You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2014.

Disabled residents in Medway are being encouraged to join a new forum and have their say in council decisions affecting the disabled community.

Carers and people with disabilities have the opportunity to join the Medway Disabled Residents’ Forum on Thursday, 6 March at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham from 10.30am.

The group is set to encourage the disabled population to speak out on issues that affect quality of life, access and welfare of disabled residents.

The concept of the forum was agreed unanimously at Full Council at the end of 2012, and has received cross-party support with Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Service Cllr David Brake, the Leader of the council’s Labour Group, Cllr Vince Maple and Cllr Geoff Juby, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group all backing the idea.

Chairman of the Medway Residents’ Forum Ryan Gallagher said: “Disabled people in Medway really need a way of speaking out about issues that have an impact on them. This forum will do just that, but we need lots of people to get on board if we are going to have an impact.

I would encourage anyone affected by disability to join us at the Pentagon Centre on Thursday.”

The event will run from 10.30am to 2.30pm and will be an opportunity to find out more about the forum.

There will also be a chance to find out about some of the services available to disabled people in Medway.

Advertisements

pancakes article On Tuesday 4 March the second Annual Pancake Races will be held on New Road, Gravesend. Local businesses will be racing against each other whilst flipping their pancakes. Races start at 12.15pm.

Last year’s winner was Lizzie from the Kent messenger. A council spokesperson said: “Last year was flipping crazy, there was a great buzz in the town with shrieks of laughter as the businesses raced against each other. We are looking forward to crowning a new champion this year.”

smokefree drop inSmokers keen to kick the habit will have an added incentive if they make the change in March.

National No Smoking Day is on 12 March and Medway residents who quit with the council’s stop smoking service during this month will be in with a chance of winning prizes donated by local businesses.

Every year more than a million smokers use No Smoking Day as their motivation to quit and it is hoped people in Medway are no exception.

Anyone who signs up to the scheme in March and reaches week five of the seven week treatment programme, will get a free day pass to a local gym.

Those who go on to quit as a result, will be in with a chance of winning a prize.

Prizes range from cinema tickets, to hair cuts, lunches for two and a signed Gillingham FC football.

To pledge to quit visit the stop smoking team in Chatham High Street on 1 or 12 March, or call 01634 334800.

Those who successfully shake the habit with the help of weekly support sessions and carbon monoxide monitoring, will be entered into a prize draw and invited to a prize giving even at Gillingham Football Club on 8 May.

Director of Public Health Alison Barnett said: “Many people like to use the national no smoking awareness day as a starting point for their journey to become smoke free.

“I think it is really good that there is now the added incentive of winning a prize for those who achieve their goal. We want to help people who want to quit as much as we can and this makes it a bit of fun and gives people a small reward.

“I would like to thank all the local businesses that have donated prizes.”

For more information about the stop smoking service visit www.abettermedway.co.uk

kcm 016Farmland prices hit yet another record high in the South East during the final six months of 2013, having jumped over ten percent in the space of a year, says the latest RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey H2 2013.

During the second half of last year, the average cost of farmland in the region rose to £7,750 per acre*, hitting a record high for the eighth consecutive period. The cost of land is now 10.7 percent higher than during the same period in 2012 when an acre cost, on average, £7,000.

Growth in prices has been driven by the on-going surge in demand from farmers looking to expand their operations, while the amount of land coming up for sale is continuing to lag well behind, with the shortage being seen across the board. However, with many areas such as the Thames Valley having been subject to severe flooding in recent weeks, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the price and saleability of farmland in some areas.

Despite remaining unchanged on the first half of the year, prices in the North West were the highest in Great Britain with the cost of an acre coming in at £8,813. Meanwhile, land north of the border, in Scotland, was the least expensive with an acre costing around £3,750.

Looking ahead, chartered surveyors are predicting prices to continue to rise over the coming year, given the significant supply-demand imbalance. That said, with floods having swept across the country, markets in the southern regions could well be significantly affected in terms of both transactions and prices.

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS Head of UK Policy, commented:
“Farmland price growth has been enormous in recent years. With commodity prices now having remained strong for some time, many farmers have been looking to expand their businesses and, with so little actually coming up for sale, competition for good land is fierce.

“Although, with floods having devastated large swathes of southern England, what remains to be seen is the impact this has on the market in these areas and further afield. It will not be surprising to see this have a negative effect on transactions. In fact, a lot of the best quality and highest value agricultural land in the UK is located close to rivers and on floodplains so this too could potentially have an impact on food production.”

See the report HERE

Oliver Twist Concert Poster (3)

Oliver Twist Cine Concert

A French school choir will perform two concerts in the Britannia Theatre, Dickens World in Chatham on Tuesday the 4th March. They will accompany a French version of the Frank Lloyd 1922 silent black and white film Oliver Twist, re-mastered by Lobster Films and with English sub titles. The choir is from Nevers near Bourges in central France. Their Choir Master Cyril Lohbrunner wrote the music and his wife the lyrics. The organisers would be particularly delighted for local schools to attend.

Members of the Rochester & Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) will read from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist (in English) before each program. The Dickens Fellowship is one of the sponsors of the concert.

Performances are at 2pm in the afternoon and 7.30pm in the evening and tickets from the theatre in advance or on the door cost £4 per person.

For tickets or more information on events, please use the following contact information:

http://www.britanniatheatrechatham.co.uk

Box Office telephone Number – 0844 858 6656
Bookings/general enquiries: bookings@dickensworld.co.uk
Events Information: events@dickensworld.co.uk

If you are trying to call the office today, we are still having problems with our phone service. You will get an engaged tone unless you are within our local exchange area (Medway numbers beginning with 7) Please email me your number and I will call you back office@peninsulatimes.co.uk

Print

UK Power Networks is installing new electricity cables on the Isle of Grain as part of a £1million investment.

The company will be installing 1.6km of new high voltage cables along Grain Road, plus 500metres of power lines across farmland as part of the project which is due to start on March 3.

