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A word from the council's leader

In September 1938, Slough received its Royal Charter and became a borough council. I trialled this at the start of the year, but September will be the focus of our official birthday celebrations – marking 80 years of our role in supporting Slough’s community.

Slough celebrated the opening of the town hall in the run up to receiving the Royal Charter – so, it seems a fitting confirmation of that tradition, that this year has seen the opening of a raft of new public buildings and community facilities. Salt Hill Family Activity Centre and the extended and refurbished Langley Leisure Centre opened to the public in July, and several new school and nursery buildings have opened this year or will be ready by September.

Another raft of outdoor gyms should help residents stay healthy and enjoy our parks this summer – the new one at Manor Park Recreation Ground was enjoyed by many residents at the ‘Great Get Together’ event in July. And the festival spirit from the Charter Summer of 1938 is picked up this year by our Horticultural Show and the Canal Festival in September.

I hope you enjoy reading The Citizen, enjoy our new leisure facilities and community events – and enjoy this, our 80th summer as a borough! 

Councillor James Swindlehurst

 

Full PDF of the edition

Read this edition of Citizen in full.

Rugby star Ugo Monye opens school extension

An air of excitement spread throughout a school as a retired rugby star and former pupil officially opened their new extension.

Former pupil, Harlequins and England rugby player, sports commentator and Adidas ambassador, Ugo Monye, returned to St Mary’s CE Primary School in Yew Tree Road in June.

This was to open the new two-storey extension which provides six new classrooms, a new multi-use gym/sports hall, main entrance and reception area.

The extension, remodelling and refurbishment of St Mary’s forms part of the council’s ambitious 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.

Andy Howell from Slough Urban Renewal, headteacher Rachel Cross, Ugo Monye, Councillor Shabnum Sadiq and Roy Burley from Slough Urban Renewal

Rachel Cross, headteacher at St Mary’s CE Primary School, said: “We are thrilled with our new school buildings which stand out proudly on Yew Tree Road and are truly reflective of 21st century learning environments. Children, parents and staff have all experienced the ‘wow factor’ when walking into our new school as it is light, bright and spacious.”

Councillor Shabnum Sadiq, cabinet member for education and children, added: “Slough is growing fast and we are working hard to meet the demand for additional school places through our ambitious school places programme. The work at St Mary’s demonstrates the council’s commitment to providing high quality learning environments. We look forward to pupils benefitting from St Mary’s wonderful new facilities for years to come.”

During the opening, Mr Monye helped to cut the ribbon and a cake, and unveiled a plaque marking the school’s expansion, before touring the new facilities.

The school’s students, teachers and governors, as well as representatives from Slough Borough Council Property Services, Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), and Morgan Sindall Construction, also attended.

The St Mary’s expansion project was undertaken by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), a partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd.

Nursery extension complete

Cllr Sadiq, cabinet member for children and education, Michael Jarrett, SBC, and nursery staff join children in celebrating the new extension

An extension at Lascelles Park Nursery has opened up 39 new places for three and four year old children.

The council is celebrating the completion of the work in Lascelles Park, which followed a successful bid to the Department for Education to get much needed funds to offer more 30 hour childcare places across the borough.

The government in its manifesto made a commitment to give working parents of three and four year olds across the country, 30 hours of free childcare a week, and so invited local councils to bid for money from the Early Years Capital Fund to increase the provision of childcare places.

Cllr Shabnum Sadiq, cabinet member for education and children, said: “Increasing the number of free childcare places for working parents is a key priority for the council, and I am delighted we can now offer more places at this amazing new facility.

“We know it is very difficult for some parents to go back to work after having children because of the high costs of childcare, so providing 30 hours of free childcare with these new places could make a huge difference to some families.”

The council was also successful in another bid to provide an extension to Blue Willow Day Nursery, in Salt Hill Park, and building work was due to be complete in July.

Fraud warning to residents

Slough Borough Council is reminding residents and tenants they should never give out their bank details or bank card numbers if they are cold called by companies claiming to work on behalf of the council.

Slough Borough Council would never call residents or customers asking for these details, so it is very likely you would be the victim of fraud if you give these details over.

The warning comes after a council tenant was contacted by a company called GSM, claiming to work on council tax rebates on behalf of the council.

They asked the tenant for her bank details as well as the long card number on her bank card. They claimed she had a rebate of £4,000 that needed to be put in her account.

Luckily the tenant refused to give any information and hung up, reporting the call to her bank and the council.

Cllr Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing, said: “I would like to reinforce to our tenants and residents, that this is not the way the council does business. We would never call out of the blue and ask you for bank details.

“Luckily this story has a happy ending - this tenant was wary of the call she received and no money was taken from her account. However it could have turned into a nightmare if she had given her details.

“I would urge everyone to keep their wits about them if they receive calls like this in the future.”

There is advice on spotting the signs of a scam, and how to report concerns, on the Citizens Advice website.

Bulky waste collections

New costs for collecting bulky waste items have been introduced and residents can now pay for the service over the phone.

The special collection service is available for residents who wish to dispose of items that are too large or heavy to fit into their black bin.

Previously there was one set charge for up to five items, but now the cost is £5 per item, with a minimum charge of £15. A maximum of seven items is allowed per collection.

Example of item units:

  • table plus four chairs is five items
  • three piece suite is three items
  • bed base and mattress is two items
  • wardrobe is one item (bundle as one if dismantled or broken).

It’s important to dispose of your waste correctly and by using a licensed waste carrier. People offering to collect things cheaply on social media may not be genuine, and your waste could end up being fly-tipped. If evidence leads back to you, you’ll be the one in trouble for not checking the person taking the waste was properly licensed.

A free service is available for residents who are registered disabled or households where the sole occupants are pensioners (limited to two per year per household).

To arrange a bulky waste collection, contact environmental services on 01753 475111 option 4. 

Help us to recycle

Recycling items into the correct bin helps prevent more items from going into landfill and is better for the environment.

Different areas accept different items in their recycling – so it’s important to look into what you can put in your red bin in Slough, compared to your friend in the Royal Borough, for example.

Yes please

Items should be put in your bin clean, dry and loose.

