25-04-2013 - Nottinghamshire County Council estimates that more than 1,400 children across the county, who could be entitled to free school meals, are not getting them. Currently 16,300 pupils (14%) of the 114,300 children attending county schools receive free meals.
John Slater, the Council’s service director for education standards and inclusion said: “We do everything we can through our various channels to promote the entitlement, but it’s clear from these figures that some children are falling through the cracks and potentially missing out on the free lunch they’re entitled to every day of the school term. And when so many families are struggling to make ends meet, this benefit could offer them some extra much-needed support.”
The Council is urging parents in the nursery or school system to check if they’re entitled to free meals or school milk particularly if their employment or financial situations have changed in recent months. Tax credit thresholds also change annually in April. “We’d urge people to pick up the phone and talk to us. The process couldn’t be simpler. If parents have their date of birth and National Insurance number to hand when they ring, we can check their eligibility on the spot,” explained Mr Slater. “If they qualify, we’ll ring their school and get them a free meal that same day.”
Dr Kate Allen, consultant in public health at the County Council, said: “It’s so important that children have a good healthy lunch during the school day. When children have eaten well, they feel better and this in turn improves their concentration and ability to learn. “I would definitely encourage parents whose children are entitled to free school meals to claim them.”
Parents may qualify for free school meals if their child attends a Nottinghamshire County Council maintained school or nursery and they also receive one of the following benefits: income support, income based jobseeker’s allowance, income related employment support allowance, support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, child tax credit, provided you are not entitled to working tax credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190 or guarantee element of state pension credit. If parents are receiving one of the above payments, their children will be also be entitled to free milk in school if they’re aged seven and under (there is no age limit for children attending special schools).
Parents receiving any of these benefits should call 01623 433009 to check if they meet the criteria.
26-04-2013 - Local residents are being urged to look out for D.H. Lawrence as he appears in various locations across Broxtowe Borough and beyond. To get involved, D.H. Lawrence Heritage are challenging local people to download a printable cut out D.H Lawrence mask from www.dhlawrenceheritage.org or www.broxtowe.gov.uk and take a snapshot wearing the mask in the most unusual locations across the borough and even further afield, from relaxing on a tranquil beach or site seeing in Europe, photos are welcomed from every corner of the world!
Simply tweet your photo to @dhlheritage using the #WheresLawrence hashtag or tag D.H. Lawrence Heritage in your pictures on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dhlawrenceheritage, the best ones may even be displayed at the D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre on their Wall of Fame! The D.H. Lawrence mask image is taken from a painting entitled ‘Lawrence…from the land of my forefathers’ by local artist Adrian Lloyd and is currently on display at the D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood.
D.H. Lawrence Heritage is a multi-award winning visitor attraction, recently named Best Visitor Attraction in Nottinghamshire 2012, based around two highly-acclaimed sites. The attraction brings together a museum, heritage centre, two gift shops, art gallery, meeting room facility, civil wedding venue and The D.H. Lawrence Bistro. Visitors can also enjoy the Blue Line Trail, a three-mile, self guided walk around the writer D.H. Lawrence’s hometown of Eastwood.
26-04-2013 - Twenty three new apprentices have taken up training positions on the restoration of the Forest Recreation Ground since works started at the site. This meets the target set by Nottingham’s Local Education Partnership for the site, reflecting their commitment to training up young people to prepare them for their future careers.
The 16-19 olds, who are all students at New College Nottingham, were recruited through Nottingham City Council’s Employer Hub and have been selected to train on the 18 month-long programme which will equip them with a Level 2 NVQ in Site Trade, as well as hands-on skills and experience gained from working on the prestigious project. The apprentices join a workforce averaging some 35 people who are employed locally on the project.
All of the apprentices applied for the opportunity through a selection process managed by the Employer Hub and New College Nottingham. Candidates were then assessed by Carillion, the Design and Construction Contractor for the restoration project. Peter Jones, Placement and Monitoring Officer for Carillion Training Services said, “These work placements offer valuable opportunities for anyone interested in a pursuing a career within the construction industry, it’s a chance to learn vital skills while being paid, which will equip them well for the future."
Steven Rick, Head of Employer Responsive Services at New College Nottingham said, "It is fantastic that NCN students are involved in the development of such an exciting project for the city. We are proud that together with Carillion, we are able to offer them a first rate experience of working in the construction industry, thereby enhancing their employability in the future.” David Nield, Carillion Apprentice Joiner, said: “It’s a lot more interesting than a normal site, I’ve learnt about traditional roofing and all aspects of joinery and restoration.” Jack Wakelin Carillion Apprentice Bricklayer, said: “It’s interesting learning about different things working with stone instead of just bricks.”
