Citizen

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Welcome

Welcome to the December/January edition of Citizen.

We've had a great few months, with lots of successes in the town. We took part in the national #OurDay event on Twitter on 21 November, showcasing everything we do at the council in a day. This autumnal picture was taken by our parks team on the day. Read about the range of things that cropped up.

Eleven new council homes have been completed, children are enjoying their school extension and we have new legal powers to take action against people committing anti-social behaviour.

Slough's fantastic young people have been winning awards, speaking in the House of Commons and taking part in a youth vote. Talented photographers in the town have been showcased in an exhibition and we have won an award for having safe car parks.

We have loads of fun infographics to explain the highlights of The Curve's first year, a feature showcasing all the services available for early years children, including children's centres, as well as great community efforts to improve Baylis Park and the Salt Hill stream.

We have a lovely scheme to get children more active and we are asking the over 60s to take a survey about services they want in the town. We also have news from SPACE, START and Healthwatch Slough.

There is plenty to do in Slough over the next few weeks, especially as we welcome the Aladdin pantomime into town at The Curve. There is a list of upcoming town centre events, including Festive Fun on 16 and 17 December.

Find out about library activities, changes to the Christmas and New Year rubbish and recycling collection dates and have a read of the fostering article to see if it is something you could consider. 

Modern slavery is the focus of a Thames Valley Police campaign, which we support, and we have information on the Victim Support charity and an anti drink drive campaign.

Don't forget to subscribe so you get an email when there is a new edition of Citizen available.  

Full PDF of the edition

We print a limited number of Citizens, which we put in our corporate buildings and libraries for residents to pick up.

If you haven't got your hands on a hard copy and sometimes don't have the chance to read through this whole edition online, you can download the PDF of the print version, and take a look at your convenience.

December 2017 edition

On stage at the Royal Albert Hall

Students from a Slough dance academy have had their big moment on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.

The dancers from Creative Academy, a dance degree managed by the council and validated by The University of West London, had a memorable experience on stage on 5 November in the Dance Proms.

Creative Academy was chosen as one of only 20 acts to go through to the live performance, where they had their own dance showcase and then performed with the other dancers in a finale piece.

George Kirkham, Creative Academy manager, said: “It went really well, we opened the second act and there were 6,000 people in the audience. The whole event was excellent and really was a celebration of dance and young talent.

“The students from Creative Academy had a really positive experience and the whole event was diverse, inclusive and creative with performers from all over Europe and as far as Vietnam.”

Dance Proms is a partnership project between two of the world’s leading dance training and awarding bodies: the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), as well as the Royal Albert Hall, working together in celebration of dance and inspiring creativity.

Awards for car park safety

Five council car parks have received the Park Mark accreditation, which recognises they are safer places to park.

Park Mark is a national accreditation for safer parking which is assessed by the police and the British Parking Association (BPA).

The following car parks are certified by Park Mark, the safer parking scheme, for the third year running:

  • Herschel multi-storey
  • Hatfield multi-storey
  • The Grove car park, including Disabled Parking Accreditation
  • Buckingham Gardens car park
  • Harrow Market car park in Langley.

In order to achieve the Park Mark accreditation there are a series of criteria that have to be met to pass which includes crime prevention, management and maintenance of the facility, checking there are appropriate levels of surveillance, lighting, signage and cleanliness. 

To find out more about council car parks visit the council's website.

Fantastic photos in exhibition

The photographic efforts of residents were celebrated at a Love Slough Parks exhibition.

The council’s parks team organised a competition, asking residents to take photos in any Slough park, with the winning entries printed onto canvas and displayed in the exhibition at The Curve.

Photos were taken during different seasons at Kedermister Park, Herschel Park, Salt Hill Park, Baylis Park, Bloom Park and Upton Court Park and included beautiful flowers and butterflies.

Many of the winners attended the launch where they were presented with a calendar featuring all of the winning images.

Council leader Councillor Sohail Munawar and Councillor Joginder Bal, cabinet member for environment and leisure, were on hand to admire the pictures and present the calendars.

Councillor Bal said: “I’m really happy so many people participated in the competition. They all took lovely photographs which help to promote our wonderful parks.”

The plan is to hold another competition in 2018.

Logan Reid, eight, with his canvas

The winning photos were taken by:

  • Ajay Murudkar
  • Andrea Percivali
  • Anthony Crockett
  • Frances Warburton
  • Logan Reid, eight
  • Haleema Ali
  • JJ Smith
  • Kate Regula
  • Naqvi Waseem
  • Noorie Naeem
  • Tessa Bridle
  • Wasif Akhtar.

Saving the Salt Hill Stream

Slough Borough Council is working in partnership with environmental charity, WWT (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust) to improve the Salt Hill stream and its surroundings.

The aim is to create a cleaner healthier watercourse the whole of Slough can be proud of.

