The community radio station from Dorchester

Staff and volunteers recognised for hard work and dedication

It was an evening of glam and glitter as Dorset County Hospital staff and volunteers were recognised for their hard work and dedication at the 2019 GEM and Long Service Awards. The awards are presented annually to recognise the people who have excelled in the Trust values – Going the Extra Mile – and to those who have achieved 25 years of NHS service.

Colleagues, patients and relatives were asked to nominate hospital staff and volunteers for a number of awards to honour those who have gone over and above what is expected to make a difference to people’s lives.

The evening was held at Kingston Maurward and the winners received their well-deserved awards from Trust Chairman, Mark Addison and Chief Executive, Patricia Miller, alongside other executive directors. Guests were also treated to a special performance from the DCH Players.

Trust Chairman Mark Addison said: “The awards are the most important event in the hospital’s annual calendar. They are an opportunity to thank everybody who is involved in the Trust for the huge amount of work they do and the way our staff and volunteers go the extra mile for patients and their families. For once we can put aside the enormous unprecedented pressures the hospital has been working under over the last year. Demand has gone up in ways which nobody could have predicted. But the dedicated and determined hard work of everyone at DCH has seen us through.

“The night is a chance to recognise the brilliant work which goes on day in day out across the hospital, with our staff and volunteers offering outstanding care to people in ways which matter to them. For us, that more than a slogan, it genuinely is a way of life.”

Click here for award recipients

Photo of GEM Award and long serving award recipients

Chairman’s Award
Winner: Dr David Markham
Runners-up: Laura Starr and Lin Smith

Leadership Award
Winner: Lynn Paterson, Sister (Moreton Ward)
Runners-up: Sue O’Kerwin and Abi Orchard

Patient Safety Award
Winner: Dr Duncan Chambler and Mr Ben Stubbs
Runners-up: – Jo Hartley and Supervisory Night Sisters

Innovation Award
Winner: Eleanor Jeram and Susan Farmer (Information)
Runners-up: ED Nurse Practitioners (Majors) and X-Ray E-Requesting Project Team

Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Sue Cordner, Staff Nurse
Runners-up: Gail Volney and Barbara Pavey

Student/Apprentice of the Year Award
Winner: Angie Faulkner, Assistant Audiologist
Runners-up: Sophie McCaffrey and Ellie Jowett

Volunteer Award
Winner: Patient Research Ambassadors
Runners-up: Barbara Purnell and Sue Mason

Team of the Year Award
Winner: Estates
Runners-up: Cardiac Cath Lab and Histopathology

Charity Fundraiser of the Year Award
Winner: DCH Players
Runners-up: Catherine Abery-Williams and Saleem Taijbee


Long Service Awards Recipients
Alex Hillcox-Smith
Alison Fuszard
Alison Burge
Amanda Loader
Andrea Churchill
Annette Saunders
Brian Stalker
Carol Gilbert
Dawn Johnston
Emma Howard
Esme Hastie
Fiona Wotherspoon
Fiona Chalk
Georgina Jessop
Gerrard Phillips
Hazel Thomas
Helen White
Helen Dell
Jacqueline Butler
Janice Robbins
Kathryn Stubbs
Lisa Keegan
Lisa Cosh
Mandy Ford
Nicola Perkins
Peter Taylor
Shelly Haydock
Sue Reed
Teresa Penny
Tracy Allen
Tracy Drage
Vanessa Coleberd
Victoria Lock
Victoria Whitehall

Generous donation boosts Friends’ fundraising mission

A generous donation has pushed the latest fundraising initiative by Friends of Dorset County Hospital ever closer to their target. Graham Curtis donated an overwhelming £3,500 to the Friends after taking part in the Dorchester Lions 2K Fun Run, held earlier this year. The money will go towards the Friends’ pledge to raise £17,000 for a new ultrasound machine for the Respiratory Department at DCH. The new machine will allow for clearer and quicker procedures for patients with plural diseases.

Graham, who has been a patient at DCH for a number of years with respiratory problems, decided he wanted to give something back to the Trust. On the day, he was pushed in his wheelchair around the 2K route by DCH Respiratory Consultant Jennifer Graves, alongside other colleagues.

Manager of the Friends of DCH, Sharon Merritt, said: “We were delighted when Graham said he wanted to help raise money for our current fundraising project.

“He had an idea to take part in the Dorchester Lions 2K Fun Run, being pushed round by Jennifer. We loved the idea as it was something completely different to anything we had done before. Graham soon got to work raising money, holding a tombola, bingo night and raffles.

