Bucks road resurfacing programme off to a great start
This year £15 million is being spent on surfacing Buckinghamshire's roads with more than 100 different routes on the 'to do' list.
The programme will include conventional surfacing across 38 roads, micro-surfacing across 51 roads and surface dressing across 20 roads. Roads included in the programme have been carefully selected with guidance from the Asset Management team, who have worked with Councillors and Local Area Technicians (LATs).
LATs have a broad knowledge of roads around the county and Councillors have an in depth knowledge of their area – combined, they’re able to select the roads that are most in need of repair in order to keep the public safe and the network moving.
Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw, and Deputy Transport Cabinet Member Paul Irwin, visited a site in Slapton to find out more about the work being carried out this year.
The site, in Church Road/Slapton Lane, Slapton, is 1,720 metres long and will take nine days to complete.
That's just one example of the work that will be done through the surfacing programme - and as well as these roads there's another £4 million being spent on repairing potholes too.
To report a problem on a Bucks road go to www.fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk/
Take the stress out of exam season
It's that time of year again - the weather's finally getting warmer and teenagers and young people across the county are hitting the books studying for exams.
It's also Mental Health Awareness Week this week - so what better time than now to share some tips about how to cope with exam stress.
Our Family Information Service and Young Minds have bags of advice for both parents and students to help make exam time as straightforward as possible.
Their tips include how to best prepare for exams by breaking down study time into manageable chunks, to remembering to keep it all in perspective - you can find out more at the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website here and the Young Minds website here.
As MyBucks readers will know, Buckinghamshire County Council is a great supporter of raising awareness about mental health in general and is marking Mental Health Awareness Week this week by sharing messages of advice and support to help people to improve their mental well-being.
This is what Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, Noel Brown, has to say:
"One of the best ways to start improving your mental wellbeing is to talk to someone about how you are feeling. That could be a close friend, or relative or even your GP if you find them easy to talk with, or a close colleague from work.
Someone from one of the local Mental Health support organisations would also be a good start as they are trained to help people talk about their problems, knowing how hard it may be for them.
Many say that just starting to talk about a problem lifts a weight off of their minds, and you will probably have found someone to help you find the right support as well."
If you'd like further help or advice on coping with stress, contact Healthy Minds Bucks, an Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust service which offers help over the phone and in person. You can self-refer to Healthy Minds Bucks by calling 01865 901600, by texting “Talk” and your name to 07798 667169, or complete the online referral form at www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/healthyminds/contact
Buckinghamshire MIND has a variety of local information including support and local community-based services at their website www.bucksmind.org.uk
If you are having a difficult time, the Samaritans are available to talk to 24/7, you can call them FREE on 116 123 or visit their website at www.samaritans.org
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call 111 or 999 for immediate assistance.
Time to Change Buckinghamshire is working to tackle the stigma that can often be experienced by people with mental health problems. To find out more about our work or to get involved go to www.timetochangebucks.org
Armed Forces Day - can you be a part of it?
This year's Armed Forces Day promises to be a fantastic fun day out for the whole family.
With live music, air displays, fairground rides and much much more, this free event will celebrate all our armed forces do.
And we need your help to make it happen! Could you spare a couple of hours to volunteer?
This year's event is on Saturday 29 June at Wycombe Air Park in Booker.
If you want to be a part of this amazing experience and show your appreciation then all you need to do is give up a few hours of your time to volunteer on the day itself or in setting up on the Friday afternoon or helping to clear up the site on Sunday morning afterwards. Duties will include helping with hospitality, car parking, selling programmes, keeping the site safe and clean, backstage support and other duties.
In the past years we’ve been lucky enough to get a group of hard working volunteers to join in and make the day a better experience for the people.
In return you will receive a free limited edition t-shirt and free refreshments throughout the day.
Anyone aged over 14 can volunteer (but under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.)we hope to hear from you soon.
To find out more and to register visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/armedforcesday
Awards for county's brilliant carers
Every year we celebrate people who care for others here in Buckinghamshire - those who work hard and make sacrifices to look after the wellbeing of someone else.