Over the past year the project team, which is based in the council’s parks and allotment team, has been working closely with local volunteers to transform the woodland and wetland area next to Keel Drive, known locally as Temple Wood. Volunteers have collected more than 100 bags of litter since January and created a wonderful new dragonfly pool, as well as undertaking vegetation management, river restoration activities, water quality monitoring and seeding banks with wildflowers. Throughout December and January volunteers and local community groups will be installing new entrances, a wooden bridge and a riverside path. Local people are welcome to visit the site to see the transformation first hand. 

River Bug Safari

We’re really excited to be launching our new River Bug Safari project in the New Year, which will help conserve wildlife habitats and enable us to study aquatic insect populations. We’re keen to establish a dedicated group in Slough that meets monthly and our first River Bug Safari is during spring half term on Saturday 10 February, meeting in Salt Hill Park.

Superhero Stream cleans

The New Year calls for a spring clean of our rivers! We’re also working with local schools and community groups to run litter picks and hold a poster competition. The best images will be displayed along the path next to the stream to encourage local people to use the bins provided and raise awareness of how the growing litter problem affects the health of the stream. We have partnered with community group Paving the Way to run a litter picking session in Manor Park on Saturday 13 January, from 11am–1pm.

Environmental improvements in Montem Park

As part of the river restoration process along the Montem Park section of the Salt Hill Stream, WWT will be working with the Chalvey Millennium Green Trust to undertake tree and shrub management on the river banks. This work will help the area to look more visually appealing for local residents and be better for wildlife. Overgrown trees will be cut back or removed to make it safer for pedestrians, and will also allow in more light for river wildlife to thrive, in particular wetland plants, such as yellow iris and watercress. 

For more information  

To register interest in any of the above, or to find out more, email Shelley Rowley at shelley.rowley@wwt.org.uk

Christmas anti drink drive campaign

Speak Out celebrates third anniversary

Celebrations were held to mark the Speak Out forum, for adults with learning disabilities, turning three.

The Speak Out forum provides opportunities for people to meet, discuss key issues that affect their daily lives and to identify opportunities for learning new skills.

The September meeting saw Speak Out members meet for cake as they celebrated their time together.

Over the past three years Speak Out has championed a Support Worker Agreement which has been signed up to by all supported living providers in Slough. Forum members have chosen to learn about healthy eating, first aid, managing money and how to vote.

During this time the forum has also met with the Chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board to put forward their views on safeguarding.

Councillor Sabia Hussain said: “The Speak Out forum provides a wonderful opportunity for adults with learning disabilities living in the borough to meet on a regular basis to make new friends, learn new skills and have their say on issues that matter most to them.

“It’s been a fantastic and successful three years and I wish Speak Out a very happy anniversary and wish them many more in the years to follow.”

The Speak Out forum is facilitated by Slough Borough Council and Advocacy in Slough, led by Surrey Disabled People’s Partnership (SDPP), together with Matrix and Deaf Positives.

The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, 1-3pm in the community room at Tesco Extra, Wellington Road, Slough.

Anyone living in Slough with a learning disability is welcome and you can bring your support worker or carer with you if you need support.

If you are interested in joining the Speak Out forum, or would like to find out more, please contact Shari Driver, from Advocacy in Slough, on 01753 415299 or email SDriver@advocacyinslough.org.uk

Visit the Speak Out Facebook page to learn more about the group’s activities. 

Slough in Bloom results

Beautiful floral displays, perfect hanging baskets and amazing allotments have all featured in the Slough in Bloom competition.

Now in its 24th year, the competition recognises horticultural excellence in the borough. This year allotments were welcome backed into the competition.

The winners were presented with their awards by Mayor Councillor Ishrat Shah at an award ceremony at Shiloh Pentecostal Church, one of the sponsors of the competition.

The overall competition winner was Salt Hill Care Centre in Bath Road, Slough (pictured above).

The winners for the 10 categories are below. 

  • Best Allotment - Phil Burnham, plot 31 Horsemoor Green
  • Best Allotment Newcomer - Catriona Todd
  • Best Community in the category - Slough Crematorium
  • Best Roundabout - Treatz Roundabout
  • Best Residential Front Garden - Mr and Mrs Veltri (Mrs Veltri pictured with Mayor Ishrat Shah)
  • Slough Borough Council Tenant Front Garden category - June Gulliford
  • Best Hanging Baskets - Pauline Hodges
  • Best in the Public Houses and Restaurants category - The Toby Carvery, Langley
  • Best in the Student Project category - Montem Academy
  • Best in the Business Premises category - Slough High Street hanging baskets

This year a special award was presented to the Alpha Arms public house near the town centre.

Mayor Councillor Ishrat Shah said: “It was lovely to present the awards to residents who had put so much hard work into creating their displays. The number of entries was up again on last year and the standard was good, but there were also many more lovely displays around the town which were not entered, so please enter your gardens next year and make the town even more beautiful.”

The committee encourages everyone to plant flowers in whatever space they have, to bring colour to the town. Everyone is welcome to enter - look out for the 2018 competition.

Christmas bins and recycling

Bin collection days will change in Slough over the Christmas and New Year period. Bins will be emptied between one and four days later than normal between Monday 25 December and Friday 5 January due to bank holidays.

