Outstanding Achievement Awards 2009

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					                               Winter 2009, Issue 3




Inside this Issue

Outstanding
Achievement
Awards 2009
Scenes from bygone Blaby
Focus on community transport
Staying warm in winter
CONTACT Useful contact numbers


Welcome to the winter edition
of Contact, the magazine for
residents of Blaby district.
                                                                                      Useful contact
Distribution                                                                          Numbers
We make every effort to ensure that
Contact is delivered to each household in
Blaby district. If you know of anyone who                                             General Enquiries
has not received a copy please let us know.                                           0116 275 0555
                                                                                      customer.services@blaby.gov.uk
Contact is published three times a year in                                            Minicom
March, July and November.                                                             0116 284 9786
Getting in Touch                                                                      Anti-Social Behaviour
We are always pleased to receive your                                                 community.safety@blaby.gov.uk
comments and suggestions for future articles. Please write to the Editor, Contact     0116 272 7677
Magazine, Blaby District Council Offices, Desford Road, Narborough, Leicester,
                                                                                      Benefits
LE19 2EP or email public.relations@blaby.gov.uk
                                                                                      benefits@blaby.gov.uk
Accessibility                                                                         0116 272 7510
Contact is available on-line at www.blaby.gov.uk                                      Benefit Fraud
                                                                                      fraud@blaby.gov.uk
Contact is available on request in other languages and                                0116 272 7733
formats including large print, CD or Braille by contacting:                           Building Control
Communications Team, Blaby District Council, Council Offices,                         building.control@blaby.gov.uk
                                                                                      0116 272 7533
Desford Road, Narborough, Leicester LE19 2EP
                                                                                      Council Tax and Business Rates
Tel: 0116 272 7577 Fax: 0116 275 0368                                                 revenues@blaby.gov.uk
Minicom: 0116 284 9786                                                                0116 272 7530
Email: public.relations@blaby.gov.uk                                                  Elections/Electoral Registration
                                                                                      electoral@blaby.gov.uk
                                                                                      0116 275 7560
 Making payments                                                                      Enderby Leisure Centre
 Payments for council tax, business rates and waste bin rentals can be made via       enderbyinfo@slm-ltd.co.uk
 direct debit, online or using the telephone. Either call the 24 hour payment line    0116 275 0234
 on 0116 272 7722 or log on to www.blaby.gov.uk
                                                                                      Environment
 Payments can also be made at the Council’s main offices on Desford Road,
                                                                                      env.health@blaby.gov.uk
 Narborough, at the Blaby Joint Service Shop, Forge Corner, Blaby, or at
                                                                                      0116 272 7555
 Braunstone Civic Centre, Kingsway, Braunstone Town.
 Should you have any comments about our payment facilities please contact             Housing and Homelessness
 Customer Services on 0116 272                                                        housing@blaby.gov.uk
 7695 or send your comments to                                                        0116 272 7770
 customer.services@blaby.gov.uk .
                                                                                      Planning
                                                                                      planning@blaby.gov.uk
                                                                                      0116 272 7705
 A new way to pay
                                                                                      Sports, Leisure and Arts
 Council tax and business rates bills can now be paid at any of the
                                                                                      leisure@blaby.gov.uk
 13,000 post offices and 19,000 PayPoint outlets in the country
                                                                                      0116 272 7703
 providing you have been issued with a bar coded bill letter which
 will need to be presented at the time of payment.                                    The Pavilion, Huncote
 Pay points can be found in petrol stations, supermarkets and off-licences            pavilion@blaby.gov.uk
 throughout Blaby district and the UK. A comprehensive list of local places to        0116 275 0246
 pay can be found on the Council’s website at www.blaby.gov.uk. Contact the           Emergency contact number when offices are
 revenues team on 0116 272 7530 or e-mail revenues@blaby.gov.uk for more              closed 0844 736 9545
 information.
                                                                                      We care about accuracy and aim to correct any
 Christmas and New Year opening arrangements                                          mistakes in subsequent issues of CONTACT if
 All council offices will be closed to the public on:                                 we have got it wrong.
 Christmas Eve       Christmas Day       December 28th New Years Day
 The emergency contact number when the council offices are closed is 0844 736 9545.


2                                             In CONTACT with local communities                                        Winter 2009
                                                                                                             CONTACT Comment



 Contents                                             Contact
                                                      Comment
 New benefits surgery opened
 Competition – win £50 of B&Q vouchers
 Page 4

