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Welcome to your July MyBucks

We've got a bumper edition for you this month! From things to do over summer, to how the robots are taking over (at Bucks County Museum at least!!) - plus important updates on our road repairs programme and our new Family Support Service - there's plenty to read in your July MyBucks! 

Enjoy the warmer weather and your latest MyBucks!

Latest news

Our 2019 'plane and patch' road improvements programme is complete!

Transport for Buckinghamshire’s (TfB) £4 million 'plane and patch' 2019 programme is complete with over 100 roads receiving treatment across the county since the start of March this year.

The areas covered in the plane and patch programme were chosen and overseen by TfB’s Local Area Technicians (LATs), who work closely with local Members to ensure the needs of local residents are addressed. LATs also have a broad knowledge of the roads around Buckinghamshire and those most in need of plane and patch treatment, including minor estate roads.

Plane and patch is a form of road resurfacing which is carried out after the winter. It involves putting a new surface down on a larger stretch of road, to repair issues like multiple potholes, rather than just repairing the individual potholes themselves. It is relatively quick to do and provides good value for money. The plane and patch programme is in addition to the yearly programme of more major road resurfacing, which is carried out every summer on routes strategically identified with local Members.

When it comes to prioritising which roads to repair, TfB takes a balanced approach. We believe this strategy provides the best mix of preventative and replacement work across all roads in the county. Plane and patch work is particularly effective on minor roads and this explains why a lot of quieter, residential areas do receive plane and patch treatment.

To report a problem with a Bucks road go to https://www.fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk/

New Family Support Service coming to Buckinghamshire

A new Family Support Service, designed to improve the lives of children and families, will be launched across Buckinghamshire in September.

The new service has been carefully designed to provide better, more targeted support for vulnerable families, who face a range of issues or more complex challenges. Families supported by the new service will have a lead professional who, depending on the level of need, can coordinate a team around the family to support them to address the issues they are facing – with the ultimate aim of helping them to overcome their problems leading to happier and healthier lives.

The Family Support Service will also offer open-access sessions and health services for early years children and parents from a network of 16 Family Centres across the county, which will also offer a range of support for parents with children up to age 19 (25 with SEND).

The Council is committed to using the 19 former children’s centres for alternative uses from the autumn, primarily for early years benefit and community use.

Before the new service starts, there will be a full programme of activities for local families throughout the summer at the existing network of children’s centres.

More information about the new Family Support Service will be posted on the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS) website so keep an eye out for it.

You can also find comprehensive information about all aspects of family life in Buckinghamshire at BFIS - read more in our regular MyBucks BFIS article here and check out the BFIS website here:  www.bucksfamilyinfo.org 

Read this if you use a medical device - don’t let airport scanners ruin your holiday

If you’re travelling by air for a holiday or business trip and need to take a medical device with you, there is a new way to prevent them getting damaged at airport scanners. Getting a Medical Device Awareness Card before you fly could help you keep them safe.

Medical devices such as insulin pumps, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems and freestyle libre (flash glucose monitor) devices should not be exposed to x-ray screening and airport scanners, which can cause potential damage.

The awareness card provides information for both the Security Officer and the passenger. Before going through the airport scanners, passengers should make the Security Officer aware of the device (including spare devices) and ask for an alternative security screening method.

The awareness card has been produced by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and Airport Operators Association. It can be downloaded and printed direct from the CAA website www.caa.co.uk

More information on the Medical Device Awareness Card is also available at the CAA website using the link above.

How to stay safe in hot weather

It’s can get hot out there during the British summer but are you ready for a heatwave? The Heatwave Plan for England is a joint plan intended to protect the population from heat-related harm to health. Basically the plan says how different services will:

  • work together and plan how to keep people cool, safe and well
  • make sure everyone has all the help and information they need
  • warn people before very hot weather comes

We do not know for sure if there will be a heatwave but we can be prepared for one. Between 1 June and 15 September each year the Met Office may forecast a heatwave.

Some people are at more risk than others during a heatwave. These include people who:

  • Are aged over 75 years old or very young
  • Have some physical or mental health problems
  • Take medicines that mean their skin burns very easily in the sun or have other side effects in the heat or the sun
  • Are homeless or people who have poor housing
  • Drink a lot of alcohol or take drugs

It's important that everyone knows what to do if there is a heatwave. Here are some top tips you can use or pass on to others:

  • stay out of the sun when it is really hot
  • wear loose clothes and if you go out, wear sun cream, sunglasses and a hat or a scarf
  • do not do too much exercise
  • have lots of cool drinks but not alcohol
  • use plants and bowls of water to keep rooms cool, close curtains during the day and turn off lights you do not need. Open windows at night when it is safe to do so

For more information go to http://www.healthandwellbeingbucks.org/s4s/WhereILive/Council?pageId=2092

 

Local community champions who've saved thousands from scams given Hero Awards

A life-long volunteer, a wounded veteran and a neighbourhood watch legend have all been given an award for the work they do to protect local people from being scammed. 

Geoffrey Boswell, Karen Holdsworth-Cannon and Geoff Pegg have all received the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Brian Smith Hero Award. 

Described as the ‘father’ of Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards Volunteers, 88-year-old Geoffrey Boswell (pictured left), has worked as a Scam Marshall and Community Champion for the last five years. A carer for a relative who’d been caught in a scam, Geoffrey uses his personal experience to help vulnerable and socially isolated people to recover from their ordeals. He is seen as the ‘eyes and ears’ of his community, running ‘Friends Against Scams’ sessions as a SCAMchampion and assisting trading standards with test purchasing and food allergen work. 

Likewise, wounded veteran Karen Holdsworth-Cannon, one of the first to be trained as a SCAMchampion, passes on her knowledge to thousands of ‘Friends Against Scams’ community-based organisations and local business groups. She has appeared on BBC’s Rip Off Britain, and runs a radio show on Surrey Hills Radio, where she promotes scams awareness and the work of trading standards. 

As Operations Director for High Wycombe Neighbourhood Watch, Geoff Pegg’s passion for his community has never faltered. Geoff is also a regular on local radio promoting scams awareness, and has held almost 60 community events, training residents to become ‘Friends Against Scams.’ (Geoff Pegg and Karen Holdsworth-Cannon pictured with Steve Baker MP)

In addition to running one of the largest Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the county, Geoff volunteers his time with Bucks and Surrey Trading Standards as a SCAMchampion, working with local care homes and community groups.

The CTSI Hero Awards celebrate those who make outstanding contributions towards consumer protection in our communities. 

Age UK has some great advice for how to be Scam aware - relevant for all ages! Go to https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/scams-fraud/

Did you know you can use our Registrars Service at Buckingham Library?

Our Registrars are now at Buckingham Library every Thursday to register births and deaths. 

The idea is to make it easier for people who may prefer an appointment in Buckingham rather than going into Aylesbury. 

You have to make an appointment to come along - these are available every Thursday. 

You can book an appointment online or by calling 01296 395 000.

You can book to register a birth here and to register a death here

You should register a death within 5 days of it occurring and you should register a birth within 42 days from when they were born.

Rent a space in an historic Aylesbury building

Fancy a unique office space in the heart of Aylesbury?

Then look no further than the Grade II listed former Porters Lodge building. It's been refurbished to create affordable work spaces designed for professionals, business owners and commuters - and these spaces are now available for short-term rental.

The space includes a variety of meeting rooms, offices and hot-desking arrangements

The building was formerly occupied by Bucks Business First and since their departure the County Council has undertaken refurbishment works and updated the facilities.

The building is designed to be comfortable, flexible and suitable for a wide variety of uses – from small businesses needing a local base, to those seeking to avoid the distractions of working from home or a time-consuming commute. Rooms can be booked for a single day or up to a month’s duration and come complete with refreshment facilities and Wi-Fi access. It is ideally situated next to the new Exchange development, local shops and offices and there are nearby car parks and the bus and train station.