Excess rubbish and items that won’t fit in bins should be taken to Chalvey Household Waste and Recycling Centre, which will be open from 9am-5pm every day except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Residents are reminded to recycle as much as they can over the holidays – Christmas cards, wrapping paper, cardboard packaging and boxes, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, food and drink cans should all go in the red recycling bins.

For more on what can be recycled, visit the council's website.

Green waste service extended through the winter

Slough’s garden waste collections will run through the winter.

Garden waste collections have, traditionally, been stopped between the end of November and beginning of March, meaning any resident with green waste has had to take it to the waste and recycling centre themselves.

But with the new in-house environmental service beginning, the green bin collections will continue throughout the winter – other than the week of Christmas and New Year.

And this means residents won’t have to request a special collection for their real Christmas tree – but can just chop off the branches into the green bin along with any other garden waste such as leaves.

Councillor Joginder Bal, cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “Though there is obviously less gardening done in winter, there are many residents who have green waste over the cold months such as fallen leaves and plant and tree cuttings and have found it frustrating or difficult to take this to the recycling centre themselves.

“Now we are taking our environmental services, including bin collections, back in house we are reinstating the winter collections for everyone signed up to the scheme.”

BFI Film Academy

Alex Walker (Head of Video Production at Resource Productions) supports a group of young people on the BFI Film Academy 2017 

Young people with an interest in film can apply to join the BFI (British Film Institute) Film Academy, delivered by local company Resource Productions at Pinewood Studios.

If you are an aspiring writer, director, camera operator, art director, actor, editor, sound recordist or producer aged between 16 and 19 you can apply.

Applications are now open for the BFI Film Academy, which will take place every Saturday from 13 January to 17 February.

Young people will have a chance to learn about all aspects of filmmaking, from script to screen, including a tour of the studios, practical workshops with camera and editing equipment, the opportunity to shoot a short film and meet guest speakers from the film industry.

There are only 20 places available. The deadline is midnight on 11 December, with interviews taking place in early January.

Apply at the Resource Productions website.

Children and young people

Early Years Service

Earlier this year, the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) team and FIS (Family Information Service) came back in house to the council.

The Family Information Service provides information about services available to families in Slough, and can help residents with a range of enquiries ranging from finding suitable childcare and activities, to signposting to school admissions services, children’s centres or benefits advice.

The team also supports partner agencies in Slough by providing information about services and supporting them to identify a family’s needs and create an action plan to meet these needs. 

Children’s centres  

Children’s centres are an excellent resource for parents and families, with children aged up to five. Services include: 

  • free early learning and childcare
  • parenting support
  • Early Years SEND advice and support
  • money and debt advice
  • family support
  • adult and community learning
  • family learning programmes
  • into employment advice
  • access to community health visitors
  • access to early years speech and language therapists
  • breastfeeding support
  • specialist support on a range of subjects including domestic violence and community safety
  • health visiting services.

Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “Often the perception is that children’s centres are no more than a nursery, but there are so many more services available. In one place you can get support for your child’s speech and development, find out how to manage your debts, and learn a new skill to better your job prospects. The 10 centres are spread throughout Slough and you can visit any of them, it doesn’t have to be the closest one to where you live. They are friendly and welcoming places, so if you haven’t been before, pop along and see what they can offer you.” 

List of children’s centres  

  • Chalvey Grove - 01753 574387
  • Elliman Avenue - 01753 896688
  • Monksfield Way - 01753 578691
  • Orchard Avenue - 01628 661789
  • Penn Road - 01753 574420
  • Romsey Close - 01753 540797
  • St Andrew’s Way - 01628 559085
  • Vicarage Way - 01628 559085
  • Wexham Road - 01753 533543
  • Yew Tree Road - 01753 527571.

Free early learning  

Two year olds from families in receipt of certain benefits are eligible for a free early learning place, of 15 hours.

We would like to encourage all eligible families to take up their place. There are spaces available in Slough in a range of settings, including childminders.

Michael Jarrett, Service Lead – Early Years and Development, said: “There is a direct correlation between the higher attainment of children who take up their free early years entitlement and those who don’t.

“All providers follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (national curriculum), children learn to play, develop relationships, and to manage situations together, with lifelong skills such as sharing and turn taking in order to reach developmental milestones.”

Parents are encouraged to get involved in their child’s learning and go along to centre activities. They can also find learning opportunities when out and about, for example, counting how many red cars or bicycles they can spot along the road, or the number of steps in a flight of stairs, or to spot different coloured leaves on trees.

The council’s Early Years Service works with a range of partners, from schools, health services and Slough’s excellent network of private voluntary and independent sector providers.

They also offer a home visiting service to children with special educational needs and disabilities to see what specific needs they have and how the council can help. 

Above average

For the first time ever, Slough has exceeded the national average for children securing a ‘good level of development’. Slough children scored 71.2 per cent, while nationally children’s attainment levels stand at 70.7 per cent.

Michael Jarrett said: “This is a massive achievement for all Slough children and a real acknowledgment of the excellent partnerships that exist across the sector. Well done to Slough’s early years’ sector for achieving above the national average!” 