This year's Dignity in Care Awards Ceremony took place earlier this week - the event was to find out who had won the top awards, as well as celebrate the brilliant work our carers and services in Bucks do.
Hosted by BBC news and radio presenter Andy Holmes, the awards were presented alongside moving statements about how nominees had gone above and beyond providing the very highest level of dignity and respect to those most in need.
The overall winner of the top award was Kelly Richards who stood out to the judges because of her fabulous team work at Swarthmore Residential Care Home in Gerrards Cross. Recognised by both her team and residents Kelly was shocked to find out she had won.
Kelly told us, ‘I am really thrilled to have been chosen as the overall winner. It was a lovely surprise to have been nominated in the first place, but to win the top award feels amazing!’
Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Lin Hazell, was delighted to see so many outstanding examples of public service saying,
‘What all these people do is bring genuine happiness and show extra thoughtfulness for the wellbeing of those they look after, so we are delighted to have the chance to say a big thank you.’
A special mention this year went to 12 year old Eduard Deak who received a special Judges Award as it was felt his contribution to ‘Generation Link – Be My Friend’ was an outstanding example of great intergenerational working.
Gill Quinton, Executive Director for Communities, Health and Adult Social Care at Bucks County Council, said, ‘Eduard is a prime example of a young person taking the time to help others and really make a difference.’
‘We couldn’t let this ceremony go by without recognising the fabulous contribution Eduard has made. Huge congratulations and thanks to him, as well as all the other nominees and winners’
The winners are below and you can also check out Bucks County Council website for more: buckscc.gov.uk/dignity-in-care-awards-2019
Putting People First - Chaplaincy Team Lindsay Van Dijk, Stefan Tiran, Carol Hough and Angela Thompson and Kelly Richards
Innovation Award - MHA Hillside Nursing Home
Learning – Suzanne Robinson
Community Engagement - Paul Irwin
Collaboration - Trudi Scrivener
Fulfilling Lives - Dintta Gould
Best Team – Westminster Homecare
Most Improved Service - Litslade Farm Residential Care Home Team
Judges Special Award - Eduard Deak
Overall winner - Kelly Richards
Find things to do for families this half term
May half term is coming up and before you know it, the summer holidays will be here too. As always, you can find things to do for all ages at Bucks Family Info - whether it be holiday activities to fit around your work or activities for the whole family, there’s plenty on offer.
Here are just a few so far:
View all May Half Term Activities
View all Summer Holiday Activities
BFIS is a great place to find family activities all year round. Our Things to do section boasts upcoming events, places to go and activities for children with SEND.
There's plenty to do at our Children's Centres too
Did you know you can find the timetables for all Buckinghamshire’s Children’s Centres in once place? These timetables, along with the activities and services running, are on the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service (BFIS) website: www.bucksfamilyinfo.org/childrens-centres
- Search for centres by name, keywords and postcode
- View and download the latest timetables, under “Useful Documents”
- Discover what services and activities are on offer
- Access detailed Local Offer information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
- Share information with others via social media, SMS and email
The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service
What we do: We provide free, impartial information, advice, and guidance on a range of topics relating to family life including childcare, education, money, local services, things to do and the Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
For: Buckinghamshire families, parents/carers with children aged 0 to 19 years (up to 25 with SEND), young people and professionals.
LinkedIn: Buckinghamshire Family Information Service
Phone: 01296 383 065 or text: 07786 202 920
Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Tour de Vale returns to Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire's biggest bike ride will take place on Sunday 9 June - with riders cycling three routes across scenic countryside all in aid of WheelPower - to help provide life changing opportunities for disabled children and adults to play sport and be more active.
The 100k route was designed for experienced cyclists, the 60k is a challenging ride with a few steep hills and the 25k is a fun ride for all the family which is free for under 16 year olds.
There are water stops on each route with marshals and support vehicles too to ensure everyone's safety.
