Member News & Events

McComish Insurance Brokers, part of the A One Insurance Group, Launches Aviation Division  

McComish Insurance Brokers (MCCIB) launches aviation division

Hampshire based McComish Insurance Brokers, part of the A One Insurance Group, has launched a new aviation division to specifically address the insurance and risk management needs of aircraft.

James McComish, who heads the team, said: “MCCIB are well known for bespoke solutions and the new division represents significant expansion for us as an independent broker. It has developed in response to requirements for policies which address aviation cover, from commercial business through to private planes and flying schools.

“The team has expanded with the recent appointment of account executive Peter Matcham, who looks after new business for clients who operate aircraft as well as boats. Peter is a qualified pilot, boat skipper and instructor.”

MCCIB forms part of the A-One Insurance Group and from their head office in Ringwood (one of six regional offices) a team of more than 120 insurance specialists work for people seeking cover for everyday personal requirements, commercial risk management or bespoke schemes. A-One Insurance Group is also well known for an active and thorough community engagement programme.

A-One Insurance Group is an award-winning business and one of the top 75 independent UK commercial insurance brokerages.

The business was founded in Bournemouth in 1993 by Ian Penfold, managing director, who wanted to present the local business community with an independent alternative to established high street brokers.


For more information visit

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Half term fun at RockReef on Bournemouth Pier!

School half term week, which runs from 22nd – 26th October, will see RockReef indoor activity climbing attraction welcoming lots of families seeking out fun and adventure on Bournemouth Pier.

RockReef will have all its indoor activities open 7 days a week, from 10am until 7pm (last session 5:30pm). The popular attraction includes 28 climbing walls, a Highline Aerial obstacle course, Vertical Slide, the Leap of Faith and the Pier Caves.

Winter rates have been reintroduced on the zip wire with prices from £15pp. PierZip sessions are available to book from 11am until 5pm.

Bournemouth Pier Marketing Manager Sarah Hunter advised, “There’s lots to entertain the family on Bournemouth Pier and after your climbing adventures why not head next door to Key West Bar & Grill where kids can eat for free during half term.”

Terms & conditions apply to the Kids Eat Free offer, see website

It is recommended to book activities online. Pre-booking will guarantee free pier toll entrance & ensure you don’t miss out as sessions often sell out during the holidays



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Earlier this month Bournemouth based charity The Crumbs Project welcomed members from local Rotary Clubs across the regions to join them for a celebratory lunch. Rotary members enjoyed a tour of Crumbs’ professional training facility and a traditional roast dinner, prepared by Crumbs’ team of mixed ability trainees.

The lunch was an opportunity for Rotary Club members to gain a greater insight into the work Crumbs does with vulnerable adults to help them live independently. Visitors heard about Crumbs’ Work Steps programme, which supports trainees into either paid or voluntary work placements once their training has completed. Rotary members also learnt about Crumbs’ catering services, which provides valuable income for the charity and ensures the organisation is sustainable.

Commenting on the event The Crumbs Project’s Operations Manager, Leanne Miller said; “We are delighted to welcome Rotary Club members who have been generous supporters of Crumbs for many years. Today has been a fantastic opportunity for some of our newest trainees to showcase their cooking skills, and they have done a great job at delivering a delicious lunch for our guests.”

Keith Randall, President of the East Cliff Rotary Club, said; “It has been a real privilege to visit Crumbs today for what has been a revelation into how they are helping to train disadvantaged individuals. The Crumbs Project is truly a fantastic charity, who have opened our eyes as to how they not only provide professional training, but also give trainees the confidence to integrate and make a valuable contribution to society. Our club continues to support a number of local charities and we are looking forward to working with The Crumbs Project in the future.”

The Crumbs Project provides supported training services for adults with learning difficulties, mental health issues and stabilised addictions. For further information about The Crumbs Project please or call 01202 519320.

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Yellow Buses’ beach bash shortlisted for top UK award

summer beach bash organised by Yellow Buses has been shortlisted for a top national award.

Hoardes of beach-goers enjoyed the free community event called Buster’s Boscombe Big Beach Bash in June.

Attractions included face painting, sand castle building, giant jenga and circus demonstrations while Yellow Buses’ mascot Buster Bear helped entertain the children.

Now the beach party has been shortlisted for the ‘Bus & the Community Award’ in the prestigious 2018 UK Bus Awards.

The winner will be announced at the final held at Troxy in London’s East End on November 20.

David Squire, Yellow Buses’ Managing Director, said: “Buster’s beach bash was a great event. It’s brilliant news that it’s been shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“Yellow Buses prides itself on being at the heart of the community so to win an award like this would be a huge achievement. We’ll be keeping our fingers, and everything, else crossed for a successful result.”

More than 100 individuals, organisations and projects are due to be recognised at this year’s UK Bus Awards, regarded as the industry’s premier awards.

