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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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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

St Werburgh Court, Hoo St Werburgh Court, Hoo

A recent report, commissioned by the National Housing Federation, revealed that the gap between supply and demand in housing is widening. Nationally, England needs to build 240,000 homes a year just to meet the demand[1] yet house building decreased by 11% between 2009 and 2013[2]. In Medway, the demand for affordable homes is clear: rental prices are expected to rise by 38% by 2020[3].

mhs homes is on target to build more affordable homes across Medway in 2014 with developments at Amherst Hill, Brompton and the sites previously used as Rainham and Rochester police stations. The properties will be available for shared ownership and affordable rent. More homes are planned for Kent and Medway in 2015 and beyond.

Emma Riddington, Head of Development at mhs homes, says:

“At mhs homes, we recognise the need to support the local community and are developing properties to suit all individual circumstances. We are increasing our portfolio of both affordable and market rent properties and have started work on sites outside of Medway. In 2012/13 we built 140 new homes, and are on target to build another 260 new homes by the end of March 2015.”

[1] National Housing Federation, “Supply and demand/affordability”
[2] ibid
[3] National Housing Federation, statistics for Medway.

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.

If you live within the distribution area of the Peninsula Times printed version, you will doubtless be aware of Anim-Mates charity and the good work that they do. If you have some time to attend one or both of these events you would be providing tremendous help to them. Plus you get to eat CAKE at one of the events and everyone likes cake!

Just to illustrate the kind of people they are. We found a cat hiding under our car at home, clearly injured and clearly in distress. We tried in vain to contact other animal charities for help without success. We called Anim-Mates and hoped, someone answered, not only did they answer but they gave us the address of a vet that could help and even called ahead to say that we were coming and any charge should be referred to them. Unfortunately the poor little cat died as a result of her injuries within a day or so and although it was a short period of time Anim-Mates were there and available to help when bigger and better known charities were not. Please help them if you can by going along to have some fun at these events.

If you can’t quite read the detail click on the image to make it huge!

fun auction 2013

Afternoon Tea 2013

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

pentagonMedway Credit Union has moved into a new home as part of an ongoing campaign to give people on low incomes a safer alternative to pay day loan shops and doorstep lenders.

The low-cost savings and loans co-operative, one of two based in Medway, is now based on the first floor of the Pentagon Centre in Chatham. It had previously been based in a less prominent position further along the High Street. Read More

Medway Council tonight unveils its strategy for delivering a long-term sporting legacy for the people of Medway.

The launch of En Route to Rio: Delivering Medway’s Sporting Legacy 2013-2016 is being staged to coincide with Medway’s largest mass participation sporting event – the Medway Mile.

In addition, two new flagship events inspired by the success of the Medway Mile have also been announced. More

LEADING BEAUTY BRANDS LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE PINK RANGES FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Shop with a conscience and shop pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Beauty favourites, Avon and ghd, have joined forces with leading charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, to launch exclusive pink products which carry a minimum 10% donation to Breakthrough’s life-saving work.

Avon and ghd, along with many more leading retailers, will all be doing their bit to help the nation turn pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More women than ever before are being diagnosed with breast cancer so it’s crucial that everybody gets involved and helps raise vital funds to stop women dying from the disease.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to saving lives through improving early diagnosis, developing new treatments and preventing all types of breast cancer. With 1,000 women dying from the disease each month in the UK alone, every penny raised is vital in order to help us create a world freed from breast cancer. Do your bit, do it pink.

1. Avon Pro Viva Pink Nail Varnish, RRP £4, 25% donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, available from your local Independent Avon Representative or online at avonshop.co.uk
2. ghd pink styler and paddle brush gift set RRP £135, £10 donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, available in the finest salons and at http://www.ghdhair.com. ghd has been supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer for 10 years.

Summer fete poster 2013

Cake bakers of the Peninsula take one step forward, wooden spoons and Kenwood Chefs at the ready. Send us pictures of your cakes and we will put them on our website for the world to see.

RAISE SOME DOUGH AND HELP BEAT BREAST CANCER, BREAKTHROUGH BREAST CANCER LAUNCHES THE VERY FIRST GREAT PINK BAKE OFF

This year leading charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer is recruiting an army of bakers to fire up their ovens, hit the kitchen and give breast cancer a good beating in the first ever Great Pink Bake Off.

More women than ever are being diagnosed with breast cancer so Breakthrough Breast Cancer wants local communities to whip up some support to help fund their life-saving research. More

Castle Concerts - Under SiegeTalented young people from Medway will perform at Rochester Castle gardens in Under Siege on Sunday, 21 July from 1pm to 3.30pm.

The free event is part of Medway’s Festival of Music and gives some of the area’s most gifted young performers the chance to showcase their talents on the Castle Concerts stage.

This year the Under Siege performers will follow in the footsteps of Status Quo, The Wanted, Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet, ABC and Go West as well as The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

All the acts will be able to perform on the same full-sized stage, with professional equipment and the support of an experienced crew. More

lost catThis cat was found injured in the grounds of our office. (Nr Royal Oak Public House) If you recognise it can you let the owner know that although injured it is with a local vet.

A celebration of learning takes place at Eastgate Rochester on Saturday, 18 May as part of national Adult Learning Week (18-24 May).

Medway Community Learning is holding a free open day for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses between 12noon and 3pm at the Rochester Adult Education Centre.
The event will include information, demonstrations, displays of previous learners’ work, and activities for both adults and children.

There will be opportunity to speak with members of the adult learning team.
Free entry. Children welcome. Refreshments available.

