I would like to begin this week’s Blog by thanking my fellow Town Councillors for electing me to serve this, my third term as Bridport’s Town Mayor. It is without doubt an incredible honour and a privilege to serve as Mayor of this wonderful town and I am deeply humbled by their faith in me.
A new term of office means new opportunities to develop, support and promote our town. But do not fear, I am not proposing we throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are, as we all know, a lot of really great things going on. The work being done by them needs to continue and even needs to expand and become embedded. For example achieving Plastic Free status is but a small stepping stone on the road to creating a pollution free environment.
When I first became Mayor in 2020, I set the challenge of Bridport becoming a single use Plastic Free Community. There were many who said it could not be done but we did it and as you all know Bridport achieved that status in 2021.
This year I would like to lay down the gauntlet on a new challenge. For Bridport to become a Sustainable Palm Oil Community as part of the drive to make Dorset the first county in the world to become a sustainable palm oil community.
The Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community is a new project encouraging businesses, restaurants, schools and hospitals to find out where they source their palm oil from and make changes to ensure that they only use certified sustainable palm oil.
Using certified sustainable palm reduces deforestation and enhances biodiversity, in turn protecting orangutangs, pygmy elephants and other endangered and vulnerable species that inhabit these rich forest ecosystems.
Although the hospitality industry will play a big role in increasing the demand for sustainable palm oil, the aim to get representation from organisations in a variety of sectors across Bridport.
The objective is to recruit Sustainable Palm Oil Champions from:
- Restaurants, cafes, hotels and fast food outlets (including fish and chip shops)
- Workplaces of over 20 people that offer staff catering or even just serve biscuits in meetings
- Schools and hospitals
- Visitor attractions, leisure facilities and sports clubs
- Manufacturers and retailers
To achieve that I am looking to recruit a small team to spearhead this initiative so If you or someone you know might be interest please get in touch [email protected]
Bridport is a community made up of a rich and diverse collection of little communities and groups. There is one such group that I would like to make the focus of my championing and fundraising efforts this year and that is young people.
The past two years have been extremely tough for all of us but young people have had a particularly rough deal. Home learning from nursery to college and university, and an exam system in turmoil are but two of the more obvious impacts they have had to face. All at a time in their lives when the need for stability, support, care and guidance are most needed.
It is for those reasons that I have chosen the Bridport Youth and Community Centre and The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares as my charities the coming Mayoral year.
Bridport Youth and Community Centre
The BYCC provides a Youth Club three times a week. It has over 200 Youth Club members. The DRB Youth Workers put on activities for young people to experience and as well as provide a listening ear outside of the parent/teacher remit.
BYCC run a host of other activities for young people. At the BYCC you will find a Lottery funded young people’s vehicle project, which attracts many youngsters giving them the opportunity to work with qualified mechanics repairing and maintaining motor vehicles. Some of these youngsters have gone on to secure apprenticeships with local garages. The 30 year old boxing club provides girls, boys and young adults with training and chances to compete in a professional ring three days a week. It also boasts a fully equipped recording studio giving youngsters interested in the Bridport music scene an appropriate ‘space’ for practising and turning their ‘creations’ into recordings.
By providing a safe place for young people to hang out, it keeps them off the streets and helps prevent bored teenagers which can sometimes lead to anti-social behaviour. It also gives the young people a chance to experience new activity or interest, have fun and meet new friends.
For the over 50s they host a walking football and table tennis club. Their aim is to get the over 50s off their chairs, away from the TV and out socialising with people of a similar age, having fun and getting physically fit in the process.
You can support the BYOC by becoming a Trustee or volunteer. To find out more click HERE
The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares
A truly wonderful space is being built in Bridport, called The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares. Imagine a real bank except we deal in the currency of words and our vaults are filled with all kinds of dreams and nightmares; precious stories written by children.
Anyone can open an account with it and explore the Bank itself, but if you know where to look you will find a secret door that leads you to where the real magic happens. Hidden within the bank is the story writing workshop overseen by the mysterious Bank Manager who is never seen but likes to make themselves heard! Here they offer free creative writing workshops to children developed with industry professionals with real world outcomes, to show children just how far their writing can take them!
