May 2020

Pupils learning in lockdown via a virtual classroom

CHILDREN of key workers attending a city school were the first pupils to experience a virtual classroom provided by workers at train maker Bombardier.

Fourteen children aged between eight and 12 years old at The Bemrose School, in Uttoxeter Road, enjoyed the experience which was designed to test the way forward for remote learning. 

Hope On The Horizon For Bereaved Families

The head of Wathall’s - Derby’s longest-established firm of funeral directors - has thanked bereaved families for their understanding and cooperation during lockdown and indicated a glimmer of hope for the future.

Helen Wathall MBE is the fifth generation of her family to run the company which has branches in Derby city centre, Alvaston, Borrowash, Ashbourne and Burton-on-Trent and is representing funeral directors from across Derbyshire on the Local Resilience Forum which is run by Derbyshire County Council.

Local Residents De-Clutter For Charity

Residents in Melbourne have answered the call and donated their old mobile phones to support a local charity’s fundraising appeal.

Derby-based Safe and Sound supports children and young people who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation – including sexual, County Lines, Modern Slavery and trafficking – and their families.

A major part of the charity’s Butterfly Appeal to enable the expansion of services across Derbyshire has been a joint initiative with Sinfin-based Century Mobile and intu Derby shopping centre.

e-Scooter trials for Derby

E-scooter trials could be introduced into Derby from next month, as part of the Government Emergency Active Travel Fund to help encourage more people off public transport and onto greener alternatives, while getting back to work.

The trials of rental e-scooters will, says the Government, allow it to assess the benefits of e-scooters as well as their impact on public space, as Bondholder Derby City Council seeks to roll out Transforming Cities Fund.

Bloc in the USA

Bondholder Bloc Digital has announced significant international growth with the creation of a North American office and the appointment of its first permanent US member of staff.

Founded as a start-up in 2000 by former technical illustrators Keith Cox and Chris Hotham, Bloc Digital has experienced rapid growth within UK and European markets in the last five years, supporting businesses through cutting-edge 3D modelling, animation, immersive (VR and AR), and web solutions.

First Art announce first-rate line-up for Go the Distance’s online programme

Exquisite puppets, music dedications to loved ones, nature-inspired animated projections, a good dose of tomfoolery, and a cheeky game of bingo will all feature in the new Remote Access programme as part of First Art’s Go the Distance Festival.

Throughout late May and June, Uninvited Guests and Fuel, Urban Projections, Half a String, Wild N Beets and Tit for Tat will present their works via the Internet, with a focus on audiences in Mansfield, Ashfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire.

"One of our great cities"

Derby was described as 'one of our great cities with a strong future' at last night's government daily Covid press briefing, in response to a question from Bondholder Derby Telegraph journalist, Zena Hawley, about the impact on the city's economy.

Why Simon won’t park his fundraising efforts

A man who dedicates his spare time to helping vulnerable youngsters was rewarded with his own parking space at work - which he auctioned off to raise money for a children’s charity.

Simon Evans, who works at Lubrizol, in Hazelwood, near Belper, was given the Christine Sewell Charity and Community Award by the firm in recognition of his dedication to children in Derbyshire.

Simon and his wife were foster carers before the pair both began volunteering as Independent Visitors and also Advocates for looked after children with the charity Change Grow Live, (CGL).

Project D offers a community service and brings staff back to work

A Derby doughnut firm which furloughed all its staff at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak reinstated them all a week later after changing its business model to support the community.

The company, which previously sold handcrafted doughnuts at events and kiosks in Derby’s Intu centre and Burton’s Cooper’s Square, furloughed all their staff when the outbreak began.

But such was the demand for Project D’s doughnuts and their ingredients that they quickly brought staff back to work and have even recruited three more bringing their workforce to 28.



A play featuring Ellie Ward as Florence Nightingale with Sheila Kay Sly and Ron Middleton.

Music written and performed by Mat Williams, James Oldrini and John Tams.

Adapted from his stage play Kissing Miss Nightingale's Shadow by George Gunby.

Introducing Derbyshire Artisan Markets

A brand new and exciting selling opportunity for makers, farmers, growers, crafters and artists from Derbyshire and beyond!

Derbyshire Artisan Markets will help us shift our thoughts to the future, helping us all to look forwards as we prepare for better days ahead.

We’re using this time to reach out, track down and connect with all of the wonderful independent traders across the county, from Glossop to Swadlincote, Ashbourne to Bolsover and all points in between.

News from White Peak Distillery

Like everyone, we've spent the last few weeks adjusting to the new ground rules. Having had to close the Distillery shop and postpone our tours and other events in mid-March, we've focused our efforts online and with local delivery. And we would like to say a big thank you to all our supporters!

Making the most of being at home Treat yourself in some creative me time

Our online classes are really helping us to stay positive it is so great to still be in touch with all you lovely folks through woolly wednesdays, crochet classes, art classes and our kids sessions too. Our 1:1 classes have been going really well too so if you have something specific you want to learn please do get in touch.

