Member News & Events



AL FRESCO FUN FOR AFC BUSINESS

The first event to be hosted by AFC Business in conjunction with a match staged by AFC Bournemouth has taken place at the club’s Vitality Stadium.

Almost 70 business people attended the AFC Business Al Fresco Evening before the Premier League club’s penultimate pre-season friendly against Italian Serie A giants Lazio.

They enjoyed the chance for networking in style in Bubbles Champagne Lounge before dining and then enjoying the evening match – with a Dorset cream tea served at half time.

Cherries Chairman Jeff Mostyn welcomed guests by emphasising the importance of the very close working relationship AFC Bournemouth enjoys with so many local and regional businesses.

He said: “The club is at the very heart of the business community and we feel our partnership with so many forward-thinking and vibrant companies and organisations has played a vital role in our progression.”

The Cherries’ new signing from Club Brugge, the Dutch winger Arnaut Danjuma was introduced to the gathering and took part in a Q&A session with Sky Sports presenter Jamie Weir, who will be working with AFC Bournemouth this season.

Amy Marks, the club’s partnerships manager, said: “This was an excellent event which enabled a great many people to see AFC Bournemouth play against international opposition – a pre-season friendly was the ideal time for this.

“We felt it important that as the commercial arm of AFC Bournemouth we should be able to offer AFC Business members the chance to see the team in action, something which is not often possible due to size constraints of Vitality Stadium.

“Such was the interest in this event from right across the regional business community that we will certainly consider staging another one in the future.”

Lazio, managed by Simone Inzaghi, are two-time Champions of Italy and have they have won the Coppa Italia seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana four times and both the Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup.

Although they haven’t won the Italian title for 19 years, they provided strong opposition for Eddie Howe’s side, with the Biancocelesti running out 4-3 winners in an entertaining game, notable for the use of VAR which ruled out one Lazio goal.

However, home supporters were able to see new signing Jack Stacey in action for the first time, as well as many of the younger squad members, as the Cherries prepared for the start of the Premier League season.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses. 

AFC Business’ five main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Search & Rescue, Global Reach, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next AFC Business event is the September Breakfast at Vitality Stadium, being held on Wednesday 4th September. 

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at aysia.smith@afcb.co.uk.

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Explosive life of brave bomb disposal hero

The amazing life and career of the ‘real life Hurt Locker star’ – bomb disposal hero Major Chris Hunter – was told to 100 businesspeople from across the region at the AFC Business Director’s Lunch.

He was keynote speaker at the event held at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium by AFC Business, commercial arm of the Premier League club, and hosted by Chairman Jeff Mostyn.

Major Hunter, whose gruelling missions in Iraq inspired the Hollywood blockbuster film, told his story from joining the Army at 16, serving with specialist counter terrorism unit and being deployed in operational theatres such as The Balkans, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
He was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions in Iraq, worked as a senior intelligence analyst at the Ministry of Defence and was seconded to COBRA, the Cabinet Office’s emergency response committee, at the time of the 7/7 London bombings.

Major Hunter, who also found time to author books about his exploits in the most dangerous places on Earth, continues to work as a counter-terrorism consultant, and returned to Iraq after the lunch, where he trains locals in bomb disposal.

A main thrust of his speech was to show how his experiences in the high-pressure, high stakes world of bomb disposal and intelligence led him to develop the skills, psychologies and life-or-death decision-making processes and translating them to the current needs of the commercial world.

During a question and answer session conducted by interviewer Harvey Thornycroft, Major Hunter referenced psychometric testing, communications, fear of failure, motivation, soft skills, dealing with mavericks and leadership.

He spoke of the military’s OODA loop decision action cycle, referencing his time in Iraq where every decision made could have been his last.

He said: “In any given activity to observe the atmospherics, you orientate your resources or your focus, you make a decision then you act – then you observe, orientate, decide act again. Your competitors will be doing exactly the same thing so your decision action cycle has to be faster than theirs in order to achieve success.”

“Fear comes in many forms and the most common one is fear of failure. I think this is misplaced. Sometimes you have just got to make a decision and if Plan A doesn’t work there are another 25 letters in the alphabet.

