If you’ve ever considered fostering, you can get answers to all your burning questions at a drop-in session at Bridport Youth Centre on Thursday, 27 June.Find out more about Fostering in Bridport
Between 3pm and 6pm, Dorset Council’s Foster in Dorset team will be there to chat through the criteria to become a carer, the application process, fees, training and the support foster carers receive.
The council is looking for carers to support children of all ages, but there is currently a particular need to find people who can care for teenagers and asylum-seeking children.
Dorset Council’s Fostering Engagement Officer Jo Thomson said: “This is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever thought about fostering to find out more without any pressure. We’re a friendly bunch and can tell you more about becoming a foster carer – including the fees and allowances you’ll receive, plus the training and ongoing support that we provide.”
Volunteers are needed to help newly-arrived refugee families from Syria get used to life in Dorset.From left: Hamza Bakkor Dorset Council Case Worker, Jenny Willoughby, Syrian Programme Officer, Cllr Pauline Batstone, Dorset Council Chairman, Mona Elkotory , South West Dorset Multicultural Network and Susan Ward-Rice, Dorset Council Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
Under the Syrian Resettlement Programme, 15 families and 35 children have so far begun new lives in Dorset. Volunteers are needed to help them settle in, perhaps by taking them shopping, playing with children or just being a friendly face.
Dorset Council and the South West Dorset Multi-Cultural Network are working together to mark Refugee Week 17-23 June, by appealing for volunteers and also providing information in libraries and council offices across Dorset.
A mother-of-two, who has been given a warm welcome in Dorset, after being forced to flee Syria, spoke of her experience. She said: “Me, my husband and my two children fled the horror of war in Syria to neighbouring Iraq. We lived in a camp for five years. The situation was dire and horrible, and there were times when we could not feed our children.“We lived in a camp.There were times we could not feed our children”
“We heard that there was a chance to leave via the United Nations and we registered our names on the list. It seemed like a dream but we did it anyway. It took about a year before we were told we could come to the UK.
“We just want to say to our landlord who is generous and kind that without his contribution, we wouldn’t be here in safety after all the struggles we have seen in our lives. We want to say we are very grateful to all the volunteers and the local community in Dorset who have been very supportive. They have become our friends and our family, and they have made us feel at home. No matter what we say, it will not be enough to express our gratitude.”
Cllr Pauline Batstone, Chair of Dorset Race Equality Council and Dorset Council Chairman, said: “It is difficult for us to imagine what families have been through. It must also be daunting having to start afresh. If you think you could help a family get accustomed to life in Dorset please get in touch, a friendly face can help and make a real difference.”
Mona Elkatory, Chair of the South West Dorset Multicultural Network, said: “This week gives us the opportunity to reflect on the plight of refugees and consider what it mean to leave your home ,your country and your family behind to escape the horrors of the war.
“Let’s use this week than ever, to encourage people to consider different ways of supporting and helping refugees. South West Dorset Multiculture Network is proud to be part of the volunteering groups who support refugees in Dorset.”
The Government’s resettlement programme aims to help vulnerable families, who have been forced to flee the war in Syria. It is run locally by Dorset Council, which is asking people who might be able to house a refugee family to get in touch.
Refugee Week is the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees to our society and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary. The theme of this year’s festival is “You, me and those who came before”. It looks at both refugees who came here in the past – and those who welcomed them.
If you own a property in Dorset that you think could be suitable, please contact the resettlement officer by emailing: email@example.com
If you are interested in volunteering to support a newly arrived refugee family, please contact Andy Jefferies on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Southwest Dorset Multicultural Network contact Fiona Thomas email@example.com
As part of Refugee Week, b-side and Dorset Place of Sanctuary are screening six short films on Tuesday 18 June at 7pm both in Bridport and on Portland.
As Dorset Highways is currently carrying out major construction work to replace the Durweston flood arches, many residents and local drivers have asked if the bridge can be improved at the same time.
The bridge itself cannot be modified as it is a Grade II listed building. Although old, it still has strength to support HGVs using the A357 to service local businesses and make deliveries to residents.Help is at hand
Dorset Highways bridges team has taken steps to reduce the frequency of bridge strikes by changing the phases of the lights and installing a barrier.New signal phasing
The lights used to allow traffic on the A350 to travel both north and south at the same time. The current (permanent signal) set up stops traffic travelling south when the northbound traffic has a green light – this allows northbound drivers of large vehicles wishing to turn left across Durweston Bridge to swing out across the southbound lane before making the turn.Steel barrier
Vehicles making this manoeuvre can no longer drag their trailers on to the parapet on the inside due to heavy steel barrier that has been installed. This was the most frequent cause of damage.