Childcare in Slough

There are 135 childminders operating in Slough. Each year, the Early Years Service conducts a childcare sufficiency assessment to measure if there is sufficient childcare to meet demand.

Children enjoy school extension

The children of James Elliman Academy have been enjoying new classrooms and a dining hall after a large extension of the school.

The work is part of the council’s school places programme – a multi-million pound investment in primary and secondary school buildings, extensions and new schools – to provide enough places for Slough’s current and future young people.

The work at James Elliman involved an extension to the dining hall and a total of six new classrooms including five in a brand new block. There was also a new footpath installed and outdoor landscaping work.

All work was completed before the children returned to school after the summer holidays.

Saira Rasheed, principal of James Elliman Academy, said: “The new expansion is a very welcome addition to our existing site.

“The children and staff are proud of their new classes and are thoroughly enjoying teaching and learning in such a spacious and welcoming environment.”

The works at the Elliman Avenue primary school were undertaken by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), a partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd, which is driving regeneration across the town through new housing and investment in leisure, community facilities and school buildings.

Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for education and children, said: “Having an excellent learning environment is fundamental to the success of a school and we are proud to be able to help our young people get the best start in life with these stunning new facilities.”

James Elliman is the first completion of the school extension programme, with several more school extensions being planned and undertaken by SUR including St Mary’s, Claycots, Priory special educational needs and Wexham Secondary school.

Andy Howell, general manager of SUR, said: “It is fantastic to be able to build new teaching facilities that enhance the learning environment.

“Through the partnership, we are also providing children with opportunities to learn about the construction of their new buildings and give something back through local community initiatives.”

Active Movement

Slough Borough Council has launched an ambitious new activity programme in schools across the town.

The council is working with Active Movement – an organisation set up to focus on simple changes in behaviour that empower people to sit less and move more.

The Active Movement programme is designed to evolve with the children’s own mobility, communication, education and maturity. From nursery to secondary school, the programme constantly changes to educate and inspire children to reduce their sedentary behaviour and increase low-level activity as part of the home and school life.

Head teachers and children from participating schools, including young people from Early Years through to Key Stage 4, met at a dedicated Active Movement room at Eden Girls’ School in November to demonstrate and discuss the programme.

Karim Murcia, Principal of Eden Girls’ School, said: “As a school community we are committed to encouraging our pupils to adopt healthy lifestyles by keeping active and looking after their bodies. The Active Movement programme takes the idea of physical wellbeing beyond the sports pitch as it aims to inspire a behaviour change.”

Councillor Sabia Hussain said: “It is vital we do all we can to enable the children and young people of Slough to lead physically and emotionally healthy lives.

“Slough Borough Council is committed to the wellbeing of the community it serves and the Active Movement programme is a fantastic initiative that will help us raise fit and healthy children and young people.

“The statistics are clear. Childhood obesity and rates of inactivity are on the rise, both in Slough and across the country. Now is the time for action.”

For more information about Active Movement please email publichealthslough@slough.gov.uk or visit the Active Movement website.

Awards success for Slough young people

The Slough Youth Awards have happened for the second year, with more than 50 nominations received.

The awards ceremony aims to celebrate and recognise the contributions of young people to the community.

Awards were presented at The Curve on 2 November, with the ceremony hosted by Callum Fullam, 15, and Raakhi Sharma, 15, from Slough Youth Parliament.

Nominations ran from June to September, open to young people aged 11-19 (up to 25 with learning difficulties or disabilities) who live in Slough.

The award category winners were: 

Young sportsperson

Winner: Erin Simmonds

Runners up: Adam Azim and Hassan Azim 

Young entrepreneur

Winner: Aadam Siddiqi

Runner up: Xtra Art 

Young inspiration

Winner: Cameron Miller

Runners up: Aaron Sennik and Salsbeel Kazi 

Young environmentalist

Winner: Louise Love 

Young artist

Winner: Empoword

Runner up: Kieran Way 

Award presenters included interim chief executive Roger Parkin, deputy chair of the wellbeing board Naveed Ahmed, Councillor Madhuri Bedi, Councillor Sabia Hussain, headteacher Jo Rockall and representatives from award sponsors Arvato, Heathrow, Mars and Slough Urban Renewal.

On the night there was music from Beat Routes music collective, poetry from Empoword spoken word collective and a music video produced by girls from the Roma community following their work with the young people’s service.

Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “Slough’s young people continue to make an amazing contribution to our local community. The young people in attendance are the bright future of our borough and I congratulate them on their tremendous efforts in improving and showcasing our town.”

The Slough Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS) young volunteer of the year was announced in a separate ceremony.

Top turnout in youth vote

Pupils at St Joseph's School took part

The UK’s largest youth consultation just got bigger as Slough achieved the highest voter turn out in the country at this year’s Make Your Mark ballot. 

The annual Make Your Mark ballot asks young people aged 11-18 across the country to choose the top five issues that matter most to them. 

Slough achieved an 80 per cent turn out as 9,368 young people chose from 10 big issues affecting their lives, including lowering the voting age to 16 and making public transport cheaper. 

