Shropshire

Summer celebrations sky lanterns and balloons ban

Shropshire Council News Feed - 5 hours 3 min ago

As the summer season of parties and celebrations gets underway with The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, people are being reminded not to release sky lanterns or balloons.

The warning, from Shropshire Council’s climate team, is reminding people that both balloons and lanterns can be particularly harmful to livestock, causing serious injury or death, as well as the lanterns posing a significant fire risk.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets and the green economy, said:-

“We certainly don’t want to dampen people’s spirits, especially as we celebrate the milestone event of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the extended Bank Holiday weekend, but we must also be mindful of the environmental impact of our celebrations.

“These items may well look pretty when they float off into the sky, but when the debris lands in our countryside and is eaten by animals and livestock they can cause real problems. I know that some people will be tempted to buy them and set them off, but I would urge them not to.

“The use of sky lanterns on Shropshire Council-owned land was banned several years ago, and Shropshire Council voted in February this year for the Government to classify the release of sky lanterns and balloons as littering and therefore a criminal offence.”

Campaigners estimate up to 200,000 sky lanterns are released in the UK every year and warn they can:-

  • Start wildfires
  • Kill animals
  • Destroy food growing in fields
  • Set homes and buildings alight.

While warnings come that:-

  • Over the past five years, on average three balloons per 100m have been found during the Great British Beach Clean.
  • Balloons marketed as ‘biodegradable’ can last up to four years, ie as litter
  • Animals, including livestock, can be injured through ingestion, entanglement and entrapment.
  • Marine turtles are particularly vulnerable. The digestive tract of a juvenile green turtle, washed up dead near Blackpool in 2001, was completely blocked by marine litter including a large fragment of blue latex balloon
  • Animals get tangled up in balloon ribbons and string, restricting their movement and the ability to eat.

The post Summer celebrations sky lanterns and balloons ban appeared first on Shropshire Council Newsroom.

Categories: Shropshire

Carers Week 2022: host of events to recognise and celebrate Shropshire’s carers

Shropshire Council News Feed - 5 hours 12 min ago

Over 30 activities across Shropshire are set to take place throughout Carers Week (local activities are extended to a fortnight this year, from Monday 6 June to Saturday 18 June 2022) in recognition of unpaid and family carers across Shropshire.

The Carers Week Events Programme  has been organised by Shropshire Carers Support Team, and comprises of both outdoor and online activities.

Carers Week 2022

Carers Week aims to raise the profile and highlight the vital role unpaid carers play in our communities. This year’s theme is ‘Make caring visible, valued and supported’ and helps draw attention to how important caring is.

Carers Week last year

Activities throughout the fortnight include:-

  • Canal trips
  • Garden and museum visits
  • Exotic zoo animal therapy
  • Carers surgeries
  • Quizzes
  • Craft sessions
  • Complementary refreshments
  • And much more.

Carers Week last year

Online interactive workshop

In addition, carers can also join ‘From Stress to Strength’ interactive workshops hosted jointly with Telford and Wrekin carers centre on Tuesday 7 June 2022 from 2pm till 3pm.

The Stress to strength is a programme of short workshops run by Caroline Rollings, including easy to learn self-help techniques that help calm stress relieve feelings of anxiety, fear, anger and live life with greater ease and joy. Carers will be able to join the free only workshop by signing up here. Click here to join the meeting. For further details about the events contact Margarete Davies on 01743 255776 or email margarete.davies@shropshire.gov.uk

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said:-

“Unpaid and family carers across Shropshire faced many new challenges during the height of the pandemic and continue to do so. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their friends and family members who cannot manage without this support.

“Carers Week is our opportunity to say thank you to all unpaid and family carers in Shropshire: we recognise and appreciate the valuable support you provide to others.

“We hope the activities will be therapeutic for you, bring joy and companionship, and it is our way to say, ‘thank you for all that you do’.

“Throughout Carers Week we will also be showcasing some of the personal stories from local carers in Shropshire. These highlight the valuable contribution our unpaid and family carers make.”

Margarete Davies, Shropshire Council’s carers lead, added:-

“Shropshire Carers Support Team are excited to share our Carers Week Events Programme with you. This year we have extended the activities over a two-week period (Monday 6 June to Saturday 18 June 2022) to try and reach as many carers as possible.

“Now we are past the heights of the pandemic, we’re inviting carers to join in our activities and reconnect with nature and join us in the natural environments of Shropshire, where we can enjoy the beauty of our countryside with others.

“Alternatively, you may like to come to one of our crafting and plant swap activities or get up close and personal with the animals from the exotic zoo, or maybe join us virtually at the stress to strength workshop, a virtual cuppa or testing your general knowledge at an online quiz.

“Whether you want to immerse yourself in a garden walk or join activities from home, or maybe do a little of both, we hope you will find something for yourself, and look forward to you joining us during the two-week period.

“With over 30 activities dedicated to carers, there is a blended mix of outdoor and virtual options – our small way to say ‘thank you’ for all that you do. Whether you want to come along in person to the activities or join them from home, we hope you will find something for you.”

 Enter our carer competition and win a pamper gift

Carers can enter a competition by describing ‘What has made you feel visible and valued as a carer’. Entries can be emailed to shropshire.carers@shropshire.gov.uk  Deadline for submissions is Monday 13 June 2022.

Two lucky winners will each receive a beauty/massage voucher (value £35), and runner ups will receive a small goody bag (value £10), courtesy of Gemini Hair & Beauty consultancy in Wem.

The winners will be notified by email on 15 June 2022.

Margarete Davies continued:- 

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that have generously donated gifts for Carers Week, and those who have given up their time to present activities and talks. A full list of all contributors can be found on the programme (and on this page).”

For Shropshire Carers calendar of events and further details, please click Carers Week Events Programme

Booking is required for all ‘in person’ activities. (If transport is an issue, please discuss when booking onto an activity). Virtual activities can be accessed by clicking on the links provided.