Collision with the outside does still occur, but is less frequent and is not just a modern phenomenon.Visibility
Rather than additional signing, we are going to be cutting back trees on the inside of the junction so that approaching HGV drivers can see the junction and tightness of the turn from further back on the approach.Would lighting help?
Neither the A350 or A357 is lit. Due to the classification of road, the height and intensity of lighting (to comply with the minimum British Standard) would be very intrusive into an otherwise dark landscape.
As Durweston Bridge sits within the Cranborne Chase AONB – which is currently seeking its dark sky reserve status – any moves to add lighting would be likely to result in objection from environmental protection groups.
Even without these environmental impacts, there is currently no funding available for additional lighting requests.What about maintenance to the bridge?
We’re hoping to carry out any repairs to the bridge during the four-week closure, but it’s such a tight timescale with the flood arches that we’ll have to see what time we have left.
Durlston Country Park in Swanage held a celebration event today (Thursday 13 June) to say thank you to its sponsors, supporters and volunteers.
The Dorset Council owned park won support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund in July 2018 to restore and enhance its lost Victorian landscape to benefit local people and wildlife.
£900,000 was awarded to the park thanks to the National Lottery and other partners to enable the park to embark on a programme of work known as the ‘Durlston Pleasure Grounds’ project. The project is one year into its three-year programme of work.
As part of the day of celebration, Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment officially opened the ‘Everyone needs a shed’ project. The Shed will provide opportunities for gentle, sociable volunteering, such as gardening, green woodworking and DIY. It will also help provide training for young people, as well as the chance for people with dementia and learning disabilities to volunteer and socialise.
Cllr Bryan said: “Our green assets including our country parks, rights of way and nature reserves present a wonderful opportunity to improve the well-being of our communities, and the Durlston Pleasure Grounds Project is an excellent example of this.
“The Shed has already provided new opportunities for people with dementia, disabilities, health conditions or who are socially isolated to volunteer and to build on the inclusive culture of volunteering.”
There are many ways to volunteer or get involved at Durlston, if this is something you would like to know more about contact the rangers on 01929 424443 or visit www.durlston.co.uk
We thought it would be useful to pull together a list of upcoming careers and Uni Open Days in Dorset and surrounding areas:Bournemouth and Poole College Open Event 13 June 4-8pm North Rd, Poole
Our Open Events give you the chance to come and meet our exceptional teaching staff, explore our incredible facilities and be inspired to discover your future at Bournemouth & Poole College.
You’ll be able to chat with our current students, get careers advice and find out how we support you throughout your studies. We offer the widest choice of courses in the area so whether you’re interested in Full-Time, Part-Time or Degree Level courses or Apprenticeships we’ll have the course that’s right for you.
Find out more here.Bristol Uni Open Day Event 14 & 15 June 2019 9.30-4pm
Today our campuses are open to you, so explore and soak up the atmosphere. Talk to our staff – this is your chance to ask your particular questions – and say ‘Hi’ to our stewards, who are all current students at the University.
Find out more here.University of Plymouth Open Day 26 June 2019
On an undergraduate Open Day, you’ll get to:
• Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
• Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
• Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join.
Find out more here.University of Chichester Undergraduate Open Day Sat 19 June 2019 9.30-4pm
Our friendly student ambassadors are on hand to share their experience of life at University and how to prepare for it, so ask them anything as they are there to give you their insight. You will also be able to chat one-to-one with our academics in our Meet and Greet Zone and our student support staff in our Student Advice Zone.
This is your opportunity to ask our students and staff anything to ensure you make the right decision for your future. People really matter here and we hope you get a sense of what we can offer you by coming to one of our Open Days.
Find out more here.UNISON Dorset NHS Apprentice Conference 3 July 2019 8.30-5pm
The day will consist of workshops, a number of guest speakers, interactive learning stalls with all refreshments and a delicious lunch also included. The conference will count towards your 20% off the job training, and you will receive paid release to attend the day.
Find out more here.Southampton Uni Undergraduate Open Days 6 & 7 July 2019
The Southampton Careers Fair will offer candidates from all backgrounds, experience and education level the opportunity to speak to an abundance of local employers, all in one place.
Find out more here.Southampton Careers Fair 19 July 2019
Will offer candidates from all backgrounds, experience and education level the opportunity to speak to an abundance of local employers, all in one place.
Find out more here.