Category Archives: News

Leicestershire’s Award Winning Lightbulb Service Celebrates First Anniversary

Light bulb Project

Following a year of work transforming the lives of residents across Leicestershire, “Lightbulb” is celebrating one year since the partnership began delivering this innovative service.

Hosted by Blaby District Council and in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, the district councils, the county’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s), Leicestershire Partnership Trust, and University Hospitals of Leicester, Lightbulb is a centralised, integrated housing support service which helps people to remain independent in their own homes.

During its first year, Lightbulb has helped over 3,200 people across the county, improved hospital discharge for 600 people, reduced waiting times for minor housing adaptations, with 89% of service users reporting an improvement in their physical and mental health.

A typical case is a person with mobility issues caused by Drop Foot, Arthritis and respiratory problems, who was reluctantly looking to move into supported living. Due to the advice and practical support of the Lightbulb service, and with one point of contact to coordinate everything needed, suitable minor and major adaptations were installed.

They were delighted to be able to remain in their own home, and stay connected to their local community, which is so important to their overall wellbeing.

The pioneering project has been featured in local and national media, and has attracted interest from other local authorities keen to understand how a Lightbulb service in their area could benefit their residents.

Lightbulb has achieved three major accolades in the first year of operation: winning the Local Government Chronicle award for best Public/Public Partnership, named the Best Collaborative Working Initiative by the Association for Public Service Excellence, and highly commended at the Home Improvement Agency Awards.

Councillor Lee Breckon, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Everyone associated with Blaby District Council is so proud of Lightbulb’s achievements in its first year. It has improved lives and made accessing help easier.

“We have made a significant difference to people across the county through innovative partnership working, and I’m looking forward to an equally successful second year.”

Residents can find out more about help within their home by visiting https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/adult-social-care-and-health or calling 0116 305 0004.

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications. Image: Leics C.C.]

Blaby is named as the fifth happiest district in UK

It’s official. The District of Blaby has been named the fifth happiest location in the UK following the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) Annual Happiness Study.

Looking at Life satisfaction, Worthwhile, Happiness and Anxiety, the ONS report shows that the happiness level of the district is 8.11 out of 10, compared with the national average of 7.7. This figure is the highest recorded in the district by the ONS since the report began in 2011.

Life satisfaction rose to 7.9/10, Worthwhile grew to 8.2/10 whilst Anxiety dropped to 2.6/10.

The ranking of fifth happiest in the UK is the highest in Leicestershire. Last year the district was rated as the third best place to live for people aged 20-29 on a Channel 4 show.

Blaby District is home to over 95,000 residents in 24 parishes and includes major employers such as Next, Sytner and Topps Tiles, who all have their head offices in the area. Fosse Shopping Park, which welcomes over 10 million visitors a year, is also based in the district.

Villages in the district host nationally renowned events, including the Victory Show in Cosby. The village of Huncote will be hosting the British Cycling BMX National Championships at the Pavilion Leisure Centre over the coming weekend (28-30 September.)

Cllr Terry Richardson
Cllr. Richardson

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: “We are extremely proud to be placed so highly once again in the ONS study, and we’re especially pleased to see our residents’ overall happiness at record levels.

“Whilst this cannot be all about Blaby District Council, the way in which we work with partners to deliver fantastic projects and great design in our community, keep our streets clean and have fantastic parks and open spaces to visit as well as delivering high quality services all contribute to this success.

“With a thriving new community in Lubbesthorpe, the expansion of Fosse Park and the exciting new Everards Meadows development coming over the next few years we know that the district will continue to be a great place to live, work and visit.”

More information on the ONS study is available by visiting their website. (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing)

[Source and image: Blaby District Council Communications]

Young Heroes from Enderby recognised for swift first aid action

A young brother and sister from Enderby have been commended by the Chief Constable for giving first aid to a man who had collapsed in the street.

Nine-year-old Jack Armson and his 13-year-old sister Jess were being driven home in March by their Mum, Gayle, when they saw what they thought was a blanket on the pavement on Mill Lane.

When they realised it was in fact someone lying on the floor they stopped and Jack and Jess leapt out to see if they could help.

Jack, who had just done first aid training with Cubs, shouted to his sister to put the man, who was unconscious, in the recovery position. Gayle rang the ambulance service and Jess was able to give the details of the man’s injuries to the call handler.

By this time a considerable traffic jam had built up and Jack spent time going from car to car telling motorists what had happened and why there was a delay and that they needed to make way for the ambulance. Jess even looked after three children while their Mum talked to the paramedics.

Mum Gayle said: “I was so proud of Jack and Jess, particularly of the way they remained calm and took on important tasks. Both myself and husband Neil feel that Jack’s time at Cubs had a lot to do with how well he managed in the unexpected situation, not only from the first aid training but also from the general values of cubs including helping others and taking responsibility.”

Jack’s Cub Scout Leader, Sarah Paget, from 38th Leicester – Narborough and Enderby Scout group, wrote to the Chief Constable, Simon Cole who is Vice President of the Scouts Association, because she felt Jack and Jess deserved some recognition for their actions. Mr Cole invited them both for a tour of force headquarters and presented them with a certificate thanking them for helping the man in such a calm and mature manner.

Simon Cole handed them their certificates by saying “You both should be really proud of yourselves. You acted selflessly and we thank you for your help.”

