An introduction from council leader James Swindlehurst
I hope you enjoy this latest edition of the Citizen.
With the arrival of warmer weather and longer days, this edition highlights some of the opportunities to enjoy leisure and free time around Slough.
Candidates basked in warm sunshine for most of the 15 hours of local election day (my bald head had reached a rosy hue by lunchtime helping my ward colleagues on 3 May) – and this edition has a gallery of Slough’s 42 councillors, including some new faces following the local elections.
Full Council has elected a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the year ahead, so I take this opportunity to thank Councillor Shah, the outgoing Mayor, for her work in the 2017/18 year.
I write this introduction having just learned that Slough has been named ‘Thames Valley Town of the Year’ and I look forward to showcasing our town’s many and further achievements across this, our 80th year as a borough.
Introducing our new councillors
There are five new faces on the council following the 3 May local election.
There were 14 seats up for election – one in each of the borough’s wards except Foxborough.
Overall turnout on the day was 31.5 percent.
The new councillors are:
- Cippenham Meadows – Councillor Dilbagh Singh Parmar (Lab)
- Central – Councillor Safdar Ali (Lab)
- Farnham – Councillor Muhammad Waqas Sabah (Lab)
- Langley St Mary’s – Councillor Harjinder Kaur Minhas (Lab)
- Upton - Councillor Balvinder Singh Bains (Lab)
The following councillors retained their seats after getting the most votes in their ward:
- Baylis and Stoke – Councillor Fiza Matloob
- Britwell and Northborough – Councillor Rob Anderson
- Chalvey – Councillor Mohammed Sharif
- Cippenham Green – Councillor Roger Davis
- Colnbrook with Poyle – Councillor Avtar K Cheema
- Elliman – Councillor Arvind Dhaliwal
- Haymill and Lynch Hill – Councillor Anna Wright
- Langley Kedermister – Councillor Preston Brooker
- Wexham Lea – Councillor Haqeeq Dar.
My wonderful year as Mayor
Councillor Ishrat Shah has come to the end of a memorable year as Mayor.
It has been a varied and exciting time for Councillor Shah who is hugely proud of what she and the community have achieved.
During her year as Mayor, Councillor Shah attended hundreds of events, including a sleep out event for the homeless, a Berkshire schools mock trial event and the Slough Rotary Club Slough Together Walk, where she walked five miles with other participants. She also spent time with the elderly in care homes and helped charities and organisations celebrate milestone events.
Councillor Shah said: “My favourite thing has been meeting with people and getting to know more about my town. I’ve enjoyed finding out more about the voluntary organisations working in Slough, people’s contributions and supporting them.”
Working with women’s organisations has been important to Councillor Shah, who moved to Slough in 2004 as a single parent of two children, and had previously suffered domestic abuse.
She said: “Empowering women is something really special. I had a lot of experience which I could share. I was talking to women who have suffered from domestic abuse and encouraging them to put the past behind them and don’t cling on to it. Trouble makes you a strong person and teaches you a lot of lessons. You have to take a stand for yourself and others.”
The Mayor hosted a charity event in Wexham on 14 May, where organisations paid for a table of 10. There was music, food and an auction, which raised money for the Recycled Teenagers group and homeless charity The London and Slough Run.
The Mayor also attended the Women’s Forum coffee morning at The Curve on 16 May. The event enabled guests to find out more about issues affecting women in Slough and to hear from the Mayor reflecting on her role.
The Mayor’s daughter Mariam acted as her consort for the year, attending all kinds of events and growing in confidence herself.
Councillor Shah said: “I am pleased I had a chance to make Mariam my consort so she could be with me everywhere. She really enjoyed it and it helped build her social skills.
“It has been a really hectic year; I attended the events but I stayed with the community for longer and I enjoyed it. I’m very much a people person. People were very happy when I supported them, they were happy to see me at their event.”
Councillor Shah worked throughout her time as Mayor and often used her lunch breaks to carry out visits.
Now her year as Mayor is up, Councillor Shah will continue to support women’s organisations and charities supporting the homeless and those with disabilities. She is also thinking of setting up her own charity to help others.
Councillor Shah said: “I think it was a year I never imagined; it was the best year of my life. I’m proud to have served this town with dignity and respect. Slough people are very close to my heart; they are my family.
“I will give my time to my ward residents and carry on with my councillor role. I will not let the excitement and enthusiasm die. I will carry on with my work and will be contributing to the community.”
The Mayor hosted a voluntary service celebration at Arbour Park on 11 May to thank community groups and individuals for the work they do.
She was also honoured to attend the Queen’s Garden Party, on her own birthday on 15 May, with two long-serving staff members.
Councillor Shah said: “Community spirit makes Slough special. I served this town as a councillor and Mayor. I feel so proud to have been Mayor; I wanted to give my best to this town.”
The new Mayor was chosen at a Mayor Making ceremony on 17 May. Councillor Paul Sohal has taken on the role, with Councillor Avtar K Cheema as Deputy Mayor.
Councillor gallery 2018/19
We have produced a councillor gallery, with photos and contact details for councillors in each ward. You might want to save a copy and keep it for future reference.
Councillor gallery 2018/19.
Call for half marathon volunteers
Are you looking for an exciting new run to add to your calendar? Sign up for the Slough Half Marathon today!
The Slough Half Marathon is perfect for both recreational runners, perhaps entering a timed race for the first time, or competitive runners looking to achieve a personal best.
We’re featuring a brand new course, starting and finishing at the picturesque Salt Hill Park.
To find out more and to sign up, visit the council's website.
Go the extra mile
Do you want to be involved in Slough’s exciting new sporting event for 2018?
Are you enthusiastic, proactive and practical, looking for a way to get involved in your local community?
Join us as a volunteer for the Slough Half Marathon or our 5K Fun Run.