To book contact: Shropshire Carers on 01743 341995 or email: shropshire.carers@shropshire.gov.uk

Hundreds of activities are taking place across the country during Carers Week and many people have ‘Added Their Voice’ on the Carers Week website to make caring visible this year. To find out more about Carers Week visit https://www.carersweek.org/.

Further information 

Thank you to all the contributors to Carers Week in Shropshire 

  • Shrewsbury Town in the Community
  • National Trust
  • Mobilise
  • Caroline Rolling – Finding Peace Within
  • Percy Throwers Garden Centre
  • Oakgate Nursery & Garden Centre
  • Severn Valley Railway
  • Ludlow Farm Shop
  • Acton Scott
  • Hodnet Hall Gardens
  • Babbinswood Organic Farm
  • Moongate Plant Centre
  • Whittington Castle
  • Rays Farm
  • Albrighton Garden Centre
  • Gemini Hair & Beauty
  • Fordhall Organic Farm
  • Shropshire Museums
  • Derwen College
  • Alderford Lake
  • Morrisons
  • Exotic Zoo
  • Royal Air Force Museum

What is a carer?

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness, substance misuse issue, or who needs extra help as they grow older.

For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s mental or physical health gradually worsens.

The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing emotional support or personal care day and night.

Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a huge impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.

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Categories: Shropshire

Ensuring safe food is served up for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 17:08

Shropshire Council is working with Food Standards Agency (FSA) to ensure safe food is served up for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  

If you are planning to celebrate in Shropshire during the Bank Holiday weekend (Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June 2022) and you’re not sure where to start with food safety, here are some easy-to-follow tips so the food at your event is memorable for the right reasons.  

To ensure a risk-free celebration, remember warm weather and outdoor cooking is the perfect condition for bacteria to grow, and risks remain when preparing and serving chilled food.  

Food safety advice for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Here are some simple tips if you’re making food for large numbers of people:     

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water before food preparation and consumption   
  • Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables  
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods apart   
  • Do not use food past its use-by date   
  • Always read any cooking instructions and make sure food is properly cooked before you serve it – it needs to be piping hot  
  • Ensure that food preparation areas are cleaned and sanitised before and after use and ensure equipment is washed in hot soapy water   
  • Plan ahead to keep your food cool until you’re ready to eat. Any foods which you would usually keep in the fridge at home also need to be kept cool on your picnic. This includes; any food with a use-by-date, cooked dishes, salads and dairy products, place these foods in a cool box or cool bag with ice or frozen gel packs. Distribute these throughout the box or bag, not all at the bottom. You can also use frozen drinks to help keep your cool box cold. Store cold food below five degrees to prevent bacteria from growing.    

 Narriman Looch, head of foodborne disease control at the FSA, said:-

“We are delighted that the Platinum Jubilee gives communities in Shropshire a chance to enjoy gathering together over the long weekend to celebrate this historic milestone. Celebrating safely means thinking about food safety ahead of time, so on the day you can concentrate on enjoying the party.  
  
“We know there’s a lot to organise, but don’t forget hygiene is also important, so plan out carefully how you will prepare, make and store food. None of us want unsafe food to affect the fun we will all hope to have on the day.”    

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, added:-

“After the last two years, the Jubilee is a wonderful chance for the people of Shropshire to celebrate. Please take the time to think in advance how you can make sure your food is safe, because last year over 500 cases of food poisoning were reported to Shropshire Council. Follow these simple tips to make your event memorable for the right reasons.” 

 You do not need a food hygiene training certificate to make and sell food for charity events; however, you need to make sure that you handle food safely.  Following FSA guidance on the 4 Cs: cleaning, chilling, cooking, avoiding cross-contamination, will help you prepare a safe feast for your community.      

If you are putting on a one-off event for friends and neighbours, you do not need to register; however, if any food businesses are present, they must be registered with the council. You can check out their food hygiene rating here.     

For specific food safety information regarding holding a street party please see the following guidance from the Food Standards Agency.   

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Categories: Shropshire

Some Shrewsbury town centre roads to close for Jubilee bank holidays

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 15:56

High Street, Shrewsbury, closed to traffic

Parts of Shrewsbury town centre will close to traffic over the Jubilee weekend, as the current weekend closures are extended to include the bank holidays on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June.

Since 20 November 2021, Wyle Cop (uphill), High Street and Shoplatch have been closed to through-traffic from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays to help reduce traffic in the town centre at weekends.

Now those closures will be in place for the four days of the Jubilee weekend – 2 to 5 June – to encourage people to visit the town and enjoy what promises to be a celebratory atmosphere.

Richard Marshall, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member for highways, said

“The weekend closure has been well received by all with shoppers, visitors and businesses telling us how welcome it is. We’ve also seen for ourselves what a positive difference it makes to the town centre at weekends and I’m very pleased that we can extend it to cover to include the two Jubilee bank holidays.

“Shrewsbury continues to do well as we emerge from the pandemic, and we hope this extended closure will encourage people to visit, support and enjoy the town over the Jubilee weekend.”

Emma Molyneux from Shrewsbury BID said:

“We are hoping for a lovely celebratory atmosphere in Shrewsbury over the special bank holiday weekend. Lots of businesses are getting involved with jubilee-themed window displays and events, and will be creating a relaxation and picnic space in the Square and St Alkmund’s Churchyard with live musicians performing over the weekend to add to the atmosphere.”

Alan Mosley, Leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, said:

“I’m delighted that the street closures have been extended and I’m sure that the move will encourage many people to come into the town and stay longer.

“The partial pedestrianisation of the Wyle Cop, High Street, Shoplatch, etc. has been a success story and been very well received by residents, visitors and businesses alike. it is without doubt a major contributor the our post-pandemic recovery. I hope we can learn from the experience when developing traffic management schemes in future.”

All Shrewsbury town centre car parks will remain fully accessible at all times during the closure, with free parking available on Sundays and bank holidays in Abbey Foregate and Frankwell.

Disabled parking remains available at all times on Castle Street, St Mary’s Street, Dogpole, Roushill and Beeches Lane – and in the five additional disabled parking bays introduced 24/7 as part of the trial closure – three in Princess Street and two in Claremont Street.

