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Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, has launched a new grants scheme to help local people.

The ‘Commissioner’s Fund’ will give away £100,000 over the next financial year. It aims to support the hundreds of unique, community-led projects that can make a real difference to safety and crime prevention in our towns and villages.

Voluntary organisations and not for profit groups will be able to apply for grants up to £2,000 that demonstrate a positive impact on a community.

Applications, which open today, must meet one or more of the following criteria:

• Prevent and reduce re-offending

• Support victims of crime

• Empower local communities to work together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour

All grants will initially be reviewed by the Kent People’s Trust – a local charity that aims to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour – with the final decision being made by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, and where appropriate with input from the new Youth Commissioner.

Discussing the launch of the new scheme, Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be able to launch this grant scheme for local people. Local communities know their patch and they understand what needs to be done to make it a better place.

‘I firmly believe that even a small investment will rally local people into playing their part in finding community solutions for local issues. I want people to be innovative and creative with their ideas and I’m really looking forward to giving local communities a cash injection.’

Bryn Price, Director of Kent People’s Trust said: ‘The charity has over 12 years of experience in community grants and we are really delighted to have been asked to provide our expertise as part of this new exciting project. Both the charity and the Commissioner have one common aim and that’s to make Kent a safer place.’

Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Full terms and conditions and information on how to apply can be found at www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/commissionersfund

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Welcome to another exciting installment in this season’s Peninsula Darts action. With the expanding of the league’s ‘premises’ and promotion of two very good teams into the first division, it is anyone’s guess how things will unfold. Well, so far, so topsy-turvy! Newly promoted Hoo have made a bold start by beating neighbours Five Bells (9-3), the Evening Star (10-2) and then the champions at The Labour Club in Twydall (8-4). The Labour Club’s A team are sitting close by in second place after another cracking start. Wins over The Labour Club B, The Palmerston Club and at The Hogarth in Grain. Also in joint second place in the table are ‘old’ league members The Sportsman A, who have also triumphed in Grain, beaten The Cecil Arms and put paid to the hard to beat White Horse. Again, another place affected by legs won and lost. Much fancied Walnut Tree, from Gillingham, have lost just one game so far, against fellow cross-river team, Palmerston Club, enough to keep them back in seventh place behind The White Horse in Upper Stoke. The lower reaches of the first division are more interesting. Read More

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Registration has opened for Medway’s newest mass participation event – the Medway Big Splash.

The weekend-long event will showcase watersports, aquatics and water-based activity sessions, all culminating in the main event – a mass community swim challenge.

It takes place at Medway Park and Strood Sports Centres on 18 and 19 January 2014.

The swimming event builds on the success of the annual Medway Mile, which now attracts thousands of people of every age for a one-mile walk or run around Rochester. Read More

Fagin

Fagin

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 17th of October 7.00 for a 7.15 start. An extraordinary AGM followed by a talk by Dean Caston titled “The Victoria Palace Theatre” The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens World in Chatham. Non Members are welcome 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. For Dickens World – http://www.dickensworld.co.uk

Dean Caston – The Victoria Palace Theatre

The current Victoria Palace theater opened in 1911 so most of the talk covers the period 1911 to date. However, Dean will also talk about the history of the theater from 1832 – 1866 when it was a Music Hall.

Dean Caston has been involved with the theater for over 35 years and serves on the committee for the Rainham Theatrical Society and the British Musical Society. He is currently appearing at the Criterion Music Hall in Sheerness and will be appearing soon in ‘Dick Whittington’ at the Hazlitt Theater, Maidstone. Dean is also a tour guide at Dickens World.

DSC_0176Having successfully won funding of £14m in a joint effort with Veolia Environmental Services, our recycling collections will change to weekly on the 28th October. Almost all of us by now will have received our grey food recycling box which can be kept inside the house and its compostable liner can then be placed in the brown bin or its equivalent.

The increase in frequency should make it easier for most households to make the most of their recycling opportunities for all the items that the council currently process. I for one will be glad to know that Friday is recycle day, full stop, rather than having to peer up and down the road to see what everyone else has put out. Read More

batsbroomsThings get spooky this Autumn Half Term at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, as visitors explore the eerie and ethereal through a range of exciting activities.

Running from 25 October through to 3 November, visitors can join in the Bats and Broomsticks activities, suitable for all the family. These include a brand new and very informative Bat Trail, the return of Megan the Witch with spell binding stories to enchant and – back by popular demand – families can challenge their creative skills by trying their hand at Pumpkin Carving or take the spooky mini Ghost Tours through the eerie Hearts of Oak gallery in the dark! Read More

DCMedway Council has been praised by the Prime Minister for some of the best results in Britain for helping families in a groundbreaking government scheme.