Indemnity insurance will be needed in order to rent a space and bookings are taken on a first-come-first-serve basis. Rooms are available weekdays from 7.30am to 7.00pm.

For more information, please visit: www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/business-and-benefits/porters-lodge-work-spaces; or contact Sharon Noad at snoad@buckscc.gov.uk or on 01296 383 151

Got a question about the future of Buckinghamshire?

With just over eight months until the new Buckinghamshire Council opens its doors for business, politicians from across the five current councils will be holding a special debate to begin the task of shaping the key priorities for the new authority's 'to do' list.

The event, taking place from 11.30am on Thursday 25 July at Aylesbury Vale District Council's Gateway offices, is specially arranged so that residents, businesses and local organisations can get involved. They can submit their own views and questions about the future of all council services either in advance or on-the-day, 'live' into the meeting.

As well as a series of presentations from key speakers, all questions and comments will be displayed live on three giant screens during the meeting to help stimulate discussion and ensure a quality debate. The meeting will also be webcast live as it happens.

Leader of the Shadow Executive, Martin Tett explains why involving as many people as possible is so important. "With five councils coming together to form the new Buckinghamshire Council, we have a perfect opportunity to begin to shape what the key public service priorities should be from next April.

"Clearly everyone has views about council services, after all, they touch virtually every part of our lives and we all pay for them through our council tax. And that's exactly why we want people to get involved. The County Council has run this type of interactive format for a number of years now and we know from experience that the debate really benefits from this type of involvement and, of course, it's good for democracy too."

Deputy Leader of the Shadow Executive, Katrina Wood echoed Martin Tett's call to get involved. "It's really important that people can have their say, particularly when five councils amalgamate and can plan one single agenda," she said.

"So, whether it's education, social care, the state of the roads, waste and refuse, our environment, local planning, growth or housing or anything else we collectively provide, then please get your questions and comments in - they will be a very welcome addition to this key debate."

Questions and comments can be submitted in advance or 'live' during the meeting itself via the new Buckinghamshire Council Twitter site - @DeliveringBucks, using the #bucksdebate, or alternatively questions can be submitted via email to unitarycomms@buckscc.gov.uk   

What's on

Waterside Festival is coming to Aylesbury

Aylesbury Garden Town is proud to be sponsoring this year’s fantastic Waterside Festival on Saturday 14th September, celebrating Aylesbury’s rich canal heritage. A fun-packed day awaits, with many favourites returning, including the floating market, top musical entertainment and free canoeing, kayaking and paddle-boarding sessions.  Enjoy waterside themed arts & crafts, children’s activities, merry-go-round and swing boats - not forgetting the fabulous food court!

As part of the Garden Town ethos, this year’s Waterside Festival will be ‘greener’. Visitors can take advantage of plentiful free cycle parking if they travel to the event on two wheels, with opportunities for bike maintenance and hire too.  And in the food court we’ll be discouraging the use of plastic and non-recyclable materials.  Find out more at www.watersidefestival.org

Exciting times are ahead for Aylesbury as it continues to undergo its major transformation as a Garden Town.

Like the original Garden Cities, the status is awarded by the government to areas across the UK, where key growth is taking place. Around 16,000 new homes are being built in Aylesbury by 2033 and becoming a Garden Town brings the funding opportunities to help the area grow in the right way, with supporting infrastructure like road links, schools and other facilities, along with quality green spaces.  A multi-million pound regeneration programme is already taking place in Aylesbury and The Exchange and the new public square outside the cinema in the town is all part of this.

The aim is ultimately to create a well-planned environment that makes the community feel proud, with strong connections between historic areas and new developments.  A Masterplan, setting out the framework for the way the town will develop into the future, is being designed and will go to public consultation later this year.

