Important update from Dorset Chamber regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have a dedicated Coronavirus section, which is being updated on a daily basis. Click Here for more details.

On October 6th 2020, the Office for National Statistics released their report providing data and analysis on seaside and other coastal towns in England and Wales.

Louise Matthews owner of Perceptions Marketing based in Weymouth said: “Whilst the report is interesting it doesn’t make any shocking revelations.  It does confirm that large seaside towns, such as Weymouth and Bournemouth, have been fortunate in that we have experienced lower rates of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths during 2020 than non-coastal towns, good news when you consider the influx of visitors over the summer period to the Dorset coast.”

The report points out that Seaside towns have higher levels of self-employment and part-time employment than non-coastal towns, coupled with a lower share of residents with degree-level qualifications.  They also benefit from lower crime levels despite having higher levels of deprivation, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of coastal towns, 71%, showed slower employment and population growth in the 10-year period to 2018 than non-coastal towns.

In the same 10 year period 51% of large seaside towns showed a decline in employment, they fared better than non-seaside coastal towns but overall, coastal towns generally struggled to grow employment which has to be a concern at this time with so many business struggling with COVID restrictions especially the new 10pm curfew, recently imposed.

A report in the Retail Gazette shows Coastal towns saw the greatest decline in footfall due to the curfew, a drop of nearly 11% in the past week, due to the prevalence of hospitality outlets in these Towns.  New data analysing card payment data across the UK released by Paymentsense and reported on in Hospitality & Catering News, shows that on the first day of the curfew, UK card transactions in restaurants, bars and pubs across the country fell by 16% and overall sales by 13% based on the previous week’s data.

Interestingly the ONS Report uses some data, analysed by WordPop at the University of Southampton, from the Facebook App using their location services which revealed a significant increase in population density in coastal and seaside towns during July and August.

Contact Louise Matthews at

The full report can be downloaded from

PIC Visit Dorset

Dorset based Safe Space consultancy says 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.  When these statistics are compared to how many staff you employ, as an employer you can begin to understand the prevalence of the problem, particularly when domestic abuse victims will suffer 35 incidents before reporting.

Many of these incidents will have prevented an employee from attending work on time or will have led to increased absences and possibly time off to attend medical appointments.   As an employer you can begin to understand how domestic abuse can impact on the employee, their colleagues and the business.

Julie Johns owner of Safe Space added “If we are to gain greater awareness of this issue, which in my opinion is a societal problem, we need to understand why it happens, the root causes and why the incidents rise during certain times of the year and during trigger points within a relationship.  Through awareness, education and training, employers can better support their employees by ensuring the workplace is a safe, non-judgemental environment and encourage employees who may be at risk to seek help sooner”

As we are nearing the festive season, Julie adds  “it is important for employers to be aware this is often a high-risk time for those in toxic relationships.  There are many pressures placed on families at this time of year i.e. financial pressures, spending more time together, consuming more alcohol, a need for everything to be perfect.  Unfortunately, Christmas can end up being a nightmare for families living with a perpetrator of abuse. Christmas, financial pressure, spending time together is not the cause of domestic violence – the need for power and control is, Christmas and consuming alcohol provides the excuse”

Research shows domestic, sexual abuse and/or stalking has no social boundaries, it can affect anyone of any gender, within any relationship, age, background, religion or culture.  Perpetrators can be found throughout society, working in all sorts of roles and often presenting as charming, charismatic personalities.  Safe Space Consultancy recommend employers and employees, consider what can be done to improve the workplace and put the appropriate measures in place to reduce the risk of harm that abuse can cause and ensure everyone is safe.

To access further information on the Impact of Domestic Abuse & Stalking in the Workplace, please go to:


Dorset Chamber members Immerse Medical Training and Bournemouth and Poole College have joined forces to give over 100 students the skills to save a life.

As part of a recent NHS Careers day held at Bournemouth and Poole College, Immerse Medical Training provided bitesize cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to 102 applied science and care students.  Regular sessions were held throughout the day where students were taught the fundamental skills of carrying out a primary survey and performing CPR when a casualty is in cardiac arrest.

One college student said “I have learned so much and feel more confident that I could help in this kind of situation”.

A college Lecturer added “My Level 3 Early Years Educator students really enjoyed their Basic Life Support session.  They were very entertaining chaps and the session was extremely beneficial for all”.

Alongside the CPR sessions, students were invited to careers talks from NHS staff.  These sessions gave students an insight into the career paths available within healthcare and allowed an opportunity for live questioning of individuals who are established in healthcare roles.

Immerse Medical Training Director and Co-Founder, Simon Mumford gave a talk on careers in the ambulance service, for whom he works alongside his role at Immerse Medical Training.

Company Director and Co-Founder, Martin Hyland said “The NHS Careers day is such a great opportunity for students to gain insight into the real world of healthcare.  We were thrilled to be part of the day and to be a part of training over 100 young people from our local community how to save a life.  We are passionate about teaching life saving skills to young people and are over the moon that today was such a success.”

Immerse Medical Training deliver first aid training for children and young people in a range of settings and all their courses are designed in collaboration with qualified childcare practitioners and child health clinicians.  For more information:

 Photograph: Immerse Medical Training Co-Founders Martin Hyland and Simon Mumford with one of the newly trained student groups.