Nuffield Farming Scholarships – Applications due in by 31st July

If you are between 25 and 45 working in or involved in agriculture, the land based industries or the food chain, have you thought about applying a Nuffield Farming Scholarship? Please note it is not necessary for applicants to have any formal further education since leaving school, you just need to be really keen about what you do.

What does a scholarship do? Every year it enables some twenty people to visit other countries.

A ‘Nuffield’ provides funding, opens doors and creates global opportunities to meet people from across the whole sphere of agriculture, leading farmers, farming entrepreneurs and innovators, agricultural leaders and decision makers, people at all levels of research and development and people in the allied and food industries. Many countries have a similar scheme and their scholars are very willing to assist visiting scholars from the UK.

More than twenty Herefordshire people have had a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, so it is very likely you probably already know one or more of them, it’s a unique opportunity not to be missed, so why not apply to join them.

To find out more about the Nuffield Farming Scholarships, open up the website, just enter Nuffield Farming in your search engine, where you will be able to find out more about it, look at what is involved in applying and be able to gauge the benefits of becoming a Nuffield farming Scholar.

It’s a case of once a scholar always a scholar as the organisation is not just about scholarships, it’s about a life-long association with like minds. The trust holds an annual conference where scholars give a short presentation of their travels and what they have discovered and there are various groups of previous scholars who keep in contact and meet to keep abreast of what is going on it their specific area or sector of the industry.

Applications are due in by 31st July. So start giving it some thought.

If you are interested and want to talk to someone about the scheme, please contact Ian Howie 

Tel:  01981 570251   or Email:  ianhowie1@btinternet.com

Herefordshire Rural Hub Chairman

hub logo

Do you want to make a difference to Herefordshire? Do you have a range of skills and experiences to offer for the benefit of enterprises in rural Herefordshire? This is a voluntary role, expenses can be claimed when projects and additional roles arise.

The Hub is a Community Interest Company led by agricultural and rural businesses across Herefordshire and its aim is to give members access to development. We aim to raise awareness and signpost to various opportunities via our free monthly newsletter. We also support enterprises with business development events, funding workshops, changes to rules & regulations, plus local events of interest and more.

Essential

  • Enthusiastic about Herefordshire and believe the rural economy is an asset
  • Experience at running and chairing meetings
  • A wide rural technical knowledge, from tourism to agricultural planning legislation
  • Can work as part of a team for the benefit of others
  • Be able to engage with a varied range of stakeholders
  • An ability to attend meetings, with 4 – 6 hours a week commitment to the role
  • Can work remotely via email and dropbox

Desirable

  • Three years experience in a voluntary capacity
  • Five years of experience running a business (includes charities)
  • Experience of volunteer engagement and financial management

Please enclose your CV and a covering letter explaining why you have the experience for the role of Chairman and the vision of how you would like to be part of developing Herefordshire Rural Hub.

Apply in writing to:-
Herefordshire Rural Hub, Agriculture House, Beech Business Park, Tillington Road Hereford, HR4 9QJ

Or by email to:-
hub@herefordshireruralhub.co.uk  

By 12 noon Wednesday 9th August 2017

If you would like to discuss the opportunity, please call Cathy Meredith, Hub Co-Ordinator, on 07970 181628

or the current Chairman Christine Hope on 07875 384439

hub-logo-with-map

Beware of a Telephone Scam

West Mercia Police are receiving a number of calls from concerned residents reporting multiple calls from persons purporting to be from the HMRC.  The general theme is that answerphone messages are left asking the resident to phone a number back immediately or be threatened with legal action.  If the number is phoned, someone tells the resident that they have defaulted on their tax and asks them to pay a (large) sum of money, threatening the resident that they will have their possessions removed and face arrest.  The conversations are a more in depth than my wording and can be very convincing, enough to cause alarm and concern.

Please be advised this is another scam along the HMRC theme.  The perpetrators continually tweak the theme, enough to scare and frighten some people.  If you receive such phone calls delete the message, do not phone the number given; if you answer such a call hang up, do not divulge personal information.  Please be vigilant to this, keep an eye on anyone who may perhaps be convinced by this as the callers persist by leaving multiple messages.

Achieving the 2020 Vision for Herefordshire’s Family Farms

The Herefordshire Rural Hub has launched a new project, with support from The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

It will provide a unique package of business support for farming families in Herefordshire.

We are actively seeking farm businesses to take part in this 3-year project with the aim of helping 12 farming families achieve long term viability in these challenging times.