Under the project the council will help more than 500 families in a three year period.
The programme in Medway means council workers assist families with the underlying issues which can lead to truancy and anti social behaviour. The scheme also gives advice on developing skills and getting back into work.

The Prime Minister’s comments have been welcomed by Councillor Mike O’Brien, Medway Council’s lead porfolio holder for Children’s Services. Medway Council has worked with 180 families in the last twelve months and more assistance will be given to another 380 over the next two years of the project.

David Cameron praised Medway’s work in implementing the payment-by-results programme. The Prime Minister said: “I am determined that we help people to get on in life including those families where things may be going wrong. For some, that starts with attending school every day, staying out of trouble with the police and taking practical steps towards work, just as other families do. Every month, more and more of the most troubled families are getting help to deal with these issues head-on in Medway . That is good for those families, your community and our country as a whole.”

Cllr O’Brien said: “I am delighted the Prime Minister has recognised the excellent work being done to make Medway a great place to live and work for everyone. It is a tribute to the hard work being done by many council staff to help those in most need. Within three years we will have helped 560 families. ”

An exciting programme of summer fun events is taking place at Strood Youth Centre throughout August. All the activities are free and aimed at eight to 19 year olds.

Climbing – Monday, 5 August 3pm – 6pm

Archery – Tuesday, 6 and Tuesday, 20 August 3pm – 6pm

Trampolining – Wednesday, 7 August 3pm – 6pm

Cake decorating – Tuesday, 6, Wednesday, 7 and Monday, 12 August 3– 6pm

Jewellery making – Monday, 12 and Tuesday, 13 August 3pm – 6pm

Wet and Wild (water fights, slides and play) – Wednesday, 14 August 3pm – 6pm

Inflatable activity fun (gladiator style challenge) – Monday, 19 and Wednesday, 21 August 3pm – 6pm

All the workshops listed above take place at Strood Youth Centre, Montfort Road, Strood, ME2 3ET

1 – 15 August, Charlton Football Club will be running a summer slam football activity week from 10am – 4pm each day in Northcote Rec, Northcote Road, Strood. For more details about any of the activities and workshops, phone 07789 988165 or email patricia.houssein@medway.gov.uk

Summer fete poster 2013

The WantedThe full line up of acts supporting The Wanted at this year’s Castle Concerts is now complete. Max, Nathan, Tom, Jay and Siva will storm the stage at Rochester’s Castle Gardens with their ferociously infectious tunes, including All Time Low and Glad You Came, plus tracks from their new album Third Strike. Tickets are still available but selling fast for the show, which takes place on Thursday, 18 July. More

©PraxisDesign 2012

©PraxisDesign 2012

Rochester returns to its Victorian glory during the weekend of Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June, as the annual Dickens Festival lights up the streets with colourful costumed characters, street theatre, music and dancing. Held every year since 1978, the event celebrates Medway’s many associations with the great author, who drew many of his characters and settings for his novels from the years he lived in the area. More

Here is a little something for this weekend if you have some time. Two venues over the two days, including some great ideas for gifts from crafters from all over the area and a few from beyond.

craft fairs

BROOK PUMPThe Old Brook Pumping Station in Solomons Road, Chatham has been completely refurbished.

The station has undergone extensive structural repairs, after a structural survery reveals subsidence was causing the front porch to lean forward and large cracks to appear in the walls. The survey revealed the combination of inadequate foundations and poor soil was the cause. The front porch has now been underpinned. Work during the six-year project included temporary support for the building, new foundations with reinforced concrete, plus replacement doors and ceiling, new signage, landscaping and decorative mouldings. More

Kent’s leading wildlife charity is calling upon the horse riding fraternity to support its cross country ride this spring to raise vital funding towards the conservation of local wildlife.

The third Kent Wildlife Trust Charity Ride, supported by Barclays Bank and Lillicos Country Stores, will be held on Sunday 14th April. More

Cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to join The Mayor of Medway on an 18-mile bike ride this month.

Cllr Vaughn Hewett and the A Better Medway health improvement team are taking part in the Active Medway Cycle Groups ride on Sunday, 21 April. The route will go along the wonderful Heron Trail on the Hoo Peninsula – 18 miles of pretty countryside, mainly on cycle paths or low traffic roads. Trained ride leaders will also be on hand to assist cyclists along the route. More

A Kent-based charity is to offer free consultancy to two communities wishing to start planning for their futures.

