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Superfast Broadband and networking at CasCA.

There was a good turnout on Thursday 5th June at 5.30pm when CasCA opened its doors to businesses who were interested in finding out more about Superfast Broadband and networking with other businesses.  Chris Taylor from Shropshire Council gave an update on when, what, how and why businesses can expect to get access to Superfast Fibre broadband. Chris  also outline the funded scheme to help business users to understand how to make best use of fast broadband to enhance their marketing and operations. Participants were able to express their interest in being involved as well as offering their views on what business facilities and services they would like to see come to the centre.

The Furniture Scheme, since taking over the management of Craven Arms Community Centre, has been exploring new avenues and opportunities to benefit and support the community.  This now includes extending the use of the Centre to provide facilities, services and networking opportunities to the many businesses which are both in Craven Arms and spread widely across the surrounding area.

Jean Jarvis, CEO of The Furniture Scheme, said “We are very pleased to be hosting this event.  It will be an exciting new development for CasCa and we hope that the Centre and the network will become a great resource for local businesses”.

Craven Arms Community Centre Volunteer

I started at CasCA in January.  I volunteer and sort coffees and teas out for meetings and I get refreshments ready for those who come in on a day to day basis so they can help themselves.  I do the dishwasher – and I’ve now decided I want one myself!

Everyone is very friendly, even people I’ve not seen before who just come in for meetings. They always say, ‘Hello’ and you just get talking really.

I did a Happiness course here and it did me good.  A lot of people have been through the same sort of things as me.  It’s good to know you’re not alone.

I get computer help from Adrian.  He’s very good at explaining things well.  He’ll go over things until I can do it and then we move on.  I know I’m really learning a lot.

I’m also going to do a Want to Work course soon.

I think I’m more outgoing since I’ve been here and I don’t let myself be taken for granted any more.  I know I’m worth more and I’m not just going to take second best.

Rockspring Community Centre Volunteer

I started volunteering at Rockspring in January.  I started in the kitchen.  I peel spuds, wash up, ice cakes, serve people their lunches and clear up.  I help Marilyn with the shopping as well.

I do enjoy it because it’s been a new experience for me.  I speak to new people.  Marilyn has taught me things like putting pans on the cooker safely and to be aware of safety.

I’ve done two qualifications – a Food Hygiene Certificate and an Open College Network Award.  I’m really pleased about this.

Warehouse Volunteer

Upon moving back to Ludlow I had applied for variety of jobs and had no luck or no reply, so I thought I’d apply for volunteer work to keep me busy/active.  I looked online and saw The Furniture Scheme website.  They were advertising volunteer positions so I applied.  I attended a brief interview and induction.  I liked what I heard and thought, ‘I’ll give this a go and see what it’s like.’

My first day was in the Yard (Weeping Cross Lane).  I was shown the ropes and introduced to the staff.  It first struck me what a great bunch of people they were – friendly, welcoming, helpful and they really appreciate the help I/you give them.  The kind of people you really want to work with.  I helped out sorting the showroom and the storage room.  I was really surprised by how much stock the Scheme had.  It just goes to show how much it is supported and respected by the public.  It really is a fantastic service and really helps the local community and people who are struggling.  A lot of customers popped in during the day too.  I went home that night feeling really good, knowing I’d done a worthwhile job helping others.

My second day, I went out helping in the van, delivering and collecting with the driver.  All customers said good things about the Scheme.  I’ve been here 4 months now and have enjoyed every day’s work I’ve done for them.  It really is a fantastic place to work.  I’d recommend it to anyone.  I went from nothing to do at home each day to doing something I really enjoy with a fantastic bunch of people.  Every day is different.   You get chances to do courses to enhance your CV, yard work, van driving, electrical testing, shop work, dealing with the public/customers,  and  recycling.

If you’re out of work or just want something to keep you busy, I highly recommend volunteering for the scheme.  It was a turning point in my life and it gives me a great sense of pride too.  The local community really benefits from it and it has massive support.

Help out if you can.  I promise – you won’t regret it!

PS Pop in and have a look.  They have a vast collection of furniture, electrical and bric a brac at fantastic prices.


Clean Cut Services

The Furniture Scheme has set up a new business called Clean Cut Services, a social enterprise which has created two new positions who will work with up to four trainees at any one time to deliver maintenance and cleaning services.

The Wrekin Housing Trust will be using Clean Cut to deliver cleaning and landscaping services to some of its flats, supporting the opportunities for local trainees and in turn ensuring their tenants receive a great service. Trainees will receive support to achieve two qualifications whilst with Clean Cut as well as gaining practical skills and employability support. www.cleancutservices.co.uk

Trailblazing housing group chosen as Large Social Landlord of the Year

The Wrekin Housing Group, made up of The Wrekin Housing Trust, Reviive, Choices, The Furniture Scheme and Shropshire Housing Alliance are thrilled to have won the Large Social Landlord category at the UK Housing Awards, beating stiff competition from around the country.

Board members and employees are thrilled to be recognised with this prestigious award, following their individual and partnership work in all areas of housing, development, care, advice and social enterprise.

The judges, who included experts from the world of housing, said: “The Wrekin Housing Group entry really stood out. It was felt that they were not scared to do things differently and step outside what everyone else is doing. They consistently performed highly and were not afraid to set the trail for others to follow.”

The Group’s award submission was based around high-quality landlord and care services, providing homes for local people, tackling homelessness and worklessness and adding social value. The Group’s leadership, people, great delivery of services, forward thinking and innovation and ensuring value for money, were all contributing factors in winning this fantastic award.

Morag Bailey, Head of Continuous Improvement, said: “It’s hugely rewarding for everyone in the Group to be recognised for their hard work and efforts in building a vibrant, creative company, delivering real benefits to customers, service users and communities. We would especially like to thank our tenants, who are the best in the country at paying their rent and who give up lots of their own time to be involved in the work of the Trust and Group.”

CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: “Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s UK Housing Awards. Their innovative work will help raise standards and provide inspiration across our industry.”

To find out more about The Wrekin Housing Group visit www.wrekinhousingtrust.org.uk


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