Archive for April, 2018

All set for Staffordshire Day

Monday, April 30th, 2018

With only a day to go now, we’re all set and incredibly excited for our third Staffordshire Day taking place tomorrow.

You will remember our first two Staffordshire Days were a huge success, but I am sure you will agree we want this year to be even bigger and better.  Last year, over 60,000 people attended Staffordshire Day events, generating an estimated £1m for the county’s economy.  And we were trending on Twitter in the UK which was a great achievement.

New for this year is a celebration of the unique delights of the mighty Staffordshire oatcake.  Music and food festivals are also in the line-up along with a ‘mug shot’ campaign encouraging people to share a photo with a Staffordshire made mug on social media to celebrate our world-famous pottery industry.

The county’s libraries will also be getting involved, with arts and crafts activities, and a special campaign will recognise some of the county’s most famous historical figures like Josiah Wedgwood and Dr Samuel Johnson, author of the first comprehensive English dictionary.  We produced a series of short videos with local actors reliving their stories along with some great reasons to visit each area.  They’re very good.  You can watch them by clicking on each individual name. Josiah Wedgwood, Dr Samuel Johnson, David Garrick, Michael Bass and JRR Tolkien.

Other events already organised include a new exhibition dedicated to Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Philip Astley, the Father of the Modern Circus and the Staffordshire Plate Raceday at Uttoxeter Racecourse.

Remember, you can find out about events near you at

And, remember, where ever you are and whatever you’re doing tweet us a photo with the #staffordshireday.

Congratulations to our Commonwealth medal winners

Monday, April 16th, 2018

I hope people got the chance to enjoy some of the Commonwealth Games over the last couple of weeks and in particular cheer on some of our very own Staffordshire sporting stars.

Swimming superstar Adam Peaty struck gold in the first week of the Games by clinching the 100m breaststroke title. Already boasting the 10 fastest times in history in the 100m breaststroke, once again the young man from Uttoxeter who started his career at the Dove Valley Swimming Club, has done us proud.

He’s a remarkable sportsperson and has had a truly phenomenal four years and this latest success just shows the calibre of swimmer he really is.  We’re really proud of him here in Staffordshire, and he is a wonderful role model for young people here and across the whole country, with the right attitude even when he came second with a silver.

Doing us proud as well was Burton super heavyweight boxer Frazer Clarke who won a gold medal After his bout against India’s Satish Kumar in the super-heavyweight contest.  His gold medal has followed some superb performances.  He has shown real grit and determination in battling through the rounds to achieve the success he deserves.

Cyclist Emily Nelson from Lichfield also won gold in her first senior world title at the Games and And Beth Cobden from Stafford won gold in Netball.

It’s really been an outstanding Games for Staffordshire athletes who are all great role models for young people across the county and I can speak on behalf of everyone in the county by saying we are very proud of them.

Extra funding to help vulnerable families

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

Over the last few years we have been at the forefront of working jointly with other organisations to help families with complex needs and to help them avoid reaching crisis point.

Now, after years of successful intervention, we’ve been awarded £5 million up front to allow us to develop this area of work further. This is great news which will help us make a real difference to the lives of parents, children and their wider families.

Our Building Resilient Families and Communities (BRFC) programme, which I’ve blogged about before, targeted families to help parents in to work, or children back to school and to reduce their involvement in criminal and anti-social behaviour.

Working more closely with the Police, district councils  and other agencies and a focus on the whole family rather than the individual members of a family, has been key to the scheme’s success.  As a result of this, more than 3,500 families have already been supported by the BRFC scheme which has also resulted in considerable reduction in the consequences of domestic violence, joblessness and anti-social behaviour.

The extra funding will now allow us to build on the good work already done but also allow us to deal with a wider range of problems including domestic violence, debt, poor health and where children are at risk of being taken into care.

If this “working differently” continues to be a success, we  can look forward to helping many more of our most challenged families.