Liz Lean PR announces expanded services and new senior hires

Liz Lean PR announces expanded services and new senior hires

Dorset-based PR agency Liz Lean PR has expanded its senior team, making three new senior appointments and formally expanding its planning and stakeholder engagement offers.

The agency has worked with clients on planning and stakeholder engagement throughout its 20-year history but is now bolstering these clients with a series of new hires.

Through their experience as journalists, editors, and political advisors, the three new hires will significantly diversify and enhance the agency’s offering and will set Liz Lean PR apart from other south coast PR agencies.

Ian Murray, former Editor of the Southampton Daily Echo, has been working with LLPR on select projects for several months and has now been appointed as a Senior Advisor with a focus on media in Dorset, Hampshire and nationwide. Ian left the Southern Daily Echo, based in Southampton, in 2017 after 19 years at the paper, during which time he was also Editor-in-Chief for a variety of Hampshire-based Newsquest titles. He is currently the Executive Director of the Society of Editors and is Vice Chair of the UK’s Defence and Security Media Advisor Committee as well as being a board member of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

Andy Martin, former Editor and News Editor of The Bournemouth Echo, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor on media and stakeholder engagement, working outside Dorset and Hampshire. After 31 years at the Echo, Andy stepped down in June, and will be working on current clients and new opportunities with Liz Lean PR. Andy is also involved in training journalists for Newsquest and the National Council for the Training of Journalists, is a lecturer at Bournemouth University, and a councillor on Highcliffe and Walkford Neighbourhood Council.

Emma Coakley has joined the agency in the newly created post of Head of Engagement. She builds on her time working with Liz Lean PR on several planning and development projects and has been appointed to expand the agency’s work in this area and on wider political stakeholder engagement. Bringing with her over 5 years of agency experience in London, she has also spent time as a Special Advisor to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and has worked on several local political and General Election campaigns. She will be working with clients to devise and execute effective strategies for both planning projects and community and reputation management.

All three will be providing advice and support to existing clients whilst also working to expand the agency across Dorset, Hampshire, and nationally.

Commenting on these hires, MD and founder Liz Willingham, said:

“With the media landscape ever changing, and as PR reshapes and evolves into new areas within our clients’ businesses, Andy, Ian and Emma bring an enviable amount of experience to the agency, allowing us to harness the change and push forward with our plans to grow.

“I am delighted that we have secured such strong talent around and am excited to see the significant value they are going to add to our client’s businesses across the country.”

Please email if you would like to discuss how Liz Lean PR could assist your business, or to arrange a meeting with Andy, Ian or Emma.

Weird Fish becomes first UK retailer to launch eco-friendly grass paper bags

Weird Fish becomes first UK retailer to launch eco-friendly grass paper bags

low energy production process achieves up to 75% reduction in CO2

Leading British casual and outdoor clothing brand Weird Fish has announced the widespread introduction of grass paper carrier bags throughout its retail network – a major step forward in the company’s ‘The Only Way Is Ethics’ sustainable policy

The grass paper bags will replace traditional single-use plastic carrier bags in Weird Fish stores and will be provided free of charge to shoppers. Weird Fish is the first UK retailer to implement grass paper bags throughout its entire retail network – with the products offering significant ecological benefits over standard paper bags.

What is grass paper?
Grass paper is a pulp-based product consisting of at least 30% grass fibres. No chemicals are used in the production of grass pulp, and the production process is much more water and energy efficient, using just two litres of water / 136 kWh per tonne of hay in comparison to 6,000 litres / 5,000 kWh per tonne of wood pulp. In total, the raw material production uses up to 75% less CO2 emissions compared to wood pulp.

The Only Way Is Ethics
John Stockton, Managing Director of Weird Fish, explained: “We’re delighted to announce the introduction of grass paper bags to stores as the latest step in our sustainable policy, ‘The Only Way Is Ethics’; we are proud to be the first UK retailers to introduce this bag alternative. While we appreciate that we still have a long way to go as a company to be able to say we are a completely sustainable brand, by continuing to take these relatively small but important steps, we become ever closer to reaching our goals.”

