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LOCAL NEWS UPDATES
Last updated Monday 23rd April 2018

How to contact Leekonline...

HMRC iTunes Voucher Fraud

We are continuing to receive calls from members of the public regarding a scam which attempts to gain money.

Over the last few days, we've been contacted by a number of Staffordshire residents who have received phone calls, voicemails or texts from individuals claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs, demanding that they hand over cash for unpaid taxes.

They have been told they have an outstanding debt with HMRC or that a complaint has been lodged against them and they must pay a fee, sometimes thousands of pounds, within a matter of hours or face court action. The fraudsters have demanded that the money be either transferred to a bank account of their choosing or that an equivalent value of iTunes vouchers is purchased and then transferred.

We would like to remind you that no government agency, like HMRC, would ring demanding money over the phone and no legitimate company will ask you to buy vouchers to make or receive payment.

Please share this advice with friends or relatives who may not have access to our updates, particularly elderly parents, grandparents, friends and neighbours. 

If you are a retail outlet selling iTunes vouchers be mindful of customers wishing to purchase large amounts who may be the target of this criminal activity.

If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately, and please contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Alternatively, if you are feeling under threat or unsafe, please call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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

CHARITY SHOWCASE

Are you aware of the wide range of voluntary and community activity that takes place in
Newcastle-under- Lyme? Would you like to find out more, maybe get involved and offer
support?

Support Staffordshire is inviting voluntary and community groups, and those with an
interest in the voluntary sector, from across Newcastle-under- Lyme to take part in a
networking event at St George’s Centre, Cherry Orchard, Newcastle, ST5 2UB from 5pm
to 7pm on Monday 11 th June 2018.

The aim of the event is for local groups to showcase what they do. For the groups taking
part it is an opportunity to network with other voluntary and community groups in
Newcastle-under- Lyme and the wider North Staffordshire and also to talk to advisors
from Support Staffordshire and the Staffordshire Council for Voluntary Youth Services
(SCVYS) who can help with all aspects of running an organisation including funding. For
the general public and organisations like the Rotary and Round Table, it is chance to
make contact with local charities and to find out about local causes they can support.

This networking event is one of the quarterly voluntary sector meetings that take place
under the name of Newcastle-under- Lyme VCSE Locality Forum. These are held to
provide an opportunity for local voluntary and community groups to find out about key
current issues and planned initiatives, generally by health or other public sector bodies
such as Staffordshire County Council, that are relevant to the sector, to provide
feedback on these, and to network and share good practice with other voluntary groups.

Support Staffordshire
Bank House | 20 St Edward Street | Leek | Staffordshire | ST13 5DS
t 01538 381356 e staffordshiremoorlands@supportstaffordshire.org.uk
www.supportstaffordshire.org.uk @supportstaffs @suppstaffsmoor

Support Staffordshire is a company limited by guarantee no: 8967045 and a registered charity no. 1161077
with a registered office at Mansell House, 22 Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6LL
As Support Staffordshire’s Jill Norman explains: “We are holding this meeting in the
early evening as we are particularly keen to attract those voluntary and community
groups run by volunteers who perhaps work during the day and cannot normally take
part in our day time meetings. It’s an opportunity to highlight what your group is doing
and find out about others in the local area. It’s a chance to share ideas and explore
working together. It is also a chance to find new volunteers and new funding.”

This year, for the first time, it will also host the presentation of the Newcastle Volunteer
of the Year Award. There is still time for local groups to nominate one of their special
volunteers to receive this prestigious award. Nomination forms are available on
www.supportstaffordshire.org.uk or by phoning Support Staffordshire on 01538 381356.

For further information and to book a place at the 11 th June networking event please
email Natalie Shields, the Support Staffordshire Newcastle Locality Officer at
natalie.shields@supportstaffordshire.org.uk or you can phone her on 07507 643187



National Rural Crime Survey 2018

Do you think rural crime has gone up or down in Staffordshire? Do you feel safer? What's your view of the police in your community?

