Extras – July 2017

Bluebird Care gets Hampshire County Council seal of approval

An award-winning established provider of personal homecare in Hampshire has received an additional seal of approval this week from the county council.

Bluebird Care Hook, who support and care for people living in their own homes in Hart, Basingstoke & Deane, has received the green light to join ‘Buy with Confidence + Care’ – the Trading Standards approved register.

All the businesses on the Buy with Confidence + Care scheme have been stringently vetted and approved by Trading Standards Officers to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way.

Phil Miles, Director of Bluebird Care Hook, said:

“When we heard that Trading Standards were partnering with Adult Social Services to launch the Buy with Confidence + Care scheme in Hampshire we were very keen to be involved from the outset.

Although Bluebird Care is already heavily regulated by the Care Quality Commission, the CQC’s priority is on the quality of care we provide; specifically is our service Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-Led.  Until now there has been no way to reassure our current and future customers that Bluebird Care’s commercial terms abide by the spirit and letter of the law and that we trade fairly with our customers.”

With the local office based in Hook, the organisation provides care in Odiham, Warnborough, Crondall, Hartley Wintney, Hook, Heckfield, Eversley, Yateley, Fleet, Church Crookham, Burghclere, Kingsclere, Highclere, Whitchurch, Overton, Oakley, North Waltham, Herriard, Upton Grey, Old Basing, Bramley, Silchester, Tadley and Basingstoke.

Bluebird Care is a national provider of care in the home, specialising in working with customers who live with dementia, physical disabilities and many other acute and chronic conditions. Bluebird Care work alongside their customers’ families, social services and the NHS to ensure each person receives the care they need.

The organisation offers a unique service of tailored care visits which range from anything from 30 minutes to full live-in support. As well as personal care they also help with meal preparation, welfare checks, shopping, social trips, visits to the hospital and provide extra support for post-discharge customers.

Phil added: “Having been inspected by both Hampshire Social Services and Trading Standards and undergone a series of background checks we are delighted that Bluebird Care Hook has been accepted as one of the first care at home provider members of the Buy with Confidence + Care scheme.

We see our membership as further differentiating the high quality service that Bluebird Care provides from our competitors. Bluebird Care is focussed on the self-funding market and so it is vital that anyone looking to trust us to provide a service for themselves or for a loved one has the confidence that all our dealings with them are carried out to the same high standards.

A third party endorsement by such a respected name as Trading Standards reassures people that they will not have to worry about the fairness and legality of our contractual terms and we can work together to provide the very best quality of care at home.”

For more details about Bluebird Care Hook call 01256 762324, email hook@bluebirdcare.co.uk, or by visit their website at www.bluebirdcare.co.uk/hook

Stay hydrated this summer says local home care provider

Older people, their families, friends and neighbours across Hart, Basingstoke & Deane are encouraged to think about staying hydrated this summer. Individuals have a moral duty to support vulnerable people who may be at risk, in any way they can, leading home care provider Bluebird Care Hook has urged.

As the weather starts to get warmer and the sun starts to come out, Bluebird Care is sending out the strong message that heat and sun exposure is extremely serious and potentially life threatening – and is urging people across the area to stay hydrated and prepare for the hotter days with some simple tips to stay safe in the sun.

Due to the soaring temperatures in July 2016 there were 1,661 deaths recorded in England & Wales, compared with a five year average of 1,267 (ONS, 2016). This highlights the danger of high temperatures and the importance of being prepared. Staying hydrated is essential particularly for those in high risk groups, such as babies, children and older people. Government recommendations suggest everyone should have around 6-8 glasses a day, which can be water or sugar free drinks (NHS Eatwell Guide, 2016).

Bluebird Care have launched their Summer Hydration initiative. As part of this they will be sharing tips across social media and sharing links to national resources to help ensure everyone is prepared for the hotter weather.

With the frequent and sudden changes in British weather Bluebird Care want to issue a reminder for people to get prepared for the hotter weather.

Tips from the NHS include:

  • Keep your home cool by closing your blinds and curtains
  • Avoid extreme heat where possible
  • Stay hydrated with water, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks
  • Stay alert by keeping up to date with weather forecasts
  • Check on relatives and neighbours who may be most at risk
  • If you need to go outside plan ahead, have plenty of food and water as well as sun protection (sun cream, sun hat and sunglasses)
  • Avoid outings in the middle of the day, 11-3pm is the hottest part of the day.

(NHS Heatwave, 2016)

Commenting, Phil Miles, director of Bluebird Care Hook, said:

“Many vulnerable people feel lonely and isolated and we are often unaware of the real threat to life that extreme weather can cause to at risk groups.

Staying hydrated in the summer months is vital as the sun can often catch us off guard, giving little time to take precautions against the heat. It’s important to start planning for the hotter weather now by taking simple precautions like making sure you are aware of the weather forecast, finding an hour to keep cool, speaking to your neighbours about coping with extreme heat and make sure you are drinking enough fluids.