The Half Marathon is back in Slough after an 18 year break and we’re looking for people like you to help us make it a true success.
There are a number of different roles available on race day.
- senior stewards
- information point helpers
- race marshals
- water station helpers
- baggage and race village helpers
- finish line helpers
- medal and goodie bag distributers
- chip collectors
Apply today! Volunteering is a great way to be a part of the Slough Half Marathon experience and to meet new, like-minded people.
If you can spare your day on Sunday 14 October, please fill in our volunteer application form and one of our team will be in touch – get the form on the council's website.
We’d love to hear from community groups, businesses, clubs and charities too.
See you on race day!
If you’re looking for something a bit shorter than a half marathon, take part in our fun, family friendly, fully inclusive 5K Fun Run.
We’d love to see you, your group or family take part in this great event.
Sign up today.
New green gyms in Slough’s parks
If you love being outside and are keen to get fit, new green gyms in our parks could help.
The council has added six new green gyms, bringing the total in the town to 14, with another four in the works.
Created by The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGO), the gyms are free for all to use, and you can turn up anytime to use them. They cater for the whole community regardless of fitness levels so why not give them a try next time you are out walking in the park?
Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “The first wave of green gyms were so popular that we were keen to install more to ensure every resident has one in relatively close proximity to where they live.
“They are great for a number of reasons; they are free to use, fun, and encourage you to get out and do your exercise in the fresh air.
“And as part of our #BeRealistic campaign, using a green gym even once a week is a great way to make your pledge to move more.”
The six new gyms can be used at the following locations:
- Manor Park
- Langley Pavilion
- Spring Gate Field
- Rochford Gardens
- Eltham Avenue
- The Cherries (funded by Wexham Parish Council).
The other gyms are at:
- Bloom Park
- Chalvey Recreation Ground
- Cippenham Recreation Ground
- Mercian Way Recreation Ground
- Norway Drive
- Kennedy Park
- Salt Hill Park
- Upton Court Park.
It’s better by bike!
Transport for Slough launched its sustainable travel campaign Better by… this year, which is designed to enable and encourage workplaces, schools and the wider community to switch to more environmentally-friendly forms of travel.
Cycling is an integral part of the scheme and there are a number of initiatives happening throughout the borough to assist residents of all ages and abilities to be involved, whatever their situation.
From cycling lessons and bicycle hire to cycle maintenance and storage, there is a wide variety of cycling activities that could help you to make that switch to bike.
Cycle lessons and training
Better by… has teamed up with leading cycle training specialists Cycle Experience to run a range of subsidised lessons in Salt Hill Park. The sessions, which include basic, advanced and urban cycle skills classes, are suitable for everyone as they cater for all ages and abilities; from children and adults learning to cycle for the first time to teens and adults looking to brush up on their skills and confidence.
Cycle maintenance training courses are also running at Cycle Experience’s Slough office, teaching the skills and techniques needed to carry out basic cycle maintenance. All sessions cost £5 and can be booked at the Cycle Experience website or by calling 0330 024 1783.
Hire a bike with Cycle Slough
Cycle Slough has 16 bike docking stations across Slough. You can hire a bike from one place and return to another.
You can sign up as a pay-as-you-go member or by paying monthly or yearly. After an annual £10 membership fee, it is £8 a month, £60 a year, or pay-as-you-go is £1 for the first 30 minutes and 50p for every hour thereafter.
Pay-as-you-go members get the benefit of Free Wheel Week, where they can cycle for free during the last week (and weekend) of each month for the remainder of the year.
Free Wheel Week dates
- 28 May
- 25 June
- 23 July
- 27 August
- 24 September
- 29 October
- 26 November
- 24 December
Docking station locations
- Slough station
- Burnham station
- Bath Road Retail Park
- Slough Trading Estate
- East Berkshire College
- Sutton Lane
- Montem Leisure Centre
- Chalvey High Street
- Trelawney Avenue
- Yarmouth Road
- Kennedy Parade, Britwell
- Arbour Park Stadium
- The Curve
- Wexham Road (opposite Tesco Express)
- Windsor Road (opposite the Police Station).
For more details, including docking station locations, and to sign up, visit the Cycle Slough website.
Store your bike securely
Located opposite Slough’s bus station and next to the train station, Cycle Hub Slough is an ideal place to lock up your bike with confidence, while commuting or running errands in town. The hub is accessible 365 days a year, has CCTV, and houses 80 secure bicycle racks; as well as lockers, changing facilities and WiFi for its members. For more details and to sign up, visit the Cycle Slough website.
For more on the Better By… campaign, visit the campaign webpage.
You need to register online to become a member, with the first month of membership free. After the month is up and if you want to keep using the hub, you need to log into your Cycle Hub account. Enter your bank details and then the card will reactivate, allowing pay as you go usage at 50p per day.
New Manor Park community facility opening
Refurbishment work is underway at the Manor Park Pavilion (formerly known as Manor Park Hall) to create a new space for the community to hire.
The council held a consultation in the Manor Park area last year to find out what community facilities residents would like to see in their local area. A key area of feedback was for more space to hire for community events, parties and meetings.
The refurbishment will include remodelling the rear of the building to create a large meeting room, served by its own kitchen and separate entrance, for the community to hire. The Ujala Foundation will be based in the front of the building offering various community initiatives.
Leo Masood, buildings and projects manager, said: “We ran a consultation in the Manor Park area last year, and overwhelmingly residents said they would really like more space to hire for community events. Now along with the community centre, the pavilion will give more options to people who need space for their events.”
It is expected the works will be finished in early summer.
Why your organisation should be on Google Maps
Slough Borough Council’s adult social care team is encouraging all community organisations and charities to increase awareness and visibility of themselves by registering on Google Maps.