 Community safety
 Page 5
                                                      I was delighted to see that the Council
 Hedgehog rescue                                      held its Outstanding Achievements
 Competition winner                                   Awards celebration earlier this month.
 Page 6                                               Each of the finalists has a story to tell
                                                      about commitment, self sacrifice and
 Focus on community transport                         concern for others. Young Patrick Cox
 Page 7                                               won a gold medal in table tennis at
                                                      the Special Olympics. Edna Smith has
 Scenes from bygone Blaby                             been volunteering to support young
 Page 8                                               families for 10 years and Donald Wills
                                                      who, at 89, has been co-ordinating
 Outstanding Achievement Awards                       a neighbourhood watch scheme in
                                                                                                  Bishop of Leicester,
 Page 10                                              Braunstone Town.                            the Right Rev Tim Stevens
                                                      People like this transform communities
 Benefits advice                                      and offer examples of commitment and        churches and congregations we will
 Page 12                                              determination which are an inspiration      come to rely on to provide the kind of
                                                      to us all.                                  support and services our communities
 Recycling update                                     Recently we have been reading               need. It is vital that as funds get tighter,
 Page 13                                              headlines about the cutbacks and            we all work to ensure that it is not the
                                                      savings we will all have to make within     vulnerable who suffer most. There is
 Winter warmth                                        the next few months. No one can             always a risk that the frail, elderly, sick
 Care and repair                                      know how tight the public purse strings     and disabled are the ones who pay the
 Page 14                                              will be drawn, but it is clear that local   highest price in times of recession. Yet,
                                                      government will face pretty severe          surely, these are the people who deserve
 Events guide                                         restrictions on budgets.                    the most protection and need to be
 Page 15                                              These changes will put a premium on         prioritised in terms of available services
                                                      community leadership. More than ever        and community support.
 Creative Leicestershire                              the quality of life in our communities      I very much hope that volunteers in
 Page 16                                              and neighbourhoods will depend on           the church will rise to this challenge,
                                                      those who are prepared to go out of         supporting others in the wider
                                                      their way to help and support others.       community.
                                                      Increasingly it will be voluntary groups,   In the spring of last year I walked nearly
 Once you have finished reading this                                                              240 miles around the communities of
 magazine please recycle.                                                                         Leicester and Leicestershire. I visited
                                                                                                  about 125 churches on foot and met
                                                                                                  many people from our communities,
                                                                                                  including Blaby district. Over and over
                                                      “It is vital that as                        again I was struck by the quality of
                                                                                                  people who are prepared to go out of
                                                      funds get tighter, we                       their way to help their neighbours, serve
                                                                                                  their communities and to pay special
                                                                                                  attention to the needs of the vulnerable.
                                                      all work to ensure that                     So I celebrate with Blaby district the
                          Designed and produced                                                   achievements of its outstanding citizens
                          by:                         it is not the vulnerable                    and hope that many more people will be
                                                                                                  inspired to rise to the challenges which
                                                      who suffer most.”                           are coming our way in 2010.

   Cert no. SA-COC-1594

                          Tel: 01536 527297
                                                       Cover picture: Donald Wills with his “Safer District” Award from Blaby District
                                                       Council. Photograph provided by Leicester Mercury.


Issue 3                                           In CONTACT with local communities                                                       3
CONTACT News                                                                                                                             www.blaby.gov.uk




Surgery to benefit
local community
A new surgery has been opened in Glenfield so people can access                           “The current economic climate means that there is now a
advice on benefits in their own community.                                                higher demand for this type of service. Glenfield is the second
Staff from Blaby District Council will be at the Parish Hall on                           largest parish in the district and it is hoped that this facility will
Stamford Street ready to help people with council tax and
                                                                                          encourage people to seek advice and get the help they need”.
housing benefit enquiries and applications every Friday morning.
Grahame Perkins, the Council’s benefits manager said: “People                             The benefits team will be at the hall from 10.00am until
who need this type of support may not always be in a position to                          12.00 noon every Friday, to make an appointment call
travel so we are trying to make the process easier for them.                              0116 272 7510.




£50 Home safety                                                                                                        Free car
giveaway from                                                                                                          parks for
community team                                                                                                         Christmas
The Community Safety Partnership is giving away
£50 of B&Q vouchers to help someone improve
their home security for the New Year.
The partnership is made up of Blaby District Council,
Leicestershire County Council, police and fire
services and Leicestershire and Rutland NHS. All
partners are committed to reducing crime, the fear
of crime and to work closely with communities to
bring about a sense of safety for all.                                                                                 Shoppers visiting Blaby town centre
To be in with a chance of winning simply fill in your                                                                  are being given free Saturday parking
details at the bottom of the page and return the form to the address below.
The closing date for entries is Friday 22nd January 2010 – Good luck!                                                  in a bid to boost Christmas trade.
Send your entry to Contact competition, Communications Department, Blaby District
Council Offices, Desford Road, Narborough, Leics, LE19 2EP.                                                            Blaby District Council will not be

Name:                                                                                                                  charging people to park in Wigston
                                                                                                                       Road, Enderby Road or Johns Court
Address:                                                                                                               car park on Saturday 5th, 12th, 19th
                                                                                                                       December 2009 and 2nd January
                                                                                                                       2010.
Phone:

Email:                                                                                                                 Councillor Guy Jackson, portfolio
                                                                                                                       holder for the natural environment
If you wish to receive information in the future on the Blaby District                                                 said: “We want Blaby to be buzzing
Community Safety Partnership please tick this box                                                        q
                                                                                                                       with shoppers over the festive period
By entering this prize draw you agree that Blaby District Council may process your details in accordance with          and hope this initiative will encourage
data protection principles. The data supplied will not be passed on to any third parties. Unless the above box
has been ticked, Blaby District Council will only use the information to ascertain the winner of the prize draw. All   people to make use of the wonderful
entries received both postal and online will be allocated a number and the winner will be selected at random.          shops and services in the town”.
Winners must be willing to have their photo taken for use in future Council publications.


4                                                        In CONTACT with local communities                                                      Winter 2009
                                                                                           CONTACT Ant-social behaviour




Fearless crimefighter
honoured at Number 10
A 77-year-old woman who stood up to her neighbours from hell was given
an award by the Government’s top crime adviser during a Downing Street
ceremony in November.


