Dorset Newsdesk

Get totally wiped out for charity 

Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, is looking forward to holding a fun and frantic obstacle course challenge event in Weymouth and Wimborne this summer. Weymouth will see Totally Wiped Out at Lodmoor Country Park on July 1 and then it will be located in Canford School’s grounds on July 2.

The Totally Wiped Out course is designed to test the determination of all who attempt the challenge and Diverse Abilities is inviting participants to brave the challenge to raise funds for children and adults living with disabilities in the county.

Based on TV gameshows like Wipe Out, It’s a Knockout and Gladiators, Totally Wiped Out features a combination of inflatable and water-based sections where balance, flexibility and skill hold the key to success! A punch wall will try to knock challengers off a ledge, the inflatable balls will bounce unsteady participants in to the water and the sweeper arm will attempt to knock other from their podium!

For more information or to sign up, visit


Record number of visitors to Brewery Square over Easter weekend

Brewery Square in Dorchester welcomed a record number of visitors over Easter weekend with free Easter Egg Hunts and a visit from Mr. Bloom.

Visitors were up 29% over Easter weekend compared to last year’s figures. The majority of people came to the Square on Good Friday to watch Mr. Bloom’s performance.

Charlotte Spracklen, centre manager at Brewery Square, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Mr. Bloom to the Square on Good Friday. Hundreds of excited children gathered with their family, all eager to get their squiggle on.

For more information about Brewery Square, visit


Has your council banned balloon releases?

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is asking the public to pledge their support for a ban on balloon releases in their local area after volunteers found an increase of over 50% in the amount of balloon litter on UK beaches between 2015 and 2016.

The plight of a three-year-old horse that died after choking on a balloon string was featured on BBC Breakfast recently, and has once again highlighted the terrible consequences of balloon litter on land. But on beaches and in the sea, balloons, strings, lanterns and frames can have long-lasting effects both as choking and entanglement hazards. 

During the MCS Great British Beach Clean event last September, volunteer beach cleaners found an astonishing rise in the amount of balloon related litter on UK beaches – a 53.5% increase on 2015. The charity says it’s taking its ‘Don’t Let Go’ campaign to a local level to persuade more councils to ban the release of both balloons and sky lanterns on their land.

To pledge your support for a local ban on balloon and lantern releases in your council area visit -


Lighthouse launches ground-breaking schools’ partnership programme
Eight local schools have been selected to become official partner schools in a groundbreaking new programme set to launch in April at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts. The partnership, which sees each school committing to bring students to see live performance at Lighthouse and to becoming champions for the arts within their communities, marks the realisation of a long-held ambition for the UK’s largest regional arts centre.

As the programme develops partner schools will be invited to see backstage and behind the scenes at Lighthouse, get priority access to outreach workshops, receive careers talks from Lighthouse staff and access a range of additional exciting opportunities. The successful schools are St Aldhelm’s Academy (Poole), Lytchett Minster School (Dorset), Avonbourne/Harewood Colleges (Bournemouth), Queen Elizabeth’s School (Wimborne), Carter Community School (Poole), Oakdale Junior School (Poole), and Winchelsea School (Poole). The partnerships will be reviewed after a year.

The eight partnership schools will be officially welcomed into the programme at a reception at Lighthouse on 6 April, when teachers will have the opportunity to see the UK’s hottest young acrobats Barely Methodical Troupe performing their new show, Kin. For further information visit


New Library for Kingsleigh Primary School

Kingsleigh Primary School in Bournemouth have celebrated World Book Day in style, with the opening of their revamped school library. Helped by children’s TV character ‘Horrid Henry’, the two youngest and the two oldest pupils in the school assisted Head teacher Richard Gower in cutting the red ribbon to the new facility.

The revamp project was the brainchild of Assistant Head Teacher Holly Graff, who initially applied for a grant for books from Foyles. Spurred on by this, the school then rallied together to raise a further £10,000 via sponsored events and the PTA. New furniture, including tables, chairs and comfy seats, have created a fantastic new area for the children to enjoy, along with all the new books.

In addition to the main library, Kingsleigh have also created two more reading areas for their KS1 and KS2 children, again with new furniture and books.

The school is very proud of its approach to reading and literacy and sees the new library as an important space for children to develop. Holly Graff comments:

We are committed to promoting reading and literacy at Kingsleigh and we really wanted somewhere that matched our ambitions for all our children. This new library can now offer pupils a fabulous opportunity to just come and read. Seeing the children’s faces this morning when they first came in was brilliant.” 

Richard Gower, Head Teacher at Kingsleigh is thrilled with the new library, and comments:

So much hard work has gone into this project and to see it come to fruition, and the brilliant resource we now have, really does make all the effort worthwhile. Everyone, from the staff to the children and their parents, has helped to raise the money and we now look forward to them all enjoying this wonderful facility. At a time when many schools are having to close their libraries we are so proud to be able to open our new one.

Kingsleigh are also looking at the possibility of being able to open the Library during school holidays to the local community, so that children can come and borrow books out of term time.


Dorset Scrapstore celebrates business success at The Factory 

Dorset Scrapstore is celebrating its first eight months of business at The Factory, its new location on Alder Hills in Poole. Dorset Scrapstore is a local charity that believes in a world where manufacturing waste doesn’t go to landfill but instead becomes a low-cost community resource for crafting and creativity.

The Scrapstore provides an ever-changing supply of clean, safe and often random making materials which have been kindly donated by local businesses.

The Dorset Scrapstore is now open from Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 5pm with extended hours until 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday. For information email or call 07932 325193.


RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2017 

Applications are now open for the RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2017. There are three categories – Young School Gardener of the Year, School Gardening Champion of the Year and School Gardening Team of the Year. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 28 April 2017. For details visit


Progress with Wessex Home Tuition

It’s half way through the academic year already! During this important term children make the most progress, building on what they have already learnt and discovering all kinds of new exciting topics. Keep their excitement and confidence going with support from a Tutor from Wessex Home Tuition. Understanding will be improved and progress developed with increased enjoyment and success. Visit and complete your details on the ‘Contact Us’ page to make arrangements for a Tutor to contact you.

Confidence is Key at the Poole Kumon Study Centre

The Poole Kumon Study Centre offers individualised, after-school maths and English study programmes, ensuring that your child studies at exactly the right level for their ability and giving them the confidence to realise their full potential. The Poole Kumon Study Centre is at Buckholme Towers School in Ashley Cross, and runs classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. For more information, contact Alex Gorringe on 01202 248302 or email


Dorset Police Cyber-Crime Prevention Officer, Jake Moore writes:

Keep your child safe online and get their smartphone, tablet or gadget ready by:

  • Adding virus protection
  • Using safe search settings and tightening privacy settings on apps
  • Subscribing to your internet service provider’s broadband parental controls
  • Consider using parental controls on devices

Also, spend some time reminding them:

  • The people they speak to online may not be who they think they are
  • Never give out personal details online
  • Be careful who they add to their friends lists
  • Never send images to people they don’t know or that they wouldn’t want others to see

Get switched on to your child’s online world. Ask yourself: Do you know what your child is looking at? Who are they talking to? How long are they spending online? These are all questions that parents and carers should be asking on a regular basis.

To help keep your children safe online make sure you:

  • Talk to your children about what they do and use online
  • Allow access to the internet only from devices within the family space

If you ever have any concerns that a child is being groomed, exploited or abused, or if you suspect anyone is inappropriately contacting children online, report it immediately to the police via, alternatively call 101, or call 999 in an emergency.

To find out how to keep your children safe online visit the Dorset Police website: