Archive for May, 2019

Getting ready to celebrate Volunteers’ Week

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

We will all know someone who works tirelessly in their communities, giving up their time working with voluntary organisations, groups and charities to help improve the lives of others.

Well, National Volunteers’ Week starts this Saturday (1 June) and it’s the time we recognise and celebrate all their contributions.

For example, in our libraries and our community managed libraries there are almost 1,000 volunteers helping out, all helping the community by running community events, helping people with their IT skills, giving access to books and information to housebound people and much more.

But we also have volunteers helping out in our schools, children’s centres, country parks and our Archives and Museums services so there’s lots of different opportunities for different interests.

So, whether it’s helping out at a local sports group, youth club, library or children’s centre, or simply supporting those people in communities that are most in need –  elderly, young people, and children and families it all makes an amazing difference.

There are lots of volunteering opportunities available in Staffordshire and you can find out more at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/volunteering

And remember, volunteering not only benefits our local communities but it can also greatly benefit the people who give up their time too. Whether it is learning new skills, keeping active, improving mental health and wellbeing, or making new friends, volunteering can have real long-term benefits.

Launch of the 2019 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism & Good Food Awards

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
Visitors at the National Memorial Arboretum. Last year they won an award for Best Guided Tour of the Year

I’ve blogged about this topic before about how over the last ten years tourism has really grown here in Staffordshire and how it is now the fourth largest employing sector in the county.

It also plays a vital part in our overall economy and our local tourism businesses continue to do a great job attracting visitors both locally and nationally.

Of course Staffordshire Day has been vital in helping showcase our great county across the UK. Since it started in 2016, it has really shot off and this year we saw just how big it had gotten – trending nationally on Twitter all day with hundreds of people sharing their Staffordshire Day mugshots.

But key to this success are our tourism businesses and attractions who continue to provide innovative and high quality experiences, so it’s only right they get their day to shine too.

Returning again this year, although slightly revamped is the 2019 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism & Good Food Awards, there are a total of 19 awards this year, it’s straightforward to enter and it’s a great way of promoting your business. Entries must be submitted before 5pm on 28th June and you can enter by clicking here.

Winners will then also go forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence where they’ll represent Staffordshire and take on some of the country’s top tourism businesses.

Make sure you get your entry in early and good luck…

Change a Future!

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
Foster Care Fortnight launch in Market Square, Stafford

I have blogged about our Children’s Services earlier in the year when we were rated as good by Ofsted. You can read the post again by clicking here.

One of the most important things the service does is to help keep vulnerable children safe. Sometimes, and for many different reasons, we need to keep children safe from harm by finding loving homes for them, either through adoption or finding a foster family for them.

We all want to see children and young people get the best possible start in life and grow up to be able to realise their dreams, and as a local foster carer that’s exactly what you could do.  

Foster Care Fortnight which started on Monday 13 May is a national campaign that we support every year and we launched this year’s campaign live on Facebook from the Market Square in Stafford. 

The team are also taking Reggie the bus on tour across the county giving people interested in fostering a chance to find out more and talk to real foster carers.

All sorts of people can and do foster with us and you’re never on your own. It is a challenge and it takes the right attitude, some core qualities and training and support, but anyone over 21 with a spare bedroom can basically do it.

Look out for Reggie between 10am and 2pm when he calls into a town near you:

  • Wednesday 15 May, Market Square, Lichfield
  • Thursday 16 May, Coopers Square carpark, Burton
  • Friday 17 May, Dovefields, Uttoxeter
  • Monday 20 May, Outside St. Edithas Church, Tamworth
  • Tuesday 21 May, Cheadle (back of Barclays)
  • Wednesday 22 May, Stone High Street (outside B&M)
  • Thursday 23 May, Market Square, Cannock
  • Friday 24 May, Ironmarket, Newcastle

Remember, if you can’t make a roadshow, you can find out more about fostering with the county council by visiting www.care4child.org/changeafuture or by calling 0800 169 2061.

A huge thanks to everyone who joined in the Staffordshire Day celebrations

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
Celebrating Staffordshire Day

This is just to thank everyone who helped make this year’s Staffordshire Day celebrations such a huge success and to all the businesses, tourism providers and local communities who joined in. It was wonderful to see everyone coming together to share their pride and show what great things the county has to offer.

Once again, the day itself and the 70-plus events over the week and bank holiday weekend brought thousands out and we were trending nationally on Twitter. Hundreds of people rushed to share their mugshots on social media and we even got a tweet from the House of Commons!

If you’ve been following the action, you will know that events took place right across the county, including at key Staffordshire attractions like World of Wedgwood, Alton Towers, Drayton Manor Park, Uttoxeter Racecourse and the National Memorial Arboretum.

As we all know in our great county tourism is really booming and our local tourism businesses continue to do us proud and a great job attracting more and more visitors. 

Having Staffordshire Day as an annual event now in our calendar is a really great opportunity to raise the profile of our fantastic county and place us on the national and international stage.

We’re now looking forward to our next Staffordshire Day next year which we hope will be even bigger and better. And, remember, if you have any ideas for next year’s theme let us know.

Happy Staffordshire Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Today is 1 May, and it’s Staffordshire Day.  It’s our day and the day we join together to celebrate our wonderful county.

It’s our fourth Staffordshire Day and each year it’s getting bigger and bigger. This year’s theme is ‘Made in Staffordshire’, which as the name suggests is a celebration of all the great things to come out of Staffordshire, from its brewing and ceramic heritage, as well as food and drink, to the music and some of the most famous people from the county.

As in previous years, there’s plenty of events and activities to get involved with, and not just today, but throughout the week and weekend as well.

There’s the Staffordshire Day Plate Raceday at Uttoxeter Racecourse on Saturday 4 May; the World’s Biggest Oatcake Morning at Canalside Farm; the Staffordshire Day Vintage Fair at the National Memorial Arboretum.  There’s also the Made in Staffordshire art exhibition at the Guildhall Gallery in Stafford and much more.

Our libraries are also joining in the celebrations so it’s worth checking out what’s happening in your local library too.

Tying in with this years’ theme is the Made in Staffordshire Playlist. The playlist can be found on Spotify and showcases some of the best music to come from the county, from big named musical legends to rising stars. You can even add your own tracks to the playlist and recommend songs by tweeting @enjoystaffs.

And, returning once again are the Staffordshire Day mug shots. It was a huge success last year when hundreds of people got involved and perfectly fits the Made in Staffordshire theme. All people need to do again is take a quick selfie holding a Staffordshire mug and share it on social media with #StaffordshireDay and we’ll do the rest.

Keep up to date with all the events and activities at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/staffsday

Let’s make it a great day.