Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Improvement Plan Lifts Need For Close Scrutinisation of Bedfordshire's NHS

NHS England has removed special measures on Bedfordshire's health body, after it delivered on an improvement plan to stabilise its finances and put the organisation on a firmer footing.

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group was placed under 'legal directions' in 2015 after it delivered a £42m uncontrolled loss over the previous two years.

The 'legal directions' meant that a new Accountable Officer and Executive team was appointed and the organisation was closely scrutinised to ensure better financial management and corporate governance was put in place.

The organisation also increased its clinical leadership, appointing a number of clinicians, including a new chair to the health body, to ensure that all decisions were made with patients in mind.

Dr Alvin Low, Chairman of Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said, "We are delighted that NHS England has lifted 'legal directions'. It is a resounding endorsement of the hard work and commitment shown by the Executive team and our staff over the last two years.

Much work has been done to steady the ship and strengthen the organisation, while ensuring that we continue to deliver quality health care services to residents in Bedfordshire."

In 2017, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group delivered a surplus for the first time since it was created in 2013, whilst also paying back some of the deficit it accrued in the previous two years.

Dr Low said, "While this is terrific news, we need to be mindful of challenges ahead, especially in terms of managing our finances when our population is growing in size and need. However, this process has made us a stronger and more resilient organisation than we were before and we will continue to work hard to make a difference to the health of the communities we serve in Bedfordshire."

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 441,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services.

·         BCCG is run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. All 53 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members of the CCG which is divided into five areas, which we call localities. These are: Bedford, Chiltern Vale, Leighton Buzzard, Ivel Valley and West Mid Bedfordshire and all of the 53 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Voluntary News - For Luton

   Training and Events                                                          
Fancy a coffee and some networking with colleagues from the VCS and the statutory sector? Deniece Dobson, Relationship and Partnership Manager VCS at Luton Borough Council, is hosting some networking coffee mornings for voluntary and community sector organisations working in Luton.

The first session is on Tuesday 4 July (10:30am – 11:45am), Committee Room 4, Luton Town Hall. For more information click here.
Co-op Foundation #iwill fund – This fund is looking to support one youth social action/loneliness project in Luton, working with young people aged between 10 and 20, with a grant of up to £35,000. The grant will be awarded for 1 year initially, although partners will be able to re-apply for a further 2 years’ funding. The deadline to submit expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 7 July, but earlier submissions are strongly encouraged. The deadline for full applications is Friday 14 July. Click here.
Tender Opportunity - Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS), Bedfordshire. An ‘Industry Event’ is being held on 23 June, 11am - 12.30pm, in Flitwick. Commissioners will be looking for ‘innovative proposals to provide consistent access to evidence based interventions delivering demonstrable outcomes for Children, young people and their families as part of an integrated offer. The scope will include schools and early help activities, with a strong emphasis on service user and stakeholder engagement.’ Click here.

Whitbread Plc Chairman’s Fund – Awards of between £250 and £3,000 on projects fitting the three themes of the fund:
  • Skills and inclusion
  • The reduction of rural social isolation
  • Community cohesion
The fund has been created to support charities and community groups whose beneficiaries are from the South Bedfordshire communities of Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and the outlying villages to the County boundary. Click here.

Merry Christmas! – Now is the time to start planning for Christmas! The closing date to register for The Big Give Christmas Challenge is 7 July. This scheme offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled when the campaign goes live in November. Click here.
    Other Information                                                          
Lay Members are needed for Luton Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and Luton Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB). They are looking to recruit people living in Luton who have an interest in keeping vulnerable children and adults safe from abuse. The LSCB and LSAB are responsible for making sure agencies work together to safeguard and promote the well-being of adults, children and young people in Luton. Closing date for application is Monday 26 June. Download the information pack and the application form.

Access2Books is a charity based in Bedfordshire whose mission it is to ensure that everyone has access to books. They take the most popular children’s books in the UK and turn them into accessible books for people who have print disabilities. For more information click here.

Small Charity Week is 19-24 June – check out the website, which includes information on fundraising opportunities. Click here.

Changes to Data Protection law - Do you know what the GDPR is? The General Data Protection Regulation will apply from May 2018, setting out the main responsibilities for organisations and their use of personal data, including a new accountability requirement. Click here.

