A charity that provides life-changing support to homeless, vulnerable and excluded people says it has been 'humbled and amazed' by the strength of public support in the face of potentially devastating cuts to the services it provides.
In its initial budget proposals for the three years from April 2014, Nottinghamshire County Council outlined plans that would result in the closure of almost all emergency and supported housing for homeless people in the County. It would also withdraw funding from community-based support for vulnerable people living in their own tenancies, and for crisis prevention work to avoid homelessness from occurring at all.
Framework has labelled the proposals as "devastating, unfair and catastrophic" because they would force the closure of four vital emergency accommodation centres and fatally undermine its prevention work with those at risk of homelessness and other crisis events. Those affected would include people with serious mental health issues and learning disabilities, substance misusers, victims of domestic violence, care leavers and people leaving the forces. In response to the proposals Framework launched a campaign just five weeks ago to highlight the value of the work it does and canvas support for its retention.
On 16th January, Chief Executive Andrew Redfern, supported by service users, presented to the County Council an total of:
· 3,500 Letters of support from members of the public
· Petitions signed by more than 4,000 people
· More than 300 personal and moving hand-written personal accounts from people whose lives have been changed by the services under threat.
Mr. Redfern said: "The response to this campaign has been wonderful. Indeed we are humbled and amazed by the depth of the public support we have received, and by the number of people – from inside and outside the organisation – who have given up their time in order to help.
"I was particularly moved by the hundreds of hand-written testimonies that have come from the people we exist to support – including many whose lives have been turned around by our work and others who are at the beginning of their journey. There have also been many appreciative messages from the friends and families of service users. It demonstrates very clearly the effectiveness of our work and I sincerely hope that Officers and Members of the Council will be minded to agree.
"I would like to thank everybody who has supported the call to 'Think Again'. It has been an effective and dignified demonstration that the Nottinghamshire public does want its resources used to help most vulnerable people. I know that elected Members want to do what is best for the county and am sure the strength of feeling will resonate with them."
The Council's formal consultation period into its proposed budgetary plans has now come to a close. Officers will now spend time digesting the public's feedback before preparing a final budget proposal to be voted on by elected members on 27th February.
After a successful first year, the Women's Running 10k will return to Nottingham this year. Due to its popularity, the race series is expanding from three events to ten in 2014. The race will start and finish at Nottingham's Victoria Embankment on Saturday 19th July.
The Women's Running 10k Race Series is organised by top UK magazine, Women's Running. The magazine inspires, motivates and encourages women to improve their running. As well as Nottingham, the first year of the series saw events in Bristol and London, with almost 2,000 women taking part.
Christina Macdonald, Editor of Women's Running said: "The first event in Nottingham was a real success and we received so much positive feedback, so we're really excited about returning in 2014. Our aim is to inspire and motivate women of all ages and abilities to run, and these events provide the framework to make that happen. All women taking part will be encouraged to achieve their own personal goals, from simply getting around a 10k course, to achieving a personal best, and we will be there to help them every step of the way."
To help runners around the 10 kilometre course, the Women's Running pacers will return to run with participants, to help them achieve their target time. Suitable for runners of all abilities, there will be a team of four pacers, targeting times of 50 minutes, 55 minutes, 60 minutes and a run/walk group aiming for approximately 70 minutes.
The race experience also includes a warm up, led by an expert from Women's Running Magazine, a technical t-shirt, a high quality drawstring goody bag and medal for every finisher, a post-race warm down with tea and cake and a personalised text message containing your race finish time and personal statistics from the day.
Christina added: "We want to provide the support for as many women as possible to start running, or help them to take their running to the next level and so offering pre-race training plans, combined with access to experienced runners in the form of pacers on race day is extremely important to us".
Runners taking part in the Nottingham race will enjoy the company of the River Trent for much of their 10k, which means a flat course is on offer.
In addition to the Nottingham Women's Running 10K race in 2014, the series will see two events in London, and one event in Birmingham, Cardiff, Southampton, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow.
Popular model turned runner, Nell McAndrew will be the ambassador for the race series again next year.
The event is now open for entries, with an early bird price of £24. For more information, top training tips and to enter, go to www.wr10k.co.uk.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue's new Chief Fire Officer will be John Buckley – who will take over from retiring Chief Fire Officer Frank Swann on 1st April 2014. John is the current Deputy Chief Fire Officer and was appointed as the new Chief at a meeting of the full Fire Authority in December.
Members of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Authority chose John for the role following a rigorous interview process.
Chairman of the Fire Authority, Councillor Darrell Pulk said: "We are sorry to see Frank go – but at the same time we are looking forward to working with John to help create even safer communities across the county."
John joined NFRS in 1996 as a firefighter, worked his way through the ranks and has been Deputy Chief Fire Officer since May 2012. John said: "I'm really proud to have started here and now reached the most senior position.
"My aim is to continue the fantastic work we are already doing to make Nottinghamshire a safer place – and it's by working together with the community, firefighters and staff, and the Fire Authority that we'll achieve this."