During the closures through-traffic should avoid using Town Walls and instead use the inner bypass via Old Potts Way to reach their destination, helping to protect this historic part of the town.

For details of Arriva bus services operating in Shrewsbury over the bank holiday weekend, click here.

More information, including a map and a ‘question and answer’ section, can be found at www.shrewsburymoves.com.

The current weekend closures are to remain in place until at least October 2022.

Further information

In addition The Square is closed to traffic every day from 10am to 4pm.

A wider movement and public realm strategy is now being produced, on behalf of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership, which will carefully consider whether the trial should be adapted or remain on a more permanent basis

Feasibility work has begun on low traffic zone proposals for Town Walls.

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Categories: Shropshire

Lifeguard training offer to fill vacancies at Market Drayton swimming centre

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 14:48

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust has launched a new training scheme to nurture local talent and encourage more people to become lifeguards in Market Drayton.

The training will take place at Market Drayton Swimming & Fitness Centre, and on successful completion will give a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) and an opportunity for employment at the centre.

The training will take place over six-days, during which participants will learn the theory and practical skills needed to be a lifeguard. The course includes training in water safety, casualty recovery, CPR and emergency first aid, and costs £226.05 for people aged 16 and 17, and £282.55 for over 18s. It is open to anyone over 16 who is fit, healthy and a strong swimmer.

Cecilia Motley Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:-

“This is a great opportunity for people to learn a new skill, with the prospect of a rewarding career in the leisure industry as a lifeguard on completion of the course.

“Market Drayton Swimming & Fitness Centre is often on the lookout for new lifeguards and is able to offer flexible employment which can fit around study or other employment, so it’s a great job to fit around other commitments.”

“On successful completion of the course participants who come and work for us may also benefit from funding for their course.

“Lifeguards are vital to pool safety and do an incredible job protecting the public at pools across the county. I encourage all those interested to contact us and find out more about this exciting opportunity.”

Training will take place in Market Drayton on Saturday 28 May, Sunday 29 May, Monday 30 May, Tuesday 31 May, Wednesday 1 June and Saturday 4 June 2022.

Lifeguard qualifications opportunities at Market Drayton Swimming & Fitness centre

To find out more visit https://www.shropshireleisurecentres.com/market-drayton-swimming-fitness-centre/contact-us/ or call 0345 000 7004.

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Categories: Shropshire

Council seeks views for revised housing allocations policy

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 11:40

Shropshire Council is asking for views from local organisations and residents on the proposed changes to the criteria used to allocate social and affordable housing to people who live and work in Shropshire.

The review of the Housing Allocations Policy (HomePoint) will ensure that applicants in the greatest need are allocated social and affordable housing.

Key proposed changes to the draft housing policy include:-

  • Increasing the number of bands contained in the policy from four to seven, to ensure people’s housing needs are better managed within the policy.
  • Introducing a local connection criterion, where, subject to statutory exceptions, those who qualify must have been living in Shropshire for the last year or more, have close family living in Shropshire, or be employed in Shropshire.

It is also proposed that new applicants who have sufficient income to purchase or rent market-priced housing within Shropshire which is suitable for their needs would not qualify to be on the housing register.

Therefore, the draft policy proposes a threshold household income of £50,000 gross per annum, or savings and assets (including equity in a property) of more than £200,000, or both. Those new applicants on and above this threshold would not qualify to be on the housing register.

Following the changes to the draft policy, those who may no longer qualify to be on the housing register, on the basis of not having a local connection, will be notified and advised on their right to appeal.

The draft policy will also introduce formal nominations agreements with housing associations operating in Shropshire. This will ensure that applicants in the greatest housing need are allocated social and affordable housing.

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said:-

“As a council we have a statutory duty to ensure those with the greatest needs have access to social and affordable housing. Whether that is through allocations to council housing managed by our own ALMO, Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing (STAR Housing), or through nominations to housing associations.

“The revised policy also aims to prevent and tackle homelessness; promote independent living and reduce admissions to residential care; and enable key workers on low incomes to access affordable housing.

“Increasing the number of bands contained in the policy will allow for greater differentiation in prioritising categories of applicants who are required to be given priority under housing legislation.

“It will also recognise the needs of those applicants who may not be in a priority group recognised by legislation, but are still in housing need, for example, key workers in low-paid employment.

“I encourage everyone who may be affected by this policy to take the time to comment on the new proposals. This proposed draft policy will provide us with a much fairer and more sustainable approach to housing provision in Shropshire.”

For further information and to comment on the proposed draft housing policy visit Housing allocations policy | Shropshire Council

Closing date for submissions is Sunday 3 July 2022.

Statutory exceptions will still apply to the Armed Forces, ex-service personnel, existing social tenants moving to employment in Shropshire, and persons who need to move from another council area to escape domestic abuse or other forms of violence or harm, who will automatically qualify to be on the housing register.

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Categories: Shropshire

Meet the Leader event welcomed in Market Drayton

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 11:20

Public transport, sports facilities and the preservation of Walkmill Meadows were top of the agenda for residents in Market Drayton when they met with the Leader of Shropshire Council, Lezley Picton, last week (Thursday 19 May 2022).

A total of 15 residents attended Lezley’s Meet the Leader event which took place at the Town Hall, all of whom were eager to talk to her about their ideas and the things that matter to them.

Lezley Picton meets Market Drayton residents at the event

The event also offered those attending a chance to see the council’s new proposals for improving transport, travel and public spaces in the town, and to meet the team behind the proposals.

Lezley said:-

“My Meet the Leader event in Market Drayton last week was the busiest one yet. Over the three hours, me and local Shropshire Councillor Ian Nellins spoke to 15 people. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to stay longer.

“It was great to see so many faces and hear people’s ideas and concerns, which mainly centred around public transport, sports facilities and the preservation of Walkmill Meadows.

“There are so many passionate people in the town who are keen to find solutions and make things better, and I’m confident that we can, together.

“We’ve gathered so much information which has been carefully noted down and will be actioned as appropriate.”