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New bid to help homeless

A major new multi-agency initiative aiming at reducing rough sleeping and homelessness in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch has been launched.

Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Street Support is backed by up to 30 different organisations, including charities, churches and local authorities.

These include charitable housing association BCHA whose social enterprise offshoot the New Leaf Company’s multi-use premises The Factory in Alder Hills, Poole hosted the launch event.

Dubbed ‘the community lifeline for homeless people’, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Street Support is a one-stop online resource connecting people and organisations locally to end homelessness.

It grew from an idea hatched by Alistair Doxat-Purser, chief executive of Faithworks Wessex, and Ian Jones, head of regional community partnerships at Bournemouth University as part of their work with Bournemouth Homeless Collaborative.

Alistair said: “There are a great many groups, organisations, individuals and volunteers working very hard in our community to help homeless people turn around their lives.

“However, until recently there has not really been a way of bringing all this help under one roof. Street Support is a brilliant way of achieving this.

“Now we have got the councils on board I feel we have reached a tipping point and that we can take huge strides forward and make a real, positive difference for our society.

Street Support is a network of organisations, voluntary groups and local authorities working together to end homelessness. It began in Manchester and operates across the north and in Hampshire.

Its website brings all the help available for homeless people into one place, allowing them to search and locate what they need, improving access to services.

It also facilitates collaborative working between professionals to deliver an enhanced level of support.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns was among attendees at the launch including the Mayors of Bournemouth and Poole and representatives of the many stakeholder groups.

He said: “Having completed a survey of seven of my 10 wards which cover both Bournemouth and Poole, the issue of homelessness, of aggressive begging and vagrancy is right up there at the top of the public’s agenda. They are very worried about it and rightly so.

“I have felt for some time that there wasn’t the coordination we should have between church organisations, charitable organisations and those who hold the statutory responsibility at the local authorities.

“I was convinced that the Street Support model which has been adopted in other places, notably Manchester, was a very good one for us to follow.

“We have got both Bournemouth and Poole councils signed up to it and I regard this as a great opportunity for a new joined up collaborative, working together approach to tackle the scourge of homelessness in the local community.”

Martin Hancock, chief executive officer of BCHA, said: “We are fully behind this excellent initiative. It is unacceptable that we don’t see an end to homelessness as the number one priority for both local communities and national government so anything that supports local groups and organisations such as BCHA, working to ease the plight of so many people is to be warmly welcomed.”

Street Support is seeking a business sponsor to cover its current running costs and enabler it to expand.

Project Support Officer Claire Devaney said “I’d like to get businesses involved – sponsorship would be so welcome, but we would also like to work more closely with commerce to organise workshops, training and helping people back into employment.

“There is such a lot of goodwill and support out there for this project that we have great scope to grow. In this area we really do have joined-up thinking between organisations, charities, councils, businesses and the public.”

The organisations supporting Street Support locally include: BCHA;  Boscombe Angels; Bournemouth and Poole Rough Sleepers Team (St Mungos); Bournemouth Christians Alongside Rough Sleepers; Bournemouth Foodbank; Bournemouth Borough Council; Christchurch Community Partnership; Citizens Advice Bournemouth and Poole; Dorset Healthcare (NHS); Dorset Community Foundation; Hope AOK Rucksack Appeal; Faithworks Wessex; Half Time; Hope For Food; Hope Housing; International Care Network; Michael House; Poole Borough Council; Poole Waste Not Want Not; Providence Surgery; Routes To Roots; Second Chance; Shelter; Teen Challenge Dorset; The Big Issue; The Salvation Army BH1 Project and YMCA.

Contact Claire at if you can help or see the for more information.

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Multi-Award-Winning Entrepreneur Helps Dorset Businesses Achieve National Recognition

A local award-winning entrepreneur is launching a brand-new course to help other small businesses in the community win national awards.

Bournemouth-based multi-award-winning entrepreneur, Sarah Ali Choudhury, is helping other local companies achieve national recognition for their hard work with her new, innovative awards course.

As a winner of three award wins this year alone, including the Venus Awards National Influential Woman of the Year 2018, and Lead Juror for the Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards 2018, Sarah is well versed in entering, winning and judging awards, making her perfectly placed to help businesses win awards themselves.

Knowing that winning awards can help your business achieve kudos, credibility and prestige, Sarah is setting out to help local businesses that have previously struggled to get recognition for their work to boost their business, drawing directly on her own experience.

As part of the one-day “How to Win Awards” course, Sarah will not only help businesses write killer awards entries, but will also reveal behind-the-scenes secrets of how awards are judged, and the top tricks and tips she has developed to help businesses win awards. She’ll also be providing advice and guidance tailored to each business that attends the course.

Sarah said: “There are so many small businesses who deserve to be recognised for their work but might not necessarily know what judges are looking for.

“With my course, I’ll show attendees exactly how to master their award entries and I’ll even guarantee an award or accolade for every attendee within twelve months, or their money back!”