The idea behind this initiative is to make it easier for residents to independently find and make use of the diverse range of services available to them throughout Slough; while at the same time enabling the work of social workers, who can then sign post people to relevant groups.
By having a Google Maps listing, your organisation’s online presence will greatly increase, making it easier for the public to find your details, understand your services and reach your location. This is especially beneficial for those visiting for the first time.
Another advantage of being listed on Google Maps is that if someone is looking for a particular organisation or service, you’re more likely to pop up in the search engine results, as your search engine ranking will be a lot higher, just by being listed.
Once you’re listed, Google will not only list your organisation’s location, but also display your organisation’s hours, photographs, general information and user reviews. This helps enhance the visibility of your organisation on Google searches further.
Adding your organisation is straightforward. To help you with this process, the council has created a series of short YouTube tutorial videos to take you through it all. Search ‘How to promote community services using Google Maps’ at youtube.com
If you require further help with getting set up on Google Maps, contact Simon Richardson, business intelligence officer, at Simon.Richardson@slough.gov.uk
Celebrating a police commendation
Garry Tallett, Slough Borough Council’s community safety partnership manager, has been awarded an Area Commander’s Commendation.
Garry was awarded his commendation, which recognises those who go above and beyond in their jobs to benefit the local community, by Area Commander, Superintendent Sarah Grahame at a ceremony at Slough and Eton School in April.
The commendation was ‘for his professionalism and integrity by providing a high quality of service to the local policing area. He has worked tirelessly planning, developing and supporting peers, colleagues and the senior management team from across the Safer Slough Partnership.’
Garry said: “While this award recognises my contribution to our partnership work in Slough, I would like to acknowledge that community safety is a team effort, with much of the work we do happening behind the scenes. So thank you to all who contribute and I am really pleased to receive this commendation.”
Cllr Pavitar K Mann, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: “This commendation is extremely well deserved and I am really delighted for Garry and his team on the recognition of their hard work and tireless efforts.”
Raising awareness of child sexual exploitation
Students from Eden Girls School and Ditton Park Academy performed their winning plays about Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) as part of Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day.
The council and drama company, Unblurred Lines worked with students from secondary schools across the borough to raise awareness of CSE.
Cllr Pavitar K Mann, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: “CSE is a real risk for all young people, so it is vital we educate and empower them about its different guises and the risks associated with it.
“Encouraging young people to explore the issue through drama and performance is a fantastic way to talk openly about the type of risks young people face and how they should address them.
“Congratulations to Eden Girls and Ditton Park Academy, who are leading the discussion and educating others too.”
The performances were at The Curve in March. The council’s engage team also held a day of events to raise awareness of the work they are doing around CSE, including fun games, facts and feedback from young people who have been supported by them.
Children and young people
Keeping it in the family
Slough Children’s Services Trust does everything they possibly can to keep siblings together when they are placed for adoption.
Anyone who has grown up with brothers or sisters will appreciate the special bond. Although you will no doubt remember the disagreements you had and the heated discussions on anything from whose turn it was to hold the remote control to who was sitting in the chair first! Shouts of “he/she started it” were probably a familiar cry in many households with siblings.
Arguments aside, there are very few bonds more special than those between siblings - people who have known each other almost their entire lives and know each other inside out.
Jackie Pape, head of the family placement service at the Trust, said: “Many children coming into care these days are part of a sibling group and, sadly, it can be a challenge to find adoptive families who can offer a home to sibling groups.
“We always do what we can to keep brothers and sisters together but we need more people to come forward who are ready and willing to take on more than one child.”
This special relationship comes to the fore when siblings have had a difficult background, like some of those in care have experienced. They often develop a greater reliance on each other and, where other children and young people may turn to parents or other adults for support or even a trusted circle of friends, they turn more towards each other.
For some adoptive families, welcoming a sibling group can have its own set of challenges. It may be why some people are put off. There may be behavioural issues to contend with, as well as having the time and patience to give each child individual attention but these are all barriers that can be overcome and the Trust is always there to offer support and guidance.
“We do have adopters who are prepared to take on that challenge and they’ve thrived,” said Jackie. “We have some incredible adoptive families at the Trust who have shown they have what it takes to open up their home and their family to a sibling group and provide them with the physical and emotional security they need to develop. But we need more!”
Could you give a sibling group a brighter future by providing them with the loving, nurturing environment they need to be safe, secure and successful?
To find out more, get in touch with the Trust’s adoption team by calling 0800 073 0291, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting the Trust's website.
Summer fun at Slough’s children’s centres
Slough’s children’s centres provide a range of activities for you and your children (between the ages of 0-7 years) to enjoy during the summer period and throughout the year.
There are 10 children’s centres in Slough, and many provide a range of activities for residents to enjoy. Throughout summer there will be lots of fun and engaging activities to take part in, from physical activities to arts and crafts.
Please contact your local children’s centre to find out more or visit the Slough Family Information Service website.
Check eligibility for free early years placement
Parents are advised to register early for their placement for their 2, 3 or 4-year-old children. Parents might be entitled to 15 hours, or the extended 30 hour provision.
If you would like to become a parent champion to help explain the entitlement to other parents, please get in touch.
Early years information sessions
- Wednesday 27 June, 6.30-8.30pm
- Wednesday 12 September, 6.30-8.30pm.
Email email@example.com or call 01753 476581 or 01753 476554 to find out more.
If your child has gone into nursery or school and you would like to gain some experience working with children before entering the workplace, get in touch. The team run information sessions to offer some guidance.
Early years placements
The early years service has a commitment to develop 400 childcare places. If any early years providers are looking to expand their provision and have capacity to take on further places, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Playday – Wednesday 1 August
The early years team will be at Playday in Salt Hill Park, offering a range of activities on the day. You can meet the team and find out what help and support is available to you.