The well-attended Meet The Leader event in Market Drayton

Ian Nellins, local Shropshire Councillor for Market Drayton West, added:-

“I was very pleased that residents took the opportunity to raise issues with the Leader. The points made were all relevant, well prepared and communicated.

“The challenge now is to set the conditions to bring results on the main issues, in particular public transport and improved sports facilities.

“The initial interaction on the Future Connectivity Plan is also encouraging, and I very much hope that more residents will participate in the consultation over the next few weeks. Market Drayton residents appreciate that Lezley came to listen to their issues and I’m sure she will be back in a few months for another visit.”

The council’s consultation on its proposals for improving transport, travel and public spaces in the town is open until early next month. People can find out more about this here: https://shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/market-drayton-future-connectivity-plan/

Meet the Leader is part of a series of sessions taking place all over the county, offering residents the chance to ask questions and raise any concerns with Lezley herself.

The next session will be in Bishop’s Castle on Wednesday 13 July 2022, although the time and location is yet to be confirmed.

Lezley added:-

“Meet the Leader is proving to be a great way of getting out to meet people within their community and hear first-hand what really matters to them.

“It’s also a great way of building relationships and making sure that we work together to find solutions.

“I look forward to seeing you at my next event.”

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Categories: Shropshire

Survey to make the most of Shropshire’s Great Outdoors

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 08:38

People are being asked to get involved and have a say on what matters to them in Shropshire’s Great Outdoors annual survey.

The Annual Outdoor Recreation User Survey, led by Shropshire Council’s outdoor partnership service, includes questions about the outdoor facilities and activities residents and visitors make use of, how information is obtained, any access barriers people may face, and how satisfied users are with the services provided.

All the information  gathered in the survey will be used to support the delivery of Shropshire’s Great Outdoors Strategy 2018-28 which sets out how Shropshire Council and its partners aim to conserve and enhance the natural environment, improve people’s health and wellbeing and support the local tourism economy.

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:-

“Residents and visitors alike enjoy the vast range of activities on offer and the natural beauty of our county which is also steeped in history and culture.

“Undertaking the survey each year allows Shropshire Council to understand how things are changing and where future actions should be prioritised so our strategy can evolve, and people can continue to improve their wellbeing by being active outdoors.”

To take part in the Annual Outdoor Recreation User Survey, please click here. It is open until Friday 5 August 2022.

The Shropshire outdoor partnerships service maintains and protects public rights of way, country parks, countryside and heritage sites, greenspaces and play areas, and supports the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership.

If you have any comments about the engagement work undertaken by Outdoor Partnerships, please email: outdoor.recreation@shropshire.gov.uk

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Major investigation launched following train fire

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/23/2022 - 17:03

News from our partners British Transport Police

Detectives from British Transport Police have launched a major investigation, following a train fire close to Craven Arms station last night (Sunday 22 May 2022).

At just after 10.30pm yesterday evening (22 May), officers were called to a report of a fire on board a passenger train near Craven Arms station, along with emergency service colleagues.

Approximately 60 passengers were safely evacuated from the train, and the fire was quickly extinguished.

One passenger sustained a minor ankle injury which thankfully didn’t require hospital treatment. Thankfully, nobody else was injured.

It’s believed that a Transport for Wales train travelling at around 60mph hit a mini digger on the tracks, which caused fuel to leak from the train and a fire to start.

There was a second mini digger found on the embankment, and enquiries throughout the night and this morning have led detectives to believe these had been stolen from a nearby rental yard and discarded.

Detectives from BTP’s Major, Serious, and Organised Crime Unit will be leading the investigation, and specialist officers remain at the scene conducting enquiries this afternoon.

Network Rail is working to recover the railway as quickly as possible, but it’s unlikely services will resume on the line before the end of the day. Passengers are advised to check with Transport for Wales before they travel tomorrow.

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn, from BTP’s Major, Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said:-

“While we are at early stage of our investigation, we are confident this fire was a result of the attempted theft of two mini diggers which then ended up on the tracks.

“Any obstruction to the railway is extremely dangerous and can easily result in serious injuries or fatalities, so we are taking this incident very seriously and working hard to hold those responsible to account.

“In this case, the collision with the mini digger resulted in a fuel leak which has then ignited. We are working closely with the Environment Agency to ensure the fuel is contained and any risk to the environment is minimised.

“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have information to get in touch with us as soon as possible by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 665 of 22/05/22.”

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Creating a colourful splash for the Jubilee

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/23/2022 - 15:10

News from our partners

With final preparations underway in Ellesmere to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, locals are being encouraged to look the part by wearing a splash of red, white and blue.

Ellesmere Library is holding another craftmaking workshop two days before the festivities start so that people can create their own Union Jack rosettes and ties, using paper napkins.

This is the latest in a series of Jubilee activities organised by the team at the Our Space community centre in Trimpley over the past few weeks.

The workshop is on Tuesday 31 May 2022 at 10.30am to 2,30pm, led by library assistant Sally Poynton.

Ellesmere Library craftmaking activities. Photo by David Atkinson.

Sally said:-

“We’ve already held similar workshops, together with coffee mornings and quizzes, where people have been able to share memories of previous royal events. There’s a lot of excitement about the Jubilee, and we’re offering people a final chance to come along and really get involved by making something colourful to wear for the various festivities that are taking place nationally and locally.”

The library is showing old newsreels from the 1950s and offering borrowers a range of books covering The Queen’s 70-year reign. Quiz sheets are also available to people organising their own Jubilee parties.

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Shrewsbury Colleges Group launches Nursing Pathway course

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/23/2022 - 15:00

News from our partners Shrewsbury Colleges Group

The NHS and the caring professions have rightly been heavily featured in the media over the last two years. Their work on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 has been widely praised and lauded. Shrewsbury Colleges Group is launching an exciting new pathway which will enable school leavers to study a two-year Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care on a Nursing Pathway.

This brand-new course gives students access to valuable work placements within the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS), which includes Shropshire’s three main NHS Trusts: Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Foundation Trust, and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Placement opportunities will also be available in the Shropshire-based mental health services as part of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, as well as our two main hospices, Severn Hospice and Hope House, our primary care partners (GP practices) and our social care community partners.