Sixteen secondary schools took part in the ballot, as well as youth groups from the YES Consortium and the Young People’s Service. 

The five issues with the most votes were:

  • work experience hubs for 11-18 year olds
  • making public transport cheaper
  • a curriculum to prepare us for life
  • protecting school budgets from damaging cuts
  • votes at 16. 

Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “The ballot is a real local youth engagement success story. In 2015 Slough was recognised as the most improved local authority with a voter turn out of 6,487. In 2016 we went on to achieve the second highest percentage turnout in the country and this year we’ve come top in the UK. 

“I couldn’t be more proud or inspired by the passion and commitment demonstrated by the young people of Slough.” 

Slough’s Youth Parliament will now bring the results of the ballot to the attention of local decision makers, including local councillors, the MP for Slough Tan Dhesi, the Slough Association of Secondary Heads and the Wellbeing Board to discuss next steps.

Slough Youth Parliament is supported by the Young People’s Service at Slough Borough Council. 

For more information on Slough’s Youth Voice initiatives, email sloughforyouth@slough.gov.uk

House of Commons debate

Alaa Fawaz speaks in the House of Commons

Youth parliament members from across the country met at the House of Commons in Westminster to debate the topic of the UK Youth Parliament’s (UKYP) next national campaign.

Slough was represented at the debate on 10 November by youth parliament member Alaa Fawaz 16, who made her case for votes at 16. This is the third year Slough has been represented in the House of Commons debate.

A vote at 16 was selected as the UKYP’s next national campaign. A curriculum to better prepare young people for life was chosen as their priority campaign for England.

These motions were two of five debated in the House of Commons chamber in a special session chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.

More than 200 UKYP members aged 11-18 took part in the debates nationally. Topics were voted for by 948,677 young people during the recent Make Your Mark ballot – the biggest youth referendum in the UK.

Alaa Fawaz, member of UKYP for Slough, said: “It was an unforgettable experience and inspiring to see so many passionate young people. This is the second time I’ve represented Slough at the national level. Last year I spoke against adult fares for young people but this year I spoke in favour of votes at 16.”

Slough Youth Parliament is supported by the Young People’s Service, Slough Borough Council.

For more information on Slough’s Youth Voice initiatives, email sloughforyouth@slough.gov.uk

Have your children flown the nest?

It’s that time of year when your grown children are coming home for a few weeks, after their first term away at university, or will be visiting you more often if they’ve left home to live independently nearby.

There will be enjoyable times, catching up on their new lives and sharing stories and family time together. But once they’ve gone back to their studies, or back to their own place, the once noisy household will fall silent. The bedroom they were raised in will again lie empty.

But instead of leaving it unoccupied for most of the year, start thinking about how else you could use that room – perhaps an office, a sewing room, a games room, or maybe, just maybe, you could keep it as a bedroom and use it to give another child an opportunity in life.

You could use it to welcome another child into your family - a child who, for whatever reason, can’t live with their own family and needs a place they can call home. Somewhere they feel safe.

There are many children across Slough who need a foster family to help look after them, either in a short-term or long-term capacity, so Slough Children’s Services Trust is seeking more foster carers to come forward and open up their home and their family to a child in need.

Slough Children\'s Trust logoMany foster carers have already seen their own children grow up and leave home, but have then decided to continue using their nurturing and parenting skills. They want to continue to be able to offer the love and support they gave their own children to make sure another child has a better opportunity in life – an opportunity to be safe, secure and successful.

Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “Fostering is such an incredible way of making a very real contribution to society. It is a chance to make a difference to the life of a child who, through no fault of their own, may not have had the greatest start in life.

“You can never underestimate the impact that good foster carers can have on a child, supporting them in developing opportunities to achieve and succeed in ways they may never have thought possible.”

Do you now have space in your home and space in your heart to support a child in need? Could you help give a child a brighter future?

To find out more about fostering, what it involves and the support Slough Children’s Services Trust can give you, phone 0800 073 0291, email familyplacement@scstrust.co.uk, or visit the Trust website.

Health, care and support

Adult social care survey

Slough Borough Council is in the process of reviewing services available to people aged over 60 living within the town.

This will include reviewing our current day care centre services. We want to hear from local people aged over 60 years about what is important to them, in order to help develop our future local offer including day opportunities.

To help understand what is important, we have developed a short questionnaire, with freepost returns, with the help of the Slough 50plus Forum (formerly Slough Older People’s Forum).

This will be available within various settings around the town including GP surgeries, The Curve, community centres and places of worship. Alternatively it can be completed online.

If you are aged 60 years or over or support an older family member, friend or neighbour, we want to hear what is important to you.

Please help by completing the questionnaire before 19 January 2018.

For copies of the questionnaire, help completing it, or for more information, please email Sally.Kitson@slough.gov.uk or call 01753 690421.

SPACE welcomes new services

Space logoSlough Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS) has announced the successful bidders in its round for SPACE funding in 2018.

The SPACE consortium brings together charities and voluntary groups who assist Slough residents with quality information and advice (e.g. around debt, benefits and immigration), provides support for carers and offers activities to help people to improve their wellbeing.

Autism Berkshire, Men’s Matters, Berkshire Education and Youth, Age UK, Rise and Shine and The Future Foundation have joined the consortium to provide new services in 2018.

These additional services will include information and advice for adults with autism, their parents and carers; cooking and digital skills courses for men; healthy activities for older and vulnerable people; community cohesion workshops and a shopping service for older people.

Ramesh Kukar, CEO of SCVS, said: “We look forward to working with a wide range of organisations across Slough to continue to provide quality and community based services which are focused on the needs of local residents.”

The new groups will work alongside other charities who are current SPACE associates and together they will ensure residents can access advice and support when they need it, as well as activities in the community to keep people active socially and physically.

For more information on SPACE and each service area, visit the Slough Advice Centre website.

A list of activities in the community is available, or visit Slough Carers Support website for details on support available.

Slough Treatment, Advice and Recovery Team (START)

Turning Point logoHelp and advice for anyone concerned about substance use is available for free.

Turning Point Services Ltd now delivers all drug and alcohol services in Slough, at Elliman Resource Centre, as an integrated service.

The free and confidential service is for anyone who is concerned about their own or someone else’s substance use.

The service offers:

  • health checks
  • access to community activities and wellbeing schemes
  • one-to-one support and groups
  • recovery and mutual aid groups
  • personalised support
  • specialised young people support
  • families and carers support
  • peer mentoring and volunteering opportunities
  • needle exchanges
  • relapse prevention
  • access to online referral and self assessment
  • range of education, training and employment
  • access to free online resources 24/7.

Councillor Sabia Hussain said: “Since fully taking on the contract in April, Turning Point has proved how valuable a service they offer, by helping residents with a range of issues.

“Anyone with concerns can get in touch for intensive support, or even just some brief advice, to really take charge of their health and wellbeing.”

A service user said: “Turning Point (START) have been very supportive in my journey to recovery. I found, and still do find them empathetic and non-judgmental. They guided me in finding my triggers and tools to cope with them, which has enabled me to remain in maintenance of my addiction. I shall forever be grateful to them.”

Turning Point also works in partnership with other agencies to offer the best service to clients.

Find out more about the service online.  

Location 

The service is based at Elliman Resource Centre, 27 Pursers Close (off Elliman Avenue), Slough, SL2 5DL.

It is open at 10am every weekday and stays open until 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursday. It also opens on Saturdays from 11am-3pm. 

Contacts  

You can call the service on 01753 692548 or email non-confidential information and enquiries to START@turning-point.co.uk

Confidential information should be sent by secure email to START@turningpoint.co.uk.cjsm.net

Modern slavery and hidden harms

Slough Borough Council is supporting the Thames Valley Police ‘Hidden Harms’ campaign which puts the spotlight on a number of different abuse-related crimes, starting with modern slavery.

Thames Valley Police records three modern slavery crimes every week across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Hidden harm is the undetected and unreported abuse of a person or people – physically, emotionally, psychologically or financially.

Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain.

It can take many forms including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, forced begging, criminal exploitation and organ harvesting.

Anyone can be a victim of abuse but some people may be more vulnerable.

Thames Valley Police’s Hidden Harm campaign will run over the next 18 months focusing on a number of different abuse-related crimes including modern slavery, child abuse, honour based abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse and hate crime.

The key message is to keep your eyes open to abuse and if you see it, report it. 

What are we doing in Slough? 

  • There is a multi-agency modern slavery group which looks at raising awareness and our local responses to cases of suspected slavery.
  • The council’s community safety team has facilitated training for more than 100 people so far, to raise awareness of modern slavery.
  • Trading standards, food safety and licensing have distributed awareness posters to a range of businesses in the area.
  • There is information on the council’s website about modern slavery, how to spot the signs, and how to report it. 

Contacts

If you believe someone could be a victim of abuse call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If a person is at immediate risk of harm always call 999.

If you want advice, guidance or need support on any modern slavery issue, contact the Modern Slavery Helpline anytime, night or day on 08000 121 700.

You can watch the ‘Modern Slavery – could you spot the signs?’ video by searching Thames Valley Police on YouTube, or find out more on the Thames Valley Police website.

Victim Support

A charity offering help and support to victims of all types of crime is holding a drop-in session.

Victim Support can offer emotional support, as well as practical support and advocacy, for as long as the client needs, as well as signposting them to other agencies for more specialised support if needed.

They can offer support on a range of issues, such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, road death, burglary, assault, robbery, child abuse (both recent and historic), and harassment.

A drop-in session is available until 13 December, on Wednesdays at The Curve in William Street, Slough, from 2.30-4.30pm. The support is free and in confidence.

For more information, visit the Victim Support website.

Healthwatch Slough awarded new contract

Slough Borough Council has awarded Healthwatch Slough a new 18 month contract to continue gathering people's views and experiences of health and social care services in Slough.

Healthwatch Slough is part of a national network of 148 independent local organisations set up by the government across England. The new contract began in October.