Celebrate the Big Book Weekend in Derby

As the Big Book Weekend approaches, Derby is getting a real appetite for reading following a huge rise in the number of people accessing eBooks for free from the city's online library services.

Although the city's libraries remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, members are still able to access eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks and the eReference library. New members can join online and receive a temporary ticket which gives them access to online services too.

Florence Nightingale bicentenary celebrated online by Derby Museums

Image - The Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari by Jerry Barrett, 1857 © National Portrait Gallery, London

With its Florence Nightingale exhibition closed to the public due to the current coronavirus lockdown, Derby Museums is making a special collection of content available online to commemorate the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth this year.

Historic Florence Nightingale scrapbook to be revealed online

A scrapbook showing how Florence Nightingale became a cultural phenomenon is going on display online in time for the 200th anniversary of the birth of the pioneer of modern nursing.

The Derbyshire-born nurse's work during the Crimean War revolutionised hospital sanitisation, and she led the way in collecting and displaying data to show the impact of care. Her influence can still be felt today, especially as the world tackles Covid-19.

Webinars from Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire

As part of the European Regional Development Fund project Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire has two great webinars for you to book onto next week.

On Tuesday 12 May at 2.30pm join Jo Dilley, Managing Director or Lindsay Rae for the Covid-19 Visitor Economy Recovery Planning Webinar.

The full recovery of the sector will take time, but in preparation of a potential phased reopening we have been asked by government to consider the following three questions:

Inspired Business Podcast from University of Derby

Inspired Business is the business podcast series from the University of Derby. Bringing you engaging and inspiring stories from across the business landscape in Derby, Derbyshire and beyond. Across the series, topics such as leadership, the environment, big data, performance sport and more will be covered. We find out what it's like to start up a business, to grow a business - and what it's like to start again.

Read more and download here.

Digital Support for SMEs

You can access a range of free webinars through the Digital Growth Programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Topics include website planning, ecommerce, social media, automation and remote working. See the latest webinar schedule here.  


FSB Marketing and Communications support

Friday 15 May, 11.30am - 12.30pm Online

This event will feature three FSB Award Winners who will give you the know how to make a success of promoting your business externally.

Shamshad Walker from Shamshad Walker Marketing will talk about how to make the most of marketing your business with Debbie Porter of Gravity Digital giving some top tips on using social media and Rachel Hayward of Ask the Chameleon explaining how you can secure success through bid writing and award entries.

Local Charity Gains National Recognition

The chief executive and a young ambassador of Derby-based charity Safe and Sound have both gained national recognition for their work to tackle and raise awareness of child exploitation.

Charity leader Tracy Harrison and child sexual exploitation survivor Louise Murphy-Fairclough (18) were both nominated for the NWG Exploitation Response Unit’s Unsung Hero Awards 2020 alongside representatives of organisations, local authorities and police forces across the UK.

Derby Children’s Picture Book Award 2020 announced

The winner of the second Derby Children’s Picture Book Award is announced today (1 May) by the organisers of Derby Book Festival.  The winning book, from a shortlist of four, is Brian the Brave by Paul Stewart and Jane Porter, published by Otter-Barry.  The Award, sponsored by local businesswoman Deborah Fern, aims to celebrate picture books that children can relate to and in which the diversity and challenges of modern life are represented. 

HSG Helps Businesses Prepare To Re-Open

Derby-based washroom hygiene services and water conservation specialists HSG have launched a new initiative to help businesses prepare for a smooth return to trading once lockdown restrictions start to be eased.

HSG’s Hygiene Audit - a health and wellbeing assessment for businesses - aims to give business owners peace of mind that they are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of their customers and staff moving forwards.

City Council urges businesses to claim funds

Bondholder Derby City Council is urging the city’s businesses to check if they have submitted a claim from the £47 million financial support and relief Covid-19 pandemic package.

Around 3,900 businesses are eligible to receive grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 yet to date, 1,000 companies have failed to submit.

Pharmaceutical research response

In the fight against the pandemic, Derby-based Bondholder N4 Pharma Plc is undertaking a Covid-19 proof of concept research project for Nuvec®, a novel delivery system for cancer treatments and vaccines.

The company has received delivery of an initial quantity of the Covid-19 plasmid DNA from the National Institute for Health in the USA and has appointed Evotec International Gmbh to undertake the proof of concept work for use with Covid-19 at its site in Toulouse, France.

Cancellation of Indietracks 2020

We’re very sad to announce that we have decided to cancel this year’s Indietracks festival due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We are so grateful to everyone who booked tickets, and to all the amazing artists, volunteers, staff and stage crew, and everyone else who has worked on putting the festival together this year. Thank you so much for your support and we’re sorry that we’re unable to go ahead this year. While it is a hard decision to take, the current circumstances have meant that it was the only option to ensure that we could keep everybody safe.

Free training help for those unemployed or furloughed

Yesterday saw the launch of The Skills Toolkit, which is the government’s response to enable people who are unemployed or furloughed to develop their workplace and digital skills.

The website groups training in to ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate; and ‘advanced’ courses and takes the learner to the relevant training provider offering this. All training courses are FREE.