Engineers are replacing an existing high voltage cable that is due for renewal. Work is due to finish in August to ensure reliable electricity supplies for homes and businesses for years to come.

Electricity supplies will not be affected by the scheme although roadworks will be needed and advance warning signs will be used at intervals along Grain Road to keep motorists informed.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place while a series of short trenches are excavated in the road to install a duct line into which new cables will be pulled and joined to the electricity network. The Grain Road excavations will be between Colemouth Creek bridge and the bend south of Wallend. The traffic lights will be manually controlled at the busiest times to help keep traffic flowing through the works.

A small tunnel will also be constructed to carry the new electricity cables underneath the railway line and this should have no impact on the public.

Colin Barden, UK Power Networks’ Head of Network Operations in the South East, said: “We are constantly investing in our network to improve the reliability of electricity supplies and reduce the likelihood and duration of power cuts in the future. As the electricity distributor throughout Kent we are replacing this section of cable to strengthen electricity supplies in the long-term following some cable faults in this area.

“The cables will be laid along the main road to the Isle of Grain. We have planned our work with care, closely consulting the local authorities to keep the impact on the local community to a minimum.”

This project is part of the £500 million that UK Power Networks is investing each year in new equipment to keep improving power supplies and cater for growing demand for electricity. The company delivers electricity across more than a quarter of Britain serving the South East, London and East of England.

An-evening-Paul-Greengrasss Oscar-nominated and BAFTA Best Director winner Paul Greengrass is coming to Gravesend.

One of Gravesend’s most famous sons returns to the borough in March to The Woodville’s cinema which is named in his honour.

Paul Greengrass was born in Surrey but his family moved to Gravesend where he attended Westcourt school and then Gravesend Grammar School for Boys.

He will be on-stage for a question and answer session about his career as a prelude to a special screening of his latest movie Captain Phillips which is in the running for a string of awards across the globe including six Academy Awards nominations.

Paul, 58, is also known for directing the first two of the Bourne trilogy and United 93.

He will be at the Paul Greengrass Cinema on 25 March at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 for the unique opportunity to see and hear this extraordinary journalist and filmmaker.

To book tickets go to http://www.woodville.co.uk or call 01474 337774

animmates 40s night
A nostalgic Roaring Forties Night is planned for High Halstow in March.

It’s a fundraiser for Anim-Mates, the animal rescue sanctuary in St Mary Hoo

The Roger Luxton Dance Band will be playing the music of the wartime era at High Halstow Village Hall on Saturday 29 March from 7pm.

Tickets at £12 are limited to 100 so there will be plenty of room dance.

40′s outfits are optional, but there will be a prize for the best one.

You are asked to bring your own rations to eat.

Gruffalo-press imageThemed activity trails, giant wooden Gruffalo sculptures and a big birthday forest picnic are coming to Bedgebury.

Families in Kent and Sussex are invited into a deep dark wood near their home this year to celebrate The Gruffalo’s 15th anniversary with characters from the world-famous picture books.

From April, visitors can join Mouse on his adventure and explore Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning tale through activity trails in the Pinetum.

The fun-packed partnership kicks off with The Gruffalo activity trails in Bedgebury and 27 other forests across England, which run through to the end of September. In October, The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails take over and will stay in Bedgebury right through the winter until February 2015. Characters from the stories will lead children through the trees with adventure and intrigue, learning about woods and forests as they go.

From June, a giant wooden sculpture of one of the world’s best-loved monsters himself will be hidden in Bedgebury Pinetum. Another 14 of the 7ft tall sculptures will be hidden in forests across England, for families to track down. The 15 Gruffalos will all be different and are currently being individually-carved in a secret woodland location out of three-ton pieces of timber, each carefully-selected from Forestry Commission sites.

Visitors are also invited to gather in Bedgebury with family and friends on Saturday 7 June to celebrate The Gruffalo’s anniversary with a big birthday forest picnic – inspired by an exciting party pack of forest-inspired picnic ideas, activities and bunting, free to download this Spring from the Forestry Commission’s website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo.
Daryl Shute from Magic Light Pictures, the brand building and production company responsible for the award-winning animated Gruffalo films commented:

“The Gruffalo encourages followers to explore the real world with imagination, creativity and a true sense of adventure. With emphasis on learning and the great outdoors, Forestry Commission England is the perfect partner, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with them in this anniversary year to launch these exciting new series of trails across the country.”
“The Gruffalo lives in the natural world so a local forest is the perfect place to set out with Mouse on his journey in search of these magnificent new wooden carvings of one of the nation’s favourite children’s picture book characters.”

Sandra Styles from Bedgebury commented:

“There is no better way to celebrate The Gruffalo than within the deep dark wood and forest that he calls home.

“The Gruffalo is a national treasure and so are our forests and this partnership will really help to bring the story to life and celebrate the anniversary in true Gruffalo style.

“All the activities have been carefully positioned at Forestry Commission sites across the country so you are never more than an hour away from a Gruffalo adventure, and we are very excited to be a part of the celebrations with The Gruffalo activity trails and a sculpture at Bedgebury.”

Details of trails and sculpture locations and the forest birthday picnic party pack are available from http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo. Sign up online to find out more about the exciting year of forest celebrations.

Please find below a statement from Cllr Mike O’Brien, Lead Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Medway Council, following an Ofsted report for Warren Wood Primary, Rochester.

“We acknowledge what Ofsted has said about the school and had already started making improvements before inspectors visited. Ofsted noted the positive effect a new leadership team of Anne Costidell and executive headteacher, Sian Williams, had already made at Warren Wood.

“It is important to note the hard work done in such a short space of time by the new leadership team to further improve standards at the school. We acknowledge that there is a still a lot of work to be done and that the ineffectiveness of the governing body, which has now been disbanded, led to the school’s current Ofsted criticism.