A bespoke plan will be put together for each farm, to include free mentoring and business support.

If you are interested in being one of the chosen farms, or would just like further information about the project please contact the Project Facilitator, Sarah Starkey

email:  farming2020@herefordshireruralhub.co.uk

or telephone: 07974 438 517.

Don’t delay – register your interest as soon as possible!

 

prince's countryside fund logo

Anti-terrorism security advice for Event Organisers

Event Security

As an event organiser you are responsible for the safety and security of everyone involved prior to, during, and after the event. The police can offer advice on these matters and will advise on the current security threat level for international terrorism. Clearly, if needed the police will attend and carry out their core responsibilities of:

  • Prevent and detect crime
  • Prevent and stop breaches of the peace
  • Traffic regulations within legal powers
  • Activation and coordination of contingency plans

You will be the “eyes and ears” on the ground and we depend on information from yourselves and the public – your support is vital to the success of the event.

Be Vigilant and Report Suspicious Behaviour

Police act on information from the public who report suspicious behaviour.  During the event be on the look-out for anything out of the ordinary.  You know when something looks unusual, out of place, when someone is behaving as suspiciously, such as;

  • Vehicles parked in restricted areas, obstructing the event or driving erratically, especially near ‘vulnerable’ areas such as the start and finish lines, or where there are large groups of spectators.
  • Anyone at the event who is clearly not involved in the event; perhaps they are more interested in you, the police or accomplices?
  • Anyone taking notes or photos of security arrangements, or inspecting CCTV cameras before the event.
  • Anyone leaving personal items such as rucksacks or bags near to key locations; are they being deliberately hidden from view (see H.O.T principles below)

We advise the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the local Police on 101or confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.   However in an emergency always call 999.

Suspicious Packages – H.O.T Assessment Principals

In order to establish if an item is suspicious, carry out the following dynamic assessment:

  • HIDDEN: It is obviously hidden, has someone deliberately tried to conceal it?
  • OBVIOUS: Is it obviously out of place and out of context for its environment? Are there any wires, switches, batteries or components visible?
  • TYPICAL: It is typical of an item usually seen in the environment?

We advise the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the local Police on 101 or confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

However in an emergency always call 999.

Plan now what you will do to STAY SAFE – RUN HIDE TELL

Firearms and weapons attacks are rare in the UK.  RUN HIDE TELL principles give you some simple actions to consider at an incident and the information that armed officers may need in the event of a weapons or firearm attack:-

Full guidance is contained on the NaCTSO website.

RUN: If there is a safe route run, if not hide, leave your belongings behind and insist others go with you but don’t let them slow you down.  Do not congregate at the evacuation points.

HIDE: Find cover from gunfire, lock yourself in a room if you can, move away from the door, be quiet and turn your phone to silent.

TELL: Dial 999 when you can, give location, direction and description of attackers.  Keep out of the area and stop others entering if possible.  Provide details of casualties, injuries and building or location information if possible.

Watch the RUN, HIDE, TELL online video, to stay safe in the event of a firearms or weapons attack.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/stay-safe-film

 

Vehicles as a weapon information

 

  • Review the sites ability to reduce the speed of all vehicles on site.

 

  • Consider the implementation of a speed reduction system which as an example could include a 5mph and hazard lights flashing regime for all legitimate vehicles within site and ensure it is enforced.
  • Review your response plans and consider the implementation of measures to separate people (crowds) from vehicles on site and ensure it is enforced.
  • Consider the permanent/temporary deployment of physical mitigation (information available from CTSAs) at key locations to prevent vehicles from entering a location to harm crowds.
  • Review the response plan annually to ensure it meets the needs of the site/location/event.

 

 

Information & Contacts

Counter Terrorism Security Advisors (CTSA) provide commensurate threat based advice and guidance to businesses and organisations (events under remit of ops planning) to mitigate against the threat from terrorism in its many forms.  They can be contacted via: ctsa@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

If you are planning an event and have concerns please email the Force Operations department on opsplanning@westmerciaandwarwickshire.pnn.police.uk

For more information the following websites will be able to give advice on protecting events, businesses, organisations and communities

www.gov.uk/ACT

www.NaCTSO.gov.uk

www.cpni.gov.uk

www.m15.gov.uk

Beware of Internet Fraudsters

Fraudsters are using the global WannaCry ransomware attack as a hook to try and get people to click on the links within this clever BT branded phishing email.   

Action Fraud have received several reports of this very convincing email that claims BT have launched preventative measures to protect your data on an international scale.

