Lift off for the South Coast Events Forum

From every challenge comes opportunity.

Set against a backdrop of the most challenging year in the event industry’s history, the South Coast events community has pulled together to create the South Coast Events Forum (SCEF).

From award-winning event organisers to industry-leading event suppliers, the forum brings together the very best event professionals from across the South Coast with a combined aim to re-emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a more unified, collaborative and sustainable offer.

The not-for-profit forum will be led by a newly-formed steering group consisting of 9 hugely-experienced professionals from across the events industry including chair, Craig Mathie, Managing Director of Bournemouth 7s Festival.

The entirely voluntary board of the South Coast Events Forum also includes Nicole Richman, a highly experienced events professional and owner of NR Event Services; the owner of V-Dub at the Pub Festival and event delivery expert, Alan Dove and Simon Stewart who owns and operates a host of fantastic food festivals across Southern England.

Representing suppliers, Garry Wakefield, Director of the recently formed Capital Barriers and Temporary Fencing and Gavin Barnard founder of industry consultants, Event Advice Agency, bring immense expertise, great industry networks and more than 50 years’ industry experience to the organisation.

Suzy Wheeler runs her own events and marketing company, Strawberry Fields RePresents alongside her role at Absolute Music whilst Paul Ashurst, Events Director at Bournemouth 7s Festival, is widely recognised for his expertise in event delivery, content and promotion. Adam ‘Ski’ Hart prides himself on representing the ‘little guys’ of the events industry and also liaises with musicians, performers and venue owners.

Full of excitement about the new group, Craig Mathie commented:   “It is an absolute privilege to have been joined in this concept by so many excellent industry professionals. In these most challenging times, I have been blown away by the spirit of collaboration and positive approach of our members and the fantastic steering group who will represent them.

We are full of admiration for everything that has been achieved by the national organisations who represent our industry to government and help to drive standards across the industry. Groups such as the South Coast Events Forum will help us to engage with local decision makers, to influence regional strategy and share best practice with those we work with most regularly.”

The group’s membership consists of a variety of organisations of all sizes and includes event and exhibition venues, festival promoters, contractors, agencies and freelancers. Members will benefit from monthly networking meetings, regular communication and a conference scheduled for Autumn 2021.

Membership of the South Coast Events Forum is free for both organisers and suppliers. To join or for more information please: visit

Online education platform heads up Dorset Business Angels pitch event

The 1st Dorset Business Angels Virtual pitch event of 2021 takes place on 1st February. Online pitch events in 2020 attracted a record number of attendees, with some 40 at the previous event in October.

A provider of online education will be one of the first up in a bid to seize the moment and grab investor attention. This currently ‘hot topic’ business states that it focuses on life skills that promote social and emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking with an aim is to help young people to thrive in life, both at home and in their future work-places. By complementing the traditional academic education with live, interactive online and offline courses for 5-13 year-olds, they help develop young people’s skills in leadership, confidence, resilience and creative problem solving.

Other pitches include:

  • A pre-launch Fintech Investor Analysis SaaS company has developed a platform that tracks the data performance of private, early-stage companies and gathers operational metrics. The platform is now capable of profiling the investment readiness and business potential of start-ups and early revenue companies extremely well. In the present pre-launch phase, the Company has 12 customers paying monthly recurring revenues and has generated 1300 worldwide data profiles that help with the investment analysis and business decision making of its current users, namely, angel investors, accelerators, funds, support organisations and consultants.
  • A company with a range of healthy drinks, containing all the nutrients necessary to produce many tasty options, without the sugar and artificial ingredients usually found in traditional soft drinks. Their ‘health pod’ modules offer users the facility to use their home coffee machines to provide a quick and easy way to get these nutrients into a cold press juice or smoothy for around 70p per unit. UK distribution is now ramping up with the product available in 5 supermarket chains and the Company is distributing their range door-to-door in over 50 countries. The product launches in the US in January.
  • A Customer Data Processing software business which offers its clients a platform that immediately creates a seamless customer experience easily and at scale. Formed 5 years ago with the founders own money, the Company is now employing AI techniques to further enhance the efficiency of their model, to the satisfaction of their growing client base.
  • A business in the Advanced composite materials sector with aims to increase the capabilities of the World’s most demanding products through the application of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques. In revenue and with an expanding customer base, the Company is currently focussing on the delivery of key contracts in the automotive, electrification, electric machines, defence, and aerospace sectors.

Dorset Business Angels Chairman, Don McQueen advised, “We encourage would-be investors to get in touch with us and be involved. We are enjoying growing levels of interest at all our events and it’s a great opportunity to come along to learn more about the Angel Investor network and how we operate.”

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels or to book on to the pitch event visit

Stowe Family Law opens its first office in Bournemouth

Stowe Family Law (Stowe) has opened an office in Bournemouth taking the firm’s national presence to 26 offices and reinforcing its position as the country’s largest specialist family law practice.

The new family law office in Bournemouth will be headed up by Managing Partner, Paul Linsdell and supported by Senior Family Lawyer, Cath Porter, both of whom will bring a wealth of family law knowledge to the town.

The team specialises in all aspects of family law including divorce, separation, cohabitation issues, nuptial agreements, arrangements for children and financial settlements.

As with all the firm’s offices, Bournemouth will have access to a network of over 70 specialist family lawyers, together with its in-house Forensic Accountancy team who examine financial disclosure specifically within divorce proceedings.

Southern Regional Director, Andrew Miller, said:  “The addition of an office in Bournemouth adds to the firm’s family law footprint in this region, where we also have an office in Winchester.”

He continues,  “With 26 offices across the UK and more specialist family lawyers than any other firm in the country, we provide the very best legal knowledge and experience to our clients.”

Managing Partner, Paul Linsdell said:  “I am delighted to head up the opening of the Stowe Family Law office in Bournemouth.  Both Cath and I work with empathy and compassion to achieve the best outcomes for clients so that they can move forward with their lives. We are looking forward to welcoming clients to our new office soon.”

Photographed: Paul Linsdell, Managing Partner at Stowe Family Law.

Stowe Family Law is the UK’s largest specialist family law firm with offices in cities including London, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Reading and Birmingham and market towns including Ilkley, Winchester, Tunbridge Wells, Beverley, Harrogate and Wetherby.

Founded in 1982, the firm employs over 70 specialist family lawyers with a collective experience of over 800 years.

The team practices all areas of family law including divorce, separation, financial settlements, arrangements for children, out-of-court settlements, mediation, nuptial agreements, surrogacy, adoption and international family law.