Police launch community messaging service

The Police have launched ‘Neighbourhood Matters’, a brand new community messaging service.

Through Neighbourhood Matters you can sign up for local police alerts; receive information about crime in your area, find out about drop-in sessions, answer surveys, and more.

You can choose exactly what type of alert you want to receive and how you receive them, whether it be via text, email or phone call.

Sign up now https://neighbourhoodmatters.co.uk/

New Meeting Centre for Veterans Living in Hereford

Featured left to right: Veterans enjoying a day out of playing gold, middle and right picture Jeff veteran.

Following the success of the pilot Hereford Veterans Dementia Wellbeing Group last year Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire are pleased to say they are launching their new Hereford Veterans Meeting Centre based at Drybridge House in Hereford. The new meeting centre will be open on Monday’s starting on 2nd August 2021.

They will be offering veteran-specific specialist days working within a Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy framework, which is proven to enhance wellbeing and maintain cognitive ability. Members will be able to get involved with a variety of activities, including things like: gardening, chocolate making, discussions and much more. Members will also be able to enjoy a hot cooked meal together and form new friendships.

The new meeting centre can also provide respite for carers. Knowing that their loved ones are well cared for can be helpful as it can provide a break from caring duties that can be overwhelming, impacting their own ability to socialise – putting a strain on family life.

Caroline Savage – Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Manager at Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this specialised support for older veterans living in Herefordshire. We know a dementia diagnosis can impact an individual’s confidence – so we will provide a safe and engaging environment that will build self-esteem and self-worth.”

 The new meeting centre will be working with local projects and organisations to build local networks and confidence to become active in their local community. If you are an organisation that would like to get involved with the new meeting centre, please get in touch with Age UK H&W.

The meeting centre will be ran from Drybridge House, St Martins St, Hereford, HR2 7SG every Monday 10:30 – 3pm. They will be offering initial free taster sessions, prices thereafter will then be £45 per person, per session.

If you would like to attend or find out more contact Age UK H&W 0800 008 6077 or referralhub@ageukhw.org.uk or visit their website.

Police Scam Information


The campaign taps into the psychology that scammers use to hook people in, helping you stay one step ahead and protect yourself and your loved ones against the increasing variety of scams happening every day. We’ve identified the following five behaviours scammers commonly use:

  • They imply they’re doing you a favour (reciprocity)
  • They indicate everyone else is doing this (social proof)
  • They say your only chance is to act now (urgency)
  • They act like they’re similar to you, so you like them and want to please them (connection)
  • They ask you to do one little thing which makes you do more (commitment).

We also know that often victims of scams report that in hindsight they felt something wasn’t quite right at the time.  This campaign aims to raise awareness of the tactics scammers use and encourages people to ‘stop and think’ if something doesn’t FEEL, SEEM, LOOK or SOUND right.  This allows them time to trust your gut instinct and help prevent becoming a scam victim.

“Everyone likes to feel special. But watch out! If a stranger is going out of their way for you, something fishy may be going on instead. Scammers like to offer one-off deals and favours. Don’t be afraid to tell them no.” John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network.

Become a magistrate in Herefordshire

Staffordshire and West Mercia Advisory Committee is seeking applications from those interested in becoming a magistrate on the Herefordshire Bench where new magistrates are needed in the Adult Criminal Court.

These are voluntary positions; you do not need legal training or formal qualifications to become a magistrate and we are looking for applications from across the county and from all sections of the community.

Magistrates are not paid (although some allowances can be claimed), and those who are successful in being appointed must be able to attend training and sit in court for at least 13 days a year – this is a minimum requirement.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 may apply. Applications are particularly welcome from members of Black and Minority Ethnic communities, people under the age of 50, people in paid employment, and people with a disability who are able, either unassisted or with the benefit of reasonable adjustments, to carry out the full range of a magistrate’s duties.

If you are interested in being considered for appointment and want to find out more about the work of a magistrate and how to apply, see: www.gov.uk/become-magistrate or email swmjco@justice.gov.uk

Applications for the Adult criminal court open on 1st August 2021 and close on September 10th with interviews being held later in the year. Prior to submitting an application at least one observation visit must be made to a magistrate’s court where magistrates [rather than a District Judge] are sitting; each visit should be for a minimum of half a day.

Magistrates will tell you what a worthwhile and rewarding position this is – as well as doing something vital within the community, friendships are formed and magistrates enjoy each other’s company.

Flooding and recovery support

We are aware that a number of homes and businesses across Herefordshire have been affected by flooding recently. If you or anyone you know have suffered from flooding in the county, please do let us know where and what happened as this may help us to minimise flooding problems there in the future. In order to report flooding, as well as access other useful resources, please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/flooding.

Please be aware that Talk Community support is available for all emergencies, including those affected by flooding. Please encourage those requiring support to contact us on 01432 260027 or at talkcommunityhelpline@herefordshire.gov.uk.

