Staffordshire County Councillors received £2500 as part of the People Helping People fund in 2019/2020 to award to community projects in their Divisions. I like to keep people up to date about the fantastic projects I have supported this year and so I have provided a list below. The fund is now closed and I hope the County Council intends to keep this fund going so that more brilliant projects can be supported in 2020/21.
Go Kidsgrove – Making Christmas Fun:
Making Christmas Fun’ will use shared Christmas craft activities to bring families together in a stress-free environment. We will run workshops in the libraries and pop-up shop to enable families to work together to make Christmas lanterns and decorate tree baubles. The lanterns will be used in the ‘DIY light parade’ on the day of the Switch-on event, which also brings families together in a fun activity. The baubles will be used to decorate the tree in the centre of town, creating a shared ownership of Christmas in Kidsgrove. We also wish to purchase a good quality pop-up gazebo so we can take the workshops to other locations, without the need for finding suitable premises.
Ian Atherton – Butt Lane Youth Club
A weekly youth club for 9 to 14 year olds to encourage young people’s personal and social development by getting involved in positive activities and having fun. The youth club will help to tackle anti-social behaviour and will be based at Butt Lane Baptist Church.
Crown Bank Allotment Association – Access For All:
The object of improving access (Access For All) to the Allotment gardens is to allow the surrounding community to be able to access the Allotment gardens safely, and in return we be able to open the site up to the local schools and care homes in Talke Pits/Kidsgrove district.
Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group – Kidsgrove Sports Centre Sports 4 all:
To provide Sports Opportunities to our local and surrounding communities. Kidsgrove Sports Centre was closed to the public in June 2017. Since the time of closure, the community has campaigned tirelessly for its re-opening. This grant would help to provide much needed equipment for the centre that was sadly removed from site and would again allow users the opportunity to reach their full potential, promote sport and fitness and encourage lifestyle changes.
Red Street Community Centre – Community Project:
Red Street Community Centre is used by the whole community and facilities are enjoyed by all. We have various groups that use the centre including karate, Parkinson’s group, slimming world, drama group , dog training and also Kidsgrove Care Solutions. Some of these groups mainly Kidsgrove Care Solutions and Parkinson’s group have special needs clientele and because of this they require specialised equipment that needs to be stored. We are looking to acquire some sheds that will allow groups to store this equipment in and release much needed space in main hall where equipment is kept now.
Total awarded to community projects – £2479.00
The future of Talke Library is looking more positive as a community organisation sets up base there.
Local voluntary and community sector support and development organisation, Support Staffordshire, now has a base locally at Talke Library. As local manager, Jill Norman, explains: “We have been looking for a base in Newcastle and Kidsgrove for a while and have decided to try using Talke Library which gives us a great place to access all parts of Newcastle Borough and also allows us to support the community library and its volunteers. We are keen to take the opportunity to encourage more community use of the library and its resources. It’s a great facility and has a lovely meeting room as well as flexible space in the main library.”
Talke County Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “Since I was elected to Staffordshire County Council I have held meetings with senior officers, pressured the Leader of the County Council and fought hard to ensure Talke Library has a future. I have also raised my concerns about cuts to Library opening times, but hopefully this situation will improve as the ‘Support Staffordshire’ team begin to work more closely with the community. I am hoping that a firmer arrangement can be sealed in the New Year and I will continue to be part of any negotiations to secure a positive future for this vital community facility. I shall look forward to working with Jill and her team.”
Support Staffordshire has already held one of its quarterly voluntary sector forum meetings and also a training session at Talke Library. Lots of different activities already take place at the library, including monthly Monday evening talks organised by The Friends of Talke Library and a craft group which meets every Monday afternoon. However, there are opportunities for other activities and Support Staffordshire is keen to attract people who would like to run new activities, or to volunteer to support existing activities, at Talke Library.
The base at Talke Library gives Support Staffordshire a chance to offer face-to-face advice and support to individuals who may be interested in volunteering through its Volunteer Centre services, and to those running a voluntary or community group who may need help on governance, funding, finding volunteers, or any other aspect of running an effective group. Staff will be available during the normal library opening hours of 1pm to 5pm on Mondays and 2pm to 5pm on Wednesdays (Talke Library is also open on Fridays 2pm to 5pm, run by Staffordshire County Council staff and volunteers).
You can just drop in to see us, although it is best to ring in advance to book at appointment to be sure. To book please ring 01538 381356 or, for volunteering advice email email@example.com and for organisation advice email Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are working with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to educate residents on safe borrowing and the dangers of using loan sharks.
Together with Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice, officers from the IMLT will be present on Miners’ Estate in Kidsgrove this week to deliver illegal money lending training to local tenants and debt advocates.
On Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 November, a representative from the IMLT will be speaking to local organisations and residents about the impact of loan sharks and how to spot the signs of illegal money lending.
Residents will be offered free benefit checks at the sessions to ensure they are receiving the money they are entitled to.
The training events form part of a wider financial inclusion project that Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are delivering over the course of the coming months. The IMLT are commissioning the project using £1,500 of proceeds of crime money; cash that’s been confiscated from convicted loan sharks through the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002).
The aim of the project is to find financial inclusion champions in the community who will help spread the message about loan sharks and support struggling residents to access debt advice and safe credit.
The Illegal Money Lending training sessions will take place at the following locations:
Tuesday 7 November
Galley Centre, Whitehall Avenue, Kidsgrove
10am – 11.30am – Illegal money lending training for residents and agencies
11.45am – 1.45pm – Financial capability training for residents and agencies
Wednesday 8 November
Tesco Superstore, Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove, ST7 1DX
3pm – 5pm – Loan shark information stand and speaking to Tesco shoppers
5pm – 6.30pm – Illegal money lending training session for residents and agencies
Councillor Kyle Robinson, Butt Lane Councillor and Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said:
“I am so pleased that Newcastle Borough Council has been able to secure external funding for these awareness raising and training sessions in the Kidsgrove community. Loan sharks and illegal money lending practices exist in most communities and so the local council is working hard to make sure we do all we can to stamp it out. I welcome positive partnership working with the Illegal Money Lending Team England and other local organisations to ensure our local residents are protected from criminals preying on vulnerable people.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharks are unscrupulous criminals who prey on the most vulnerable in our society. We are pleased to be working with our partners to raise awareness of illegal money lending and the help and support that’s available to victims of this crime.
“If you or someone you know has borrowed from a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch on 0300 555 2222. We will take information anonymously and in confidence. For more information on how our team can help you, visit www.stoploansharks.uk.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,000 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject