The Art of Wellbeing T&W CVS Jubilee Event 01.06.2022 

Fabulous free event organised by T&W CVS and its partners to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.  Indoor and outdoor activities included circus skills, visual arts workshops, the Fetch Theatre Company (based in Leominster doing sunraku puppetry but work a lot with probation and workshops to help people express themselves) and Age UK Community Choir.  Met Telford Mind who talked about social prescribing adapting a person centred approach with an ethos of “what matters to me”. Also there were the Alzheimers Society – they need volunteers for singing for the brains and for the peer support for carers.  T&W young carers, Telford Children’s autism hub and Telford wellbeing independent partnership, T&W carers centre and Telford autism hub, Age UK who are having lots of success with line dancing at the moment and opening up lunch clubs again but need volunteers.   

British Red Cross also there and Healthwatch Shropshire again.  Good conversations with Sutton Hill Community Trust – clearly very progressive and lots of volunteers. Taking Part – they use experts by experience and do advocacy and wellbeing independence partnership – go to place for people with care and support needs.  Spoke to Safe Place – there are 600 safe places in Shropshire and these volunteers take it upon themselves to check them and get great feedback – short term safe places for vulnerable people who feel threatened, or put I need help cards in pockets of people with dementia or special needs etc.

For more information or to volunteer:

Shropshire Mental Health Support 01.06.2022 

Meeting with Heather Ireland CEO and Ruth Pemberton and Tony Edwards trustee and Clive Ireland chair of trustees.  There is an increasing need for their services and they desperately need more premises. They currently have two venues and deliver outreach, phone support, sudden death/bereavement and TRIM (trauma resilience intervention management) from one and provide a sanctuary and clubs and calm café from the other.  They reckon that they have prevented 700 deaths in the past year and saved the tax payer £10million  2% of the population of Shropshire are currently being supported. 

They need volunteers and more space.

For more information or to apply:

Jubilee Beacon Lighting at Shrewsbury Castle 02.06.2022 

Invited by Vince Hunt Chairman of Shropshire council to a live streamed beacon lighting at Laura’s Tower to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.   Also in attendance Mayor of Shrewsbury Elisabeth Roberts and Martha, and DL Jenny Wynn and Bishop of Shrewsbury (Catholic).  Treated to poetry reading and bugle playing.  The Queen is patron of over 620 charities and has helped to raise over £1.8billion for good causes in her reign

Meeting the Severn Valley Railway Jubilee Train 04.06.2022 

An absolutely amazing day with Severn Valley Railway met by Helen Smith managing director Michelle Bevon and Lewis Maddox events manager. Fred Cotterell allowed me to drive the engine on the purple train. He started volunteering in 1968 the year I was born. On average, when they have groups of volunteers together they have done between 400 -700 years between them of volunteering. They come from as far away as Orkney and Bournemouth, four from Malta, the USA, Australia, and even one recently applied from Colombia in South America. 54 have done 50 years service and the Duke of Gloucester has given them their letters of commendation. There are 1,700 volunteers. 

They’re always looking for more volunteers, particularly with specific skill sets. There’s one engine that has been built from scratch entirely by volunteers. It has taken years, but would have cost over £1m if volunteers had not taken it on. They also had 99 Santas last year and hundreds of elves so volunteering opportunities aren’t just for ticket inspectors and guards and signalmen!

Met signalmen and women, guards, ticket inspectors, drivers, firemen, engineers who work in the sheds and was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and length of service. A lot of the volunteers volunteer on many other steam railways as well, preserving the history and there are over 100 Steam railways in the UK. 

For more information or to get involved:

Lilleshall Jubilee Fete 05.06.2022 

Despite the rain there was a great turn out at St Michael’s church, where the bell ringers put us in the mood! and we processed with a police escort, and led by the Lord Lieutenant, Anna Turner, and the Mayor of Telford and Wrekin, Cllr Raj Mehta, scouts and others to the cricket pitch by the school.  The Lord Lieutenant welcomed everyone and opened the event. Great selection of stalls with charities and local arts and crafts, and cakes and jams.

Lovely sense of community and particularly impressed by the scouts – short of youth leaders – and space.   

For more information or to get involved in your local community:  

Willey Village Hall Jubilee lunch 05.06.2022 

Village hall looked resplendent with its bunting, balloons and flags.  Delicious lunch with strawberries and cream and chocolate brownies, sell out event and fancy dress , tree planting for the Jubilee and Three legged races, egg and spoon and apple bobbing fun for all the family.  Small Community with a huge heart – these things only happen because of local volunteers who make the difference.  Commemorative mugs for people to take home. 

For more information about joining the committee or to book the venue: 

Meeting with Tim Allin Managing Director of The Stay True Project 06.06.2022 

Currently based in Shropshire. This is an innovative, interactive, and supportive programme targeting vulnerable young people who are at risk of becoming involved with dangerous and life changing negative associations that may affect their whole future.  

