Foodbank is officially opened

Walsall North Foodbank was launched in Pelsall today (Saturday, August 30) with a special event, attended by VIP guests.

Walsall North Foodbank, based at Pelsall Methodist Church, was launched today. (l-r) John Howard, Methodist Church district chairman, the Mayor of Walsall, Coun Pete Smith; Laura Barnes, Mayoress; Val Aspbery, who has spearheaded the project; kneeling is Rev Mollie Chitokwindo, of Pelsall Methodist Church

Walsall North Foodbank, based at Pelsall Methodist Church, was launched today. (l-r) Rev John Howard, the chairman of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church; Mayor of Walsall, Coun Pete Smith; Laura Barnes, Mayoress; Val Aspbery, who has spearheaded the project; kneeling is Rev Molly Chitokwindo, of Pelsall Methodist Church

The Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Pete Smith, and Mayoress Laura Barnes, were among the guests at Pelsall Methodist Church, Chapel Street, for the official launch of the facility, which will serve people living in the north Walsall area.

The Mayor told the guests that although it was “national disgrace” that there were people in the UK who had to rely on foodbanks to feed their families, he recognised the good work by volunteers to help those in need.

“It’s a damned good job we have people like you who are rising to the challenge,” he said. “That’s to be applauded and you are to be thanked.”

Coun Smith said there were 10.5% of households across the UK who are going hungry.

Rev John Howard, chairman of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church

Rev John Howard, chairman of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church

“In Walsall, that means between 10,000 and 11,000 households are going hungry. It’s a national disgrace that we have a system that allows this to happen.”

Although based at Pelsall Methodist Church, the foodbank is a joint venture with St Marks, Shelfield; St Michael’s CE; and St John’s, Walsall Wood churches.

A steering committee, headed by Val Aspbery, has been working with Christian charity The Trussell Trust, for the past two years to set up the much-needed facility. The Trussell Trust runs 420 food banks across the UK.

Rev Mollie Chitokwindo

Rev Molly Chitokwindo

She said it would not have been possible to launch it without help of local organisations, including Brownhills-based One-Stop, Carpets Direct in Pelsall, and students from Shelfield Academy.

“It’s marvellous; people have been so wonderful to us,” she said. “People have been doing all sorts of things to help.”

However, she said there was still work to be done to counter the myths about foodbanks.

“People are going out to work who cannot afford to feed their children,” she said. “They are missing meals to feed their children. Feeding people is our mission.”

Founders of the Walsall North Foodbank Chris Adamson and Val Aspery

Founders of the Walsall North Foodbank Chris Adamson and Val Asprey

The foodbank, which also received £1500 funding from Walsall Council to pay for set-up fees, support, branding and training from the Trussell Trust, will open for the first time on Tuesday, September 1, at 11am.

It will operate Tuesdays 11am-1pm, Fridays 1-3pm, and will be run in line with guidelines from The Trussell Trust.

People in need will be referred to the food bank from agencies such as children’s centres, social services or their family GP, and they will be able to collect a bag of provisions twice in a week, up to three times.

Each foodbox contains a minimum of three days nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food, including milk (UHT or powdered), sugar, cartons of fruit juice, soup, pasta sauces, tinned puddings, rice, pasta, tea bags, coffee, tinned meat and fish, and

Coun Pete Smith, Mayor of Walsall, and Mayoress Laura Barnes, help Val Aspery to cut the ribbon at the offical launch of Walsall North Foodbank

Coun Pete Smith, Mayor of Walsall, and Mayoress Laura Barnes help Val Asprey to cut the ribbon at the offical launch of Walsall North Foodbank

snack bars.

Trained volunteers will be on hand at the food bank to help recipients get the help they need, as well as advise them on benefits they may be entitled to.

Rev Molly Chitokwindo, of Pelsall Methodist Church, said the foodbank was still in need of volunteers.

To find out how you can help or how you can donate food items, telephone 07582 869895 or email: info@walsallnorth.foodbank.org.uk

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Summer fete at Pelsall Hall Care Home

summer fete poster 2014 jpeg

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Cyrille Regis at Pelsall Villa Colts’ Sportsman Evening

*NB: corrected poster – re-issued*

regis_flyer

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Service to commemorate moment Britain joined WW1

*Corrected Sat Aug 2 12.40*

The Pelsall branch of the Royal British Legion is to hold a silent vigil 

poppyon Monday (August 4) to mark the moment Britain joined the First World War.