Daphne Spong, from Glen Parva,
was presented with the Community
Crimefighters Award by Louise Casey,
Labour’s chief anti-social behaviour
czar. She was given the honour
for showing courage in speaking
out against her tormentors and
encouraging others to come forward.
The presentations were part of the
Government’s ‘Justice Seen, Justice Done‘
campaign and recognise people who
have taken a stand against anti-social
behaviour or supported those affected
by it.
She was also nominated for an
Outstanding Achievement Award by
Blaby District Council for her work in
making the district a safer place to live,
which included attending court twice to
give evidence against the mother and
son who made her life a misery.
Daphne’s problems started in Christmas
2006 when her neighbours began playing         Crimefighting Daphne cooking at home.
loud music constantly and became
                                              anti-social behaviour, Daphne claims
abusive when she complained. They left
dog excrement everywhere and dumped           she could not have done it without the        “...For the first time
rubbish in her garden. Gangs of teenagers     support of the Council’s community
would also turn up at the house to            safety team, she said: “It was only           I felt safe because
intimidate other residents and damage         when the community safety officers
property.                                     got involved that things really started       someone was actually
Despite her achievements in tackling          to improve. For the first time I felt safe
                                              because someone was actually doing
                                              something about what was happening.
                                                                                            doing something about
                                              “It is such a terrible thing to be abused
                                              like that and I would do anything to help     what was happening.”
                                              someone in the same position because I
                                              know what it’s like.”
                                              If you believe you are suffering from
                                              anti-social behaviour then contact your      When the community safety team
                                              local police on 0116 222 22 22 or speak      receive a complaint they will contact the
                                              to Blaby District Council’s community        person and arrange a home visit if this
                                              safety officers on 0116 272 7673.            is suitable. The officer will then discuss
                                              When reporting anti-social behaviour         the best course of action to resolve the
                                              it is important to record the date, time     problem and the community safety
                                              and the nature of the incident as well       team will keep the complainant updated
                                              as those involved or a description of the    with developments throughout their
 At the Council’s awards ceremony.                                                         investigations.
                                              perpetrators.

Issue 3                                      In CONTACT with local communities                                                    5
CONTACT Environment




Helping Hands
save hedgehogs
Hedgehogs were put on the Government’s endangered species list in 2007 and are under
constant threat in the wild, despite their spiky defences, but one woman from Glenfield is
fighting their corner.

Nadine Ockford is one half of Helping
Hands Hedgehog Rescue and takes
in around 150 of the sick or injured
animals each year.
Her love affair with the prickly creatures
started after she had a second Multiple
Sclerosis attack 15 years ago. The illness
forced her to give up her job as a nurse so
she decided to devote her time to saving
sick hedgehogs.
Nadine said: “It’s a lovely feeling to give a
hedgehog a second chance and that’s all I
can try to do.
“Seeing an animal recover from illness and
releasing it back into the wild where it
belongs is just marvellous.”
The main dangers to hedgehogs are                 Nadine with Adelle, who was 5-6 weeks old when rescued.
bonfires, road deaths, strimmers and
slug pellets. Surveys have calculated that       and should not be seen out and about          be sick or injured place it in a large box
about 12,000-15,000 hedgehogs are killed         during this time, if they are sighted this    with plenty of crumpled or hand shredded
on roads every year.                             is a strong indication something may be       newspapers or dry leaves, then call Nadine
They go into hibernation when the                wrong.                                        Ockford on 0116 2314202. Do not give
cold sets in and food supplies dry up            If you find a hedgehog and it appears to      hedgehogs bread or milk.


 Lucky mother wins
 bike vouchers…
 and Barbados trip
 A family struck lucky for the second
 time this year after winning £50 to
 spend on bicycle equipment just months
 after bagging a free holiday to the
 Caribbean.
 Rachael Saunders from Countesthorpe won
 the vouchers after entering the prize draw
 in the last edition of Contact, but will be
 spending them on her two daughters Becky
 and Katie as they are both members of the
 Leicester Triathlon Club.
 Rachael said: “The vouchers will come in
 handy to buy equipment for the girl’s bikes
 for Christmas, and combined with the free          Rachael Saunders with her daughters Katie, 10, (left) and Becky, 14.
 holiday we’ve had a really good year.”

6                                               In CONTACT with local communities                                          Winter 2009
                                                                                              CONTACT Community transport




On the buses
Community transport provides a lifeline for many people struggling to get out and about,
here are three brilliant bus services operating in Blaby district.

The Commbus, Voluntary Action Blaby
District (VABD) and Braunstone Town
Minibus all run transport schemes
using a small army of dedicated
volunteers.
People who are rurally isolated, disabled,
or find it difficult to use public transport
can use these services to get to the
doctors, visit friends or relatives, go
shopping or for social outings.

The Commbus project is run by a
voluntary group providing community
transport for people throughout Blaby.
Registered users can be picked up from
anywhere in the district and taken on
shopping trips to Hinckley, Fosse Park,
Enderby, Lutterworth, Beaumont Leys,
Blaby and Wigston.
Pauline Keen lives in Croft and uses             Dorothy Tuffley (left) and Pauline Keen travelling on the Commbus.
the service two or three times a week,
she said: “I don’t know what I’d do
without this bus, I wouldn’t be able to go      Voluntary Action Blaby District has            The Braunstone Town Mini Bus project
anywhere and would just have to sit at          two schemes for people who have                is celebrating its 20th anniversary
home so it really is a lifeline for me.”        difficulty using or have no access to          this year.
Alan West, chairman of the project said:        public transport.                              This service picks up from Leicester Forest
“Everyone enjoys a bit of banter together                                                      East and Braunstone Town and goes to
                                                The social car scheme uses volunteer
and all our regular passengers have made                                                       Fosse Park, Freemans Park, Thurmaston,
                                                drivers who take people to the doctors,
friends that they wouldn’t have made                                                           Blaby, Birstall, Beaumont Leys, Market
                                                dentists, opticians or to social events and    Harborough, Palmers Nursery, Woodlands
without this service.”
                                                for shopping trips.                            and Melton Mowbray, this is a door to
For more information call the
Commbusline on 0116 286 6116 or visit           More than 700 people are registered to         door service and most trips cost £1.20.
the Commbus desk at Narborough Parish           use the scheme and around 180 make             For more information call 0116 282
Centre (both available Mon - Fri 10am-12        at least one journey per month. Clients        6288 on Monday and Tuesday afternoons
noon).                                          need to register and book their journey        between 1.30pm - 4.30pm.
                                                in advance. They pay a small fee for the
                                                service and can use concessionary passes
                                                or vouchers issued by Leicestershire
                                                County Council.
                                                The shopping service run by VABD uses a
                                                15 seat minibus which is used for regular
                                                trips to Glenfield and Fosse Park, the bus
                                                has a passenger lift for easy access and an
                                                                                                All the community transport projects
                                                escort is available to help passengers with
                                                                                                featured on this page are part funded by
                                                their shopping.
                                                                                                Leicestershire County Council, for more
                                                For more information about using
                                                                                                information on getting around in your area
                                                these services or volunteering as a
                                                                                                please visit www.leicestershirevillages.com/
                                                driver contact community transport on
                                                0116 272 7668 between 9am and 2pm               communitytransport or call the passenger
                                                Monday-Friday.                                  support helpline on 0116 3058777.

