Community News 23 March 2021

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Community News, Derbyshire County Council.

Information for local groups, societies, clubs, parish and town councils

23 March 2021

Latest news in this edition:

Derbyshire Beacon of Hope Awards

Beacon of Hope

Do you know someone who has put others first, showing kindness, compassion, enterprise and strong community spirit during the pandemic?

We’ve joined forces with Derby City Council, the High Sheriff and the Lord Lieutenant to launch the Beacon of Hope award to recognise individuals and groups who have gone the extra mile.

You can nominate groups or individuals online, or encourage others to nominate people, who have committed themselves to response and relief efforts since the beginning of the outbreak.

Have you submitted your census?


If you haven’t yet taken part in this year’s census, now’s the time to do it.

The census happens every 10 years and gives the government a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.

You must complete the census by law and your answers will help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in our area, including transport, education and healthcare.

If you haven’t already submitted your details you need to do it as soon as possible.

Could you be one of our care workers?

care workers

Are you looking for a new career? We're appealing to people to ‘Make a Difference’ by becoming a care worker supporting some of Derbyshire’s most vulnerable residents.

We're offering flexible, long or short-term contracts with a fast-track application process.

We want to hear from people looking to work various hours including former carers who may consider a return to the profession, people aged 18 or over or retirees.

Recruits are needed to offer support to help older and disabled people lead dignified, fulfilled lives in our care homes.

New starters, along with all our other care staff, will have access to all the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe while doing their job in line with Government guidelines.

No previous experience is necessary as full training is given

Workplace testing for Covid-19

workplace testing

We’re asking all businesses in Derbyshire to consider how they might help their employees to get tested regularly for coronavirus.

Around one in three of those with the virus have no symptoms, so testing helps to find these people, and stop the virus being spread more widely.

If you run a business you may be interested in taking part in the Government’s workplace testing programme. You will receive free lateral flow test kits for those employees who cannot work from home. Businesses have until 31 March to register and order kits. You can find more information on the Government’s website.

If you are a small business, or just don’t have the space to set up testing in your workplace, or are a sole trader, then you can visit one of our community testing centres. We’d be pleased to welcome you and your employees and we’ve nine centres at the moment across the county. You can find out where the sites are on our website. Most are open seven days a week from 7.45am to 7pm. No need to book, just turn up.

Positive start for green business fund


More than 130 people from businesses and community groups across Derbyshire joined the virtual launch of our Green Entrepreneurs Fund this week.

It's a £2 million grant fund for organisations interested in developing and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

The scheme is open to small and medium-sized businesses based in Derbyshire with up to 250 staff and micro-businesses with up to 10 staff.

Find more information about the programme including application forms, timetable for grant funding and eligibility criteria.

Are you eligible for free childcare?


Did you know that some parents are eligible for free childcare for their children from the age of two?

Take a look on the Childcare Choices website to find out if you are eligible for up to 15 hours a week free childcare.

Nurseries, pre-schools and child minders offer a variety of opportunities for children to learn. And it’s not just about reading, writing and numeracy. Children learn about daily routines; they develop emotional resilience and social skills. Friendships with other children helps them build up their confidence and overcome shyness.

Some working parents of three and four-year-olds are also eligible to receive additional hours up to a maximum of 30 hours a week and you could also qualify for tax-free childcare which could help pay for any additional hours. 

Japanese cherry to bloom in Derbyshire


When you’re out and about in your local area, keep an eye out for one of 100 new Sakura cherry trees which have arrived in Derbyshire from Japan.

We bid for the trees through the Sakura Cherry Tree Project as part of our Toyota City Partnership to celebrate Japan’s friendship with the UK.

The trees will be planted across Shipley Country Park, Cadley Park in Swadlincote which is within the National Forest and Bass’s Recreation Ground in Derby.

Schools across Derbyshire were also invited to apply for their own Sakura cherry tree and more than 50 were successful.

Pictured are our Cabinet Member for Clean Growth and Regeneration Councillor Tony King helping to plant Chaucer Junior School’s Sakura cherry blossom tree with pupils Grace (left) and Charlotte (right) and the school’s Community and Gardening Ambassador Kerry Wheatley.

Sign up for covid business newsletter

Local businesses and employers can sign up for a covid business newsletter aimed specifically at them.

Information is likely to include things like how to get free advice and support, supporting staff, scams awareness, PPE guidance, being Covid-safe and how to bounce back from the pandemic.