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: "The restoration of the Forest Recreation Ground is creating training and employment opportunities for local people and providing contracts for local businesses. The work being done to restore the pavilion and the lodge are key elements to the project as they will be focal points on the forest, bringing communities together for work, rest and play whilst helping to regenerate the area.”
The apprentices have been involved in all aspects of the Park Renovation and Restoration works enabling them to diversify their experience and broaden their skill base.
24-04-2013 - Nottingham City Council is offering people the chance to learn how to play a new sport for just £2 a session. These sessions are perfect for anyone who hasn’t played sport since school or those who want a refresher course.
The sports courses can help participants learn new techniques and skills, improve fitness levels, lose weight, make new friends, take part in something they’ve never tried before - all whilst having lots of fun! Cllr David Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Tourism at Nottingham City Council, said; “These new sport sessions are a great way for people to learn and enjoy new sports. The sessions are suitable for all abilities and ages and are led by qualified sports coaches. They are a perfect start to the summer – getting active and keeping fit whilst having fun!”
The courses run from May – June 2013 and last for six weeks. Sessions are for adults aged 16+ and are suitable for complete beginners, so even if you haven’t played sport since school, need a refresher course or just want to try something new these are perfect.
Courses available include Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Golf, Squash, and Tennis. They are run in partnership with Sportivate and Sport England. The courses are part of Game On Legacy - Keeping Nottingham active beyond 2012. To book or more information call 0115 876 1600 or visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/sportcourses.
25-04-2013 - The number of children placed for adoption in Nottinghamshire is up by 55% on last year. The rise in numbers of children the County Council matched with adoptive parents since last April places the authority firmly ahead of the national average. According to the latest report out from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services looking at local authority adoption activity during 2012/13, the national figure for children placed for adoption, but without an adoption order at 31 March this year, has increased by 45% over the same period.
During 2012/13, the County Council found permanent homes for 86 children in care compared with 51 the year before. Shelagh Mitchell, adoption service manager at the Council, said: “It’s obviously pleasing to see such a significant increase in the number of children being matched with adoptive families especially against the backdrop of this latest report.” The Council currently has 892 children in care (as at end March 2013).
The report also says that on average local authorities will need to increase the number of adopters they recruit over the coming year by 53% to cope with demand on services. Over the past year, the County Council approved 48 people as adopters – already a rise of 50% on the previous year. It hopes to boost this figure by a further 10% during the coming year.
“Even though the number of adopters we’ve approved is also up considerably on the previous two years, this still isn’t keeping pace with the ongoing increase in the demand for placements which sadly means there are always some children waiting,” explained Shelagh. “However, over the past year the number of children in a match has increased month on month, outweighing those without a match significantly. This is an increasingly positive trend.”
As part of it efforts to relieve pressures on the county’s children’s social care services, the Council is recruiting a second ‘homefinder’ social worker to focus on finding a match for children who are more difficult to place. Since its first homefinder was appointed in 2011, the Council has been able to reduce the time children spend waiting for a family and in care - most Notts adopters now wait less than four months to have children matched to them. Shelagh continued: “Our homefinding work includes making sure we have excellent profiles of children available and taking part in adoption activity days. And we’ll continue to seek reducing delays for children, in all ways possible. We expect to look at other changes to practice in future, such as adopters being approved as foster carers for children to enable earlier placement.”
To find out more about adopting or fostering, call the Council’s recruitment teams on 0845 301 8899 (for fostering) or 0845 3012288 (for adoption) or visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/adoptionandfostering.
25-04-2013 - Road users in Nottinghamshire who fail to look properly when out and about on the county’s roads are being targeted in a new campaign. The County Council has launched the “Failed to Look” campaign in a bid to cut the number of people injured each year on Notts roads.
Between 2007 and 2011 there were more than 4,000 road traffic accidents in Nottinghamshire which involved someone failing to look properly. The campaign is aimed at all road users – pedestrians, riders and drivers –and uses advertising on the back of buses as well as pavement art to get the message across. Using accident data, the council has been able to target particular bus routes and locations.
The key messages of the campaign are that all road users should: make eye contact with other road users, pay attention when using the road, use their senses – hearing as well as sight.
Promotional artwork is being carried on the back of buses and pavement art is also being used at around 50 sites across the county, with one-metre square vinyl panels being positioned near car parks and shopping areas. “It really does sound very obvious but one of the first rules of the road is to keep your eyes peeled and ensure you see what’s going on around you at all times,” said Zena Oliver, the County Council’s principal highway safety officer. “That applies to all road users, whether they are on foot, riding a cycle or motorbike, or are behind the wheel of a car.”