Dorset Networking 2: Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce

Weymouth Harbour

This is my local Chamber of Commerce and the first thing that strikes me about this group is their passion and care for the area.

WPCC are committed to supporting businesses large and small. Members range from sole traders to big brands alongside charities and non-profits.

Weymouth and Portland is a vibrant community with plenty of tourism in the summer. It is a fabulous place to live and work and above all a safe place. The police are very active here, their recent 100 days of summer incentive was highly successful for the town, cutting crime levels by up to 50%.

Weymouth includes all of the natural beauty of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site with Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door very nearby. There is also easy access to Poole and Bournemouth and a mainline railway service to London.

Breakfasts

The main event of WPCC. These meetings take place the first Tuesday of the month and are always held at a member’s restaurant, cafe or similar venue. Giving members with businesses of this type the opportunity to showcase their services.

All members are welcome to give a keynote presentation at a breakfast meeting to promote themselves to the wider audience. There is no 60 second introduction slot at this meeting, which if I am honest I don’t mind at all!

Each breakfast event also has a sponsor, who will give their own presentation too.

Inspector Gosling from Weymouth & Portland Police Presenting

Activities

There are plenty of other things to get involved in too.

  • Business Tours of member venues, giving local firms the opportunity to share hat they have to offer with other businesses.
  • Education and apprenticeship events, along with a variety of social gatherings and trips. The recent trip was to the Bournemouth air show and a great time was had by all.
  • Then there is the annual Christmas dinner, which was held last year at Portland Sailing Academy, excellent food and plenty of lively chat was enjoyed by all.

A different Culture

There is a different culture here to the other groups and I really enjoy being part of it. It is very businesslike and I guess it takes a little bit more time to get to know people than some other groups. Many folks here have been members for decades and once you take the time to get to know them you find they are very genuine and friendly. They very definitely have one thing in common, they are passionate about their area and their businesses.

It is good to see that there are five women on the committee, one of which is vice president, so there is no old boys club in this chamber!

The President, Craig Oakes, is very well regarded in the area. He has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry and has worked with local businesses for many years. The president gets to choose a charity each year for the “Presidents Challenge” and Craig has launched a fundraiser to support his chosen charity, Weldmare Hospicecare Trust … His challenge is “Losing weight and Harbour Swim at Christmas” he has now added to that a fire walk at Nothe Fort. He’s raised a lot of money at the time of writing, here he is with his now famous collection bucket.

The chamber was 100 old this year, here’s to the next 100 years!

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