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This week, local people, services and businesses came together to support carers, and celebrate the vital contribution they make in North Somerset for Carers Week 2017, which runs from 12-18 June.

6.5 million people in the UK are carers and Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and celebrate the difference they make to families and communities.

Here in North Somerset the Carers Support Alliance, part of the Alliance Homes Group, has been taking the message out and about at 12 awareness events in 10 different locations throughout the week and beyond.

There is advice and information sessions for all to learn more about the services on offer in North Somerset and to identify carers who might be eligible for support.

Lindsey Churchill, Carers Support Coordinator at The Carers Support Alliance said:

“Carers Week is the perfect opportunity to spread the word and celebrate the fantastic contribution that unpaid carers make. It also gives us the chance to let unpaid carers know what services are on offer in North Somerset and how we can help support them.

During the week we have even identified new young carers who didn’t know that they were a “Carer” and we are now able to give them the support they need”

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Fabulous week end for some of Weston's Young Carers:

The Carers Support Alliance, Wrington Vale Rotary and Inner Wheel joined forces to give 25 Young Carers a fun packed weekend at Goblin Coombe Outdoor Centre last week.

Activities included a visit to Farm Link with pond dipping, a trailer ride and butter making. Back at the Coombe there was face painting and kite making. Inner Wheel provided friendship and copious amounts of wonderful food for the whole event. This all provided a special break for these wonderful young people who take on the important responsibility of being a Carer.

To be a young carer means being there for someone who is close to you that is ill, disabled, has mental health issues or is struggling with addiction and you do any of the following:

• Stay at home to ‘be there’ in case you’re needed
• Help someone to get in and out of bed, with washing and dressing, or with medication
• Do the cooking, cleaning, or shopping
• Look after younger brothers or sisters
• Provide emotional support or a shoulder to cry on

Coming up is Carers Week (12th to 18th June), a national annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges carers face and to recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

During the week The Carers Support Alliance will be out and about in North Somerset promoting the free services available to unpaid carers. Keep an eye out for what The Carers Support Alliance are up to on the Alliance Homes Group social media accounts.

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For the third year running Alliance Living Support has donated money to the local homeless service in Weston “Somewhere to Go” and their community outreach Nurses at North Somerset Community Partnership to help homeless people get ID documents. This can often be a stumbling block to access the services needed.

The £300.00 cheque was handed over from Tony Hall from the Alliance Living Support service to Joan Eales Manager of Somewhere to Go and Rebecca Jeavons of North Somerset Community Partnership.

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£10 million care scheme opens in Worle

Alliance Homes’ landmark scheme of 65 self-contained flats and a day care centre for people with dementia was officially opened by Weston MP John Penrose.

Around 70 guests filled Tamar Court for the opening and afterwards resident John Fry accepted a £100 gift from Alliance for the residents’ social activities.

The development is all about giving residents the opportunity to live independently but with the peace of mind of additional care when it is needed. Care on site is provided by Alliance Living Care.

At the opening Simon Sweetinburgh, Chair of the Alliance Board said:“It has been hard work but worth every bit of effort we have invested, especially when I talk to those living here today. We are a business who, as our name suggests, works with and values partnerships and this project has seen partnership working at its very best.”

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Gold Award for Alliance Homes Group -

Alliance Homes has been presented with a prestigious national award, given to just 14% of organisations in the South West.

The Alliance Homes Group, a community-based business, provides housing and Care & Support services and was awarded the Investors in People Gold award for going above and beyond in the way they develop, support and motivate their team.

Alliance was first credited with the Gold award three years ago and was assessed again this month to make sure that it continues to meet the high standards needed to get gold.

Louise Swain, Group Chief Executive said: “We are absolutely delighted to have retained the Gold Standard. It reflects our ambition of being a great place to work and investing in people is critical to this. To receive external validation that we are getting a lot of things right is a great boost and helps us to ensure that we can be a place that people will want to come and work and develop their career.”

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Alliance Homes Group on their Gold standard. Such a high level of accreditation is the sign of great people management practice, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and shows an organisation committed to being the very best it can be. Alliance Homes Group should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

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"Catch the Light" lantern parade in Weston-super-Mare

This event will bring together people from the South Ward for a lantern parade to light up the area and celebrate the wonderful community spirit that exists.

In September preparations got underway with an invitation to neighbours to get involved in lantern making workshops and to help with the planning of the event, ready for the big day on 12 November. As well as lighting up the park area in Coniston Green, trees and gardens will also be lit up with lanterns.

The whole of the South Ward community has been invited to come together for this spectacular event, starting with activities in the Coniston Green Park. This will include street food, storytelling, drumming workshops, puppets and a craft tent where mini-lanterns can be made on the day.