We are reaching out to the community to ensure that they keep in regular contact with their friends and neighbours to take precautions to stay safe this summer. If anyone would like further advice or are in need of home care over the summer, please contact the team at Bluebird Care.”

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust: Cows Mark 10 Year Anniversary on MOD Land

This article can be found here.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust: Identifying Bumblebees

This article can be found here.

July events at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre

2017 will mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and across the county the year will be packed with talks, walks, exhibitions and performances to celebrate the author and her works. Jane Austen was born in Steventon and would have known Basingstoke well: join us for our celebrations.

Celebrating Jane Austen 200
Parasol Duelling
Saturday 1 July / 2pm / £3
The ancient and honourable sport of Parasol Duelling must surely have had its origins in the Georgian era – Elizabeth Bennett would no doubt have been a skilled exponent – and now attracts people from various historical re-creation groups as well as the Steampunk World. Rediscover the rules and begin your journey into this most elegant of Ladies’ Sports.

Discover Board Games
Saturday 1 July / 10am – 1pm / FREE / Ages 3+

Board in the Library
Saturday 1 July / 11am – 4pm / FREE
Bring out your competitive streak with games like Splendour and Carcassonne. Or working cooperatively – try a game of Pandemic to help save humanity!

Planet Earth
A Free exhibition by ‘The Hampshire Calligraphers’
Tuesday 4 July – Saturday 15 July
The Hampshire Calligraphers are a flourishing group of both professional and all other levels of calligraphers.  New members are welcome to attend the monthly workshops and classes to learn this craft and art form. Every year a themed exhibition is curated to encourage members to produce exciting work.  This year’s theme is “Planet Earth – a calligraphic celebration” and with this vast subject you can be sure of a wide variety of exhibits.  Please see our website www.hampshirecalligraphers.co.uk to find out more.

Basingstoke Disability Connections
Tuesday 4 July / 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Informal get-together for people affected by disability.

Disability Signpost Service
Tuesday 4 July / 10am – 12noon
Drop-in for information on topics including transport, benefits, housing and more.

Wonderful Wordsmiths
Wednesday 5 July / 4pm – 5pm / FREE
A fun creative writing club for 8-13 olds

Painting for Fun
Thursday 6 July / 2.30pm – 4.30pm / FREE
Informal group of painters who share tips and conversation in Coffee shop area

Hearing Impaired Reading Group
Friday 7 July / 2pm – 4pm / FREE
An opportunity to meet people in a similar situation round a shared interest

Young Embroiders Club
Saturday 8 July / 10am – 12noon / £5 / Ages 5-16
Learn new skills and meet new friends

Saturday 8 July / 10.30am – 11.30am / FREE / Ages 8-11
Are you a Bookaholic?
Do you enjoy sharing ideas, making new friends and exploring new subjects? Join Chatterbooks a book group with books, activities, quizzes and lots more.
Sign up at the Information Desk in the library.

Celebrating Jane Austen 200
Military Life during the Napoleonic Wars
Saturday 8 July / 2pm / £3.50
With Coldstream Guards 1815
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of conflicts fought between France and a number of European nations between 1799 and 1815. Jane Austen’s first 4 novels were written during this time and many of her characters were members of the military. Using replica uniform to illustrate his talk, Edward Cull, an avid living history enthusiast, will give an insight into what life may have been like at this time for those who joined the army and how day to day life would have been effected.

Board in the Library
Wednesday 12 July / 2pm – 6pm / FREE
Bring out your competitive streak with games like Splendour and Carcassonne. Or working cooperatively – try a game of Pandemic to help save humanity!

Painting for Fun
Thursday 13 July / 2.30pm – 4.30pm / FREE
Informal group of painters who share tips and conversation in Coffee shop area

Memory Box Project
Friday 14 July / 10.30am – 12.30pm
The memory box project is an exciting reminiscence project open to all. Drop in and share some stories around the interesting objects on display.

Crime Fiction Reading Group
Saturday 15 July / 2pm / FREE
Meet others who share your enjoyment of this genre

Discover Board Games
Saturday 15 July  / 10am – 1pm / FREE / Ages 3+

Creative Writing
Wednesday 19 July / 2pm – 4pm / £1
New members are welcome at this supportive group for writers of all genres and ability

Wonderful Wordsmiths
Wednesday 19 July / 4pm – 5pm / FREE
A fun creative writing club for 8-13 olds

Poetry Group 
Wednesday 19 July / 10.30am – 12.00 noon / £1
Read and share poetry with other like-minded people

Celebrating Jane Austen 200
Jane Austen in Basingstoke – A Guided Walk
Thursday 20 July / 10.30am / £4
Led by Debbie Reavell – Basingstoke Heritage Society
Jane Austen was born in Steventon and lived there until she was 25. This guided walk around Basingstoke will visit the places she knew, the locations where she danced, where she shopped, visited – and where she gained inspiration for the world which shaped her novels.