After analysing the email, the domains appear very similar and this could easily catch out those who are concerned about the security of their data after the global attack.

Taking advantage   

Cyber criminals have been known in the past to take advantage of situations like this to design new phishing campaigns.

If you receive one of these emails do not click on any links; and follow Action Fraud’s advice on how to stay safe.  Instead, go to the BT website directly and log in from there.

We are also aware that companies are sending out legitimate emails of reassurance in connection with the recent cyber attack, if in doubt contact them directly on a method other than the email you have received.

Remember that fraudsters can “spoof” an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of any such communication.

Additionally you should always update your Anti-Virus software and operating systems regularly and follow Action Fraud’s advice on how to deal with ransomware.

Teaching Trees for Herefordshire

Primary schools are being invited to take part in free Teaching Trees sessions at Aconbury in Herefordshire as the Royal Forestry Society’s (RFS) new Education Officer Tim Kaye takes up his role.

Tim, who takes over from Faye Esrich, has worked in outdoor education for over 20 years and will be basing Teaching Trees sessions at Aconbury, part of the Duchy of Cornwall’s Herefordshire Estate.

On offer are  two hour sessions in the woods with a range of  creative and fun seasonal activities which closely link the care and management of woods to the national curriculum.

Tim says: “Learning outside the classroom is something that should be a part of everyone’s life.  I have seen first-hand how a trip to a natural space can be life changing and empowering, having worked with children and adults alike with a range of personal challenges or issues; as soon as they step into a woodland they are like different people.”

As well as being the RFS Herefordshire Education Officer  he runs his own community interest company engaging people with the outdoors and works with the Field Studies Council.  He has a degree in ecology. 

For more information go to www.rfs.org.uk/learning/ and follow the Teaching Trees links or email tim.kaye@teachingtrees.org.uk 

Tax-Free Childcare Scheme: what parents and employers should know

Budget 2013 announced the introduction of a new childcare scheme to support working families.  

This was to be the new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme and it would be delivered by HMRC in conjunction with National Savings and Investments (NS&I). The introduction was delayed due to legal challenges. However, these were not successful and the phased introduction starts April 2017.  

How the scheme works:  

The scheme guarantees that all eligible parents opening an NS&I account for childcare costs through HMRC would receive from the government an extra 20% on amounts up to £10,000 (double for a disabled child).  

Eligibility for the scheme  

The scheme is open to working parents:

·         who are employed or self-employed

·         who are basic rate taxpayers and who do not receive tax credits or Universal Credit

·         the salary of each partner must be worth more than 16 hours at national minimum wage rates

·         both parents must work if it is a two-parent family (with some exceptions)

The child must be

·         under 12 years of age or, if a child has a disability under the age of 17.

Only registered childcare providers may receive the Tax-Free childcare payments. Eligible parents will be provided with the digital search tool to locate them.

Implementation of the scheme

The start date has been announced as 28 April 2017. Information on the scheme can be found at here.

The scheme will be introduced gradually. At first only parents with children under the age of five years old or with disabled children under the age of 17 may apply. By the end of 2017 however, all eligible parents may join. The exact details of when parents are eligible to join will be issued by the government soon. At present there is an on-going trial.

Until April 2018 Employer-Supported Childcare will continue to be open to new entrants so parents may choose to sign up to that instead.

As a general rule of thumb, the new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme is only suitable for basic rate tax payers while higher and additional rate tax payers will find the Employer-Supported Childcare Scheme suitable for them. Parents may find access to the new online calculator helpful in their decision making.

Parents currently on the Employer-Supported Childcare Scheme can continue on it until they leave their current employer or for as long as the employer continues the scheme. The parents can, if they wish, switch to the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme just as employers can switch to a different voucher provider. This last move will not affect the employee’s right to stay in the scheme.

Employers part in the scheme

Though there is no formal role for the employer to play in the scheme, they may choose to support parents in the following ways:

·         provide general guidance as how to locate the relevant information

·         assist in identifying which scheme is the most appropriate for each individual employee

·         offer to make payments either from net pay or as additional payments into the childcare accounts

·         offer to make childcare support as a benefit in kind

Good Finance website for social enterprises

A new website to help charity trustees and social enterprise operators understand and access social investment has been launched by Big Society Capital, Access and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Good Finance website provides a range of online resources, guidance and case studies. The website also provides an online directory of social investors and advisers that can support organisations when applying for social investment.

For further information, go to:

www.goodfinance.org.uk