The course is sponsored by Dorset-based Wealth Management organisation, Smith Hobbs. Matthew Smith, CEO of Smith Hobbs commented: “We’ve been following Sarah’s journey for a long time now and have always been impressed and inspired by her work supporting local communities. We’re really looking forward to supporting Sarah in this next step in her journey and we are excited to be helping her support the local business community with her ‘How to Win Awards’ course.”

The intensive one-day event will show attendees exactly how to craft their award entry, which awards they should enter, what a good entry looks like, research to undertake beforehand and what to do if you win/are shortlisted.

The course is suitable for anyone looking to win awards from fully-fledged entrepreneurs to those just starting out in their field.

The first event takes place at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel on Thursday 18th October, 10am – 2pm. To secure your place go to

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New Faces at top 75 UK insurance brokerage and one of the UK’s largest privately owned insurance brokers

Four new faces join A-One Insurance Group and they are based at the Ringwood head office where a team of more than 100 insurance specialists (operating from six regional offices) work for people seeking cover for everyday personal requirements, commercial risk management or bespoke schemes.

Carolyn Marshall has joined as a commercial account handler, working with Laura Karian on the Pristine Scheme. Established more than a decade ago, this scheme has been designed for launderettes and dry cleaners whose needs go beyond the scope of an ordinary policy. Part of the larger SME team, they report to commercial team manager Vikki Pynen. Carolyn enjoys travel, history, her Westie dog, going to Glastonbury and is looking forward to her first grandchild.

Claire Brand has been recruited as a property account handler. She manages a book of business covering renewals, mid-terms changes and new business for managing agents. Describing herself as ‘a bit of a petrol head’, downtime involves ‘anything with a motor’.

Peter Matcham, has joined the new aviation division as an account executive, reports to James McComish and looks after new business for clients who operate aircraft (and boats). Well qualified for the role, he could fly a plane before he could drive a car and is a qualified boat skipper and instructor.

Completing the line-up is claims advisor Pamela Hughes, a keen enthusiast for fitness and sports, who enjoys spending time with her daughter who competes at judo, which resulted in Pamela becoming an active committee member of a local judo club.

AOIG Director Ryan Jupp said: “We extend a warm welcome to all the new members of staff, who bring not only experience to their various roles, but also excellent local connections, which is something important to us as a firm, because we are active in a wide range of community engagement initiatives.”

A top 75 UK insurance brokerage and one of the largest privately owned insurance brokers, it was founded in Bournemouth in 1993 by managing director Ian Penfold, who wanted to present the local business community with an independent alternative to established high street brokers.

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Corporate Social Responsibility partnership

Bournemouth based Marketing Consultancy e-nexus has partnered up with Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce to support the development and launch of the Chamber’s new Corporate Social Responsibility accreditation scheme. Focusing on supporting the marketing of the scheme, the first output of the partnership will be the launch of a new CSR website that can be found at

The Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce scheme has been developed to enable more businesses to be corporately socially responsible by:

Supporting charities by increasing donations to charities, increase staff volunteering and increase payroll giving.

Supporting employees by encouraging employers to support staff with flexible working, home working, stress management, gender and disability equality.

Supporting local businesses by encouraging businesses to buy from local and UK based businesses to create sustainable business communities and economic stability.

Richard Milton from e-nexus said: “We are delighted to be working with the Bournemouth Chamber on this exciting new initiative. We are looking forward to working with the Chamber to build awareness of the scheme and grow the number of accredited businesses both in Bournemouth and the surrounding area whilst at the same time enhancing our own CSR credentials. As a company, we are volunteering our time and expertise to this really important project.”

Founded in 2016, e-nexus is a Bournemouth based Marketing Consultancy that specialises in Strategic Marketing Planning & Performance Measurement. Headed up by Founder and Managing Director Richard Milton, e-nexus have a wealth of national and international experience supporting business owners, managers and marketers to deliver effective marketing for their organisations.

Further information can be found at

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Would you like to join our Board of Trustees? Dorset Advocacy is seeking to appoint two trustees, one with a financial background.

Dorset Advocacy is a charitable organisation based at Poundbury in Dorchester. We cover the geographical area of Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset.

We work with people with physical disabilities, who have ill health or learning disabilities and people with dementia and autism. We make sure that their voices are heard and their rights are respected. We are passionate about supporting people to have choice and control in their lives. We have 30 advocates and 60 volunteers who supported over 4000 people over the last year. We are very proud of our achievements.

We are looking for 2 people who are willing to apply their professional skills to support our organisation. One of these roles requires someone with a strategic finance or accountancy background, to help us to appraise the viability of project proposals, diversify income streams, assist with our pricing models and help us plan for our long-term sustainability.

If you share our passion and could use your commercial, strategic, or financial acumen to support us to meet our strategic objectives, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please contact our Chief Executive – Mike Pochin on: 01305 251033, to find out more.

For more information about the organisation please see our website:

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