Archive for November, 2013

Helping residents at every stage of their life

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Helping our communities to be more independent, resilient, and plan for their future has for a number of years been at the heart of what we do to encourage community wellbeing.   It’s really exciting then that the new bigger, better and easier to use Staffordshire Cares launches this week.

You may remember when Staffordshire Cares launched just over two years ago, which was our response to older people telling us that they wanted more advice and guidance to live a happier, healthier and more independent life.  Since then, well over 100,000 people have used the website, phone line and local advisor network to find long – term solutions to their problems and, critically, plan for the future.

This was a great start, but it’s not just older and more vulnerable people that need a 24/7 source of advice they can trust.

Our first responsibility is to listen and understand our residents’ needs, and tackling issues that matter to people of all ages and to support independence. So now on Staffordshire Cares you’ll find over 600 pages of new advice and information that covers areas such as parenting, schools, education, online safety, coping with bereavement, managing on a budget and winter issues.

There’ll be a campaign to promote Staffordshire Cares to new audiences, and I hope you too will discover how Staffordshire Cares can help you.  We’ve made it as simple as possible – you can visit the website, our Facebook page, and Twitter feed (@StaffsCares). Over the coming weeks we’ll feature helpful money, safety, and Christmas hints and tips too.

Please let others know about Staffordshire Cares – this time of year can be especially difficult for some people – and the help and information they can find might help make all the difference. Take the opportunity to have a look now at www.staffordshirecares.info and let us know what you think.

 

Helping Staffordshire to feel safer at this time of year

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Staffordshire is a safe place to live.  There’s less chance of being a victim of crime than ever before and all types of crime are falling.

Despite this, there are some areas in our county where people feel unsafe in their community.

The reasons for this can be very varied (and not always related to crime) but because it can have a huge effect of quality of life, we’re getting to grips with it through the Feeling Safe in Staffordshire campaign, which I’ve mentioned in this blog before. We want to find out exactly why people feel safe or not  (and we’re acting on some of the obvious problems now (you can find out more and give your views at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/feelingsafe),

Whilst anti-social behaviour is decreasing across the county, some people can still feel apprehensive at this time of year, especially those who are older or more are more vulnerable. Working with Staffordshire Police and the county’s district and borough councils, we’re rolling out the annual ‘Take Care and Be Aware’  and ‘Operation Good Guy’ campaigns to reassure and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Both encourage families and young people to enjoy themselves safely and responsibly, and to consider how trick or treating or using fireworks can affect some people, especially those who are more vulnerable. Last week thousands of ‘ no trick or treat’ cards were distributed to residents across Staffordshire, and our Trading Standards teams visited licenced  shops to offer advice and guidance about the sale of fireworks to children under 18.

We’ll be continuing to reassure and support people to feel safe throughout the Christmas and new year period, when we’ll be launching a number of other campaigns that tackle more of people’s concerns.

To do this effectively, we’re now more joined up, locally and corporately, with our community safety partners. Moreover, we’ve given a strong voice to the people of Staffordshire so that we ensure that we get it right. There are many examples across the county council of us doing this, but we all need to do it everyday so that we’re truly dealing with the things that matter to residents.