People taking part raise money for Wheelpower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, which supports disabled people to play sport and lead healthy, active lives.
So if you're interested in entering here's some more detail:
100k Advanced Ride for experienced cyclists
Start time: 9am - 9.15am club cyclists. 9.15am - 9.30am leisure cyclists
View the 100k advanced ride route
60k Challenge Ride with a few steep hills
Start time: 10am - 10.15am club cyclists. 10.15am - 10.30am leisure cyclists
View the 60k Challenge Ride route
25k Fun Ride for all the family (capacity of 725 riders)
- 10.30am - 10.45am single cyclists or groups without children under 16
- 10.45am - 11am family cyclists with children under 16
- 11am - 11.15am family cyclists with children under 16
View the 25k Fun Ride route
To find out more, to enter and to view the full route map go to:
'Love Your Local Market' is coming up in Aylesbury
Don't miss a series of special events over the next fortnight at Aylesbury's markets - as the annual 'Love Your Local Market' celebrations get into full swing.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a selection of special live events over the two-week period - here's the lowdown on what's coming up:
Friday 17 May
Foodie Friday Live launches this year’s festivities to celebrate the national annual campaign for Love Your Local Market. This is an opportunity for market traders to showcase their products with live cooking demonstrations and food sampling. The event will take place between 11am - 3pm with a live compere.
Saturday 18 May
The Bluebird Belles, a vintage vocal harmony trio, will be giving three performances between 11am - 3pm, and will be accompanied by the MK Swing Dancers. Visitors should put on their dancing shoes and prepare to boogie!
Tuesday 21 May
Aylesbury’s Vintage & Craft Bazaar is proud to be hosting Antiques Roadshow’s John Bly, who will be on hand to value your antiques between 10am - 2pm for free. There will also be a host of stalls for visitors to browse.
Wednesday 22 May
The Shave - Wes Venn from Mix 96 will be brandishing the scissors and removing Amy Moon's rainbow hair! (11.45am - 12.15pm). This is in aid of Cancer Research UK.
Saturday 25 May
Love Your Local Market celebrations between 11am - 2pm with musical entertainment from the ever-popular Ellesborough Silver band.
Wednesday 29 May
Family fun with giant games located on Market Square between 11am - 3pm. Families can enjoy giant Jenga, Connect 4, snakes and ladders, draughts, noughts & crosses, and big rubber Lego.
Fancy a stroll? It's National Walking Week so now's the time!
May has been designated as National Walking Month to prompt us all to find ways to do more walking and to reap the health benefits and enjoy the pleasures and discoveries that walking can bring.
Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy walking is to get out and about in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside, taking advantage of the 3,359 Km (2,087 miles) of rights of way that stretch from the banks of the Thames, across the magnificent Chilterns, and into the rural north of the county. You can discover the rights of way network on our website, or get ideas for walks from websites such as Walking Britain.
But country walks are just one way to get walking more.
Living Streets, the charity behind National Walking Month, has put together all sorts of ideas on how you can slip some extra walking into a busy daily routine, including while at work.
And why not try one of our own 'Simply Walk' organised walks? We have up to 80 guided walks in all locations across Buckinghamshire every week. It's the perfect way to get out and meet people and to enjoy some fresh air and exercise and our walks cater for all fitness levels.
Coming up at Bucks County Museum
Saturday 25 May, 7.45pm - 10pm
Join this community event to explore the CommUnity Voices exhibition and to break fast together during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan. Enjoy delicious food, engage with the Islamic faith through inspiring talks and delicious halal food.
The museum has recently received objects from the Muslim community which are displayed in the exhibition and we would like to extend our thanks by hosting this iftar for people of all faiths and none to experience the spirit of Ramadan.
There is no charge for this event but a voluntary donation of £3 per person is welcomed on arrival at the Museum to help support events such as these in the future. Please book on our website as places are limited.