The aim of Stay True is to educate, encourage, support, and guide the young people to become confident, safe, and powerful in their own decision making in order to move forward into a productive, healthy, and fruitful future. 

The idea behind the creation of this unique programme grew from Tim’s own personal experiences.  He grew up in Derbyshire and had a, mainly positive upbringing, apart from a traumatic experience at the age of 9 years old, which played some part in shaping his attitude and decision making in future years, even though at that time, he was playing cricket to a high standard and had a promising career ahead of him playing for his county.  

Unfortunately, at the age of 11 in secondary school he was exploited by older males. This went on for some years whilst he was at school and unfortunately there were no safeguarding practices that we have now, so he was drawn into situations he felt unable to cope with. 

He was later groomed into selling drugs and committing crime for a local gang.  He was eventually expelled for selling drugs within the school which he was pressured to do by the perpetrators.  Things escalated and became even worse as he had time on his hands for him to be exploited even more.  

This led to many years of negative behaviours leading to addiction, criminal activity, and mental health problems, causing worry, heartache and pain to all of his family.  

When he eventually managed to escape the lifestyle, he was living he made it his goal to prevent any child experiencing what he had experienced.  

In September 2020 he decided to launch The Stay True Project in the Shropshire area.   

His work now includes: 

Mentoring young people, who may be at risk of criminal exploitation, in a group situation or on a one-to-one basis.  He also works with the parents or carers of the young people as he is aware of the worries this can cause for anyone around the individual.  

He delivers bespoke training for professionals around the risks of gangs, drugs, and exploitation and also delivers trauma informed attachment training.  

Preventative talks to young people. 

Providing alternative Education provision 

Preventative work around exploitation, knife crime, gangs and drug misuse.  Goes into schools, but does not want to be babysitting he wants to have impact and create opportunities. 

He wants to get mentors into all schools – a bullying mentor, drugs mentor etc. Giving them peer mentoring qualifications which would be good for them and their CVs but means that the other young people would not be grassing to teachers but teachers can still be told what is going on. 

For more information or to get involved: 

Meeting with Superintendent James Dunn 06.06.2022 

Also present were Chief Inspector Helen Kinrade, Chief Inspector Rich Bailey and Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Woods. 

Discussed the recent visits of Tommy Robinson, also the murder last year and getting convictions for that, Operation Cosmic, Knife crime in South Telford, the Manchester Bee which should be visiting in late summer.  The police work with the Childrens’ Society and the Youth engagement team on Steer Clear, also have Climb, and the St Giles’ Trust is there for the mentoring side of Community Safety Partnerships.  It is great that they feel well connected in their area. 

Safer streets and investment in Brookside and then Sutton Hill and discussions around the Safer Stronger Communities Board. Discussed problem solving hubs and other volunteer roles – help in the office in the daytime, specials, streetwatch, uploading information for the Charter – all volunteer roles – come through Citizens in Policing and v helpful. 

For more information or to get involved:

Meeting with Neil Bevan about Where I want to Live charity

“Where I want to Live” is a national charity now but that was born in Shropshire.  When young people leave a residential college like Derwen they go back to family mostly but often lose out on what they had at college, friendships, opportunities etc. – the barrier is educating people about the fact that they do have a choice even those with profound and multiple difficulties can express choices.  There are 2 cliffedges – 1 when leave college and 1 when parents get too old to look after them.  

It is about empowerment of young people and their families – giving them a choice and how to get the best outcomes.

It is also about power – longer term data for local and national government in terms of trends of what the young people want, housing needs etc.  (Mencap did a housing survey in 2016 40% want to live by themselves and 30% with friends). 

They have developed a toolkit to enable young person to express wishes – they can do it themselves because technology includes eye gaze, single strokes, blow tube etc. (National Lottery funded initial technology) or teacher, parent, carer, social worker can do it and it builds a picture of what, how, where they want to live and what the future is. 

For more information or to get involved:

Meeting with My Workwear in Halesfield 08.06.2022 

Met James Worthington, and Gayle Parker and Ben James partner – It is a Shropshire business founded 47 years ago.  Tour around the factory – 4 kick start apprentices, had 14 employees before Covid and now 40.  Send out 60-70 orders a day and do embroidery and heat transfer printing. 

Particularly interested in CSR which is high on their agenda and they now have a specific budget for it – have given to Christmas Smile, Great Ormond Street, and Hope House and now they are working with UWR University of Wolverhampton’s racing team raising money for race4dementia.

Discussed partnership with the Community Foundation.

Meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and Lizi Platts 08.06.2022 

Discussed a variety of issues, but Prevent is key.  He has £1m to spend on youth at the moment and is specifically looking for effective, innovative preventative programmes.  Joint prevention strategy – ROC is something similar to my Crimebeat meetings and worth looking into.  Climb funded by PCC and delivered through Childrens Society.  Victims voices.  Lived experience and making sure they are heard. 