“Where I have seen amazing people be hugely successful is when they have been prepared to take a risk, albeit a calculated risk – and the reason others have not been successful is usually because their fear of failure has curtailed them and they have not been prepared to take a gamble.”

Peter Lamb, from Savills Planning which was sponsoring the event for the third time, gave an overview of the economic powerhouse that is the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole region.

The BCP Council area is the 12 largest in England with a population of 394,000, bigger than Cardiff, Southampton, Brighton and Portsmouth and just 14 per cent smaller than Bristol.

He spoke of the area’s strengths, including the tourism industry – which is worth £10.7 million annually and supports 12,000 jobs – AFC Bournemouth, Bournemouth Airport, Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth, which have 23,500 students and a 22 per cent graduate retention rate.

Mr Lamb, based in Wimborne, also listed the challenges faced by what he described as Urban Dorset – infrastructure, roads, productivity – which is significantly below Bristol and Southampton – and unaffordable housing.

Opportunities include improving connectivity, building more homes and top quality commercial floor space, attracting more tech companies and repurposing unused retail space.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.

AFC Business’ five main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next AFC Business event is an Al Fresco Evening on Friday, August 2 which includes dining and the Cherries’ pre-season friendly against Serie A giants Lazio.

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at aysia.smith@afcb.co.uk.

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AFC Business hails Rupert the Conkerer

AFC Business

The rise of Bournemouth’s award-winning Conker Spirit has been celebrated at the first Gin Evening to be staged by AFC Business.

The brand’s founder Rupert Holloway was guest speaker at the event staged in the Bubbles Champagne Lounge at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium.

Bournemouth Town Centre BID hosted the evening and Chief Operating Officer Paul Kinvig interviewed Rupert about his success story.

Businesspeople from across the region gathered for gin tasting, live music, food and networking at the newest event to be held by AFC Business, the commercial arm of AFC Bournemouth. Rupert was on hand to discuss his journey from kitchen table to Dorset’s first gin distillery in Southbourne and the story of his Dorset Dry Gin, made from Dorset botanicals and New Forest spring water.

The former quantity surveyor gave up his job, sold his car and sourced funding from wherever he could to launch Conker Spirit and scale it up into the success it is today with a range of products stocked by major retailers.

Conker Spirit has won a host of awards, including a Bronze at the 2018 World Gin Awards, and has branched out with its Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur and also the new 57% proof Navy Strength Gin, which benefits the RNLI by £5 from each bottle sold.

Bournemouth Town Centre BID – a not-for-profit-company established in 2017 and primarily funded by a levy on nearly 700 businesses within its area – is dedicated to raising the town centre’s profile, generating investment, increasing footfall and boosting revenue.

A fundraising raffle was held in aid of Dorset Mental Health Forum, AFC Business charity partner for the 2018/19 season, and the organisation’s Becky Aldridge and Sarah Rose were present to talk about the work of the long-established charity.

AFC Bournemouth Partnerships Manager Amy Brunton thanked all the sponsors for their continued support, saying they had been instrumental in the club’s success on and off the field.

Amy also announced a new AFC Business venture – a pre-match meal, hospitality and ticket to the pre-season friendly against Italian Serie A giants Lazio of Rome on August 2 at Vitality Stadium.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities. It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.

AFC Business’ five main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next AFC Business event is the Directors’ Lunch for senior business people at Vitality Stadium on Wednesday July 10, which is sponsored by Savills and features as guest speaker Major Chris Hunter QGM, counter-terrorist bomb disposal specialist, with former Northampton rugby star Harvey Thorneycroft hosting proceedings.

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at aysia.smith@afcb.co.uk.

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Region’s economic powerhouse growing

Region’s economic powerhouse growing

The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area is an economic powerhouse which is only going to get stronger, the latest AFC Business event was told.

More than 80 directors, business leaders, decision-makers and business people were at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium for the May networking breakfast.

They heard newly-elect BCP Council member Nigel Hedges talk about the importance of businesses to the region’s prosperity.

