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Mayor’s Blog 121: Bridport Community Kitchen, Connect Bridport, Bridport Arts Centre, Social Media, Mayoress Projects.

Mayor’s Blog 121: Bridport Community Kitchen, Connect Bridport, Bridport Arts Centre, Social Media, Mayoress Projects.

Hopefully I am starting to get the hang of things now in terms of “blogging” and fingers crossed  it will continue to be varied and of interest. This week I am adding a section at the end from the Mayoress who is now pursuing her own projects in the Bridport area.

Bridport Community Kitchen

Bridport Community Kitchen


It has been a quiet week this week for social and civic engagements so I went to visit Simon Batorski who runs Bridport Community Kitchen based at the Beacon Church, Priory Lane. I have chosen them as one of my charities for the next 12 months as they certainly help to fill a need in Bridport for an increasing number of people who need a warm and safe place to drop in, have tea, coffee or lunch and a chat with some of the volunteers that help to run the kitchen. There are also hot showers, clothes and washing facilities, health care and advice and even craft activities on offer for all to enjoy. I am really impressed by the work that they do and I look forward to helping them where I can in the future. I have already suggested a fundraising scheme which attracted a lot of interest so I hope to bring you more news in the future.

Connect Bridport

Connect Bridport


I had an invitation to go to a Connect Bridport group meeting held in the Woodman pub and I was pleased that I went. I didn’t know anything about the group so I was interested to hear presentations from the two speakers on the night and also to have the opportunity to find out more about the aims of the group from Valerie Marcelli who set up the group.

Valerie moved to the UK from Bordeaux in France 23 years ago. Studying at the University of West England she earned her degree in psychology whilst living in Bristol. She moved to Dorset in 2009, and loved the county so much she hasn’t left! 

She has developed her professional career in a sales role representing wholesale fishmongers and butchers for the last 15 years. In this time she has been creating a network of contacts and found a love for connecting people and helping them achieve their goals in business.

She’s very passionate about the town and wants to bring something to the table. She was keen to get a networking event up and running so people in the town and the surrounding areas can connect and help each other out. Since Covid people’s confidence in putting themselves out there has taken a bit of a hit and they along with their businesses are not thriving the way they were pre-pandemic.

She works from home and understands the pressures and difficulties of working alone without a colleague to boost you up and share ideas with, which is why she felt it was important to start a networking event in Bridport. 

Connect Bridport is a networking event that takes place bi-monthly. Local businesses and those from further afield are encouraged to attend the event and find out the benefits of networking for themselves. For a small nominal fee, this great event will get you connected with like-minded people, food is provided and two guest speakers at every event aimed at helping businesses succeed.  For more information, head over to the Facebook page at, or email [email protected]

Bridport Arts Centre – Earth/Ground

Bridport Arts Centre

I popped into the Bridport Arts Centre after hearing from the Mayoress that she had just carried out 2 hours as a steward in the upstairs Gallery and what a fascinating free exhibition was on. Bridget gave me a complete run down of the history of Alan and Amanda Wallwork and of the wonderful the ceramics and paintings so I just had to go!. I am really pleased to have listened to her and spent an interesting hour there this week. If you find time to go remember to take a copy of the very interesting geographical walk map booklets away with you. It concludes on the 10th of June with an Artists Talk at 4pm for a 4.30pm start. Tickets for the talk are free but limited to 40 people.

The Arts Centre is now in its 50th year and has a very interesting program of future events that should have something for everyone, you can view upcoming events online at

Social Media/Reporting of Problems

Much as I love sites like Bridport Banter and appreciate their place in society, I do find it frustrating that I often see posts complaining about “the Council” and things “the Council” does or doesn’t do.  It’s everyone’s right to say on social media if they don’t like what the council is or isn’t doing, but if people really want to get problems addressed, there are good and functioning systems both for Bridport Town Council and Dorset Council to use.  Social media is a great place to “have a moan” but please also contact your councils direct; it’s more productive and doesn’t take much extra effort.

Bridport Town Council’s website has an extensive list of services provided by councils and other organisations, along with contact details or links to reporting forms.  Find it at  If that doesn’t show what you’re looking for, email [email protected] and the Town Council team will find out who to contact, and how.

If people prefer a more personal touch, then there are 18 Bridport Town Councillors and three Dorset Councillors in Bridport who were all elected democratically 4 years ago and are easily contactable by telephone or email that are willing and able to assist.  You can find contact details for your town councillors at, and for your Dorset Council councillors at

And finally

Bridget, your Mayoress, is just starting to explore the support that is available locally for people with dementia, and their carers.

This week she visited the Memory Café at St Swithin’s Church Hall which meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 2pm-4pm.

It is facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Society, with volunteers supporting the group. It is an opportunity to socialise, take part in a variety of activities and get to know others sharing the same experiences. Tea and cake and a sing-a-long completed the session.

For more information telephone 01202 764352 or click here.


Next week there is a drop-in dementia awareness roadshow event by Help and Care on Monday 5th June at the Town Hall from 10.30-12.30. The aim of the event is for local people to be aware of what is available in their community – where they can feel involved, understood and get the help they need.

Drop-in dementia awareness event

Have a lovely sunny weekend,

David Bolwell
Mayor of Bridport

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