Community groups win support from Healthwatch Dorset

Healthwatch Dorset has announced the list of community groups who have won awards from its Community Investment Fund.
Picture of woman in front of colourful background

Healthwatch Dorset Chair, Joyce Guest, said:

We had over 100 applications from local groups and projects, ranging from support for baby & toddler groups, dementia awareness, long-term health conditions, carers, homelessness and mental health. Every one of them had great ideas and we would have loved to have been able to support them all, it was really difficult to choose between them. In the end we stretched the funds we had available from £10,000 to over £11,000 and we’ve chosen 17 different projects which will work with a diverse range of people right across the county.

The 17 projects that will be supported include a Cake Concert for people with dementia in Blandford, creche facilities at a mental health support group in Poole and an art project for people living with cancer in the Purbecks.   

Interested groups or individuals were invited to send in short descriptions of their project ideas and the amount of funding they're asking for to Healthwatch Dorset throughout February/March 2018.
One of the successful applicants, Eileen Franklin from Harlequin Care, thinks that's why this fund has proved so successful.

"It was just so easy to apply, no complicated forms to fill in and Healthwatch Dorset have been so helpful. I wish more community funding took this approach. We've been unable to apply for grants in the past because we're a small group without a professional fundraiser.” 

Here is the full list of groups and projects:

Name of group


Tuesday Club

Weekly educational & sociable workshops for people with disabilities.

The Purbeck Workshop

More resources for a community arts centre for people living with cancer.

Flash Mob of Kindness

Resources for community group working with homeless people.

Cycling Without Age

Providing cycling trips for older people living in care homes.

Ocean Academy School

Working with children with sensory needs.

New Beginnings (Dorset)

A weekly support group for young people and monthly support groups for parents/ carers.

Harlequin Care

Respite, therapy treatments & counselling for carers.

Charmouth Community Library

Weekly information sessions on local health services.

Men’s Shed

Supporting a community workshop project for older men in Marnhull, North Dorset, tackling loneliness & social isolation.


Sherborne Area Refugee Support

Supporting refugee families living in North Dorset.

Hurting 2 Healing

Supporting adult survivors of childhood abuse.


Lyme Forward – Care Links Lyme

Increasing the number of locally-based non-clinical support groups and strengthening links with health and care professionals.


Up & Down sessions (teaching how to avoid falls and how to get up after a fall.


Craft in Mind

A creche for mothers to attend the mental health support group at Rossmore Children’s Centre.


Dorset Working Women’s Project

Funding to provide food and a hot drink to vulnerable women during evening outreach sessions.


Faithworks - Blandford Dementia Friendly Community project

A concert specially for people living with dementia and their carers, performed by members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.


Butterflies Cancer Group

Supporting weekly meetings for people living with cancer, with free therapy treatments & volunteer support.