A number of areas regularly impacted by flooding have set up their own flood groups – please get in touch with us at talkcommunityhelpline@herefordshire.gov.uk for more information.

There are things people can do to limit the impact of flooding, including preparing a personal flood plan, sourcing sandbags/flood barriers from local parish councils or builders merchants. More specialised flood prevention advice can be obtained from the National Flood Forum. It may also be useful to check the actual water levels at different locations in the county, as well as sign up to get Flood Warnings from gov.uk by phone, email or text message.

This can be a very anxious and stressful time compounded by the difficult position with Covid-19 therefore if you know of someone affected that could do with support Herefordshire and Worcestershire Healthy Minds service is available to help. This is an NHS service and care is both free at the point of contact and confidential. Herefordshire Healthy Minds, Previously known as Let’s Talk, supports people who are experiencing difficulties such as stress, anxiety, low mood and depression. In order to access the service, people must be 18 or over and registered with a GP in Herefordshire. People can self-refer by contacting 01432 347606 or completing the online self-referral form.

In addition please visit the flooding section on the WISH website

Keep Herefordshire Warm

Keep Herefordshire Warm is Herefordshire Council’s home energy advice service. By providing a freephone advice line, dedicated home energy advisors and grant funding for eligible homes, Keep Herefordshire Warm supports households to use less energy, lower their bills and make energy-saving improvements to their properties.

Homes relying on electric heating may be eligible for free first-time central heating, grants are available for insulation and support for when your boiler needs repairing or replacing. Warm, affordable homes are vital to health and quality of life – and Keep Herefordshire Warm is here to help make the winter months more comfortable.

Call our friendly advisors for free on 0800 677 1432, or visit keepherefordshirewarm.co.uk.

Early Help Hub

Herefordshire Council’s Early Help Hub offers a confidential support service to Herefordshire families with children aged 0 to 19 years.

The Early Help team can provide families and professionals (working with families) with advice and guidance to support them through the difficult times and help them to get back on track.

Difficulties could include:

  • Family relationships
  • Challenging behaviours
  • Domestic abuse
  • Housing issues
  • Struggling with finances
  • Emotional and mental health
  • Safety in the community
  • Substance abuse

The Early Help Hub team are available on 01432 260261 (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, closed on bank holidays) or email earlyhelpcontacts@herefordshire.gov.uk

To find out more about the Early Help service visit: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/earlyhelp

For information about local support services for families, visit the WISH website www.wisherefordshire.org

Support local people by ‘Virtual Volunteering’

A local charity Onside has encouraged people to sign up as volunteers and support their project to visit people in residential care and uphold the person’s rights acting in their best interests. A great start to a New Year making difference to local lives.

Onside, which works across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, is looking for people to take on the role of a Relevant Persons Representative (RPR).  Volunteers as an RPR are safeguarding the rights of vulnerable people who don’t have the mental capacity to consent to care or treatment.

This involves visiting people with dementia, learning disabilities, and individuals assessed to have a lack of capacity to consent to living in a residential care. As an RPR the volunteer would be visiting ( currently over video call- Virtual, full training given) a person just once every 4 weeks for no more than 1 hour. Volunteering would be local to where the volunteer lives.

Onside, which works across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, is looking for people to take on the role of a Relevant Persons Representative (RPR). Free RPR training would be given to carry out the role. Onside have the benefit of a specialist Mental Health Capacity Advocacy team to support volunteers along with a dedicated Volunteer Team.

Onside’s Volunteer Manager, Claire Watkins, said “Our volunteers give their time, their passion and enthusiasm, this is a great time to volunteer in this new and exciting role.” “This particular role is very worthwhile and extremely rewarding.”

Volunteers are ordinary people of all ages and backgrounds they just need to be good listeners and have some time to give.

We also have opportunities for all our advocacy projects along with mentoring too.  Please take a look at our website.

If you can picture yourself in the role of an Onside volunteer please call Claire Watkins – Volunteer Manager on 07592 737303 or email  claire.watkins@onside-advocacy.org.uk to find out more. This type of volunteering can be very flexible to fit with your life and circumstances. Free training (throughout the year) is provided and all expenses paid.

Note to Editors: Background on charity:

  • Onside improves the lives of over 5000 vulnerable adults every year in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
  • We provide free services to support adults facing disadvantage through mental and physical ill health, learning disability and old age. Eg. Depression, autism, learning difficulties.
  • Onside employs over 150 people and has150 active volunteers.
  • Onside is a Worcestershire based charity established in 1993 stemming from a belief that everyone has the right to be a valued human being and to be treated in a just and fair manner.

Registered Charity no. 1102022 Onside contact: Claire Watkins 01905 27525 volunteering@onside-advocacy.org.uk Web: www.onside-advocacy.org.uk