Issue 3                                        In CONTACT with local communities                                                          7
CONTACT Heritage




Bygone Blaby
Change is inevitable, sometimes too quick and sometimes too slow, but always certain. To
look back at how places we regularly visit have been transformed is often fascinating.




Sapcote
The Lord Bassett Arms (above) was
first recorded in 1791 as ‘The Star’
and was the property of a friendly,
or mutual society.
The pub was named the ‘The Lord
Bassett Arms’ some time between
1855 and 1861 as a reference to
the Bassett family who were Lords
of the Manor of Sapcote during the
13th and 14th Centuries.
This is the earliest known picture
and the sign hanging outside shows
the pub’s proprietor as J Pougher,
which dates the photograph
between 1900 and 1916.                 Stan Percival, 79, (pictured front row,     winning a Christmas turkey in one of
Despite protest from residents         far right) still lives in Sapcote and was   the competitions.
in the village the old pub was         a member of the pubs long alley skittle     “There were a lot of regulars at that
demolished in 2005 and the site        team during the 1960’s, he said:            time and it was a well subscribed pub.
was developed for housing, now         “We started the team and that’s what I      People used to come from all over the
known as Lord Bassett Close.           went to the pub for really, I remember      place to drink there.”




8                                      In CONTACT with local communities                                        Winter 2009
                                                                                                           CONTACT Heritage


Blaby
Johns court, Blaby, is now a busy shopping
precinct but it wasn’t long ago that it was
home to many families and known locally
as ‘paradise row’.
Shirley Smith is chairman of the Blaby
Heritage and Museum Society, here he
shares his memories of what life was like
in ‘paradise’.
“The first house on the right was our first
rented property. It was only two weeks
to my demob from the RAF and we were
without a place to start our newly married
life. My wife Janet heard that this cottage
was vacant, and any property in 1956
was scarce to rent so a phone call to the
owner was made from the public phone
box in Sycamore Street. To our delight he
said we could rent it for 7/6d a week.
“The single downstairs room was about
10ft sq and floored with red terracotta        room, scullery and out to the coal house      suggested we push it on its own casters,
tiles which were badly worn. The kitchen       which was next to the communal toilet.        so we did. People were looking on thinking
was a brick lean-to attached to the rear       “The community spirit was very good in        we had gone mad. We used the crossing
wall and in winter everything wet in there     John Street with little bother to anyone,     to get over the main road while playing
would freeze solid, as the only heat in the    there were more than 20 cottages similar      the Monkeys Wedding. I don’t think that
whole cottage was a coal fire in the living    to ours and a few built bigger and better.    would be possible today.
room. We would often wake up with frost        “When we left John Street in 1960 we          “When the time came for the cottages
on the ceiling during winter mornings.         had little furniture to take with us and it   to make way for the precinct there was a
“At the end of the garden was a coal           was easily transported on hand truck.The      mini revolt from a few residents who did
house. The coal man delivered the fuel         most awkward piece that would not go on       not want to leave their ‘little palaces’.
on his back through the front door, living     the truck was our piano. My brother in law



                                                                                                   Here is two photographs of the
                                                                                                   cross roads in Blaby Town Centre,
                                                                                                   one taken this year, the other some
                                                                                                   90 years ago. The George pub can
                                                                                                   still be seen in both pictures as can
                                                                                                   the building where the post office is
                                                                                                   now located.
                                                                                                   Standing in the middle of the
                                                                                                   crossroads is Francis Dolby, Blaby’s
                                                                                                   RAC man. He is on point duty but
                                                                                                   does not look overworked because
                                                                                                   in 1919, when this photograph
                                                                                                   was taken, there were only 27 cars
                                                                                                   in Blaby. His bicycle can be seen
                                                                                                   propped up against the kerb, later
                                                                                                   he patrolled in a motorbike and
                                                                                                   sidecar.

                                                                                      All photographs kindly supplied by Blaby
                                                                                      Heritage and Museum Society and Sapcote
                                                                                      Heritage Group. For information on getting
                                                                                      involved with heritage groups in Blaby district
                                                                                      please call the Council’s arts and heritage
                                                                                      officer Hema Mistry on 0116 272 7617.