Lord Lieutenant’s Garden Party at Orleton Hall 08.06.2022 

To acknowledge volunteer support for our communities during the Covid 19 pandemic.  To thank all those who went the extra mile, like the lady who ahs spent over £100,000 doing other people’s shopping, the man who has given out 500 bicycles loving restored in the last 15 months or the people who have collected 2,000 prescriptions and many many more heartwarming stories.

West Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets 09.06.2022 

AGM 2022 A fascinating glimpse into the modern British Army and the future British Soldier – future soldier programme restructuring of the army based on 73,000 Regular and 32,000 Reserve personnel.

Exciting opportunities in the Reserves and inspirational programmes for cadets.   For reserves – greater use of sponsored Reserves, much greater responsibility for UK resilience and a new Reserves framework, including a strategic Reserve. – consultations with employers to make sure they can see the advantages.  Wider engagement activity developing relationships and building networks with civil communities.  As of 6th April 2022 WM region had 886 Armed Forces Covenants signed in total, they also do bronze silver and gold employer recognition scheme awards.  Focus on the culture of readiness, getting hours of employers because of integrated review of reservists.  Membership engagement events, and association briefings. 

In WM there are 38 state and 18 independent schools with cadets. The target is to achieve 60,000 cadets in schools by 2024, regional target of 7,066 and in WM there are an additional 726 this year taking total to 6,049.  Need more adult volunteers – cadets rising to challenges, key community projects. 

The seven principles of public life – Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.

For more information or to get involved:

SYA Celebration Event at the Cavalier Centre 11.06.2022 

During covid nearly half the YC in Shropshire didn’t plan to reopen, but with SYA’s support they are now back up to 85% open.  Over 2130 volunteers give their time to support young people in the county through youth clubs/projects and groups where over 6000 children and young people attend weekly 

The provision in Shropshire (Shrops & Telford) includes A thriving young farmers, girlguides and Scouts as well small independent youth clubs and bespoke provision for LGBTQI+, SEND, refugees and thematic.  There are around 600 scouts alone on the waiting list because there are not enough youth leaders.  There was a climbing wall from Arthog and archery, football, hog roast etc. About 120 people attended.  Lots of talk of collaboration and future events.  People did not know Cavalier Centre was a not for profit. 

Jack Fallows from St James’s Place presented SYA with a cheque for £10,000 today.

For more information or to get involved:

Broseley Town Council day of visits 13.06.2022 

Met Cllr Ian West and Cllr Caroline Bagnall, and joined by members of Broseley litter club, the leader of Broseley Youth Club, a representative from Broseley Cinema and BroADS and from Lets Get together.

Litter pickers are a small group of retired residents who keep fit by walking and have been given litter pickers and bags by Council.  There are about 12 of them and they have been doing it for 3-4 years.  They are doing a project with a class at Dark Lane School, and will extend this to other schools.  They want to get shops on board and food outlets as they do not always look after their doorsteps

Broseley Youth club provide positive activities with soft and accredited outcomes for young people.  Include them in planning and delivery of sessions and include residentials, workshops, life skills etc. And fun.  All about building positive relationships, need support to ensure there is consistency and stability.  It was noted that the young people in Broseley were particularly good at coming up with ideas and engaging.  He has 4 young leaders, 3 attend the youth form and 2 the youth parliament.  He is doing awareness sessions in schools about exploitation.  Planning projects in youth clubs, voice in schools, wellbeing and environment on the agenda. 

Young health champions go into schools and deliver workshops to small groups re exploitation etc. 

The “lets get together club” meets at the Methodist church and has done for 15 years – Covid stopped it and much reduced numbers coming back but still gets about 22 every fortnight. Used to get speakers/music/singers etc. but now on the whole the members just want to chat.  They fund themselves.  There is a monday club in Jackfield, and hopes that the coffee morning in the Victoria Hall will start up again. There is a walking group as well.  The Friendly bus is doing phone befriending so they don’t need to do this – mimicking the compassionate neighbours scheme. 

Broads has stopped youth but could still get young people involved in performances and back stage – will work with schools and could maybe conduct some rehearsals in schools to save problems with getting to rehearsals. Talked about collaboration and direct mailing information about films to groups like the lets get together club, refugees etc.

Visit to The Friendly bus included Marie Monk-Hawksworth CEO and various volunteers – 4 part time in the office, 4 part time drivers paid and 50 vols.  20th anniversary this week.

Last year did far fewer journeys because of COVID but still 300 shopping journeys, and 1,500 medical journeys, good neighbour schemes, feed the birds scheme in conjunction with the Wildlife trust.  Got £5,500 from People’s post code lottery to do socially active outings – included Cavalier Centre, swimming, shropshire hills walk, markets etc.   

In an area where other transport services are limited, and not everyone has access to a car, they provide transport by car or minibus.  They offer a door to door service which is friendly and comfortable and reliable for people who don’t have alternative means of transport or who otherwise have difficulties getting out.  They provide transport for local clubs, schools and other non profit making groups to meetings and events or out on day trips.  They are a not for profit charity, only charging a small amount for journeys to their members.  Their aim is to reduce loneliness and isolation, promote independence and improve quality of life – shopping and prescription collections, light gardening duties, indoor window cleaning, transport to medical appointments, twice-weekly shopping trips and regular leisure trips 

Recruiting volunteers is not too bad and retaining is no problem.  Recently got some new ones, have a stall every month in MW market to recruit.  Involved in Broseley Bounces Back and pop up markets.  Do need more passenger assistants. 

Talked about opportunities for some of their customers to volunteer – planting out flowers, watching CCTV cameras, telephone befriending service.  Different events bring different types of volunteers, also do trips for primary schools and youth groups. 

Started a befriending service called Friendly voice during Covid and that has continued,.   

Discussed volunteering in Broseley – if Town Council put opportunities on their website, and do a flier which Estate Agents could give out to new people in town – just an A4 sheet. 

Visited the Haycop, which was transformed in 2007 into a diverse nature reserve.  20 volunteers and probably over 100 years of volunteering between them.  Do surveys of bugs, butterflies and moths, and pond every year and then birds not official, have special species ramshorn snails, great diving beetles, palmate and common newts, small copper and dingy skipper and purple hairstreak butterfies and marsh tits, chiffhcaffs, blackcaps, long tailed and great and blue tits, nuthatches, tree creepers and greater spotted and green woodpeckers.  9 acre site containing a variety of habitats which is a haven for wildlife and includes the Down Well, Flower meadow, pool, woodland areas, Heathland and Ox field.  They are actively seeking volunteers with expertise in wildlife recording and species identification. 

Met Scouts leader – they would like to have a Beavers Group for 5-8 year olds but no youth leaders.  They are looking for volunteers to help with the brand new befriending service – important and fulfilling eservice that will support those in our community wishing to retain their links with others and stay connected to the wider community – just an hour or two a week can make a huge difference to someone’s life.  Also want people for the Broseley Christmas Lights team to help organise this year’s fundraising events and the towns special switch on day in November.  Broseley in Bloom also looking for help. 

For more information or to get involved in your community:

Shropshire Police Commendation Awards 16.06.2022 

Shrewsbury Town Football Club, with ACC Rachel Jones, Chief Superintendent Paul Moxley, Superintendent Stu Bill and the Shropshire LPA Command Team Ch insp. Mark Reilly, Ch insp. Tracy Ryan, and Det Ch insp John Weaver.  PCC John Campion, and Lezley Picton leader of Shropshire.

The Royal Humane Society Awards have been going since 1774 – “a spark may perhaps lie hid” 85,000 + awards given out since it began. Chief Superintendent Awards for courage, bravery, and complex investigations. 

Celebrate the commitment performance and dedication shown by Police officers and staff.  Through sheer determination, and professionalism, they are making a difference and protecting the communities in which we live and serve.  Also members of the public, and families for support.  Some officers have several Commendations. 

For more information or to get involved:

Meeting with ACC Rachel Jones and Ch Superintendent Paul Moxley, HS Worcs and HS Herefordshire 20.06.2022

Introduction on structure of policing teams. Local teams include neighbourhoods – PCs and police community support officers, patrols and elements of investigation, public protection and integrated teams for prevention, constructive diversionary support etc., ops contact centre takes 101 and 999 calls firearms, dogs, roads policing. 
The wider organisation includes transport, strategy including internal and external comms., organisational development and training, technology, legal services, finance team, crime and vulnerability, professional standards – they are a very young force right now. 

Discussed prevention – have been reactive responding to 101 and 999 critical timeframe rather than getting upstream of problems same in NHS and education etc.  Violence prevention hub data crunching to get biggest bang for buck. 

Volunteers are untapped asset in communities 

Prison visit 

Hindlip visit 

Crime beat/patrols/problem solving hub. 

Interface with PCC?  get funding from core capital grant and core grant from government then council tax precept set by PCC in consultation with.  Then PCC has own pot themselves for commissioning services has £1 million this year for prevention initiatives

Buildwas Academy Tree planting 21.06.2022 

Visit to Buildwas Academy invited by Robert Ling governor and Heidi White head teacher.  Part of Priorslee academy now.  Met executive principal Steven Tilley and planted two apple trees to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy – over 21,000 official engagements in her 70 years – amazing! Learning the importance of two words Thank You. A small school with a huge heart talked about importance of primary and early intervention.

