AN INDEPENDENT Dorset brewer has awarded more than £50,000 to 35 local causes across Dorset - including a Weymouth-based charity that supports vulnerable and homeless people.

Hall & Woodhouse has announced the grants it has dished out this year through its Community Chest Awards.

Lucinda Gray of the Blandford-based brewer said: “In a year of such challenge, we’re proud to be helping others make a difference to their communities. We understand and have heard first-hand from the charities, how necessary the grants are for the survival of these local causes.”

“The donations are going to a real mix of charities across the south; from youth services to mental health support, to those that specialise in facilities for people with disabilities, to free computer access for those who need it most.”

The annual awards ceremony took place virtually this year and included an online beer and cheese tasting session led by Mark Woodhouse. All winners and judges received a ‘Dorset Dozen’ beer box, a selection of characterful and crafted Badger ales, along with the recommended selection of accompanying cheeses, so that guests could participate in the event online.

Among this year’s winners was The Lantern Trust, which was established in 1983 to benefit vulnerable and marginalised people in the Weymouth and Portland area, received £1,500. The grant will be used towards the running costs of delivering a Safe Sleep Project which provides supervised night-shelter accommodation for homeless people during the winter months.

Bridport & District Citizens Advice was granted £1,000. The charity provides free, independent and impartial advice to people in the Bridport district. The grant will be used towards volunteer expenses and training. East Dorset Citizens Advice also received a grant of £1,000 to train and recruit advisers.

HomeStart South East Dorset, an independent charity supporting struggling families, received £1,500 to train new volunteers. HomeStart North Dorset also received a donation of £1,500, enabling the organisation to continue providing its services within the county.

As part of the Community Chest Awards, an emergency fund of £9,500 was also allocated to help local causes earlier in the year during the nationwide lockdown. This included £2,000 to Bus Stop Club and £1,000 to High Mead Farm.

Applications will be open for the 2021 Community Chest awards in March, where voluntary groups can request funding ranging from £300 to £5,000, to help them achieve their aims.

Please visit for more information on next year’s awards.


Blandford Opportunity Group: £1,500

Bridport & District Citizens Advice: £1,000

Doors Open: £1,500

East Dorset Citizens Advice: £1,000

Exmouth Gateway Club: £1,500

Fernheath Play: £1,500

Footprints Project - Life Works: £720

Grounded Community: £1,200

Home-Start North Dorset: £1,500

Home-Start South East Dorset: £1,500

Island Community Action: £1,500

Lantern Trust: £1,500

Lordshill Youth Project: £1,500

Shaftesbury & District Carers Association HOPE Projects: £1,300

Treads Advice & Information Centre: £1,500

Water Lily Project: £800

Yewstock School: £1,500