Mencap’s ‘Employ Me’ program aims to develop peoples’ employability skills through either weekly 1 to 1 meetings with an Employment Coordinator, or as part of a group session – whichever the individual prefers. Sessions cover everything from C.V. writing to health and safety, and anything else relating to work and the workplace. Whilst the ultimate aim is to find someone a paid job, they also aim to provide people with the skills they need to find paid work in the future, so even if you just need help finding the right training course, volunteering role or work experience, then Mencap can support you. More information on the Mencap website, but to make a local referral email david.muwonge@mencap.org.uk

The NSPCC has published updated editions of two safeguarding publications:
  • Standards and guidance for the voluntary and community sector in England designed to help non-statutory organisations put in place clear safeguarding arrangements for children, young people and young adults up to the age of 25. click here.
  • Are they safe?: a safeguarding guide for group leaders in the voluntary and community sector, which provides a range of activities, support or services, from arts activities and hobbies to faith-based education or community work. Click here.
Education and Learning Manager, Relate Bedfordshire and Luton. The post will be based in Bedford and on a 12 months fixed term contract. Deadline, 5pm, 30 June. Click here.

Families United Network are recruiting to the following posts:
  • Support Workers for the Saturday Club in Luton
  • Cleaner for 6 hours a week
For more information click here.

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Volunteering Luton | 5 June 2017

Voluntaryworks Luton

5 June 2017


Happy Volunteers' Week!

Volunteers' Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It takes place from 1-7 June every year.  Why not take the opportunity to say 'thank you' to your existing volunteers? Go to http://volunteersweek.org/ for more information.


 Training and Events

Safeguarding our Communities from Harm, Saturday 10 June (1pm-4pm) - This 'Train the Trainer' session is being run by Bedfordshire Police at the Police Headquarters in Kempston for staff from voluntary organisations in Bedford who may come across or work with victims in their local community. Click here.

PREVENT Training Session, 23 June, 11am-12.30pm, TOKKO, Luton. This free training is run by Bedfordshire Police and will cover and explain the PREVENT duty and what it means to you. It will also explain how to ensure compliance and raising awareness within your job role and organisation. To reserve your place please e-mail hazel.mellon@tokko.co.uk

Benefits Update 2017 - Thursday 29 June (10am - 1pm) - Bunyan Meeting Rooms, Bedford. This half-day course from Bedfordshire Advice Forum is aimed at people who give advice on benefits to clients, and who want an update on the wide-ranging, 2017 benefit changes. A good knowledge of current benefits is required. Click here for more details and prices.

Neglect Strategy Training – 3 July (9.30am-12pm), Luton Irish Forum - A free 2.5 hour awareness raising briefing is being offered to partners who work in Luton who may identify a child who is being neglected. The briefing will outline the Pan Beds Neglect Strategy, explain the Graded Care Profile 2 tool, and consider how you would work with practitioners who are using the tool. Click here and select 3 July on the calendar.



National Churches Trust offers funds for Christian church projects which help maintain the UK's heritage of church buildings and enhance their ability to serve local communities. The next deadline for the following grants programmes is 3 July:

  • Community Grants of £10,000 to £25,000 to enable increased community use of places of worship
  • Repair Grants of £10,000 to £40,000 are available towards the cost of urgent and essential structural repair projects
  • Project Viability and Project Development Grants up to £10,000

For more information click here.

Help The Homeless's main funding remit is the regular allocation of grants (generally up to £5,000) for capital costs to small and medium-sized registered charities only (those with a turnover of under £1m per annum). All applications must relate to projects that assist individuals to return to mainstream society, rather than simply offer shelter or other forms of sustenance. The next two deadlines are 15 June and 15 September. Click here.

Tender Opportunity - The Bedfordshire Employment & Skills Service (BESS) wishes to commission a number of adult training courses to be delivered in the academic year 2017-18 and the funding available is £500,000.  The courses will support unemployed residents of Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough local authority areas into further learning or employment. Deadline is 19 June. Click here.

Old Possum's Practical Trust makes a number of small grants (within the range of £500 - £5,000) each year for literary, artistic, musical and theatrical projects. Grants are more likely to be given for projects which fall within artistic, aesthetic, literary, musical and theatrical criteria. All applications must demonstrate a high level of sustainability and contextual impact. Priority will be given to those which have an impact on future literary work and display enterprise in their artistic endeavour. Click here.