For more information:  

Launch of B4- Business at Hencote 21.06.2022 

Met Richard Rosser CEO of B4 in Oxford where started, and Victoria Charnley who is going to be the Shropshire arm of it.  Have a preferred charity each year and this year Severn Hospice. Samuel Wood gave cheque.  Founder members Nuffield Health, Brewin Dolphin, International Centre Telford and Shrewsbury Business Park and more.  Opening speech on power of collaboration “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things” Mother Teresa.  Exciting launch of B4-Business networking group in Shropshire – building bridges between businesses

For more information or to get involved:  

PCC Conference Worcester 23.06.2022 

Conference organised by @westmerciapcc “listening to the voice of victims and survivors of serious sexual assault and abuse” 
1 in 5 women in this country have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult. 
1 in 6 children have been sexually abused
1 in 20 men have been sexually abused. 
1 in 2 adult survivors of rape have been raped more than once. 
The highest number of rapes recorded by the police was 67,125 in the year ended December 2021. 
It is estimated that only 1 in 100 are reported to the police.  

Jan to March 2022 137 reports of rape in west Mercia rape increased 20% and other sexual offences by nearly 1/3 since covid.  Too much in private space. 

Aiming for world class world beating support for victims and a free safe inclusive society in which sexual violence has no place.  The fact that it reduced in covid means we can reduce it we can control it (or just less reporting?) 

Hardly any of this is committed by strangers.  In 20 years of policing she could count the stranger rapes on one hand almost all are people you know/live with 
Domestic violence has to stop.  It is about changing attitudes. 
Horrifying and brave presentations by survivors.  Let down by agencies at every turn. How do we include the whole of society in the cure? Not just a police problem.  Increase awareness of effect on children – if mums had known effect on kids would have left sooner. 

Hospitals can help they or midwives should explain effect on children 

Need to get information out there. 

Women men boys and girls from the age of 5 upwards are victims. 

Educating children is where we need to start.  The average age when children start accessing porn is 11.  It is almost all violent and this is their sex education.  

Everyone’s invited website for reporting educational establishments is really helping to know scale and whereabouts of problem – rape culture is normalising and trivialising sexual violence. 

Average age to own a smart phone is 7 

If reported what do schools do about it 

No room in prisons for all the perpetrators so have to stop it before it happens. 

Herefordshire community safety partnership- Hereford night in – really good hard hitting video combatting sexist and misogynist behaviour. Done by rural media time for change video for year 6,9 and 12 kids.  Purple leaf delivering intervention into schools – seen 1,200 children so far in pilot project. 

Craven Arms Day  24.06.2022 

Met volunteer from read easy Shropshire hills – teaching adults to read 2.4 million adults in UK can’t read. They use books by the Shannon trust delivered for people to teach each other in prisons and make a difference to many adult learners.  

Then Imam Sohayb Peerbhai at the mosque in Newtown street. 120 Muslims in about 25 families – many are now 3rd generation Craven Arms. Halal lamb factory owned by Muslims so started with just a few families and then bought house as a mosque and extended it and put dome on and the Imam arrived in 2011.  V different from first job as a minister in prison service.  Lots of other nationalities in Craven Arms too Polish and Rumanian and Moldovan Discussed community and how to improve integration – need to communicate first, and volunteer?  He volunteers widely himself with school visits both coming to his mosque and him going to them, refugee action, S Shrops interfaith group incl holocaust Memorial Day, school governor, SACRE standing advisory council for religious education, has helped food bank and totally appreciates the power of volunteering. 

Met with Craven Arms foodbank volunteers. It is open 10-12 on a Tuesday and has been going for ten years in affiliation with the church and church volunteers – It is funded by the congregation and some people donate food in passing but that is reducing now with the cost of living crisis.  They give out £500-£1000 a month in parcels to referred clients most unemployed with mental health issues, but they have two volunteers now who were beneficiaries.  Many don’t have cooking facilities.  Discussed barriers to volunteering much is because perceived to be a big ask and much because unaware of opportunities for them. They need more volunteers, but feel some would not like church base.  Agreed fliers good idea

Breakfast butty and chat at the church also on offer at St Andrew’s church 

Discussed whether the building could be used at other times for other purposes, as it is only open for 2 hours a week as a food bank. Connexus are already going to use the building for domestic abuse sessions and it is also to be used for a blood pressure screening project.

Asked about missing areas of help in the town – alcoholics only have statutory services, no CAB have to go to Shrewsbury, no job centre have to go to Leominster, Christian’s against poverty not there.

Craven arms good neighbours good neighbours started in 2008 but they need young blood. They have 16 drivers but only 8 really working. Change of management in hospitals no longer get free parking it is £3.50 now.  Community cars give them money towards mileage but would operate at a loss if didn’t get voluntary donations as well. Some local residents unable to use public transport so use own cars to drive to hospitals dentists GP hairdresser shopping etc and support them where necessary. Reduce the demand for hospital transport so help NHS by providing a local low cost service to our vulnerable elderly residents. They have developed a strong community and supportive friendship network for those who may be socially isolated or have restricted ability. 

Population of about 2,000. 

Clun valley good neighbours have about 50 volunteers committee of 6 and 4 trustees. 

