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Herts County Council logo Schools' Bulletin - Hertfordshire Campaigns

This page provides information on the latest Hertfordshire wide campaigns from the County Council and other related organisations.

We really would appreciate your help in spreading the word in your area - by including information about the campaigns in your school newsletter, on your school website or through parentmail.   

Current campaigns: 

 

County Councillor Visits to Schools

For the past few years, Hertfordshire County Council has been encouraging County Councillor visits to schools to celebrate Local Democracy Week. This is a national and European event that aims to raise awareness about the work of local authorities and encourage people to take part in local democracy.

We have consistently received great feedback from the visits, telling us that it is a great way for young people to learn more about democracy, understand the role of local politicians and encourage them to participate in local politics.

This year, we would like to repeat that success and encourage you to get in touch with your local County Councillor to arrange a visit to your school.

If you are unsure who your local County Councillor is, you will find their name by typing your school’s postcode into the box provided on our website:

Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Corporate Policy Team on:
corporate.policyteam@hertfordshire.gov.uk

KS2 Christmas Art Competition

Opportunity for pupils to win a prize for their school!

Following the resounding success of last year’s Christmas Competition, Hertfordshire’s Armed Forces Covenant has decided to run this competition again this year.

Locally-based service personnel will be serving overseas away from their families this Christmas providing help and assistance to people around the world, and they have said how much they appreciate receiving pictures from Hertfordshire children during the Christmas period.

This year entries from the competition will be brightening-up the lives of the company on board HMS St Albans, whose recent patrols have seen them carry out vital humanitarian work in places such as the Mediterranean and off the coast of Somalia.

To enter the competition, please note the following guidance:

  • The competition is open to all Key Stage 2 pupils at schools in Hertfordshire.
  • The picture should follow the theme of ‘My Christmas Wish’.
  • The picture should be no larger than an A3 sheet.
  • Any materials can be used to create the picture.
  • Please write on the picture ‘Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from (name of school)’.
  • Please write the name and age of the pupil, class and school on the back of the picture. The closing date will be 25th November.

Entries should be posted to: Community Covenant Competition, Corporate Policy Team, Room 125, County Hall, Hertford, SG13 8DN

Unfortunately, pictures cannot be returned.

The entries will be sent to and judged by officers aboard HMS St Albans. There will be a prize for the school of the winning entry and the winner will be notified before the end of term

The prize will be awarded at an assembly at your school with representatives from the Armed Forces, and Councillors from Hertfordshire County Council. The date and venue of the ceremony will be agreed with you once the winning entry has been chosen. Copies of the winning entries will also be available on :

For any other queries, please contact the Corporate Policy Team (corporate.policyteam@hertfordshire.gov.uk) with ‘Christmas Competition’ as the subject of the email.

NYAS Independent Visitor Service

Male and female volunteers required to befriend/mentor young people in Hertfordshire

Can you befriend a young person who is looked after by the local authority? The young person may be looked after in a residential unit or live with foster carers and may have little or no contact with their own parents. They may have a disability or mental health issues.

In becoming a volunteer with NYAS, you must be willing and able to offer friendship and support to the young person you are matched with. You will normally be expected to meet them once a month to do an agreed activity. This could be going for a walk, to the cinema, bowling or just having a coffee and a chat, whatever the young person (and indeed you) are interested in. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

You will receive training, ongoing support and valuable practical experience of working with children and young people. Most importantly, you will have the chance to make a real and lasting difference to the life of the child or young person you are working with.

The skills you will need to fulfil this role are:

  • A keen interest in children and young people (experience preferred, but not essential)
  • A belief that every child or young person has the right to improve their life
  • Life experience, understanding, reliability and a sense of commitment.
  • Ability to be able to relate to children and young people; and to have fun!
  • Similar interests (you will be asked to complete a ‘pen-pic’ and be matchedwith a child or young person who has similar interests to you).
  • Clean driving licence

NYAS welcomes and encourages applications from volunteers from all backgrounds and people from all different ethnicities and cultures. The recruitment method for this opportunity will involve completion of an application form, initial informal interview, training and a formal interview.