All our partners provide excellent placement experiences. Health Education England recently reviewed Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust and reported that: “Students reported a positive experience working in the Trust, stating that they would recommend the Trust as a place to train and receive care. Students felt welcomed, well supported, and integrated into their teams”.

Nursing Pathway courses

The college has partnered with the University of Chester to guarantee the Nursing Pathway students a place to study Adult Nursing at the University Centre Shrewsbury site. This will then enable them to progress into employment within the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System settings.

Professor Victoria Ridgway – Associate Dean for Education and Student Engagement at the University of Chester; Carol Bagnall – ‘Focus on Nursing Project’ Manager, HCSW Academy, Integrated Care System; Sarah Davies – Health & Social Care Lead at SCG; Jackie Swan – Curriculum Director at SCG.

Alison Trumper, ICS Transformation Lead for Nursing, said:

“Our ICS partners have much to offer to support our next generation of nurses on this new and exciting Nursing Pathway. The ICS has a dedicated lead who will work with Clinical Placement Facilitators across our ICS partners and with Shrewsbury Colleges Group to support students on the Extended Diploma course to receive the best experience possible during placements in our health and social care settings.”

Sarah Davies, Course Leader for the Health & Social Care courses at the college, said-

“We’re delighted to be working with the University of Chester and the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System to help meet the local need for adult nurses. The vision is for young people to have the opportunity to study, train and live locally and to have a guaranteed professional qualification with employment on completion.

“Shropshire offers a wide variety of qualified nursing positions, including, for example, within prison health, cardiology, orthopaedic, community (district) nursing, and operating theatre nurses. This new venture will help young people who live locally to train locally and then work locally upon qualification as a nurse. We want our young people to be supported through all aspects of their training and be confident to work as an adult nurse in the local area.”

Professor Victoria Ridgway, Associate Dean for Education and Student Engagement from the University of Chester’s Faculty of Health and Social Care, said:-

“This course is perfect for those students who are looking to get into nursing locally. Students will also have the opportunity to visit the University Centre Shrewsbury for clinical skill sessions during their time on the nursing pathway, which will support their transition into Higher Education study.

“The benefit of a Shropshire-based graduate nursing degree programme is that it makes this very accessible to people who live in Shropshire, and with the added benefit of the NHS training grant whilst studying, this can take away some of the financial pressures people may face if having to move away from home to undertake a nursing programme.

“Many students also earn as they learn by joining local NHS Trust temporary staffing registers, working as a healthcare support workers alongside their student nurse training. During the programme, students will work alongside nurses whilst on clinical learning placement in health care settings such as the NHS, where they will be able to develop the skills required to be a registrant. This also helps them identify preferences for where to work on qualification in Shropshire.”

James Staniforth, Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, concluded:-

“We’re delighted to be working with the key partners within the caring professions in the local area to provide excellent employment opportunities in this hugely important sector. The work placement opportunities alongside the classroom-based learning means that students completing this course will be well placed to join one of the many crucial strands of health and social care in our local communities.”

Applications for this course are now open for those who wish to begin studying in September 2022. It is open to 16–19-year-olds who meet the entry requirements listed on our website. Full details of the course are available here.

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Categories: Shropshire

Grant brings Oswestry shop back to life

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/23/2022 - 14:37

Historic shopfronts are being reinstated to Oswestry town centre, and empty upper floors have been brought back to life, thanks to a joint project.

Oswestry’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) has been busy working with businesses in the town through the last year to see lasting change in the town centre.

Grants have been awarded to businesses to carry reinstate historic shopfronts and bring empty upper floors back into use as accommodation, as they were originally.

The Oswestry High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme, which has received funding from Shropshire Council, Historic England and Oswestry Town Council, is being delivered through a partnership between Shropshire Council, Oswestry Town Council and Oswestry BID (Business Improvement District).

1 Beatrice Street, Oswestry before

One of the projects that is nearing completion is 1 Beatrice Street. The property has transformed its shopfront from the modern aluminium to a traditional wooden design with a recessed doorway. The design was influenced by the original shopfront. The upper floors are being brought back into use as accommodation with a four-bed flat over two floors.

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Deputy Leader, and Cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said:-

“This project is having a significant impact on Oswestry town centre and bringing it back to life. There is so much going on in Oswestry under the HSHAZ scheme, and this is a leading example of how buildings are being rejuvenated, bringing benefit to the whole town.”

1 Beatrice Street, Oswestry after

Jay Moore, Oswestry Town Councillor, said:-

“The town council have provided significant match funding for the High Street Heritage Action Zone project and are pleased to see a number of projects come to fruition. 1 Beatrice Street is a complete transformation, and the renovations complement what is a really exciting and high quality local independent business. I congratulate the owners for their dedication and hard work. Another fantastic business in Oswestry, and we are pleased to have played a part.”

Josh Rogers, business owner, added:-

“When we bought the property we saw the potential of this old building. Thanks to the HSHAZ grant we have been able to breathe new life into it and add something special to the high street. We really couldn’t have done it without the grant.”

Samantha Jones, Shropshire Council’s HSHAZ project officer, said:-

“This is one of the first of many new shopfronts that will be appearing in town over the coming year. It has been really rewarding to help independent businesses carry out this transformational change to their buildings and bring history back to the high streets of Oswestry.”

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Categories: Shropshire

Care in the Square Job Fairs – Find out about exciting local job and career opportunities in Social Care

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 05/20/2022 - 10:07

Those with a passion for helping make a positive difference to people’s lives are being invited to see the fantastic career and job opportunities in social care and health in a series of events being held in June.

Care in the Square recruitment and careers fair

The Care in the Square events are part of a drive across the county to seek new recruits into an exciting and rewarding career in social care and health.

The events organised by Shropshire Council and Shropshire Partners in Care, will take place between 11am and 2pm at the following locations from mid-June.