28 on helpline and drivers carrying out requests that are picked up from the helpline.  They also have Clun valley good friends which is more intense – 12 volunteers 2 per client Ltd by no of people putting hands up for help not by lack of trustees.  Want to get more vols maybe people who are close to retirement.

Duncan Spillsbury started post covid to do volunteer brokerage through Shropshire resource.  They have not been successful in matching anyone yet.

Eric Williams clerk to 4 parishes and 4 trusts for 55 years CA 10 years elsewhere 43.  He said CA very different to other places Ashford village hall vibrant base with kids involved because it was the only place they can go. 

Neville Stevens 89 years old and on the town council 53 years and now vice chair, lots of work with young people, he is a trustee of the community centre

Went to Grow Cook Learn at the Discovery Centre. Local Charity that is committed to connecting people to the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills from their base in the heart of the Craven Arms community. Their mission is to continue developing the Centre as a vibrant visitor attraction, a haven for wildlife and a resource for local residents. They rely on donations alongside the income from the café, exhibition and shop to keep the Centre open for everyone to enjoy and to continue delivering their charitable aims. The Centre is open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm.

Difficult to get people doing Rural Volunteering – regular volunteer fairs for advertising.  They have events volunteers, shop volunteers, office admin volunteers and meadows volunteers for Grow cook learn as well as youth leader volunteers. 40ish vols regularly and up to 80 or so for the 80k annual fundraising run.  They also need volunteers at the girls group every other Monday 9-14 year olds they do geo-caching, nature walks, craft activities. 

For more information or to get involved:,to%20hospital%2C%20doctor%20or%20hairdresser

South Shrophsire Youth Network Conference 25.06.2022 

Young people from south Shropshire working together with local decision makers to make change happenThe free event brought young people from all over the area together to talk to Town, Parish & County Councillors and other leaders in a relaxed atmosphere about what they want, need, like where they live. 

Half of the organising team are under 25 and they put together an exciting interactive programme that included campaign t-shirt making, podcast production, and intergenerational conversations about activism and local action.  Marinke Fontein, Infrastructure Support Officer with South Shropshire Youth Network (SSYN), said: “Intergenerational conversations are important to understand where each generation is coming from, what is important to them.

South Shropshire Youth Network is a peer network for individuals (paid/unpaid) and organisations working with young people (8-25 years) in south Shropshire. It’s about exchanging good practice, collaborating, joint funding bids and becoming stronger and more sustainable as organisations. It has 35 members and growing.  SSYN is funded by Shropshire Council and hosted by South Shropshire Youth Forum – a charity doing youth work in south Shropshire 

Thoughts included buses or free passes on public transport, LGBT groups, swimming pool, first aid at the football pitch.  Change goals to something realistic and doable 

West Mercia Prevention Network Event 27.06.2022

The police are not measured in the number of arrests they make but by the lack of crime. 

Primary – prevent it happening 

Secondary – looking at causes and someone just come into the system and try to deal with them differently. 

Tertiary – crisis led 999 etc it had happened but want to try and stop it happening again. 

Partnership is critical and data and integration of partner data. 

Prevent is not new this is a reinvigorated revitalised inauguration.  Shifting activity behind our words. Safer neighbourhood teams mid 90s all around prevention and did that with fewer resources than we have now. 

The best deal for victims is stopping them being a victim in the first place 

Growth in numbers of police and growth in spending and in support from chiefs.  Intervening harder and earlier. 

Tim Allen spoke the majority of people in that lifestyle want out but don’t know how to get out. The more you hate yourself the more you put a mask on and the more natural it becomes

Strong link between addiction and trauma 

Focus on behaviour 

Have to start with primary schools 

That is where the trauma started for him and work with teachers parents guardians carers need holistic approach because different services involved with parents and young people and don’t always talk to each other 

Drugs are like fashion – they keep changing and we are lucky in the Midlands because tend to see it coming from the north or the south or Birmingham then Wolverhampton through to Telford etc 

No link with healthcare professionals 

Education and others need to get better at promoting the police/Projects to get police engagement with young people. 

Prison is the worst thing that happened to him – beside more trauma, nobody asking what led him to make those decisions and what the trauma was prison not achieving what it should – No psychological assessment – should happen way before prison. 

Within education settings need diversionary and education and therapy all of them 

Focus on community and get communities themselves to set up projects that will work for them 

So much is about positive role models. Police officers are positive role models too. In the past police, policing has been very command and control focused and policy and process based. Leading beyond authority partnership working is all about networking and helping the network to get you to deliver your goals.

There was an 84% increase in offences involving knives or sharp instruments between 2014 and 2020. People don’t wake up to be violent that day. It is historic and based on trauma. At least 80% of people in prison have a neurodiverse issue. Partnership between justice, health, local authorities, police, fire, prisons, education, public health, community care and acute services. The suggestion is that the police should get to know the ICS (integrated care systems) where the future money for health is going to be. If you have a care plan, you’re 40% more likely to go to prison and 12% more likely to have heart disease. These are common outcomes, so need to work together to prevent them.