  • Cardboard food boxes and egg cartons (flattened).
  • Drink cans and food tins.
  • Glass jars and bottles (rinse and remove lids).
  • Paper, magazines, newspapers and catalogues.
  • Plastic drinks, shampoo and washing up liquid bottles.
  • Toilet or kitchen roll inner cardboard.
  • Wrapping paper.

No thanks

If your red bin contains any of the following, it may not be emptied.

  • Aerosols*.
  • Batteries.
  • Bin liners, sacks, plastic bags or cling film.
  • Food trays, yoghurt pots and margarine tubs.
  • Food waste (some food waste you can compost).
  • Green waste (use your green bin or you can compost).
  • Hazardous waste*.
  • Liquids.
  • Metal objects*.
  • Milk and juice cartons*.
  • Nappies.
  • Shredded paper or polystyrene.
  • Textiles (use your local recycle bring bank).
  • Toys (if in good condition, use your local charity shop).

*These can be recycled at Chalvey Household Waste Recycling Centre.

For more information on our black, red and green bins, including bin collection dates, visit the council's website.

Survey winner

In the last edition of Citizen we published a customer strategy consultation, asking for your views on how we deliver customer services.

Thank you to everyone who responded. The results will help us to shape how things work in the future.

From the entries received, we did a prize draw for an Amazon Echo.

Our winner was Takee Glancy, who was presented with the prize by Councillor Sabia Hussain, deputy leader and cabinet member for transformation and performance.

Look out for future consultations and surveys so you can have your say on issues that may affect you.

Visit the council's consultations page for updates.

More signs installed to help motorists

The council’s transport and highways team has added three new variable message signs to ensure motorists are informed on updates that may affect their journeys.

The additional signs were installed at the junction of Farnham Road and Broad Oak Court, on Stoke Poges Lane near Northern Road, and at Sussex Place near Dolphin Road in May.

The new signs were placed at either a main route or at a decision making point; aiming to further assist car users while out on the road.

Councillor Martin Carter, cabinet member for planning and transport, said: “The safety and peace of mind of motorists in and around the borough is of the utmost importance to us.

“We have these signs in place to offer advanced warning of any upcoming issues on key routes, so drivers can stay informed and conveniently alter their journeys if they need to.”

There are now 11 signs across the borough to inform drivers on everything from major traffic incidents and road closures to public events such as park events and parades.

In the future, the signs will incorporate road safety messages that will tie in with national campaigns such as preventing drink-driving and using mobiles while driving.

M4 smart motorway upgrade

The first in a series of public information events have been held to keep the community informed on the M4 switch to a smart motorway.

Highways England will begin upgrading the 32-mile stretch of motorway between junction three at Hayes, west London and junction 12 at Theale, Berkshire after the summer.

The aim is to reduce congestion once the work is completed in the spring of 2022.

The first phase of these works will happen at junction eight and nine at Maidenhead in September and is scheduled to be completed in May 2020.

At the same time, work will start on four bridges between junctions seven, eight and nine.

Highways England held information sessions to discuss the scheme in July. Works east of junctions eight and nine will start next spring, so information sessions in Slough will take place in the New Year to ensure information is up to date closer to the works.

Councillor Martin Carter, cabinet member for planning and transport, said: “The work taking place on the M4 may affect those living, working and studying in Slough, as well as once the work has been completed.

“If you think the upgrade may impact journeys you are taking, I highly recommend you attend the information events, so you can familiarise yourself with what this switch means during the works and so you can also become comfortable with how to use a smart motorway.”

Key features of a smart motorway include set speed limits to smooth traffic flows, converting the hard shoulder into an additional lane and the creation of highly visible emergency areas which will be no more than 1.6 miles apart. So if you are driving at 60mph you will pass one approximately once a minute.

Find out more about the M4 smart motorway project.

Facilities available for hire within Slough

The Curve

Slough Borough Council offers a wide range of facilities available to hire for both regular and one off bookings by clubs and individuals.

Our room spaces and bars are perfect for events from birthday parties to weddings, christenings, Christmas nights out or anything in between.

Available facilities include:

  • Arbour Park Community Sports Stadium – this has a new floodlit 3G artificial pitch and is one of 28 in the country to be awarded the prestigious FIFA Quality Pro certificate. Arbour Park is ideal for any business or corporate meeting, wedding or party and we have a licensed bar available. We also work with approved caterers to accommodate all your needs to make a special event. This site also offers children’s sports parties which includes pitch, club room and community kitchen.
  • The Curve has several meeting rooms and The Venue, which can hold small theatre productions, conferences, meetings, wedding or parties and there are approved caterers to accommodate your needs.
  • We have community centres throughout Slough which have both large and small halls to accommodate all your needs. These are Britwell Community Centre, Chalvey Community Centre, Chalvey Pavilion, Cippenham Community Centre, Langley Pavilion, Manor Park Community Centre, Upton Lea Community Centre, Weekes Drive Community Centre and Westfield Community Centre. We offer special children’s birthday party rates between 9am and 5pm.

Sports facilities and pitches to hire 

Football and cricket pitches can be hired for one-off fixtures or can be block booked.

We have pitches available to hire at Arbour Park, Harvey Park, Kedermister Park, Lascelles Park, Mercian Way, Upton Court Park, Eltham Avenue and Salt Hill.

If they are block booked this may attract a VAT exemption to the fee.

Find out more on the council's website. You can send your enquiry form to the bookings team at communitycentres@slough.gov.uk

Alternatively you can call 01753 875401 or 01753 875762 to enquire about availability and make a booking.

Are you looking for a venue for a wake or celebration of life for your loved one? 

The loss of a loved one is always difficult. The team at Arbour Park is there to take away the pressure of organising a wake at an already emotional time. At Arbour Park they are able to offer a modern fully air-conditioned function room which benefits from having its own bar facilities and outside terraces. They can cater for a simple buffet, a large wake, or simply offer somewhere private to reflect with family and friends. They offer a range of hot or cold catering options and can include reception drinks on arrival and refreshments throughout.

Arbour Park also provides full on-site disabled access and free car parking. They are ideally located for funeral receptions following services held nearby at the Slough Crematorium.

For more information please call 01753 875401 or 01753 875762.

Children and young people

Slough Youth Awards - nominate now

Summer holiday fun

Did you know…….? 

Research shows that a love of books and reading with young children has a direct impact on how well they do at school. From pregnancy onwards your child can enjoy stories.

But reading doesn’t just have to be about books, children can enjoy reading in all sorts of forms – including comics, newspapers, shop signs, bus shelter messages etc.

So come and join us for our Comic Creations sessions taking place at your local children’s centre throughout the summer holidays, where we will be bringing comics and stories to life with our fun and interactive sessions for families with children aged two to seven.

Amazing Adventures

Be like Dora the Explorer and become an adventurer in the outdoors, creating maps, building dens and hunting for treasure.

Spectacular Superheroes

Superheroes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from Wonder Woman, to Spiderman, to the people who help us every day. Join in with lots of hero themed fun from obstacle courses to making a splash with water play.

Fantastic Fairytales

Just like your favourite Disney characters, enter a world of wonderment by making your own castle, creating potions and singing and dancing to your favourite songs.

Terrific Transport

Thomas the Tank Engine loves to travel and meet his friends and you can too with lots of activities including model making and pretend play.

Messy Monsters

There is always a monster or two in our favourite stories…come and be a messy one with us. Together we will create lots of mess with slime, paint and more.

Younger children

Have you got a baby or toddler, up to two years old and want to join in some fun activities? Then how about coming along to one of our Ready, Steady, Read play and learn sessions. You and your child will be able to partake in lots of fun story-based activities, just on a smaller scale for little ones.

Find out more

Look out for our summer timetable of activities in your local children’s centre. Full details are available on Slough Family Services website or email FIS@slough.org.uk

For more information regarding activities to do with your child or how to book for summer holiday places for children aged three months to eight years, please call and speak to staff for more details on the below numbers.

(Please note that during the summer holidays we offer childcare places at Chalvey Grove, Monksfield Way, Romsey Close and Penn Road Children’s Centres).

Slough's children's centres

  • Chalvey Grove Children's Centre - 01753 574387
  • Elliman Avenue Children's Centre - 01753 896688
  • Monksfield Way Children's Centre - 01753 578691
  • Orchard Avenue Children's Centre - 01628 661789
  • Penn Road Children's Centre - 01753 574420
  • Romsey Close Children's Centre - 01753 540797
  • St Andrews Way Children's Centre - 01628 559085
  • Vicarage Way Children's Centre - 01753 684455
  • Wexham Road Children's Centre - 01753 533543
  • Yew Tree Road Children's Centre - 01753 527571

Getting ready for school – top tip

Lessen the anxiety for a child going to a new school. Walk past the new school with your child during the summer holiday. Get them ready with the routine so it is not so daunting in September.

Try this activity

Over the summer, try doing different activities with your children. Why not make a delicious fruit kebab with different fruits chopped up? It gets your child used to food preparation and teaches them healthy food habits.

Parents can encourage their children to keep up with their learning over the summer, continue to read together and find educational talking points when out and about.

See our next article for more summer holiday activity ideas.

Activities during the summer break

The council’s Family Information Resource Support Team (FIRST), previously FIS, has pulled together a list of summer holiday activities. A selection is shown below.

For information and guidance about summer holiday activities and a wide range of services for children, young people and their families in Slough visit the Slough Family Information Service website. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, call the team on 01753 476589.

Active Slough - Slough Borough Council

A huge programme of activities runs throughout the year, with an additional school’s out summer programme. There’s something for all ages. Download the programme on the Active Slough webpage.

Slough children’s centres

There are 10 children’s centres in Slough, each with a variety of activities, including early years and holiday club provision.  

Slough libraries

There is always loads going on in Slough’s libraries. Pop into your nearest one to find out more, or visit the council's website.

Parks in Slough

Take a look at the council's website for a list of Slough’s 76 outdoor playgrounds and play spaces.

There are plenty of free opportunities for families to enjoy the play facilities and our green spaces. There are tennis courts, skate parks, green gyms, and multi-use areas as well as playgrounds for younger children.

Salt Hill Activity Centre

The new Salt Hill Activity Centre in Bath Road is now open, with six lanes for ten pin bowling, a caving zone, high wire course, trampolining, soft play area and party room. Visit Everyone Active's website for full details.

Slough Ice Arena

The refurbished ice arena in Montem Lane is looking great, with a full size ice rink, Clip ‘n Climb, climbing wall, gym and café. Find out more at Everyone Active's website.

Everyone Active holiday camp – until 24 August

Running at Montem Leisure Centre in Montem Lane, activities will include swimming, arts and crafts sessions, parachute games, team games and sports specific activities. From £20.60 per day. Find out more by calling 01753 894700 or email Jacksteadman@everyoneactive.com

Cycle skills for children

The Cycle Experience will run sessions in Salt Hill Park, including learn to balance and ride and Bikeability level 2 and level 3. Visit the Cycle Experience website to secure a place.

YES (Youth Engagement Slough)

YES runs activities for 11-19 year olds. Visit the YES Slough website or call 01753 574780.

Summer art club

Sessions will run at the Observatory Shopping Centre, Slough, near Primark, every day from 11am-6pm. For ages 4+, costs from £7. Visit the Art Classes Group for full details.

GDT Slough Tennis Camps

Sessions will run at the tennis courts in Salt Hill Park for ages 5-15. Costs vary depending on the length of the session and daily or weekly bookings. Find out more at the GDT tennis website and pre book online.

Powerleague

This facility in Ragstone Road, Chalvey, is running football camps to develop your child’s skills, fitness and confidence. Sessions run until 31 August for ages 5-12, costing from £11 a day. Find out more at the Powerleague website or call 01753 824422.

Other things you could try  

  • Taking a picnic to your local park.
  • Fruit picking – kids love picking their own raspberries and strawberries in the summer. It’s a great way to get them eating healthy treats too.
  • Get baking.
  • Get creative in the garden - set a tent up in your back garden (a sheet would work too) and have a barbecue, try a treasure hunt with small treats, set up a mini crazy golf circuit, camp out and star gaze, turn your garden into a water park, or get their hands dirty with gardening.

See our previous article for other holiday fun activities.

Celebrating the wider foster family

Foster carers do an incredible job, taking in the most vulnerable children in Slough and giving them a loving, nurturing home where they can feel safe and secure. But it is not just the foster carers who play an important role, the children of those carers are as important when it comes to welcoming that child and making them feel part of the family.

Children of foster carers have the advantage of understanding the family set-up intimately while also knowing the pressures that young people can face. They can use this awareness to help their new foster brother or sister settle in and develop a sense of belonging, something that is key to the stability of the placement. They can also provide someone who isn’t an adult they can talk to and get support and friendship from.

Slough Children’s Services Trust recently hosted its annual Kids Care 2 celebration to say thank you to the children of foster carers for what they do to support other children, and the overriding message that came out of the event was that being part of a foster family was helping those children to develop emotionally well beyond their years.

Awards were presented by Slough MP, Tan Dhesi, who said: “While foster carers are rightly recognised by us all for being compassionate and caring, their children also need a very big heart to share everything including their family, toys, parents’ love and attention, and much more besides with that new child.”

People can often be put off from becoming a foster carer because of the perceived effect it could have on their own children but, based on the evidence on display, the reality is very different.

Many foster carers in Slough will point to the maturity their children possess as a result of being part of a foster family. At the Kids Care 2 celebration, nearly all the citations read out at the presentation of awards highlighted the positive impact of being part of a foster family, with children developing a caring, compassionate temperament that has made their parents incredibly proud.

If you thought having children was a barrier to foster care then think again. It could be the best thing to happen to your children.

To find out more, get in touch with the trust’s fostering team by calling 0800 073 0291, email foster@scstrust.co.uk, or visit the Trust's website.  

Health, care and support

A celebration of carers

Carers had the chance to feel special and valued at a series of activities to celebrate National Carers Week.

Slough Carers Support, in partnership with local organisations, marked the week from 11-17 June with events throughout Slough.

Activities included yoga, a visit to the Royal Opera House, afternoon tea, a Samba drumming performance, networking and social events, Boccia and indoor curling, music, dance, art, mindfulness sessions, a pampering session and more.

Carers Week offered an opportunity for Slough’s 11,600 carers to take a break, have some fun and meet up with other carers to enjoy the variety of activities.

In addition, the week included an Unsung Heroes Celebratory Event in Chalvey, which recognised the invaluable contributions of carers across the borough.

Mayor of Slough, Councillor Paul Sohal, addressed the 100 people in attendance, commending all the hard work that the borough’s carers do.

Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and social care, said: "We are so proud of our carers in Slough, who work every day to make a difference in our local communities.

“Carers Week is our way of saying a big thank you to them and celebrating their work, which is extremely important and valued by all of us."

Zhora Jefferies, who attended the activities, said: "Carers week was wonderful, it was delightful to get out for a week and meet other carers."

Another carer said: “Going to the Royal Opera House to see Swan Lake was excellent, I had a really memorable time."

During the week, carers were also able to find out about organisations and networks available to support them, as well as sign up to the Slough Carers Card, which offers discounts at a range of local shops, businesses and services.

For more help and support, visit the Slough Carers Support website or Slough Council for Voluntary Services to find out about local opportunities.

Befriending service

If you are feeling lonely or isolated, you could benefit from a new befriending service.

Thames Valley Housing has launched a service to befriend people of all ages to help tackle loneliness and isolation.

The service is funded through Slough CVS and in conjunction with the SPACE consortium. There is telephone and face to face support, and the service aims to build confidence and link people into community activities, groups and voluntary experiences.

The launch of the service ties in nicely with the council and Slough Wellbeing Board’s #ReachOut campaign, which also aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation.

The #ReachOut campaign is encouraging everyone in Slough to take small actions to help themselves and others who may be feeling lonely.

For some people, their circumstances mean it's harder to make friends and spend time with other people – for example, an older person who isn’t able to get out much due to poor health or a lack of transport may find they are socially isolated. But sometimes you can even feel lonely even if you’re surrounded by people.

According to research published by Oxford Economics and the Centre for Social Research, eating meals alone is the biggest cause of unhappiness after mental illness. This makes people unhappier than financial problems or physical disabilities.

If you or someone you know is feeling lonely or isolated and would benefit from personalised support, contact the befriending service on 0208 607 0648 or email ella_cosgrove@tvha.co.uk

Multilingual befriending service 

Building Futures Together (BFT) launched a new multilingual telephone befriending service at the start of July.

They have already trained a large number of volunteers to run the service, who are all DBS checked.

Currently support is available in:

  • English
  • Punjabi
  • Urdu
  • Polish
  • Arabic
  • French
  • Hindi
  • Gujarati
  • Bengali
  • Tamil
  • Sinhalese
  • Patois
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese.

The service is free and they can be contacted on 01753 555650 or email bftenquiry@gmail.com.

The service can also refer or signpost clients to other support services as needed.

In future there may be the possibility of providing face-to-face visits if the necessary funding is secured.

Volunteering opportunities 

There is still room for more volunteers with all of the languages listed above, plus Romanian and Kurdish.

Building Futures Together also need support with finance, marketing, communications and administration.

SBC services have been actively involved in supporting the development of this initiative. For more information, please contact zulf.awan@slough.gov.uk in the community development team or safia.mohamud@slough.gov.uk in the community learning and skills team.

Seven ways to #ReachOut

  1. Connect with friends and family
  2. Socialise: Take the initiative and make plans – a party, activity, gym or club, meeting friends, going for a lunchtime walk, inviting a colleague you don’t know well to join in. You could also do the shopping or cooking for a neighbour or relative.
  3. Keep fit and healthy: Regular exercise, at least eight hours’ sleep, drinking in moderation and eating healthily can really make a difference. There are loads of activities for all ages, many free, in the Active Slough programme.
  4. Get involved in the community or take up something new: Taking up a hobby, joining a club or learning a new skill can be very rewarding. You can see some local activities in the Community Learning and Skills brochure.
  5. Volunteer: Helping others is a great way to get out and about, meet new people and give something back to your community. Slough Council for Voluntary Services can help you find volunteering opportunities in your local area.
  6. Get a pet: Pets are wonderful companions. If it's not possible to have a pet yourself, why not visit a friend or family member with a pet? If you have a pet, you could take it to visit someone.
  7. Get professional support: If loneliness and social isolation is causing you or someone you know distress and you think professional help is needed, you should discuss your concerns with a GP, counsellor or a trusted person. The Mind website has some useful tips. You can also try Kooth, a free online mental health tool for children, young people and adults in Slough.

Choose one positive action you could take to help yourself or someone else out of loneliness. #ReachOut

Visit the #ReachOut campaign website to find out more.

Active Movement

An initiative to encourage more activity into daily routines is being expanded in Slough.

The council’s public health team has partnered with Active Movement to deliver a programme across all Slough primary schools that aims to educate children, staff and parents on the benefits of reducing sedentary behaviour.

This ambitious initiative comes as a direct result of the success of the Slough Wellbeing Board’s #BeRealistic campaign, which encourages small positive changes in lifestyle, to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Sedentary behaviour is one of the precursors to obesity and poses a number of risk factors to health, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “More than a third of children in England are overweight or obese by the time they finish primary school and in Slough 41.5% of year six students are overweight or obese.

“Childhood obesity is a serious health concern, both in our borough and across the country. We’re being proactive on this issue, starting in our schools, to educate children, staff and parents on the importance and benefits of adopting, and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.”

The key messages behind this newly commissioned service are that small and realistic changes to your daily routine can help you feel healthier, lose weight and live longer.

Castleview Primary School on Woodstock Avenue has already integrated the Active Movement programme and reported excellent results.

Clare Beynon, headteacher at Castleview Primary School, added: “Active Movement has shifted the mindset of our staff and parents. It is amazing how making such small and simple changes alters habits and makes children, and adults, more active and ultimately healthier individuals. It is so simple and anyone can do it!”

Dr Mike Loosemore MBE, co-founder of Active Movement, added: “The work already undertaken by Active Movement in Slough across some children centres, nurseries, primary and secondary schools has shown the value of the programme in strengthening community ties.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to extend the impact of the programme across almost every primary school in Slough over the coming 12 months.”

For more information on this programme email sloughpublichealth@slough.gov.uk

#MovingCan campaign

As an expansion on the Slough Wellbeing Board’s successful #BeRealistic campaign, we are excited to bring you the new #MovingCan campaign.

The #BeRealistic campaign aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Slough residents by encouraging small positive changes in lifestyle, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

The #MovingCan campaign is led by Get Berkshire Active and the Frimley NHS Integrated Care System (ICS) and it brings you 31 days of benefits that being regularly active has.

To view the content and messages behind each of the benefits, follow the council’s public health team on twitter @SloughPH

#MovingCan:

1st

Bring you a huge range of physical and mental benefits

2nd

Reduce your risk of stroke

3rd

Reduce your risk of hypertension (high blood pressure)

4th

Helps to prevent osteoporosis

5th

Reduce your chance of getting type 2 diabetes

6th

Reduce hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol)

7th

Help reduce the symptoms of and prevent back pain

8th

Help reduce the symptoms of depression

9th

Help manage anxiety

10th

Help you better cope with stress

11th

Help prevent the risk of falls

12th

Reduce the onset and symptoms of arthritis

13th

Improve sleep

14th

Increase your energy levels

15th

Reduces social isolation

16th

Increases your life-expectancy

17th

Improves your immune system

18th

Reduces the severity/effects of asthma

19th

It promotes healthy pregnancy (and pre-conception health)

20th

It slows the ageing process

21st

It reduces the risk of certain cancers

22nd

It improves the range of motion of muscles and joints

23rd

It helps enhance brain function

24th

Reduces the early onset and helps prevent dementia

25th

Produces more endorphins which can improve sex life

26th

Improves chances of remaining independent in later life

27th

Improves self-esteem and confidence

28th

It can help combat poor lifestyle choices - drugs/alcohol etc.

29th

It improves educational performance, behaviour and attention

30th

It reduces your chances of sickness absence

31st

Most importantly, it’s fun!

If you are looking for local information, support or resources on how to eat healthily or how to move more, visit the #BeRealistic webpage or email SloughPublicHealth@slough.gov.uk

NHS HealthMakers free self-management courses

If you live with any long-term health condition such as diabetes, arthritis, COPD, fibromyalgia, and live in the Slough/Windsor area, have you heard about HealthMakers?

This free 6-week self-management course helps people better manage their condition, which could be anything from asthma to migraine, epilepsy to stroke recovery, and everything in between.

The topics covered will include the benefits of good self management, goal setting, managing anxieties and developing a good and effective relationship with your healthcare professionals.

Book a place 

Courses are run throughout the year, in various locations throughout East Berkshire.

For more information, or to register for one of the below courses:

Slough

  • Starts Tuesday 11 September, 5.30-8.30pm at Langley Pavilion Community Centre, Langley Road, Slough, SL3 8BS.
  • Starts Tuesday 30 October, 1.30-4.30pm at Slough Aspire, 350 Edinburgh Avenue, Slough Trading Estate, Slough, SL1 4TU.

Windsor

  • Starts Thursday 13 September, 1-4pm at Windsor Youth and Community Centre, Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD.
  • Starts Thursday 1 November, 1-4pm at Windsor Youth and Community Centre, Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD.

Good news for heart patients across East Berkshire

The East Berkshire Clinical Commission Group (CCG) has plenty of good news to share.

Cardiovascular Disease Programme  

A cardiovascular disease (CVD) programme is helping heart patients to have improved outcomes and a better experience.

The three CCGs within East Berkshire – Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead and Bracknell and Ascot – have built a strong cross-border CVD programme, and have made £2.2m of efficiency savings.

As part of the programme, a heart failure diuretic intravenous (IV) lounge was opened at Wexham Park Hospital in May last year to help improve services for people suffering from heart failure.

Evidence had shown that many heart failure patients with lengthy admissions to hospital could have had their admissions prevented or shortened by having day case IV diuretics.

Within the first 13 days of the unit going live, 31 patients were seen, of which only three needed to be admitted into hospital. As of January this year, a total of 471 patients had been treated by staff at the unit and only 29 of these patients needed further admission. The lounge has resulted in savings of around £1m.

Stephanie Murray, clinical nurse specialist who works as part of a team at the lounge, said: “With emergency heart failure admissions on the increase nationally, and lasting on average 10 days, being permitted to return home after treatment each day not only improves quality of life for our patients but also reduces the risk of complications associated with lack of mobility and sleep deprivation, which are often linked with long hospital stays.”

Patients are usually referred into the lounge by their GP or via the Community Heart Failure Team.”

