Charlotte Richards, 22, from Shrewsbury, has become the youngest registrar in the UK
after completing an apprenticeship with County Training.
Today Charlotte Richards is also on track with a successful career as a deputy superintendent registrar with Shropshire Council in a varied and challenging role.
Charlotte’s day-to-day tasks range from, assisting customers with appointments to register births and deaths, registering marriages across over 50 approved Shropshire venues, and organising and conducting citizenship ceremonies. Charlotte also works with the HM Coroner service, attending inquests and assisting with the coroner’s court process. The role presents many challenges; one example being a high profile court case, where Charlotte played a significant part in identifying a sham marriage scam and seeing it through to the conviction of eight defendants.
With the help of Shropshire Council’s County Training Charlotte completed her level 2 Business and Administration apprenticeship at The Guildhall, Shrewsbury, teaching her knowledge of relevant legislation and legal processes, as well as giving her the experience in management and customer service which is vital for the role. Charlotte now has a full- time career and is working towards the completion of her level 3 Business and Administration.
“Working for the registration service is something I would have never dreamed of doing whilst I was at school: seeing the cycle of life on a daily basis has opened my eyes to the world and hearing people’s stories has taught me so much.
“I could never have achieved any of this without the help of County Training whilst completing my apprenticeship. My assessors were so helpful and understanding of the role that I wanted to fulfil. They worked around me to accommodate my busy schedule and kept in contact with me regularly to ensure that I didn’t fall behind; and if I did, help was on offer. Along with this, my colleagues in the registration service have mentored me, from everything to coping with the emotional aspect of the job, to how to hold my first fountain pen. I have truly been very lucky.”
Sharon Dudgon, Registration Administration Team Leader, said:
“We are delighted to have Charlotte on our team and it has been a great pleasure to watch her develop and experience the highs and lows of an occupation which brings you into contact with people at the best and worst times of their lives. We wish her every success.”
County Training’s team of apprenticeship advisers work to support school and college leavers into apprenticeships, whilst also working with 16- to 23-year-olds who are currently seeking an opportunity. As the largest provider of work-based training in Shropshire, the service has excellent links with businesses countywide, also supporting them with apprenticeship recruitment along with training for existing staff. In February 2015 County Training secured a ‘good’ Grade 2 in its Ofsted report, with outstanding grading awarded for health and social care, safeguarding and leadership and management, placing it as a leading training provider in Shropshire.
County Training receives funding from the Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund to deliver training and apprenticeships in the following areas:
Business and administration, brewing, childcare, education, computer-aided design, customer service, hair and beauty, health and social care, horse management, hospitality and catering, IT, motor vehicles management, and warehouse and storage.
Following the death of a young student after taking slimming pills, Shropshire Council’s public health team and West Mercia Police would like to remind the public of the dangers of buying drugs via the Internet.
Professor Rod Thomson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:
“We are extremely saddened to hear of the tragic death of Eloise Aimee Parry and our condolences go out to her family at this time.
“Often we perceive the drugs available to buy via the Internet as not harmful. However, it is important that people remember that any drugs or substances from unregistered websites could be potentially unsafe, including those which claim to bring about improvements to the body, such as slimming pills, tanning agents, and those which claim to bulk up the body, to name a few. They can often contain substances such as 2,4-Dinitrophenol or DNP, that are not sufficiently tested or fit for human consumption. The long-term impact on the body, or the potential adverse effects on ingestion, are not known and could be fatal.
“With so many different types of image-enhancing drugs easily available online, we would strongly encourage people to take into consideration the risks of taking such drugs.
“Diet pills are no substitute for a healthy life: the best and most effective way is to adopt a balanced, healthier lifestyle. Advice and information to help you achieve this can be found at www.healthyshropshire.co.uk.
“If you are currently using substances to enhance how you look, and you are concerned about their use, please seek help from either the local Community Substance Misuse Team on 01743 258800, or from your GP.”
If you are unsure where to dispose of unwanted drugs and substances such as DNP, please call Shropshire Council on 0345 678 9000 and ask for the public protection team.
The Community Substance Misuse Team can be contacted on 01743 258800; this service covers the whole of Shropshire, and caters for anyone aged 10 years or over who are having any issues with problematic drug or substance use.
The 70th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8 May 2015 will be commemorated and celebrated up and down the country in memory of one of the defining moments in British and European history as the war in Europe ended in 1945.
To mark the historic occasion, communities are invited to put on street parties on over the weekend of Saturday 9 May and Sunday 10 May 2015, similar to those that occurred in celebration 70 years ago.
There are several myths surrounding what is needed to organise a street party or firework celebration, but the reality can be simpler, so here is a guide to hosting your own street party or street meet.
Organising a street party just for residents and neighbours is very simple and does not need a licence, unlike other public events.
The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, share jobs out amongst residents and get in touch with your council. A good first point of contact will be your council’s highways, events or communities team. If you encounter any difficulties, speak to your local councillor who will be happy to help.
More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets Alive website: www.streetparty.org.uk.