Find out more at www.aylesburygardentown.co.uk or follow @AylesburyGT on Twitter.

Stuck for things to do this summer?

We've got a huge catalogue of family-friendly events and activities right across Buckinghamshire on the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website. 

From days out to wet weather fun - we've got things to do for all interests and budgets. 

We have events being added all the time and you can search on low cost options or by location, age, or events suitable for children with a disability or special educational needs. 

Turn this free time into quality time and check out what's on offer at www.bucksfamilyinfo.org 

Find out what's coming up at Bucks County Museum

27 July – 31 August 2019

This summer Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury will be taken over by an invasion of robots, cyborgs and androids as it plays host to the spectacular ROBOT exhibition. Thousands of enthusiastic audiences have visited ROBOT wherever it appears, experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with their favourite metal characters in all shapes and sizes including a variety from favourite movies and TV series.

This exciting, family-friendly exhibition showcases awe-inspiring robots, cyborgs and androids in all their guises – from the friendly and helpful to the sinister and not so friendly.

Get up close to the cast of full-size robots from classic sci-fi TV series from the 1950s as well as from major sci-fi blockbusters from the 1970s onwards.

A must-see exhibition that will capture the imaginations of sci-fi fans and visitors of all ages.

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm.

For admission charges and robot activities visit www.buckscountymuseum.org

Robot Craft Activities
Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 30 July to 28 August
Make and decorate your own robot after your visit to the ROBOT exhibition. Drop in between 10am and 12 noon or 1pm and 3pm. No booking needed. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost £3.50 per robot.

Eid Fayre – re-enactment of ancient Asian life
Bank Holiday Monday 26 August, 11am – 4pm
To celebrate the end of the Muslim festival of Eid the museum is hosting an exciting re-enactment of traditional Asian life 1200 years ago including displays of weaponry and archery, games, arts and crafts. A family event for all ages.

Drop into our shop and see the beautiful jewellery and ceramics made by members of the Bucks Craft Guild as well as local books, gifts and greeting cards. After your visit take a break in the Museum Café and garden.

For full details visit www.buckscountymuseum.org or call 01296 331441.

Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery
Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP.

 

Love your Library

The Summer Reading Challenge has begun!

Space Chase, Summer Reading Challenge 2019 has begun! Join us for an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

This summer children aged 4-11 can help our super space family track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens! As they read library books, they will solve clues and collect special stickers to complete their mission folder. Can they find the aliens in time to save the day?

Find out more at https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/libraries/books-and-reading/children/summer-reading-challenge

Find Summer Reading Challenge events at https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/news-libraries/summer-reading-challenge-events

Read eNewspapers for free

Download and read eNewspapers with PressReader on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device for free with your Buckinghamshire library card and PIN.

With PressReader you can:

  • Access thousands of publications, both national and international.
  • Read full versions of your favourite papers.
  • Listen to articles while you're on the move with the audio feature. 
  • View publications on the device of your choice.
  • Download titles and view offline.
  • Publications available in 65 languages.
  • Translate publications into 18 different languages.
  • Print or share articles over social media and email.

Find out more at www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/libraries/elibrary/enewspapers

Leading better lives

Keeping school holiday costs down

We know the long school holidays can bring extra money worries with added childcare costs plus extra activities and food.

We've got some tips on keeping costs down during the holidays. Plus find out how the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS) can help if you do have concerns about cash. 

Free and Low-Cost Activities

Take a look at free and low-cost summer holiday activities in Buckinghamshire.

As a Family Information Service, we provide Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA) to parents and carers relating to services and facilities available.

Having hundreds of holiday activities on our directory is just one of the ways we do this, however, we know that holiday activities can be expensive, so that’s why we lookout for free and low-cost activities, and why our search result can be filtered by this important factor.