It's three years since the last National Rural Crime Survey revealed  the huge cost of crime to rural communities - both financial, at £800 million per year, and fear, with chronic under-reporting, anger and frustration at the police and government.

The National Rural Crime Network produced a series of recommendations and, in many areas, the police took steps to improve matters.  So, now, we want to know what's changed - what is the true picture of crime and anti-social behaviour in rural communities, and the impact it has where you live or work.

If you would like to take part in the survey and help shape rural and wildlife crime policing visit www.nationalruralcrimenetwork. net/survey .

For more information about rural and wildlife crime visit https://www.staffordshire. police.uk/article/2050/Rural- and-Wildlife-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

FIFA 2018 World Cup Ticket Alert

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from 14th June - 15th July 2018. The worldwide demand for match tickets is expected to be significant. Action Fraud have been alerted to several websites which are offering World Cup Tickets for sale, some at highly inflated prices.

A FIFA spokesperson said:  "FIFA regards the illicit sale and distribution of tickets as a very serious issue and it has been reminding all football fans that FIFA.com/tickets is the only official and legitimate website on which to buy 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets."

"FIFA has received various complaints and enquiries by customers of non-authorised ticket sales platforms, and has consistently confirmed that these companies cannot guarantee access to the stadiums as the respective tickets may be cancelled. Insofar customers are at risk of investing a high amount of money (also for travelling and accommodation) without having the certainty to actually be able to attend the matches."

FIFA have also warned that "any tickets obtained from any other source, such as ticket brokers, internet auctions or unofficial ticket exchange platforms, will be automatically rendered void and invalid".

We would always advice the following:-

  • Don't take the risk. Tickets for the World Cup 2018 can only be purchased directly from FIFA. For more information, please visit www.FIFA.com/tickets .
  • A FAN ID is required for fans to be able to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums. Exercise caution if using a third party to obtain your FAN ID for you. You may be charged inflated costs for the service and your personal details may be compromised. For more information, please visit www.fan-id.ru .
  • Visit the Take Five website for the latest guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
  • For useful advice and information on the World Cup please visit the Government Guidance Pages; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ be-on-the-ball-world-cup-2018 .

Please report any fraudulent activity to Action Fraud  or call us on 101.

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

Boxing and beats for rural Derbyshire Dales youngsters

Young people in the Derbyshire Dales are enjoying community boxing sessions hosted by a former county police officer.
Members of Hartington Young People's Activity Club (HYPAC) have been taking part in Ozbox sessions at the village hall.
The Ozbox diversionary scheme was introduced 15 years ago by the police, to support young people who were or could be involved in crime or anti-social behaviour. Former Chesterfield Detective Inspector Steve Osbaldeston MBE founded the programme, and is still involved in running the sessions in the local community.
Steve said: “When the police experienced cuts in funding they had to finish the scheme a few years ago, but we decided to continue with the sessions for children from all backgrounds. Using the ‘visiting van,' we are able to provide sessions in smaller towns and villages.
“Children from rural villages including Hartington, Biggin, Sheen, Warslow and Alstonfield have been taking part in the activities. These kids have limited access to sports and games, unlike children who live in towns and cities with nearby leisure centres and facilities.
“We have worked alongside the HYPAC group before and were really keen to provide the Ozbox opportunity to newer, younger members. The children couldn't wait to get going; they have been taking part in warm ups, fitness development and non-contact boxing.”
Ruby Debes, 10, said: “We had to work hard, but they made it good fun with the music and lots of encouragement.”
Participants have been awarded prizes of Ozbox T-shirts, bags and wrist bands.
Steve added: “We are looking forward to working alongside the HYPAC young leaders for the next sessions in Hartington.”
Ozbox gyms in Chesterfield and Derby host regular weekly sessions for youngsters. Facilities are free to use thanks to kind-hearted benefactors; Chris Shepley of Bakewell and Dr Colin Hancock from Nottingham.