Greggs offer grants of up to £2,000 to smaller not-for-profit organisations in areas where there is a Greggs store. There are two types of grant available:

  • Local Community Projects Fund is for projects which improve resilience within communities of interest, such as people who are disabled or suffering chronic illness, living in poverty, voluntary carers, homeless, isolated older people, or other demonstrable significant need. For more information click here.
  • Environmental Grants are for projects that improve the physical environment in a way that will improve people's lives. Click here.

The next deadline is 24 June.


Other Information

The Luton and Bedfordshire Community Awards welcome nominations about individuals, who either live or work in organisations within the boundaries of Luton and Central Bedfordshire. There are a number of awards, including Volunteer of the Year. The closing date for nominations is 14 August. Click here.

Bedford and Luton Community Foundation is actively seeking new trustees for the Board, to help with the management and governance of the Charity. The role requires hands-on professionals who understand the financial, regulatory or voluntary sector background within which the Foundation operates. Deadline 30 June. Click here.

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton is able to deliver a 'Customer Care' 2-day workshop at your venue, which will provide tailored strategies for your Customer Service staff.  This new bespoke support for employers, starting this month, aims to help improve handling of customer queries and complaints over the phone or face-to-face, in areas like Community Centres, Children Centres, Call Centres and Receptions. For more information and costs, contact email training@relatebedsandluton.org.uk

Do you have any projects suitable for groups of volunteers? A number of local businesses are looking for projects on which a group of their employees can work, such as building a playhouse, a garden project, mentoring, or the painting of a community building. If you have any creative ideas then please send an email with an outline of the project tovolunteering@luton.gov.uk

Friday, 26 May 2017

Arriva Bus Changes Start on June 18th - Route Changes and New Services

Arriva bus services across Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis will be changing on 18th June.

Full timetables are being produced and they plan to have those in circulation in the next two weeks. An information desk will be in the Mall in Luton between the 8th and 11th June. Timetables

In addition to the service changes Arriva are also planning fare changes including the reduction of their day, week and 4 weekly tickets in price. A weekly network ticket will go down from £17.50 to just £15.

1 Reinstated to Farley Hill

4 Reinstated to Farley Hill

12 New timetable and route

13 New timetable and route

14 Afternoon timetable changes

23 No change

24 New timetable

25 New timetable

27 New timetable

28 New timetable and route

28A Withdrawn

29 New timetable and route

29A Withdrawn

31 New timetable

32 New timetable

33 New timetable and route

38 Withdrawn

38A Withdrawn

70 New timetable

F70 New timetable

321 New timetable

A New timetable and route

Z New timetable and route

Download the full details. (pdf) or Read on Arriva Web Site

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Free Workshops on Mental Health Issues

A number of free workshops are being held locally. Bedfordshire and Luton Recovery College is part of the Bedfordshire Mental Health Academy which is a formal partnership with East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and the University of Bedfordshire.

The college is open to any adults who live or work in Bedfordshire and Luton.

Courses and workshops focus on mental health wellbeing and recovery. They are delivered by people with lived experience and professional experience.

We promote a positive student experience based on the principles of recovery and the values of the University of Bedfordshire and East London NHS Foundation Trust.

All of the courses and workshops are FREE of CHARGE.

Courses are open to people age 18 and over  who live or work in Bedfordshire and Luton
People living with mental health problems, their carers , family and friends
Colleagues from ELFT, Local authorities and local partner organisations

There are places still available on our workshops below. If you would like to book a place please email
recoverycollege@elft.nhs.uk or Telephone Nicky on 01234 273479

Workshop title: Trans Gender Awareness
Date: Thursday 25th May 2017
Time: 10.30-12.30

Workshop title: CREATIVE WRITING
Date: TUESDAY 30TH MAY 2017
Time: 10.00 – 13.00
Venue: The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford, MK40 3XD

Date: Tuesday 30th May 2017
Time: 10.30 – 12.30
Venue: Incuba, 1 Brewers Hill Road, Dunstable, LU6 1AA

Workshop title: Asian Community Mental Health Wellbeing
Date: Thursday 1st June 2017
Time: 12.30-15.00
Venue:ACCM (UK) 3A Woburn Road, Bedford, MK40 1EG