Cllr Hedges, the Conservative councillor for Wallisdown and Winton West, said: “This is a brilliant area in which to do business – a financial powerhouse in a rural county. We must be on our toes ready to do business and benefit from each other.

“I will continue to bang the drum for business and BCP Council will do all it can to facilitate economic development – in a sense the council is a self-sufficient business itself, representing 400,000 people and with a £750 million budget.”

Cllr Hedges, who hosted the breakfast event, added: “AFC Business offers a fabulous opportunity to meet so many different businesses and see how brilliant you all are at what you do.”

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the Premier League club’s commercial activities. It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.

Amy Brunton, AFC Bournemouth’s partnerships manager, said the next business event would be the popular Play on the Pitch five-a-side football tournament at Vitality Stadium on May 15.

This is followed on June 13 by the AFC Business Gin Evening in Bubbles Champagne Lounge at the stadium, featuring Rupert Holloway, who will discuss the success behind creating Dorset’s locally distilled, award-winning Conker spirits.

AFC Business’ five main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at aysia.smith@afcb.co.uk or see http://www.afcb.co.uk/news/commercial to book event tickets.

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Back to college for star defender Chris

Back to college for star defender Chris

Cherries star defender Chris Mepham joined in with young players at the latest Premier League Kicks session staged by the Premier League club.

Project ambassador Chris attended a session for 15 participants on the 3G pitches at Vitality Stadium
Chris got involved by giving the teams a motivational talk, oversaw the five-a-side games and took part in a Q&A session before signing autographs and posing for photos. The event was supported by Bournemouth & Poole College, an official partner of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sport Trust.

The College, which sponsors Premier League Kicks in the Poole region, became partners with the Cherries in January this year and will also continue its support into 2019/20 season. The College, which has sites at Lansdowne in Bournemouth and North Road and Tower Park in Poole, is the largest provider of further education and apprenticeships in the area.

AFC Bournemouth’s self-funding, non-profit Community Sports Trust (CST) runs the Premier League-backed scheme locally with more than 1,000 young people participating last season. CST head Steve Cuss said: “The project encourages young people to get involved in playing sports in the evenings and at weekends, which sees them benefit from a healthier lifestyle, improved well-being and most importantly offers them a safe environment to enjoy themselves and have fun with friends.

“AFC Bournemouth is very much a community club – we work with and for the community for the benefit of all concerned – hence why the long-term support of one of the area’s major educational establishments is indispensible.”

The latest Premier League Kicks session was part of an employability workshop that Bournemouth & Poole College delivered at the stadium followed by a behind-the-scenes stadium tour carried out by the CST coaches.

The workshop included a presentation on first impressions and how young people should portray themselves in front of potential employers, as well as advice on CV writing and interviews.

The next activities on the 3G pitches included the team building exercise ‘Gutterball’, in which participants worked as a team to move a ball from one end of the pitch to the other, just using pieces of guttering, whilst going around obstacles.

College Commercial Director Matt Butcher said: “A lot of team work and communication was involved in the day – which is exactly how we see our partnership with the Cherries. We are proud to support the Community Sports Trust which does such great work with so many young people right across the area.”

“The players themselves are excellent role models – we are grateful that Chris gave up his time to take part in our event, which was a brilliant extra for our participants. We want to spread our message to young supporters of the Cherries that we are there to help as many young people as possible to go after the career of their dreams and that there are exciting opportunities available at the College.”

Nationally, 69 football clubs are involved in the flagship Premier League Kicks scheme, engaging with more than 225,000 youngsters since 2006. It aims to promote participation in sport in areas of high need, provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and confidence and support young people to progress into positive pathways.

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IOSH Managing Safely

IOSH Managing Safely

This course being offered by Bournemouth & Poole College is suitable for managers and supervisors in any sector, in any organisation and is a completely new approach to health and safety training.

IOSH Managing Safely is a nationally recognised qualification and will equip employees with the knowledge and tools to tackle health and safety issues they have responsibility for.

