Compassionate Community

NEW NATIONAL CHARTER AWARD GIVEN TO WHITTINGTON AND FISHERWICK FOR COMPASSION IN THE COMMUNITY

The charity Compassionate Communities UK (CC-UK) presented Whittington and Fisherwick with the prestigious award on Monday, November 1, as a surprise to coincide with the first International Compassionate Communities Day.

A compassionate community is one where communities actively encourage and support one another during life’s most challenging times such as those relating to serious illness, death and bereavement.

Members of the Whittington and Fisherwick Good Neighbour Scheme have been a focal point in the village over the past six years supporting elderly, vulnerable and disabled residents. They have been supported by the parish council and a range of groups and businesses within the village including the Co-op, the Scouts, the Women’s Institute, the pharmacy, Woodhouse Farm and many others.

St Giles was one of the first hospices in the UK to commence a community development programme, recognising that, alongside specialist palliative care, communities needed to be supported in order to have the confidence and resilience to provide support for each other. As a result, the Good Neighbour Scheme and St Giles Hospice have been working successfully together for a number of years leading to the new accreditation.

Peter Ellis, Chair of Trustees for CC-UK, said: “To achieve Compassionate Community status requires demonstration that a place, in this case a village, is coming together, across different sectors, schools, businesses, care providers and most importantly citizens to support each other on issues to do with death, dying and loss.

“What is clear in Whittington and Fisherwick is that the Good Neighbour Scheme has become a focus in bringing the community together along with the contribution from St Giles Hospice, the parish council and others. On evaluating the evidence towards accreditation, the panel was very impressed and was in no doubt that the village deserves this award.”

Ian Leech, Community Engagement Manager at St Giles Hospice, said that, in addition to working with local schools and hosting events, the hospice had provided facilities for community groups to meet as well as delivered sessions on care planning, funeral wishes, dementia friends training and understanding bereavement.

“Any way that we can help and do our bit for the village and for the people who live here, we’ll do it,” said Ian. “Ultimately we want to be a part of Whittington village, not apart from it, and I think we do that very well thanks to the Good Neighbour Scheme.”

Terry Tricker, Chair of Whittington and Fisherwick Good Neighbours said: “It is an honour for the work of our residents to be recognised in this way. Our collaboration with St Giles Hospice has provided additional resources and support for our community and in turn we have supported them in their work on improving end of life care and bereavement support out in communities. There are so many people to thank in relation to this award, it is a wonderful community to be part of.”

Garry Hyde, Chair of the Whittington and Fisherwick Parish Council said: “This is a fantastic award and I’m so pleased the hard work of all our village groups and residents has been recognised in this way.

“The neighbourhood has always pulled together and looked after the community – even more so since the COVID pandemic so this award means the world to us.”

Whittington resident Val Brocklebank said volunteers for the Good Neighbour Scheme had been particularly supportive during lockdown, popping round with treats and taking residents to and from vaccination appointments.

“I don’t know what I’d do without them,” she said. “The scheme has given me some human contact and company. I think they’re the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened in this village and we’re very fortunate to have them.”

For further information or for any media enquiries please contact gary.young@stgileshospice.com or Gary Young on 07855 926123.

Staffordshire Foundation

Whittington and Fisherwick Fund to offer extra help

People in the parish of Whittington and Fisherwick can now apply for financial help and support under 4 different measures. The Whittington and Fisherwick Fund, which is part of The Community Foundation, is now offering financial support to people who may need it for any of following reasons:

• Ill health – you could get a grant of £100 if you need to spend more on travelling to doctor’s, dentist’s or hospital appointments

• Social Isolation – You could get a grant of £100 if you need support to attend social activities, or travel costs to meet the costs of journeys to allow you to shop or visit friends

• Financial need – you could get a grant of £100 if your income has been affected in some way, or if you need extra support with rising household costs

• Emergency need – If you experience an emergency, such as if your boiler or fridge has broken down and you need a replacement, then we may be able to help you. In this instance we won’t make a financial award, but can arrange to pay for and deliver and install a replacement item

Sian Emery, who looks after the fund, said “When you apply please remember that we don’t know about your personal circumstances, and so in order for us to make a decision we need as much information as you can give. Anything you say will be treated confidentially and won’t be shared with other organisations. If you have trouble completing the application form you can call us and we can help you.”

Community based organisations who are working to help residents in Whittington and Fisherwick can also apply for grants of up to £1000, although we may consider awarding more in exceptional circumstances. In either case you must be able to demonstrate how people in the parish will directly benefit from your project.

If you are not sure whether you should apply, or if you would be eligible to ask for help, please give the team at the Foundation a call on 01785 339540 and they will be able to talk things through with you, or you can visit the ‘Grants’ section of their website at staffordshire.foundation

New Councillor

New Councillor

The Parish Council is pleased to welcome Ped Zaric as our new Councillor. Ped was appointed unanimously by the Council on Monday night. His skills and experience will no doubt prove invaluable to the Council as we move forward with lots of interesting projects. The Council now has a full complement of 15 Councillors which is one of the best represented parishes in Staffordshire.