“The positive aspects picked up by the inspection team will be built on and there is a real determination at the school by its current leadership to drive the school forward from here. Inspectors said the team have already had a positive impact on pupils, staff and parents by putting strategies in place to improve teaching and pupils’ behaviour.

“They also noted in the Early Years Foundation Stage, children make good progress because the teaching is engaging. Inspectors observed the new staff in Reception were using well-structured activities to help children make good progress. The recent well-planned teaching of phonics in the Early Years Foundation Stage prepares children well in their literacy skills, the report said. Pupils say that since the arrival of the new leadership team, they feel happier to come to school and feel safer.

“The majority of parents who completed an online questionnaire believe that behaviour and safety are better now with the new leadership team. Teachers and their assistants are positive about the recent improvements to the school.

“The Ofsted team said that as a result of a new behaviour policy, there has been a sharp improvement in pupils’ behaviour overall.

“Parents opinions have been sought on a wide range of subjects and parents have indicated the current leaders work well with them. Things are changing for the better at the school on a daily basis and expectations are high as the new leadership team is already starting to see the benefits.

“I will not accept bad teaching in our schools and I am confident Warren Wood, under the new leadership, is now heading in the right direction.”

Fagin Fagin

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 20th of February 2014 at 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens’ World in Chatham and includes a talk: Dickens and Medway: the years in Kent as seen through the Guildhall collection by Jeremy Clarke. The February meeting is always known as the Charles Dickens birthday meeting and suitable celebrations are planned. A short reading will also be given by an R&CDF member. Non-members are welcome to attend for a small fee. For details of the R&CDF, or for non-members to attend, contact the Hon. Secretary, Mr Steve Martin, on 01474 834164.

Jeremy Clarke
Dr Jeremy Clark is Education Officer in the Guildhall Museum, High Street, Rochester. He provides a learning programme based on the museum’s collections and buildings. Jeremy gained a PhD from the University of Kent in 2007 and has been in museum education for over 19 years.

chdtbeatlesIt’s Full Steam Ahead to The Historic Dockyard Chatham this Easter, as thousands plan to travel to one of the South East’s biggest and best events – The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport. Visitors to the Festival on Easter Sunday and Monday, 20th and 21st April, are in for a real treat this year as one of the South East’s favourite events gets bigger and better still!

The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport is back this year with an injection of even more music to complement the classic and vintage vehicles across the 80 acre site. Visitors will be treated to a variety of music on two main stages located within a historical setting.

The Victorian Warship HMS GANNET, No. 3 Slip and No. 1 Smithery will encapsulate the Folk and Blues Stage, surrounded by vehicles dating from 1901 to 1930 and Steam Traction Engines, where visitors will be entertained with lively and toe tapping folk and blues music.

Acts performing to the crowds include: Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs an ‘off the rails’ skiffle band, well known on the Glastonbury Festival scene, with their quirky and comedic act playing music with wash boards, soap boxes, banjos and guitars and CoCo and the Butterfields, provide something a little different. A five piece band with a unique fusion of folk, pop and hip hop or ‘Fip Fok’ they are not to be missed! Funke and the Two Tone Baby a talented multi-instrumentalist will entertain with his mechanical alt-blues music; Kentish band The Flowing play alternative and folk songs with a range of instruments; and performances from Larkspur with their mix of lively traditional and modern folk music, will ensure that visitors will not be disappointed.

The River Medway sets the scene for a second stage, backed by the beautiful Commissioner’s House. This Sixties and Rockabilly Stage will be flanked by vehicles from the 1960’s, hot rods, trucks and American vehicles and this area will have an American Diner feel to it where visitors can rock ‘n’ roll the weekend away!

Acts on this stage include: Scarlett Rae and the Cherry Reds who perform a fusion of blues, rockabilly and jazz; Like…The Beatles bringing visitors the most accurate and fun Beatles tribute act in the UK, take a trip down memory lane; making a welcome return Thee Waltons, a playful act with a unique blend of hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll; The Kick-Backs are a six piece rock, funk and soul band with sing-a-long covers; The Scalextrics are a new-wave punk rock band with hits from the ‘60s, ’70s and ‘80s; and performances from Leroy and the Rockets with impressive credits in the music industry, be entertained with a mix of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and blues.

With such an impressive festival line up set to come to the Medway Towns, visitors are being encouraged to buy their discounted tickets in advance to avoid the queues, to enjoy their music filled Easter weekend at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. For more information and tickets, go to www.thedockyard.co.uk/steamandtransport
chdtbutterfields

Big Ride picThey’re off! Cyclists in Medway have hit the road to Rio – host city for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

Over the next four months, everyone is being invited to take part in a community challenge to cycle the distance equal to the journey from Medway to Rio – about 7,500 miles.
.
Between now and 17 May the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow will be on tour to help Medway cyclists clock up miles on static bikes mounted on turbo trainers.

The initiative is part of the build up to Medway Sport’s new mass participation cycling event – The Big Ride – which takes place on Saturday, 17 May.

The roadshow was launched at Medway Park at the weekend during the Medway Big Splash. It will be visiting locations across Medway including sports centres, libraries, shopping centres, schools and businesses such as Questor Insurance, sponsors of the Medway Sporting Academy.

Cycle computers will calculate individual people’s mileage, as well as logging the cumulative total across Medway. So you can cycle one mile or a hundred! Everyone taking part will be invited to take part in the mass participation event at the Big Ride, where they will receive a free souvenir t-shirt and the chance to win one of the bikes.

The main Big Ride event at Medway Park in May will feature lots of free cycling activities including a family treasure trail ride organised by the Better Medway team, an interactive mountain bike skills track, karting, Go-Ride races and training, have-a-go arenas and exhibitions. Something for everyone regardless of their ability.

Additional events linked to the Big Ride event will be Sportive rides for more experienced cyclists and a mountain bike competition at Capstone Park country park, both organised by British Cycling.

You can register for the Medway Big Ride mass mile online at www.medway.gov.uk/bigride. You will also find more information online about the Big Ride event and when the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow will be visiting your neighbourhood.