“We were overwhelmed when we were told they had raised an amazing £3,500, which included a £500 donation from the Lodge of Oddfellows as well as a donation from the Lions.

“It really is very much appreciated. Without the generosity of the local community, we wouldn’t be able to raise the money that we do to continue our support to the patients of DCH.”

Graham added: “I would like to thank the Dorchester Lions, Sharon, Dr Graves and her husband and the lovely people from Oddfellows for all their support. I only thought I would raise £1,000 but couldn’t believe it when we hit £3,500. I am so pleased to be able to support the hospital.”

Since the Lions’ first Fun Run in 1983, more than a quarter of a million pounds has been raised for local charities and good causes. The event is one of the most longstanding, well-supported and popular community charity events in Dorchester.

Andy Rose, from Dorchester Lions, said: “We would like to thank all those who took time to participate in the Fun Run this year. The club was delighted to welcome Graham and the team from DCH, they did an amazing job of fundraising and we were glad to support them.”

For more information, or to support the fundraising initiative, contact the Friends team on 01305 255896, email or visit

Dorchester Lions are now planning for their next fundraising event, their Charity Golf Day at Came Down Golf Club on 18 September.

For more information, contact Andy on 07815873246 or Neil on 07762085828.

Photo of cheque presentation

Witness appeal following burglaries in North Dorset village

Officers investigating a series of burglaries in a North Dorset village are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward. A previous appeal was issued by Dorset Police in relation to a burglary in the Chapel Lane area of Yetminster between 5pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday 5 June 2019. Since then the Force has received five further reports of residential burglaries in the village, which were reported between Thursday 6 June and Monday 10 June 2019. The majority of the incidents are believed to have occurred during the daytime and have involved offenders forcing entry and stealing valuable items such as jewellery.

The further properties targeted were in Brister End, Queen Street, Church Street, Ryme Road and another in Chapel Lane.

Police Constable Simon Rogers, of Dorset Police, said: “I am appealing for anyone who has any information about these burglaries or who witnessed any suspicious activity in the Yetminster area, particularly between Wednesday 5 June and Monday 10 June 2019, to contact me.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to urge residents to remain vigilant and make sure their properties are left secure at all times. For more crime prevention advice on how to protect your home visit”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email, or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190088117. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via

Dorset Police logo

Our roadside verges – a fine balance to strike

In Dorset, we are very proud of our roadside verge maintenance and are committed to a healthy environment. During the summer months, our roadside verges and green spaces, like picnic areas, all start to grow very rapidly. We have a statutory duty to maintain the road network and above all, to make sure it is safe. So, how do we strike the balance between protecting road users and encouraging wildlife?

We know, from the many residents who tell us, that some people love the wild verges while some would prefer we cut them all back, so they are neat and tidy.

Where we can, we allow rural roadside grasses and wildflowers to grow long and wild, which attracts ‘pollinators’ like bees and butterflies and encourages wild flowers to flourish. There is obviously a cost saving to this method too.

Urban roads usually receive around six or seven cuts per year.  In some places where we have the right machinery we are cutting and collecting the grass.   This allows us to cut the verge less frequently than usual and by removing the clippings, we leave the verge neat and tidy. This helps extend the time between cuts and helps wildflowers to thrive.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and the Environment explains more:

“Our primary duty with regards to roadside verges is one of safety, which we take very seriously. But, we, like many residents can see the benefit of letting the verges grow, where possible. Through our Pollinator Action Plan, we want to actively encourage more bees, butterflies and moths to thrive in Dorset. Our Action Plan also enables us to make significant savings – we save around £93k a year by only cutting rural road verges when needed.

“We also no longer use topsoil when creating new road verges, as the subsoil results in wildflower rich grass which is of greater use to pollinators and costs less to manage.  On the Weymouth Relief Road, for example, this method resulted in savings of £2,200 per year in management costs.

Read more about our Pollinator Action Plan.

Dorset Council logo


Portland to host Pollution Pods

Cape Farewell, in partnership with B-Side, have today announced that Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods will be hosted at the Stadium Bowl, Portland from 29 June – 1 July. The free, immersive installation uses specially created conditions to simulate the air quality in cities around the world. In a series of interconnecting pods, visitors will feel, taste and smell the environments that are the norm for much of the world’s population. The installation has toured to enormous acclaim worldwide, with over 10,000 visitors taking part in the 2018 European tour, as well as a week-long residency at Somerset House.

On Friday 28th June, a specially curated discussion event featuring artists Michael Pinsky and Leni Dothan will look into the impact of art on public perceptions around climate change. Prompted by the invisible enemy of air pollution Leni has worked with the Chemistry department of University College London (UCL), to create an experimental work highlighting the damaging effects of pollution and the healing powers of clean air.

From 29 June to 1 July 2019, Portland will host Pollution Pods, a unique interactive installation which will allow visitors to experience different levels of pollution and air quality from cities across the world.

At the Stadium Bowl, visitors are invited to pass through a series of climatically controlled pods and compare five contrasting global environments. Within each interconnected dome the air quality, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide levels of five cities is recreated. Starting with the truly clean air of Tautra in Norway, the journey continues through the smog and pollution of London, New Dehli, Beijing and Sao Paolo.The Pollution Pods were created by artist Michael Pinsky for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and commissioned to test whether art can really change people’s perceptions of, and actions around, climate change. With one in five children in London now having asthma, and over half their young counterparts in Delhi suffering with stunted lung development from which they will never recover, visitors are invited to experience the direct, physical result of Western consumerism on the pollution levels in countries across the world.

Much of this pollution is driven by the ever-increasing needs of capitalist consumerism and urban transport. And whilst much of the developed world still live in an environment with relatively clean air, the ill-effects of airborne toxins can now be seen not only across industrial centres such as China and India, but across many cities in the UK including London and Manchester.

The experience of walking through the Pollution Pods demonstrates that these worlds are interconnected and interdependent. Our need for ever cheaper goods is reflected in the ill health of many people in the world and in the ill-health of our planet as a whole.

Artist Michael Pinsky says: “In the Pollution Pods, I have tried to distil the whole bodily sense of being in each place.  For instance, being in São Paulo seems like a sanctuary compared to New Delhi, until your eyes start to water from the sensation of ethanol, whilst Tautra is unlike any air you’ll have ever breathed before, it is so pure.”

The installation is free of charge to attend.

The site for Pollution Pods has been generously supported by HMP & YOI Portland

With thanks to: BuildwithHubs, Airlabs , NTNU, IFF (International Flavours and Fragrances) , Aromaco, Kings College London, Arts Council England.

For more information about Pollution Pods visit this website

Pollution Pods photo

Network stands up for LGBT community

An organisation helping people who have been victims of homophobic and transphobic bullying and hate crime has been given a boost from the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner.

The LGBT Dorset Equality Network has received funding to enable the service to represent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people across the county who have been subjected to prejudice and abuse.

The funding was awarded from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Grant Scheme and paid for officers and volunteers from the network to receive training from Dorset Advocacy, providing them with the skills needed to work with people who have been victimised and need additional support.

This could be when making a complaint about hate crime to the police, or dealing with allegations about discrimination to local authorities or the NHS.

The funding also helped set up a partnership between the Network and Dorset Advocacy, enabling more complicated cases to be referred to specialists.

The Network, which is a third party reporting centre for victims of LGBT hate crime, now deals with a wide range of cases, including those taking place in care homes and other healthcare settings. The organisation is also working with HMP The Verne to assist with effective LGBT community support and engagement.

Alan Mercel-Sanca, lead officer from the Network, said the training sessions have given the organisation more confidence to promote their services to members of the county’s LGBT community.

He said: “We want to encourage an environment across Dorset where people can speak up and come forward. We’re now much clearer on getting the message out about what people can do when they have issues, because we know the structures that Dorset Advocacy use.

“We’re now far better as an outreach service because of this training, and we’re able to offer much better support to people across Dorset who feel they’ve been bullied or victimised.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Nobody should ever have to tolerate being unfairly targeted or discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity.

“However, if anyone does find themselves in that situation – as well as having support from the police if a crime has been committed – it’s vital they have access to skilled advocates who are able to stand in their corner and argue their case. I’m proud to support the network and I hope during Pride Month, other people who have been victimised will come forward to benefit from their work.”

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Accident causes A35 Closure

A single vehicle collision caused damage to a telegraph pole on the A35 today (Sunday).

The stretch between Monkeys Jump and Winterborne Abbas was closed for several hours with diversions in place.

Highways England and Dorset police were at the scene to ensure closures were in place and assist those needing to access nearby properties.

Contractors and police needed to ensure the road remained closed until the arrival of BT to make the scene safe and enable works to be carried out.

The road and since been re-opened.

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Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate’s Golden Ticket Invitation

Edward Morello, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for West Dorset, has visited The Prince of Wales School in Dorchester, Dorset following a GOLDEN TICKET INVITATION.

Following his visit, Mr. Morello said that The Prince of Wales School ‘staff are doing amazing work, and are right to highlight the need for proper funding for specialist provision’.