If you think the OzBox scheme could help in your area, find Ozbox on Facebook or email Steve on: osbaldeston163@btinternet.com .


Be wary of buying stolen goods online!

We're warning people to be wary about what they're purchasing online from social media sites like Facebook.

Back in February, we received intelligence that a woman in Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme, was selling large quantities of beauty products and candles via Facebook.

When officers visited the address they recovered hundreds of pounds worth of goods that had been stolen from Boots and Wilkinson's including Yankee Candles, hairdryers, beauty and make-up sets and perfume.

A 40-year-old woman was voluntarily interviewed at Newcastle police station where she admitted to stealing the products.  She will now be charged and appear in court.

If the deal you're being offered is too good to be true, the chances are that it probably is!

If you're suspicious or concerned about anything you're being sold online, report it to us by calling 101.

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

Space returns to Staffordshire Moorlands for summer 2018

SPACE returns to Leek, Biddulph and Cheadle this summer – with the promise of more activities, for a broader range of youngsters.
Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis introduced the Space programme to bring together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to help nurture, support and guide Staffordshire youngsters.
And, new for this year, is the lowering of the age band for certain activities, from 11 to eight-years-old*, with Mr Ellis providing a substantial increase in funding for the programme.
The nine district and borough councils within the county have already signed up for Space 2018, with preparations underway behind the scenes to ensure the 8-17-year-olds of Staffordshire and Stoke have a summer of fun and enjoyment to look forward to.
Wherever you're from in the county, there will be something locally to keep your children occupied during the school holidays.
And with the nation set to be gripped by World Cup fever, Space 2018 also hopes to have a few football-related treats in store for soccer fans throughout the county.
Full details of activities and events will be rolled-out during the build up to the summer holidays.
Space 2018 is also being extended in certain areas to include the autumn term holiday period too.
The scheme attracted more than 18000 attendees across the summer holidays in 2017 – an increase of 5669 from the previous 12 months.
Statistics showed a drop in police-reported youth-related ASB throughout the Force during the period when Space was in operation, with a 38 per cent drop in incidents between mid-July and early-September 2017, compared to the same period 12 months earlier .
These are influenced by a wide range of factors, including weather, opportunities to engage in activities of interest, operational activity together with changes to Force recording practices.
Matthew Ellis said: ‘Space 2018 promises to be our biggest yet. We've had huge numbers attending in the past and hope for even more this year.
‘Space is all about fun, learning and growing in confidence. Staffordshire, like many areas, experiences higher rates of ASB during summer holidays than at other times and I'm keen that efforts are made to tackle this. I've increased investment in the programme to widen its scope and range.
‘Success for the youngsters is seen by the smiles on their faces, opportunities experienced for the first time and the things they've learned.
‘Space 2018 will continue with its aim of increasing skills, improving health and wellbeing, and creating opportunities for young people to take part in positive activities to make communities safer.

‘It should be a very exciting year for us all.'

Use and follow #StaffsSpace2018 on Twitter for updates during the coming months.

To sign up for updates, please go to Staffordshire.space.uk or for further information you can email space@staffordshire.pcc.pnn. gov.uk

Twitter: @StaffsSpace   

Facebook: facebook.com/StaffsSpace/

Instagram: @StaffsSpace

NOTE: *Age restrictions apply to certain activities – please check with organisers for more details.

PCC Matthew Ellis takes part in Zorbing


Criminal Damage at Churnet Valley

There has been substantial damage to several of the carriages at Churnet Valley Railway over night between the 07/04 and 08/04.

Graffiti has been sprayed on several of the carriages and without the fantastic help of the volunteers at Churnet Valley Railway an event scheduled for Sunday would have had to have been canceled.