The course covers:

  • Introducing managing safely
  • Assessing risks
  • Controlling risks
  • Understanding your responsibilities
  • Identifying hazards
  • Investigating accidents and incidents
  • Measuring performance
  • Protecting our environment

Start dates: Wednesday 8th May 2019

Duration: 3 days

Time: 9am – 5pm

Costs: £575 per person (includes course book and IOSH certification)

For more details or to book please call Stephanie Willcocks on 01202 205622 or email willcockss@bpc.ac.uk

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Cherries stars on crest of a wave

Cherries stars on crest of a wave

AFC Bournemouth superstars Ryan Fraser and Nathan Ake dropped in for the latest Ability Counts session at Vitality Stadium. The two internationals took part in practice drills and activities on the club’s training pitches before handing out medals and goodie bags, signing autographs and posing for photos.

AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust’s Ability Counts programme consists of weekly sessions which cater for more than 100 children and adults with physical and/or learning disabilities. Ryan is the club’s project ambassador for the programme, which is sponsored by Dairy Crest, a leading manufacturer of British food brands, including Cathedral City cheddar. Attendees at the session were wearing Cathedral City branded AFC Bournemouth shirts as Ryan and Nathan put them through their paces.

Long-established Dairy Crest has sponsored the Ability Counts programme for two seasons and is an official partner of the Community Sports Trust. Nigel Marchant, Dairy Crest marketing controller, said: “We are honoured to be able to support such a worthwhile scheme. It is absolutely fantastic to see the joy on the faces of the participants. The Dairy Crest community programme supports and enhances the communities in which we work and live – and Ability Counts is a perfect example of this.”

AFC Bournemouth head of community, Steve Cuss, said: “We would like to extend our very grateful thanks to Ability Counts sponsors Dairy Crest through its Cathedral City brand. Their generous sponsorship allows us to reach out to the community and include so many more people – young and not so young – in our programmes.”

Dairy Crest also sponsors Cherries’ accessible travel service to away matches.

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Business opportunities with Cherries

AFC Business

AFC Bournemouth is inviting businesses to explore partnership opportunities with the Premier League club.
Amy Brunton, the club’s Partnerships Manager, told guests at the AFC Business Spring Barbecue that many and varied options were available.

She said: “The football season may be coming to a close, but for the club’s commercial side it is the busiest time of the year as we look towards the 2019/20 season.

“We will of course be liaising closely with all our current partners, but I want to emphasise that there are always openings for businesses seeking new opportunities and we would love to hear from anyone interested.

“AFC Business is at the very heart of everything we do commercially and I want to thank all of our members for helping us to get where we are today.”

“We are very much a community club and will continue to work closely with businesses locally – many of whom have been with us on our amazing journey to the Premier League.”

Dozens of decision-makers and entrepreneurs gathered at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium for the barbecue.
Almost 80 business delegates and colleagues gathered at the club’s Bubbles champagne bar and terrace for the popular networking event.

AFC Business is kindly supported by Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.

The next AFC Business event is the May Breakfast at Vitality Stadium on Wednesday 8th May, followed by a new event, a Gin Evening with locally-produced Conker Gin Founder and Head Distiller Rupert Holloway at the stadium’s Bubbles champagne lounge and terrace on Thursday 13th June.

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at aysia.smith@afcb.co.uk

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AFC Business Breakfast

Join the AFC Business team for a morning of coffee and hearty food to kick-start your day and, more importantly, to give you an opportunity to network with lots of friendly faces within the local business community.

We’re less than a month from the next AFC Business Breakfast which takes place on Wednesday 8th May between 7:30am and 9:30am at Vitality Stadium.

The itinerary for the morning is:

  • 7:30am to 8:00am tea and coffee served and the chance to meet other business people in a relaxed and friendly environment
  • 8:20am delicious full English or continental breakfast served
  • 9:00am guests are invited to move tables and meet with other business delegates
  • There will be an opportunity to win a business card draw
  • 9:30am event closes

This breakfast is just £15 plus VAT per person. Due to the popularity of this event, we advise booking early to guarantee your place.

This is the last AFC Business event of the football season, so please bring plenty of business cards to make the most of the morning.

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