If you are interested in this opportunity please contact: Georgina Egan, georgina.egan@nyas.net or Tel: 07990804473 NYAS Independent Visitor Coordinator, for an application form and/or further information.

Hertfordshire Year of Volunteering

Hertfordshire is launching a year-long campaign to promote the benefits of volunteering and to celebrate the contribution of those who volunteer already. The launch will take place at the Herts County Show on 28 and 29 May, so look out for our stall!

The Year of Volunteering is all about:

  • Boosting the number of people taking part in volunteering activities across Hertfordshire
  • Celebrating the contribution of existing volunteers towards making a difference in their local area
  • Demonstrating that Hertfordshire has a strong sense of community and its residents are proud to volunteer

Often, it is those closest to the problem that come up with the best solutions. We believe that the residents of Hertfordshire know what’s best for themselves and their communities. As such, we want to build on existing networks of support to encourage more volunteers to get involved and tackle local issues together, as well as recognising the efforts of existing volunteers.

Looking for an opportunity to volunteer in your local community? Visit:

Do you know a member of the community who has a strong involvement in volunteering and would be happy to share their story? Get in touch with corporate.policyteam@hertfordshire.gov.uk. We want to share as many local case studies as possible to champion the benefits of volunteering.

Community Covenant Christmas Competition

In December 2015, Key Stage 2 students (ages 8-11) were invited to take part in the 2015 Community Covenant Christmas School’s Competition. The posters were to be “Christmassy” in design, and would be sent off to Hertfordshire-based soldiers serving overseas. The Corporate Policy Team at County Hall in Hertford received hundreds of entries from all across the Hertfordshire, and a shortlist of 20 was compiled and sent off to the servicemen and women of 254 Medical Regiment who were serving in the Middle East. The posters were received exceptionally well by the soldiers, and the posters definitely managed to spread some Christmas cheer about the camp. The winning entry was from Brockswood Primary School in Hemel Hempstead, which has won an iPad mini for their class which has kindly been donated by Serco.

A huge thank you to all schools who participated in this year’s competition, and an extra special congratulations to Brockswood School for their winning entry!

Private Fostering Week

Are you looking after a young person in a private care arrangement? Or do you know someone under 16 who is living away from their parents? If so you may not realise that Hertfordshire County Council needs to know.

On 2nd June Hertfordshire County Council is promoting Private Fostering Week to make people aware of the need to report Private Fostering arrangements.

Private fostering is when a child under 16 (under 18 if they are disabled) lives with someone who is not a close relative for 28 days or more. There can be many reasons why a child doesn’t live at home and their parent has arranged for someone else to care for them.

However, many parents and carers are not aware of this and do not notify the local authority, even though this is against the law.

Private foster carers may not know that they have to notify us, but we can give support and advice to young person, carers and parents to make sure the private arrangement works as smoothly as possible and that they all get the support they need.

For more information about private fostering visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk. If you know of a child or young person who is not living with their parents call Hertfordshire County Council’s Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043.

 

'Tru Love' - Domestic Abuse Awareness for Young People

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Hertfordshire’s County Community Safety Unit is sending the message that Valentine’s Day is not always chocolates and roses and help is available for those suffering from domestic abuse.

Sarah Taylor, Programme Manager for domestic abuse for the County Community Safety Unit, said: “Everyday many people across the county and nationally are suffering. Some victims may not even realise they are being subjected to abuse – but they feel confused and depressed and know something is not quite right we want to let them know that support is available via the helpline on 08 088 088 088 and the website:

Press release - February 2014

Keep Warm, Stay Well

Keep Warm, Stay Well

Helping vulnerable residents to stay warm in their homes this winter.

Keep Warm, Stay Well
is a scheme that offers support to vulnerable residents who are struggling with the cold or with paying their fuel bills. Last year more than 10,000 residents were helped by the scheme.

