Your Hertfordshire Rural Affairs and Community News Bulletin
Welcome to our February 2022 eBulletin
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Herts Village Halls Look To Innovate and Try Something New
Village Halls Week is a national campaign, shining a spotlight on the contribution England’s 10,000+ village halls make to rural communities. It is an opportunity for hall management committees to celebrate their work and get inspiration from others. ACRE's fifth annual campaign challenged Halls to do something different and innovate for the future.
Halls do much to improve life for local residents, often providing the only local space where people can gather, combating loneliness, and delivering a wide range of activities and services.
Despite almost 2 years of lockdown and disruption our Herts Village Halls are continuing to thrive and offer a wide range of opportunities for their communities, essential activities for so many people who are isolated, elderly, lonely or vulnerable.
Moti-Tech Getting the elderly moving towards improved health
Talking about Village Halls and innovation, one of the highlights of last week was the launch of the Moti-Tech project at Little Hadham Village Hall.
Aimed at increasing physical activity and reducing social isolation MotiTech is a virtual, seated cycling experience. Using basic floor pedals, users will "pedal" their way through a session while a route is projected onto a screen, taking them through the streets of London, New York or Paris. This will encourage physical activity but also provide vital shared experiences to get users talking. For a better idea on how it works, the video link will give you a little taster.
The Pilot project will be run by Active In The Community at 6 different venues across East Herts for 12 weeks after which it will be available further afield.
Affordable Homes - Farm View, Holwell in North Herts
"Unlocking Rural Affordable Housing" How Affordable Rural Homes Change Lives And Communities - SAVE THE DATES!
CDA Herts' has planned two Webinars in March and April in conjunction with our Local Authority and Housing Association partners in Dacorum and North Herts. The sessions will feature a range of speakers who will talk about the benefits of affordable rural housing from their own perspectives. Proposed speakers will include Local Authorities, Parish Councils, landowners and residents. The sessions will be online and use a mix of live presentations, video and Q&As. The sessions are aimed at Parish Councils, Landowners and other interested organisations who work within the districts.
DACORUM: March 31st 2022 at 7.30pm (Led by Hastoe Housing Association) NORTH HERTS: April 21st 2022 at 2.00pm (led by English Rural Housing Association)
Covid-19 Vaccine Confidence in Ethnically Diverse Groups in Watford
The Covid-19 Vaccine Working Group and partners have devised a public engagement project and are working together to engage with the Afro/Caribbean communities in Watford to understand issues around Vaccine uptake and co-develop solutions to increase Vaccine confidence. Through this they will; gain an understanding of the communities views which will help to devise strategies that are most likely to be accepted and shared by the community.
For further information please contact CDA Herts Covid Recovery BAME Engagement Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Have your say on how the future NHS & Care Service Providers will work with the Voluntary, Community, Faith & Social Enterprise Sectors
From July 2022 the new Herts & West Essex NHS Integrated Care System (HWE ICS) formally comes into existence where it will have a duty to involve the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector in governance and decision-making. It will also need to demonstrate close working with our sector as a strategic partner in shaping, improving, and delivering services - as well as plans to tackle the wider determinants of health – that is, helping people address the challenges that undermine their ability to stay well, not just trying to fix them when they get sick.
We need your help to develop this alliance!
CDA Herts together with the NHS and VCFSE Alliance are holding two Consultation events with BAME and Rural communities. Between now and March we want to make sure your voice is heard by the HWE ICS in the way you want. It doesn’t matter if you are a big charity with lots of staff, or a grass roots organisation solely run by volunteers: we want to make sure your views are heard so we can all benefit from your expertise in making life better for our residents.
A120 Bypass in Little Hadham has opened to traffic
The new A120 Little Hadham Bypass and Flood Alleviation Scheme opened to traffic yesterday afternoon, (Wednesday 22 December).
Officially opened by Cllr Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council, and Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald, MP for North East Hertfordshire, the new scheme means residents will be less likely to be stuck in the notorious “top to toe tailbacks” at the Little Hadham traffic lights.
As well as alleviating congestion along the route caused by the traffic lights, the 3.9km bypass scheme will provide more reliable journey times and improved flood defences, thanks to new road embankments installed along the River Ash and Albury Tributary.
The scheme has been a journey of discovery in so many ways, with the project team not only uncovering a Roman archaeological settlement, but also a rare Hertfordshire Puddingstone, dating back to prehistoric times. The stone now takes pride of place in the village of Little Hadham.
Avoidable food waste makes up almost a quarter (24%) of Hertfordshire bins, according to a recent study. We're not talking peelings or bones, but things like bread, apples and meat that would have been edible before it was thrown away.
Reducing this will save you money (up to £720 annually!) and help the planet. Help to plan an effective campaign by completing the short survey before 4th February and you could win £250 of shopping vouchers.