The team would like everyone to have fun in the sun and the water and enjoy the weather, but would like to warn of some of the dangers. Be careful in the sun, wear sunscreen and a hat and be sure a child’s pram is not completely covered with a blanket, as this could trap too much heat. Other advice is to not leave children unattended near water and check barbecue food is thoroughly cooked.
Further advice is available on the NHS website.
Summer holiday activities
The Slough Family Information Service (FIS) produces a guide each year to promote a range of summer holiday activities for families and young people.
The summer information is collated from various children and family services organisations, including early years, SEND and youth services.
Information provided includes summer holiday clubs, summer camps, school summer camps, fun days, what’s on at local libraries, children’s centre activities, local parks, young peoples’ activities and other sporting activities and fun family events.
The activity information is clearly given, including the venue details, contact number, the date of the activity, time, cost, age range and brief description of the types of activities.
The holiday guide will be available from the FIS website in mid-July, ready for when the school term ends.
The guides are then distributed to early years’ childcare providers, children’s centres, schools, libraries, and other organisations working with young people and families, including SEND services.
The overall aim is to inform as many families about what services they can access for their children over the summer, particularly free or low cost activities.
This is beneficial for:
- positive wellbeing
- learning development
- helping children stay happy, healthy and active
- keeping children stimulated in positive fun activities
- assisting parents to keep their child busy over the holidays, as well as managing their childcare.
The team also promotes other half term activities throughout the year.
Contact the Family Information Service
- Visit the FIS website for more information and to see what’s on.
- Call 01753 476589, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
- Email FIS@slough.gov.uk
- You can also speak to the outreach workers in community venues, such as libraries, schools, health clinics and children centres.
Health, care and support
Reducing ambulance call outs
A responder service, which helps clients who have a fall or are in need of emotional or physical support, is having an impact on the number of ambulance call outs.
The council operates Careline; a push button alarm system for vulnerable and elderly people, but the responder service is an additional help for clients who have no other way of accessing support, except through emergency services.
The 24/7 service aims to provide fast and effective support and care to clients who have triggered their alarm for assistance using their Careline assistive technology alarm system.
In 2017/18 there were 702 responder service attendances to such alarms, dealing with 393 confirmed Careline client falls. Of these, only 15 required an emergency ambulance service attendance, therefore saving 687 ambulance call outs.
Eileen Bulman, CCTV and Careline coordinator, said: “The responder service provides additional peace of mind to family members; helps reduce the number of avoidable hospital admissions and reduces the pressure on emergency services.
“The responders are required to attend within 40 minutes to any part of the borough and always achieve this. Whilst in the person’s home, after initially assisting the client to make them safe, they will assess what the problem is and decide if they need to call an emergency ambulance or help to make an appointment with the client’s GP.”
A client who was recently helped by the responder service has nothing but praise for the experience. Patricia Hamilton, 72, from Cippenham, has been a Careline user for a number of years.
Mrs Hamilton, who wears a wristband activator which can alert Careline using her phone line, said: “I have got MS (multiple sclerosis) and once I fall over I can’t get up without help. Over the years I have had them out a few times. It used to be the paramedics who came out and all they had to do was just get me up.
“It is a very good service, they are really nice. It is a great reassurance and my daughter feels happier as well. I never take the wristband off; I have even been known to take it on holiday!”
Situations where a responder will be sent out include the following:
- general concern for client welfare – bed/chair sensor alert, manual trigger by a pendant or automatic trigger by a fall detector
- signposting to other agencies and organisations. For example, falls clinic or GPs
- a service user is feeling unwell, but does not want a GP/paramedic to call
- a service user has fallen and says they are uninjured
- welfare check when no one can get in touch with the client after the alarm has been pressed.
Andy Battye, Head of Operations for East Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), said: “With the elderly population increasing, approximately 30% of our emergency ambulance workload now relates to patients who have fallen. The majority of these patients are not then taken to hospital but can be assessed and treated, if needed, at the scene by our staff.
“The responder service provided by Careline is very welcome in reducing this demand, where the patient is not injured and therefore does not require medical support but rather help to get up. This allows more of our staff and vehicles to be prioritised to those patients with serious or life-threatening injuries.
“Since 1 November 2017, SCAS has responded in the Slough Borough Council area on average within 6 minutes and 13 seconds (against a national target of 7 minutes) to category one patients; those suffering a life-threatening emergency.”
To be able to benefit from the responder service you need to have a Careline telecare alarm system.
Telecare is a means-tested service available to local residents who are known to adult social care. To find out more, call adult social care on 01753 475111 option one, or visit the council's website.
Carers Week 2018
Carers during a trip to the Royal Opera House in 2017
National Carers Week, from 11-17 June, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.
Carers Week is an opportunity for Slough’s 11,600 carers to take a break, have some fun and meet up with other carers to enjoy a variety of activities.
They will also be able to find out about organisations and networks available to support them, as well as sign up to the recently re-launched carers card offering discounts in a range of local shops, businesses and services.
There are loads of activities planned, including pamper sessions, yoga, a trip to the Royal Opera House and afternoon tea.
See the full list of activities going on during the week and sign up for updates at the Slough Carers Support website.
You can also call 01753 303428 or email email@example.com
You can also read more about our Reach Out campaign – which aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
Tackling loneliness and social isolation
Council staff and Wellbeing Board members making pledges and launching the #ReachOut campaign
The council, in partnership with the Slough Wellbeing Board, has launched a new initiative to tackle loneliness and social isolation this year.
Called #ReachOut, the aim of the campaign is to improve the health and wellbeing of Slough residents by encouraging people to ‘reach out’ and seek help and support if they are feeling lonely or socially isolated; or if they might know someone feeling this way and needing help.
Being alone is not always the same as being lonely. Loneliness can affect those feeling sad about being by themselves, or those feeling a disconnection from the world around them. You can even feel lonely, surrounded by others.
