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Mayor’s Blog 125

Mayor’s Blog 125

RVS Home Library (Deputy Mayor Ian Bark)


Royal Voluntary Service

Ian recently attended a Town Council meeting and received a presentation on the RVS Home Library Service. I am pleased to include it in the Blog this week.

Everyone has times when they need a bit of support whether it be through illness, recovering from an operation or you may not be as able as you once were we all need a helping hand at times.

At the recent Environment and Social Wellbeing committee meeting we had a short presentation from the Royal Voluntary Service – Home Library Service (RVSHLS) during the public half hour. This is a frees service that could be a potential lifeline for some.

The RVSHLS provides access to books and in some cases, DVDs, CDs and audio tapes to people who, for a variety of reasons, cannot use the conventional library service.   

They may be living in their own homes, or living in: residential or nursing establishments; they can be private, housing association, or statutory establishments provided by the local authority.

Sheltered housing provided by either the local authority or a private housing association.

The Home Library Service is just one of the many support services available e.g. community transport, social events, support in hospitals, dementia support and a virtual village hall.

To find out more click HERE

The RVSHLS is funded by Dorset Council and delivered by volunteers. If you would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer click

A comprehensive and fascinating history of the Royal Voluntary Service and is origins in the Women’s Voluntary Service can be found by clicking HERE

My thanks to Ian for taking the time to put the report together.

The Watch House Café West Bay

After receiving a recent invite from the Watch House Café to sample their Chefs Showcase menu I thought it would be a good opportunity to go along and find out more about the changes they have put in place in order to make their business more sustainable and environmentally friendly. After meeting the Team and enjoying some really excellent food and top notch service it was reassuring to hear from Maisy who is the Supervisor for the Hive Beach Company just how passionate they are about our environment and how they try their best to be both sustainable and environmentally friendly.

West Bay
The Watch House Cafe, West Bay

So far they have implemented:

• Regular beach cleans with the local community
• A switch to using Notpla (Not Plastics) for takeaway items, an interesting company who make takeaway boxes out of sustainable seaweed and other biodegradeable materials. Notpla have also recently won the earth shot award. For details on their products and FAQs click HERE

• They use local and small businesses and products where possible.
• They are continuing their switch from plastic beach goods to more environmentally friendly or recycled items
• They have moved away from single use plastics where possible, changes include using bags made from wood pulp, wooden takeaway cutlery, canned water etc
• They work with Olleco to supply an collect their cooking oil to be used in biofuels which reduces carbon emissions by 88%
• They are also very focussed on giving back to our community and they are currently raising money to buy, sponsor and name a guide dog (£10,000) they are about 25% there!
• A recent introduction was to restart their “kids eat free at the Watch House” for the second year. (1 kids pizza with every adult meal).

It just goes to show the changes that can be made in many areas that will eventually have a long term benefit to our environment and also their business.

For further information and some good ideas click the following links:

Cupboard Love – “NOT just a food bank”!

The Bridport Food Bank, well known locally as “Cupboard Love” has been in operation since 2013 and became an independent charity in July 2021.

It is without doubt that now, more than ever, people need a lifeline to the services they offer and numbers are on the increase. In today’s economic climate we are still experiencing high levels of level of inflation coupled with the high energy costs and eventually something has to give. This has led to many more needing their services that would never have dreamt of being in such a position a few years ago. As an example on one day this week they issued food parcels and goods that supported 65 adults and 27 children.

As always the businesses and volunteers in Bridport have come together to provide help, support and assistance to take the lead in tackling food poverty and its consequences. We are so lucky in Bridport to have such willing volunteers that make it all possible.

This week we both attended the AGM in St Mary’s Church and the messages that came over loud and clear were:

Everyone is welcomed!

No referrals are necessary initially, anyone can just turn up if they have a need that the service can fulfil.

As a Community service Bridport Food Bank has developed strong links with many local organisations and they work closely with a number of them including the CAB, the Health services, schools and housing services. Many agencies now refer those in need to them and the CAB and the YOU Trust both have a regular weekly presence at the Food Bank which helps people to easily access a range of services, assistance and support.

Although they welcome donations from local businesses they are now financially able to supplement donations by purchasing much needed produce from local suppliers which helps to regularise the food, hygiene and household products available.

Cupboard Love


As well as essential food and supplies there are also financial grants available to eligible applicants.

Grants of up to £30 are assessed and awarded on the day of application

Grants of up to £300 will be assessed by an awarding panel and the recipient notified within 1 week

Grants over £300 will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances.

How you can help

The Food Bank needs volunteers! If you can offer help just a few hours would be welcomed.
They operate from St. Mary’s Church on South Street every Wednesday from 10.00 am to 1pm and from Bridport Youth Centre from 5pm to 7pm.

The foodbank needs financial donations to help continue the fantastic services they provide!
The Bridport Food Bank became an independent registered charity in July 2021, Charity number 1195120.

You can donate money by Bank Transfer, by Cheque or in cash by turning up during their opening hours.

If you can help or want more information click here https//
Their e mail address is [email protected]

Finally If you need any help or advice just pop along and chat to one of their friendly volunteers, they will be pleased to see you.

Report from the Mayoress

Where have all the volunteers gone?

Recently I was thinking back to the fantastic efforts by Bridport folk during the “Covid Years” and all of the camaraderie shown by the great many volunteers who stood for hours to make the vaccination system work.

I recalled it was suggested that a “bank” of volunteers could be created that local organisations and events could utilise when needed.

So with that in mind this week I attended an online presentation by the Dorset Volunteer Centre that proved useful and informative. I was interested in finding out how volunteers could register and become involved in local groups.

I was surprised to find out that nationally 28 million people take part in volunteering at least once a year, and19 million at least once a month.

If you are interested in supporting local groups by volunteering a few hours of your time, you can register with

The Tourist Information Centre

The Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in Bucky Doo Square is not just for tourists!
Thanks to Jill Beed for including the leaflets I have collected into the Community Corner. These include information on Carer support and other agencies linked to the local area. Hopefully this will be a source of information in very popular central place in the town and helpful to many.

Tourist Information Centre

Thank You Day

Tony Christie, who was diagnosed with dementia in January, has released a new song as part of a music for dementia campaign to raise funds. It will be available on Sunday July 2nd.

“Thank you for being a Friend” is dedicated to carers “who never get mentioned”. It celebrates people in Britain who change their lives to care for someone else, particularly those living with dementia. The song is available on Youtube: ” Music for Dementia – Thank You Day”

For more information click here:

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