Oliver Letwin MP: “remarkable” Dormen

A meeting was held recently in Dorchester to brief the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset, on the Dormen Business Mentoring Programme. It involved Kevin Poulton, East Dorset District Council’s Economic Generation Manager, Vivian Dunn, Dormen’s Programme Manager, and Tony Garvey, one of Dormen’s volunteer business mentors. The history and current operation of the programme was covered, and Tony Garvey described in detail the progress made by some of his clients.

Mr Letwin took a great interest in the programme and hearing about its clients and said “I was enormously impressed by what I heard about Dormen”.

L to R: Vivian Dunn, Tony Garvey, Oliver Lewtin MP, Kevin Poulton

L to R: Vivian Dunn, Tony Garvey, Oliver Letwin MP, Kevin Poulton

A few days later, in his ‘In my view’ article in the Western Gazette, Oliver Letwin wrote:

“A few days ago, I met some of the remarkable people who constitute Dorset Mentoring (or Dormen for short).

As its name suggests, this is a home-grown Dorset-based organisation that makes use of the fact that some very distinguished businessmen and businesswomen have retired here and are more than willing to offer considerable chunks of their time for free to help people who are trying to make their way in new businesses. The fact that the whole thing is voluntary, enables it to operate in a flexible way.

It is just a question of two people – one the helper, the other the helped – being put in touch with one another and then, hey presto, amazing businesses come to life.

I was shown examples of local companies that have established themselves as market-leaders in double-quick time – making things that people really want, and making profits for their originators. The secret is putting the energy and inspiration of the entrepreneur together with the battle-scarred experience of the mentor.”