Social isolation is being separated from other people and/or your environment. Sometimes this can happen through your own decisions, or through your situation - ranging from moving areas, jobs or school, having a child or working unsociable hours, to ill health, anxiety, a loss of mobility and more.
How lonely are Slough residents?
Each year, the Office of National Statistics publishes a report estimating personal wellbeing in the UK, by analysing data by country, age and sex. Their research uses a wellbeing measure, covering four domains - life satisfaction, feeling worthwhile, happiness and anxiety.
Though their work doesn’t specifically cover loneliness, Slough measured below the UK average on all domains in the latest report; though its rating has slightly improved over the last five years. The measure strongly suggested that loneliness and social isolation are issues affecting residents; and these issues may have been factors contributing to Slough’s score.
How can you #ReachOut?
Whether you’re feeling lonely yourself or you know someone who might be, visit the campaign webpage for tips and advice on how to ‘reach out’, as well as links to local organisations and charities who can provide help and support.
There are also details on spotting the signs of loneliness and social isolation, from a change in a person’s situation to illness and more. This information should hopefully help people to spot signs in themselves or others around them.
Council staff across varying departments and members of the Wellbeing Board will also be making pledges to help tackle this issue, including checking in on a neighbour each week, getting involved with volunteering and outreach and more.
To find out more about the campaign, visit the webpage and follow @SloughCouncil on Twitter.
Hestia domestic abuse contract
Hestia’s new three year contract with Slough Borough Council for specialist domestic abuse services began on 3 April.
The charity will provide support for high risk victims of domestic abuse in Slough, from helping with finding new accommodation to giving them the right mental health support, and enabling them to rebuild their lives.
Three members of staff called independent domestic violence advocates (IDVA) will be provided by Hestia and will be based in Slough. They will be working very closely with a range of services including Thames Valley Police, health, children’s social care, housing, neighbourhood services, children’s centres and the voluntary sector to provide specialist domestic abuse services to residents in Slough.
Hestia will also be doing development work across East Berkshire to ensure residents from the black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee communities who are facing domestic abuse, can access these specialist services.
Residents of Slough who wish to access advice and guidance about domestic abuse, as well as a range of other services, can also contact the council’s Family Information Service. They can be contacted on 01753 476589 or email FIS@slough.gov.uk.
In addition the Slough Advice Centre offers services through their website. Alternatively you can contact Hestia direct on 01753 477352 or email slough.IDVA@hestia.org
Do you need support following a crime?
Being a victim or a witness of a crime can be an emotional and difficult time.
Victims First provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime, as well as family members of victims.
It’s available across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.
A Victims First officer can discuss any emotional or practical needs you may have and work with you to put a tailored support plan in place. This could involve referring you to a specialist service such as services for victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse.
The type of assistance available includes telephone and face to face support, advocacy including help to access other services such as sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol services and legal services, support through the criminal justice system (if you have reported the crime to the police) and therapeutic counselling.
A Young Victims service is also available to anyone under 18 and works with young people to help them cope with the effects of crime.
Call 0300 1234 148 to speak to a Victims First officer about the services and support available.
You can also find more information or make a referral for support on the Victims First website.
Help shape urgent care services
NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is hosting a series of events to understand what is important to local people about urgent care services.
Urgent care services are for people who have an injury or illness that needs attention the same day, but it is not life-threatening or life changing. These services are currently provided by a number of health professionals, including GPs, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and others.
The insights from these events and discussions will inform the CCG about how to shape services for the future for residents across Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead, Ascot and Bracknell.
Fundamental to this process is feedback from local people. The CCG wants to ensure that urgent care meets the needs of the population of East Berkshire in the future.
The CCG recognises the population needs and issues are different in areas of East Berkshire; so commissioners are keen to hear from as many people and communities as possible at their events.
- Tuesday 12 June – Arbour Park, Slough – 2-4pm
- Friday 15 June – Bracknell Open Learning Centre, Bracknell – 1-3pm
- Friday 15 June – Norden Farm, Maidenhead – 1-3pm
- Tuesday 19 June – Lynwood Care Centre, Ascot – 2.30-4.30pm
- Friday 29 June – Old Court Fire Station – Windsor – 1-3pm.
Each of the above events will open with a short presentation from a CCG clinician and executive member. The most important part is hearing what matters most to people during the table discussions.
In addition to the public events, members of the CCG will be attending community groups and events such as the Mela at Khalsa Secondary Academy in Slough on Saturday 14 July.
Dr Adrian Hayter, Locality Lead for Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead, NHS East Berkshire CCG, said: “The CCG has a good track record of improving local services which have had a positive impact on health outcomes for patients. Examples include commissioning a new stroke service which has improved waiting times for people requiring urgent treatment. We have also commissioned weekend and evening GP appointments giving residents greater access to a GP.
“The commissioning of an improved NHS 111 service with more clinical input has also been received positively. We understand there is still more that can be done and that things need to change to help enhance quality of care; address the changes in the needs of our population with people living for longer and meet peoples needs in the most appropriate way. We have already heard from local people that some find it difficult to find the right urgent care service when they need it and that some services are duplicated and others fragmented.
“I would like to reassure the people of East Berkshire that their feedback will be taken into account in developing options for the future. If we need to proceed to a formal consultation stage before making any changes, we will do so later in the autumn.”
There is no booking process for the public events. People can simply turn up on the day.
For more information, visit the CCG website.
Destination of choice
Slough Ice Arena now open
Residents have celebrated the reopening of Slough Ice Arena, one of the borough’s top leisure facilities.
More than 3,000 people came through the doors on Saturday 28 April for a free community fun day, hosted by the council’s leisure partner, Everyone Active.