If anyone has seen or heard anything in relation to this damage please contact Staffordshire Police on 101 and quote 185 of 08/04/2018

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

Rogue Trader Week - 9-13th April

In Staffordshire, along with the rest of the UK, rogue traders continue to cause problems for residents - particularly those who are elderly and vulnerable.

We will be holding an online surgery on Thursday 12 April at 7pm when you can chat 'live' with police officers and trading standards officers about any issues or concerns you have regarding rogue traders and doorstep crime.

Rogue traders are often referred to as 'cowboys' and pose as property maintenance workers, gardeners and builders who cold call residents offering any number of services.  They offer sub-standard or non-existent goods and services at grossly inflated prices and often target the vulnerable or elderly in the community.  They can also intimidate residents in order to extort money.

For more information or to join the chat visit https://www.staffordshire. police.uk/article/2321/Bogus- Officials

Staffordshire Residents who have concerns about Rogue Traders operating in their area can contact Trading Standards Confidential on 01785 330356. 

City of Stoke-on-Trent residents can call Trading Standards Consumer Advice on 01782 232065 option 5.

For advice on your consumer rights please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

Please call us on 101 if you require assistance with a suspicious caller or 999 in an emergency.

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

CELEBRATE OUR MOST INSPIRING VOLUNTEERS

Do you know a volunteering hero in Newcastle-under-Lyme or the Staffordshire Moorlands?
Now is the time to nominate them for the Support Staffordshire “Volunteers of the Year Award”. There will be two awards -one for Newcastle and one for the Staffordshire Moorlands.
The winner will be announced in June to coincide with the national Volunteers Week.
This is a great opportunity for us all to really appreciate what is being done in our local community, week in, week out by an amazing army of volunteers.
These are people who tirelessly use their time for the benefit of others including local community groups, youth clubs, those who raise funds for local charities and much more besides.
If you know of someone who is an active volunteer in Newcastle-under-Lyme or the Staffordshire Moorlands, who regularly goes the extra mile, and truly deserves this award, now is the time to nominate them.
Pick up a nominations form from Support Staffordshire, by emailing staffordshiremoorlands@supportstaffordshire.org.uk or phone 01538 381356 or call in to Bank House, 20 St Edwards Street Leek ST13 5DS during office hours.

Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Friday 27th April

Four finalists will be selected for each area from the entries, with a public vote in May and the winner to be announced at special voluntary sector market place events in June – in Newcastle from 5pm to 7pm Monday 11th June at St George’s Church Centre and in the Staffordshire Moorlands from 5pm to 7pm Tuesday 19th June at the Salvation Army Hall in Leek.

Some of those recognised by the Staffordshire Moorlands volunteer awards in 2017 and their colleagues:
Ross Podyma, Margaret Jackson, Sarah Gregory, Caroline Evans, Steve Barber and Bill Lomas


Farm Watch

Today occupants of a farm in Blackshaw Moor have disturbed two males walking through the outbuildings, offenders have then made off in a white Ford Transit Van, partial reg CY60K** - if this vehicle is seen please call 101 quoting incident number 296 - 06/04/2018

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

There will be the following bus service changes ( updated ) in the Staffordshire Moorlands district from April 2018: 

From 1 April 2018

  • Service 9 (D&G Bus, Biddulph - Newcastle) - Revised timetable.
  • Service 16 (D&G Bus, Hanley - Buxton) - Revised timetable.
  • Service 18 (Taxico, Leek - Hanley) - Revised timetable.
  • Service 30 (D&G Bus, Cheadle - Leek) - Service cancelled. A reduced Monday to Friday service will be operated by Taxico.
  • Service 93 (D&G Bus, Leek - Biddulph) - Service cancelled.
  • Service 108 (Taxico, Leek - Ashbourne) - Revised route and timetable, with some journeys serving Ipstones.
  • Service 109 (Taxico, Leek - Macclesfield) - Revised Saturday timetable.
  • Service 116 (D&G Bus, Leek - Cheddleton) - Service cancelled. An off-peak Monday to Friday service will be operated by Taxico.
  • Service 117 - New Monday to Saturday evening service between Leek and Cheddleton, to be operated by Taxico.
  • Service 123 (Bennetts Travel, Cheadle Circuler) - Revised timetable. Saturday service cancelled.
  • Moorlands Connect (Ashbourne Community Transport) - The fixed routes MC1 (Leek - Ilam), MC2 (Ashbourne - Milldale) and MC3 (Ilam - Buxton) will be cancelled. The Dial-a-Ride service will continue with one vehicle.