Bank Holiday Event
Classic Vehicles from the Kop Hill Climb
Monday 27 May, 11am – 4pm
Wonderful classic cars and motorcycles from 1910 to 1960s will be on show in the Museum gardens during this May Bank Holiday Monday.
Hear the engines of the visiting cars start up and roar on the hour from 11am to 4pm and discover more about the impact of the motorcar on people’s lives. Find out what it’s like to sit in one of these classic vehicles and take part in family activities.
Please note that this event is weather dependent.
May Half Term Family Drop-in Craft Activities
Come and share your crafty skills with us in our large and comfortable Learning Zone.
Tuesday 28 May, 10am - 12 noon & 1pm - 3pm
Mix n Match Painting where you can choose from a selection of painting activities including small ceramics, a mini canvas and more.
Wednesday 29 May, 10am - 12 noon & 1pm - 3pm
Mix n Match Crafting where you can make your own wind chimes and much more.
Drop in between 10am and 12 noon or 1pm and 3pm. No booking needed. Toddler play area too. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost £4 per child.
The Museum also has a café serving light snacks and shop stocking gifts, local books, cards and beautiful jewellery and ceramics.
Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP. Tel 01296 331441 www.buckscountymuseum.org
Love your Library
Make a Noise in Libraries fortnight
Discover how libraries can help the visually impaired get online and enjoy the wide range of alternative reading formats available through libraries and our national partners.
Each year RNIB, Share the Vision and libraries celebrate Make a Noise in Libraries (MANIL). The fortnight-long celebration encourages accessibility and inclusivity for all blind and partially sighted people in local libraries.
The theme of MANIL 2019 is ‘Get Connected’ - digital access can open up new ways to get connected, to access books and information and combat isolation. Reading connects people and for those living with sight loss, new technologies make it easier to access books and information using both print and digital technology.
For information on how Buckinghamshire Libraries can support visually impaired customers with digital devices please visit https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/libraries/books-and-reading/blind-and-visually-impaired/ or ask in your local library.
Find out more about our MANIL events at: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/news-libraries/manil2019/
Dementia Action Week
Dementia Action Week is 20-26th May and Buckinghamshire Libraries hold a number of collections that can help those with dementia, anybody caring for somebody with dementia, or anybody that would like to find out more about the condition.
Reading Well books on dementia is a collection of books on dementia, chosen by health experts and those living with the condition, ready to reserve and borrow from your local library.
The Reminiscence Collection can help families and carers to remember the past and share experiences, and we’re continually adding new items to the collection. Items are available to anybody with a library card and include:
- Board and card games to stimulate mind and memory
- Activities to encourage use of fine motor skills
- Table-top and chair games designed for people with mobility difficulties
- Tactile and visual activities suitable for people living with visual impairment, dementia or learning difficulties
- Photos and scrapbooks of different time periods
- DVDs on the years 1931-1989
- Suitcases of historical memorabilia (1930s, 1950s, WW2, Victorians)
- Jigsaw puzzles/jigsticks
- Memory boxes (toys, household objects)
- Giant floor games
Your Library Loan History
If you’re visiting one of our libraries and you would find it useful to be reminded if you have previously borrowed a title, please see staff on your next visit.
If you have access to the internet you can view all the books you have borrowed by logging into your account at https://buckinghamshire.spydus.co.uk and selecting ‘history’.
Summer Reading Challenge - coming soon!
The Summer Reading Challenge is returning to Bucks libraries on Saturday 13 July. The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read six library books during the summer holiday. Children can borrow and read whatever they like, with special rewards given when they finish reading.
There's a certificate and medal for everyone who completes the Challenge.
This year marks 20 years since the start of the Challenge.
The theme this year is “Space Chase” inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
More information coming soon - watch this “space”.
Reading Hacks - can you inspire young readers?
Reading Hack is a national programme led by young people aged 14 to 24 who do activities and volunteering to gain skills and experience, while inspiring others to read.
We are looking for young volunteers to help us with the annual Summer Reading Challenge which takes place July to September this year. This is a fantastic opportunity to help the next generation of young readers to maintain their reading skills over the summer holiday.