Visitors had the opportunity to put their skills into practice during a number of free skate sessions and ice discos. They also had the chance to try out the new 25-station fitness suite and the centre’s Clip ‘n Climb and climbing walls.
Children took part in an interactive animal ice trail, enjoyed face painting, glitter tattoos, hair braiding and balloon modelling, and sampled pots of frozen yoghurt.
Residents were joined by track and field athlete, Perri Shakes-Drayton, and Dancing on Ice professional, Mark Hanretty, who performed an exciting routine before joining special needs skating group, SPICE, for their demonstration on the ice.
Councillor Rob Anderson, cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “We were delighted to see so many local residents coming through Slough Ice Arena’s doors, hitting the ice and having a great day out.
“The council is currently undertaking the biggest overhaul of Slough’s leisure infrastructure in a generation. This is the year of sports-led regeneration for our town and we couldn’t be more excited.”
It’s going to be a busy summer for leisure. The new Salt Hill Activity Centre opens to the public on Monday 11 June and the Langley Leisure Centre reopens later in June. These facilities will also be managed by the council’s leisure partner, Everyone Active - read more about the opening events.
Celebrate with us this summer
An impression of how the Salt Hill Activity Centre will look
Looking for a great day out in Slough for all the family?
Join us for a free family fun day at the new Salt Hill Activity Centre on Saturday 16 June.
- Trampolining zone
- High wire climbing zone
- Caving zone
- Ten pin bowling
- Soft play area
- Family X-plorer trail challenge and more.
Make sure you book early to avoid disappointment as places are limited (booking available from 1 June - search for Salt Hill Activity Centre).
Langley Leisure Centre
Pop down to Langley Leisure Centre on Saturday 7 July for a free open day.
Make a splash and try out our new refurbished pools and greatly extended gym. Find out more on the Everyone Active website.
Community litter picks
Colnbrook C of E pupils ready for the clean up
The council carried out a town-wide clean up as part of the Great British Spring Clean in an effort to keep Slough tidy.
Our community project officers led a series of litter picks across the town in March, with the help of community groups, residents, businesses and service partner Osborne. Councillors and officers led volunteer armies of litter heroes to clean up the borough’s neighbourhoods – in the rain, sleet and snow!
In Cippenham, the volunteers managed to collect 12 general waste sacks, 11 recycling sacks, a bike frame, large metal pole and four credit cards.
Litter heroes assembled in Langley on the same day to join the council and Langley Neighbourhood Forum to help clean up the neighbourhood. Ward councillors led the charge from Langley Memorial Park and volunteers collected an impressive 51 bags of litter – 26 general waste sacks and 25 recycling sacks.
Nothing stopped our litter heroes from cleaning up Langley Woods Estate, not even snow! Ward councillors were joined by dedicated volunteers to collect eight general waste sacks, four recycling sacks, a tyre and even some wood.
During a Foxborough clean up event in April, 32 bags of litter were collected.
There was also help from 25 Colnbrook C of E School pupils who litter picked Colnbrook recreation ground and 50 pupils from Pippins Primary who litter picked Pippins Park. In April, volunteers collected 29 bags of litter from the Westfield estate and roads around Albany Park and Coleridge Crescent.
Thanks to all the dedicated litter heroes who volunteered their time to help make their local neighbourhoods cleaner and happier places to live.
Keeping Slough tidy doesn’t stop here. If anyone knows of a location in the town that is badly affected by litter, please report it to us so we can arrange for it to be cleaned up.
To report litter please fill in the street cleaning form, drop into a MyCouncil office in person or call 01753 475111 option 4.
A helping hand
A charity which helps maintain an area of woodland in Britwell would welcome new volunteers.
The Evergreen 2000 Trust was set up by local residents in 1998 to try to preserve the ancient woodland and open spaces in the vicinity of Dove House Crescent and Lynch Hill as public amenities.
Recently the charity received a £2,000 grant from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, which shares the money raised by the sale of plastic carrier bags with local good causes.
The money will be used to improve the entrance to Cocksherd Wood from Dove House Crescent, a path within this wood, and to improve the surface of the short path from the green in Dove House Crescent to the mini-roundabout at the intersection of the two roads.
A previous grant of £8,000 enabled the charity to put in an additional path in Bangles Spinney (the wood alongside Lower Britwell Road), and install low fencing and a gate along the Lynch Hill side of Cocksherd to deter fly-tipping and motorcyclists.
Alan Woodley, Chair of the Evergreen 2000 Trust, said: “The whole area of Dove House Crescent and Lynch Valley is now a pleasant place to walk away from traffic. It is possible to let your dog off the lead in the open areas.”
Vinay Vyas, a council community project officer, has worked with the charity. He said: “The local charity in Britwell has, over the years, done a lot of work in keeping the open spaces and woodland areas in good order.
“It’s great to raise awareness of all the good work they are doing so more local residents can sign up with them and continue the good work.”
Visit the Evergreen 2000 Trust website to find out more, or if you’re interested in volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Clean up dog mess
With better weather on the way and green space usage likely to increase, it’s important to keep public spaces free of dog mess.
The neighbourhood enforcement team is asking dog owners to take responsibility for their dog and to carry bags with them to pick up any mess they leave behind.
Residents can play their part too, by reporting those who continue to leave mess behind, which is not only unsightly, but is a health hazard.
You can report dog fouling using the online form.
You need to provide the following information:
- location of the incident
- detailed description of the dog
- time of the day (if the dog walker is regular, please ensure to mention this).
Based on the information given, the neighbourhood enforcement team will visit the location and target dog walkers who are unable to show they have a bag to collect the waste. If they witness the fouling, and the owner fails to clear it up, the owner will be issued with an £80 fixed penalty.
Free music and dance celebration event
A music and dance extravaganza will be held in Slough town centre to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Thames Valley Police and Slough Borough Council, in partnership with local businesses, will host the event on Saturday 2 June, from 1-5pm in Slough Town Square.