Film Group for Stroke Survivors
Friday 21 July / 2pm – 4pm / FREE
Our film group for stroke survivors meets each month to review films in a warm and friendly environment. If you’re interested in joining or would like further info please contact: basingstoke.discovery.centre@hants.gov.uk

Children’s Crafts
Saturday 22 Jul  / from 10am / FREE / Ages 3+

Saturdays 22 July / 11am – 4pm / FREE
Experience a new level of social gaming with your Nintendo and other gaming consoles.

Learning in Libraries
Get More From Your iPad
Monday 24 July / 10am – 4pm / £30
Gain a more in-depth knowledge of what you can do with your iPad, including how to resolve problems. This course is intended as a follow-on from the initial Get To Know Your iPad course and content may be altered to suit the requirements of the learners. There are a limited number of iPads available to borrow: please make your request at time of booking.

Board in the Library
Wednesday 26 July / 2pm – 6pm / FREE
Bring out your competitive streak with games like Splendour and Carcassonne. Or working cooperatively – try a game of Pandemic to help save humanity!

Painting for Fun
Thursday 27 July / 2.30pm – 4.30pm / FREE
Informal group of painters who share tips and conversation in Coffee shop area

Memory Box Project
Friday 28 July / 10.30am – 12.30pm
The memory box project is an exciting reminiscence project open to all. Drop in and share some stories around the interesting objects on display.

Summer Reading Challenge Craft
Friday 28 July / from 10am / FREE / Ages 3+

Celebrating Jane Austen 200
Saturday 29 July – Saturday 7 October
An exhibition of books and documents from the collections of Hampshire Libraries and the Hampshire Record Office.

Discover Board Games
Saturday 29 July  / 10am – 1pm / FREE / Ages 3+

Celebrating Jane Austen 200
An Afternoon of Music, Dance and Song for Jane Austen
Sunday 30 July / 3pm – 5pm / £10
With The Madding Crowd
Join The Madding Crowd for a summer’s afternoon concert of the music and songs that would have been known to Jane Austen and who will illuminate the social history of her time, with entertaining readings from diaries, newspapers and other contemporary sources.  There may be some dancing such as she would have enjoyed participating in too. Refreshments are included.

Visually Impaired Reading Group
Monday 31 July/ 10am – 12 noon / FREE
An opportunity to meet people in a similar situation round a shared interest.

Important messages from Police & Neighbourhood Watch

First, an important request from our Police Teams.

“Your local Basingstoke Borough Neighbourhood Policing Teams need your help in setting the Community Policing Priorities for your area for the summer period. In order to ensure that we are working effectively in the community, we need you to tell us what issues are affecting you the most. Our aim is to reduce crime and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and increase confidence in the Police; as well as to make your neighbourhood a safer place to live and work. All we ask is that you spare 5 minutes to complete this survey to give us a clear understanding of the issues that matter to you. We will use these results, along with Police and partner agency data, to set our priorities for the next three months.

Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6W8CRVQ

Another very important police message concerns an increasing number of house burglaries where residents just lift the handle on the house external doors, but do not turn the key to lock the mechanism. It is all too easy for criminals to access a handle via the letterbox, without causing any noise or damage. They are then free to enter your property and take whatever they wish, especially at night, or when you have left the house.


For those of you who might be interested in Aviation, we have an item in ‘Latest News’ on our website about Blackbushe Airport Diamond Anniversary celebrating 75 Years, July 1st & 2nd 2017.

Finally thanks to all NW people for their support, but be aware that where a replacement coordinator may be required, or there is no longer interest in NW, then BDNWA may in future ask for your list on NW scheme members, to help us work with PCSOs, PCs and CSPOs to retain a viable scheme and prevent its demise.

Probus hears from ex UK Ambassador to Syria

Adrian Sindall had forty years working in the Diplomatic Service and he told the Probus Club of Basingstoke about some of his experiences that stretched across the world. From several countries in the Middle East, as a fluent Arabic speaker, to Peru and other parts of South America, including Falkland Islands negotiations with Argentina, to Australia and Brunei and finally back to the Middle East as our ambassador to Syria.

His main topic was to consider the differences in Syria today with his time there twenty years ago. Then the main ally of President Assad  (father of the current president) was Russia. This was both military and commercially where Syria adopted a Marxist style command economy. After the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Syria was left almost isolated and needed to develop relationships with western countries. It helped that Syria supported the allies in the Gulf War. When Assad died and his eldest son having previously been killed in a car crash, the second son, Bashar, was in London training to be an ophthalmogist and returned to Damascus to become the leader of the Ba’ath Party and President.

With the rise of the Arab Spring movement across several countries the Syrian government fought to retain control of its country and Russia has regained influence by supporting them with military might. This has ensured that with various factions fighting against Assad, and sometimes amongst themselves, that the government forces supported by air strikes by Russian planes appears to have turned a corner in this conflict. The toll on the country, both culturally with the destruction by ISIS of World Heritage sites such as Palmyra and economically, has been substantial. Only time will tell if it ever recovers.

See www.probusbasingstoke.webs.com for more information about this social club for retired professional and business managers.

Information from RCS

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