Action with Communities in Rural Kent (ACRK), which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, will be offering free help to two communities within the county to start making a neighbourhood plan. Neighbourhood plans have been promoted by the government as a way of giving influence to communities over what is built locally. ACRK will be charging a fee for such help later in 2013, but has been awarded funding to try out a support package in two places. More

Girls Aloud Style Workshop
Monday, 8 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
A must for all Girls Aloud fans!
To celebrate Girls Aloud’s 2013 arena tour join professional dancer Jay will put wannabe pop stars through their dance paces.
Fun and laughter is guaranteed. Learn a new routine and have the opportunity to perform it to family and friends at the end of the day.

Justin Timberlake Style Workshop
Tuesday, 9 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
With a wealth of international hits and music videos under his belt this Justin Timberlake dance style workshop will give wannabe dancers the opportunity to learn the moves to one of his popular tunes.
Learn routines with professional dancer Jay and perform a showcase for family and friends at the end of the day.

Places on each workshop are £14 or book the two workshops together for £24.00, saving £4. Phone the Box Office on 01634 338338 for a booking form.

A female author known for her witty and rebellious writing style will be sharing her experiences to mark International Women’s Day.
Writer Scarlett Thomas, will be at Rochester Community Hub on Friday, 8 March to talk about her career, and she will also be available for book signings.
Scarlett has written such titles as Bright Young Things, Going Out, PopCo, and Our Tragic Universe.
The talk begins at 7.30pm and is free of charge.
This is one of many events which will be taking place around the world on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
To book a place at the Scarlett Thomas talk, phone 01634 33744 or email rochester.library@medway.gov.uk

Another local business has opened up in Medway, and for cobbler Arnaud Gois, it’s the start of a dream come true. The 38 year old has accomplished a 10-year dream and set up his own cobblers based in Station Road, Rainham, with a little help from a Medway Council start up grant. Cobbler Elf was officially opened for business at the end of September by owner Arnaud, who has spent the last 15 years working for shoe repair company, Timpson. More

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of their very first hit, enjoy the authoritative Beatles live concert show when it comes to Chatham. More

Things get spooky, sparkly, and wacky this Autumn at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, as visitors explore the eerie and infamous through a range of exciting family activities and a new temporary exhibition. More

Medway’s A Block should close because it is just not good enough for people who are suddenly and seriously mentally ill – but it would be better if an alternative could be found in Medway, a consultation meeting was told.

“I think closing A Block is a good idea because the facilities at Medway are rubbish – they have always been terrible,” said Patricia Hardy, 44, from Gillingham, who has schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. More

Women who are at least six months pregnant in Medway are being urged to contact their GP practice about vaccination to protect their unborn baby against whooping cough. More

Young people can learn the art of circus skills at a circus school, which starts later this month.

The Brook Circus School with Dizzy O’Dare Presents is aimed at eight to 16 year olds and runs for 10 weeks from Friday, 28 September to Friday, 7 December from 6.30pm to 8pm (no class during half term) at the Brook Theatre, Chatham.
Young people can learn skills from professional performers using equipment such as juggling balls, hula hoops, tightwire, unicycles and diabolo. More

From Olympic themed sport challenges to beach parties, fancy dress and farm visits, there’s a whole summer of fun in store at Medway’s Sure Start children’s centres. With 19 centres across Medway, each offering activities for families with children up to five years old, there’s plenty of fun to be had, right on your doorstep. A full timetable of activities for children and young people during the school holidays can also be found online, along with contact details for all of Medway’s Sure Start centres. More

The who, what, why, where and when are detailed below

Watling Street, Strood, Sunday 15th July 11am-3pm, FREE FUN for all the Family
Lots of activities with Medway Greenspaces, Kent Wildlife Trust, Strood Youth Club,
St.Nicholas Music & Movement Group, Medway Dog Training Club demonstration and much more. Refreshments and Ice-creams, Portaloo on site. Dogs welcome on leads please.
Come and join in the FUN Info: 01634 718643

Young people in Medway are being asked to get involved and help shape the future of education in Medway by taking part in a new online survey.
The survey is aimed at pursuing the possibility of establishing a University Technical College in Medway, by asking young people what they think about the idea.
By launching the survey, at http://www.medway.gov.uk/utc the board behind the bid, which is led by the University of Greenwich with members from the university, MidKent College and the council, hope to get as much feedback about the proposal for a Medway UTC as possible, to use should any future rounds of applications be announced. More

Preventing the neglect and abuse of vulnerable adults will be top of the agenda in Medway when Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week takes place from Monday, 11 to Friday, 15 June. More

Conservation volunteers demonstrate their work

An event to celebrate the work of Medway’s conservation volunteers took place at The St George’s Centre in Chatham on Thursday, 17 May.

Organised by Medway Local Access Forum, the Volunteer Day provided local groups with an opportunity to network and find new ways of working together, as well as encouraging other groups to join up and join in with their work. More

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