Colin Pill, Chair of Healthwatch Slough, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract. Over the past four years, Healthwatch Slough has developed the service to reflect the unique needs and character of Slough and its people. This contract will allow us to build on the excellent work we have already done in the community to promote and capture patient views and ensure people are at the heart of our local health and social care services."

Alan Sinclair, the council’s director of adult social care, said: “It is vital that health and social care providers listen to the views and experiences of our service users so we improve and shape future services across Slough, ensuring they meet the needs of our local population. Healthwatch Slough is well placed to do this and we look forward to working with them as they champion the voices of patients and service users across the county." 

Contact Healthwatch  

Call 01753 325333 (Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm)

Email enquiries@healthwatchslough.co.uk

Visit the Healthwatch website.

Destination of choice

The Curve's first birthday

The first year of operation at The Curve has been a huge success with thousands of people exploring the centre.

The library and cultural centre has seen a 59 per cent increase in library membership and a 42 per cent increase in children’s borrowing.

There have been births registered and marriages conducted at the register office and Venue @The Curve has hosted a variety of shows and events, including sell-out pantomime performances.

Councillor Sohail Munawar, leader of the council, said: “This flagship building, approved in 2009 as part of the Heart of Slough plan and built by Slough Urban Renewal, opened to acclaim in September 2016. A vibrant cultural hub – its dramatic design is a regional winner of the LABC ‘Best public service building’. The Curve has transformed the town centre and triggered further regeneration and investment.”

A week of activities was organised to celebrate the milestone birthday.

There are constantly activities going on both within the library and The Curve as a whole, so make sure to visit The Curve website or follow The Curve on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.

Have a look at more infographics showing The Curve's first year.

Penalties for bad behaviour

Slough Borough Council has enacted a new legal order that will give the council and the police greater power to curb anti-social behaviour in public places across the town.

The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which came into force on 13 October, prohibits a range of activities including street drinking, going to the toilet in public, and spitting.

The PSPO allows officers from the council and Thames Valley Police to issue on-the-spot fines of up to £100 or take offenders to court to face a heavier sentence.

A conviction for breaching the PSPO could carry a fine of up to £1,000.

Councillor Arvind Dhaliwal, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: “The residents of Slough have a right to expect their local neighbourhoods to be clean, and provide a decent standard of living for the people who live there.

“We’ve listened carefully to the concerns of our residents and studied four years of data from the council and emergency services to identify the areas that would benefit most from a PSPO.

“Council officers and the police are often best placed to deal with lower-level, anti-social behaviour and this order will give them greater powers to act.”

The PSPO was implemented after a consultation with residents in July, which showed positive feedback on its use.

This will be the first time Slough has used a PSPO to cover significant areas of the borough since the tool was introduced by the government in 2014 as part of a major overhaul of anti-social behaviour laws.

PSPOs combine and expand on the powers of previous anti-social behaviour orders, such as Designated Public Place Orders (more commonly known as ‘no drinking’ zones) and gating orders.

The PSPO will cover nine areas of the borough. Some parts of Cippenham, where there was little evidence to justify using a PSPO, have been excluded.

Detective Chief Inspector Nikki Pierce, of Slough local police area’s senior management team, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Slough Borough Council and the community safety team to tackle anti-social behaviour which has an immediate and long-lasting effect on people’s quality of life.

“Together we will use this order to stamp out unacceptable behaviour in the borough, helping to keep our public spaces safe, clean, and pleasurable to live in.”

Residents can expect to see areas covered by the PSPO clearly signed, including details of the offences, and the penalties that can be incurred.

To see the full list of streets included, as well as maps and a copy of the order, visit the council's website.

Team effort to improve community space

Teamwork and community spirit helped spruce up a Slough park.

The community volunteer day in Baylis Park was organised jointly with SNAP (Slough North Action Project), Councillor Fiza Matloob, Slough Amey and the council’s parks and community safety teams.

Councillor Fiza Matloob, ward councillor for Baylis and Stoke, said: “We had a great turn out of around 20 volunteers who came along to the historic walled garden to learn and take part in gardening activities such as rose and fruit pruning, tree planting and weeding and tidying the beds and borders.

“It was a fun morning and the support from the community towards making this beautiful historic garden even more special was great.”

The community safety team also organised a litter pick on the day and the SNAP members organised laughing yoga and rewarded participants with chocolate.

The council is planning to apply for Heritage Lottery funding to restore Baylis Park and is looking for people to work with them and SNAP to help influence and support the application.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Bruce Hicks on bruce.hicks@slough.gov.uk

Housing

Brand new housing complete

A new development named after a former mayor has been completed.

Lydia Court in Elliman Avenue is a development of 11 council homes and was named after Lydia Simmons, former Slough Mayor and the first ever black lady Mayor in the UK.

Lydia was given a tour around the apartments, which have been built for the council by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), a partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd.

There are one, two and three bedroom apartments, including a ground floor three bedroom apartment built to wheelchair standards, with its own front door access, dedicated parking and garden area.

