Start a crowdfunding campaign for your community

Are you interested in starting your own crowdfunding campaign for your community? Come along to a CrowdfundLeicester workshop to find out more. These will be held at St Matthews Big Local on Thursday 1st March 2018:- Workshop 1: 9.30-11.30 and Workshop 2: 14.00-16.00

From community gardens and street murals to festivals and sports facilities, Leicester has a new way to support local projects. CrowdFundLeicester is the City Mayor’s new crowdfunding initiative which gives people the opportunity to pitch their ideas, big or small, to make Leicester an even better place to live, work, study and visit.

The City Mayor is looking to support ideas in a number of ways. You might be interested in taking on some underused City Council owned land or perhaps pitching to the City Mayor’s Community Engagement Fund. Pledges up to £10,000 are available from that Fund for ideas that really will improve our city for those that need it most. CrowdFundLeicester is starting to link in with other potential backers too, including St Matthews Big Local who are also looking to support projects which benefit the residents of St Matthews.

If you are interested in becoming a project creator and being part of CrowdFundLeicester then join us at one of our interactive workshops to find out all you need know and find out more about CrowdFund Leicester.


Get involved in the Time to Change Leicester campaign

Time to Change Leicester is a year-long campaign which aims to challenge attitudes towards mental health by kick starting conversations about mental health across the city including, supporting people who are experiencing or have experienced mental health problems to run events and projects that challenge stigma in their communities.

Mental health problems are common in Leicester and are estimated to affect one in four people. It’s likely that you know someone with a mental health problem – perhaps someone at work, in your friendship group or in your family.

The campaign will encourage people with mental health problems in Leicester to feel more comfortable to talk to their colleagues, neighbours, friends and family about how they’re feeling – it could make all the difference in helping them recover.


Consultation on proposals for the reconfiguration of In-house learning disability residential accommodation for adults

Leicestershire County Council is seeking Cabinet permission to consult on proposals for the reconfiguration of In-house learning disability residential accommodation for adults.

Three services in the proposal include:

  • Hamilton Court Residential Care Home in Coalville
  • Smith Crescent Short Breaks Service (accommodation based/ overnight respite for adults) in Coalville
  • The Trees (Ashwood and Beechwood) Residential Care Home in Hinckley 

The County Council’s Cabinet are meeting on 9 February 2018 to consider the request to an eight week public consultation on the proposals.

Meetings were held with relatives of individuals directly affected by the proposals prior to the Cabinet Papers being published. 

Full details about the proposals are available in the Cabinet Paper which is now available online (Item 7)

If approval to consult on the proposals is granted by Cabinet, we will be holding a public consultation from 19 February to 15 April 2018, during which we would want to seek your views and gain your support in promoting.


Get involved in Leicestershire Partnership Trust’s All Age Transformation

Would you like to get involved in co-designing high level pathways for mental health and learning disability services?

In March and April 2018 Leicestershire Partnership Trust staff, service users, carers and other stakeholders will work together to design the future high-level pathways for mental health and learning disability services across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.

Voluntary Action LeicesterShire will be hosting two events open to local organisations and local people to contribute towards designing how people will access these services in the future.

These take place from 5.00 – 7.00pm on:

  • Monday 5 March 2018
  • Wednesday 7 March 2018

Commonwealth Day 2018 – The Lord-Lieutenant’s Competition for Young People

We celebrate Commonwealth Day every year on the second Monday of March. This year it is held on 12 March. Across the world the family of 2.4 billion people from 52 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe come together to:

  • renew friendship
  • learn from our differences
  • and celebrate our achievements.

It is also a time for us to talk and think about the theme that has been chosen for the year. This year’s theme is:

‘Towards a Common Future’.

The Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Gretton, who is The Queen’s representative for Leicester and Leicestershire, invites young people to enter her Commonwealth Competition by thinking about what brings people together from different countries and cultures to become friends.

Please submit a short story, a poem, a drawing, or a painting, which celebrates friendship across cultures. You can use a pen, a computer, or a paint brush!

The competition is open to children in the following age categories:

  • up to 7 years
  • 7 – 11 years

Lady Gretton will hold a special reception at County Hall for the winners and their families or carers when she will present certificates and prizes.

Please note that the maximum size for entries is A3. Entries can be posted or emailed to the address below. The closing date for entries is 22nd April 2018.

Please submit your entries to:

The Lieutenancy Office
County Hall
Glenfield
Leicester LE3 8RA
Or email Lieutenancyoffice@leics.gov.uk

Please do remember to include your name, age, and school or home address, and a contact number or email, with your entry. Every entry will receive a certificate signed by the Lord-Lieutenant. Good luck everyone!


Local social enterprise director finalist for ‘Mentor of the Year’

Leicester Social Enterprise Director, Yasin El Ashrafi was nominated as a finalist for The Good Morning Britain and Prince’s Trust  ‘Mentor of the Year Award’ on GMB on Monday. 

​There are 4 finalists in total, 2 from London, 1 from Northern Ireland and Yasin who is from Leicester. 

​Voting is taking place on the GMB website now and ends Wednesday 14 February at 5pm, the winner will be announced live on the show this Friday morning. 

Yasin El Ashrafi is a mentor for Talent Match Leicestershire, a project that supports 18 – 24 year olds who have been unemployed for over a year. Talent Match is funded by Big Lottery and, in Leicestershire, is led by The Prince’s Trust. 

Yasin is the owner of HQ Recording Studio in Leicester, founded so that he could work flexibly alongside providing care for his disabled son. HQ offers free studio space through HQ CAN CIC for unemployed young people to explore their creative talents and receive one-to-one mentoring sessions. Yasin has mentored over 80 young people and has signed songs or projects with eight Talent Match young people.