If your organisation or venue is interested in hosting the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow, it’s not too late. Call 01634 338255 or email medwaysport@medway.gov.uk.

Cllr Howard Doe, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Cycling is becoming even more popular following the success of British riders at the Olympics and the Tour de France.
“As part of our sporting legacy, mass participation events like the Road to Rio roadshow and the Big Ride will give Medway cyclists plenty of opportunities to join in with serious riding as well as fun activities.”

Cycle the Road to Rio Roadshow locations are below. Timings 10am-4pm.

DATE VENUE
18-26 January Medway Park Sports Centre, Mill Road, Gillingham
30 January – 1 February Tesco, Cuxton Road, Strood
5– 7 February Medway Council offices, Gun Wharf, Chatham
8-9 February Hundred of Hoo Sports Centre, Main Road, Hoo
10 – 12 February Questor Insurance, Station Road, Rainham
Fri 14 – Mon 17 Strood Sports Centre, Watling Street, Strood
Half term week 17– 21 February Public Health Write and Play activity sessions. Venues to be confirmed.
28 February – 2 March Kings Rochester Sports Centre, Maidstone Road, Rochester
5 March Mini Youth Games Table Tennis, The Howard School, Rainham
6 – 10 March Splashes Leisure Pool, Bloors Lane, Rainham
10- 12 March Mid Kent College Campus, Medway Road, Gillingham
13 – 16 March Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham
16 March Families On Your Marks Day at Medway Park
21 March Deangate Ridge Golf Complex, Dux Court Road, Hoo
27 March Mini Youth Games Netball, Rainham Netball Centre
4 –7 April Diggerland, Medway Valley Leisure Park, Strood
10 – 12 April Rainham Library, Birling Avenue
17 – 19 April Community Hub, High Street, Gillingham
24 – 26 April Community Hub, Dock Road, Chatham
1 – 3 May Community Hub, Eastgate, High Street, Rochester
17 May Medway Big Ride, Medway Park, Gillingham
24 May British Cycling Mountain Biking Competition, Capstone Park

commonwealthFor the first time ever, local authorities and civic dignitaries, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles are taking part in local flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication to mark Commonwealth Day.

This new, unique initiative, which has caught the imagination of thousands of participants, enables people in their local communities to become involved and join with others nationwide in associating themselves with widespread public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, appreciation of the values it stands for, and the opportunities offered to its citizens around the world.

A specially written Commonwealth Affirmation will be read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth flag at 10am on Monday 10th March 2014, led by either the Lord Lieutenant, Member of Parliament, Lord Mayor, Lord Provost, Mayor, Leader, Chairman, or nominated representative of each participating local authority or administration.

Charity teams will mark the day by taking Commonwealth Flags to the top of the UK’s four highest National Peaks and use the occasion to raise funds for their worthy causes: Cancer Research UK – Scafell Pike, England; Help for Heroes – Ben Nevis, Scotland; Walking with the Wounded – Mount Snowdon, Wales; and Fields of Life – Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland.

Commonwealth Flags will also be flown at many locations of special significance including the four capital cities of the United Kingdom, Land’s End in Cornwall, the most westerly point in England; St. David’s in Pembrokeshire: the westernmost city in Wales; Carlisle in Cumbria: the northernmost city in England; Lowestoft in Suffolk: the easternmost town in England; and Unst in the Shetland Islands, the most northerly inhabited island in Scotland. Flags will also be raised at the Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula, and at the Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, as well as King Edward Point and Bird Island in South Georgia.

“This will be the largest, single, raising of the Commonwealth Flag in the history of the Commonwealth”, said Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster and originator of Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth. “The success of this year’s event bodes well for 2015 and the future”, said Peek, “as we extend the invitation to participate and involve all 53 countries of the Commonwealth and UK overseas territories, to make this the largest-ever annual occasion involving local communities throughout the worldwide Commonwealth family”.

I am also delighted that the Virdee Foundation, a well respected, world-wide charitable Foundation has accepted my invitation to join this project for the lifetime of the event, especially as I have always been convinced that this annual occasion will grow in size and stature over the next few years, providing a unique fund-raising opportunity for Commonwealth causes such as those outlined within the Virdee Foundations Memorandum and Articles of Association – the protection of women and children from abuse and the relief of abused women and children, a worthy cause close to my heart too.”

“The Virdee Foundation is delighted to be a part of this initiative, working closely alongside Bruno, to enable us through the ‘good will’ of those taking part, to assist us in donating charitable funds raised by those taking part, to the important cause outlined above, said Peter Virdee, Chairman of the Virdee Foundation.”

His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said: “Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth is a most imaginative way for people in local communities – wherever they live, learn or work – to join together with others throughout the Commonwealth in a spirit of respect and understanding to celebrate the variety and unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it.” “All our citizens, particularly the young, can express appreciation for the Commonwealth and the values for which it stands as set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and the rich opportunities it offers for mutual support towards more inclusive social and more equitable economic progress.”

Esri UK Interactive Map: “We are exceptionally proud to support the ‘Fly a Flag’ for Commonwealth initiative and, to help raise awareness of the day, we have built an interactive map <a href="http://www.esriuk.com/flyaflagmap&quot;
target=”_blank”>www.esriuk.com/flyaflagmap that shows where the individual flag raising events are taking place, throughout the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man,” explained Dr Richard Waite, Managing Director of Esri UK. We strongly encourage all local authorities and others taking part to post the map on their website, so local citizens and the media can easily find details of their local event and become involved in what will be a most special day.”

health checks

Is your heart healthy? Do you need a Health Check to find out?

As part of National Heart Month, Salveo Healthcare are delivering NHS Health Checks in their pharmacies in the weeks commencing 10th March. These health checks identify those at risk of heart disease and also stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia. You are eligible for a free health check if you are aged between the ages of 40 and 74 and have not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions. It’s important that you find out if you’re at risk, the earlier the better and then we can help support you to stay healthier for longer!