This specially designed property has been allocated to a family currently on the housing waiting list and housing officers worked with occupational therapists to ensure the needs of the family were met.

Councillor Zaffar Ajaib, cabinet member for housing, said: “Lydia has a long history of service to Slough residents, particularly in the area of housing, and we wanted to honour her incredible service, loyalty and advocacy to the town.

“It was an honour to help show Lydia around the flats – in particular the flat created and equipped especially for one of our disabled tenants.

“The flats are excellent and we are proud to be building new council homes for local residents.”

What's on

What’s on in Slough libraries

A Gruffalo winter wonderland in libraries 

This holiday visit your local library for winter fun with the Gruffalo and Winnie and Wilbur.

The Gruffalo will be visiting us in person, plus why not pop along and learn how to animate the Gruffalo story with Animation Expressions – just £3 per child!

We will also be doing some snowy creative writing with ExploreLearning’s Chilly Billy sessions and Winnie and Wilbur themed crafts.

Visit the Slough Libraries website for more information on event and activities. 

Read comics online for free 

Did you know you can now read comics online completely free with Comics Plus and your Slough Library card?

Find comics for all ages including Angry Birds, Ghostbusters and My Little Pony for the younger ones and other titles like Naruto, Transformers, Hellboy (for ages 16+) and 28 Days later (for ages 16+) for older readers.

Hop along to our website to create your account and download the app!  

Ark Farm 

  • Britwell Library Tuesday 19 December 10.30am-12.30pm
  • Library @ The Curve Tuesday 19 December 2.30pm-4.30pm
  • Langley Library Thursday 21 December 10.30am-12.30pm
  • Cippenham Library Thursday 21 December 2.30-4.30pm

Aladdin Pantomime

The Daily Mile

A formal launch event for The Daily Mile initiative took place in front of pupils from 10 schools.

The Daily Mile is a unique programme which sees primary school children (and their teachers) walking, jogging and running one mile, every single day. The aim is to increase attainment in schools, help with concentration, get people more active and reduce levels of childhood obesity.

The council’s public health team held the formal launch in October at Godolphin Infant School, which involved an engaging presentation from the Slough pioneers for The Daily Mile, Priory School.

If you or your school would like to be involved, or simply want more information, email PublicHealthSlough@slough.gov.uk

You can follow the public health team on Twitter @SloughPH or visit the council's website to find out more about the initiative.  

Join the team in helping make every Slough child active, every day. #TheDailyMile

Town centre events

YES logo2 December - Empoword

3-5pm at the YES shop (next to Robert Dyas), then moving over to The Curve

Youth Engagement Slough's monthly spoken word event, led by Aik Saath, offering young people aged 11 to 25 opportunities to write and share poetry. For more information, call Declan from YES on 07580 123567.

4 December - Film club

4.30-6.30pm at the YES shop

Youth Engagement Slough's weekly filmmaking workshop, led by Resource Productions, offering young people aged 11 to 25 opportunities to make and watch films.                                        

5 December - Slough Arts Forum

6-9pm at The Curve

This is a meeting and networking event for amateur, professional and aspiring artists and arts organisations, to discuss their work and future collaborations. For more information, call Oliver from Resource Productions on 01753 553374. 

6 December - Curve Films

Curve logoFrom 6pm

A number of films will be screened for the general public. Book your seats online.

11 December - Bring Your Own Future – VR and Watercolour Workshop

6-8pm at Slough CVS, 29 Church Street, SL1 1PL

Virtual Reality and watercolours - at the same time or separately, organised by HOME Slough.

13-23 December – Aladdin pantomime

Guests at The Curve will be treated to a show packed with hit songs, comedy, plenty of audience interaction and pantomime’s favourite dame, Widow Twankey. Book your seats online or by calling bookings on 0333 666 3366. 

16-17 December - Festive Fun

Join in a weekend of family fun in the town square and high street. There will be stalls, face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon modelling, a Christmas trail and other activities, from 10am - 5pm.

21 December - Link4Coffee Networking Event

9.30-11.30am at Natasha Cosmetics & Café, 305 High Street, SL1 1BD

This is a relaxed open event to network. Contact Link4Growth’s Maria Muczko on 07725 147583 or email office@natashacosmetics.co.uk 

6 January - Bring Your Own Future – VR Watercolour Workshop

2-5.30pm at The Curve meeting room 2

This is a longer session getting together watercolours and VR work in readiness for a formal event and exhibition. Book online.

18 January - Slough Arts Forum

7-9pm at The Curve

Amateur, professional and aspiring artists and arts organisations can meet and discuss their work and future collaborations.  

24 January - Slough Town Centre Partnership meeting

Toen centre partnership logo10-11.30am at The Gallery @ The Curve

A bi-monthly meeting and free networking event for retailers and businesses to discuss town centre improvements, issues impacting their business and measures to attract more visitors and shoppers into the town centre.

20 January - Bring Your Own Future final event

All day event at The Curve, William Street, SL1 1XY.

Final event for Bring Your Own Future including speakers and activities looking at a future Slough, plus an exhibition of the work created during the project.

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