Age UK – recruiting Home Support Workers

Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin have older people who need some help in their own homes and are therefore recruiting casual, part-time home support workers to reduce their waiting list. No personal care is involved and will be mainly practical tasks such as cleaning, shopping and collecting prescriptions, laundry and gardening. A driving licence and own transport is preferred and the post is subject to a disclosure and baring service check. Please call 01743 233 788 to request an application form and for more information on their Help at Home service visit the website:

Derwen College is a safe haven for all

Derwen College’s Walled Garden Café is proud to be officially recognised as a Safe Place for vulnerable people.

The café, based at the further education college in Gobowen, near Oswestry, is part of an initiative that supports vulnerable people by providing a short-term haven if they feel anxious or threatened.

Safe Places is a scheme in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin that offers safe places to anyone who is feeling scared, anxious or at risk whilst out and about in the community. Any person with a Safe Places ‘Need Help’ card will be looked after, while a staff member contacts a named family member or carer who can pick them up.

Staff and students from Derwen College pointing to the new Safe Places sticker at the Walled Garden cafe.

Students at the further education college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have Safe Places cards to use as part of their Independence, Health and Wellbeing sessions. They take the contact cards with them when they are shopping, on trips or at external work placements. The college is also proud to support anyone who feels vulnerable in the community.

Safe Places was started by Mencap in Worcester to provide short-term safe havens for people with learning disabilities. In 2013 Shropshire started a scheme supported by West Mercia Police. When the scheme was rolled out in Shropshire, it was decided that the scheme would be open to everyone as we can all be vulnerable at any time. Shropshire now has over 500 Safe Places.

The locations offered as ‘Safe Places’ have trained staff in place who can give a vulnerable person the support they need.

The scheme is invaluable for parent/carers, especially when young people with disabilities start to gain independence to go out without support. Knowing that a person can recognise the Safe Place logo should they feel frightened, threatened or overwhelmed is a great comfort.

Ruby Hartshorn, Chair of Safe Place Shropshire said: “Safe Place Shropshire has grown faster than we ever envisaged. While Covid-19 has prevented us from signing up the usual number of new Safe Places and carrying out revisits, it has been a pleasure to reconnect with Derwen College via Zoom and to have both the college’s Walled Garden Cafe and Station Cafe at Gobowen Railway station as Safe Places. We look forward to visiting Derwen College to meet the students and staff soon.”

Independence, Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator Tabetha Crinson said that Derwen College was proud to promote itself as a Safe Place.

She said:” As an expert specialist education provider with strong community links, Derwen College is a natural choice as a safe haven for anyone who feels at risk or needs some support.

“We know how important it is for people to feel safe, and make sure that our students are aware of Safe Places when they are in the community for work experience or independence learning.

“We have been members of the Safe Places scheme since 2014. After chatting to the Safe Places team over lockdown, we decided to direct people to our re-opened Walled Garden Café, where a person can sit down, enjoy a drink and relax in the knowledge that they will be looked after.

“We are thrilled to have now received our new stickers to place proudly in the window, and hope that everyone in the community thinks of us as a safe and welcoming place to visit.”

Find out more about Safe Places in Shropshire at

Find out more about learning and work experience at Derwen College at

For information about Derwen College’s commercial areas, including Walled Garden Cafe, Garden Centre & Gift Shop, Print Shop and new The Vintage Advantage charity shop go to

Healthwatch Shropshire – access to NHS dentists

Press Release from Healthwatch Shropshire

Local Health Champion worried about access to NHS dentists

Healthwatch Shropshire has been hearing from some Shropshire residents about the problems they are having getting to see a NHS dentist. People are reporting that their dentist will no longer see them on the NHS and they will need to go private, mothers are reporting that they can’t get their children seen by an NHS dentist and those who have recently moved, including military personnel leaving the forces, cannot find a dentist offering NHS treatment in their new location. The NHS provides a ‘Find a Dentist’ service online but many people are reporting that the information is very out of date and despite ringing round dentists on the list none are currently taking NHS patients.