Revised timetables should be avaliable on Traveline (0871 2002233 www.travelinemidlands.co.uk ) two weeks before the amendment date or email  publictransport@ staffordshire.gov.uk for a paper copy of a timetable.


Tidier gardens help fill flats at Belle Vue

Over recent months, a team from local charity Grow Moorlands has been working with the residents of Your Housing's Belle Vue flats to make the area around the flats look better. The Grow Moorlands team, made up of students from The Meadows Special School, has tidied up the shrubs and given the place a thorough clean up. As well as being appreciated by the existing residents it has encouraged people to move into the vacant flats, so that there is now full occupation.

James Coates, Customer First Co-ordinator from Your Housing Group, explained that the help from Grow Moorlands has really given the area a boost: “It's great that the local youngsters got involved in this project and shows what can be achieved if people work together to improve their local environment. We are keen to work with Grow Moorlands at some of our other sites too.”

This is just one of the projects Grow Moorlands is involved in to help young people with learning difficulties and disabilities learn new skills and enhance their employability. The Community Interest Organisation undertakes a range of horticultural and grounds maintenance work in the Leek area, working primarily with The Meadows and Springfield Special Schools.

Your Housing Group owns and manages 28,000 homes across the North of England for people at all stages of life. The housing provider is regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing (formerly the Homes and Communities Agency) and aims to create more places for people to thrive.

The Grow Moorlands team at Belle Vue flats

Future Custodians – Looking After the Landscape

Future Custodians – Looking After the Landscape Future Custodians is one of 18 projects delivered by the South West Peak Landscape Partnership Scheme. The Partnership is grant aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund to benefit the people, communities, natural and cultural heritage of the South West Peak. Reduced numbers of farmland birds, a scarcity of wild flower meadows, increasing world population and future food needs are all common newspaper stories. This project will help to inspire future generations to look after the landscape they live in and make space for both farming and wildlife. Through the Future Custodians project the South West Peak Landscape Partnership will employ or support twelve apprentices in two different roles: Farm Worker Apprenticeships Countryside Worker Apprenticeships Farm Worker Apprentices will be employed on livestock or mixed farms in the South West Peak and the Partnership will fund their training costs. Many of the farm holdings in the area are very small (approximately 20 hectares), which would make it very challenging for a single farm to employ a full-time apprentice. Working with us we can arrange for the employment to be shared between a small collaboration of farmers, sharing the cost and maximising the benefit. The Countryside Worker Apprentices will be employed by the Peak District National Park Authority and training will be funded by the Partnership. They will gain experience working with the variety of partners in the Landscape Partnership including Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. They will work across a number of projects enabling them to learn first-hand about conservation and landscape management. But what makes these apprenticeships different is the integration of their training. Although apprentices will have their own courses to complete they will also have shared work and training on farming and conservation issues. Farm and Countryside Apprentices will work together on land management jobs on the host farms. They will have the opportunity to take part in many of the projects organised by the South West Peak Landscape Partnership including Slowing the
Flow, Glorious Grasslands and Working for Waders. “Farming and conservation should have closer connections to provide the ecosystem services we need in our rural areas as well as food production” says Helen Betts, the Vocational Training Officer for the Future Custodians project. “Countryside workers need to support and encourage the essential work that farmers are doing to protect our landscape and heritage”. For more information contact Helen Betts helen.betts@peakdistrict.gov.uk or visit www.southwestpeak.co.uk/projects/farming-heritage/future-custodians

South West Peak in action – Partners working together to build leaky dams for the Slowing the Flow Project

Advice: Bogus Officials

We are reminding residents to be on their guard following several reports of bogus officials targeting the elderly and vulnerable across the County.