Early Bird Bookings and Sibling Discounts

Start thinking about the holidays early, or at least the times during the holidays that you know you’ll need something lined up. Many attractions and places running activities offer Early Bird discounts if you register before a particular date. Some may also reduce prices for any siblings that attend too. If it’s too late to get early bird discounts for summer, you will find October half term activities being added to the BFIS website already so plan head.

One of the ways you can find early bird bookings and offers is to check out the Offers Tab on the @BucksFamilyInfo Facebook page. We strive to bring the very best information to families in Buckinghamshire and though our adaptive approach, we continue to deliver our information in new and more useful ways. Surely worth a thumbs up?

Childcare, Funded Childcare and Holiday Schemes

Find Ofsted-registered childcare including funded childcare, holiday clubs and those who are inclusive for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Search by town, postcode, funding type and more.

Read about Tax-Free and 30 Hours Childcare to see if you could benefit from these government schemes.

Max Cards for children with SEND

If you have a child who is aged 0 to 19, has a Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND) and lives in Buckinghamshire, you can sign up to Pinpoint and receive a free Max Card which provides discounts at local and national attractions.

Pinpoint is the Disabled Children's Register for Buckinghamshire. This secure, voluntary database captures information about children and young people aged 0 to 19 years with SEND and helps the council to plan, monitor and develop appropriate facilities and services.

> Find out more about Pinpoint and Max Card

Check for discount codes and vouchers

Have you bought something online, clicked your way to the checkout and seen a box below the pay button saying Voucher or Discount code? That’s a sign. A sign you should pause and do a quick search for the item, the company, followed by “discount code”. There are dedicated websites that pull together such money-saving marvels and many newspaper websites have dedicated sections for this too. It’s the 21st century way of cutting out coupons. Often there will be coupons for activities, products and training courses. You could be surprised how much just a couple of minutes searching could save you. Websites such as Groupon and Wowcher are also good places to find discounted experiences and days out. Supermarket activity vouchers are also a common way parents and carers can save on activities and things to do for their children. If you have friends or family, why not ask them to send any surplus vouchers your way?

Know where to find information

Finding trusted sources of information can also help you save money. On the BFIS website, you will find Money, Benefits and allowances information and related services, however, here are a couple more sources with useful information that could save you money.

The Money Advice Service

Same stuff, cheaper price

Free printed guides

Including budget planning, how to help teenagers manage their money and lots more.

 

MoneySavingExpert.com

School Holiday Deals

Days out, free activities, restaurant offers and more.

Note: This article contains some ideas and considerations that could help to save money. It does not promote, encourage or validate any particular company, product or service. 

About The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS)

Find Childcare, Childminders, Children's Centres, and Family Activities in Buckinghamshire and access free, impartial information covering a range of topics relating to family life including the Local Offer for SEND.

Contact BFIS

Website: bucksfamilyinfo.org

Email: familyinfo@buckscc.gov.uk or fisdigital@buckscc.gov.uk if you would like to add your activity or event

Facebook: @BucksFamilyInfo

Twitter: @BucksFamilyInfo

Instagram: @BucksFamilyInfo

LinkedIn: Buckinghamshire Family Information Service

YouTube: BucksFamilyInfo

Phone: 01296 383 065 or text: 07786 202 920 (Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm)

Eat Well and Move More This Summer

Modern life unfortunately makes it easy to be less active - and easy to eat too much food that isn't good for us!

But it's also really easy to make small changes that can actually make a big difference. Summer is the ideal time to give it a try. The warmer weather and longer days mean it's easier to get out and get a bit more active and there are loads of yummy food options that are great for health too. 

Change 4 Life  is a great website that can help your family to be healthier and happier, by providing healthy eating tips, quick and easy family recipes, fun activities for kids, offers and lots more!

So why not join Change 4 Life now, in time for the summer holidays, to receive regular information and join the four million families who have already signed up.

A great way to get more active is to try one of our free guided walks - all part of our 'Simply Walk' programme. There are more than 80 walks each week - it's free to come along, we cater for all levels and it's a great way to meet people and to put a spring in your step.

