Many hands make light work at Best of Dorset show

RICH VARIETY: Karen Jones from the Volunteer Centre

BOOSTING THE TOWN: Nigel Reed with Bid members

HERE TO HELP: Sandy West, left, and Sallie McKinstry on the Asda stall

First published in News by

THE value of a helping hand was celebrated at this year’s Best of Dorset Show.

The annual leisure show held at Weymouth Pavilion promoted the county’s rich variety of businesses.

The theme of this year’s show was centred on volunteers, recognising their impact and importance.

A number of opportunities were promoted as to how more people could volunteer in their community.

Karen Jones, an outreach worker for Volunteer Centre Dorset, said: “Volunteering is a great way to gain new skills, good contacts and progress into perhaps a different career.

“We have had a brilliant networking reaction. We have some new people who are very interested, hadn’t heard of us, and didn’t realise we operated in Weymouth.”

She added: “It’s important because most of the community events and tourist attractions are actually run by volunteers.”

Live entertainment also featured at the Pavilion throughout the day, ranging from fashion shows to Punch and Judy performances.

Standholders at this year’s event included the RSPB, WOW theatre group and Weymouth Bid (Business Improvement District).

Weymouth Bid provided members of the public their first opportunity to comment on its new marketing campaign.

Nigel Reed, from the Bid, said they received ‘fairly positive’ reactions.

He said: “We have had a couple of local businesses that have come and talked to us and told us how they could use it.

“It’s been useful because it’s about showing the brand to the public.”

This year’s show went from strength to strength, according to Steve Davies, events officer for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

He said: “There’s a great energy in the local community into what’s going on, great enthusiasm for volunteers and of course the sunshine makes a tremendous difference.”

Mr Davies did suggest however that the date for next year’s show might be changed, after clashing with Mother’s Day.

He said: “We will probably rethink the dates for next year, not so much for the people coming to the show but for those participating.

“We have got over 500 people involved in the show. I think to allow them to enjoy Mother’s Day we’d probably look for another date.”

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