Monday, 25 July 2016

Thames Valley Police -Summer Burglary Crime Prevention Advice





Now that summer is on the way people can become complacent about home security. The most common cases of opportunist summer burglary involve offenders that:

enter an insecure front door while residents are in the back garden
enter doors that are closed but unlocked at night while residents are asleep
reach through windows to take valuable items

Crime reduction advice  
Ensure that windows and doors are closed and locked when you are out. Don’t leave small windows open believing them to be safe.
If you want to leave windows open while you sleep, fit window restrictors so they cannot be fully opened, or make sure they are not large enough to allow access to a burglar.
When out in your garden ensure that windows and doors to the front of the house are secure. It only takes a second for someone to get into your home and take things without you noticing.
Do not leave valuables on display in front of windows or in reach of open windows or doors.
Ensure that all barbecue and garden equipment and tools are securely locked up in a shed and out of sight. Tools can be used by the potential offender to break in to your home.
Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars. Even using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway and spiky plants in garden beds can help.
Don’t leave any keys near entry points where they can be ‘fished’ or ‘hooked’ out through the window, letter box or cat flap.
Ensure any internal handle operated locks on UPVC doors are fully secured with a key.

Sheds - Easy pickings?
Offenders see sheds as easy pickings because they are unprotected and lack basic security measures. The buildings often contain property that can be sold on or implements that can be used to force entry into the owner’s home.
Many sheds whilst being of good construction fall short on basic security.
It is easy to unscrew the ironmongery, steal contents and in some cases replace the screws to make it look as if the shed has not been tampered with.
By using tamper proof screws or coach bolts together with a good quality pad bar or hasp and staple and close shackled padlock, the shed owner will make it harder for the would-be thief.
It is also a good idea to bond any window glass in, with mastic to prevent easy removal.
Ensure all tools and equipment are locked away when not in use.
High-quality locks should be used on doors. Windows can be fitted with a grille or, as a cheaper alternative, chicken wire, to slow a thief down.
A shed alarm can also be installed.
Post-coding or indelibly marking all property such as lawnmowers, bikes, and tools using ultra-violet pens, forensic marking such as Selecta DNA or Smartwater or engravers.
Installing security lighting as a deterrent, and plants such as thorny shrubs to act as a barrier at potential access points.
If building a shed, putting it where it is most visible to you and neighbours.

Going on holiday?
 Make your home look occupied.
If you're out or going away, ask a trusted neighbour to open and close your curtains for you.
Ask a neighbour if they don't mind parking their car on your driveway and trimming your garden to make your home look occupied.
Cut the front and back lawns before you go away and trim any plants that burglars could hide behind.
Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.
Before your holiday, don’t advertise that you are going away on Facebook, Twitter etc.
Register for the Royal Mail 'Keepsafe' service.


AFF - Change to student funding benefits Armed Forces Families




Change to student funding benefits Armed Forces families
The Army Families Federation (AFF) is delighted that, after much campaigning, Service families should now find it much easier to undertake distance learning while posted overseas.
Following an announcement by Universities Minister Jo Johnson, Forces families should no longer be excluded from accessing a student loan if they are not resident in the UK on the first day of their chosen course. The new rule will grant eligibility for student funding for a UK based distance learning course even if families are posted overseas while the course is still ongoing.
Championing spouse training
AFF has worked hard for some time, to improve the employment and training prospects of Army spouses. Given that spouses are unable to work in some overseas locations, they are pleased that improved training opportunities will now be available.
AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade said: “AFF is delighted with the Government’s decision to change student funding rules in order to provide Armed Forces families who are posted abroad with the same opportunities as those living in the UK, when accessing Student Finance England loans.
AFF is committed to ensuring our families are not disadvantaged due to the nature of their Service and this decision is an excellent conclusion to months of joint working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). These changes open up a raft of opportunities for the families of serving personnel who previously might have had to forgo training whilst posted abroad; we look forward to seeing the benefits over the months and years to come.”  
Find out more
For more information about AFF and their employment and training work, visit www.aff.org.uk and click ‘info’.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

South Central Ambulance Service - Zids Zone



A new kids website for children, parents and schools... 

Monday, 11 July 2016

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

RBL Count Them In Campaign



ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
Count Them In
The Royal British Legion and its sister charity, Poppyscotland, have launched a campaign calling for additional questions to be included in the next census in 2021. These questions will seek to capture much needed data on the Armed Forces community - particularly Reservists and veterans, who are otherwise largely hidden from official statistics.
As you will be aware, unlike in the United States, the UK Government only really maintains records on Regulars and injured and pensionable veterans, whilst Reservists, ‘healthy’ working age veterans, and family members are generally missing from existing data collection methods. Sadly, even the data that we do have is rather patchy, providing no real indication as to the wellbeing and needs of this unique community. In contrast, we know a great deal about the UK’s Jedi community, as well as the numbers and location of our sheep and cattle.
In light of the above, the Legion and Poppyscotland have launched a new public-facing campaign. The campaign, which is called Count Them In, essentially seeks to establish a comprehensive snapshot of our Armed Forces community. By including questions about membership of the military community in the next census in 2021, we hope to not only develop a greater understanding of the needs, location and profile of the Armed Forces community, but also directly compare this group to their peers in the general population. This information will help the sector – local authorities, charities, statutory bodies - to more accurately identify areas where Service life presents a disadvantage, which will in turn enable the Government and other statutory providers to better allocate resources and deliver on their Armed Forces Covenant commitments.
How you can support ‘Count them in’:
1.    Follow the link  http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/count-them-in/ to the RBL website and hit the red Pledge Your Support button. Enter your postcode, which identifies your local MP and send them the support request letter.
2.    Encourage everyone you can to pledge their support individually as well.
The RBL believe that more accurate local data on the size and needs of the Armed Forces community will help ensure the Armed Forces Covenant delivers for our Armed Forces community and for everyone. If you agree, please support this campaign. The Legion would be happy to provide you with additional campaign material.
Thank you for your support.
 For more information and to read the Census Campaign Background paper please follow this link