The Weird Fish sustainable policy, which was introduced earlier this year, has already seen several initiatives implemented into standard practice, including:
• Introduction of sustainable fabrics within the clothing range, including Tencel, bamboo and linen
• A partnership with Newlife, a charity for disabled children, to reduce the amount of unsold stock going to landfill
• Provision of fabric offcuts, old trims and spare parts to fashion university departments to recycle into garments
• Trialing plastic-free alternatives for web packaging
• Working with new and more sustainable green factories

The grass paper bags, which are fully recyclable and compostable, will be used through the entire network of Weird Fish branded stores, including pop-up shops. Customers are also able to purchase 100% organic cotton reusable tote bags in-store, which are made with no bleaching, dying or printing chemicals, if they wish to opt for a longer-lasting alternative.

Weird Fish boasts 17 branded stores nationally. Weird Fish is also available online at

Hall & Woodhouse team members take on gruelling challenges in support of National Air Ambulance Week

Hall & Woodhouse team members take on gruelling challenges in support of National Air Ambulance Week

Hall & Woodhouse team members from across the south have collectively raised over £6,000 for local Air Ambulance charities in September by taking part in an abseil down Spinnaker Tower and the Thames Path Challenge, in support of National Air Ambulance Week.

30 team members from 10 different Hall & Woodhouse pubs took part in the nerve-racking 170 metre descent of the Spinnaker Tower, with The Lulworth Cove Inn, The Crown Hotel in Blandford and The Old Granary in Wareham all participating in the challenge.

In additional a group of six team and family members took on the Thames Path Challenge, a 100km trek from Putney Bridge to Henley. Two of the team bravely completed the full 100km challenge and between them raising £1,200 for the local Air Ambulance charities.

Lucinda Gray, Next Generation Family Director and Company Relationship Manager at Hall & Woodhouse, said: “I am so proud of the team spirit and camaraderie that I have seen throughout both these challenges. We had team members overcoming their fear of heights and overcoming fatigue and blisters all in order to raise as much money as possible for our chosen charity partner, which is truly inspiring. When it costs £3,000 for each Air Ambulance mission, every penny really does count.”

Eight Air Ambulance charities were voted by Hall & Woodhouse’s team members at the start of 2018 as the company’s official charity partner until 2020, including Devon, Dorset and Somerset, Great Western, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Kent Surrey Sussex, London, Thames Valley and Wiltshire. The family owned company has now raised over £200,000 to date, with less than £50,000 remaining to reach its ultimate target of £250,000 over its two-year partnership.

Tracy Bartram, Communications Manager at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, added: “Working with Hall & Woodhouse throughout this two-year partnership has been nothing but a fantastic experience. The fundraising that the team undertake is multi-varied and constant. They are enthusiastic and an absolute pleasure for all our eight charities to work with. So many Hall & Woodhouse representatives have taken part in the Spinnaker Tower abseil, which shows how dedicated they all are”.

“I would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who is supporting our eight air ambulance charities, not only during National Air Ambulance Week, but throughout the whole year. No matter the amount, every penny raised really does make a huge difference to the patients who need us.”

Hall & Woodhouse has raised more than £800,000 for charity over the past seven years through its different initiatives. The company is committed to supporting the local communities across the south of England and is continually looking for new ways to give back to its guests.

Please visit for more information.



Haskins Garden Centre staff conquer 5k challenge in aid of Faithworks Wessex

Haskins Garden Centre staff conquer 5k challenge in aid of Faithworks Wessex

Twelve team members from Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown conquered the Bournemouth Marathon Festival Supernova 5K on Saturday October 6.

The team from Haskins ran in aid of Faithworks Wessex, the centre’s chosen charity of the year for 2019. Faithworks Wessex is a local independent Christian charity that helps people get out of crisis and isolation, finding practical solutions around food, finance and shelter.

All twelve team members completed the challenge that encouraged participants to dress in fluorescent clothing and bring along glow sticks. The route took the runners down Bournemouth Pier and back to the Lower Gardens to complete the 5k course. For more information visit .

Dolphin Shopping Centre supports World Mental Health Day

Dolphin Shopping Centre supports World Mental Health Day

The Dolphin Shopping Centre in Poole is supporting World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of the professional support available to residents.