National Heart Month is taking place during February. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the single biggest killer in the UK and there are about 2.3 million of us living with this disease. Every single one of us has a heart which means every one of us is at potential risk.

Your local Salveo Pharmacy is working to help you find out whether you are at risk of heart disease, but also other conditions such as stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia. As part of the NHS Health Checks service we are asking everyone between the ages of 40 and 74, who has not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions or have certain risk factors to come and see us. We will perform a check to assess your risk of one of these conditions and then we will give you support and advice to help you reduce or manage that risk.

We will be performing these NHS Health Checks in your local Salveo Pharmacy* in the weeks commencing 10th March. Come and see us, there’s no need to make an appointment – it’s quick and easy for you.

It’s important that you get a check sooner rather than later – the earlier the better! Once you know whether there’s a health problem then we can work with you to identify self-care tips and to signpost you to other health and social care support in the community.

Dr Bora, a local GP says, ‘Pharmacists have a huge role to play in today’s healthcare. Unfortunately to date, this has remained an underutilised resource. As a part of the joint working I would like to see the Pharmacist play a much bigger part. The delivering of NHS Health Checks is a major step in this direction. As a GP and the Chairman of the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG I am looking forward to working together for better outcomes for our patients’

Salveo pharmacies can be found at:www.salveohealth.co.uk

cyclogocolour2Youngsters with dreams of tearing up the track represented Great Britain at one of the largest motorcross beach races in Europe.

Young bike enthusiasts from Medway competed in the Endurole du Touquest in France on 8 and 9 February – their first ever endurance race lasting a gruelling one and a half hours.

Riders Patrick O’Neil, 16, from Strood and Jordan Chapman, 15, from Chattenden came in 37th and 93rd place out of 150 riders.

The talented teens were supported by a trio of mechanics, Jack Staples, 18, from Chatham and Stuart Galloway, 18 and Charlie Knight, 16, from Gillingham, who managed the pit stop and kept the bikes in top condition.

The boys were able to take part in such a prestigious race as part of Cyber Youth Connect (CYC) Youth Project, lead by Medway Council and funded by Interreg.

The project works in conjunction with partners in France promoting English and French unity, and gives young people oppotunities to develop their skills and talents.

Not only did the youngsters have a great time on their racing trip, it also provided them with a platform to put their newly learnt skills from the CYC programme into practice.

Patrick said: “I’ve learnt different techniques, the way to move around the bike in the sand and how to perform and different ways to ride the bike. Because there are no sand tracks over here that’s why everyone goes to Dunkirk – it’s so hard and different out there.

“Without CYC I would have never had the opportunity to do this so I am so grateful to everyone involved in making this happen.”

Jordan never thought he would have an opportunity to take part in such an event. He said: “Motor cross is something that I really enjoy doing, it’s been in my head ever since my dad bought me my first bike with I was two and a half.

“I have really enjoyed this experience and to get the chance to represent Medway in this race is something I could never have dreamt of.”

Since being selected for the race in August last year, the team prepared for the big event with Dover based motocross project MXCP, riding 125cc Suzuki bikes.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “It is wonderful that teenagers from Medway were able to take part in a big competition like this abroad, alongside other young people engaged in similar programmes to CYC.

“The CYC Youth Project can offer up some great opportunities to our young people.”

Youngsters who would like to get involved with the CYC project can still do so as a variety of courses will be running until March 2015.

CYC gives 11 to 19-year-olds an opportunity to gain skills and experience in music, cookery, motorbike mechanics and safe riding, as well as media including filming and photography.

To find out more and sign up visit www.medway.gov.uk/cyc or call 01634 332286

adultstepandlearnWelcome to Step & Learn Adult Activity Centre. Our Adult Activity Centre meets at the following days / times:
Days From To
Tuesday 10am 4pm
Wednesday 10am 4pm
Thursday 10am 4pm

Our Aim
1) To enhance the students full potential, in a parent-involving, community-based charity group.
2) To provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment.
3) To work within a framework, which ensures equality of opportunity.

We Offer
1) Long, medium and short term weekly planning.
2) Individual care and attention from our trained and experienced staff and volunteers.
3) Fun and friendship with other students.
4) The support of a team member who will observe the student and keep their files updated daily.
5) Promoting social interaction with their peers.
6) Opportunities for you to be directly involved, in the activities of the group: fundraising, raffles and cake making for coffee mornings and open days.

Starting at our Activity Centre

It is important for parents / guardians and the team to work together to help the student to feel confident and secure in the group. In order to feel free to explore & experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is best that students wear clothes that are easily washable, or you may wish to provide a change of clothing.(Aprons are provided).
Please note that you may require a ‘one to one’ personal assistant, to help you achieve the best from our Activity Centre, especially if you have a manual wheelchair and need help with feeding. Funding for personal assistants may be obtained from Direct Payments via your Care Manager, Social Services.

Health

If a student has diarrhoea and/or vomiting they should not attend for 2 days after the last bout of illness. Also if a student has an infection i.e. upper respiratory tract infection (chest / throat) and are on antibiotics, they should not attend for 3 days after the start of antibiotics.

Management & Administration

Step & Learn is a registered charity and all major decision making is in the hands of the Chairperson & Trustees, who are also responsible for reviewing policy / practice and for the employment and appraisal of team members. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact: Rod Black, (Chairman) or Janice Maunick, who will be pleased to be of assistance.

Fees

Fees are: £25.00 per session and are payable monthly. This covers costs of materials / art / crafts / cookery / staffing and hire of the hall. There will be a daily charge of £2.00 for lunch and refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits, etc.) Fees continue to be payable if a student is absent with or without notice or for a short period of time. Each student’s attendance at the group is conditional upon continued payment of any necessary fees. We hope that your son’s/daughter’s time in our ‘Activity Centre’ will be a happy & productive one. If you have any queries, or if you can be of any help, please contact the staff / trustees at any time.