Changes to Enhanced Learning Credit schemes



Enhanced Learning Credits, Further Education and Higher Education scheme changes
The MOD promotes learning among members of the armed forces and the veterans’ community by providing what are known as Learning Credits, through the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme and Further Education and Higher Educaion scheme.  Both of these entitle Service personnel and Service leavers to receive financial help with the cost of their learning.
From 1 April 2016 there will be some changes to the schemes to make them more accessible and to enable people to use them to gain personal and professional qualifications in a more flexible way, both while serving and after transition to civilian life.
See more at this link

Armed Forces Covenant Website



Armed Forces Covenant Website

In January 2016 the Armed Forces Covenant was re-launched under a new, unified brand.

The new website lays out the support that is available to beneficiaries of the Covenant – current Regular and Reserve Service Personnel, Service families, former Service Personnel – with links to further information on individual Covenant measures on GOV.uk

The new website also contains information for supporters of the Covenant, including businesses, charities, the general public and local authorities, and regular news stories about how the Covenant is helping real people

See the website at this link

Future 4 Heroes - Residential Courses in Lake District


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Forces Equine

Cold Calling - Don't Buy It !


Top 10 Tips for Buying Wisely and Safely on your Doorstep



Telephone Preference Service


Telephone Preference Service
The free opt out service enabling you to record your preference on the official register and not receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls.

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service. It is the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.
Organisations with which you have an ongoing relationship, for example those who regard you as a customer, (or in the case of charities - a donor) may well gather your consent during the early stages of your relationship with them and will therefore be entitled to call you even if your number is registered on TPS, unless you have previously told them specifically that you object to them calling you for marketing purposes.
The TPS can accept the registration of mobile telephone numbers, however it is important to note that this will prevent the receipt of marketing voice calls but not SMS (text) messages. If you wish to stop receiving SMS marketing messages, please send an 'opt-out' request to the company involved.
SPAM SMS
Although SPAM SMS messages are not covered by the same legislation that regulates live sales and marketing calls we often hear about them because they are received on your phone. A company should only send you an SMS is you have given them prior permission. Identifying the companies that send these texts can be difficult for the same reasons as mentioned above. But you can report these to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on the following website http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/privacy_and_electronic_communications.aspx
If the text is from an unknown company you should report the text message to your network operator, who may be able to prevent further messages from the originating number. You can either contact your network operator.s customer services or use one of the reporting numbers below:
Orange, O2 and T-Mobile:   Forward the SMS to 7726
Vodafone:   Forward the SMS to 7726 or 87726
Three:   Forward the SMS to 7726 or 37726
An easy way to remember 7726 is that they are the numbers on your telephone keypad that spell out the word SPAM.

Stop Hate Crime


Bicester RUFC Juniors


Aff - Funding for courses when posted overseas

Funding for courses overseas
 
Current rules set by Student Finance England do not allow military spouses based overseas to access funding for training (a loan). AFF is keen to know whether military spouses based overseas would be more likely to undertake a distance learning course if the rules were changed to allow them access to funding from Student Finance England.

Please take the quick poll to share your views.

Become an AFF volunteer and support your overseas location





Become an AFF volunteer and support your overseas location   
Do you enjoy attending community events and speaking to other Army families? Are you currently posted overseas?
If so, why not become an AFF overseas volunteer and provide us with feedback from families that could help us to improve their lives.
Sharing your experiences, both positive and negative, is just what we need to keep families up-to-date; we particularly want to hear about any new and local information which we can share with families online and via social media.

AFF overseas volunteers may also help by :
  • Ensuring that families in their location are aware of AFF's role and what specialist support is available for issues relating to overseas postings.
  • Distributing AFF publicity material and encouraging families to sign-up for AFF's regular e-updates.
  • Being an active member of AFF's research panel.
To find out more, contact AFF Regional Manager Overseas Esther Thomas at rmoverseas@aff.org.uk 

Vauxhall Barracks - Coffee & Chat with the Padre - Last Wednesday of the month

**COFFEE & CHAT WITH THE PADRE**


Last Wednesday evening in the month 
7.30pm - 9.00pm 
at the Welfare House 
Vauxhall Barracks, Didcot
First evening: Wed 29th June 
Everyone Welcome: 
Come along for the whole or part of the evening.