World Mental Health Day takes place on Thursday, October 10 and aims to encourage more people dealing with mental health disorders to seek advice to boost their personal wellbeing.

The team from Dorset HealthCare will be hosting a stand in the mall outside of Marks & Spencer from 10am to 4pm, where they will have information, leaflets and sweets to hand out to members of the public.

Statistics published by the charity, Mind, report that one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. In England alone, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression in any given week.

Nikki Dawson, a mental health practitioner for Dorset HealthCare, said that herself and the team will be wearing yellow as part of the #HelloYellow campaign by the cause, Young Minds, in support of children and young people’s mental health.

She added: “We are really pleased to have the support of the Dolphin Shopping Centre to enable us to promote the services we offer during World Mental Health Day. It will be a good opportunity for people to come along on the day and get more personalised guidance in terms of us signposting the services that can help them.”

Information provided on the day will feature a range of information and guides including how to improve your sleep and self-help resources for low mood, anxiety and self-esteem. The Dorset HealthCare team will also be celebrating the launch of the new Connections 27/7 phoneline on Thursday to mark World Mental Health Day, which is open to people of all ages in Dorset who are needing mental health support.

John Grinnell, centre manager at the Dolphin Shopping Centre, said: “We are proud to back World Mental Health Day and are pleased to welcome the Dorset HealthCare team to the centre to spread awareness of the support available to people of all ages. We are keen to play our part in raising the profile of the mental health support services available across the county and hope that this will help to further reduce the stigma of accessing the help provided.”

For more information about the Dolphin Shopping Centre, visit

Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital partners with Southampton parkrun to introduce south’s first-ever parkwalk

Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital partners with Southampton parkrun to introduce south’s first-ever parkwalk

Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital in Chandler’s Ford is joining forces with the organisers of Southampton’s popular Parkrun this October to officially launch the south’s first-ever ‘parkwalk at parkrun’, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the popular weekly free timed run.


On Saturday October 12 at 9am, the Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital Walk Challenge will take place on Southampton Common as part of the inaugural 5km ‘parkwalk at parkrun’ and aims to encourage past hip and knee replacement patients, as well as hospital physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeons, to participate in the walk and raise awareness of successful recovery back to an active lifestyle post-surgery.


The Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital Walk Challenge supports the parkwalk objective to be inclusive and help people of all abilities get involved with an active pursuit with the support and guidance of walk leaders. In addition, the collaboration with parkwalk celebrates the recent introduction of pioneering Mako™ robotic-arm assisted technology at Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital.  This new technology assists orthopaedic surgeons to fit a hip or knee implant with even greater accuracy, reducing pain and speeding up recovery time meaning a patient may return to their former lifestyle quicker.


A team from the hospital will be on-hand during the walk to talk about joint pain and treatments available to those experiencing joint discomfort.  To take part, walkers are being encouraged to register for free via the registration page on the parkrun website and in doing so will be able to receive a timed walk.


Thelma Henderson, hospital director at Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital, says: “Walking is a great form of exercise that can improve health and wellbeing, and returning to everyday activities is important for a full recovery after hip or knee replacement surgery.  Joint replacement patients are encouraged to do low-impact exercise, such as walking, following surgery as keeping muscles strong is essential to promote function.


“We are delighted that the Nuffield Health Wessex Walk Challenge is to be part of the south’s first-ever parkwalk at parkrun event.  We hope to not only encourage any patient who has had a hip or a knee replacement and can walk 5km to come along to Southampton Common on October 12 and participate, but also our orthopaedic consultants and physiotherapists to take part as well.”


Rob Kelly, event director of Southampton parkrun, adds: “We are delighted to partner with Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital to introduce not only Hampshire’s first-ever parkwalk but also the first in the south of England.  With the hospital’s support, we aim to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in our 5km walk which will take place alongside the parkrun course.  Walkers will be met by leaders, who will guide them through the walk at their own pace.


“We believe parkwalk will have a positive impact on the fitness levels of the community and become as popular as parkrun which launched 15 years ago in Bushy Park, London, and now takes place in 1,400 locations in 23 countries, witnessing more than 2,000,000 runners take part.”


To register for parkwalk please visit