Heart failure nursing service

A community heart failure nursing service, which provides a community service to hundreds of patients across east Berkshire each year, has been expanded over the past year. Hundreds of new referrals are now being received by the team and the expansion has seen a decline in the number of hospital admissions of patients with heart failure.

Treatment for high blood pressure 

Thousands of people across East Berkshire who were previously unaware they had high blood pressure have been successfully identified following the efforts of local NHS commissioners and GP practices.

Last year, commissioners from East Berkshire CCG identified there were a large number of people living across Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead, Ascot and Bracknell with undiagnosed high blood pressure, and therefore not receiving any support or treatment.

A total of 2,300 people in Slough were found and recorded to have high blood pressure. These people went on to either receive advice about how they could lower their blood pressure, have regular check-ups or take medication, if needed, to help prevent them having a heart attack, stroke or heart failure in the future.

Local GP practices were fundamental in identifying these people, with some surgeries introducing blood pressure machines in waiting rooms, checks at flu clinics, or text messaging to patients recommending they check their blood pressure.

Guidelines suggest you should have your blood pressure checked at least once every five years, and more often if it is high.

Dr Anant Sachdev, one of the cardiology clinical leads for East Berkshire CCG, said: “High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms and if left untreated increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

“While we don’t know the cause of high blood pressure, we do know our lifestyles can have an impact, including obesity, lack of exercise and drinking too much alcohol.”

For more advice on heart health, visit the NHS website.

Destination of choice

Olympian creates a buzz at centre’s reopening

Colin Jackson, with Mayor Councillor Paul Sohal, and Councillor Rob Anderson

Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson was the guest of honour at the reopening of Langley Leisure Centre, following a year long refurbishment project.

The hurdling star happily posed for pictures and signed autographs, while he also helped to officially cut the ribbon and a cake celebrating the new and improved facility.

The refurbished centre in Parlaunt Road now offers visitors access to a significantly larger, 100-station fitness suite complete with the latest industry technology, and renovated group exercise studios.

The swimming pool is newly tiled and there is a regenerated spa area, including a steam room and spa pool, as well as an extended car park.

Langley Leisure Centre is being managed by Everyone Active in partnership with Slough Borough Council. It’s the latest facility to be completed under Slough Borough Council’s £62million leisure strategy, being delivered by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR).

Fun awaits at new activity centre

Cllr James Swindlehurst, leader of the council; Andy Howell, SUR general manager; Sally Thomas-Ellis, area contract manager at Everyone Active, and Cllr Rob Anderson, lead member for environment and leisure.

Visitors have been bowled over by the new look Salt Hill Activity Centre in Salt Hill Park.

The new and improved leisure venue has a trampolining zone, with light chase game and battle pits, a high-wire climbing zone with tight ropes and suspended mid-air tubes, caving zone, large soft play area and six ten-pin bowling lanes in a separate area with its own bar.

The activity centre also has five party rooms and an extensively refurbished café.

Since it opened in June, visitors have been impressed by the changes and have been making the most of the new facilities. A family open day also attracted hundreds of residents who got to try the different activities for free.

Councillor Rob Anderson, lead member for environment and leisure, said: “Salt Hill is one of a range of new facilities we’re delivering across the borough in our effort to make Slough one of the most active towns in the country. What better way of encouraging people to take control of their own health and wellbeing than by making exercise fun?”

The new centre is managed by the council’s leisure provider Everyone Active.

Sally Thomas-Ellis, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said: “It has been a fantastic first few weeks at Salt Hill Activity Centre. We have received really positive feedback from customers and I am delighted to see so many people enjoying the activities.

“It was clear from the start that it was going be a very popular attraction, with more than 1,000 people attending the community day held during its first week of opening. It is a destination centre, helping to bring people from all over the surrounding areas into the town, which makes it a real asset to the community.”

The Salt Hill Activity Centre project was undertaken by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), a partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd.

WWT anti-pollution scheme

Pictures of yellow fish have appeared on surface drains in Slough.

They were placed there by members of the Eco-Club at St Mary’s CE Primary School to highlight the issue of water contamination.

The Yellow Fish project aims to encourage people to think twice before disposing of items down surface drains, which ultimately end up in the river. WWT has been working with local schools, community groups and businesses to highlight this message.

WWT’s Claire Hutchinson said: “Many people don’t realise that many surface water drains at the side of the road and on the pavement lead directly to the river. This means anything put down the drain goes into the water untreated, and straight away has an impact on the water quality and river wildlife.

“When put down a surface water drain and directly into the river, things like paint, car oil, animal waste, chemicals, dirty water and litter can contaminate the stream and have a devastating impact on the health of the river and the life it supports. Harmful substances like these can suffocate aquatic animals and poison fish, animals and plants.

“By teaching people ‘only rain down the drain’ we can all work together to look after our rivers, making them a much better and safer place for people and wildlife.”

The Yellow Fish project aims to raise awareness of this source of water pollution, and make people aware that their everyday actions have the power to protect or pollute their local rivers.

The project will run for the rest of the year and WWT hopes more businesses, community groups and schools will get involved.

For more information, email claire.hutchinson@wwt.org.uk

Award winning Arbour Park

From left to right: Sponsor of the award, Swiftclean building services; Nitesh Pankhania, Slough building control; Councillor Rob Anderson, cabinet member for environment and leisure; Karl Hoffman, Morgan Sindall Construction; Alison Hibbert, leisure strategy manager; Councillor James Swindlehurst, leader of the council; Sanjay Dhuna, service lead for planning and transport; Harnek Sidhu, Slough building control; Chris Griffith Jones, president of the LABC.

The council’s community sports facility, Arbour Park, has won two major titles at the LABC central region building excellence awards.

Arbour Park scooped the best public service building and best inclusive building at the awards presentation in May.

Regional winners in each category are automatically shortlisted for the LABC national awards which are being held in London on Friday 9 November at the Westminster Plaza.

Members of the council’s building control team, councillors and officers along with the builders attended the central region awards at the Doubletree Hilton in Milton Keynes.

Councillor James Swindlehurst, leader of the council, said: “Arbour Park is a spectacular facility for the public and now award-winning for its build quality, vision and ambition for the town.

“Arbour Park was the first in a series of new leisure facilities in the borough and shows we are not just providing new buildings, but ones which work with and for the community.