  • Bailey Head, Oswestry – Friday 17 June
  • The Square, Shrewsbury – Thursday 23 June
  • Castle Square, Ludlow – Friday 24 June

Organisations across the health and social care sector will be showcasing their career and job opportunities across the sector. These will include frontline care and management roles and also supporting roles such as activities coordinators, housekeeping and administration.

Councillor Simon Jones, Cabinet Member for adult social care and public health at Shropshire Council said:

“Our Care in the Square events offer a great opportunity for organisations to showcase the fantastic career opportunities, social care and health offer.

“The sector offers so many job opportunities with many options to develop and progress up the career ladder.

“This is a really exciting time to work in this area, where we have plenty of job opportunities, which all offer competitive salaries, fantastic work benefits, and personal development and training.

“There are numerous opportunities at all levels, whether you are recently leaving school and looking a more rewarding vocation or wanting to return or restart your career in a different profession.

“So if you or someone you know is interested, please do come along, we looking forward to seeing you!”

Shropshire Partners in Care added:

“Working in Social Care gives you the opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives, contributing to their health, happiness, and wellbeing through a wide range of physical, emotional, and social support services.  Every day you are helping people to live their lives and develop and maintain their independence, dignity, and control.

“If you have good communication skills and a desire to help other people, come along to our Care in the Square events happening across Shropshire to talk to local social care providers and find out more about the wide range of job opportunities available.”

To find out more about the event email SRichards@spic.co.uk

If you’re interested working in social care, Skills for Care have a wide range of information. To find out more visit Job roles in social care (skillsforcare.org.uk)

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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire’s new school travel plan co-ordinator begins work

Shropshire Council News Feed - Wed, 05/18/2022 - 14:29

A new school travel plan co-ordinator has started work with Shropshire Council.

Rhiannon Letman-Wade joined the council on 9 May [2022] and will be responsible for leading its forthcoming school travel plan programme.

The programme will include Schools Streets, linking with nationwide programmes such as Modeshift Stars, Bikeability cycle training, and embedding a culture of active and sustainable travel in schools across the county.

Rhiannon previously worked for Cardiff Council, initially supporting schools to develop active travel plans and then programme managing the School Streets project where she implemented 20 ‘School Streets’ across the city.

In her new role she will be working with Shropshire’s schools to make it easier and safer for pupils to get to and from school safely and actively. She is looking to bring in a series of measures to support schools and the school community to make more sustainable choices.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:

“Walking or cycling to school brings a wide range of benefits. It improves a child’s health and fitness, helps with their social development, and helps them to do better in school. For parents it can also reduce the stress of the school run, and reduce the money spent on fuel. I’m delighted that Rhiannon is on board and look forward to the development of our school travel programme in  the months ahead.”

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets and the green economy, said:

“Rhiannon’s work will form a really important part of our wider active travel work, helping to encourage walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport use as a way of getting to and from school, and helping to reduce the number of car journeys. It will give parents and children the confidence to walk or cycle to school, and help the environment by reducing emissions.”

“I look forward to working with her in the coming months.”

Rhiannon Letman-Wade said:-

“I’m excited to be joining Shropshire Council. I’m looking forward to working with schools and their communities across the county to make active travel to school safer for pupils. “

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Categories: Shropshire

Village hall more accessible thanks to community asset grant scheme

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 05/17/2022 - 07:07

Loppington Village Hall is a busy community centre in North Shropshire and achieved some much-needed repair work thanks to financial support from Shropshire Council’s community asset grant scheme.

Thanks to a grant of £2,854 from the scheme, several necessary improvements have been carried out for the benefit of all those who use the premises.

The centre was remodelled on the old primary school built in 1861 and maintenance and repair is a continual ongoing process – a leaking roof over the disabled toilet, damp in some walls, which probably had no damp course, and a manhole cover in the car park buckling under the strain of much heavier vehicles.

Loppington Village Hall

All the necessary improvements are now in place and the village hall committee are very grateful to have received funding from the CAPGS to enable the work to be carried out so promptly.

The hall is in daily use throughout each week. A wide range of activities include pilates, yoga, parents and toddlers, pre-school dance group, WI, youth club as well as the annual flower and vegetable show and church fetes. It is also available for hiring by outside agencies.

One of the committee members, John Bulmer, manages the repair and maintenance work that is needed. He has contacts with a wide variety of local trades people, who have carried out the necessary work.

Grants totalling more than £140,000 were awarded to community groups across Shropshire to boost their recovery from the pandemic as part of the council’s government-funded ARG programme.

The design of the pilot grant scheme to benefit community assets is thanks in large part to a VCSA-led discussion with voluntary and community partners to make recommendations about the best way to target the ARG funds.

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Categories: Shropshire

Pilot mental health project launched in Oswestry

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/16/2022 - 16:15

A pilot project has been launched to support people in Oswestry who are experiencing poor mental health and/or substance misuse.

The Health Equalities Partnership (HEP) Programme, funded by NHSE/I, is a collaboration between , Shrosphire Telford and Wrekin CCG, Shropshire Mental Health Support (MHS), Designs in Mind, Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust and We are With You, and is designed to improve the wellbeing and mental health of Oswestry residents.

Oswestry has the second largest population in Shropshire and is a vibrant market town, with plenty of community spirit and support. However, outside of Shrewsbury, it has the highest number of mental health interventions and levels of drug and alcohol misuse within the area are also high.

Using creative resources in the community, MHS and Designs in Mind will introduce people to new tools to use as coping mechanisms, increase self-confidence, and teach people to manage their conditions using non-clinical interventions.

The project complements existing support by extending the mental health offer in the town and utilising the creative resources in the community to offer a programme that explores mental health and wellbeing through a blended programme of one-to-one support, group work and arts based activity.

Shropshire Council Public Health has spearheaded the project and we are very happy that it has galvanised community and public services to support people in the Oswestry. The project demonstrates that the community and voluntary sector offer supports real improvement in the health of our local people.