The police are good at analysing their own data, but they need multi agency data which in turn informs the strategic needs assessment and that leads to a detailed plan about what to do about the underlying causes.

Trauma informed practice and a public health approach. They are working with a trauma quality mark. There should be a presumption to share data unless we really have to hold it as opposed to hold data unless you really have to share it. Looking at a bottom up approach from real people, positive role models are very powerful.

Mia’s story which is about a girl whose family told her not to tell anyone about her father being in prison and school telling her to tell the truth. She suffered trauma because she was being conflicted between the two forms of advice. Four times more children are affected by incarceration than have child protection plans. There is a new book coming out called Jack has questions about domestic abuse.

Peers are crucial in the initiation of weapon carrying. And when you live around violence, there is no opting out. Peers have the most powerful impact on judgments about risk. The power of friendship groups on violence is not to be underestimated. Safe predictable childhoods, youth justice, social work, education and health.

Community Grocery Wellington Meeting Sarah Kaul 27.06.2022 

It is a shocking fact that almost 3,000 households have joined the community grocery in Telford since it opened 8 months ago, but also a massive credit to the drive and passion of one lady and her band of volunteers that it is quite as successful and in demand as it is. 

Built on the back of doing breakfast parcels during Covid it is now a thriving ‘family’ of volunteers and shoppers – more than half of the volunteers are shoppers who want to give back to the community. 

Not just groceries, but mental health support, well-being, ‘more than just a coffee’ chats and plans for cookery classes and there are plans for debt advice and other things. 

The message is that ‘nobody has to go without’ but more than that, there is such a welcoming family positive vibe, it is a pleasure to go there.  £5annual membership and £4a shop you can go twice a week.  Backed by the Message trust and run by Sarah and Rick her husband who runs the All Nations Pentecostal church next door. 

Little extras are branded products 1/2 supermarket prices and can buy those on top.  Have very little waste – a goose man who takes veg that arrives rotten and they are thinking of doing cookery classes with food they can’t use.  They have a fabulous amount of space there and already do cooking classes for people to learn what to do with slightly unusual foodstuffs.

Many volunteering opportunities – till, repackaging, cleaning etc

For more information or to get involved:

Charity Networking Group met at the Peach Tree 27.06.2022 

The Shropshire Charity Networking group holds free and informal quarterly meetings for people in Shropshire working within the charity sector and those keen to support not-for-profits in the county. The aim is to give people a platform to make new connections within the charity/not-for-profit sector in the county; to discuss the potential to signpost service users to other organisations locally; to share ideas and discuss challenges; to offer support and advice to others in the sector and to explore the opportunity for collaborative working.  

Roy Fletcher Centre houses 14 charities and have meeting rooms for hire for counselling and welfare etc 

YSS people very receptive to digital – changing website so referral pathway easier 

AXIS dom abuse developing and expanding projects reaching out to new audiences and delivering training esp into schools 

INTune radio CIC intending to build relationships between charities looking for charities to interview 

A good thing done first match with a printer for hands together Ludlow 

Digital services for over 65s have social club too now and putting some kindness back 

Community Foundation IT schemes and winter warmer 

Shrewsbury Ark new premises 

Omega for elderly and isolated befriending service by phone 

Rachel Statham from Landau employment services 

YSS Making it Happen Andrew Prince Burns and colleague 

Shropshire wildlife trust Helen O Connor 

CLH Design and Print from Broseley Carl Hjdasz 

For more information or to join:

SYST meeting in Telford 28.06.2022 

Primary task is to provide aspiring young Shropshire based entrepreneurs subsidised workspace inclusive of full services alongside mentorship specialist workshops and clinics as well as general support and advice enabling them to transform fledgling ideas into sustainable and successful businesses started 2015 and by feb 2018 supported in excess of 80 asysted businesses in a variety of ways. 

They rely on volunteers in 4 main roles:-

training courses/skills provided free – this is the easiest way to help really and just one offs 

Youth workers help young people to come up with ideas and get some sort of plan going. Especially through programmes. 

Assystors with privately owned businesses – pay £2,500 and some are sleeping Partners and some just go to 2 meetings a year, 3 or 4 sit on the panel regularly to decide who to finance 

Mentors admin them and assess skills.  20 mentors but need more particularly jacks of all trades not lawyers or accountants also need digital marketing help.  And people to give confidence before they go to the panel etc. They really need more mentors – we often take our own knowledge for granted and don’t realise our skills are transferable but they are.

Unemployed in T&W 16-24 year olds 1,600 and 1,100 underemployed and in Shropshire another 1,400 unemployed and 1,300 underemployed

SYST offers 2 years help to start a business.  Key prime objective. 

Invest in young entrepreneurs invest in the local economy invest in the future make a difference

Aim to optimise young persons business and personal potential with the aim of leading them to financial independence.  Lots of established businesses and organisations who could help with time and expertise. 