This can can include doorstep crime, people claiming to come from the council, water-board or other official organisations. Perhaps somebody claiming that the property or garden needs essential maintenance. Another common trick is people claiming their pet/ball is in that person's rear garden.

What is a bogus official and doorstep crime?

Also known as distraction burglars, bogus callers trick their way into people's homes to steal money and valuables. They make themselves seem genuine and plausible while your attention is elsewhere.

They often work in pairs; one to keep you talking at the front door while the other tries to access your house from a back door or window. Some might even plead for help, such as asking for a glass of water.

As a force, Staffordshire Police is doing all it can to catch those responsible for these despicable crimes, and there have been a number of successes. However, there is a lot more that individuals and communities can do:-

  • Keep your house secure and use a door chain when answering the door.
  • Ensure windows and doors are locked at all times and keys are removed.
  • Don't allow any unsolicited callers into your home - ask them call you, or ask for a number so you can verify their identity.
  • Never agree to having work done on your home by a passer by - always obtain 3 quotes from reputable companies if you are considering getting any work done and never hand over any cash until the work is completed.
  • Never accept an offer from them to drive you to the bank to withdraw money.
  • If a caller is aggressive or threatening call 999 immediately.

If you see anything in your local area relating to the welfare of a vulnerable person call 101 to report it.  Please share this advice with the vulnerable.

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

Grants of up to £10,000 to help community organisations enjoy the heritage, environment and traditions of the South West Peak District

Registered charity Support Staffordshire is seeking community groups and voluntary organisations interested in running projects which enable their audiences to learn about and enjoy the natural environment and cultural traditions of the south west corner of the Peak District.
The organisation's South West Peak Community Grants programme has a grant pot of £300,000 to spend by 2020, and is offering grants of up to £10,000 to community groups and organisations for projects which enhance, protect or celebrate the heritage and countryside of the South West Peak area. Applicant organisations do not need to be based within the area to apply.
Support Staffordshire's Grants Officer, Sally Bentley said, “Organisations based outside the South West Peak area are very welcome to apply for a grant. The important thing is that the project involves the South West Peak itself. We've already funded an arts project which uses the area as inspiration, for example, and we're keen to fund schemes which bring people in from outside the South West Peak who may not normally get chance to visit it, or which get people involved in activities such as walking, foraging, or photography.”
The South West Peak Community Grants programme is part of the South West Peak Landscape Partnership Scheme which is supported by a £2.4m Heritage Lottery Fund Grant. The Grants programme offers grants of up to 50% of total project costs, to a maximum of £10,000. Beneficiary organisations are required to find match funding for their projects, and this can include cash match for example from an additional grant and in-kind match through volunteers giving their time or skills.
Sally continues, “The deadlines for the next two rounds of South West Peak Community Grants are 10 th April and 2 nd July 2018.”

“We encourage groups to talk to us about their projects ideas as many may not realise that their projects meet our objectives and are eligible for our funding – heritage is much more than old buildings, and communities have heritage too.”

“And don't let the lack of match funding be a barrier either, as we can help you to look for additional funding too.”

If you would like to discuss your project or ideas please contact Sally Bentley or Ruth Wilson, on 01538 381356 or email sally.bentley@supportstaffordshire.org.uk or ruth.wilson@supportstaffordshire.org.uk

Fraud Alert: False Telephone Preference Service (TPS) Calls

We have been made aware of reports where fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service' - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.

In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim's direct debit cancellation request was refused.

Protect yourself:

  • There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk .
  • You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
  • Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you are talking to. If in doubt, hang up immediately.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 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

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