Heather Ireland of MHS said:

The Reconnect Programme, Shropshire MHS’s contribution to the HEP, offers a great chance for people to come together and talk about their struggles. The group is facilitated by two members of staff who are passionate about supporting people to make positive change and empower people with their journey. It is a six week programme and we have seen some amazing outcomes, one person said: ‘It is life changing, I have felt so supported to make a better life for myself, it has meant the world to me.’

Councillor Simon Jones, cabinet member for public health, added:

It is brilliant to see partnership working like this to improve the quality of life for our residents. The work of Designs in Mind and Shropshire MHS really makes a difference to their users lives through arts based activities and group support. As Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, it is fantastic to see integrated programmes across health, care and VCSE coming to fruition in support of Shropshire people.

Find out more about the programme at the open day, starting at Designs in Mind, in Cross Street, Oswestry, on 20 May from 11am to 1pm, then at 12A in Salop Road, Oswestry, from 1pm to 3pm.

Councillor Mike Isherwood for Oswestry West said:

I’m really pleased to see this project starting in Oswestry.  Empowering people experiencing mental health and well-being challenges is an important but often overlooked aspect in the range of services available.

Designs in Mind are well known in Oswestry for creatively supporting mental health and other issues within the community and this partnership with other organisations will undoubtedly be of huge value to those who make use of the tools and skills on offer.

Councillor Duncan Kerr for Oswestry South said:

This is a really important example of how the public and voluntary sectors can work together to provide practical solutions to help people in Oswestry and breakdown some of the barriers for seeking help with mental health issues.

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Categories: Shropshire

Council and partners win national award for carbon neutral school build

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/16/2022 - 13:07

Shropshire Council, Read Construction Holdings Ltd and PSG (Shropshire Council’s Property Services Group) have won a national award for its carbon neutral teaching hub at Meole Brace School.

Constructing Excellence West Midlands Award 2022 logo

Read Construction Holdings Ltd were one of 8 applicants shortlisted for the Net Zero category for the Constructing Excellence West Midlands Awards 2022.

Winning team being presented with the award. Left to right Lucy Fletcher (Shropshire Council), Damien Bryan (Read Construction), Harvey Gould (Shropshire Council) and Alex Read (Read Construction)

The project, designed by PSG and awarded to Read Construction Holdings Ltd, is one of the first to drive the change towards more sustainable projects to meet the council’s 2030 carbon targets.

The new two-storey building will form the RE teaching ‘hub’ for Meole Brace School and will also have an external recreation area.

Five classrooms will be provided along with a small group meeting room, a staff room, toilets, and storage. The building occupies a prominent site at the front of the school campus and has been built to the highest modern standards.

The development has been commended for its innovative design solutions that make a positive contribution to alleviate the climate change emergency. This sustainable project was carefully designed and constructed with net-zero carbon credentials and has enhanced biodiversity and habitats.

The Vanguard Building represents a key step forward in building design for the council.  It has been designed to be ‘zero-carbon’ and is a demonstration of the council’s commitment to responding to the climate crisis. The building is highly efficient and has been built to achieve the internationally respected Passivhaus standard, a first for a Shropshire education facility.

Net Zero category

The Net Zero category demonstrates the high environmental and climate performance in construction that aims to meet present day needs for housing, working environments and infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs in times to come.

This award looks at those projects that seek to limit impact on the natural environment and demonstrate whole life sustainability. It is most effective when organisational culture, high design quality, technical innovation and transferability have been prioritised.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets, and the green economy, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that we’ve won the Net Zero category for the Constructing Excellence West Midlands Awards 2022   This is one of two awards we’ve won in the past week that contribute to supporting our Climate Change strategy.

“The Meole-Brace Vanguard Building represents record-breaking levels of Sustainability for Shropshire Council delivering a future proofed education facility that stands out from the crowd as a “first of a kind” in achieving Net Zero operational carbon.

“Winning this award truly demonstrates the benefits of working in partnership and utilising the right expertise and skills of all those involve. It also inspires us to even higher expectation of sustainability in the future and provide us the opportunity to really stand out from the crowd.”

“I would like to say a huge congratulations to all involved”

Alex Read, Director at Read Construction, added:

“The Net Zero agenda is the biggest challenge facing the construction industry in recent years. As we all strive to deliver more and more sustainable solutions, it is no surprise that the Net Zero award category at this years CE Midlands awards was such a coveted accolade. Our project shone through as a beacon of what can be achieved when all parties work together to maximise sustainable outcomes.

“We look forward to taking the lessons learned throughout this project to inform other schemes and continue driving our Zero Carbon developments.”

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:

“This is fantastic news! Winning such an accolade is a testament to everyone involved.

“Our new state of the art teaching hub at Meole Brace school is one of several projects we are investing in to secure high-quality and sustainable provision of primary and secondary places in Shrewsbury and surrounding areas.

“As a beacon of sustainable excellence, we are so proud of the team who have developed the site. The fit for purpose build, will benefit children and future generations, as well as the local and wider community.

“They have truly set a benchmark for others to follow.”

Judging panel

The judging panel recognised the commitment of the integrated team of designers, client, school stakeholders, contractor (Read Construction) and supply partners, and their ambition to put climate change solutions at the heart of this project.

Winners were announced at the Constructing Excellence West Midlands Awards 2022 event on 12 May at Edgbaston, Birmingham

You can see the team being presented with the award here.

You can find out more on the awards here: About the awards – West – Constructing Excellence Midlands

To find out more about PSG and the Meole Brace School – Vanguard Building, visit Meole Brace School – The Vanguard Building – PSG (shropshire.gov.uk)

Further information

The sustainable project was commissioned by Shropshire Council’s learning and skills team in response to increasing demand for secondary school places in Shrewsbury.  PSG carried out initial feasibility work, proceeded to establish the design for the building and set out the high environmental standards.  The contract was tendered on a Design and Build basis and awarded to Wrexham-based contractor Read Construction Ltd.

Contractor’s design team: –

  • Architects: TACP Architects
  • Passivhaus Consultant: HLM Architects
  • M&E Consultant: Davies Partnership
  • Structural Engineers: JP Structural Design

The project was carefully designed and constructed with Net Zero credentials and evidences quantifiable biodiversity, community and local gains through minimising both capital and in use Waste and Carbon.