Being a mentor has been such a positive experience for me. When I see someone completely change their whole mind-set and way of life, it makes me feel like I’ve made a real difference. It is a reward worth much more than money.

Yasin has had his own personal challenges to overcome, having suffered from a serious drug addiction for around ten years. He has now been clean for over a decade and hopes his story shows that, even if you hit rock bottom, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.


Public invited to Leicester City CCG public Governing Body meeting this February

Members of the public are invited to attend the February Governing Body meeting hosted by Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group Board.

It takes place from 1.00pm on Tuesday 13th February 2018 in the conference room, 8th floor, St John’s House, 30 East Street, Leicester, LE1 6NB. The meeting will be chaired by Professor Azhar Farooqi, Leicester City CCG Chair. 

The agenda and papers will shortly be on the website. Members of the public will also have the opportunity to ask questions about items on the agenda at the start of the meeting. 

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group is the organisation responsible for planning and managing health services for people living in Leicester City.


Citizens Advice LeicesterShire launches new outreach advice service in Earl Shilton

From 22 February Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is beginning an outreach advice service at Community House in Earl Shilton. 

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire gives free, confidential and independent advice on a range of everyday issues including: debt, benefits, housing, family issues, discrimination, employment and immigration. 

The new outreach service will run on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, 10am to 12pm. The outreach service is by appointment only. 

Earl Shilton residents who wish to make an appointment at the outreach should telephone: 01455 255 941.

Kavitha Padmanabhan, Service Leader of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire in Hinckley and Oadby & Wigston said:

“We are very pleased that Citizens Advice LeicesterShire will soon have an outreach in Earl Shilton. This will allow us to help even more people in the community, including those who find it difficult to travel to our drop-in venue in Hinckley.

“This outreach is something that we have wanted to do a long time and I want to thank our wonderful volunteers for all their work to make this happen.”

Drop-in advice is available for Hinckley and Bosworth residents on Mondays and Thursdays, 10am – 3pm, at the Hinckley Hub on Rugby Road. Telephone advice is also available by calling 0300 330 1025, 9am – 4.30pm.


Citizens Advice LeicesterShire helps people to slash the cost of energy bills

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire will be holding an event to help take the sting out of people’s fuel bills. 

The event will take place during Big Energy Saving Week (22 January – 28 January), a national campaign run by Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Scotland, Energy Saving Trust (EST) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Everyone is invited to attend the free event where they’ll be shown how to reduce their energy costs using a three-step rule of check, switch, save:

Check their meter and bills regularly to make sure they’re paying the right amount.

Switch to a different tariff or supplier that’s better value for money by using Citizens Advice’s energy comparison tool.

Save energy by turning appliances off and making sure walls and lofts are well insulated. They should also make sure their boiler is in good working order.  

At the Energy Health Check, we will talk people through the ways they can keep their home warm when the temperature drops. 

People will be guided through Citizen Advice’s energy comparison tool at the event so they can switch supplier there and then and start making immediate savings.  

Advisers will also suggest further cost-cutting measures people can adopt, depending on their circumstances. This could include making sure their home is well insulated so it’s energy efficient, or checking if they’re entitled to benefits, grants or discounts like the Warm Home Discount – a £140 rebate from their supplier. 

The Citizens Advice LeicesterShire event will take place at Age UK Clarence House, Humberstone Gate, LE1 3PJ on Thursday 25 January between 9.30 – 1.30.

Those who can’t make the event can use Citizen Advice’s energy comparison tool at home, contact their nearest Citizens Advice at a different time, or call the Consumer Service Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for advice on reducing their energy costs.  

Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, said: 

“Big Energy Saving Week is a fantastic opportunity to get expert advice on a range of ways you can reduce your energy costs.

Switching your tariff or supplier is normally the quickest and most effective way to bring your costs down, but you can also modify your home and change your habits. 

It’s important for us to be taking part in Big Energy Saving Week as it’s older people and those on the lowest incomes who are likely to be paying over the odds for their energy as they’re least likely to switch. 

We encourage as many people as possible to attend the event or to use our energy comparison tool to check for savings.”


Citizens Advice LeicesterShire begins a new project to provide information about the EU

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire has secured funding to become a Europe Direct Information Centre for East Midlands South.

We are joining a network of EU information centres across the UK and Europe, providing general information, publications and signposting on all aspects of the EU. This is a free service for people who live in Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire.

Our trained advisers can answer general questions on topics including European laws, policies and directives, and citizenship rights for EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in Europe. 

We can also provide information about the Brexit process as it becomes available.

The Information Centre can be contacted by anyone who lives in East Midlands (South) via a dedicated telephone number and email address.

The project is based in Leicester and we will be providing information on the EU at a series of events in Leicestershire in 2018. A bi-monthly newsletter will be starting in February.

Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, said:

“We are delighted to be involved in the Europe Direct project.

We can support our clients to access information to understand the impact of EU legislation, for example the new General Data Protection Regulations, which replaces the Data Protection Act in May.

We can also support people to access information around EU rights. We have seen an increase in clients contacting us for advice on citizenship and other issues since the referendum. 

I look forward to working with other Europe Direct Information Centres in the UK and on the continent. This is a fantastic opportunity to extend our information services and support our clients as the UK goes through the Brexit process.”

The Europe Direct Information Centre for East Midlands (South) can be contacted by telephone on 0116 326 6 326, email (europedirect@citizensadviceleicestershire.org or by visiting www.citizensadviceleicestershire.org/Europe-Direct