For more information or to get involved: 

Meeting with Bishop Sarah, The Right Reverend the Bishop of Shrewsbury 29.06.2022 

In 2013 Sarah was appointed Archdeacon of York, a largely rural area which includes market towns, the deep rural communities of the Vale of York and the edges of the Yorkshire Wolds as well as the City of York. Building relationships in the rural communities has been a vital part of supporting and encouraging the churches and she has worked creatively with colleagues to develop new approaches to mission and ministry in such communities. While Archdeacon she has also learned to drive a tractor, operated a milking parlour, led a Carol Service in a cowshed at Askham Bryan (Agricultural) College and ridden a racehorse! 

She said: I am honoured and delighted to have been invited to become the Bishop of Shrewsbury. Im looking forward to really getting to know the communities of this area and those who live, work and worship here. 

She is passionate about the Christian faith and journeying with people to discover and share the love, joy and hope that Jesus offers to everyone. She looks forward to supporting the churches, schools, colleges and communities of this area as we share the good news of Gods love, which brings transformation, hope and renewal. She is also an ambassador for children and young people 

Discussing our various initiatives I told her about the community foundation, Crimebeat and volunteering she told me about transforming communities together – a national network coordinating community delivery of activities in Staffs Wolverhampton and Walsall as well as Shropshire and has been mainly focused on Black Country but in Shropshire now – a conduit for activity and to channel funding. 

Run “places of welcome” out of churches and church halls; “dementia friendly project” focusing on carers, communicating and signposting (every church in Ellesmere is dementia friendly

Told me about ‘common purpose’ a network for bringing together private public and third sector. 

For more information: 

Crimebeat meeting third event at the offices of the Interfaith Council in Wellington 29.06.2022 

Covered issues of young people not having their own bespoke spaces, nor enough activities. Boredom is a problem, and also the public perception of a group of young people on the streets who are not necessarily up to no good, but have nowhere else to go. Various initiatives being looked into. It would help if everyone working with young people knew what other people were doing, what funding was available, what activities. PHSE is not delivered well in schools – maybe needs a day like Crucial Crew so it has more impact rather than going straight from hard hitting talk in assembly to a maths lesson. Agreed young people listen to their peers so good to have them part of the solution.  

Shropshire Council early help, Shrewsbury Town in the Community, Harper Adams, Bright Star Boxing, Interfaith Council, Shropshire Youth Bench, Mayor of Oswestry, Stay True Project, WM Police Telford Problem Solving Hub, SYST 

For more information:

Meeting with Debra Baldwin North Shropshire College 30.06.2022 

Director of Personnel, and in charge of Health and Wellbeing, has an annual plan that includes volunteering and from 1st August they are giving staff up to 5 days working time to do volunteering. 

They already do a lot and so they are also part of a scheme called “Good for me good for FE” run by a college in London, trying to capture how much goes on, they are doing that on a weekly basis. 

Sending out a staff survey and trying to capture that. They also do things in house already – like Ukranians or foodbanks, their blacksmiths raised almost £7,000 by making blue and yellow sunflowers which they sold to staff for £20 each and auctioned one for £300. They do a charity fundraiser each Christmas which has raised something around £25,000-£30,000 by now and some of colleagues do work for hospice making blankets out of deceased loved ones clothes or belongings. 

She is launching the volunteering on 1st August as that is the start of the school year and we agreed that I would put organisations in touch with her to give her ideas for bite sized chunks of volunteering just to get them started – would be very similar to what I am wanting to do with my templates on social media. / / / 

Opening of the new premises at the ARK Shrewsbury 30.06.2022 

Amazing atmosphere at the opening of the Shrewsbury Ark’s fantastic new premises in Shrewsbury today.  Opened by the Lord Lieutenant, Anna Turner, and blessed by the Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Rt. Revd Sarah Bullock.

So many people who made it happen, so many people to thank, so many people there to celebrate including patron Marcus Bean.  

The ark offers a safe haven for those in need and services for those without – Washing, cooking, activities, learning, supporting, eating friendship but the feeling of happiness and camaraderie was overriding and palpable. 

Sensational family of volunteers and support workers looking for more to join them in the most fulfilling of roles – and the very smartest of premises! 

The day centre is located in the heart of Shrewsbury, directly opposite the train station. 
Here they offer basic living facilities to our clients, such as a hot shower, laundry, internet, phone charging and hot meals and drinks.  In addition to these basic resources they can provide warm clothes, sleeping bags and food supplies. 
Volunteers and support workers are on hand to give a warm welcome, emotional support and ongoing practical help to enable clients to find permanent accommodation and move forward with their lives.  They also run activities such as art, creative writing, football and their allotment and offer a schedule of support services including, GP and Mental Health clinics, counselling and hairdressing.  It is a safe space for clients to meet with other service providers and organisations. There is outreach support and a charity shop. 

The mission is Listen, Enrich, Support, Move on. 

For more information or to get involved: