As an independent and family run business, Collier & Dobson knows how important supporting local business and being an active part of the community is.
We are fortunate in Fordingbridge to have a fantastic network of businesses, organisations and individuals who are willing to come together and help one another – and never was that more apparent than over the last 18 months.
When COVID-19 first reared its head and plunged us all into lockdown, the small businesses of this riverside town rallied around, arranging deliveries of food and essentials to locals, organising (permitted) assistance to the vulnerable, and making huge changes to their premises and offerings to accommodate the changing climate.
Kind hearted individuals freely offered their (unusually) spare time to help support the efforts of shops selling essentials and chemists delivering prescriptions, and in a myriad of other ways besides.
We hope that if anything is to be taken from last year's lessons, the spirit of solidarity will continue as we tentatively emerge from the restrictions of recent months.
At Collier & Dobson we have long been a supporter of local organisations, regularly donating to Hampshire Air Ambulance, and sponsoring Fordingbridge Rugby Club (FRFC) for the last 10 years.
Having played for FRFC for 27 years, it is no surprise that Collier & Dobson Director Philip Collier wanted to 'give back' to the club, who he says have become “friends for life”.
Over his time with the club Philip has captained the 1st team and coached the juniors for 20 years, and is a fierce advocate for its values, saying that it “gives people a place where they can feel safe.”
The spirit of the club embodies 'fellowship' and a primary role is to encourage local people to become a part of the club and community where they can create life long friendships. The majority of the club's players are from the local area and they make visits to local schools to offer coaching.
As the poem by Samantha Wallace says “Life is like a rugby game, You must play it as a team”, and Philip is keen to point out that the level of focus and teamwork that being a part of the club cultivates has led to it being “a fantastic resource to employ staff - far better than any recruitment company”. Indeed,
Collier & Dobson have employed a good number of hard-working FRFC players in the workshops over the years.
With Rugby Union season having started in September and running until May, you have plenty of opportunity to head to the field and watch the team play – you may even spy our logo emblazoned on the club's kit, supplied by Kit World.
If you are in the Fordingbridge area, be sure to pay a visit to our Sculpture Garden and Gallery and Interiors Showroom. We have plenty of beautiful sculpture, wall art, home accessories and gifts to choose from. Why not take the time to browse the other lovely local shops and businesses too – from fashion boutiques and gift shops, to gourmet food, there really is something for everyone.