Sunday, 6 March 2011

OLD KEYS WANTED Erewash Borough Council has provided charity collection points at all its main buildings as part of the ‘Keys for the Homeless’ project. It means local residents can now donate any old and worthless keys they have to help raise cash for the project run by Erewash-based Canaan Trust – an independent charity which offers 24-hour support for homeless people in the borough. Collection bins are now in place at: Long Eaton Town Hall reception, Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre and West Park Leisure Centre. Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Councils Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says: "We all have old keys lying around in drawers at home and often we can’t even remember what they were even used for. Well, old keys have a scrap metal value – so what better way to raise money to help the homeless in our borough than by donating these old keys?”

FREE BASKETBALL SESSIONS Free weekly basketball sessions for anyone aged 16 and over are running at Long Eatons West Park Leisure Centre until the end of March. The one-hour taster sessions are held every Friday between 5pm-6pm thanks to a link-up between Erewash Borough council and the Trailblazers Basketball Club. The free sessions started at the beginning of this month, but anyone interested can still go along and take part. Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Councils Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to try out a very popular sport with a qualified coach. We are delighted to work with Trailblazers and if enough interest is established we will look at offering regular basketball activities. This free course is another example of our commitment to introducing young people to sport and to helping them achieve a healthier lifestyle.” The sessions are for all abilities and will run until 25 March 2011. For more information contact West Park Leisure Centre on 0115 946 1400. Erewash Borough Council’s two swimming pools offers top quality training for anyone interested in becoming a lifeguard – and that’s official! Both West Park Leisure Centre at Long Eaton and Ilkeston’s Victoria Park Leisure Centre achieved an outstanding 100 per cent mark as approved training centres for National Pool Lifeguards. The top-of-the-class approval is awarded by the Institute for Qualified Lifeguards, the largest awarding body for the lifeguard qualification in the country.Both centres were assessed on 33 individual criteria which cover the successful delivery of National Pool Lifeguards Qualifications. This includes high standards of customer service, excellent record keeping, health and safety and the ability of lifeguards and operators to deal with almost any emergency that may arise in a pool area. Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, said: "This is wonderful news and confirms the important role our leisure centres play in our community. They are vital for leisure and health and fitness, but they can also be used to learn life long safety skills and can open up career paths in this case as a lifeguard. To achieve 100 per cent is fantastic and means that anyone interested in being a lifeguard is assured of receiving the very best training at both these leisure centres. Well done to our teams at West Park and Victoria Park, we are very proud of this achievement.”

SMALL GRANT FUNDING DEADLINE Charities, voluntary organisations and community groups in Erewash have until the end of March to apply for funding from Erewash Borough Council’s Small Grants Fund.

The Council wants to make sure all groups who may be eligible for a grant are aware of the fund to help them continue their community work.

The Fund aims to offer small grants up to a maximum of £2,000 towards specific projects or to help organisations continue their good work in Erewash. Many groups and organisations have already applied to be considered for a grant for 2011/12 but with the 31st March deadline approaching, the Council wants to send out a final reminder to all eligible groups to submit their applications. Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council's Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says: "In previous years, money has helped groups buy much-needed equipment, fund training or support and helped provide outings for people with disabilities or respite for carers. A small amount of money can make a big difference sometimes. We consider all applications and so we want to make sure that all those groups and organisations that play such an important role in our community are aware that they may be eligible for a small grant – and may be successful in their application." A new and simplified application form can be downloaded from the Council's website at or contact Amie Elliott on 0845 907 2244, email

Sport and arts groups can apply for a small grant from £100 to a maximum of £500 at any time throughout the year.

WIN YOUR WATER WINGS There's never been a better time to learn to swim, so Erewash Borough Council is urging learners to splash out and spread the cost of lessons through direct debit payments. Anyone signing up for lessons and opting to pay by direct debit before 31st March this year will go into a Spring prize draw and the person whose name is drawn out of the hat will win another course of swimming lessons for free. The lucky winner will be presented with their prize by the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Robert Parkinson, at West Park Leisure Centre in Long Eaton on Wednesday 6th April. With a leisure card, swimming lessons cost £16.40 a month and just £8.20 a month if you qualify for a concessionary leisure card. Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Councils Lead Member for Culture and Leisure said “Our leisure centres offer a whole range of excellent facilities and swimming lessons are just one of the many activities on offer. Swimming is an all-round, healthy activity suitable for everyone and we are always keen to encourage people of all ages to sign up for some quality learn-to-swim sessions. Paying by direct debit offers a saving and is a great way to spread the cost. And with the added bonus of a chance to win a free course of swimming lessons, now is the time to take the plunge and join us!”