To that end I look forward to lending my support and becoming actively engaged in working with, not just these two most worthy groups, but with others who are providing much needed support or opportunities for young people to spread their wings and fly. To find out more click HERE
Totally Locally Bridport- the Magic Tenner
Totally Locally Bridport’s Magic Tenner campaign is turning a spotlight on independent businesses highlighting how our local shops, services and organisations support each other. The focus is on how £10 grows as it moves around our town and adds extra cash into our local economy.
The campaign will run from May 28 to July 30 over which time Totally Locally Bridport will be highlighting the campaign with promotions and community engagement throughout the ten weeks. They will be following in the footsteps of other Totally Locally towns around the country who have seen the benefits of working together to revitalise town centres and local economies.
The ’Magic Tenner’ campaign is part of the national Totally Locally ‘Town Kit’, which was created by brand expert Chris Sands. The ‘Town Kit’ is a free-to-use, grass-roots resource which towns across the UK and internationally (including France, Australia and New Zealand) have used successfully to bring life back to their high streets.
This is the idea behind it all: There’s a bit of maths* that says if you spend £10 in a shop the amount of money that goes back into the local economy can be over £50!
Imagine picking up a pie for your lunch:
- You buy a local-made pie from a local shop, a big part of your money is passed on to the local pie maker.
- The shop employs a local accountant or even a decorator.
- In turn, the pie maker who sources his ingredients from a local farm spends a big percentage of his money with the farmer.
- The farmer then spends some of his money at his local garage, the garage owner then…
- Well, you get the idea.
With each step, around 80% of each spend goes into the local economy. So in effect, the money that stays within the local area gets more… and more.
Local independent businesses are far more likely to use other local firms than any of the big national giants would – it’s what makes them tick and we all know the value of keeping it “Totally Locally”.
Bridport businesses are welcoming the campaign which is designed to start ongoing conversations about shopping local and just how essential local businesses are.
Team member Kim Squirrell said: “The Magic Tenner Campaign helps businesses to show just how many other local businesses they use with simple posters, banners and messages and encourages all local, independent businesses to get involved – whether they are on the high street or not.”
Over fifty businesses have signed up to take part and photos for each shop will be compiled into weekly posters with six new businesses featured every week. The Totally Locally team will be producing a shopping map and individual business will be making recommendations, highlighting products or creating special offers.
The magic Tenner campaign is all about starting a conversation about what a heathy local economy looks like and what we can all do to ensure Bridport continues to be a vibrant and distinctive place to live. To that end the Totally Locally will be setting up a stall during the Magic Tenner campaign to share and celebrate the whole range of Bridport independents. Times and dates TBC.
To find out more click HERE
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Events
There are a number of events taking place from the 28 May to the 19 June in Bridport and the surrounding parishes.
- 28th May – The Rotary Club of Bridport presents The Bridport Big Band at the United Church, East Street, Bridport at 7.30pm.
- 1st June – Charmouth village Jubilee Party at the Village Hall, Wesley Close, Charmouth, DT6 6BE. Time TBC.
- 2nd June – 2.00pm Proclamation by the Mayor of Bridport and Town Crier at Bucky Doo Square and at 9.45pm Jubilee Beacon at Coneygar Hill.
- 2nd June – Symondsbury Estate Garden Party from 11am – 4pm.
- 2nd June – 2.00 – 4.00pm Burton Bradstock Jubilee Fayre in the Rectory Garden and at 9.15pm beacon on the coast at the top of Cliff Road.
- 2nd June – 7.00pm onwards – Hog roast, live music, beacon and a bonfire at Cooper’s Field, Allington Hill.
- 3rd June – 11.00am Jubilee Civic Service at St Mary’s Church, South Street
- 4th June – 2.00pm – 5.00pm The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tea Party at Gore Cross Recreation Area, Bradpole.
- 5th June – 2.00pm – 4.00pm Jubilee Picnic Lunch at the Millennium Green. Live music from local bands. Bring your own picnic.
- 5th June – Community Picnic at Allington Hill. Time TBC.
- 5th June – Platinum Praise by Churches Together at the Harbour Green, West Bay. Outdoor service followed by a tea party. Time TBC.
- 19th June – Queen’s Jubilee Concert at St Swithun’s Church at 3pm.
For full details on each of these events and others please click HERE
Where will you be spending your first Magic Tenner?
How will you be celebrating the Queens Platinum Jubilee?
I would love to hear your stories.