Holidays

We close for holidays at Christmas, New Year and Bank Holidays, for which there is no charge. You can also take a further 2 weeks unpaid leave for holidays, by completing a holiday form.

Policies

Our policy statements are available for you to examine. All our policies are designed to offer the best possible experience for the students and their families in the group. Our policies are reviewed on a regular basis and comments and suggestions from parents are always welcome.

We look forward to meeting you.
Many thanks
Rod, Janice & Marji
Step & Learn Adult Activity Centre

Blood transfusionDoctors and paramedics at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance have performed nearly 70 emergency blood transfusions since the service was first launched a year ago today (February 4th).

Figures show that during the last 12 months the advanced medical procedure – usually performed after a patient arrives at hospital – was carried out 69 times at the scene of an accident or medical emergency.

The charity’s research shows that a total of 160 units of blood were administered to patients who had life-threatening injuries with 20-29 year-olds being the largest group of recipients.

Air Ambulance Clinical Manager Gary Wareham, who pioneered the launch of the blood transfusion service, said: “The project has gone very much as we expected and we are now seeing patients delivered to hospital who may not have survived the journey before.

“We are now considering using other blood products that may further improve patient outcomes.”

The figures also show that August was the peak period for blood transfusions, the youngest patient being aged under 10 and the oldest over 90.

In one case, a patient suffered chest, pelvis and spinal injuries following a collision with a car. His airway was partially obstructed and he was agitated.

The doctor and paramedic anaesthetised him at the road-side and performed emergency chest surgery to reinflate his collapsed lungs.
They then administered four units of blood at scene and en route to the Royal London Hospital major trauma centre.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance last year became one of the first in the country to start carrying blood.

Every day, bikers at the Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) deliver eight fresh units to each of the helicopter bases from the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford and East Surrey Hospital at Redhill.

SERV secretary Mel Johnson said: “The air ambulance has been a pleasure to work with over the last year. The daily replenishment and emergency re-supply services provided by the SERV groups in Kent and Surrey have helped ensure that both helicopters are always fully stocked and ready to respond.

“We are proud to have played our part using equipment funded by The Henry Surtees Foundation to ensure that the people of the three counties have been able to receive the highest standards of critical care available, provided by a triumvirate of charities working together with a common goal.”

The Henry Surtees Foundation also supplied cars for the blood runs in addition to equipment used to store blood at the correct temperature and warm it to give to patients.

John Surtees, OBE, founder of the Foundation, said: “I spent a lifetime in motorsport where every second counts. The same factor plays a vital part in saving life and injury.

“The Henry Surtees Foundation was very happy to work with all the team at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in assisting with the introduction of the blood transfusion service.”

* If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk

The Friends of Chernobyl’s Children is a local branch of a charity that helps children from Belarus by giving them a recuperative holiday which allows respite from the poverty and difficult conditions they face at home for a month each year. The charity is based in Cliffe with host families in Cliffe, Cliffe Woods, Allhallows, High Halstow, Medway Towns and Higham. (More information can be found at

 Thyroid patients receive medicine at the Radiation Medicine clinic near Minsk Thyroid patients receive medicine at the Radiation Medicine clinic near Minsk

cc.org.uk” target=”_blank”>http://www.focc.org.uk)

This is provided through family placements and the charity meets the full cost of these visits which include optical, dental and health checks as well as lots of tender loving care. It is anticipated that up to twelve children will be able to take up the opportunity this year in Medway. While they are here they undertake a range of activities and visits that they would be unable to do at home.

By extensive fundraising FOCC (Medway) meets the full costs of all the visits. The charity is self-funding and everyone involved gives their time and talents freely – ensuring that all money raised is utilised for the children.

In order to continue with our work we constantly need to raise money. Until now, the cost of the children’s visas for their trips to the UK has been funded by the British Government but last year the funding was withdrawn. The air fares for the children are rising each year and it costs hundreds of pounds to bring each child to the UK.

While appreciating that we are living in austere times, any donation no matter how small will make a huge difference to these children.

We are also looking for an additional Trustee for our Executive committee, if you feel that you could help in this capacity please get in touch. If you would like to find out more or be involved as a helper, fundraiser or host family please contact Di Fitter.
Group Coordinator: Diane Fitter – Tel. 01634 222875 E-mail: dianefitter@btinternet.com

Part of Chatham High Street will shortly be closed to traffic and pedestrians as a safety precaution, following the collapse of part of the old bank chambers building, next to the Theatre Royal, last night.

The road will be closed from the Rendezvous Chinese Restaurant to Manor Road this afternoon (Friday 14 February), and could remain closed for several days. Please re-post or re-tweet if you can!

mums support groupMums in Medway have been breastfeeding in confidence for more than three years now, thanks to the Medway Breastfeeding Network.

The friendly, knowledgeable support network for local families provides regular drop-ins and useful local information and tips so mums can enjoy breastfeeding their baby.

The success of this community service is to be celebrated at an event on Thursday 27 February and midwives, health visiting staff, family nurses, children’s centre staff, peer supporters and anyone else who works with breastfeeding women, is welcome to attend.

It will be an occasion to celebrate the achievements of volunteers and hear positive stories from families and staff. It is also an opportunity to meet peer supporters and find out more about the network and the infant feeding strategy. Lunch and a crèche will be provided.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Services Cllr David Brake said: “A community support system for mothers is essential, and the Medway Breastfeeding Network can offer information and friendly support to help mums breastfeed their babies for as long as they choose to.

“The celebration event will be a wonderful occasion and a chance for everyone to see what a difference the service has made since its introduction in 2010.”

The celebration event will run from 9.30am to 12 noon at Kent Life, Village Hall, Lock Lane Maidstone, ME14 3AU.

To register to attend or to find out more, contact Beverley Hunt, Infant Feeding Project Officer, on 07908 817569 or email ifp@medway.gov.uk

For more information on local breastfeeding support and breastfeeding welcome venues please visit www.abettermedway.co.uk/breastfeeding

main copy.qxdWith Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s time to think about your heart.