Chief Fire Officer Frank Swann retires on 31 March 2014 after being NFRS' Chief since early 2007 and there will now be a handover period between Frank and John.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Horton will also retire later in 2014 and, to ensure there is a smooth transition due to two senior officers retiring at a similar time, Area Manager Craig Parkin will be acting as a temporary Assistant Chief Fire Officer with immediate effect.
Nottinghamshire County Council has extended the consultation period for local people to have their say on a planning application for the proposed development of the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre.
Saturday 12th April
Peppa Pig @ White Post Farm
White Post Farm. Peppa and Daddy Pig will be making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day. 01623 882977. www.whitepostfarm.co.uk
Manor Farm Open Day 10am
Manor Farm Tea Shoppe, Bleasby. Click here to find out more.
Gosh Gallery Book Talk 6pm
Gosh Gallery, Tuxford. Talk by John Oldfield on his book: 'How to protect your bottom line from your advertising agency' Click here for more details.
Farnsfield Spring Show
Farnsfield Village Centre, New Hill, Farnsfield. Admission Free. Schedules available in local shops.
Sunday 13th April
Gardens Open for Charity
Broadlea, East Drayton & Capability Barn, Hoveringham. Adm £3.50, children free. More information at www.ngs.org.uk
The Ramblers Association Walking Programme 9am
Headon, villages of Headon, Grove and Askham. Begins at 9am and is an 8 mile walk, for further details contact 01636 814277
Lowdham Spring Show
Lowdham Village Hall. Entries need to be in between 9.30 and 11.30am. The schedule can be downloaded from: www.lowdhamhortsoc.org.uk, is available at 'Lowdham Post Office' or 'The Bookcase'. The show opens at 1pm with prize giving at 3.30pm. There will be a display of artwork by the 'Lowdham Painting for Pleasure' group as well as a display of floral art by the 'Lowdham Saint Mary's Flower Guild'. Admission is only £1.50 and refreshments will be available.
Tuesday 15th April
Southwell Gardening Club Monthly Talk 7.30pm
WI Hall, Southwell. Practical Soil Analysis. Membership £10, and £2 per meeting. Please contact 01636 816339
Wednesday 16th April
Easter Fun 10.30am
Southwell Library. Crafts and chocolate treats for kids 4-9 years old. Tel: 01636 812148.
Friday 18th April
Children's Easter Competition (18th - 21st April)
The Hearty Goodfellow, Southwell. Pop in over the Easter weekend from Friday18th to Monday 21st April and enter our Easter Colouring Competition. 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes to be awarded for the best entries. www.heartygoodfellowpub.co.uk
Saturday 19th April (Easter Saturday)
Lions Easter Egg stall
Southwell Market. Support the Lions Easter Egg stall and perhaps win a delicious egg! A draw will also be taking place at local pubs and other venues.
April in Paris
The Hearty Goodfellow, Southwell. France arrives in Southwell when Mood Indigo performs 'April in Paris'. Enjoy entertainment from this wonderful jazz band, and perhaps something to eat from the French themed menu. This is a non-ticketed event.
Easter Holiday Fun 10am
Southwell Library. Drop in and make an Easter Card for someone special. For ages 4-9 years. Free event. Tel 01636 812148.
Dads and Toddlers 10am to 12 noon
Holy Trinity Church, Southwell. A toddler group for Dads and young children. On the third Saturday of each month. For details contact Helen Lewis on 01636 815512.
Spring Workshops 11am
GOSH! Gallery, Tuxford. Explore printing, pastels and Gouachhe with Graham Laughton and Becki Pate. £30 per person. Click here for more details.
Sunday 20th April (Easter Sunday)
Easter Art Exhibition (19th - 21st)
Shelford Village Hall. The Shelford Group of Srtists annual exhibition. Between 10am and 4pm each day. Further information from John Lightbody on 01623 822703.
Easter Egg Trail (20th & 21st)
The Workhouse, Southwell. Visitors can find out about life for the inmates and claim a prize. www.eastereggtrail.co.uk
Monday 21st April (Easter Monday)
Easter Egg Trail (5th - 21st April)
The Abbey Courtyard, Rufford Country Park, NG22 9DF. Follow the clues to find the eggs hidden in the park. Find all the eggs to claim your sweet reward !! £1 per leaflet, £3 per car.
Oh No It's a Gruffalo (11th - 30th April)
Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Edwinstowe. We're helping to celebrate the Gruffalo's 15th anniversary. Join us for party celebrations and activities throughout the year. Venture into the deep dark woods from 11th April until September and you'll be able to take part in one of our Gruffalo trails. Please see website for full details: www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo
Coffee, Croissants & Children (22nd & 23rd)
The Old Theatre Deli, Southwell. A FREE talk on savings for Children/Grandchildren. Includes complimentary coffee. Tel: Martin Chapman on 07767 450097 www.MakingMoneySense.co.uk