New Play Area Bit End Field

Exciting News! The long awaited new play area for very young children is one step closer as confirmation has just been received that the project meets all the planning requirements. The Parish Council should be able to go ahead with the construction in the very near future, subject to final confirmation of funding. The Parish Council wants to thank to all those in the community who have been so supportive of the project.

Decarbonising Whittington and Fisherwick

The Parish Council wants to help to reduce our reliance on gas and oil and is leading a study into how best to decarbonise Whittington and Fisherwick. This follows the Council’s success in being awarded a £34,000 grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund to move this forward. Bioregional, the consultants, need to assess the current energy use of a range of typical properties, and they need information on recent usage for a range of properties that are representative of our community.

The ideal information set is shown below but at a minimum a year’s data would be helpful. It will move things forward a long way if you could provide this and we will pass it on:

Your address – to allow them to match energy use to housing typology

House type: Detached/semi/terraced/bungalow/maisonette

Electricity and heating (ie gas or oil) usage/meter readings for the smallest period available (e.g. in order of preference monthly, quarterly, yearly). For as many years as you are able to provide, identifying the years which the bills correspond to.

If the house has an EPC, could you share the certificate number? (they have these from the public record anyway, but it would be useful to match meter readings to EPC)

A brief description of current heating system – type of boiler (if there is one), capacity, radiator sizes?

Could you send your data to the Parish Clerk (davidjfwalton@aol.com). Any personal information (eg email addresses) will of course be treated in confidence

Whittington Traffic Problems

Cllr. Alan White the Leader of Staffordshire County Council came to the Council Meeting on Monday. Alan said that he is very concerned with the Highway related problems affecting Whittington, and gave an update on the action that is being taken. He said that the 4 main problem areas are: the accidents happening at the Dog crossroads, the additional traffic problems caused by the diversions due to HS2 works, the implementation of a 20mph speed limit for Whittington, and the Swan Bridge damage. Cllr. White said that in relation to the crossroads speed humps are not practical because of the disturbance caused by the noise, and flashing warning lights can cause mental health issues. He will ask his Highway engineers to examine if better road markings will help improve the situation. In relation to the traffic problems caused by diverted HS2 traffic both he and Michael Fabricant MP have written to the Chairman of HS2 expressing concern. In relation to speeding traffic SCC will be carrying out speed monitoring to help discover the extent of the problem, but already concluded that a one-way system was impractical. In relation to the low railway bridge that is causing lorries to reverse over the Swan Bridge Cllr. White said that he will ask his team to ascertain if better signage would improve matters.

HS2 Announcement

Announcement re HS2

Dear Stakeholder,

Marston Box is the bridge that will carry the HS2 line across the M42 motorway near junction 9, north of Lea Marston and Curdworth in North Warwickshire. In December 2021 we need to undertake work, between junctions 9 and 10 of the M42 motorway, to prepare the ground to enable us to move the Marston Box bridge into position in winter 2022.

To complete these works safely and efficiently there will be a temporary full closure of both the M42 southbound and northbound, between junctions 9 and 10, for 7 days. The closure period will be:

9pm on Friday 24 December (Christmas Eve) to 9pm on Friday 31 December 2021 (New Year’s Eve).

A clearly signed diversion route will be in place over this period with advance signage in place to help remind motorists of the closure.

If you have any questions regarding the closure, please contact the HS2 Helpdesk on: Freephone: 08081 434 434

Email: hs2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

To receive updates about the closure, subscribe to

www.hs2inwarwickshire.co.

Grant Opportunities

Lichfield District Council

Press release: 12 November 2021

Groups reminded to apply for a small grant

With just over a week to go until the first round of the Councillor Local Community Fund draws to a close, local groups are being encouraged to apply to their local district councillor for a small grant of between £50 and £300.

Since the Councillor Local Community Fund launched in July, district councillors have awarded around £9,000 to local community groups in their areas.

The fund is part of Lichfield District Council’s two-year pilot scheme that sees all 47 district councillors each receive £300 to distribute to local groups each year.

There is still around £5,000 available across a number a wards in the first round of funding. However, with the deadline to apply for a grant this year fast approaching, the district council is reminding groups to apply before it is too late.

Councillor Doug Pullen, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “We don’t want any local groups to miss out on a small grant because they were unaware the funding is available to them, which is why we’re encouraging them to apply now.

“From buying equipment to helping put on an event, a small grant can be used for a whole range of things to benefit the local community.

“It’s great to see the fund already having a positive impact on local groups, and we’re looking forward to finding out what other community projects are planned across the district.”

Individuals can also apply for funding, provided they can show the application is on behalf of a local community project or activity.

A number of councillors can be approached for funding of up to £900 per group. The application period for 2021 will close on 30 November 2021,

Find out more and apply for funding at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/councillorfund.