Residents are invited to come along to the ‘Press for Progress’ event and enjoy the free music and dance entertainment on offer.
Garry Tallett, the council’s community safety partnership manager, said: “The Safer Slough Partnership is pleased to be supporting this event and helping to showcase some of the great talent Slough has to offer. This is an opportunity for communities to celebrate cultural difference in the heart of our town, and I encourage residents to join us and the artists at this ‘Press for Progress’ event.”
DCI Nikki Pierce, who also hosted an International Women’s Day conference in March, said: “We would love the communities to come and join us in the town centre on 2 June for our music and dance extravaganza. You really are in for a treat from some of the most talented and diverse artists across our town.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity to enjoy the artists, whilst having fun and laughter with your loved ones.”
1.10pm Ministry of Dhol
1.40pm Ronak’s Bollywood dance
2.10pm Creative Academy
2.30pm Western House Academy
2.45pm Rachel Benett School of Bellydance
3.05pm Sesha Natiya Nikethan group
3.25pm Munde Punjab De
4pm Lesna Polana
4.30 The Blarney Pilgrims
5pm Closing speech and finish
Summer horticultural show
Keen gardeners are invited to submit entries into the Slough Horticultural Show.
The new event is being hosted in Lascelles Park on Saturday 18 August, with different show categories, food and drink stalls and fun family activities on offer.
Organised by Slough Allotment Federation and the council, there will also be competitions for the best home grown produce and best home made items, including cakes, knitted items and clothing. For keen photographers, there will be a photography competition.
You don’t need an allotment or a huge garden, as produce including runner beans and tomatoes can be grown in bags on a balcony or patio.
Haley Baldwin, from Slough Allotment Federation, said: “We’re really excited to be bringing this new event to Slough, and I’m looking forward to seeing the wonderful produce that residents have been growing.
“Growing vegetables for show isn’t as many think, about growing the biggest. It’s about growing the best example of a vegetable. But don’t get disheartened if your vegetables don’t turn out as expected, there will be fun classes for the weird and wonderful, including the best wonky veg!
“There will also be flower classes for people to show their home grown blooms, and we would love to see all the home made craft items in competition and some beautiful photography taken in and around Slough.”
Mary Bagley, parks, open spaces, cemetery and crematorium manager, said: “This is the first horticultural show we have held in many years and I am delighted it is coming back to Slough.
“It is going to be a fun family event for all in Lascelles Park with lots to see, enjoy and taste!"
Schedules with entry forms are available from all local allotment trading huts and local libraries or you can email email@example.com
The show will run from 11am-5pm.
What's on at Herschel Park?
What's on in Slough Libraries?
Ramadan is underway, and to celebrate we will be doing a special themed craft session at all our libraries where you can make an Eid card for friends and family.
- Langley Library - Saturday 9 June, 1.30pm
- Britwell Library - Tuesday 12 June, 3.30pm
- The Curve - Wednesday 13 June, 3pm
- Cippenham Library - Thursday 14 June, 3.30pm
Book online at The Curve website.
Summer Reading Club volunteering
Are you aged 14 or above and don't want to be bored over the summer? Why not help your local community this summer by volunteering at your local library?
- Be part of a team of young people helping children develop their love of reading.
- Meet new people and gain unique experience.
- Great for your CV and personal statement!
Up for the challenge? For more information and to apply online, visit the libraries website or if you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mischief Makers: Inspire your children to keep reading this summer
Are you excited yet? Look out for the return of children sharing their reading and earning stickers and other prizes for their achievements this summer!
This year the challenge is called Mischief Makers, and is inspired by the much-loved iconic children's title Beano, which celebrates its 80th anniversary.
Children will explore a map of 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 will start on Saturday 30 June – look out for our visits to your local school for more information.
We are planning some wonderful events for the holidays as well; keep your eyes peeled for more information in our libraries and on our website as they become available. Look out for story time in the garden at The Curve, Cippenham and Britwell, plus extra LEGO sessions and lots more!
For more information, visit the libraries website.
Have a Bird Boogie for Bookstart Week
We love to encourage children to share books from the earliest age, and a big part of this is the Bookstart Project. Children receive special free book packs:
- at age 0-1 via their health visitor
- at age 3-4 via their preschool or early years setting.
We will be celebrating children’s reading with some special bird and dance themed outdoor music and story times from 4-9 June. Come along and get your free child sized copy of ‘A busy day for birds’ by Lucy Cousins.
RB Digital – high quality magazines for free!
Did you know you can get access to a wide range of titles including: Hello, Marie Claire, National Geographic and Country Life or specialist titles such as Digital Camera World, Cycling Active and Rolling Stone?
Want to get started? Go to our website, click the link and create an account, then download the RB Digital app. The app is in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Amazon App Store. You can read your magazines on the go from your phone or tablet, or from your computer screen. And there are no limits! You can borrow as many titles as you like for free.
Please note, if you used to use our old app Zinio, this is the new version. You’ll need to download the new app, but your account should stay the same.
Find out more on the council's website.
Do you take your camera with you everywhere you go and have a good eye for a picture?
If so, the council’s parks team would love your entries into the Love Slough Parks photography competition, which is looking for interesting and inspiring photos from Slough’s parks and open spaces.
The team will choose the top photos each month, to be featured on the Love Slough’s Parks Facebook page and Instagram feed @lovesloughparks.
Chosen photos will also be entered into the Love Slough’s Parks annual photography competition, to be judged at the Slough Horticultural Show on August 18.
Enter your photos by emailing email@example.com.
Please note: Black Park and Langley Park are not eligible parks because they’re not in the borough.
Active Slough timetable
You can download a high resolution copy of the timetable and find out more about all the activities on the Active Slough webpage.