NHS Medway Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people to consider their lifestyles during February’s Healthy Heart Month. Making simple changes to diet and exercise can reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease. In Medway there are 7,500 people diagnosed with the disease, but it’s thought to affect many more.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is usually caused by a build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries that surround the heart. This can make coronary arteries narrower and restrict the flow of blood to the heart which increases the risk of heart attack. People are at higher risk if they:

• Smoke
• Have high blood pressure (hypertension)
• Have a high blood cholesterol level
• Do not take regular exercise
• Have diabetes

Other risk factors include being obese or overweight and having a family history of CHD. This risk is increased if someone has a male relative with CHD under the age of 55 or a female relative under the age of 65.

People from an African Caribbean background have a higher risk of high blood pressure than all other ethnic groups in the UK. Coronary heart disease rates are at their highest in South Asian communities.

The CCG’s clinical lead for long-term conditions, Dr Chris Markwick, said: “We’re urging everyone to think about their lifestyle and their heart in February.

“Are there things you can change to help you have a healthier heart? Can you quit smoking, lose weight, or be more active? How about trimming the fat from meat or grilling instead of frying? If so, there’s no better time to do it than now.”

Things you can do to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels include:

• Eating a balanced and healthy diet – and going easy on salt
• Avoiding eating too much food that contains saturated fat, such as cakes and biscuits, cream and hard cheese
• Being more physically active
• Keeping to a healthy weight
• Quitting smoking
• Reducing alcohol consumption and sticking to recommended guidelines
• Keeping blood pressure under control
• Cutting down on sugar – too much sugar in the diet can increase the chances of diabetes which will, in turn, increase the chances of developing CHD.

Healthy Heart Month runs from 1 to 28 February. For more information about heart disease, visit the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk or the British Heart Foundation website www.bhf.org.uk.

If you’re concerned about your heart, visit your GP.

ann barnesHave you been a victim of crime? Are you able to spare a small amount of time to take part in a focus group or telephone survey?

Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, is looking for volunteers to share their experiences as a victim of crime to help shape support for victims in the future.

If you are a resident of Kent, then the Commissioner is asking for victims of burglary, vehicle crime, theft, and criminal damage in the last year to come forward.

It is not anticipated you will be asked to give up more than two hours of your time, and expenses will be paid. The focus groups/surveys will not at this time be suitable for victims of crime such as assault, rape or abuse or any incident involving violence.

Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, said: ‘Funding for victims will be transferred later in the year from the Ministry of Justice to Police and Crime Commissioners and I will not waste a penny of it – I am determined that victims will have the support and help they need. One of my main manifesto promises was to improve services for victims and to put them at the heart of the Criminal Justice System. I remain committed to doing exactly that. I urge victims to come forward as their experiences and views will help identify priority areas for funding. The outcomes of these focus groups will also inform my future victim-based projects, including a ‘Track My Crime’ initiative to help keep victims updated on their investigation, as well as a Victims’ Centre which I will open in the county next year.’

If you could spare a couple of hours to take part in a focus group or a phone interview, then please contact the Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner on 01622 677055 or via contactyourpcc@pcc.kent.pnn.police.uk to register your willingness to participate, with a short description of the crime you recently experienced, your age and your gender. Please also provide a contact telephone number.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 21st February 2014.

rochdickensOn Friday 7th February – Charles Dickens’ 202nd birthday – members of the Rochester & Chatham Dickens Fellowship attended the first local evening screening of the film “The Invisible Woman”. The film is currently being shown at the Odeon Cinema in Dickens World Leisure Complex, Chatham. The film is based on the book by Claire Tomalin telling the life story of Ellen (Nelly) Turnan. The controversy from a Dickensian scholar’s point of view is a tantalising question: did Charles Dickens have a platonic relationship with the young actress or a love affair? There is also controversy over his separation from his wife, the mother of his ten children – and indeed whether Ellen Turnan had a child by Charles Dickens (or even more than one!). I am sure that Dickens scholars will continue arguing over this for years to come.

Whatever the truth about Ellen Turnan and Charles Dickens, members enjoyed the film and found it well acted and produced. There is local interest in the film: Chatham and Rochester get a mention and part of the story relates to Gad’s Hill Place in Higham. A lesser-known fact is that Ellen (Nelly) Turnan was born on March 3rd 1839 in Maidstone Road, Rochester and baptised later that month in St Nicholas’ Church.

walking bus stop signIt’s all aboard for children in Medway as the number of youngsters using the Walking Bus service doubles. Almost 1,500 youngsters now take part in the project – up from 734 previously – and there are 47 active routes.

The Medway Council scheme is a fun, healthy, and safe way of travelling to school. Powered by good, old-fashioned legwork, the children and volunteers walk in a group along a set route, picking up or dropping off ‘passengers’ at specific ‘bus stops’ on their journey to and from school.

The rise in users was boosted with a ‘Hedgehog Hike’ and ‘Social Netwalk’ event during International Walk to School Month where 17 schools in Medway took part. Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, councillor Phil Filmer, said: “We’re delighted more and more children are taking part in this scheme.

“It’s a great way for children to get to school, helps encourage them to be safe on the road as well as having health and environmental benefits.”

A walking bus can be easy to set up and must have a minimum of two adults per route (often staff or parents); an adult ‘driver’ at the front of the bus to and a ‘conductor’ at the back of the bus, ensuring that a ratio of one adult to every six children is met.

Younger children and babies transported in pushchairs or buggies may join the walking bus if accompanied by their parent or carer.

To find out more about individual schemes in Medway, email travel.safety@medway.gov.uk or visit http://www.kmwalktoschool.co.uk/

In a separate success, Medway Council has now issued 40,000 reflective tags to schoolchildren to help them stay safer on their journeys to and from school. The tags, which can be attached to backpacks, bags or on clothing, helps make children visible in headlights up to 150m sooner and it makes children up to 15 times more visible in daylight. Community wardens have helped deliver the tags, which were funded by the council’s Public Health department.