Check out which walks you might like at www.buckscc.gov.uk/simplywalk

Free NHS Health Checks

Think of an NHS Health Check as an early warning system. Early intervention and lifestyle changes lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke and dementia developing unchecked.

You can find out more here

Obviously, we want everyone with an NHS Health Check invite from their GP to attend. However, the latest data shows fewer men than women go to their NHS Health Check and we want to change that trend in Bucks. 

health check logo

To be eligible for a Health Check, you must:

    • Be aged between 40 and 74
    • Be a Bucks resident or have a Bucks GP
    • Not been diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or had a stroke 
    • Not had an NHS Health Check in the last 5 year

    Contact your GP to find out more and book an appointment.

    Are you a carer?

    With over 49,500 carers in Buckinghamshire and this figure set to rise, we really value what carers do.

    Carers are a wide and varied group with differing needs: Young carers coping with school and college pressures, working people trying to balance job requirements and older carers needing to plan for the future.

    It’s important all carers know where to find support and advice. This autumn we will be engaging with carers, and those who work with carers, about their priorities. Finding out about what kinds of things we can do to really make a difference.  

    There are other things that carers could also consider doing to help themselves:

    • Tell your GP you are a carer– they can help by giving you longer appointments and signposting to suitable assistance.
    • Tell your school or workplace you are a carer – once they know about your extra care responsibilities are they should support you bette

    There's more information here

    Health staff to be recognised for 'Kindness in Care'

    Healthwatch Bucks is one of 148 local healthwatch organisations that were set up by the government back in 2012. Healthwatch exists to ensure that local people's feedback about their healthcare is directly used to shape how health services are provided. 

    Next week Healthwatch Bucks will be announcing the winner of their Kindness in Care competition - based on people's nominations for doctors, nurses, paramedics, carers and so on, who they have received great care from. 

    You can join Healthwatch Bucks as they celebrate great care across the county and hear the moving entries to the competition. There will be guest speakers talking about the importance of 'Kindness in Care' plus Healthwatch Bucks will also be launching their Annual Report which shows their achievements from the past year. Everyone is welcome to attend.

    The event takes place on Tuesday 23 July at 6:30pm at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. 

    For more information, visit www.healthwatchbucks.co.uk/annual-report-launch, or call 01844 34 88 39.

    Take control of the healthcare you receive

    We've already read about Healthwatch and how it works - and there's another way you can get directly involved in shaping healthcare services. 

    You can join your local Patient Participation Group - run through your local GP practice. 

    Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) work hand in hand with the GP practice to support and advise their local doctor’s surgery on patients’ needs.

    GP surgeries across Buckinghamshire rely on the support from PPGs as they give a voice to all and help the surgery keep an ear to the ground. Groups are made up of patients from the surgery itself – no other qualifications are needed.

    If you are interested in becoming part of a PPG then please contact your local doctor’s surgery for more information.

    Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Awards

    Winners and nominations were celebrated at the Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Awards 2019 held at the Waterside Theatre as part of the national Festival of Learning in June. The annual event, which was attended by over 130 people, recognises learners, trainees, assessors, tutors, learning support assistants, volunteers and staff.

    This year’s ceremony marked the first time that the celebrations were extended to include learners from Buckinghamshire Adult Learning’s new Traineeship scheme. The scheme offers high quality work experience placements and employability workshops to young people aged 16 to 24.

    Also included in the awards were nominations from the Supported Internship programme which provides work opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

    The awards event was attended by the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Anita Cranmer who presented the certificates and awards to nominees and winners; and Sarah Callaghan, Service Director for Education.

    Winners:

    Sandra Bacon – Adult Learner of the Year 2019

    Alicia Stocke – Trainee of the Year 2019

    Tim Wright – Tutor of the Year 2019

    Gay Hutchings-Hay – Learning Support Assistant of the Year 2019

    Richard Vincent – Volunteer of the Year 2019

     

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