Does your community need transport?

Every day our Community Transport Hub  Advice line receives calls from residents across the county who are finding it difficult to get to hospital and other health appointments and social activities.  The Hub can signpost callers to the many volunteer led community transport schemes which operate across the county but there are still many areas in the county where there is no alternative provision leading to stress and anxiety for many who have to cancel, rearrange appointments or ask friends and relatives to change their plans.

A  volunteer led community transport scheme is easy to set up and can change the lives of those who cannot easily access traditional transport options.

Not only do those needing the support benefit but the volunteers who provide this support can too; from making new friends, expanding networks, learning new skills to just knowing that they are making a positive difference to their local community.

The Community Development Team at Community Impact Bucks can provide up to 10 days free support to help your community set-up a volunteer led transport scheme. To find out more please call:

0300 111 1250

If you, or people you know in your community, find it difficult to get to social activities and health appointments because public transport is limited or hard to access – the Community Transport Hub (advice line) can help to find alternatives. The number is

0800 085 8480

 

Posted by the Community Development Team, Community Impact Bucks

Aston Abbotts has a plan

Congratulations to the community of Aston Abbotts for producing a Community Led Plan for their area.

Aston Abbotts is a small village some 5/6 miles north east of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

Their plan of actions includes; investigating traffic calming measures, relaunching the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, improving village facilities and improving village communications.

The Steering group was made up of residents and Parish Council members and a sub group has been set up to work on the actions contained in the plan, report back on a quarterly basis and an annual update/refresh where villagers can continue to be involved in the progress of the plan.

The final plan can be viewed at www.clp-se.org.uk 

If your community is interested in the Community Led Planning process contact the Community Development Team at Community Impact Bucks.

Email communitydevelopment@communityimpactbucks.org.uk or phone 0300 111 1250

Posted by Community Development, Community Impact Bucks

Time Credits – Thank you for contributing time to your community

Find out how time credits work at the Buckinghamshire Time Credits Launch.

Click on the link below for details.

Bucks Time Credits launch invite 24 Sept (3)

Wanted – Internet providers to beat loneliness

Last week, David Cameron agreed with the charity Friends of the Elderly who said more needed to be done to get older people online so they are able to pay bills, shop and communicate through the internet in order to avoid isolation and loneliness.

According to the charity, 703,000 (10pc) of older people will still not have a mobile phone or use the internet by 2030.

ACRE is no stranger to helping to meet the needs of older people who want to get online through our network of rural community support agencies across England. But there’s more to be done – and where better to start than at the heart of any community; the village hall.

Having worked with ACRE’s network of village hall advisers for the past 15 years, I’ve seen at first hand the value of a village hall to its community and the role it can play in reducing isolation and loneliness by providing a range of activities and services.

During the period leading up to the Millennium, a number of England’s 10,000 village halls installed a telephone line in readiness for the arrival of the 21st Century and the revolution that was social media.

More than a decade later, rural communities are still struggling to obtain fast broadband speeds and there is a piecemeal approach across rural counties to solving the problems.

ACRE’s recent sample of 1,300 village halls indicated that only 25pc had a broadband connection, with a mixture of commercial and domestic tariffs.

The Government needs to keep its commitment to get broadband into rural areas, but providers need to get their act together and use rural village halls to install wi-fi hubs and masts for use by local residents, businesses and farmers – not forgetting the design of a tariff suitable for community buildings.

Village halls will then be equipped with the means of connection and could provide access to the necessary equipment and expertise if needed. At the same time, a visit to the village hall can mean an opportunity to have a cup of tea and chat with neighbours – plus the chance to pay bills and use social media to share news with children and grandchildren.

So which internet provider will step forward and come to the rescue of all village halls so that we can help older people get online and beat loneliness – sooner rather than later?

Posted on behalf of Deborah Clarke, Village Halls/ Rural Insight Manager, ACRE

Grant funding for charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations working with people who live in Buckinghamshire

FINAL ROUND OF ESF COMMUNITY GRANTS PROGRAMME  £203,512 STILL AVAILABLE!

Do you support disadvantaged people over the age of 19 to access further learning opportunities or progress to employment?

Did you have an income of less than £300,000 in the last financial year and employ no more than the equivalent of 9 full-time staff?

Do you work with people living in the Thames Valley – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes and Slough?

If so, you could apply for a grant of up to £15,000 to fund a project working with at least one of these priority groups:

  • lone parents
  • women
  • people with health/disability issues
  • older people (50 yrs plus)
  • people from ethnic minorities and diverse communities

The aim of the project must be to assist unemployed or economically inactive people into employment or further education.  The type of activities which can be funded include:

  • Initial help with basic skills.
  • Taster work experience including voluntary work.
  • Training advice and guidance.
  • Job search assistance.
  • Confidence building and personal development.
  • Supporting individuals to overcome barriers to learning and/or employment

The deadline for this final round is 12 noon on the 1st September.  Applications must be sent by post or delivered in person to OCVA, The Old Court House, Floyds Row, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1SS

For an application form and guidelines, please go to http://www.ocva.org.uk/news/european-social-fund-community-grants-programme

 

Posted by Community Development Team, Community Impact Bucks

 

 

 

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – now open for nominations

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

Who is eligible

Any group of 2 or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK.

To be nominated they should do work that:

  • provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
  • is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
  • is run locally

Volunteer groups should have been running for 3 years or more to be nominated.

What the winners get

Winners get a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party.

How the winners are decided

Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which ones to send to the National Award Committee.

The committee makes recommendations to the Cabinet Office, which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval.

Winners are announced on June 2 every year.

To make a nomination see this link.

111 outstanding UK volunteering groups were honoured as recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2014 with one group from Buckinghamshire; Wycombe Homeless Connection Christian Trust. To see who the other 110 were click here.

 

Posted by Community Development Team, Community Impact Bucks

Let’s turn the lights out in Buckinghamshire

Community Groups and organisations across the country are being asked to take part in marking the hour that Britain entered World War 1 one hundred years ago.

In a dramatic nationwide event everyone in the United Kingdom is being invited on 4th August to turn off their lights between 10pm and 11pm, leaving on one solitary light or candle, so that there is a collective moment for reflection.

LIGHTS OUT is a headline project of the cultural programme 14-18 NOW and was initiated by the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

If your community group or organisation is marking this moment by doing something unique and you want to get your event on the 14-18 NOW website (currently there seems to be a bit of a gap in Buckinghamshire) then follow this link. More information can also be found at LIGHTS-OUT-Information-for-Local-Community-Organisations.

Posted by Community Development Team, Community Impact Bucks