Workshop title: Dementia after diagnosis information workshop
Date: Monday 5th June 2017
Time: 14.00-16.00
Venue:St Andrews Church Hall, Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2PF

Workshop title: Polish Community Mental Health & Wellbeing
Date: Tuesday 13th June 2017
Time: 10.30-13.00
Venue: ACCM (UK) 3A Woburn Road, Bedford, MK40 1EG

Workshop title: Co-Production
Date: Thursday 15th June 2017
Time: 10.00-12.00
Venue: Priory Methodist Church, Choir Vestry, 63 Newnham Avenue, Bedford, MK41 9QJ
(This workshop is for people who are currently using ELFT NHS Services only and their carers)

Workshop title: Interview Skills
Date: Thursday 15th June 2017
Time: 13.00-15.00
Venue: Priory Methodist Church, Small Hall, 63 Newnham Avenue, Bedford, MK41 9QJ
(This workshop is for people who are currently using ELFT NHS Services only and their carers)

Workshop title: Co-Production
Date: Thursday 15th June 2017
Time: 10.00-12.00
(This workshop is for people who are currently using ELFT NHS Services only and their carers)

Workshop title: Interview Skills
Date: Thursday 15th June 2017
Time: 13.00-15.00
(This workshop is for people who are currently using ELFT NHS Services only and their carers)

Workshop title: Alcohol & Awareness
Date: Wednesday 21st June 2017
Time: 13.30-15.30

Date: Screening – Thursday 29th June until Thursday 6th July
Time: 14.00-15.30
(This workshop is for people currently accessing Mental Health Services in Bedford & Central Bedfordshire)


Friday, 12 May 2017

Voluntaryworks Luton - 12 May 2017

Voluntaryworks Luton

12 May 2017


Bags of Help is Tesco's local community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects. Applications from Luton-based projects are particularly welcome. Three community projects in each local area will be voted on by customers in Tesco stores. The project that receives the most votes in its area will receive a grant of up to £4,000, second place receiving up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000. Click here.


 Training and Events

Healthwatch Luton's Youth Forum, 1.30pm, 30 May, TOKKO Youth Space. Healthwatch Luton would like to speak with children and young people ranging from 14-24 about their experiences on health and social care services in Luton. Click here.

Mary Seacole is running a Community Funday on the afternoon of Saturday 22 July at Brantwood Road Park in Luton. Organisations are invited to book a pitch. Click here.

 Other Information
Listening for Change - Two Sides of the Same Coin is a report by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Blagrave Trust which explores the relationship between funders and social-purpose organisations. Click here.
Charity Coms have issued a guide to producing annual reports. Click here.

CGL are a charity delivering drug and alcohol support services to clients in Luton. They are looking for venues across Luton that they could use to meet with clients - such as community centres/church halls/GP surgeries across the town. The type of spaces they are looking for are 1 to 1 spaces and small rooms that can seat 10 to 15 people. Their normal hours of work are 9am – 5pm but they also work till 8pm on 3 nights during the week and would like to increase this provision to include weekends. If you have a room that might suit them, please send details of the space, when it's available and the price, to Anthony Isles by email at Anthony.Isles@cgl.org.uk or phone him on 01582 965123 or 07768034996.


Community Director, Emmaus Village Carlton, £45,000 per annum. Deadline 9am, 19 May. Click here.

Polish-speaking sessional Youth and Community Worker, TOKKO Youth Space, Luton. 10 hours per week, £8-9 per hour depending on experience. Deadline 12pm, 22 May. Click here.

Service Delivery Manager, Citizens Advice Bedford, minimum of 30 hours per week, £25,012 pro-rata, permanent. Deadline  25 May. Click here.

Chief Executive, Willen Hospice, circa £80,000 per annum + benefits. Deadline 9am, 25 May. Click here.

Domestic Abuse Practitioner, FACES, Bedford. Full-time, £21,745, deadline 2 June. Click here.

Administration Manager, Level Trust, Luton, 8 hours per week, £21,000 pro-rata. Deadline 2 June. Click here.

The Hope Programme is advertising a number of vacancies:

  • Service Delivery Manager, 21 hours per week
  • Administrator, 21 hours per week

For more information click here




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