Hertfordshire County Council is working with all 10 District Councils, the NHS and key voluntary organisations to help those at risk from cold-related illness, such as young children, older people and those with long term health conditions.

A warm home in the colder months is crucial and can help prevent illnesses. Those with long term health conditions, such as severe asthma or a chest or heart complaint, face the additional risk of having a stroke or heart attack in cold conditions.

To address this, at risk residents could be offered a range of free support that includes insulation and draught-proofing, emergency heaters and advice on making their home more energy efficient. There’s also advice on paying bills, including entitlement to grants and benefits that could help.

Please raise awareness of this scheme with the families you work with - they may have young children and be struggling to keep their home warm enough, or they may know of an older relative, friend or neighbour who needs help. 

Please encourage them to contact HertsHelp for information and advice on 0300 123 4044 or email : info@hertshelp.net or make a referral on their behalf.

Download Poster

 

It’s never too late to get active!

It's never too late to get active! If it’s been a while since you took part in physical activity, why not dust off your trainers and think about taking up something new.

Whether you’re not long out of school, bringing up a young family, hitting the mid-life years, in retirement or beyond your eighties, keeping fit and getting active is a great way to improve your quality of life, make new friends and get healthy.

You don’t have to take out expensive gym membership or train like an elite athlete to improve your health; any activity that gets your heart and lungs stimulated helps make you fitter.  Whatever your age, interest or ability, there's something out there for everyone to enjoy.

Throughout Hertfordshire there are lots of activities taking place in local community halls, leisure clubs and outdoor spaces that anyone can take part in. Many are low cost, or in some cases free, in order to help local residents have an active lifestyle.

To find out what else is happening in your area, call HertsHelp today so that you can take the first step – to a new you:
Tel: 0300 123 4044*
Eemail: info@hertshelp.net

Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Localism, said: “It can be a daunting prospect to take up physical activity when you haven’t been active for a while, but advice and support is on hand to help you find an activity that you’ll enjoy and get you started at a level that is right for you.

“Regular activity can significantly improve your health, for example reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and depression.

“It is also a great way to meet new people, improve your social life, put you in a good mood and help you sleep better.

“There’s just one number to call so pick up the phone today; whatever it is that inspires you, the friendly advisers will help you find suitable local activities or refer you to someone who can help you through the process.”

Download Poster

A free pedometer is available to every caller.

 

Talking to Your Child about Alcohol

This May and June, Hertfordshire’s Alcohol Campaigns Group is encouraging parents to talk to their children about alcohol.

In a recent survey in schools in Hertfordshire, data shows that children, who drink in year 10, mostly get their alcohol from home and 25% of secondary aged pupils said they have had an alcoholic drink in the last week.  80% of parents said they would ‘deal with it when it happened’ when it came to talking to their child about alcohol.  Talking to your child before this situation may prevent children from entering into risky situations.

If parents need more support with starting these conversations and age relevant tips please go to:

 


Be Safe and Enjoy Winter

Be Safe coverHertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), Trading Standards and Resilience have launched their ‘Be Safe and Enjoy Winter’ campaign and are urging people to take care this winter.

As part of the campaign, they have produced their ‘Be Safe and Enjoy Winter’ booklet; a comprehensive guide on how to stay safe while having a good time.

To download a copy of the booklet and find out more about how to protect yourself and others this winter, please visit the Herts Direct website:



HertsHelp

HertsHelp is a free and confidential information service which helps people of all ages find solutions to wide range of everyday issues, questions and problems, quickly and simply.

The experienced advisers at HertsHelp can provide information on a variety of subjects, in different formats if required. 

HertshelpHertsHelp can provide useful support and advice on subjects such as:

  • where to get help applying for a school place
  • how to find out about activities taking place in the school holidays
  • how to get advice on lowering your energy bills or benefit entitlement
  • where to find out about home adaptations, services or activities for a disabled child
  • how to find out about volunteering opportunities
  • where to get advice on further education options for your child

HertsHelp provides a single route into the support and resources offered by a network of nearly 300 organisations across the county.  So if HertsHelp doesn't know the answer right away, they will know someone who does.