Issue 3                                       In CONTACT with local communities                                                      9
CONTACT Cover story




Awards show
celebrates best
of Blaby
People who have made an                       Right: All winners and runners up, Back row (left to right), Win Sword, Gillian Davies,
outstanding contribution                      Ann Dixon, Daphne Spong, Mike Bishop, Jan Voss, Judy Sobey, Edna Smith, Sue Sloman.
to life in the district were                  Front row (left to right), Donald Wills, Patrick Cox, Declan Parker, Bryony Gray-Naylor.

honoured at the Council’s                     Below: (left to right) Nancy Godfrey, 86, Kath Wapples, 92, and Muriel Knight, 86,
annual awards ceremony in                     enjoying dinner at Blaby Drop in Centre with volunteers and chairman Anne Dixon from
                                              Blaby and Glen Parva Community Service.
October.
The sixth Outstanding Achievement
Awards were held at the Marriot
Leicester where nine fantastic finalists
were whittled down to four winners.
Among the finalists was 15-year-old
Patrick Cox, who won a gold medal in
table tennis at the Special Olympics 2009,
Edna Smith, who has been helping young
families for nearly a decade, and Daphne
Spong, who was nominated for her efforts
in tackling anti-social behaviour.
Bryony Gray-Naylor was up for a young
persons award for her work with St
Johns Ambulance while Home Start
Blaby District, Oadby & Wigston were
also recognised for their contribution
to supporting young families across the
district.
Sponsors supporting the awards this year
were Grove Park Commercial Centre, Fosse
Shopping Park, Marriott Leicester, Bardon      Blaby and Glen Parva Community service
Aggregates and Ford and Slater.                Community or voluntary group that improves the quality of life for residents
                                               in the district

                                               This small, independent charity has been providing services for people in need across
                                               Blaby, Glen Parva, Whetstone, and the surrounding area for more than 40 years.
                                               Mainly supporting the elderly, their premises at Blaby Drop in Centre allows up to 200
                                               people to benefit from a range of clubs and activities each week including a lunch club
                                               with transport provided, a painting group, dancing group, exercise class and a number
                                               of social clubs.
                                               The charity operates on a shoe-string budget and has no regular sources of income
                                               other than a small grant from Leicestershire County Council towards the lunch clubs,
                                               small donations, and fees from the hire of buildings.

10                                           In CONTACT with local communities                                         Winter 2009
                                                                                                  CONTACT Cover story




 Donald Wills                      Declan Parker                                 Mike Bishop
 Individual or group that          Outstanding achievement by a                  Selfless service to the community
 makes the district a safer        young person
 place to live                                                                   In 2001 he volunteered to act as chairman
                                   Declan was continually bullied at school      for the Sharnford Appraisal Group, which
 Donald, 89, has worked as                                                       was set up by residents to improve village
                                   for being overweight. He would often lash
 a neighbourhood watch                                                           life for people living there. The group’s major
                                   out and hit people in retaliation which
 coordinator in Braunstone                                                       achievement was to survey people living in
 Town for the last 13 years.       landed him in trouble.                        the village and ask them what improvements
 He started the scheme in          On the advice of his PE teacher Declan        they would like to see made. Nearly every
 his area and still gets out on    joined Market Bosworth Rugby Club and         improvement made since has been as a direct
 his patch four or five times a    has never looked back, he says playing        result of that survey and Mike took an active
 day keeping a watchful eye        the sport taught him discipline, friendship   role in delivering many of these projects.
 on his 20 member homes on         and team work. Now 18, he continues to        Mike helped launch the Sharnford News
 Narborough Road South.            play rugby and is a member of the Club        and has been its editor for nine years, he is
 Trevor Matthews nominated                                                       also chairman of the Sharnford Environment
                                   Leicestershire County team, winning four
 Donald for the award and is                                                     Group.
                                   trophies in the last two seasons.
 the neighbourhood watch                                                         As a member of the Leicestershire and
 development officer for           After overcoming his problems Declan          Rutland Rural Community Council Mike gives
 Braunstone Town Council,          completed a placement at Brookvale High       up his time for free, to help improve village
 he said: “I was delighted for     School where he worked with children in       life for thousands of residents across the
 Donald and all the members        the same situation as he once was, he said:   counties, he said: “There are lots of volunteers
 of the scheme are thrilled that   “It’s great to be recognised for something    doing great things to help others and to
 their oldest coordinator has      that to me was a life changing hurdle. This   protect and enhance the local environment,
 been honoured in this way.                                                      which by itself improves the quality of life for
                                   award has made it all worth it and has
 “I know he wants to carry on                                                    everyone.
                                   given me the drive to help others in their
 doing community work for                                                        “I tell everyone I meet about this, in the
 as long as possible. Their will   time of need.                                 hope that it will encourage others to become
 come a time when he can’t do      “I want to continue to give my time           involved, whatever their skills and age. There
 it anymore but lets hope that’s   to youth schemes and hopefully continue       is a lot going on in Blaby district and it’s
 not for a long while yet.”        to visit pupils in local schools.”            important that people are aware of this.”


Issue 3                                 In CONTACT with local communities                                                    11
CONTACT Benefis




Claim the cash, it’s yours!
Low income families, people with disabilities and the elderly struggle by each year because
they are not claiming the financial help they are entitled to.
People aged over 75 are the largest group not to claim their
benefits entitlements with around a third of all pensioner
households failing to claim pension credit that is rightfully      Disability Living Allowance
theirs.                                                           Disability living allowance is paid if you have a physical or
Here is a rundown of what help is available with useful contact   mental illness or disability and need:
details.
                                                                  • Help with personal care, or supervision to avoid danger to
                                                                    yourself or others
   Pension Credit                                                 • Help with getting around outdoors
  Pension credit can be claimed if you are aged 60 or over.
  Pension credit consists of two parts:                           • Help with both of these

  • Guarantee Credit ensures that no one aged 60 or over          You can only get Disability Living Allowance if you need
                                                                  help before you are 65 years old. Once awarded, it is paid
    lives on less than a set amount. This is £130.00 per
                                                                  irrespective of age, provided you still meet the qualifying
    week for a single person and £198.45 for a couple. Extra
                                                                  conditions. If you are aged 65 or over see the section on
    amounts will be paid on top of this if you qualify for a
                                                                  Attendance Allowance.
    severe disability addition, you are a carer or you have
    relevant housing costs. If your income is less you will be    For further information telephone 0800 88 22 00, or
    topped up to these amounts.                                   visit www.direct.gov.uk

  • Savings Credit is payable for those aged 65 or over who
    have modest savings and extra income above the savings
    credit threshold (e.g. an occupational pension or savings
    above £6,000 or from November £10,000). The maximum
    amount of savings credit is £20.40 per week for a single
    person or £27.03 for a couple.
                                                                   Important changes to
  For further information telephone 0800 99 1234, or visit
  www.direct.gov.uk
                                                                   housing and council tax
                                                                   benefit for over 60’s
                                                                  People’s benefit entitlements could change from 2nd
                                                                  November 2009 depending on how much capital they own.