The children, who had been told they were leaving school for a dentist appointment, were thrilled to discover what was in store for them when they arrived at HQ. Jack described his afternoon as “amazing”.

Jack and Jess had a tour of the Dogs Unit. Learning about police dog training, breeding and met a selection of the dogs. They then walked over to the Firearms Unit, to be shown a demonstration of the firearms and tasers.

The trip concluded by meeting Lord Lieutenant, Mr Mike Kapur, who was attending the Investiture to present the Police Officers with their Long Service & Good Conduct medals.

Lord Lieutenant is also chairman of the National Space Centre and after speaking to Jack about his current space project at school, has invited the family to spend the day there with a free family day ticket.

Business Breakfast returns to Santander

The popular local Business Breakfast event for businesses in the District of Blaby is set to be hosted in November as part of the Leicester Business Festival.

Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal and South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa are the featured speakers at the event, taking place at Santander’s Offices at Carlton Park, Narborough, on Thursday 01 November from 8am.

A free breakfast will be available for all guests before the speaker programme. Leading an independent office aimed at empowering small businesses in resolving payment disputes, Paul Uppal will offer his expert advice about an issue which affects many small and micro businesses across the country.

Alberto Costa MP will discuss the Government’s plans to support the economy and deliver growth.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership will be explaining what business support is on offer from the Business Gateway through speaker Helen Miller. A Q&A session and networking opportunities will also be available at the event.

The meeting is part of the fourth annual Leicester Business Festival, the region’s largest business event running from 29 October-09 November with events being held across the county.

Businesses and individuals are being encouraged to book early and secure one of the limited places. E-mail economicdevelopment@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7765.

[Source & Photo: Blaby District Council Communications]

Breck’s Last Game – film warns of dangers of online grooming

A film about a 14-year-old boy who was murdered by a man he met online is due to be shown to schoolchildren across the County to help raise awareness of online grooming among boys.

Breck’s Last Game‘ is about Surrey teenager Breck Bednar who was killed by Essex computer engineer Lewis Daynes in 2014.

Daynes ran an online server where Breck, and several of his friends, played games online.

It was through this forum that Daynes groomed Breck over 13 months – telling him a series of lies, turning him against family and friends, and eventually luring him to his flat on the promise of handing over a fake business.

Through the use of avatars, the film captures the events leading up to Breck’s death and also features the real 999 call made to police by Daynes.

The project is the work of an innovative collaboration between four police forces – Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Essex and Surrey – and has been made with the active support of Breck’s mother Lorin LaFave, who appears in the film as herself.

The film was launched on Wednesday 19th September and is being rolled-out to schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, where it will be shown to secondary schoolchildren.

Speaking at the launch of the film, Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon, said: “The launch of Breck’s Last Game is the latest phase in our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of online grooming and child sexual exploitation.

“While Kayleigh’s Love Story was about a local teenager who was groomed over social media, and has been extremely successful in warning children of the dangers of online grooming, Breck’s Last Game tells a slightly different story.

“We recognise that boys are less willing to report CSE and we hope that this film will resonate with them, encourage anyone who is the victim of online grooming to report what is happening to them, and to generate conversations about the dangers posed online, not only in the classroom but also at home.

“I believe that Breck’s Last Game, which will be shown in schools with the right support wrapped around screenings, will do just that.”

Daynes, who was 18 at the time of the offence, was sentenced in 2015 to a minimum of 25 years in prison for Breck’s murder.

’15’ Certificate

The full version of Breck’s Last Games, which carries a warning that, if it were to be screened at a cinema, it would carry a 15 certificate, won’t be released publicly until 2019 to enable it to be shown as part of planned lessons.

Breck’s mother Lorin said: “Breck’s story shows how easily grooming can happen. He met the predator through an online friendship group and would have been flattered to have an intelligent, older mentor helping him expand his gaming skills.

“At the time, I believed the offender was older than he was because he was so controlling and manipulative, even with me, so it’s important for young people to realise not only can predators lie about their age, where they live or who they are online, they can also be a similar age to the victim. They are not always the stereotypical ‘creepy old guy’.

“It’s so important for us to raise awareness of the fact that boys can be groomed too. Breck’s came after international media surrounding the Rochdale and Rotherham cases, where the victims were all girls. His version wasn’t the ‘typical’ type of grooming people had heard about in the news.

“His story shows even regular school boys can make mistakes if they aren’t educated to recognise the signs of grooming and exploitation.

“I hope through the Breck’s Last Game campaign, young people will take on the real life lessons from Breck’s story so they are able to look after each other, keep safe, and reach their full potentials. Our intention is to educate young people so they are empowered to make safer choices for themselves online.”

Leicestershire PCC helps fund the film

The film has been funded by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach with additional contributions from Surrey, Essex and Northamptonshire police forces.

Lord Bach said: “Every single one of us has a responsibility to protect children and young people from abuse of any kind. As this film evocatively illustrates, abuse is not confined to young girls. Sadly however, many boys and young male victims will suffer in silence rather than seek help which means they don’t receive any support and the perpetrator escapes justice.

“If we can teach young people that all is not always what it seems, we give the knowledge to protect themselves, whether that is on the street or on-line. A film can do this very effectively.

“I also hope that the film will safeguard young males from harm and encourage any victims to speak out and report their experiences, so that we can stamp out this evil behaviour. This is another really good piece of work and I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to produce it.”