What is the difference between a street party and an event?
Street parties Other public events
For residents/neighbours only Anyone can attend
Publicity only to residents External publicity (such as in newspapers)
In a quiet residential road or street In buildings, parks etc.
Self-organised Professional/skilled organisers
Normally no insurance Insurance needed
No formal risk assessment needed Risk assessment common
No licences normally necessary unless the Licence usually needed
sale of alcohol is involved
Do I need a formal risk assessment?
You should not need a risk assessment – as long as consideration is given to the needs of all those attending, common sense precautions should be enough.
Do I need a license for music?
The Licensing Act 2003 does not require a music licence at a street party unless amplified music is one of the main purposes of the event.
Do I need a license to sell alcohol?
If you plan to sell alcohol it’s best that you check whether you need a Temporary Events Notice. This is a temporary permission for licensable activities which currently costs £21 and covers events of less than 500 people. For more information or to make an application, please contact your local licensing authority by entering your postcode at Temporary Events Notice.
Do I need a food licence?
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that one-off events such as street parties aren’t usually considered food businesses, so there are no forms to fill in.
However you must ensure that any food provided is safe to eat.
The FSA provides more detail about street parties on its website at: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/parties
Further advice for community groups on providing safe food can be found here: http://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/food-hygiene/charity-community-groups
The NHS Choices website has practical tips on how to prepare and cook food safely at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/Foodhygiene.aspx
What do I need to tell the council?
For most small parties in quiet streets, all we need to know is where and when the closure will take place so we can plan around it (for example, so emergency services know). We will need at least a week’s advance notice as we would need to put in place a traffic regulation order. If we really need more information we’ll contact organisers.
What if I decide too late for a road closure?
Technically, there are no deadlines in law for road closure requests and we will try to be flexible. However, we might not be able to process requests close to the date so it’s best to submit requests as early as you can.
If you are too late or simply don’t want to have to close the road, don’t worry you can still celebrate with your neighbours by planning a simpler street meet. ‘Street meets’ on private land, such as a driveway or front garden, don’t require any forms or permissions. However, residents should speak and inform us about plans – Streets Alive has some excellent guidance on how to go about it (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/residents/street-meet.aspx)
Do I need to buy roadsigns and cones?
You will need signs and cones for a street party; however we might be able to lend you some, so it’s worth asking! Otherwise you can hire or buy signs.
But if your event is in the daytime you can print your own from downloadable templates. Streets Alive gives advice about this (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/road-closed-signs.aspx).
Will I need insurance?
There is no requirement from central government to have public liability insurance.
But if you think insurance would be a good idea, have a look at the advice on the Streets Alive and shop around. Quotes for insurance start from as little as £50, which can be split between people attending, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.
Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum to host their fourth Employ with Conviction event in Oswestry on 21 May 2015
News from our partners Voluntary Community Sector Assembly
Employ with Conviction, a group dedicated to demonstrating the benefits to businesses and the wider community of employing people with a criminal conviction, will host a free event in Oswestry this May (2015).
With support from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, a substantial grant has enabled the group to develop Employ with Conviction and, to date, host three events across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, engaging over 100 local businesses from across private, public and voluntary sectors.
Employ With Conviction sessions have involved influential speakers including partners from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Mercia Police, Department for Work and Pensions, Greggs and Timpson Ltd.
Bill Longmore, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, who attended the last event, said:
“Finding work for people coming out of prison is vital. Reoffending rates currently are far too high, and one of the main reasons for this is that people come out of prison with no job, no home and no support network. I am pleased that this event addressed some of these things; I’m sure some of the potential employers there were impressed with the presentations. I hope they will now consider giving more opportunities to offenders leaving prison, which will in turn benefit the whole community.”
If you are interested in Employ With Conviction and would like to attend the free event on Thursday 21 May 2015 at 4pm-6pm at Walford and North Shropshire College (Oswestry Campus) please email email@example.com or book your place directly through Eventbrite (www.ewc3.eventbrite.co.uk).
Employ with Conviction is a sub group of the Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum. The Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum (CJ FoI) provides support to criminal justice voluntary organisations to help decipher government policy, exchange information and ideas, enable strategic influence through the Voluntary Sector Assembly and other relevant decision- making boards, and to provide a platform for potential future funding opportunities. With vast changes occurring in the world of criminal justice and related public services, it is important for voluntary organisations with interests in criminal justice to have a platform for discussion, consultation and information exchange.
For people with a criminal conviction and ex-prisoners, one of the main barriers to rehabilitation and prevention from reoffending is lack of employment. Anecdotally, members of the Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum had evidence that many ex-offenders have a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications; however, a criminal record is a considerable barrier to securing an interview and subsequently employment. The Forum members have developed Employ with Conviction with the aim of highlighting to local employers the benefits of employing individuals from this group of people. The benefits include, for the wider community in terms of crime reduction, to the individual employed an opportunity to break the cycle of offending and to employers by tapping into a work ready, well-qualified resource.
