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Last updated Friday 28th April 2017

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Official Staffordshire Emergency Closure List for Schools

Alert: Police Publication Scam

We have been made aware of a number of scams in operation where companies are contacting businesses asking for advertisements to be placed in journals and other publications supporting the Police.  

We can confirm that these are scams. 

The companies often state that the business has previously advertised and supported in the past and encourage companies to make payments at discounted rates.

We would never contact companies requesting monies towards publications, or authorise companies to act on our behalf for this purpose.

If you receive a call of this type, please do not provide any personal or business banking details. Terminate the call and report the incident to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 .

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

A new community minibus for Staffordshire Moorlands

A charity is celebrating after receiving a brand new wheelchair-accessible minibus funded by the Department of Transport. Support Staffordshire recently took possession of the 16 seater vehicle, bringing their fleet of minibuses to a total of three, all based in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

The new minibus, affectionately known as Dorothy, is a fantastic local resource providing additional facilities for low cost travel for voluntary and community groups across the district. In the last year the existing minibuses made nearly 300 journeys equating to over 4400 single passenger journeys, bringing fun, company and adventure for hundreds of local people who used them for regular trips or special days out.

St Paul's Luncheon Club members are regular weekly users of the minibuses. Celia and Maggie, organisers of the club, said ‘Without this transport many of the people here would be stuck in their homes 24/7; the volunteer drivers are always so helpful and considerate of their needs'.

Dorothy, the new minibus will be on display at Support Staffordshire's Open Day at Bank House on 11 th May, 3-7pm. This is a drop-in event at the organisation's Moorlands base at Bank House, 20-22 St Edward St, Leek to which anyone interested in learning more about Support Staffordshire's services and support to community groups is welcome.

All three minibuses can be hired on a self-drive or ‘with volunteer driver' basis, and are available to community groups, luncheon clubs, youth groups, sports clubs, day and residential care clubs, and school PTA groups for school trips.

Prices start at £15 plus a mileage charge per hiring, with members of Support Staffordshire receiving discounted rates.

Anyone wishing to hire one of the community minibuses or interested in becoming a volunteer driver should contact Sally Bentley, Voluntary & Community Transport Officer for Support Staffordshire on 01538 381356



Members of St Paul's Luncheon Club with Dorothy the new minibus

Spring in to action and give a little time to your community


Support Staffordshire's volunteer centre in the Moorlands is keen to hear from you. We can show you a wide variety of volunteering opportunities available in your community that can fit with your lifestyle and aspirations.

From a quick hit of online actions that take a matter of minutes to the rewards of forming long term friendships there are all types of volunteering to suit everyone.

Volunteering is a great way of trying out something new, getting experience to enhance your CV, making new friends and giving something back to your community.

Following our recent launch at Blythe Bridge Library Support Staffordshire now offers volunteering appointments throughout the Moorlands at the following venues, the Learning Curve in Biddulph, Bank House in Leek, Werrington and Blythe Bridge Community Libraries. Feel free to contact us to arrange an appointment and find out about the opportunities on your door step.

Our Volunteering Adviser Barbara Milford commented “there is a huge range of volunteering opportunities to suit all - if you are good with people, a whizz with your hands or even if you are a bit shy. You are more than welcome to come and have a chat with your local volunteer advisers at Support Staffordshire. ”

She continues, “Our v olunteering a dvisers We are all a small team of volunteers themselves , ourselves and we who enjoy l ove supporting local people individuals to find volunteering activities the thing that they you will really enjoy doing.”

To find out more, or book an appointment, contact Moorlands Locality Officer, Kathryn Bentham on 01538 381356 or email





Photo:- Volunteer adviser Barbara Milford pictured with library volunteer Brian Cheatham at Blythe Bridge Community Library



Time is running out to nominate a special someone you know who is a fantastic volunteer and deserves to win the Staffordshire Moorlands Volunteers of the Year Award.

Support Staffordshire (Staffordshire Moorlands) wants to hear from you if you want to take the opportunity of highlighting the contribution an individual makes to your charity or local group. It could be a parent who helps out at a youngster's football team, a young mum who helps to run a play group, someone who works in a charity shop, a driver who takes housebound people to church services, or anyone involved in the million and one different voluntary acts that happen every day in the Moorlands to enhance lives in our community.

The winner will be announced during the National Volunteers week 1st to 7th June 2017 which is a great opportunity for us all to really appreciate what is been done in our local community by an amazing army of volunteers.

If you know of someone who is an active volunteer in the Staffordshire Moorlands, who regularly goes the extra mile and truly deserves this award now is the time to shout about it.

Pick up a nominations form from Support Staffordshire, by emailing Kathryn Bentham or calling in to Bank House, 20 St Edwards Street Leek ST13 5DS during office hours.

Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Friday 5th May

Four finalists will be selected from the entries with a public vote in May and the winner to be announced through the local press and Support Staffordshire during volunteers week 1st to 7th June.


Support Staffordshire is inviting voluntary and community groups, and those with an interest in the voluntary sector, from Leek and the surrounding area to an Open Day at Bank House in St Edward Street, Leek ST13 5DS. The drop-in event will take place on Thursday 11 th May from 3pm to 7pm.
The building, owned by Leek Town Council, has been occupied and managed by Support Staffordshire and its predecessor organisations, since 1979. The aim has always been to provide a base for the voluntary sector so that a range of services could be provided to benefit the local community. Current occupants include the Staffordshire Moorlands Talking Newspaper for the Blind and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
With the recent closure of the day centre for the elderly on the ground floor, which followed the earlier move of Leek Citizens Advice to Moorlands House, there is now an opportunity to look at how the ground floor space could be best re-designed to meet the needs of the local voluntary sector, with the help of a friendly architect. There will also be a chance to meet Support Staffordshire staff and find out what support is available to the sector.
As local manager, Jill Norman, comments:” We felt it was important to get ideas from local groups about how the space could be used in the future so that these can influence the planning process. It's the first time for many years that there has been an opportunity to really look at Bank House and how it can best serve the voluntary and community sector.”
So if you would like to see inside Bank House and give your ideas of how the space could be used in the future, drop in any time between 3pm and 7pm on Thursday 11 th May. For further information contact Esther Jones, the Moorlands Locality Team Leader on 01538 381356 or email

Photos of the exterior of Bank House and some of the ground floor areas

- GatewaySHED is currently open Tuesdays and Saturdays 10am - 1pm. There is opportunity to stay later on both of these days by agreement of l those present (simply to make sure we have a minimum no. for safety) - but in order for this to work for all - please ensure you turn up before 12pm so no-one turns up to a locked door in the afternoon or our Responsible Shedders are hanging about waiting for people later on in the day.
- We have always stated we are amenable to the Shed being open on other days, subject again to there being enough people to make it safe (minimum two people - at least one of whom needs to be fully competent and trained on all machines and able to advise others - ie a "Responsible Shedder").  If you would like to use the Shed space on another day / session - or you would be happy to join those we call Responsible Shedders  - please do talk to fellow members next time you're in the Shed. 
- Over Easter the Shed will be open as normal - Easter Saturday 15th April 10am - 1pm and Tuesday 18th 10am - 1pm.
- Any new members who have recently joined and not yet come along for a session - we look forward to seeing you soon - please just turn up to suit you. Please note you will be required to undergo training on any of the large machinery you may be wanting to use- so if you have a plan for a make / build - please build this into your starting timetable! 
- As you hopefully already know, we were selected to receive funds from the Co-Ops Community Fund during early 2017. Our time as one of their 3 supported charities has now come to a close - and we are waiting to find out how much we have been awarded from the membership charity contributions. We are delighted to have been supported in this way by our local community - and all funds received will go back in to covering the overhead costs of running the Shed - electrics / rent / insurance for the forthcoming year enabling us to keep the cost of your membership at just £10 for the year and a donation of £3 per session attended.  
- The Shed has been approached to support the Art in the Park 2017 organisers in creating signage for this year's event (taking place in Brough Park, Leek on 20th and 21st May).   We have this week been given the design for the signs and now need all hands to help make as many as possible of the templates, bases for some and painting all of them. If you are happy to help out - please let us know next time you're in the Shed! In return for our making - we are being given a free space to promote the Shed at the festival. We have currently agreed to do this on the Saturday only -(due to man power required) - setting up our own small gazebo / taking leaflets / small portable items as examples of our makes etc. If you are free to help set up / man the stand at any time on the 20th May - or have any fab, easy ideas for things we can do on the day - please let us know asap!  
- One of our members, Jo Phillips has recently been appointed as a Trustee of the national Sheds support organisation that we are a member of - UK Men's Sheds Association ( ). Jo sits as a representative of Shedders and Sheds - so anything you may want the national organisation to know about - please do let her know - or anything you may want to know about the national Sheds / Men's Sheds movement, she is happy to chat about. 
- Recent makes and ongoing projects our Shedders are making for themselves include - garden planters / hook racks / chair leg spindles / picture frames and a table from a recycled washing machine drum. The mouse doorsteps are still being very well received in the Foxlowe cafe and we have recently been asked to make a blanket box,  repair chairs and repair a bird table bought for a lady by her grandchildren a few years ago- who queried where it was when they last visited. Rotten and put in the garden Shed, she decided she needed to get it repaired and back in pride of place - so the Shed was asked to come to the rescue!  Lots of ideas, creativeness and skill sharing is continually evident in the Shed - so if you have an idea but not sure how to start or how to tackle the problem etc then there are always others around to ask!  
- And lastly - we are hoping to build an extension to the front side of the Shed as we have been donated parts of a dismantled conservatory. Additional clean work space and indoor seating area will be a great next steps to the space we have. All hands are welcomed in helping with the planning / construction / tea drinking that this will require - so any Shedders up for a challenge are asked to let Cliff know! 
The Shed is a space for the sharing of tools, equipment, skills, time and a cuppa and a chat for its members, ran by its members - so any ideas / thoughts / moans or creative genius ideas- please do talk to others about it as its a space for all of us to use. 
We look forward to seeing you in the Shed soon!
With kind regards
Gateway ? SHED?
c/o Foxlowe Arts Centre, Market Place, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 6AD (t) 07423 471 018  or  (t) 07773 464 626

Alert: Burglary in Alstonefield, Hamps Valley

11th April 2017, 9:46 AM

We are urging residents to be on their guard and to review home security following a burglary in Alstonefield, Hamps Valley. 

We are reminding residents to ensure their properties are secure at all times including all doors and windows, and that items of value and keys, are stored away out of view.

The incident took place sometime between 10:00am and 1:45pm on Monday 10th April when an alarm was triggered at the property.  It was discovered a window had been forced at the property and an unsuccessful attempt had been made to force a door.

A TV and radiator have been reported stolen.

If you have any information, please contact us on 101 quoting incident number 368 of April 10th

For more information and advice on keeping your property safe visit crimeprevention .

Please encourage friends and family to register to receive smart alerts directly at – together we can fight crime.     

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Football Club scores a grant

A sports club working with young people in Biddulph has scored a grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner's People Power Fund.
Biddulph Town Gladiators Lads and Dads Football Team has been awarded funding to purchase new training equipment for their Under 14's Football Team.
They have used the funds to purchase new footballs, fitness equipment and mobile goals for the team, after spending the previous season using water bottles as goalposts.
The club is aiming to reduce anti-social behaviour in the surrounding areas by giving youngsters a place to play football and learn new skills. They are also helping to keep the youngsters active during their training sessions as well as teaching them valuable teamwork skills.
Biddulph Town Gladiators Lads and Dads Football Team has been awarded £290 for the purchase of new equipment.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, Matthew Ellis, said:
‘The best ideas to reduce crime, social harm and anti-social behaviour often come from communities affected by those issues. That's why, since 2013 I've increased the funding provided for simple things that make local areas safer and better to live in.
‘Tackling the issues, building community spirit and often reducing repeat demand on policing means providing that financial help at the most local level is really cost effective.
‘Biddulph Town Gladiators Lads and Dads Football Team is doing a fantastic job of keeping young people in Biddulph active, engaged and out of mischief. I am pleased to hear about, and see first-hand, the work they are doing with the youngsters in their area.'
Garry Jackson, Coach for Biddulph Town Gladiators Lads and Dads team, added:
‘The funding we received from The People Power Fund has enabled us to purchase new training equipment to benefit and help develop the team and has given the lads a real boost'
The current round of People Power Funding closes on Friday 14 April. To find out more and apply visit the website fund

PCC Matthew Ellis with members of the Biddulph Town Gladiators Football Team, Coaches Garry Jackson and Nick Steadman and PCSO Steve Sherratt
Photos © of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire

News: Operation 50-50: Cannabis factory found in Leek

10th April 2017, 3:03 PM

A 50-50 raid this weekend has found a sophisticated cannabis growing facility hidden by a false wall. 

Leek officers entered a seemingly disused building on Sneyd Street in Leek on Saturday to find three growing rooms and a drying room hidden by a false wall. 

The rooms were filled with 206 mature plants and 75 that had been cultivated ready for processing for sale. All of the plants and cultivated cannabis has been valued at £250,000. 

Following further investigation we discovered that the electricity also had a partial bypass to power the facility without raising suspicion. 

No one was found in the building, but we are appealing for information about a blue Ford, 5 door, that has been seen parked outside the building on a regular basis. 

Sgt Rob Peacock, who led the operation, said: "This was a significant drugs operation that has been uncovered and we will continue to develop opportunities to tackle drugs in the community. 

"If anyone has any concerns or information around drugs please let the police know. Often you can see things and be unsure if you should contact the police. It may be that the information you have is the missing piece to our jigsaw and I would encourage you to let us know by calling 101."

For more information on the 50-50 campaign and our progress so far, please go to  www.staffordshire.police. uk/50-50  or follow updates on social media using #police5050.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Art in the Park at Brough Park, Leek
20th & 21st May 2017


This is a two day festival of art, craft, food and music at Brough Park in Leek.  The event takes place over the weekend 20th & 21st May.

The event provides an opportunity for artists, craft and food artisans (both local and otherwise) to exhibit and sell their work / produce.

If you are interested in the event the charge for a trading space is £30.00 for two days.  This will include supply of a 6 foot trestle table and chairs undercover of a marquee (on grass). Please download and complete the attached form and return with your cheque to the address on the form or to pay by card please call 0345 605 3010.

If you require more information please contact Gareth Knapper on 0345 6053010 ext 4506 or  

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