Sign up here
It's Elmer Day!
Everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant turns 30 on Saturday 25 May. Elmer day is a national celebration of the popular children's character, with hundreds of events taking place in bookshops and libraries across the country.
Created by David Mckee, Elmer was first published by Anderson Press in 1989. Since then, Elmer's iconic patchwork and playful character have made him a firm favourite in millions of households across the world. Elmer encourages children to accept other's differences and practice tolerance and kindness.
Buckinghamshire libraries have many Elmer books available to borrow and reserve. Take a look here
Find Elmer Day library activities on our events page
Leading better lives
Have you heard of The Local Offer for SEND?
The Local Offer for SEND is an accessible hub bringing together information from education, health and social care with support services and inclusive activities across Buckinghamshire. The Local Offer sets out the support that should be on offer to children and young people aged 0-25. It also explains how to access these services and can signpost you to the right place.
On The Local Offer you can…
- Search for local services
- Find inclusive activities, things to do and holiday activities
- Find information on Education, Health, Local Services, Social Care and more
- Download forms and templates
- Access Annual SEN Information Reports from local schools
- Read or watch young people’s stories
- Listen, translate and simplify the website
Tip: any webpage, service or activity can be added to a short list to print, save or share!
SEND Inclusive Holiday Activities
As the May Half Term approaches, you can find inclusive activities taking place on the Local Offer including All Ability Days, Art Club and Messy Play and Farm and Theatre experiences.
View Inclusive May Half Term Activities
Visit: www.bucksfamilyinfo.org/localoffer and like the Local Offer on Facebook @BucksLocalOffer
It's Foster Care Fortnight 13 - 24 May
Keely, who grew up in the care of a Buckinghamshire County Council foster carer reveals how fostering has the power to change futures:
“I have got the best foster parents in the world who have given me the best opportunity in life and are very supportive. Please help another child in need and give them a chance.”
Foster Care Fortnight (13 – 24 May 2019) is a national campaign run by the Fostering Network, aiming to celebrate the great work foster carers do to change our foster children’s futures, bust myths on who can foster, and help raise awareness of the ongoing need for new foster carers.
This Foster Care Fortnight we’re sharing how our carers and staff have changed a child’s future; you can watch some of their moving stories here.
This Foster Care Fortnight, you are invited to join us at a series of events we are hosting across the county to help you find out more about fostering and the specialist training, generous allowances and excellent support we offer to all our foster carers.
If you think fostering could be for you or someone you know, why not drop in to one of our events in your local area, we’ll be hosting drop in sessions in the following locations with more dates to be confirmed:
Tesco Extra Loudwater, Wycombe – Wednesday 15 May (3pm – 6pm)
Harris + Hoole, Buckingham – Friday 17 May (10am – 12pm)
Tesco Extra Broadfield, Aylesbury - Friday 24 May (2pm – 6pm)
Call us to find out more or for additional venue information as we announce more information sessions
Our next information event will be held on Wednesday 29 May, 7:00pm at
Buckingham Opportunities Centre,
You can book your place here. Come along and ask us your questions and find out if you could help change a future.
Even if fostering isn’t for you, there are many ways you can help support and spread the message. You can find more information on fostering on our website or by phoning 0800 160 1900.
It's never too late to learn something new
Buckinghamshire Adult Learning has more than 1,500 part time classes at over 140 places across Buckinghamshire.
You can study for a day - or an entire year, depending on what you're interested in!
We're offering some free taster workshops at Chesham Adult Learning Centre on Saturday 29 June - you can try Jewellery Making, Tai Chi, or Painting, or have a go at learning a new language - we've got taster classes in Chinese, Portuguese, Russian or Swedish on offer.
The free taster classes are on from 10:00am - 2:00pm, Saturday 29 June, at:
Chesham Adult Learning Centre
Chiltern Hills Academy
To sign up call 01494 778 023 Mon-Fri 9:00am - 2:00pm.