Winter 2009, Issue 3
Inside this Issue
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.
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
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 email@example.com
comments and suggestions for future articles. Please write to the Editor, Contact 0116 272 7677
Magazine, Blaby District Council Offices, Desford Road, Narborough, Leicester,
LE19 2EP or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessibility 0116 272 7510
Contact is available on-line at www.blaby.gov.uk Benefit Fraud
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, email@example.com
0116 272 7533
Desford Road, Narborough, Leicester LE19 2EP
Council Tax and Business Rates
Tel: 0116 272 7577 Fax: 0116 275 0368 firstname.lastname@example.org
Minicom: 0116 284 9786 0116 272 7530
Email: email@example.com Elections/Electoral Registration
0116 275 7560
Making payments Enderby Leisure Centre
Payments for council tax, business rates and waste bin rentals can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Payments can also be made at the Council’s main offices on Desford Road,
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 email@example.com
7695 or send your comments to 0116 272 7770
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com for more closed 0844 736 9545
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
New benefits surgery opened
Competition – win £50 of B&Q vouchers
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
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
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
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
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.
Issue 3 In CONTACT with local communities 5
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
“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
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
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
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.
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
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
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:
• 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
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
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
12 In CONTACT with local communities Winter 2009
Local recycling Letter
scheme given helping
national A punk rock refuse
collector helped restore a
disabled woman’s faith in
humanity with one kind
gesture while out on his
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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