Billy Ocean is back in Medway.

The chart-topping soul singer will be at The Central Theatre on Friday, 17 May and tickets to see the popular, global superstar – who was a hit at last year’s castle concerts – are sold out.

WOMANBilly will be supported by WOMAN when he appears at Chatham. Three world-class singers – Mazz Murray, Gina Murray and Emma Kershaw – perform their own arrangements of typically male songs to surprising effect. The uniqueness of WOMAN lies in the awesome vocal talents of these three formidable singers

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

Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Where can you build sandcastles, see knights do battle, attend a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and meet St George and his dragon, all in one day?

Thousands of visitors are expected to go along and do just that at this year’s English Festival, which takes place on Saturday 20 April at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham. Held annually on the closest Saturday to St George’s Day, the free family day out celebrates the iconic and ironic traditions of England. 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

Explore the world of Shakespeare with Medway Community Learning. The course looks at the culture of Shakespeare and his actors by studying his plays and the conditions of Elizabethan theatre. This course combines theory and practical and leads to a performance. The world of Shakespeare course starts on Monday, 29 April at 7pm at Eastgate House, Rochester. The full fee is £86, concessions available. To enrol contact Medway Community Learning at http://www.medway.gov.uk/adultlearning or phone 01634 338400.

A look ahead to April at The Central Theatre and The Brook Theatre, Chatham.

Tiddler and other terrific tales
Sunday, 7 April 3pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £12
Julia Donaldson’s most popular books are bought to life on the stage.

Joe Brown in concert
Friday, 12 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £26
If you haven’t seen Joe’s talent already, here’s your chance.

Feast of Fiddles
Sunday, 14 April 7.30pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £16.50
Celebrating its 20th year, some of the UK’s finest fiddlers bring their own style together.

Comedy Club
Monday, 15 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £10
An evening with some of the best stand-up on the UK circuit.

Screen Classic: Brief Encounter
Monday, 15 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £7

Let’s Talk Bike
Tuesday, 16 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £15
TT Champions Ian Hutchinson and Nick Jefferies have won the Isle of Man TT eight times. In this unique show the riders give the inside track on what it’s like to race this exciting and dangerous circuit.

Jazz at The Brook – LD Frazier, New York Gospel singer
Tuesday, 16 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £11

The Girl with No Heart
Wednesday, 17 April 7.45pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £7
A delicate, provocative and haunting production bought to life with puppetry and music.

Folk at The Brook – John Kirkpatrick
Thursday, 18 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £10

Sean Lock
Thursday, 18 April 8pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £21
A hilarious new stand-up show from this popular entertainer.

Cabaret of Curiosities
Friday, 19 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £11

Equator presents South Indian Bharatnatyam Dance
Saturday, 20 April
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £12, concessions available
Dancers bring to life the changing spectacle of traditional Bharatnatyam.

Chas & Dave
Friday, 26 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £24

To book tickets to any of the shows, phone the box office on 01634 338338 or visit http://www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

The Medway Community Safety Partnership is continuing to hold community engagement meetings for residents in Medway.

Following on from the first of its kind in October, the next meeting is to be held at St Marks Church in Canterbury Street Gillingham on Tuesday, 16 April from 7pm. More

Frindsbury Lawn Tennis Club have arranged for some professional tennis coaching to be available at the club grounds over the Easter to keep your young ones busy and active, getting their exercise, fresh air and having some fun. Please see the forms and poster below.

Easter Camp flyer final ZP

Easter app form

In regard to Natural England’s decision to notify Lodge Hill as an SSSI area, please see a statement from Medway Council below: More

Penshurst Place & Gardens prepares for the Spanish Armada on
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March from 12 noon to 4pm

This popular family event recreates life at Penshurst Place in 1588 when the Spanish Armada threatens to invade England. On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March, the household readies itself for the anticipated invasion and a skilled cast of costumed actors and musicians portray some colourful characters in Tudor England. More

A driver has been fined £600 for failing to produce a valid waste carrier’s licence. Stephen Collins, 60, from Gravesend was stopped by Kent Police Motorbike Team on Anthony’s Way, Strood, on 11 September. His Ford flatbed truck was loaded with waste materials including broken brake discs, tyres and white goods. More

Get fit, de-stress and have fun at one of the Active Life classes with Medway Community Learning.

Exercise to music
All Saints Church, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham
Mondays 7-8pm

Tai Chi
Medway Community Learning, Eastgate, Rochester
Tuesdays Noon-1pm

Pilates
St Thomas Church Hall, Rainham
Tuesdays 2.30-3.30pm

Exercise to music
Woodlands Arts Centre, Gillingham
Wednesdays 7-8pm

Classes run term-time only and each class costs £2.50. Please phone 01634 338400 to book a place.

Yoga classes start next month with Medway Community Learning. Yoga for all (progression) starts Tuesday, 5 February at 1.30pm. Yoga for all starts on Tuesday, 12 February at 7.30pm. Both classes are at Rochester Adult Education Centre. To book and for more details phone 01634 338400.

Learn how to cook fancy festive dishes to impress your friends and family this Christmas thanks to Medway Community Learning.
Places are still available on a five-week cookery course that will teach you how to prepare, cook and present Christmas-themed, sweet and savoury dishes such as Velvet Truffle Torte.
Add a little home-made luxury to your celebrations.
The course starts on Wednesday, 14 November from 7-9 pm at Chatham Grammar School for Boys, Maidstone Road, Chatham.
Course fee is £50. Concessions available.
For more details visit www.medway.gov.uk/.learning or phone 01634 338400.

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