Up to 40 million electronic devices are stored at home. The good news is it's really easy to recycle unwanted electrical items with the UK's dedicated 'Recycle Your Electricals' campaign.
Please have a look in your drawers and cupboards for anything with a plug, battery or cable. Help us all make the most of the valuable materials in them, including gold, aluminium and copper by finding your nearest electricals recycling location.
Hertfordshire and W Essex GP Services Digital Inclusion Patient Research
Improving health and care in Hertfordshire and West Essex (HWE) is the main focus of the new Integrated Care System (ICS). Following rapid changes to healthcare services in HWE, due to Covid-19, HWEICS are making it a priority to ensure that services are inclusive and that everybody has access to the healthcare they need, particularly GP services (primary care). GP practices are working very hard to meet patient demand and the ICS is keen to invest in technology to ensure delivery of these vital services. HWE ICS wants to understand how patients currently interact both with technology and their GP surgery to help them design GP services that work for everybody and make sure all patients receive the support they need to access GP services.
HWEICS has commissioned We Are Digital to deliver patient research that will be shared with GP practices and inform future service design. The results of the research will be used to take action to improve how patients are able to access services delivered by their GP surgery, including any additional digital inclusion support they need. We will also be running focus groups in early 2022.
Mind in Mid Herts - Wellbeing Drama for Young people - Aged 18 - 25
This FREE programme using theatre techniques is for those experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and anything else effecting their wellbeing. You don’t need any experience to take part, everyone is welcome from absolute beginners to the more experienced. Starting Tuesday 1 February for 8 weeks 5.30 to 7.30pm at the Wellbeing Centre in Stevenage. Studies have shown that taking part in an arts activity has a positive influence on mental health and general wellbeing. It can increase self-esteem and confidence, reduce feelings of isolation and give those involved a sense of personal achievement. The programme is being led by a professional Trestle artist and in partnership with Mind in Mid Herts. Each session will explore a combination of theatre and mask techniques.
Picture of an AED outside Burnham Green Village Hall in East Herts
Register Your Community Defibrillator with The EofE Ambulance Service
The Circuit is a new National Defibrillator Network launched last year. The East of England Ambulance Service is concerned that not all community based Defibrillators have been entered onto the new system and are urging those responsible to register. The system enables the Ambulance Control Centre to inform 999 callers as to their nearest available Defibrillator also known as an AED ( Automated External Defibrillator)
Even if you were registered previously your details may not have been migrated onto the new Circuit Network so please contact the EofE Ambulance Service to ensure that your community AED is registered.
GATE Herts Community Hub is open for business! As well as addressing discrimination and working to improve the quality of life of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people GATE Herts can help organisations learn how to engage with the GRT communities.
Trees to Celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Green Canopy Initiative
On behalf of CDA Herts and the Soroptimist International Hertford and District Club Kate Belinis DL planted two Rowan Trees in the Hertford Castle Moat Garden. Kate was ably supported by Robert Voss CBE Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Cllr Bob Deering the Mayor of Hertford and Cllr Ken Crofton the Chairman of East Herts Council.
In addition, CDA Herts has received 12 Wild Cherry Trees, 10 of which will be planted in our Community Garden in St Albans, one has been donated to Presdales School in Ware and the other to the Inner Wheel's Queen Peace Garden in Walkern.
The Trees have contributed to the planting of 39,000 trees to date across Hertfordshire in honour of the Queen's Green Canopy. With a focus on planting sustainably, the QGC will encourage planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations.
As well as inviting the planting of new trees, The Queen’s Green Canopy will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.
Rural Safeguarding Conference - Hidden in Plain Sight
Community Action Suffolk invites you to their inspiring, useful, Informative event focused on rural safeguarding for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector including Charities, Community groups, Sports Groups, Village Halls and Good Neighbour Schemes.
Everyone is welcome including private or statutory groups. Hear from national and local experts in their field. Practical information to help you see and respond to safeguarding issues.
Herts & West Essex Integrated Care System VCS & Alliance Survey
Integrated care systems (ICSs) are new partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups.
Each ICSs has been asked to set up a Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Alliance VCFSE in their area to bring together the views of the sector and ensure those views are effectively represented.
The Survey has been prepared by Health and Social Care organisations in Hertfordshire and West Essex ICS to gather views from VCFSE organisations about the proposed Alliance.
STATE OF RURAL SERVICES 2021: THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC
The Report by Rural England explores the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on service provision in rural areas of England. In some respects, the pandemic simply accelerated trends already underway, such as rural residents’ use of online services and cashless payments. One positive outcome has been more rural consumers valuing and using local food shops, a trend which may be sustained. Certain services show positive signs of recovery, but there seem little doubt others remain at risk, with some users having not returned or expressing reluctance to do so. More passengers need to return to using rural buses, more activities need to restart in village halls and patronage that is coming back to rural pubs needs sustaining through the Winter months. Larger leisure venues in rural towns, such as cinemas and theatres, need to win back viable audiences.