“To be recognised in this way shows the incredible partnership we have with SUR and also the amazing work of our council building control team.”

Arbour Park is a state-of-the-art 1,950-person capacity community sports stadium and home of Slough Town Football Club, which has a 3G artificial full size pitch, two covered stands, covered terraces, changing facilities and a large venue as part of the grandstand with a spectacular view of the pitch, bar, onsite catering, training areas and more.

Arbour Park’s flood-lit 3G artificial pitch is one of only 28 in the country and has been awarded the prestigious FIFA Quality Pro certificate.

The £8.4million Arbour Park facility is one of a series of projects developed through Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) – a partnership between the council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd, which is driving regeneration across the town.

To find out about hiring Arbour Park for events, call the booking line on 01753 875762 or 01753 875401 from Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 4.30pm, or email communitycentres@slough.gov.uk for room hire. You can also find out more on the council's website.

What's on

GoodGym launches - 30 July

GoodGym is a community of runners that combine getting fit with doing good.

They stop off on runs to do physical tasks for community organisations and to support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can't do on their own.

It's a great way to get fit, meet new people and do some good and it’s now in Slough!

What can you do with GoodGym?

  • Join a local running group and run once a week whilst volunteering as part of your running group session.
  • Join a friend, colleague, or family member to run to an isolated older adult to help them with a one off task.
  • Run on your own to an isolated older adult on a regular or semi-regular basis to befriend them and help remove the burden of loneliness.

The aim of GoodGym in Slough to is reduce social isolation among older people and therefore improve their wellbeing; to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing among the volunteer runners and to promote greater civic action and community cohesion.

GoodGym runs across the country, with surveys showing 100% of the older people supported feel happier.

Runners increase their exercise by an average of 20 minutes per week; 57% of members say they would not have joined another running group and 61% of runners said they weren’t involved in volunteering before GoodGym.

One runner in Bristol said: “GoodGym has given me an enormous amount over the last two years. It's given me back my enjoyment of running and brought me into contact with some wonderful people.”

Where is the group run?

The first group run will take place on Monday 30 July at 6.30pm from Salt Hill Activity Centre (the base location) to Temple Wood in Chalvey. The GoodGym runners will run 4km in total to Temple Wood where they will work alongside The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to liberate the wetlands from rubbish and tackle the overhanging brambles. This is all part of the effort to help the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to develop a new pocket park in this urban area.

Runners will continue to meet weekly at Salt Hill Activity Centre, within Salt Hill Park, in Slough on Mondays at 6.30pm. They can store items in the lockers at Salt Hill Activity Centre before heading off on their run to volunteer.

Find out more

Signing up is free. Visit  the GoodGym website for more information.

If you are a local community/charity group and would like to benefit from these weekly free volunteer tasks then please email Manjit@goodgym.org for more information.

PlayDay - 1 August

BioBlitz species survey - 1 August

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) will be teaming up with expert naturalists, scientists, volunteers and the community to see how many local animals and plants they can find.

During Play Day on 1 August at Salt Hill Park, the survey (known as a bioblitz), will be led by Conservation Science Masters students from Imperial College London.

There will also be quizzes, arts and crafts and bug hunts.

Play Day is organised by Slough Borough Council to celebrate the national day for play, highlighting the importance of play in children’s lives and promoting using parks and open spaces for physical activity.

Working Wetlands Community Officer at WWT, Claire Hutchinson, said: “Even if you know nothing about nature you can learn how to identify some common plants and animals that live in the park, and it’s a great way for kids to learn all about creepy crawlies and enjoy quizzes and arts and crafts.

“This type of event shows people there is a wealth of wildlife on their doorstep, and you only need to come into the park to feel like you’re really getting away from busy urban life and enjoy a place full of wildlife and nature.”

Wetlands are teaming with life which makes Salt Hill Stream the ideal place to discover an amazing selection of animals and plants.

The activities are part of the Save the Salt Hill Stream project, aimed at sparking children’s interest in nature and reconnecting them with wildlife.

Slough Horticultural Show!

It’s not long now until Slough Horticultural Show gets underway – but there is still plenty of time to get entries ready for certain classes.

You might have run out of time to grow some tasty fruit and vegetables for the show in Lascelles Park on 18 August, but there are classes for photography, flower arranging, arts and crafts and more – so get working on your entries now!

The show, organised by the council and Slough Allotment Federation, will run from 11am – 5pm at the park in Lascelles Road.

Even if you don’t enter into the show, come along to enjoy the other entertainment.

This will include:

  • Basil and crew – super cute farmyard animals
  • fun fair rides
  • inflatable maze
  • bouncy castle
  • classic/vintage cars on display
  • entertainment in the main arena
  • food and drink stalls
  • the Slough in Bloom tent – exhibiting floral displays
  • the Grand Marquee – main judging.

There will also be a grand raffle with prizes including a season ticket to Slough Town FC, a family day pass to Odds Farm, a family tour of Dorney Court, a Magnum of Rose and prizes from Chiltern seeds. 

Categories to enter  

Anyone aged 16 and under can enter the junior categories. These include:

  • a collection of six different leaves mounted on card or paper and labelled
  • three decorated gingerbread men
  • two fruit kebabs
  • a decorated paper plate
  • an item of handicraft
  • a vase of mixed garden flowers
  • a flower and foliage arrangement with a candle.
  • five decorated fairy cakes
  • a drawing or painting of a garden scene.

Schools and youth groups can take part in the challenge to create a scarecrow that depicts a child’s film or book character. The scarecrow can be made using any materials and should be brought along on the day for judging.

Adults can get busy in the kitchen and make jam, chutney or pickle to enter, or get baking and enter a fruit cake or show stopper cake. The judges’ taste buds will be tingling as there are also categories for homemade samosas, pakora and savoury biscuits.

Artistic classes include a painting of any subject, a piece of handmade jewellery, a hand knitted garment for a child, and a model made from vegetables and /or flowers.

Haley Baldwin from the Slough Allotment Federation, said: “The horticultural show is about fun for everybody. It is about having a go and showing off your talents. I am really excited to see the wonderful things the people of Slough have grown or made. Don’t worry if you do not have something to exhibit, come along and join in with the limbo dancing accompanied by our steel band. It really is going to be a fun day for all."