Serves junior tennis
Women's self defence
As part of the latest Active Slough programme, a women’s self defence class is running at Arbour Park in Stoke Road, Slough, led by a qualified female instructor:
Sessions are on Mondays until 16 July, from 6-7pm, costing £2 each week.
There is free parking and no advance booking is required. Wear comfortable clothing. It’s open to women and girls aged 13+ (the teacher will be assisted by her own qualified teenage daughter).
For any queries, call 01753 875784 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Football Association and SSE teamed up to launch SSE Wildcats, an initiative designed to inspire girls aged between 5 and 11 to be involved in the sport.
SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Clubs provide girls with regular opportunities to play football and take part in organised sessions in a fun and engaging environment created exclusively for girls.
The Active Slough session takes place every Monday from 4.30-5.30pm at Arbour Park Community Stadium. It is a safe environment where girls with no football experience can have fun engaging with sport, develop fundamental skills, try a variety of sessions, learn new things and create foundations for a lifelong love of sport. The session is completely free.
For more information about Wildcats, please email Frank.Sugrue@slough.gov.uk.
Run with Active Slough
Man v Fat Football
A free initiative which combines football and some friendly weight loss competition has seen great results.
Man v Fat is a 15 week weight loss and football programme for men with a BMI of 27.5 or above.
Just 11 weeks in, there has been a total of 234.5kg lost and 32 percent of players have lost five percent of their body weight.
Season two of Man v Fat will begin at Arbour Park on Monday 11 June.
Players must pay a £10 deposit, which is refundable on completion of the programme.
For more details call 01753 875784 or visit the Man v Fat website.
Breaking boundaries through cricket
Slough is set to join four other UK cities in a ground-breaking project to build healthier and happier communities through cricket.
Breaking Boundaries is a £1.8 million, three-year project (2018-2021) bringing together young people, their families and communities through regular engagement in cricket: playing, spectating and volunteering.
The project will make the most of cricket’s potential to bring different ethnic and faith communities closer together into one cricket community, fostering mutual respect and friendships.
The Breaking Boundaries project will officially launch in Slough this September and is endorsed by the Slough Wellbeing Board.
Alan Sinclair, director of adults and communities, said: “Sport has the power to unite communities and we’re delighted to be bringing the young people of Slough together through a shared love of cricket.
“Breaking Boundaries is a fully inclusive project that encourages involvement at all levels, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability. We can’t wait to get started later this year.”
Breaking Boundaries will be delivered in specific wards in Slough, Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and London.
What’s on in the town centre?
Story and activities, The Curve
Saturday 2 June
Beast Quest stories and activities at Saturday Curve Club, 11.30am-1pm
Boogie Bear story and craft, 3-4pm
Youth Film Club, YES shop
4 June and weekly on Mondays from 4.30-6.30pm
Develop your skills in film and media.
Father’s Day arts and crafts, The Curve
Saturday 9 June, 11.30am-1pm
Join Family Learning at the Saturday Curve Club to create your masterpieces.
An afternoon with Iqbal, The Curve
Saturday 23 June, 2-4pm
Join us for a discussion group on poet, philosopher and politician, Muhammad Iqbal. The event is free, with no booking necessary.
Slough Arts Forum, The Porter Building, SL1 1XL
Tuesday 3 July, 6-8pm
An evening for Slough based artists and local arts organisations to discuss their work, hear about arts activities and develop collaborative work with others. Contact Resource Productions for more information, email email@example.com or call 01753 553374.
Film and creative writing retreat, The Curve
Saturday 7 July, The Curve
Focus on your script and gain feedback from an experienced film producer and screenwriter. The course fee is £100. Book tickets online.
Run to raise hospital funds
A running event aims to raise money for the Wexham Park Hospital children’s critical care appeal.
Run Wexham is organised by the Frimley Health Charity – Wexham Park Hospital.
This year’s event will be at Black Park, and along with the 10k distance, there is a new 5k option and a family fun run so parents can take part alongside their children.
There will be chip timing and an event village with a bouncy castle, face painting, retailers, food and refreshments.
A family who has experienced the critical care at Wexham Park Hospital is supporting the event.
Franke Harvey, two, was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder, one of only 50 people in the world with the disorder. After being treated in several other hospitals, his parents chose to continue at Wexham as it was close to home and had the best medical equipment.
Franke’s mum Sarah said: “All the staff in the children’s critical care unit are wonderful. Nothing is ever too much trouble and if ever I do not understand anything, the doctors always have time to explain exactly what the situation is.
“Wexham Park Hospital saved Franke’s life. If it were not for the staff and facilities here he would not be here today. I just want everyone to know how much every penny is appreciated by families like ours.”
There are free charity places available, with a running vest, if you can raise at least £50 for Wexham Park Hospital.
The event is on Sunday 8 July, from 10am.
Visit the hospital website to find out more and sign up.
Patient Participation Group
Manor Park Medical Centre is holding an open evening on Thursday 14 June to promote its Patient Participation Group (PPG).
The purpose of the PPG is to ensure patients and carers are involved in decisions about the range, shape and quality of services provided by the practice.
The surgery would appreciate patients from all backgrounds participating in the PPG, whether in person, or via email. Often services are aimed at specific groups and they would like to hear the opinions of those patients who most use the services.
The open evening is from 6-7.30pm at the surgery in Lerwick Drive.
Play day – 1 August, Salt Hill Park
Playday is designed to promote play to children and their families, in addition to using parks and open spaces for physical activity.
A number of organisations are invited to the event and each provider hosts a small activity encouraging play and physical activity. There will be a Get Active sports zone putting on a variety of different sports for the community to have a go at.
There will be loads more on the day, including some activities with a small charge such as a bouncy castle and face painting. The fun is from 12noon - 4pm.
For information on Playday email firstname.lastname@example.org