   Attendance Allowance                                           The amount of capital that will not be taken into account
                                                                  when applying for housing or council tax benefit has
  Attendance Allowance is paid if you need help with personal     increased from £6,000 to £10,000 for people who have
  care or supervision to avoid danger to yourself or others, it   reached the qualifying age of 60 or over.
  can be claimed from the age of 65. There is no help under
  the attendance allowance rules for those with mobility          This could mean that people who were not previously
  problems that start from the age of 65 or onwards. You can      entitled to benefits in the past may qualify now, or their
  claim if you are over 65 and terminally ill. If you have care   current entitlement could increase.
  needs or mobility needs before you reach 65 you should
  look at the section on Disability Living Allowance instead.     If you are not already receiving housing or council tax
                                                                  benefit and think these changes could affect you, or for
                                                                  more information contact the benefits team on 0116
  For further information telephone 0800 88 22 00, or
                                                                  272 7510.
  visit www.direct.gov.uk



12                                           In CONTACT with local communities                                   Winter 2009
                                                                                                            CONTACT Recyling




Local recycling                                                                               Letter
                                                                                              praises
scheme given                                                                                  helping
                                                                                              hand
national                                                                                      A punk rock refuse

recognition
                                                                                              collector helped restore a
                                                                                              disabled woman’s faith in
                                                                                              humanity with one kind
                                                                                              gesture while out on his
                                                                                              rounds.
                                                                                              Lin Burrows, from Braunstone Town,
                                                                                              was in her garden when she dropped
                                                                                              something and was struggling in
                                                                                              pain to pick it up when council
                                                                                              worker Steve Wainwright stepped in
                                                                                              to lend a hand.
                                                                                              The gesture took seconds but
                                                                                              brightened up Lin’s day, so much so
                                                                                              that she wrote to the Council describing
                                                                                              the incident, saying: “This man’s act of
                                                                                              kindness restored my faith in human
 Councillor Guy Jackson with Kevin Tye and Steve Wainwright from the Council’s                nature. I don’t know his name but he
 neighbourhood services team.                                                                 has a distinctive punk haircut.”
                                                                                              Steve, who has been working as a refuse
                                                                                              collector for 12 years, said: “The whole
The Council’s monthly textile                  landfill, they first visit the MIND depot      team always try our best to give good
collections, run in partnership with           and anything that can be re-used is taken      customer service and I’m just really
mental health charity MIND, reached            out to be sold in their local furniture        happy to have made a difference to
the finals of the National Recycling           shops.                                         someone’s day.”
Awards earlier this year.                      This new scheme has been so successful         According to the Place Survey, which
The project began three years ago, but the     that the managing director of MIND             was carried out last autumn, people in
frequency of collections was increased         wants to use it as best practice and is        Blaby district are the third most satisfied
from quarterly to monthly back in January      offering the idea to other local authorities   customers in the country with their
due to rising demand, and since then           throughout the Country.                        doorstep recycling service, with 86% of
the weight of materials collected has          Emma Vithlani, regional organiser              people asked saying they were happy.
increased by more than eight tonnes.           for MIND said: “Stock is becoming              Instead of leaving heavy or
Every tonne of material brought in is          increasingly difficult to collect with so      contaminated bins on the street, the
sorted at the MIND warehouse and the           many organisations making door to door         refuse and recycling crew have been
majority of it is sold on through its local    collections.                                   working with residents to give on the
shops, which brings the charity valuable        “Working with the Council has ensured         spot advice so bins can be emptied
extra income.                                  we have a regular supply of stock coming       there and then, meaning people do not
The administration and publicity of the        into the depot every month for sale            have to phone or visit council offices
project is done by the Council, providing      through our shops.                             unnecessarily.
street lists and maps for each round and       “This project also gives us the opportunity    Additional refuse sacks are also made
leafleting all 38,500 properties with the      to offer voluntary work to people that         available through a network of local
collection dates, and a MIND textile bag.      come to the charity with mental health         shops and post offices for when
The success of the textile collections         problems. Working with us gives these          households have extra waste through
has led to another joint venture with          people a sense of purpose and helps with       parties and other events. Residents can
MIND to introduce a furniture re-use           a variety of issues, including confidence      buy these sacks and leave them next to
scheme. Instead of the Council’s bulky         building. We feel that the district has        their normal bins.
item collection crew taking everything to      embraced us and long may this continue.”

Issue 3                                       In CONTACT with local communities                                                     13
CONTACT Winter warmth




Each year thousands of elderly people die in winter
suffering the cold, often unaware of help that is available
to heat their home.