Members of the public are invited to arrive at the village Cenotaph from 10.20pm, ready for the service to begin at 10.45pm.

You can take your own candle to light. However, free tea lights will be available if you do not have any.

Karen Clifft, chair of the Pelsall branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “All candles will be extinguished, bar one, at 11pm, the moment Great Britain joined WW1.”

Timetable is:

10.20pm: Pelsall RBL branch officers will be at the Cenotaph to light the candles, members of the public can arrive from this time.
10.40pm: Small service

10.45pm: A silent vigil will begin to remember those who fought in WW1.
10.50pm – 10.59pm: All candles will be extinguished, except one, the time Great Britain entered WW1 at 11pm.
11.00pm: The Last Post will sound.
11.01pm: Reveille will sound
11.01-11.05pm: Silent reflection.
11.05pm: Vigil ends.

On Saturday (August 2), names of local soldiers who died in the conflict were read out as part of the commemorations.

 

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Have your say on urgent healthcare services

Pelsall residents are being urged to have their say on urgent healthcare care services after only 1,500 people across the whole borough completed a survey on the issue.

Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched a review of urgent care services in May this year and have held drop-in events and online consultation opportunities over the summer.

But so far, only about 1,500 people have completed the short survey. Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel chairman, Pelsall councillor Marco Longhi, said it was important for as many people as possible to have their say.

He said: “Not many people have responded to the consultation considering the number of households there are in Walsall. This is really important and we need to remind residents that they still have time to have their say.”

The CCG has canvassed opinion about the short- and long-term future of the services and has put forward three suggestions for the immediate future of the Walk-in Centre, which must be relocated by April 2015.

The options are to move the walk-in centre to:

  • A new town centre location
  • In the North of the borough
  • The Manor Hospital and combine it with the Urgent Care Centre.

The consultation also covers Walsall CCG’s long-term plans for urgent and emergency care  over the next three to five years.
The short survey can be found on the Walsall CCG website

Consultation closes on Thursday, 14 August 2014.

The decision for the short and longer-term will be made by the CCG Governing Body on 4 September, 2014.

A  progress report will be discussed by the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel and Health and Wellbeing Board next month (September).

 

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Music Festival raises more than £1,000

Last weekend’s  live music festival event in Pelsall has raised more than £1,000 for two charities.

About 1,500 people attended Pelsall Music Live on the Common, which was organised by Walsall Council’s park rangers and saw local bands and artists perform on two stages.

The charity event was in aid of St Giles Hospice and The Teenage Cancer Trust – both causes that were supported by Walsall Council’s Gareth Perrins Seedhouse who died last month after a long battle with a rare form of cancer..

Councillor GarryPerry said: “When we enjoy our green spaces please let’s remember Gareth who worked so hard to get funding and improvements for them.

“He will be very much missed by council colleagues and the wider community and even when he was really poorly he was still trying to raise money forThe Teenage Cancer Trust and St Giles Hospice. We can carry on doing so in his memory.”

John Millard, senior park ranger, said there had been calls to make Pelsall Music Live an annual event.

“We’re really pleased at the turnout and everyone had a great time so watch this space!”

A total of £1,008.30 will be split between the two charities.

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Councillor calls for more NHS services at Pelsall Village Centre

Pelsall councillor Marco Longhi has launched a petition to extend NHS services in the village.

The petition, to Dr Amrik Gill, chair of the Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group, calls for NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group to offer a combination of GP and other NHS services at the Pelsall Village Centre during weekends.

“At a time when people are being discouraged to attend our overstretched hospital it seems extraordinary that outreach services (e.g. minor treatment, podiatry or routine monitoring) are not available during extended hours at this modern and spacious facility,” he says.

“It is even more extraordinary that on a Saturday when the Library is attracting the largest number of people into the building that NHS services, as well as the pharmacy shop, are unavailable.

“Please ensure weekend access to GP and other hospital outreach services, and explore the viability of locating dentistry services at Pelsall’s Village Centre.”

Supporters can sign the petition here.

 

 

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