The lockdown period has had a devastating effect on many local businesses.

But award-winning New Forest chocolatier Kerry Witt has focused on her attention on turning things around, with the launch of new products and services.

After the much-loved Chocolate by Miss Witt workshops had to be cancelled and her hotel clients were forced to shut their doors, Kerry decided to create Chocolate Making Kits, to enable both children and adults to carry on with the workshops in the comfort of their own home.

She has now come up with new Chocolate Kits including a Bee Happy Lollipop Kit, which enables children to make six lollipops with bees and daisy prints on, and a children's Happy Birthday Lollipop Kit.

For adults and teenagers who love to bake or cook, Kerry has dreamed up the Sea Salt Caramel Truffle Kit, aimed at those wanting to learn a new skill at home and give them more confidence working with chocolate.

"When lockdown started my business fell off a cliff like many, but I have always been positive and have overcome obstacles, whether it’s been my own health issues and being Dyslexic but what has helped me get through all of this is thinking outside the box," says Kerry, who is based in Lymington.

Dorset Society: New Forest chocolatier Kerry WittNew Forest chocolatier Kerry Witt

"I have found there have been so many kind people who have reached out to help, including a grammar school teacher noticing I needed help on proof-reading my recipe cards for the Chocolate Making Kits."

As the King sent chocolate to the troops during the First World War to help keep their moral up, Kerry is echoing this by donating chocolate to our present day heroes at Lymington and Royal Bournemouth Hospital, also to key workers at a care home.

Miss Witt has now also set up an online shop, were you can purchase the chocolate making kits and chocolate including a new Conker Gin Truffle. The gin is blended with white chocolate and fresh lime made in her unique award winning style.