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, explained that, “In the past we have heard of these problems and when we reported them to NHS England they were able to organise extra capacity in the areas affected but the pandemic has made things much more difficult, especially with the restrictions it has placed on dentists’ ability to see people. Oral health is tremendously important and people are worried about the long term affects this lack of access will have. As we come out of this lockdown we really want to hear people’s experiences of finding NHS dental treatment in Shropshire and find out if this issue is specific to particular parts of the county or widespread. People can contact us on 01743 237884 or online

Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

Planned broadband infrastructure in parts of Selattyn and Gobowen parish


Shropshire Council has a contract with Airband to build a new ultrafast FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) broadband network. This will provide connectivity to some premises in parts of Selattyn & Gobowen parish where superfast broadband is not currently available. This is part of Shropshire Council’s aspiration to provide broadband in some of our most rural areas.  

As part of Airband’s  contract responsibility they have acquired the necessary industry ‘code powers’, which are granted to telecommunication operators like BT Openreach under national legislation (‘Electronic Communications Code’) to build telecommunication networks. The powers are specifically in place to ensure telecommunication operators have the statutory entitlements to install, maintain, adjust, repair or alter apparatus on public and private land.

The legislation means that Airband can build and install new telecommunications infrastructure (e.g. cabinets and poles) without the need to apply for planning permission.

At the same time as having permissions to build the network, Airband will look to repurpose and use existing BT Openreach poles and ducts where these are available for reuse to minimise disruption to the local community. Where this is not possible, Airband will install new infrastructure.

In all cases the network is being designed to ensure that the most remote rural premises will get access to an improved broadband service. In some cases, the network will be built past premises that already have access to a superfast broadband connection.  

As part of ‘code powers’, Airband are entitled to:

  • install electronic telecommunications apparatus on, under or over land;
  • keep installed apparatus which is on, under or over land;
  • inspect, maintain, and operate telecommunications apparatus;
  • carry out any works on the land to enable the telecommunications apparatus to be installed and maintained;
  • gain access to land to maintain or operate apparatus;
  • connect to a power supply;
  • interfere with or obstruct a means of access to or from the land (whether or not any electronic communications apparatus is on, under or over the land); and
  • lop or cut back any tree or other vegetation that could interfere with apparatus.

Wherever possible, Airband will use highways land to install their equipment. This requires no landowner consents. In all cases, should there be a need to install equipment on privately-owned land, Airband will seek consent and appropriate permissions from landowners.

Over the coming weeks, Airband will be undertaking work in the parish, possibly including some weekend work. Where there is a requirement for ‘road closures’ to undertake works, the appropriate permissions will be obtained from our colleagues in Shropshire Highways.  

Airband are happy to answer any queries your councillors and parishioners may have about the new broadband network. If you have any questions, please direct them to the Parish Clerk who will forward them on to Airband.

Connecting Shropshire has updated its current and projected coverage map ( to show the remaining contracted superfast broadband coverage from Airband’s State Aided contract with Shropshire Council, which is planned to complete by the end of 2021 (pink dots). For more information, please see:

Derwen College opens on-site charity shop

Derwen College has opened a new charity shop offering pre-loved bargains to shoppers, and work experience to students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Vintage Advantage at Derwen College, in Gobowen, has opened its doors to the public selling a range of quality second-hand clothing, accessories, homeware and books.

Students on the specialist college’s Retail and Enterprise pathway have supported staff in sorting, pricing and displaying goods, and are looking forward to practising their sales and marketing skills with customers.

The shop was opened thanks to support from Steve Morgan Foundation, and additional funds were donated by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Staff and students have spent months on the project, preparing stock and filling up the shelves.

Fundraiser Anna Evans said: “We have been touched by the amount of beautiful donations we received from staff, the local community and families of students.

“The shop looks great. It has provided a fantastic work experience provision for students during the Covid pandemic, and will continue to provide an important retail training provision for many students in the years to come.

Derwen College is a vocational college for young adults aged 16-25. Students attend college to learn work skills and independent living skills in an environment that is bespoke to their needs.

Derwen College has an on-site retail area which is open to the public, where students learn, train and gain work skills. This includes a Garden Centre and Gift Shop, Walled Garden Café, Karten Print Shop and the new charity shop.

The college enjoys 27 partnerships with local and national businesses who provide external work placements for students.

These placements are vital to students gaining industry standard work skills and experience and have led directly to students gaining paid employment after leaving college.