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Mayor’s Blog – King’s Awards, Mayor’s Quiz and lots more –

Mayor’s Blog 145

The Kings Awards for Voluntary Services, Bridport Local Food Group AGM, Mayor’s Quiz, Mayoress Report.

 The King’s Award for Voluntary Services

It is something to be celebrated that two organisations in the Bridport area have been chosen to receive a prestigious award for Voluntary Services.

The Kings Award is equivalent to an MBE and is the highest award given to local voluntary groups, and they are awarded for life. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth ll’s Golden Jubilee. The award has always been regarded as shining a light on the incredible work of voluntary groups across the UK.

I am aware that this has already been reported but I must add my congratulations to the Bridport based Borough Harmony Charity and The Melplash Show that takes place every year in Bridport, both of whom have recently received the award, a fantastic achievement and well deserved.

The King's Award for Voluntary Services

The Melplash Agricultural Society were very excited to announce that they were awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Melplash Agricultural Society is one of only four organisations in Dorset to receive this award this year along with the The Borough Harmony.

Established in 1847, The Melplash Agricultural Society (a charity) relies on hundreds of volunteers each year to help deliver the wide range of activities that the Society arrange in order to meet their

charitable objectives which are to promote and support local agriculture and to inspire and educate young people to make it their career.

Representatives of the two organisations will receive their award crystal and certificate from Angus Campbell, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset later in the year. In addition, two volunteers from each will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s award.

Melplash Volunteers

Mayor’s Quiz

On Sunday we held the Mayor’s fundraising quiz in aid of the Bridport Community Kitchen and Bridport Youth and Community Centre. Over 100 people took part in the Youth Centre building and it was great to see that many had entered into the fun spirit of the evening by dressing up as well as decorating their tables. I was very fortunate that we had assistance from Julia and Martin Whiting who hosted the quizzing as well as providing the questions.

The raffle was a great success, thanks to Jill Beed, Julia and especially the Mayoress for obtaining 50 raffle prizes from local businesses and some individuals and I have included a list of all the contributors by way of thanks for their generosity.

The evening seemed to be enjoyed by all and, thanks to the BYCC staff who not only set the hall up but staffed the Bar , cleaned up and put everything back in its place after everyone had gone home. Our thanks also to the Town Council staff especially Jill Beed who put the whole event together and Will Austin who oversaw everything , sorted out the technical bits and was on hand for any unforeseen issues!

Finally thanks to all of the other volunteers (especially the scorer} because of you all the evening was a great success. The BYCC staff ran a well-stocked bar and cocktails were on sale from the Dark Bear “pop up” bar.

Mayor’s Quiz
Mayor’s Quiz
Mayor’s Quiz

In the end the result was very close with the winning difference being ½ a point. The winners were “Miss Haversham’s Tablecloth” who took the lead in the very last round.

Mayor’s Quiz

The prize for the best dressed table went to the “Twelfth Nighters” who went to extraordinary lengths to dress up themselves and the table, even bringing straw for the stable!

Mayor’s Quiz

The exact figure is yet to be finalised but the evening raised over £1000 which will be split evenly between my two charities. Thanks to everyone who came on the night to help us raise such a fantastic sum of money.

Donators of Raffle Prizes:

The Olive Tree The Greenyard Café Dark Bear
Morrish and Banham Steptoes Pauline Bale
Hive Beach Café Phil George Photographer Smith and Smith
Palmers Neil Barnes Arts Centre
Harvey Anderson Snooks Cilla & Camilla Cookshop
Windy Corner Butchers Rawles Groves
Baboo Dorshi Mercato Italiano
Sea Purslane Sundorborn Coop
Bull Hotel Woodman Evergreen Nails and Beauty
Freshwater Holiday Park Morrisons Karen Merritt
Animal House Pet shop Museum Furleigh Estates
Bride Valley Vineyard Unto Thee

Bridport Local Food Group

On Wednesday I attended the AGM of BLFG held in the Town Hall.

The Bridport Local Food Group are voluntary committee that organises the Bridport Food Festival and they invited individuals and businesses who recognise the importance of our local food and drink industry to attend their AGM, and to become actively involved in the planning of next year’s Festival.

The Festival is run entirely by volunteers and is dedicated to supporting and celebrating our local food and drink businesses to the benefit of the town’s community and local economy. Every year they look for new and innovative ways to engage with all ages of the community and to encourage visitors to explore the shops, restaurants and pubs in the area.

At the AGM, as well as highlighting the achievements over the last few years and thanking their generous sponsors and supporters, they  invited attendees to help plan the future of the Bridport Local Food Group. They had a number of key vacancies on the steering committee which thankfully were filled on the night.

New ideas were put forward and will be considered along with the lessons learned from staging the event last year so I am optimistic that the event in 2024, the 20th festival, will be a celebration of everything good that the BLFG has achieved over the years. It has grown from very small beginnings to stand proudly as one of the main events on the Bridport calendar and in conjunction with the Beer Festival on the same site there should be something for everyone over the weekend.


This week, I caught up with Pauline Chart, the Social Prescribing Lead Link Worker who works for the Jurassic Coast Primary Care network. She updated me on several exciting Bridport projects which we hope will come into fruition in January.

Her team are most concerned about the housebound people, sometimes the carer and cared for, in our wider community and how we can do more to support their loneliness and isolation.

Please see the following information about the Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise meeting that will be in January next year. This is aimed at local voluntary groups who work within our community :

The Jurassic Coast Social Prescribers, in association with Bridport Day Centre will be chairing a Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise meet-up on Friday 19th January 2024 from 1.30 to 3.00 at the Day Centre, Bridport.

 The idea of this meet-up is for groups to gather together in the same room to share news of what’s happening with your group/organisation; upcoming events, current projects etc and also an opportunity to say what it is you’re in need of at the moment, which could be volunteers for an event, some kit that you need to borrow, or information etc you think someone in the room might have. A collaborative of show and tell!

 We hope to hold these events quarterly to help build connections between VCSE services locally and grow the impact these have on our lovely community.

 The Social Prescribing team will chair the event but please come along prepared to introduce yourself and share updates and requests – 2 minutes is all it takes. If you would like your group to be included, or want more information, please call 01308 428943.

Thursday 23rd was Carers Rights Day. It raised awareness of carers’ rights and entitlements, to help carers get the support they need.

For more information click here – Carers Rights Day.


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