About Us


Charity Registration Number: 1182444

The Beacon Project got started eight years ago with a Big Lottery Fund award for work to strengthen community feeling in
Lytchett Minster and Upton. Because we’re on the edges of Poole on one side and Purbeck on the other, over the years the parish had missed out on
some of the basic things that are found in similar sized places even though we’ve got over 8,000 inhabitants. We have now established a new charity,
LUBCA (Lytchett Minster and Upton Beacon Community Association) to carry on the Beacon activities and run the Community Centre.

Just to remind you of what we have been up to since 2010….

Upton Carnival
One of the most popular requests in the 2008 Town Plan was for the Carnival to be revived after a fifteen year absence. Through the Beacon Project, this has been very successfully achieved, bringing the community together and giving a feel-good factor. The Carnival has been supported by the schools, community groups, the Town Council, churches and businesses, and each year it gets bigger and better. Heartfelt thanks are due to our volunteers who help organise fund raising events – the fun run, five aside football, barn dances and quizzes, all of which are very well supported by the community.

Farmers Markets / VenFest
Over the first few years we ran farmers markets with around 600 people attending each time. Talking to the traders we decided to improve the format and so we re-launched as a Food Festival intending to run it as a yearly event. A fun day with education and entertainment for the public, schools and local community groups. This is now VenFest, run solely by volunteers wishing to help raise funds to go back to the local community.

Children’s Activity programme
The Beacon Project also successfully organised Children’s Activities in the school holidays. They included dancing, craft lessons, dog training, day trips, shows and a Christmas party hosted by the Upton Working Men’s Club who have been very supportive in hosting-fund raising events free of charge.

Upton Trailway
The long-neglected Trailway had been surfaced up to the path into Factory Road, paving the way for future work by the Borough of Poole to link into Upton Country Park. The improvements benefitted walkers and cyclists by taking them off the main road, and offered easy safe walking for families in the direction of Upton Country Park. The Beacon Project worked together with the Dorset Countryside Ranger Team with additional funding from Viridor to enable this work got to be completed.

Boardwalk, Lytchett Bay View
The Beacon Project worked with the Town Council to enable completion of a missing link-the Lytchett Bay View Boardwalk project.

Community Art
The Community Art Strand’s first project was a local initiative in to improve the appearance of the hoardings at the Greenridge site in the heart of Upton. The Beacon Project took the lead, and with Nina Camplin, an award winning mural artist, to produced attractive postcard style art works on the hoardings. We were very fortunate in receiving sponsorship for various boards, support from all the schools, youth club, and community art groups and ended up by replacing an eyesore with a site to be admired for everyone. With the end of the construction work the boards have been relocated to sites around the town, not least the Mural Garden created by our volunteers at the Triangle shopping centre.

Arts Festival Week
As an extension of the Community Art activities we hold an Arts Festival Week in the summer with the churches hosting short musical sessions each day. The schools, pre-schools and local musical talent all participate, finishing with an art and musical exhibition. A town-wide competition for the best “garden figure” has been held annually since 2015.

Good Neighbour Service
We worked with the Purbeck Good Neighbour Scheme to bring it from other parts of Purbeck District to Lytchett Minster, Upton and Lytchett Matravers. Over a hundred volunteers came forward to help isolated people.

Jobs Hub
The Beacon Project together with Poole Council for Voluntary Service opened up a Job Hub centre which was kindly hosted by the Working Men’s Club to support people looking for work, giving advice, guidance and sign up.

Food Bank
A Food Bank was started at the United Reform Church in Lytchett Minster. It was a much needed service for people in difficulties, and the Beacon Project worked as a satellite of the Poole Food Bank. Faithworks Wessex ran this service with the help of volunteers.

Now, we need your help please!

To keep up our work for the local communities of Lytchett Minster and Upton we are in urgent need of

volunteers who wish to help with LUBCA events.

If you think you can spare some time, be it on the event days or helping with the organising of these events in the background,

then please do contact us at volunteers@venfest.org