Fuel poverty continues to be a problem         them he instructed Anne to allow the
for many people throughout the                 contractors to start work.
district with poorly insulated houses,         Anne said: “The officer from the Council
lack of efficient heating systems, and         was an absolute gem, he helped me fill in
an inability to pay rising energy bills all    the forms and within a month I had hot
leading to a high excess winter death          water again.
rate.                                          “It was so lovely just to be able to run a
Anne Patton, from Littlethorpe suffers         bath, I can’t thank the Council enough,        Grants of up to £2,500 and interest free
from depression and her condition got          their officer visited me a couple of times     loans up to £20,000 are also available to
worse when she was left with no hot            to check the work that was done and it         homeowners and landlords for:
water or heating for nine months after         was just a quick and simple process. If I      • Rewiring
being sold a faulty boiler by a rogue          didn’t contact the Council I would still be    • Damp proof courses
trader.                                        suffering in the cold now.”                    • Replacement windows
                                               Many homeowners and tenants who are            • Upgrading your heating system
Despite paying more than £2,000 for the
                                               over 70 or on means tested benefits are        • Other items of disrepair.
boiler Anne had to survive winter 2008
                                               entitled to free insulation and may not        For more information call the
living in one room struggling to keep
                                               know about it, and insulation grants or        Affordable Warmth freephone Number
warm with oil filled radiators, wearing
                                               discounts are often available to everyone.     on 0800 043 6320.
several layers of clothing and sleeping in
jumpers to battle the cold nights.
She tried to contact the company who
sold her the boiler several times but gave     Handy repairs by
up when they became aggressive, her
depression made her unable to cope with        people who care
the situation and she lost all hope of
                                                Hiring help for home repairs can be           checked to maintain high standards
having the problem resolved.
                                                a daunting task, with rogue traders,          and any repairs can be inspected when
After spending almost a year in the cold
                                                conmen and cowboys all too common,            finished if necessary.
Anne saw an advert in her local post
                                                but there are people you can trust.           All advice is free but if Care and Repair
office advertising Blaby District Council’s
                                                Care and Repair (Leicester) is a charitable   are arranging work which is partly or
Affordable Warmth scheme. This aims to
                                                home improvement agency working               wholly funded by a local authority they
assist those in need by informing them
                                                across Blaby district and Leicester city      will charge a fee of 5% of the cost of the
about insulation and heating grants and
                                                that assists elderly or disabled residents    work (before VAT) or a minimum of £50.
encouraging them to have benefit checks
                                                with repairs to their home.                   A subsidised handyperson service is also
to make sure they are getting the help
                                                Staff at the scheme can help                  available for small jobs like repairing
they are entitled to.
                                                homeowners and private tenants decide         locks, mending kitchen doors and putting
Anne rang the number and established
                                                what work needs doing and then check if       up curtain rails.
that she was able to get an affordable
                                                any local authority grants are available to   The project is funded by Blaby District
warmth grant. She was then put in touch
                                                carry out the repairs. They can also assist   Council, Leicester City Council, Leicester
with the Council’s decent homes officer
                                                people in completing forms to apply for       Supporting People, Leicestershire
who visited her house, saw that she
                                                grants or benefits.                           Supporting People and the Office of the
desperately needed a new boiler and
                                                Once the customer is ready Care               Deputy Prime Minister.
asked her to get two quotes for the work
                                                and Repair can recommend reliable             For more information on Care and
to be done.
                                                tradesmen to carry out any necessary          Repair services contact
Once the quotations were received and
                                                work. All contractors are vetted and          0116 254 1121.
the decent homes officer was happy with

14                                            In CONTACT with local communities                                         Winter 2009
                                                                                                             CONTACT Whats’ On



   What’s on
 December                                        January 2010                                     February
Carol Concert                                   Family Fitness Day                               Blaby Central Community Forum
Thursday 10th December 7.30pm – 9.30pm          Saturday 9 January 2010 9am-12 noon              Monday 1st February, 6.30- 8:30pm
Council Chamber, Blaby District Council         Taster session from clubs, parent and child      Narborough and Littlethorpe Parish
offices, Desford Road, Narborough.              multi-sport activities, sports clubs and         Centre, Desford Road, Narborough
Entrance is free but by ticket only. Call       activity groups plus a healthy eating stand
Lucy Wheeler to reserve your ticket on                                                            Weekly activities at the
                                                Blaby North Community Forum
0116 272 7512.
                                                Thursday 14th January, 7-9pm
                                                                                                  Pavilion, Huncote
Older Person’s Forum                            The Community Lounge, Winstanley                 Pilates
Monday 7th December 2-4pm                       Community College, Braunstone. Public            Friday 10am - 11am. Cost £3 per session
Council Chamber. Blaby District Council         meeting with the opportunity to discuss
offices, Desford Road, Narborough.              local services with your county, district and    Tai Chi
All older people from Blaby district are        parish councillors and other representatives     Tuesday 10am - 11am. Cost £3 per session
welcome to attend. For more information         from organisations such as the health            Over 50’s Drop-in Badminton
call 0116 272 7582                              service and the police. All are welcome          Thursday 10.30 - 11.30. Cost £2 per session
                                                to attend. For more information visit            For more information on these classes call
Braunstone Town Ladies Social
                                                www.leicestershireforums.org or call the         0116 272 7704
Group                                           community engagement team on 0116
Tuesday 8th December 2pm                        305 5562                                         The Glenfield Village Centre minibus
Meet at the Civic Centre, Kingsway,
                                                                                                 service runs on Friday mornings
Braunstone Town for members Christmas           Flood Fair
                                                                                                 for people who find it difficult to use
meal and chat. For more information             Tuesday 19th January 2010 3pm-7pm
                                                                                                 public transport. The bus is fitted with
contact 0116 289 8798.                          Blaby District Council Offices, Desford
                                                                                                 a passenger lift for ease of access and
                                                Road, Narborough. Learn about the flood
VABD Outreach at Enderby Library                                                                 collects passengers from their front doors.
                                                risks to your home, with advice from the
Wednesday 9th December 2-3pm                                                                     The service must be pre-booked and
                                                Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water
Stop by and meet staff from Voluntary                                                            concessionary vouchers are accepted.
                                                plc, Leicestershire County Council and Blaby
Action Blaby District, learn about the                                                           Pick up from 10.00am in Leicester Forest
                                                District Council. Including exhibits on how to   East and 10.45am in Glenfield. For more
services they offer to support local
                                                safeguard your property from flooding.           information or to book contact Voluntary
people and community groups, including
community transport schemes, befriending,       Blaby South Community Forum                      Action Blaby District on 0116 272 7668.
carers support, funding advice, volunteering    Tuesday 19th January, 7-9pm
opportunities at VABD and much more.            Elmsthorpe Village Hall, Elmsthorpe.             Community Drop In
                                                                                                 VABD invites you to drop in to the Pavilion
Blue Badge Guided Walk – Enderby                Voluntary and Community Sector                   at Huncote on the first Thursday of each
Christmas Ghost Walk                            Forum                                            month between 10am and 12 noon for
Friday 18th December, 7.30pm                    Friday 22nd January 10am-12 noon                 a chat and a drink. Speak to VABD staff
Enderby Church.                                 For anyone who is involved in a voluntary        and find out more about the services on
Adults £4 Children £2; Must be pre-booked.      group or organisation in the district to         offer that can support you or just come
Contact Blaby District Council on 0116 272      find out and share information. For more         and meet new people. We look forward to
77030                                           information contact 0116 272 7669                seeing you.




