• Northamptonshire County Council has launched its third Community Flood Resilience Pathfinder project, which allows local communities to apply for support to reduce the likelihood of flash flooding. There are a few obvious areas locally that could potentially qualify for the scheme, and to find out more and apply, visit: https://www.floodtoolkit.com/pathfinder/.
• The Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, Councillor Helen Howell, has launched a new awards scheme to recognise local heroes from across East Northamptonshire for all the hard work they do locally to help and support others and make our community the fantastic place it is to live and work. The closing date for nominations is the 31st December and there are several categories to nominate in. To find out more and nominate someone you know, visit: https://www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/ENChampions.
• SEMLEP’s Community Grants programme has opened for applications. Voluntary, community and social enterprises can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 to deliver projects that help get people back into work or training. For more information, visit: https://www.semlep.com/community-grants/.
• The UK Parliament is offering a free online guided tour of the Houses of Parliament, which provides you with a detailed look inside several parts of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. With actual visits somewhat restricted at the moment owing to Coronavirus, this is a great chance to find out more about this stunning historic palace at the heart of our democracy, and where I feel hugely honoured to work! You can book your place, here: https://tinyurl.com/y3kuzves.
• Fly-tipping presents an awful plight on our beautiful countryside and costs local councils a great deal of money to clear up - frustratingly, money which could be so much better spent on other important local services that improve the lives of residents. Sadly, over recent months, there has been an increase in fly-tipping across the country, including here in Corby & East Northamptonshire. Our local councils are working hard to trace fly-tippers, so if you come across fly-tipping, please do report it to either Corby Borough Council or East Northamptonshire Council, so those responsible pay the price.
• Silver Sunday will be back this October and as part of the preparations, businesses, community groups and individuals are being asked to think about what they can do as part of this national day for older people, to mark their important contribution. To find out more about getting involved, visit: https://silversunday.org.uk/.
• Thanks to improvements to the Charity Commission register of charities, you can now check for registered charities based in Corby & East Northamptonshire at the click of a button. Go to the charity register now to ensure you’re giving safely to recognised charities and make sure your kind donations do exactly what you intended them to: https://register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/constituency-search
• Earlier on in the year, the Cycle to Work Alliance got in touch with me to highlight the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme. I would certainly encourage people in Corby & East Northamptonshire to sign-up to the scheme and take advantage of the benefits of regularly cycling to work, avoiding congested traffic and staying away from public transport where practical. You can find out more, here: https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/employers/employer-updates/cycle-to-work-alliance-welcomes-chancellora-s-s.
• Anglian Water’s ‘Positive Difference Fund’, which is dedicating £1 million to help communities combat the impact of Coronavirus, is still open. Local community groups in our area can apply for project funding through the local ‘Community Foundation’ and more information can be found, here: https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/in-the-community/charity-work/positive-difference-fund/. A terrific opportunity to help make a positive difference!
• Spending time outdoors and taking regular exercise is proven to have a positive impact on people’s physical and mental health, which is particularly important at this unique time. The latest information from Northamptonshire County Council regarding country parks can be found on their website at: https://www.northamptonshireparks.co.uk/Pages/country-park-updates---coronavirus.aspx.
• A particularly concerning aspect around our collective national effort to fight Coronavirus is the impact it is understandably having on people’s mental health. In response, I am pleased that our local councils and the NHS have launched a mental health support line, and whether you are feeling lonely, anxious, frightened, or struggling with other issues, there is friendly, professional support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 0300 330 1011.
• In addition to the above notices regarding mental health, Action for Happiness is running a programme to boost your wellbeing in these troubling times. ‘10 Days of Happiness’ is a free 10-day online coaching programme which guides you through daily actions for happier living. You can sign up at: https://10daysofhappiness.org/.
• A project that aims to remember all those who have very sadly lost their lives in the UK as a result of COVID-19 is being led by St Paul’s Cathedral in London, supported by community and faith leaders from across the country and HRH the Prince of Wales. Family, friends, or carers of those who have died can submit, free of charge, the name, photograph and a short message in honour of a lost loved one, via the ‘Remember Me’ website (www.rememberme2020.uk). Like us all, my thoughts are with all those who have sadly lost someone at this very difficult time, and this is a fitting tribute to remember them all.
• Around all the wonderful work going on in our community and the national effort to fight Coronavirus, I am really saddened to hear of the small minority of people who, disgracefully, are trying to take advantage of vulnerable people at this hugely challenging time. I am aware of several scams, and urge you to stay extra vigilant. Be suspicious around phone calls, texts and emails you weren't expecting, or people claiming to be from the Government, HMRC, or the local council. More information and advice, here: https://bit.ly/2HtMqE9.
• There is a new and free online service, backed by British Gas, that brings together volunteers and people who need help with essential household tasks in their local area. @LocalHeroesUK, which you can find on Twitter, offers a free, easy and flexible way to ask for help with the essentials, or to give some time to support your local community during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you need assistance or want to volunteer you can sign up, here: https://communities.localheroes.com.
If you have anything you would like to be featured next week, please email all the details to email@example.com.
Also, if you have taken any photos of constituency landscapes or landmarks, which could be featured in my ‘Community Notices’ headers, please send them in and I will try to use as many of them as possible (and credit them accordingly!), as a celebration of the fantastic place we live and work in. I know we have many budding photographers in our community and it would be great to showcase their work!