Police all over Kent are increasing the number of Public Surgeries and Community engagement events they run. Please find below a list of these events around Medwaylink_Kent_Police_logo_-_Two_line_colour (1)

Surgeries being held by PCSO CORNWALL

Luton Library, Nelson Terrace, Chatham Thursday 6th February 1000 – 1130 hours

Luton Library, Nelson Terrace, Chatham. Thursday 6th March 1000 – 1130 hours

Surgeries being held by PCSO DAVISON

Medway Maritime Hospital, Windmill Road, Gillingham. February 19th 1000 – 1100 hours.

Community Engagement/Surgery held by PCSO KING

Morrison’s Car Park, Princes Avenue, Chatham. February 3rd 1000 – 1100 hours

March 3rd 1000 – 1100
April 7th 1000 – 1100
May 5th 1000 – 1100
June 2nd 1000 – 1100
July 7th 1000 – 1100
Aug 4th 1000 – 1100
Sept 1st 1000 – 1100
Oct 6th 1000 – 1100
Nov 3rd 1000 – 1100
Dec 1st 1000 – 1100

Community Engagement/Surgery held by PCSO KING

Walderslade Village Library, Walderslade Chatham

Feb 4th 0900 – 1000
March 4th 0900 – 1000
April 1st 0900 – 1000
May 6th 0900 – 1000
June 3rd 0900 – 1000
July 1st 0900 – 1000
Aug 5th 0900 – 1000
Sept 2nd 0900 – 1000
Oct 7th 0900 – 1000
Nov 4th 0900 – 1000
Dec 2nd 0900 – 1000

Surgeries being held by PCSO BROOKS

Wigmore Library, Fairview Avenue, Wigmore.

Thursday 27th February 1100 – 1200
Thursday 27th March 1100 – 1200
Thursday 24th April 1100 – 1200

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN

ABC Project, Mercury Close, Rochester.

Thursday 13th Feb 1000 – 1100
Thursday 13th March 1000 – 1100
Thursday 10th April 1000 – 1100
Thursday 15th May 1000 – 1100
Thursday 5th June 1000 – 1100
Thursday 10th July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries held by PCSO COLTHORPE

The Rochester Hub, Rochester High Street.

Thursday 13th Feb 1000 – 1100
Thursday 13th March 1000 – 1100
Thursday 10th April 1000 – 1100
Thursday 8th May 1000 – 1100
Thursday 5th June 1000 – 1100
Thursday 3rd July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN and PCSO COLTHORPE

St Peters Church, Delce Road, Rochester

Tuesday 4th February 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 11th March 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 8th April 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 13th May 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 3rd June 1000 – 1100
Tueday 8th July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN

St Justus Church, The Fairway, Rochester.

Wednesday 19th Feb 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 12th March 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 9th April 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 14th May 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 11th June 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 30th July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN

The Holiday Inn, Maidstone Road, Chatham

Thurs 13th Feb 1200 – 1300
Thurs 13th March 1200 – 1300
Thurs 17th April 1100 – 1200
Thurs 22nd May 1100 – 1200
Thurs 19th June 1100 – 1200
Thurs 31st July 1100 – 1200

Surgeries being held by PCSO CLARE

Memorial Hall Car Park, Holly Road, Wainscott
Feb 14th 1600 – 1700

Outside Parkside Car Park, Cliffe Woods.
14th Feb 1730 – 1830

St Helens Church Car Park, Cliffe
14th Feb 1900 – 2000

Work has started on upgrading a Medway park which has attracted £60,000 from a green projects fund.
broomhill view2
This follows a successful Medway Council bid for SITA Trust funding to enable the £150,000 project to begin at Broomhill Park, Strood.

A complete refurbishment of the infant play area will take place and a new sports wall will provide an opportunity for children to play sport and active group games.

Full resurfacing of 1km of paths and the car park also forms part of the project.
A human sun dial has been designed jointly with the Friends of Broomhill and will replace one painted on the site’s old gun emplacement five years ago.

The play area will have a natural theme with images of leaves embossed in the playground surfacing. Equipment will include swings, a climbing frame and a see-saw.
Installing the play area as well as resurfacing paths and the car park will take up to six weeks and the site car park will be closed during that time.
Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “This is an exciting scheme which will provide young children with a lovely place to play in a natural setting.
“It’s part of a long-term vision developed by our greenspaces team with the local community. We are very grateful for the significant contribution from SITA that has allowed this project to go ahead.”
Jools Granville of SITA Trust said: “We are pleased to provide this much- needed funding to such a good project. We’re very impressed with the amount of community buy in and look forward to seeing members of the public enjoying these new facilities.”

Clive Lawrence has posted a question in the “Kent Group” on Linkedin and it strikes me that there is probably a wider scope for canvassing opinion. If you would like to answer Mr Lawrence, I will post your reply in the appropriate place, on your behalf, so that he will see it. Please do not insult, insight, libel or slander anyone in your reply as I will be unable to post on your behalf. Please be quick as the interview he mentions must be tomorrow! Email your response to me at office@peninsulatimes.co.uk His question is below:

ESTUARY AIRPORT – Opportunity for Kent & Medway business?

Clive Lawrence BBC trained news executive and PR Director

Before the end of the week, I am due to be interviewed by a senior journalist on why north Kent & Medway needs the airport project. My campaign – Demand Regeneration In North Kent (DRINK) – has been pressing the case for more than 18 months and we have generated much support across the region.

We need more, so please take a moment to express your views:

“On balance, the estuary airport project would bring benefits to the area. Yes/No/Undecided.”

Then add a brief comment.

I’ll use as many of these in the interview as possible.

Thanks.

Clive Lawrence
DRINK (Demand Regeneration In North Kent)

Authors

Enter your email address to subscribe to Peninsula Times and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 193 other followers

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: