Member News & Events

Getting to work: 18 social innovations get accelerator support to Thrive

Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work heralds Thrive accelerator as a chance to make lasting change for UK labour market

Cracked It are the award-winning, social good smartphone screenfixers that find work for young offenders and youth on the verge of crime. They are among the first organisations to receive support from Thrive, our social accelerator. Thrive: Employment, launched earlier this year, is backing 18 ambitious social ventures in 2018 who are improving access to employment for those who find it hardest to get into work. The social entrepreneurs and their ventures backed by Thrive was announced on 10th July at an event in London.

Among the first Thrive ventures are:

Cracked It, from London: More than eight in 10 violent offenders are aged between 16-29 and these people are four times as likely to be a victim of crime. Set up by 24-year-old Josh Babarinde, London’s social enterprise smartphone repair service trains and employs vulnerable young people to work at pop-up repair clinics in the City before supporting them to transition into work in the wider workplace. Named as Social Enterprise of the Year at the Centre for Social Justice Awards earlier this year, Cracked It is being supported by UnLtd to further develop its mission to find work for young offenders and youth on the verge of crime.

Offploy, from West Yorkshire: Offploy is leading a rehabilitation revolution and supports businesses to recruit and mentor people with criminal convictions. Founded by Jacob Hill, an entrepreneur with a criminal conviction himself, Offploy provides support and guidance to both employers and employees through the employment journey. Offploy offers specialist legal advice, HR support, staff training and peer mentoring. The social enterprise is expanding to new regions around the UK and has ambitious plans to work with more people to ensure they face opportunities, not obstacles.

The SAMEE Charity, from Bournemouth: Sam Everard, CEO of The SAMEE Charity, set up the social venture to personally support vulnerable people to creatively develop their ideas and potential. Since launching it has worked with 294 disabled and disadvantaged entrepreneurs. In 2017, it launched the DEBSS (Disabled Entrepreneurs Business Start-up Service) project as a 12-month test and learn pilot project specifically aimed at providing tailored business start-up support for 50 disabled clients based in Dorset. From its Bournemouth HQ, The Samee Charity now works across Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Take a look at the full list of social ventures supported by Thrive in 2018 to see their incredible innovations.

Thrive sees UnLtd teaming up with three expert partnersUBS, the global financial services firm; Scope, the disability charity; and a private family foundation.


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Bournemouth, July 31, 2018– Bournemouth charity The Crumbs Project is now brighter and lighter thanks to a “DIY SOS” style makeover courtesy of retail giant Marks and Spencer’s.

The idea was part of M&S’s Community Engagement programme, where employees volunteer their time to ‘do something good’ in their local community. This was supported by a £500 donation to help fund the work.

The Bournemouth charity was selected as the chosen project and around a dozen M&S volunteers picked up their paintbrushes to decorate Crumbs’ training room. The team painted a scenes of a growing oak tree around the room to symbolise Crumbs’ journey and acknowledge its Founder Anne Gardener whose familiar saying was ‘from small acorns grow mighty oaks’.

Crumbs trainees contributed to the redecoration by making hand-markings on the wall to resemble oak leaves. Local signage company, Elite Signs created a series of wall decals depicting key points in the charities history.

After a mammoth effort by M&S volunteers, the newly renovated training room will be officially reopened later this summer as the Anne Gardener Suite in memory of the charities late founder.

Commenting on the redecoration Operations Manager of The Crumbs Project, Leanne Miller said, “We were thrilled to have been chosen by our friends at Marks & Spencer and have the opportunity to benefit from this exciting initiative. The result has been wonderful, our training room is now a bright and airy space, ideal for welcoming our visitors and trainees.”

The Anne Gardener Suite at The Crumbs Project can hold up to 45 people and regularly hosts a variety of events and workshops for the charities staff and trainees. The room is available to hire from £45 per day, along with a variety of catering options to suit any event.

The Crumbs Project is located at Hibberd Way in Bournemouth and is open Monday to Friday.

For further information about The Crumbs Project please visit or call 01202 519320.

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Ake dishes up free pizza to Junior Cherries

AFC Bournemouth’s player of the season Nathan Ake has designed his own pizza and one is being given away free to every Junior Cherries member.

The Nathan Ake pizza features the defender’s favourite toppings – tomato, mozzarella, bbq chicken and peppers – and is produced by Bournemouth’s Hot Rocks Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, which is an official partner of the Junior Cherries.

This season, Hot Rocks, on Pier Approach, has provided all Junior Cherries with a voucher to claim a free Nathan Ake pizza when dining at the restaurant.

The pizzas are authentic, fresh and cooked in the restaurant’s Neapolitan, wood-fired pizza oven.

The offer, which is valid from 1st August until 31st May 2019, is exclusive to Junior Cherries and can only be redeemed when showing a Junior Cherries membership card.

Hot Rocks also offers Junior Cherries a kids meal for £1 when an accompanying adult orders a main course. Hot Rocks then donates £1 to Julia’s House Children’s Hospice.

To find out about the latest Junior Cherries news, upcoming events and how to become a member, click here:

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East meets west for first China conference

Businesses are being urged to sign up for the first international conference of its kind being held in Dorset to open up trade with China.

The inaugural ‘China: Embracing Innovation’ event is being held on August 29 with a day-long programme including sound practical advice about doing business in the world’s most populous country.

Business leaders, civic figures and international experts from the Dorset, the UK and China will be speaking during the event at the Hilton in Bournemouth.

It comes as the Department for International Trade encourages business to take advantage of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to open up 21st century ‘Silk Routes’ to the country.

Bournemouth Borough Council is sponsoring the flagship conference to allow delegates and businesses to attend free of charge.

Bill Cotton, who is Bournemouth Borough Council executive director for environment and economy, said: “China is an international powerhouse with a growing economy which includes trade with the UK worth £67billion per year and rising.

“With the Belt and Road Initiative, Dorset companies have an exceptional opportunity to build significant relationships, launch trade missions and access new markets.

“China: Embracing Innovation includes formidable speakers and business leaders of international note from China and Bournemouth outlining their visions and sharing their insights.

“Delegates will be able to find out more about doing business, markets, supply chains, entry strategies, cultural differences and local rules at a time when China becomes increasingly open for trade.

“As the first conference of its kind, China: Embracing Innovation places Bournemouth and Dorset on the map and gives us the chance to lead the way nationally in building trade with our Chinese counterparts.”

Topics for discussion will include identifying new markets, the actual process of trading, culture, protecting intellectual property, logistics, supply chains, entrepreneurialism and innovation, key issues and opportunities.

Keynote speakers at the event will include Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns and Lydia Xinyun Jiang, who is a former China Entrepreneurs Outstanding Woman of the Year winner.

Others experts will include Prof Richard Li-Hua, who is President of the China Association for Management of Technology (CAMOT), Prof Gao Xudong of Tsinghua University and Prof Ting Wang, who is Vice-President of Outlook China.

The line-up also includes Henley Business School Vice-Dean Dr Yinshan Tang, managing director of global creative agency Crowd Jamie Sergeant and Jamie Shaw, who is the China market business advisor for the South West.

According to the Department for International Trade, there was a 13.8 per cent increase in total trade between the UK and China in 2017 – up to £67billion. China has a population of about 1.384billion people.

Sponsors of the conference also include Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PKF Francis Clark, Digital Storm and Camot.

Tickets are free, with a booking fee of £15. Places are open to all interested businesses and organisations.

For more details and tickets visit and use #China2018UK on social media.

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The Mellor Sisters – from The Blitz to The Ritz @ The Cumberland Hotel Come fly with The Mellor Sisters, the act of choice for the RAF and the Red Arrows.

The UK’s number one vintage sibling jazz duo (as seen on ITV’s Good Morning Britain) will take you on a fabulous vintage journey and get your toes tapping as they perform all the best songs of the 1940’s, and 50’s.from Wartime to Hollywood, from the tunes that were sung during the Blitz, to the songs performed during the Golden Age of Hollywood; no one puts on the The Ritz quite like The Mellor Sisters

2 Courses 29.00/ 3 Courses 33.00 (#Show Only & Drinks Package 15.00)

OVERNIGHT PACKAGE 199.00 for a Double or Twin including 3 course Dinner with Breakfast

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Yellow Buses invests in new contactless Ticketer technology

Yellow Buses has made it even easier to travel by introducing contactless payments.

New Electronic Ticket Machines (ETMs) have been installed in the bus company’s 150-vehicle fleet.

The machines, supplied by Ticketer, allow customers to pay for their travel in the most convenient way for them.

All Ticketer machines accept payments in cash, contactless (using contactless enabled bank credit and debit cards), m-Tickets, QR codes, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Ticketer and Yellow Buses’ other partners will also be transferring all proprietary cards to multi-operator ITSO cards.

Yellow Buses has also received two Ticketer hand-held units for queue busting and ticket sales at busy locations around the conurbation.

David Squire, Managing Director, said: “Yellow Buses continues to invest in modern technology, allowing us to offer contactless for the first time.

“Together with other recent innovations, such as free wi-fi, we’re giving our customers even more reason to travel with Yellow Buses.” 

John Clarfelt, Managing Director of Ticketer, added: “We are very proud to be working with Yellow Buses on this project.

“It is so important that all passengers can pay for their travel in the most convenient way, making bus use as easy and convenient as possible.

“We know that contactless is proving to be extremely popular across the country and feel sure that customers of Yellow Buses will welcome the move.” 


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Stackhouse Poland wins ‘Commercial Lines Broker of the Year’ Award at the British Insurance Awards

Stackhouse Poland were announced as Commercial Lines Brokers of the Year at the British Insurance Awards, in the category SME/Mid-Corporate. The prestigious industry awards recognise excellence in the insurance sector and took place at the Royal Albert Hall in July. The coveted award was collected by Stackhouse Poland CEO, Tim Johnson.

In announcin

g the winner Jonathan Swift, Editor of Insurance Post, praised Stackhouse Poland’s innovative approach to providing bespoke cyber solutions for its commercial clients.  Tim Johnson commented, “At Stackhouse Poland, listening to clients and then working with them to provide an insurance and risk management solution to meet their needs is fundamental. Our cyber insurance and risk management proposition has been developed in collaboration with our clients, industry experts and insurers. We are thrilled to be recognised with this coveted prize.”

Spencer Coughlin from the Commercial Division at the Poole Office added, “I am very proud to have been part of the team that attended such a memorable evening at the Royal Albert Hall.  We were in a very difficult category with stiff opposition and to be crowned as Commercial Lines Broker of the Year is such a phenomenal achievement and a testament to all the hard work from everyone at Stackhouse Poland.”

About Stackhouse Poland

Stackhouse Poland is a specialist insurance broker providing a relationship and advice driven service. They have 18 offices across the UK and over 450 insurance professionals


ed in 1974, their core insurance areas are:

·       Commercial Insurance

·       Private Client Insurance

·       Community Insurance

·       Real Estate Insurance

·       Speciality Insurance

·       Health and Protection

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Young People of Bournemouth and Poole to benefit from new Employability programme

Dorset and South Hampshire students are set to benefit from J.P. Morgan’s support to gain new employability skills and experience, as part of an innovative 2-year employability programme from Young Enterprise.

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation has provided a grant to Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise education charity, to support the delivery of a new innovative employability journey called ‘DASH’. The Foundation’s two-year grant will support the delivery of the programme in schools and colleges right across Dorset and the New Forest.

As part of DASH over 1800 students will undertake a 12 hour employability masterclass with many then taking up the opportunity of a local workplace visit or experience. The programme will build their confidence, enhance their communication, team work, planning and leadership skills, and provide an insight into business and employment life, especially among ‘in-demand’ sectors such as STEM. The programme culminates each year with a ‘key competencies’ event where students will have the opportunity to ‘match’ their skills with the employability skills demanded by local employers.

As a result of the programme students will be better prepared and make more informed decisions on their educational/career pathways, new relationships will be formed between schools and local employers, young people will have an increased awareness of STEM sector employment opportunities and apprenticeship offers promoted.

J.P. Morgan has a Technology & Operations centre in Bournemouth with a strong history of community engagement with partners such as Dorset Young Enterprise. Over the past 10 years, the two organisations have collaborated on a number of community development and education-based initiatives in the Bournemouth and Poole area.

Gary Ford, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan, Bournemouth said, “J.P. Morgan firmly believes that all members of our local communities should have a chance to take part in and benefit from the wider economy. As the way that people work and the types of jobs available are ever-changing, now more than ever it’s crucial that young people, particularly those who may need more support, are able to make informed choices about their future career choices. We are proud to be supporting the DASH project and are keen to see the project have a positive impact on the lives of local young people.”

Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive Officer for Young Enterprise says “we are grateful to J.P. Morgan for this funding which will directly enable young people to develop essential employability skills and mindset, understand local employment opportunities and be inspired to improve their own prospects for sustainable employability in the 21st Century”

Businesses, community organisations and individuals who would like to be part of this exciting project should contact Hannah Cook on 07918564958 or e-mail

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Efe Ohwofasa Nominated for Award Of Excellence

I have been nominated for the prestigious Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards under the Male Entrepreneur category.

The semifinals awards were hosted on Tuesday at the Bournemouth University Executive Business Centre.

It feels great for my work, contributions and impact within Bournemouth and Dorset to be recognised( thanks to those wonderful clients, colleagues and associates who recommended me).

May I use this opportunity to please ask ALL my friends, colleagues, clients, fans, and family members that are connected with me on Facebook to please VOTE FOR ME so I can win the Male Entrepreneur Award.

You can use this link,

Please click on the link, scroll down to the Business Awards categories and click on my name , Efe Ohwofasa to vote for me.

My lovely wife Hellen Ohwofasa was nominated as well. please do vote for both of us.

Thanks in advance.
PS:My next public event has been scheduled for 13 September. Check it out at

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