Barkway Hub in North Herts is our featured Rural Support Network, still providing support to the elderly, isolated and vulnerable in rural Hertfordshire. In the lead up to Christmas, CDA Herts helped Rural Support Networks to access 450 Bags of Kindness and £4,000 of Festive Funding to help the lonely and in need in rural communities - Well done and thank you everyone!
The Barkway Hub has been created to help and support Barkway residents & their relatives throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.
Healthy Hubs offer free information, advice and support to help you stay healthy and well.
We work with a range of professionals who can help you get the right service for your needs. We can help you find the right support to look after your mental health, stop smoking, seek debt advice or simply get more active.
There are Healthy Hubs right across Hertfordshire, with at least one hub in each district. And don’t worry if you can’t get to us in person – we can talk to you over the phone, via email or even over Zoom if you prefer.
Each District and Borough Council has its own Healthy Hub
CDA Herts Supports our Refill Shops & Stores Welcome to RefillAbell, Watford’s First Zero Waste and Plastic Free Shop
Our ethos is re-purpose, reuse and up-cycle! In particular, we want to reduce the use of ‘single use plastics’ in our homes and ultimately, the environment. Together, we are ‘Abell’ to make a difference to the planet by making small changes in the way we shop for our household goods. You can even bring your own containers and get them filled up with as much or as little as you like. All our prices are based on weights. We are careful to source our products from ethical, sustainable, organic and local (where possible) businesses, who are conscious about their impact on the environment.
(c) HMWT Caring for Wild Places in Hertfordshire and Middlesex
Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust believe that wildlife should be able to thrive alongside our everyday lives and that everyone is better off when they have access to nature. We are a local conservation charity working to protect wildlife and help people connect with nature. With a team of volunteers we care for wild places so that nature has a place to thrive. We help people experience the wildlife on their doorsteps and to take action to protect it.
Click Here for the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Harry Bott's February Farming, Wildlife and Garden Reports
Harry's Ponds, so essential for wildlife, have been getting a good clean out and hedges also important for wildlife are being trimmed over the winter period. In the Garden Swiss Chard has proved to be a hit!
Read the full report from Harry by clicking below.
Click Hereto download and read Harry Bott's February Countryside Notes.
'Banned' bee-harming pesticide approved for use, despite expert advice
A pesticide which can harm bees has been approved for use in 2022. Emergency use of a product containing the chemical thiamethoxam has been authorised in England because of a virus which affects sugar beets. The decision came despite expert advisers finding pollution from the pesticide would damage river life, and requirements for use had not been met. But Environment Secretary George Eustice said product use would be "limited and controlled". In 2018, an almost total ban was put in by the EU and UK because of the serious damage the chemical could cause to bees. Charities and campaign groups are angry at the chemical now being approved for use.
A National Inquiry into Rural Health and Care calls for an overarching, place-based rural strategy to address rural health inequalities
1st February 2022 saw the launch of a major Inquiry into rural health and care. The three-year investigation undertaken by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Rural Health and Care and the National Centre for Rural Health and Care is one of the most extensive of its kind.
Statement from ACRE - Action with Communities in Rural England:
“We warmly welcome the Inquiry Report and especially the recommendations to develop a better understanding of the health and care needs of rural communities. “We endorse the Report’s emphasis that nobody should be disadvantaged in their access to health and care services due to where they live. The Report rightly places great emphasis on the NHS being a truly national service, not one that is first class for urban areas but under-resourced and inaccessible to the 17% living in rural areas.”
We need your support to raise enough funds to get our Mobile Hub on the road
enabling us & other partners to bring information and support to rural areas on
numerous helpful services.
Click Here to Support our Mobile Hub Project by buying
East Herts Lottery Tickets.
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CDA Herts Services available to communities in Hertfordshire
Community Garden St Albans - Plots available
Village Halls Advisory Service - part of the ACRE network
Rural Support Networks
Rural Issues Network
Rural Loneliness Forum
Digital Inclusion Project
Rural Affordable Housing Needs Assessments and Surveys
Village Connectors Project
HMP The Mount Play Area
BAME Covid Recovery Project
Health Equalities Partnership Programme (HEPP)
Community Energy Network
Management Health Checks
Health & Safety Training, Audit and Risk Assessment
Health & Wellbeing advocacy
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CDA Herts does not endorse nor recommend any services or products featured in the eBulletin and accepts no liability for any unforeseen circumstances arising.