht Club) and accommodation for the Naval personnel on the vessel Motor Yacht Sona on Poole Quay.

The end of May and early June 1940 saw the successful Evacuation of the BEF and French and Belgium troops from Dunkirk, St Valery, Cherbourg, and St Nazaire all of which saw vessels from Poole play their part orchestrated by Commander Hastings and his Staff.

This also included the defence of Poole Harbour and the surrounding area from imminent invasion. Over 330,000 troops in total were evacuated.

After the Evacuations were complete and the realisation then of the need to re invade France at some point, planning had to be put in place in order to be able to achieve a successful outcome. The HQ for this was at Southwick Portsmouth where meticulous planning started to take shape.

Poole played its part in the preparations for this epic task. There was a requirement for Landing Craft and vessels to be able to transport the troops across the channel with all their vehicles, weapons, ammunitions, and supplies for an initial landing. Then a continuous supply to be able to sustainably support this vast Allied Force for a long period of time.

Poole Boatyards, Engineering Companies and other local businesses and the skills of local people were fundamental in the success of this operation. J Bolson and Sons started to convert Thames Barges into Landing Craft by taking off the bow section and replacing it with a ramp.

The last surviving Landing Craft from D Day

Later came the design of the American craft and Bolsons started to build from new. These vessels had to be able to defend themselves and be able to take vehicles and Tanks. LCTs , LCVPs and LCAs all kinds of different designs to be fit for purpose. It was the skills and tenacity of the 800 strong work force at Bolsons that achieved this often through testing times under threat of invasion and targeted bombing raids.

@bhlivingdorset BH Living 20

Other yards involved were Dorset Yacht Company and British Power Boat Company that built Motor Gun Boats. R A Newmans of Hamworthy that built launches and J R Smith engineering that produced Baily Bridges.

Sydenham’s was taken over and was supplying wood particularly for the Mulbury Harbours which were to be towed across and secured off the beaches to allow vessels to tie up to unload once the initial invasion had taken place.

One of the biggest challenges was going to be the supply of fuel to be able to support the whole invasion force. The quantities were enormous and the vulnerability of vessels transporting it was high risk. Therefore, Operation Pluto was developed. This was to run an undersea pipeline from the Isle of Wight to France and then pump the fuel across.

A feasibility study was done and a trial of running a pipeline from Poole to IoW was put in place and was successful.

As preparations continued a force had to be assembled and trained. This meant a lot of co operation from the local area. The plan was to have Marshalling Areas and Embarkation Areas. In Dorset they were spread across the county: -

Marshalling Areas

Dewlish 1,800 personnel and 260 vehicles D1

Lychett Minster D2

Yellowham Dorchester 1,500 personnel 220 vehicles D3

Dorchester CAE House 2,900 personnel 410 vehicles D4

In May 1944 the US Coastgaurd arrived in Poole bringing with them 60 Coastguard Cutters. The HQ for US Forces was at Carters Pottery with some billeted Off Herbert Avenue.

These Cutters were to be used to rescue casualties of the beaches during and after the landings. They were split 30 off the American landings at Utah and Omaha and the rest split between the British and Canadian beaches.

As preparations were well underway the decision had to be made as to when and where the Landings were to take place. A map was put together and the fine detail was established and under the most severe cloak of secrecy the who? and where? and when? were established and Operation Overlord was briefed.

Initially to begin on 5th June 1944 all was put in place but due to inclement weather the actual landings had to be delayed by 24 hours. This date was chosen because of the tides.

The was a need for high tide in the early morning so that the landing craft could get in and the men would not be as exposed against the fierce resistance which was expected.

On the early morning of June 5th, 1944, over 300 vessels left Poole with 22,000 troops and their vehicles and equipment. They were predominately American heading for Utah and Omaha Beach.

Getting these vessels out on time and in the right order was down to Commander Hastings and his Staff a task that was achieved in fine Naval Tradition.

This was the beginning of the end and the dedication into the planning, preparation and execution of this Operation coupled with the bravery of the young men that carried it out was without doubt one of the greatest Military Achievements ever. But time should be reflected on the part that Poole and its people played in this epic achievement.

