The last duckling safe and sound
There once was a lovely duckling……(tail with a happy ending!)
A family of 10 ducklings and their mother have been rescued from the roof of Croydon council’s offices on the hottest day of the year.
Jill Small, one of the council’s customer service advisers, said: “This morning we looked out and spotted that a duck had decided to start a family on the fifth-floor green roof of our offices.
“We put out trays of water because of the heat and called in a volunteer from the Swan Sanctuary. “He quickly helped us catch mother duck and nine of her ducklings.
“The last duckling proved more elusive, but after we brought the mother out in her cage the youngster immediately broke cover so we could reunite it with its family.
“I’m sure none us had any idea what we would be doing with our lunch hour when we came into work today – but it’s great this story had a happy ending.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
WEST NORWOOD CEMETERY AMONG 12 LAMBETH PARKS AND OPEN SPACES TO GET GREEN FLAG AWARD
Twelve individual parks and open spaces in Lambeth, including Brockwell Park, Kennington Park and West Norwood Cemetery, which is one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Victorian-era cemeteries, are among the very best in the UK – and that’s official.
They are included in a record-breaking list of 1,686 parks and green spaces to receive a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.
The award, now celebrating its 20th year, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.
The twelve Award-winning sites in Lambeth are Archbishop’s Park, Brockwell Park, Hillside Gardens Park, Kennington Park, Milkwood Park, Myatt’s Fields Park, Ruskin Park, St. John’s Churchyard Waterloo, St. Paul’s Churchyard Clapham, Streatham Rookery, Vauxhall Park, and West Norwood Cemetery.
West Norwood Cemetery is a brand new addition to Lambeth’s list of Green Flag Award sites, which recognises the hard work and joint effort of both community and council to restore this unique heritage and ecological asset for all to enjoy.
Lambeth’s cabinet member for regeneration, business and culture Cllr Jack Hopkins said: “ We are absolutely delighted to receive twelve Green Flag Awards for 2016 from Keep Britain Tidy, and to add West Norwood Cemetery to our previous portfolio of Awards.
“For us, the Green Flag Award publicly recognises and celebrates the fact that people living in, working in and visiting Lambeth are benefitting from safe, accessible and welcoming green spaces that are of the very highest quality.”
The Green Flag Awards Scheme (http://greenflagaward.org/) is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under licence from the Department of Communities and Local Government, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and the National Housing Federation.
Any green space that is accessible to the public is eligible to enter for a Green Flag Award. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status.
A Green Flag Community Award recognises quality sites managed by voluntary and community groups. Green Heritage Site accreditation is judged on the treatment of the site’s historic features and the standard of conservation. (Source: Lambeth council press release)
FREE SUMMER SWIMMING FOR CROYDON’S UNDER 16s
Free summer swimming for under-16s is available at all of Croydon Council’s leisure centres for the six weeks of the summer holiday.
As well as free swimming there will be crash courses for those new to the water, and centres will offer a range of fun and fitness activities, including inflatable sessions in the pools, junior gyms, trampolining and water polo. Regular football and basketball sessions are also on offer.
Membership cards for the free swims are available from the centres at South Norwood, New Addington, Waddon, Thornton Heath, and Purley. To be eligible, people must either be resident in the borough or attend school here.
Parents or guardians need to complete the form and pay a £2 one-off admin fee, after which members can swim for free as many times as they like.
Croydon’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport Cllr Timothy Godfrey said: “For the third summer in a row we are investing in free swimming. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the summer holidays and I’m really proud that in difficult times we are able to do this again”
With the summer holidays offering a great opportunity for young people to try out new physical activities or hone their skills in sports and athletics the council’s centres welcome first-timers as well as those who already make regular use of the facilities.
Membership cards need to be shown at every visit for free swimming, and lost cards can be replaced for £3. (Source: Croydon council press release)
LAMBETH RESIDENTS URGED TO SPONSOR REFUGEE FAMILIES
Lambeth residents, community groups and businesses will be able to directly sponsor a refugee family in the borough under a new national pilot scheme..
Lambeth is one of nine local authorities piloting the Full Community Sponsorship programme, and encouraging residents to register their offers of support.
The council are already one of the first to provide homes for refugee families from Syria, after the Government pledged to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees last September.
The scheme, launched at Lambeth Palace by Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Archbishop of Canterbury will enable community organisations including charities, faith groups, churches and businesses, to take on the role of supporting resettled refugees in the UK.
A new “Help Refugees in the UK” webpage will also make it easier for any member of the public to support refugees in the UK and allow local authorities to focus support on the goods and services that refugees need.
The sponsorship scheme and webpage have been launched as part of the Government’s commitment to resettle thousands of the most vulnerable refugees in the UK.
Details were released as Amber Rudd met members of a family of Syrian refugees, who are now living in a cottage in the grounds of the Archbishop’s London residence, Lambeth Palace.
She said: “This is a ground-breaking new development for resettlement in the UK and I wholeheartedly encourage organisations that can help to offer their support.