Issue 3                                        In CONTACT with local communities                                                        15
CONTACT Arts




Creative businesses
given cash boost
Blaby is not yet known as a hot bed of high fashion and trendy designers but a look at this
year’s Creative Leicestershire bursary award winners suggests that could be about to change.

Three creative businesses from Blaby district were given the grants which
are designed to help small arts, design and media
businesses in Leicestershire                                                                              ials
                                                                                        arketing mater
                                                                       her develop m
                                                          has helped                        ut the UK and
                                      lenfield                            pand througho
               design er based in G                       so she can ex                    s you can get
Jo Cope is a                           ork has                             e said: “Unles
                g repu tation. Her w                       worldwide, sh                     in the first
 with a growin            wn the countr
                                            y most                         ild your career
                   and do                                  support to bu                      stuck and
 been shown up                           rd Street                           re going to be
                pshop’s  flagship Oxfo                     five years you’
 recently in To                                                               ople give up.
                                                            that’s when pe                     ntinue to
  store in Lond on.                                                          at people to co there are
                   ed hand  bags, fashion                   “It’s crucial th                   use
  She has design                              splay                           f funding beca
                  ulptures  and product di                   get this kind o                    t work who
   accessories, sc                                                            e creating grea
                    on the hu man body.                      loads of peopl                   e the costs
   units all based                              and                           gnised becaus
                        at Leicester College                  can’t get reco            yourself are m
                                                                                                          assive.”
    Jo studied fashion                  d ha  s been          involved  in marketing                        .com
                         University an                                                    sit www.jocope
     Nott ingham Trent              .                          For more  information vi
                    nce since then
     working freela                grant of £2,50
                                                    0
                   Leicestershire
     The Creative                                                                        Linda Marie Youn
                                                                                                                 g designs unique ke
                                                                                         home in Braunstone                              epsake boxes from
                                                                                                                    Town. She was awar                        her
                                                                                        Creative Leicestersh                               ded £2,000 from
                                                                                                                   ire which she is us
                                                                                        international audien                           ing to try and reac
                                                                                                                   ce.                                      h an
                                                                                       Since graduating fro
                                                                                                                  m De Montfort Un
                                                                                       had her work display                             iversity in 2007, sh
                                                                                                                   ed at the Knitting                        e has
                                                                                       at the Victoria and                             and Stitching show
  Talking Rhythm      s is a                                                                                    Albert Museum an                             s
                                                                                      Leicester. View Linda                          d at the City Galle
  Countesthorpe base      d                                                                                       ’s work at www.Lin                      ry in
                                                                                                                                       daMarie.co.uk.
  company which has delivered
                                                    e than  3,000 people
  drumming and music workshops to mor                                    s.
  across Leicestershir   e and beyond during the last two year                                     Small arts, media and design businesses based in
                                                  of all com  munities and
   The company’s aim is to unite people                                                            Leicestershire, Leicester or Rutland employing up to
                                                  hm and sound. They have
   generations through the power of rhyt                                                           three people can apply for the Creative Leicestershire
                                                 ding scouts and guides,
   worked with a variety of groups inclu                                                           bursaries, contact Clare Hudson on 0116 305 4117
                                                 ch groups and summer
   charities, adult learners, schools, chur                                                        or call Blaby District Council’s arts and heritage
                                                  build ‘rhythm stations’ in a
   play schemes and are now looking to                                                             development officer on 0116 272 7617 for more
   number of primary schools.                                                                      information.


    Christmas and New Year refuse and recycling arrangements
 The refuse and recycling days will not change in 2010, they will                    Christmas and New Year refuse and recycling service as follows:
 be the same as 2009 collections.
 No collections will take place between 25th December – 1st                           Regular Collection day 1st collection               2nd collection
 January 2010.                                                                        Monday                       21st December          4th January
 Additional bags of side waste will be accepted alongside the                         Tuesday                      22nd December          5th January
 wheeled bins during collections from Saturday 2nd January up                         Wednesday                    23rd December          6th January
 to and including Friday 8th January.
                                                                                      Thursday                     24th December          7th January
 Although the Council Offices will be closed on Thursday 24th                         Friday                       Saturday 2nd Jan 8th January (normal
 December and Saturday 2nd January, customers will still be able                                                   (full refuse and   service resumes)
 to call the normal Waste Hotline number, 0116 272 7555, for                                                       recycling service)
 refuse and recycling queries only.

16                                                   In CONTACT with local communities                                                          Winter 2009