Broadmayne Park and West Knighton US African American Batt 3,000 personnel D5

Puddletown 3,600 personnel and 510 vehicles D6

Dorchester Poundbury Camp 3,300 personnel and 480 vehicles D7

Downwood Blandford 1,500 personnel and 220 vehicles D8

Bincombe 2,100 personnel and 220 vehicles D9

Kingston Russell 2,400 personnel and 340 vehicles D10

Winterbourne Abbas 2,400 personnel and 340 vehicles.D11

Bradford Down 3,300 and 470 vehicles D12

Winterbourne St Martin D13

Weymouth Charlestown Field Hospital D14

Embarkation Areas

Poole The third largest Embarkation Point for the whole Operation. Weymouth


May those that paid

The Ultimate Sacrifice Rest in Peace

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The Chine

Borrowing an analogy from sport, I found this book a read of two halves, a slow first half when at times I was lost in the direction it was taking me, almost losing me at one point, but then it all turned out to be a great second half, containing a plot with many twists and turns which by the time the final whistle went, I felt I could have done with some extra time.

The synopsis of the book reads like the classic 1980 film The Shining. There’s an empty hotel on the Dorset coast, which has closed down for the winter. Justyna, having just left a troubled relationship behind, accepts the job as a winter caretaker at the hotel. It seems like the perfect escape for her, away from the unhappiness of her more recent past.

it’s an enjoyable and captivating read “

For those of us who, like me, are local to Dorset, the localism of the story certainly adds an extra dimension, in which we can picture the different areas mentioned.

Justyna is soon settling into the role: checking the hotel over, enjoying walks into the woods and strolling down to the coastline. It seems like she has landed the perfect job as she begins the long road of rebuilding her old but happy life.

It’s not long before, during one of her daily walks, she meets Stephen. After a few occurrences of ‘bumping’ into each other, she one day innocently invites Stephen back to the hotel. It’s only when he has accepted and has crossed the threshold of the hotel that the true horrors of the past life of the hotel come back to haunt the current day inhabitants.

Despite saying it was a ‘book of two halves’ I did enjoy the read, particularly as I went further into the story. Although being a local, I did struggle with the descriptions of the heavy snow which of course we very rarely get. But putting that to one side, it’s an enjoyable and captivating read (if you can persevere) and one I would recommend, especially if you are after a weekend read or a book for the holiday.

Published by Panmacmillan

288 pages

ISBN 9781529076660

Reviewed by Jason Harris

Author: Peter Storm

ISBN: 978-1800168381

Published by Pegasus publishing

Reviewed by Brian Case

Breakfast Club Adventures: The Phantom Thief

The Phantom Thief is the third book in an exciting mystery series by England International footballer, child food-poverty campaigner and bestselling author Marcus Rashford MBE, inspired by Marcus’s own experiences growing up. Written with Alex Falase-Koya and packed with tons of illustrations by Marta Kissi, it is the perfect book for children aged 8-11. For the best experience, start with the first book; ‘The beast beyond the fence’ where we see the formation of the Breakfast Club Investigators as they attempt to solve their first mystery.

In ‘The phantom thief’, we discover a mysterious figure is stealing from after-school clubs all over Rutherford High School. The only clue is a strange calling card left at the scene of the crime. The thief also seems to be stealing some very strange objects – some not very valuable at all.

Step forward the Breakfast Club Investigators, who’ve struggled to solve their previous cases so the pressure is on to solve this particular mystery.

When the thief strikes just as Art Club is getting ready for a big show, everyone is worried the exhibition will be cancelled. Suspicions begin to mount and eventually fall on one of the Breakfast Club Investigators themselves.

Marcus and friends must race against time to find the stolen painting, absolve their friend of guilt and unmask the identity of the true thief before it’s too late!

This book had my ten year old son hooked as each chapter ended on a cliff edge, drawing the reader to the next chapter, and the next. My son would regularly say ‘don’t stop there!’ as the chapter drew to a close.

Those who’ve binge watched TV series on catchup will relate to the itch you get to move onto the next part straight away.

All-in-all, a well thought out book, where the characters are instantly relatable and the storyline intriguing to the very end.

LOCAL NEWS @bhlivingdorset BH Living

Spring for Grownups

Rising Voices Spring Concert

St Aldhelm’s church hosts an afternoon of beautiful music. Rising Voices community choir is for people who are living with and beyond cancer. Enjoy a light lunch from 12:15pm followed by live music at 1pm. All donations will be shared between St Aldhelm’s Church and Rising Voices Wessex.

Date: 26/03/24

Time: 12pm – 2.15pm

Location: St Aldhelm’s Church, Poole

Price: free

Find out more:

#Willdoes Charity Golf Day

Join with family and friends for a day of golf in memory of William Paddy. You can support the wonderful charity by enjoying a round of golf at the traditional Isle of Purbeck Golf Club, followed by a two course dinner at 5pm, and a prize giving and charity auction from 7pm onwards. Book your place now, limited number of teams!