Maintenance and energy efficiencies will continue beyond typical 40-60 year whole life assessment, with masonry superstructure extending this to beyond 120 years.

Shropshire Council’s Climate Change Strategy

Shropshire Council’s Climate Strategy sets out bold targets:

  • Be a Net Zero Authority by 2030
  • Adapt service delivery to address the impacts of extreme weather events
  • Deliver on corporate responsibilities to the environment and local communities
  • Lead by example

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Categories: Shropshire

Gritting team thanked after a busy winter keeping Shropshire’s road safe

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/16/2022 - 10:46

Councillor Dean Carroll with some of the gritter drivers based at the council’s Whittington depot

Shropshire’s gritter drivers have been thanked for their efforts keeping the county’s roads safe last winter, following the end of the 2021/22 gritting season.

The team – who work for Shropshire’s Council’s contractor Kier – has been officially ‘stood down’ now that the risk of sub-zero road temperatures is over.

Since October 2021, the council’s 25 gritters carried out 76 gritting runs, spreading 9,077 tonnes of salt on 61,276 miles of road across the county – the equivalent of two and a half times around the world!

The gritters and their drivers were often out late at night, or in the early hours of the morning, helping to keep the roads safe for all road users.

Dean Carroll, Cabinet member for highways. said

“Fortunately we didn’t experience a particularly harsh winter, but our teams were out on many occasions, working around the clock to help keep the county’s roads safe.

“Often working late at night, early in the morning, on weekends, and sometimes on bank holidays, we may not see them, but they’re out there, and we’re very grateful that they are. That’s why I want to say a big thank you to all of our gritter drivers and crews for their fantastic work over the past few months.

“This winter, closer working with Kier also reduced operational downtime by 50% and meant we were able to provide a better, more consistent service”

Over the summer, work will be carried out to ensure vehicles and drivers are ready for next winter. Gritters will be serviced and maintained, drivers will receive training, and salt supplies will be restocked at the council’s highways depots.

Drivers will also be busy with their ‘day job’ maintaining and improving the county’s roads.

A wider review of the council’s winter maintenance service is currently underway.

Shropshire Council has launched a new initiative supporting all Shropshire schools to maintain footpaths close to their schools free, by providing salt and salt spreaders. Information is available by emailing  schoolsaltsupport@shropshire.gov.uk

For more information on gritting routes and grit bins click here.

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Categories: Shropshire

Castlefields Primary in Bridgnorth welcomes Spready Mercury the salt spreader

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/16/2022 - 10:31

Shropshire schools are being invited to work with Shropshire Council to tackle the problem of icy pavements near their school.

The first to take up the offer is Castlefields Primary in Bridgnorth, which has been provided with bags of salt and a pedestrian salt spreader, which can be used to treat paths during spells of wintry weather.

The school is looking forward to making use of their new spreader next winter, and has already held a competition asking pupils to suggest a name for it – with Spready Mercury the winning name.

Spready Mercury will be used by the school caretaker to treat icy paths and pavements leading up to Castlefields School.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:

“Working with schools is a great way to ensure that the approaches to each school is treated during spells of icy weather, and to help children stay safe on their way to and from school.

“We approached Castlefields directly to see if they would like to work together and got a great response. If any other schools would like to work with us we invite them to let us know.”

Rebecca Lee, Headteacher of Castlefields Primary, said:

“We are so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Shropshire Council in this way. We will be able to monitor the situation locally and use our salt spreader when necessary. We ran a competition in school to name our new salt spreader and would like to congratulate Hugo for his choice of name, Spready Mercury.”

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways, said:

“With hundreds of miles of roads and pavements in the county, it’s just not possible for us to treat all roads and pavements in the county – though we will treat pavements near schools during prolonged spells of sub-zero temperatures.

“Providing schools with salt and a spreader means that they can treat pavements at all other times, when temperatures drop and pavements may be icy.”

 

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Categories: Shropshire

Call for Shrewsbury’s over 65s to learn how to use the Internet in countywide training offer

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 05/16/2022 - 10:00

A call is being made for Shrewsbury’s over 65 population to sign up for free Internet training sessions being provided by Shropshire Council.

In total, 500 people countywide will be taught all they need to know about being online safely through a network of friendly IT clubs offering one-to-one support by tech-savvy volunteers.

Shropshire Council is currently rolling out more sessions out at its libraries in and around Shrewsbury.

Mirka Duxberry, Shropshire Council’s library development manager, said:-

“Our IT clubs offer free weekly one-to-one tuition from our team of friendly digital volunteers.

“Each session lasts an hour, and it takes about eight weeks for most learners to gain all the skills they need.”

Previous participants are delighted with their new-found skills.

A digital volunteer at Shrewsbury Library

One 74-year-old former builder said:-

“I could just about use my iPad to call my son in Australia and nothing else. Now, after just a few sessions, I can look things up on Google, send messages and emails, and watch Netflix. I look forward to the IT Club all week and my son keeps saying ‘Welcome to the 21st century Dad!’”

Another participant, aged 80, added:-

“I realise now that the Internet is a wonderful tool. I can see the benefits it brings, and I don’t think I would go back to life without it now.”

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:-

“As we move further into accessing services digitally, it is important that no-one feels left behind and out of touch.

“Our volunteers are opening up new opportunities to people over 65 and the training is friendly and easy to understand.”

Andrea Miller, Shropshire Council digital skills programme lead, said:-

“Ordering medications quickly and easily, feeling safe online, getting food shopping delivered to your door, and enjoying video calls with friends and family are just some of the skills digital volunteers can help people to learn.

“People can learn on their own tablet, mobile phone or laptop, and we have free tablets and connectivity for participants in greatest need.”

If you live in or around Shrewsbury and are aged 65 and over, you can visit or call the numbers below to register for support.

  • Shrewsbury central Library: 01743 255308
  • Harlescott Library: 01743 250810
  • Bayston Hill Library: 01743 872412
  • Pontesbury Library: 01743 250610

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Categories: Shropshire

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