“I hope that this new approach will help bring communities together and support these often traumatised and vulnerable families as they rebuild their lives, and contribute to and thrive in our country.
“I’m delighted that Lambeth has signed up to the Help Refugees service and I’m confident it will lead to many generous offers of support from the public.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “It is an enormous privilege to welcome a family to live in a cottage in the grounds of Lambeth Palace. “I am hugely grateful to the Home Office and Lambeth council for their tireless work and support in enabling this to happen.”
Lambeth is already helping to support 14 Syrian refugees. Lambeth council leader, Cllr Lib Peck, who also attended the launch, said: “The joint planning between Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Council and the Syrian Resettlement Programme means that the family will be able to settle in to the wider community.
“The support from residents in Lambeth has been overwhelming and heart-warming. “We are excited to be able to build on this support as a pilot area for the ‘Help Refugees in the UK’ website.
“This new initiative will help us make sure that refugees that arrive in Lambeth have the vital support that they need.”
The Help Refugees in the UK website is initially being piloted in nine local authorities. It has been designed to enable local authorities to specify the type of donations they most require to support refugees in their area.
Users can select from a range of options for donations, including goods such as baby equipment and clothes, group and cultural outings and the use of vacant housing that must be self-contained and available for a period of at least 12 months.
Offers of help can be made by members of the public across the country. In non-pilot areas these will be considered centrally by the Home Office before being passed on to local authorities.
The website will be rolled out to further local authorities across the country in the coming months.
The details of the scheme have been developed in consultation with the National Refugee Welcome Board (convened by Citizens UK), Churches Together: for Refugees, local authorities and a range of other stakeholders including those who have come forward as prospective sponsors around the country.
Details of the sponsorship scheme are at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-full-community-sponsorship
For more information on how to help refugees, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/helpsyrianrefugees
The Help Refugees in the UK webpage can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/help-refugees
The Help Refugees in the UK website is initially being launched in nine pilot local authorities. They are Nottingham, Broxtowe, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Cambridge, Coventry, Gateshead, City of York and Lambeth.
The resettled families under Full Community Sponsorship will be granted Humanitarian Protection, meaning they will have permission to stay in the UK for a period of five years.
During this time, they will have the right to work, to claim relevant benefits, to access the NHS and attend school. After five years the resettled family will have the option of applying to extend their leave in the UK.
All Syrian refugees arriving in the UK, including those under Full Community Sponsorship, have been through a thorough two-stage vetting process. (Source: Lambeth council press release)
FANCY LEARNING ONLINE SKILLS? OH, GO ON THEN
Could you be described as being more off-line than online? Are your digital skills dusty? Is your computer competence compromised?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any – or all – of the above, the Go On Croydon Digital Day on Saturday 23 July could be just what the doctor ordered.
In addition to enhancing the borough’s reputation as the capital’s fastest-growing tech centre, the council’s Go On Croydon initiative is helping to see that residents are equipped with the confidence and skills needed by everybody in the 21st century to make the most of new technology.
Local research has shown that those with the greatest need tend to be residents in the north of the borough, and low-income households, as well as some 18- to 24-year-olds, and small and medium-sized businesses.
Taking place under a distinctive purple gazebo in North End between 10am and 5pm, the Go On Croydon Digital Day will offer residents the chance to learn online skills, and find out about the benefits of being online. It will also be doing its bit to promote digital inclusion, aiming to open up the online world to everybody in Croydon.
On hand, offering tips, advice and the benefit of their experience, will be representatives of key Go On Croydon partners, including Doteveryone (formerly Go On UK), EE (providing equipment), Argos (providing digital champions) and Age UK, along with council housing service and public health staff (promoting and testing their new online health platform), and the Met Police, who will be offering information and advice about staying safe online.
There will also be a pop-up digital zone in the housing one-stop bus, staffed by digital champions, and giving residents an opportunity to learn a few skills and try their hand at going online to flex their new-found digital muscles.
And – the icing on the digital cake – there will be a few giveaways over the course of the day.
Cabinet member Councillor Mark Watson said: “Since opening the Go On Croydon digital zones across the borough last November, we’ve seen many residents come along and discover, for the first time, the huge advantages of being able to confidently go online.
“For the most part, digital zone users initially have very little, or no skills at all, and are reticent or reluctant to go online. Others are keen to go online but have no idea where to start – it’s not uncommon for new users to have never previously used a mouse or keyboard.
“However, after a visit or two, they’ve been able to see how they can save money, search and apply for a job, get in contact with family members or simply do a spot of research on a topic that interests them.
“If anybody knows a friend or relative who could benefit from some digital zone encouragement, I’d ask them to bring this event to their attention.
“We’re confident that, by taking the digital zone out onto a busy shopping street, we’ll be able to connect with even more people and offer them support in gaining basic skills and opening up to them all that the worldwide web offers.”
To learn about Go On Croydon, and how to get involved in your neighbourhood, go to www.croydon.gov.uk.gov/go-on-croydon (Source: Croydon council press release)