A walking band will lead the lantern procession through the Bournville estate, ending back at Coniston Green Park where the celebrations will continue. Live music and dancing in the park will bring the evening to a close. The original idea for the ‘Catch the Light’ came from volunteers and our community networkers who had been cutting back overgrown bushes to attract more people to come and enjoy the park throughout the year. This also helped to bring light to some dark areas that used to provide cover for antisocial behaviour. From this the idea of lanterns and lights in the trees was born! The event will start at Coniston Green which is next to The For All Healthy Living Centre at 5pm and the Parade will set off at 6pm.

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Supporting Care Leavers - National Care Leavers week:

As part of Care Leavers Week on 24 October our Support team and North Somerset Council have developed a work experience programme for three care leavers to get some real hands on experience in the work place. This is particularly important for care leavers who face many barriers to finding work compared to other young people. Mainly because they lack confidence and navigating the world of work without the back up of family support can be a real challenge.

For the past 10 years Alliance Homes and North Somerset Council have been working together on the ‘Step Up’ project to provide flats for care leavers, where they are supported to live independently in their own home.

Currently 5 care leavers are being supported in the flats.

Amy Brownlow is 18 and came to ‘Step Up’ needing general support as well as help with food shopping, budgeting and paying bills. She was nervous at first, but was confident that with some help she would be able to settle into a routine and gain the confidence to live alone.

Amy was shown how to shop on a budget and manage her bills, she was also introduced to volunteering and competed a volunteering course. All of this developed her confidence so that she felt able to enrol at college and carry on with her education. Amy flourished in the flat where she stayed for 6 months before moving into her own place and freeing up the flat for another care leaver.

The Step Up project has been a finalist in The Children and Young People Now National Awards and continues to be a beacon of best practice on how to support care leavers in their transition from being in care to being independent adults.

Website article:

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As part of Get Online Week 2016, Westonworks are hosting an eBay Day! join them to find out how to use eBay for buying and selling online.

They can help with signing up to the site, searching for items, filtering results, seller ratings, item descriptions, and much more!

Staff and volunteers will be there to guide you through using the worlds most popular online auction and shopping website.

From 10am to 3pm Wednesday the 19th of October Westonworks @ The Information Station 5-6 St Andrews Parade Bournville Estate Weston-super-Mare BS23 3SS.

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Driving out hate in North Somerset - 8 to 15 October:

Hate crime can have devastating effects on individuals and communities so victims or witnesses are urged to report any incidents to help drive it out.

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:

Race or ethnicity
Religion or belief
Sexual orientation
Transgender identity

A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
Following the Brexit result in June, there were increased reports of hate crime across the country, including a slight rise in the Avon and Somerset police area.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week runs from 8th to 15th October and representatives from a range of local organisations will travel around the county to set up displays and engage with the public about what hate crime is, how to report it and the support for victims available. Events will also take place around the UK and included street parties, cake bake offs, coffee mornings and candlelit vigils.

If you or someone you know has experienced hate crime, reporting it can stop it happening to someone else. Reporting it also helps the police better understand the level of hate crime in your area and improve the way the respond to it.

Incidents can be reported by victims or witnesses. Incidents can range from verbal abuse, threatening or aggressive behaviour – even through letters, emails or social media – criminal damage to personal property, or physical attacks.
Remember: Don’ suffer in silence, REPORT IT

Hate crime can come in many forms but it means being bullied, assaulted, harassed or verbally abused because you are different.

It is a criminal offence which has been perceived by the victim as being motivated by some form of prejudice or hate.

This could be based on race, skin colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, faith, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.

Hate crime can be carried out in a number of ways. It might be a physical attack, vandalism or criminal damage, verbal abuse or abusive gestures, cyberbullying, or offensive communications such as text messages, phone calls, leaflets or posters.

Report a hate incident online at or call Council Connect: 01934 888 801

Call 999 in an emergency or the police on 101 in a non-emergency.

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Alliance Care Academy wins Business in The Community at the Business Leader Awards:

The Alliance Care Academy was crowned Business in the Community at the Business Leader awards on Thursday 22 September held at The Bristol Hotel.

Alliance Homes were up against Alemda Facilities Ltd and Ashley Community Housing in our category where Clive Coleman the BBC News legal correspondent presented the awards and gave an after dinner speech.

The Care Academy offers a training programme with a guaranteed job interview for people, interested in a career in Care. It was set up to fill a carer shortage and break down barriers for unemployed residents and local people by giving them the confidence and support to succeed.

It is already helping to reduce the number of people waiting for care and is supporting residents to unlock their potential, gain relevant skills and for many, the confidence they need to get their lives back on track.

Within a month of being set up in October 2015, the first recruits had been offered jobs. We then ran a second Academy in February 2016 and one in May. 52 people have been through the Academy and we have offered 37 people jobs. All those who were offered a job were previously unemployed and 12 live in an Alliance Homes’ property.

The plan is to continue this work experience and sector skill programme and for it to continue as a significant channel for recruitment of Care staff. We will run the Care Academy every 3 months.

To find out about the next Care Academy, get in touch with us on 03000 121 447.
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