Derbyshire news in brief

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Helping vulnerable people to avoid an abusive relationship is to be the main message in a national conference tackling domestic abuse. Experts from a range of fields will gather together for the Is Prevention Better than Cure event looking at issues surrounding domestic abuse, which will be held in Chesterfield. Alan Charles, Derbyshire police and crime commissioner, said: “There is now very strong agreement among our criminal justice partners that we must address the challenges presented by domestic abuse, preferably before it begins. We need to recognise signs, provide appropriate education to young people and establish a zero tolerance regime for any incident of domestic abuse. Collectively, we have put the needs of victims at the heart of our community safety plans and this conference will enable us to keep the momentum going and to identify innovative approaches moving forward.” The event will take place at the Proact Stadium in April.

• The search is on for 11 people across north Derbyshire to become a friend to someone who is experiencing sight loss. Sight Support Derbyshire, the county’s only charity providing services for visually impaired people, needs more volunteers to become befrienders. Befrienders give up a couple of hours a week to visit one of the charity’s members in their own home. They may help them to read their letters or a newspaper or accompany them to agreed social activities. Lynne Smitheringale, volunteer manager at the charity, said: “If you have a couple of hours a week to spare, just pick up the phone and find out more. We will provide full training and support so you’ll feel confident that you can make a real difference to someone’s life.” Call Lynne on 01332 287005 or email lynne.smitheringale@sightsupportderbysire.org.uk

• First time buyers will be talked through the house buying process at a seminar.The free event will take place at the offices of Jones and Co, on Glumangate, Chesterfield, from 7pm on Thursday, March 12. Representatives from Jones and Co, Strada Estates and Elliot Mather LLP Solicitors will give impartial, informative advice during the event, which is aimed at people living in and around Chesterfield who want to get on to the property ladder. Places are limited so people should call 01246 550521 or 01246 276276 if they wish to attend.

• Businesses are being invited to learn more about how Derbyshire County Council can support them. The Invest in Your Staff session will take place at Hope Valley Adult Education Centre, in Castleton Road, Hope, between 4pm and 6pm on Thursday, March 5. Company bosses will be able to learn more about apprenticeships, training opportunities and the support offered to businesses by Derbyshire County Council. If you would like to attend the event, contact Barbara Foat by emailing barbara.foat@derbyshire.gov.uk or call 01663 746897 ext 35.

• A care home in Chesterfield has been praised by its residents in a national survey for the support they receive. The results from the Your Care Rating survey found Heather Vale, in Heather Vale Road, Hasland, performed above the national average for the second year running. In the survey, 100 per cent of residents said the home was a safe and secure place while all residents agreed that staff treated them with kindness, dignity and respect.

• An organisation which provides support for carers of those with learning disabilities has received a grant of almost £5,000. The money for Learning Disability Carers Direct comes from the Coalfields Community Grants programme offered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

The organisation welcomed the cash boost. For more details about the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, visit www.coalfields-regen.org.uk

• A reunion marking 30 years since the conclusion of the 1984/1985 miners’ strike is set to take place. Ian Pyatt and Bob Jacques will hold the Ireland, Markham and surrounding collieries reunion at Staveley Sports and Social Club, in Lowgates, from 7pm on Saturday, March 7. Ian said: “We are welcoming everyone to the evening, from tackle lads to overmen, from canteen staff to colliers.”

• Consultant outpatient clinics with staff from Claremont Private Hospital in Sheffield are being held in Bakewell. Orthopaedic, general surgery and colorectal consultations will be attending Bakewell Medical Centre with clinics open to NHS and private patients from any surgery. For more information, call Bakewell Medical Centre on 01629 816636.

• An organisation which works to improve the quality of the environment is looking for volunteers. Groundwork wants the volunteers to help carry out habitat work on nature reserves in the Amber Valley. To volunteer or to find out more information, call Gary Wain at Groundwork on 07866678048. Alternatively, email gwain@groundwork.org.uk

• Residents are to be asked to give their views on the county council’s plans for co-ordinating the management of flood risk in Derbyshire. By law Derbyshire County Council has to publish a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. Have your say at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/flood. Closing date for responses is Monday, March 16.