Date: 04/04/24

Time: 9am – 10pm

Location: Isle of Purbeck Golf Club, Swanage

Price: £100 per person (£400 per team, 4 players)

Find out more:

Classic Vehicle and Steam Engine Show

Experience the beauty of all the classic vehicles on display, from cars to motorbikes and even tanks! Bring the family and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, activities, gift and food stalls with wonderful live music.

Date: 06/04/24 – 07/04/24

Time: 10am – 4pm each day

Location: Pikes Farm, Poole

Price: £5, children go free

Find out more:

Early Morning events at Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island is hosting morning events such as an ‘Early bird walk and breakfast’ where you can enjoy the island and its wildlife before the crowds.

Date: April – October 2024

(varies on events)

Time: Bird Walk – 07:15am – 10am, Morning yoga – 8am – 10am

Location: Brownsea Island, Poole

Price: from £16

Find out more: visit/dorset/brownsea-island/events

Poole Speedway: Poole Pirates v Edinburgh Monarchs in the cup

Experience the thrills and spills of live speedway action in the Cab Direct KO Cup Quarter Finals. Bring your ear defenders, it’s going to be a loud one!

Date: 24/04/24 Time: 19.30

Location: Poole Stadium, Stadium Way, Poole

Price: TBC. On sale from 27 March

(Price Guide: Adults £20, Cons £17, U16 £6, U11 Free)

Find out more:

Romesh Ranganathan

Comedy legend Romesh Ranganathan is back after his sell-out tour in 2022. This time he is back with his ‘Hustle’ tour, examining the things which are maybe just used to keep people working hard for no reason. The show was rated 4 stars by the Evening Standard and says it is “A masterclass in spinning life’s frustrations into comedy gold.”

Date: 09/05/24 – 11/05/24

Time: 8pm

Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals

See your favourite Strictly stars in action at the BIC this May. The UK tour showcases the exceptional talent of 12 of the TV show’s professional dancers. Behold a stage of sparkling outfits and incredible choreography; this isn’t something you want to miss.

Date: 26/05/24

Time: 2:30pm

Location: Bournemouth International Centre

Price: £35.75

Find out more:

Race for Life Bournemouth

Cancer Research UK has risen over £970 million from their Race For Life since it began in 1994. Join them on the stunning Bournemouth seafront in June for a 5k or 10k in memory of a loved one or to help raise money for lifesaving research.

Date: 16/06/24

Time: 10am

Location: Bournemouth International Centre

Price: £35.75

Find out more:

Chilli & Cheese Festival in Christchurch

Tingle your taste buds at the Chilli & Cheese Festival in Christchurch. Celebrating their 10th year, you can enjoy an array of tastes and you could even take part in their chilli eating challenges! There will be fun activities and entertainment for all ages.

Date: 18/05/24 – 19/05/24

Time: Saturday - 10am – 6pm, Sunday – 10am – 5pm

Location: Parley Lane, Christchurch

Price: Adults from £8, Concession from £6, children go free

Find out more:

Christchurch Food Festival

One of Dorset’s most highly anticipated event of the year, allow your taste buds to embark on a flavoursome journey experiencing some of the best food on the South Coast. The annual event brings together renowned chefs, local producers and food lovers. Along with the variety of tasty treats, there will be fun activities and entertainment for all the family.

Date: 25/05/24 – 27/05/24

Location: The Seafront, Pier Approach, Bournemouth

Price: Adults - £15.99, children - £11, under 6’s go free (plus £50 fundraising)

Find out more: raceforlife.cancerresearchuk. org/find-an-event

Russell-Cotes Bournemouth Exhibition

Discover the enthralling evolution of Bournemouth through the ages and recognise parts of the local area exhibiting watercolours and lithographs. The display is set in the timeless Russell-Cotes Museum, originally a house which now stands as a time capsule of historic art and objects.

Date: 13/02/24 – 31/07/24

Time: 10am – 5pm (Tuesday to Sunday)

Location: Russell-Cotes Museum, Bournemouth

Price: Adult – £8.50, 5-17 years - £4.50

Find out more:

Time: Saturday/Sunday – 10am – 8pm, Bank Holiday Monday – 10am – 5pm

Location: Christchurch Quay, the Quomps)

Price: free

Find out more:

30 BH Living @bhlivingdorset
from £1,800
We’re there when you need us most 01202 630111 Alternatively, please contact any office of Tapper Funeral Service Unattended cremation? Small or large gathering? Modern celebration? Family grave? Lively wake? it’s your choice at Attended cremations available
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