A number of Employ With Conviction events have been held across Shropshire and we are delighted to be holding our next event in north Shropshire at Walford & North Shropshire College, Oswestry.
More details can be found the EWC website – www.employwithconviction.org
News from our partners Voluntary Community Sector Assembly
Shropshire’s Voluntary Community Sector Assembly board is busy planning for the Annual Assembly meeting, scheduled for Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 9am to 1pm in the Sovereign Suite, Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
Jackie Jeffrey, the current Chair of the VCS Assembly Board (and Chief Executive of Citizen’s Advice Shropshire) said:
“Once again we are looking forward to our Assembly AGM; we have had a very busy year and board members have worked hard to support our activity. This meeting will be an excellent opportunity to celebrate and share the success with our stakeholders and the wider sector, and we are looking forward to welcoming our regular delegates, plus new ones attending for the first time.”
The annual event is always well supported by delegates from the voluntary and community sectors, along with statutory partners, and this year’s event promises to be particularly interesting. The VCSA Board will be taking a look back, reviewing work done over the last year; for example, working with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to create the conditions for economic vitality and sustainable employment, and recent work undertaken to measure community resilience in Shropshire working with communities and individuals by using local resources and expertise to help themselves.
Matthew Jackson from the Centre for Local Economic Studies (CLES) is booked as this year’s guest speaker. Established in 1986, CLES is the UK’s leading independent charitable research and member organisation, focussing on economic development, regeneration and place-making – promoting action and implementing new progressive economic activities to create positive environmental, health and social outcomes. Matthew will focus his talk on current challenges faced by the VCS and the importance of partnerships in these difficult times.
Other speakers will include George Candler, Shropshire Council’s head of commissioning, and Shropshire Providers Consortium and Impact Consultancy, who will talk about current developments in their own organisations relevant to the sector.
There are over 1,000 registered voluntary organisations operating in Shropshire, plus many more community groups, all of whom are welcome to join Shropshire’s Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly free of charge. To find out more email VCSAssembly@shropshire.gov.uk, ring 01743 252740, or visit: http:/vcsvoice.org/
Find out more about transport infrastructure projects and ideas to relieve parking issues in Shrewsbury
The next Severn Loop Local Forum in Shrewsbury will discuss an exciting programme of transport infrastructure projects funded through the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, and ideas on how to relieve parking issues in the town centre.
Tom Brettell, Shropshire Council’s senior community enablement officer, explained:
“We have some really important issues affecting the Severn Loop area, and we really need local people to come along to the meeting to have their say.
“Traffic is an issue for many people who live in, work and visit the town centre, and this is a chance for people to come along and hear about the projects designed to help alleviate these issues, alongside some ideas around parking.
“We will also have a brief update on the consultation to look at options for swimming provision in the town, and discussion around current licensing policies.
“We urge local residents to come along to find out more and to have your say.”
Everyone is invited to attend the meeting, which will be held on Wednesday 20 May 2015 from 7pm at The Guildhall.
For more information please contact Tom Brettell, senior community enablement officer, Shropshire Council on 01743 252482 or 07990 085318.
‘Secret Egypt: unravelling truth from myth’ (sponsored by Lanyon Bowdler) is on display at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery – and visitors and local residents are being urged to take this last chance to see it.
The exhibition includes statuary, coffins, stelae, ceramics, jewellery and animals, and the human remains of Namenkhetamun, who is believed to have died in 600BC.
From Monday 27 April the displays – including the mummy – will be carefully packed up and transported to their next venue at the New Walk Museum in Leicester.
Louise Cross, visitor economy manager at Shropshire Council said:
“All the team at the Museum & Art Gallery have been delighted at the number of visitors to ‘Secret Egypt’ and by the positive reaction and comments it has attracted. It’s been our biggest success so far in our new home in the former Music Hall.
“We are now working on our new programme of exhibitions and will shortly be announcing some more exciting attractions that will be coming to Shrewsbury in the future.”
During the planning of ‘Secret Egypt’ museum staff unearthed a report in the Shrewsbury Chronicle describing the unwrapping in 1842 of an Egyptian mummy in the old Shirehall building in The Square. The mummy had been donated by the late Bishop of Lichfield to the Shropshire & North Wales Natural History and Antiquarian Society. Samuel Birch, one of the curators of The British Museum presided over the unwrapping and gave a lecture to an appreciative crowd including nearly all of the members of the Society.
In the 1960s the remaining Egyptology collection of Shrewsbury Museum was transferred to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where specialist curators could care for and research the material. A small number of items from Whitchurch Museum remain in Shropshire Museums’ care, some of which are also on display in the collecting cases of the Shropshire Gallery.
‘Secret Egypt’ has been the first major exhibition of Egyptology in Shrewsbury since 1842.
It is a touring exhibition from the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, loaned by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
‘Secret Egypt’ is open daily from 10am until 5pm, and closes at 5pm on Sunday 26 April Admission is £4.00 for adults, and concessions are available, along with a new £10 family ticket.
For more information visit www.shrewsburymuseum.org.uk or call 01743 258885.
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