Mr. Morello adds, ‘Parents in West Dorset should expect their children to receive the best education that is not just available, but also that is appropriate for their child. For many of our children with special education needs the best and most appropriate is in mainstream education. Providing properly funded specialist provision so they can stay in mainstream education is not just fiscally sensible, it is our moral obligation’.

Mr. Morello’s visit came following GOLDEN TICKET INVITATIONS out by the Headteacher of The Prince of Wales School, Mr. Gary Spracklen. The invitations were sent out to highlight why the specialist provision his school provides needs to be adequately funded. The invitations were sent to a range of local politicians and prominent civil servants including the Rt. Hon. Sir Oliver Letwin MP and Director of Children’s Services at Dorset Council, Mrs. Sarah Parker.

Mr. Spracklen explains, ‘The Prince of Wales School is a fully inclusive Mainstream First School in Dorchester, Dorset with a wide range of experience of successfully meeting the needs of children with significant barriers to their learning. The School has resourced provision for children with physical disabilities, mainly cerebral palsy. This provision is currently under review by Dorset Council and I am keen to show recipients of our Golden Ticket Invitations in person the importance of this specialist provision being adequately funded in the future’.

The Golden Ticket Invitations, which take inspiration from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ read –

‘Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket, from Mr Gary Spracklen! I shake you warmly by the hand! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! For now, I do invite you to come to my school and be my guest – you and all others who are lucky enough to find my Golden Tickets. I, Mr Gary Spracklen, will conduct you around the school myself, showing you everything that there is to see, and afterwards, when it is time to leave, you will be equipped with the knowledge of why the specialist provision we provide needs to be adequately funded. But this is by no means the most exciting thing that will happen on the day of your visit. I am preparing other surprises that are even more marvellous and even more fantastic for you and for all my beloved Golden Ticket holders – mystic and marvellous surprises that will entice, delight, intrigue, astonish and perplex you beyond measure. In your wildest dreams you could not imagine such things could happen to you! Just wait and see! And now, here are your instructions: the day I have chosen for is set by your convenience. On this day, and on no other, you must come to the school entrance. Don’t be late! And you are allowed to bring with you either one or two members of your own team to ensure that you don’t get into mischief. One more thing – be certain to have this ticket with you, otherwise you will not be admitted.’

Mr. Spracklen adds, ‘It was nice to meet Mr. Morello today and show him first hand how our staff are trained and positive about including children with serious medical conditions, children with learning difficulties and a variety of syndromes within an inclusive mainstream environment. The Prince of Wales School has a strong SEND team with specialisms in dyslexia, movement and coordination issues, speech and language, social communication difficulties and Aspergers Syndrome’. The School has an ethos that welcomes all learners and seeks to inspire everyone to learn. I look forward to showcasing our culture and ethos to future Golden Ticket holders!’.

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E-Cig starts fire in waste collection vehicle

An e-cigarette caused a fire in the back of one of Dorset Waste Partnerships rubbish collection vehicles recently.

The Dorset Waste Partnership are reminding residents that all Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) should be taken to a recycling bank or centre.

You can find your nearest centre here

You can also request a kerbside battery bag at

Pictures from @recycle4Dorset

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Plan for Pavilion revised

A revised plan for the proposed Pavilion on the Great Field has been submitted.

The building is set to hold a café and community space. The original application was made to the council in January 2019.

The structure is to be primarily made of timber and now of single storey in design, where originally there were to be two floors with office space occupying that second floor.

Whilst it has been deemed by many as a potential useful community space in Poundbury, a number of objections from a local residents have been received by the planning team:. One such objection reads:

“…plans for the Great field seem to have lost the priority for the environment and wild life which people expressed on the consultation days. The plans to plant shrubs and trees are excellent but helping wildlife – which is what the children can see is important – gets forgotten in a welter of running tracks and play equipment and pavilions for coffee and loos. Whatever we do needs to be beautiful… What we don’t want is yet another coffee shop. Don’t fill up this precious space with more buildings”

Two other objections commented on the following:

“My main concern is parking, where will all the extra visitors, employees and large delivery wagons park! During the day the car park is full with visitors to the Poundbury Surgery and the area has limited parking for the residents.”

“This proposal is appalling. The Great Field is a superb public asset. It provides one of the very few distant views of the countryside from Poundbury itself that is still visible to everyone. In the middle of this great vista, it is proposed to plonk what can at best be described as an oversized allotment hutch.”

There have been 14 objections to date (11 June 2019) relating to the proposed pavilion.

Further details relating to the proposed Pavilion on the Great Field can be found by following this link on the Dorset Council website.


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