Photography

There are awards for both adults and children along with a number of categories to enter under, so if you are a wildlife, landscape, portrait or street photographer, there is something for everyone.

In addition, the council would love for photographers to share their photos taken in Slough’s parks on the Love Slough’s Parks Facebook Page @lovesloughparks. The best photos will be selected for the Love Slough’s Parks annual calendar.

Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “The horticultural show is about celebrating the talents of the people who live in and around Slough.

“The photography class is a wonderful way of showcasing these talents and I am really looking forward to seeing the pictures that are entered – particularly the ones of our parks and town.”

Categories include colour print of a landscape, a specimen flower, wildlife, a child, or the juniors can enter a colour print of a holiday, an adult, a black and white image of their choosing or a colour print of a celebration of Slough.

How to enter the show

Visit the council's website and download the schedules. Pick the class or classes you would like to enter and fill out the application form.

For more information, email sloughhorticulturalshow@gardener.com

School's out programme

Slough Xplorer family fun

What’s on at Herschel Park

Herschel Park

Join in these free activities, which are suitable for adults and families with accompanied children.

Family fun day - Tuesday 7 August, 11am – 3pm

Join Basil and Crew in the park and meet the ponies, lambs, chickens, goats, donkeys, rabbits and more. Why not try one of our Xplorer sessions? This is an orienteering course set around the park. There will also be the ever popular face painters. All ages are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. More parking on the day is available at Upton Court Park.

Nature quiz trail - Tuesday 14 August, start between 1.30pm and 3.30pm

Take part in our nature quiz by following a trail, finding the photos and answering the questions as you go round, before checking your answers back at base. Meet by the kiosk. The trail takes approximately one hour. 

Bats and moth evening - Friday 31 August, 7.15-9pm

Starting in the park with a quiz as it gets dark, before we explore using bat detectors to listen to bats calling as they chase flying insects to eat. Moths caught earlier will be shown and released. Meet at the kiosk.

A walk on the wild side - Wednesday 12 September, 7-8.30pm

An illustrated talk looking at the birds, insects and mammals found in the Thames Valley. Meet at the Bentley Centre promptly at 6.45pm.

For more information on any of these activities, call Ian Judd, Herschel Park management officer, on 07771 973035 or email ian.judd@slough.gov.uk

Canal festival

A fun family day out is guaranteed at the council’s annual Canal Festival.

Held in Bloom Park, Langley, the event this year is on 8 and 9 September, promising an action packed weekend celebrating the Slough arm of the Grand Union Canal.

There will be free arena events to enjoy including birds of prey displays and a display by Little Nippers terrier and lurcher racing.

A steam engine train will take children and families on trips around the park, there will be charity stalls aplenty, face painting, food and a mobile bar.

Lynsey Hellewell, the council’s events organiser, said: “We love hosting this event every year. It always draws great crowds of people who enjoy spending time by the canal and watching the arena shows.”

Entry to the festival is free, with free parking and allocated disabled parking available. It runs from 11am to 5pm on both days.

There will be a small charge for the canal boat rides.

For more information, call 01753 875194 or email communications@slough.gov.uk

 

Family 5K Fun Run

What’s on at Slough Libraries

How are you enjoying your summer holiday? If you’re still looking for things to keep your kids entertained in August, why not visit your local library? Look out for the following activities, free unless stated otherwise, plus lots more!

  • Learn some comic book drawing skills with Richy K Chandler visiting all our libraries on Monday 20 August. For ages 7+, tickets £5.
  • Get creative and earn a special achievement certificate with Arts Award in Langley and Cippenham.
  • Be inspired by the Mr Men with family learning at all our libraries. For under 5s.
  • Try 3D Printing in Britwell Library Sat 11 August. Sessions all day. For ages 7+, tickets £5.
  • Learn about space with the pop up planetarium back at The Curve on Saturday 18 August, for ages 5+. Tickets for children £5, adults £6, family of 4 £20.
  • Storytelling with Chitra Soundar – for all ages. 
  • Book online at  The Curve website

Mischief Makers: reward children for their reading!

Have your kids got involved in exploring Beanotown to find the mysterious buried treasure and become ultimate mischief makers? Dennis, Gnasher and friends will help them solve clues and collect stickers, having lots of fun and adventures along the way. The challenge is half way through. If they’ve already got through six books – amazing! There are still challenges to complete for bronze, silver and gold. If you’ve not yet started, there’s still time to get involved. The challenge runs until Saturday 15 September. Get reading and visit your local library!

For more information, visit the council's website

Join us for the world’s biggest coffee morning!

This year we will be celebrating Macmillan coffee mornings at all our libraries. Come in to your local library for a cuppa, cake and chat! Raise awareness of cancer.

  • Langley Library - Tuesday 25 September, 10-11.30am
  • Britwell Library - Wednesday 26 September, 10am-12noon
  • Cippenham Library - Thursday 27 September, 10am-12noon
  • Café @ The Curve - Friday 28 September, 9am-12noon

Comics Plus

Stream your favourite comics for free. Borrow a wide range of unabridged comics and graphic novels, all available to library members free of charge. Borrow unlimited titles at the same time, 24/7.
Access more than 19,000 titles from 93 publishers, including Angry Birds, Naruto, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, My Little Pony and many more with Comics Plus.
Collections are available for ages from 5+ to 16+. Please supervise your child's reading choices. You can borrow each title for seven days, and then renew, or return your item with no overdue charges. Find out more on the council's website.

Twelfth Night with the HandleBards

The HandleBards are the world’s first cycling theatre company. Since 2013, their two troupes (one all-male, the other all-female) have pedalled more than 7,000 miles across the UK to perform their unique brand of “charmingly chaotic, environmentally sustainable, bicycle-powered Shakespeare.”

This summer, they’re coming to Slough to perform their hit all-male production of Twelfth Night at The Curve on Saturday 1 September at 7pm.

Producer Paul Moss explains that, in usual HandleBards style, we can expect “riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter” from the show.

Duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia, but she won’t have anything to do with suitors. Viola is shipwrecked and believes her twin brother Sebastian to be dead. She pretends to be a boy and becomes a servant to Orsino. Olivia falls in love with Viola, believing her to be a boy, whilst Viola falls in love with Orsino. Then Viola’s twin turns up! Book online at The Curve website.

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