Businesses have opportunity to apply for a discretionary business grant

Businesses that were not eligible for Government funding through previous COVID related financial support schemes are invited to apply for business support funding through the discretionary grant fund, from (1 June) until the closing date at midnight, 14 June.
The funding is designed to help small businesses that did not meet the criteria for the first round of funding which targeted Small Businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector.
There is a two-week window in which businesses can apply for the additional funding and as the number of applications is expected to exceed the available funding, businesses are encouraged to fill in the online form before the deadline at midnight, 14 June.
The grants do not need to be paid back and businesses that have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are eligible to apply as well as people who are eligible for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Check eligibility and apply here



NHS services in Dorset are gearing up for changes help minimise the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and deal with any upturn in patient numbers caused by the outbreak.This will involve reducing or closing some non-essential services to protect the most essential services and, ultimately, save lives. The NHS regularly plans for such events, so its staff are prepared and have a clear understanding of what will work best.Dr Steve Tomkins, Medical Director for Dorset HealthCare, said: “We will be looking at providing services in different ways to meet the needs of patients, families and communities.“Some of our staff will be re-deployed from their usual services to areas where their expertise is most needed, and we are working with teams across Dorset’s NHS system to manage any impact this may have on patients.”From now on, people won’t be able to turn up at a GP surgery, minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre without an appointment.Weymouth’s Urgent Treatment Centre and Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) at Blandford, Bridport, Portland, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Swanage and Wimborne hospitals are still running, but by appointment only.You can no longer walk into these services. If you have an ailment or injury which requires urgent care, please call your local MIU or 01305 762541 and you will be given advice or booked in for a face-to-face appointment at the appropriate site.If you need GP services, please refer to your practice website for information on how to access GP care. If you do not have online access, please phone your GP instead. The clinical staff in your GP surgery will speak to you on the phone to assess your medical need and how to manage it.This use of telephone triage will keep both the public and our staff safe. However, rest assured that if you need to be seen, you will be seen.Practices will be increasingly working together over the coming weeks to support patients.Emergency departments are still open 24/7 for serious conditions and injuries. Phone NHS 111 if you’re not sure what support you need, or call 999 for anything life threatening as normal.If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus go to to find out what to do. Staying at home, washing hands as directed for 20 seconds regularly, and observing the latest government guidelines will help keep you and NHS staff safe.Hospitals have also suspended all non-urgent elective operations for at least three months and there are new restrictions on visiting patients. Check the hospital websites for the latest information.“We thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this challenging time for everyone.”For regular updates about hospital and community services in Dorset, go to the following websites:

Dorset County Hospital:

Dorset HealthCare:

Poole Hospital:

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals:




We are receiving reports from Sherborne Viral Kindness volunteers that local residents are unclear regarding the latest Covid-19 shielding information:

The Grove Medical Centre, Sherborne has published the following message:

From Monday 1st June 2020 the advice for ‘Shielding’ patients has now been updated to allow a little more freedom. However, remember that you are still classed as vulnerable so you should exercise caution:

1. You should strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in their sense of taste or smell).

2. You may now spend some time outdoors with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household (ideally the same person each time) remembering to keep 2 metres apart.

3. Remember to stay alert when leaving home: washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings of any size.

4. You should not attend any gatherings, including gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, parties, weddings and religious services. Nor should you enter other buildings, households, or enclosed spaces.

The Government is currently advising people to shield until 30 June 2020 and is regularly monitoring this position.


Chair – Patient Participation Group