Please click on the links below to download copies of the HertsHelp poster and leaflet for your staff rooms.  If you would like to request hard copies to give out to parents and carers, please call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 or email: info@hertshelp.net  

Hertshelp Poster
Hertshelp leaflet

HertsHelp is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and until 7pm on Thursdays.  For more information please visit:

 

Safe in the Water - Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board has launched a county wide ‘Safe in the Water’ campaign.

Supporting the Royal Life Saving Society’s national Water Safety Awareness campaign, the HSCB is encouraging everyone who will be enjoying the summer holidays near water, to take care and be aware of the hazards.

Launching the campaign, Phil Picton, Chairman of the HSCB, said: “Many of us enjoy spending leisure time near, in or on water, but we must recognise that water can be dangerous. It can take less than a minute for an accident to happen so we are launching this campaign to help adults and children alike, to enjoy water safely, and to work towards reducing the number of tragic accidents that can happen.”

More than 400 people drown in the UK each year, and thousands suffer near-drowning experiences. Shockingly, drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in children in the UK.

One such accident happened to a Hertfordshire family. Ryan Pearman died last July just before his 3rd birthday. His family were attending a prewedding party on a sunny Sunday afternoon when Ryan got into an unfenced neighbouring garden. Each parent thought he was with the other and though he was only missing a matter of minutes, it was too late. Ryan drowned in an inground swimming pool which was covered by tarpaulin used to keep leaves and debris out of the pool. The tarpaulin went back over the top of him covering him from sight and any hope of rescue.

His parents said “Ryan was a very special, happy, funny and loving little boy who adored his two brothers. “There are no words to describe how painful it is for all of us to live without him. Our lives, hopes and dreams for the future changed forever that day. All the first achievements you look forward to for your child are for us now days of great sadness for what will never be.

Until this accident we did not realise how dangerous some of the commonly used pool covers can be. Some covers give the impression of being solid to a child but of course are not. Ryan hated water; he wouldn’t even use the paddling pool at home, and if he had seen there was water under that cover, we’re quite sure he would not have gone near it. There are pool and pond covers available that are secure and will take the weight of a child or small animal. Our lives could be very different if one of these had been used.

If our tragedy helps raise awareness of these kinds of dangers, or can lead to the introduction of regulations about the responsibility of owners to fence off or cover swimming pools securely, as exist in many other countries, hopefully our loss may help prevent this happening to another child and family. Ryan would want us to try”.

In conjunction with the RLSS, The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board is issuing leaflets widely to the public and pool suppliers, to raise awareness and encourage organisations to help raise the awareness.

Schools, leisure centres, and anyone working with families, can request material by visiting:

To request more leaflets please contact ellie.foster@hertscc.gov.uk

Safe Blinds Campaign - Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board has launched a campaign to raise the awareness of the risk of looped cords on blinds following the tragic death of two children strangled by blind cords.  This campaign is supported by RoSPA and HM Coroner.  The most vulnerable age group is the 16 to 36 months.

Parents of the two children who died from strangling themselves are supporting the campaign, and calling for parents and carers to be more aware of the dangers. “Blind cords kill children. We lost our daughter twice” said the parents of Emily, who, after her tragic accident in August was resuscitated, suffered significant brain damage but later died in December.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) reports that there have been 18 deaths similar to these in the UK, since 1999.

Children’s Services practitioners are encouraged to obtain more information and advice on keeping children safe from blind cord dangers and to share this information with parents and carers. A free ‘’Make it Safe’ pack is available from ROSPA.

For more information on the campaign, call Dee de Bruin in Corporate Communications on Comnet 25791 or the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board on Comnet 28757.

Whilst this campaign is targeted externally it is important that the risk is understood by services within HCC and appropriate measures put in place and a risk assessment can be found below:

Window Blind Cord and Chain Risk Assessment