Where Will Your Journey of Contemplation Begin?

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, MVCRP, Public Art

An exciting new arts trail was launched on the Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley) on Thursday 24th March 2016 at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre, in partnership with BRCC’s arts development initiative, HAPPEN, and the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership.

Contemplation Seats is a series of new interactive artworks designed by local artist Sally Annett, which have been installed at every platform on the Marston Vale Line as part of the build up to the 170th birthday of the Line in November this year. Inside the train carriage further artworks and weblinks will highlight a selected ‘contemplation seat’ on each train.

Every art panel has a QR code that enables the passenger to access a bespoke website (designed by BRCC) that provides more detailed information about each artwork as well as links to information about each locality, its history and current cultural and community offers.

The images on each panel combine digital photography and etchings, the photographs have been taken by Sally Annett, and are  true depictions of the landscape & natural features, which are also referenced by or inspired by John Bunyan’s work, for example,  ‘House Beautiful (Houghton House), Mount Sinai, The Village of Morality (Ridgmont), the Wicket Gate, House of the Interpreter (St.John’s) and the Hill of Difficulty (Ampthill Hill), all of which can be seen from the train or are within a mile of their named station. These images are paired with etchings of chairs, some of which have a personal meaning to the artist and others including John Bunyan’s own chair.

Passengers are invited to send photographs of their favourite places of contemplation to the artist for posting on the Contemplation Seats website.

You can read what the Friends of Lidlington Station made of the launch event here http://www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org.uk/friends-go-to-the-contemplation-seat-launch/.

The Contemplation Seats have been funded by Arts Council England, the Designated Community Rail Development Fund and the Bedford & Luton Community Foundation with support from London Midland, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.

For further information please contact Sally Annett, tel. 07918 030445, e-mail annett897@btinternet.com

New gardening service launched by the Bridge project

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, Rural Development, The Bridge

The Bridge project in Luton, managed by BRCC, has launched Stockwood Gardening Services to offer high-quality gardening in the Luton area.

The Bridge was set up by BRCC with Luton Borough Council and others to provide volunteering, training and employment opportunities for people facing multiple barriers to employment. Stockwood Gardening Services will employ people who have developed gardening skills and experience within the project.

For more information visit the website or contact Chris Fox on 07801 233567 or at chris@stockwoodgardening.co.uk.

Could you be a Door to Door driver?

Written by Neville Jephcote on . Posted in Community Transport, Door to Door, Latest News

Are you interested in working either full or part time as a Door to Door driver?

BRCC can provide either a full 35 hour week, or just a few days (8 hour days), and are also looking for relief staff who may want to work on an ad-hoc basis, to cover leave or sickness, at their convenience.

The rate of pay is £8.25 per hour, a D1 licence is necessary (which you will have if you passed your test before 1997) and the ability to drive safely, interact with often fragile individuals, and secure wheelchairs or otherwise assist as necessary. A reasonable geographical knowledge of the Bedford area would be an advantage but is not essential. Full MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness) and PATS (Passenger Assistant Training) will be given along with a period of familiarisation.

This is a wonderful role for someone who enjoys being out and about with no two days the same, and likes meeting people. Consistently our staff say this is one of, if not the, most enjoyable job they’ve ever had.

For more information, please email: nevillej@bedsrcc.org.uk or call: 01234 834933.

 

Neville Jephcote
Community Transport Manager

Dan Albone rides into Biggleswade

Written by Cliff Andrews on . Posted in Biggleswade Green Wheel, Green Infrastructure, Latest News

We are very pleased to announce the installation of a sculpture on the Biggleswade Green Wheel. The project, led by BRCC and working with artist Martin Heron, means Dan Albone can now be viewed driving his original ‘Ivel Agricultural Motor’ in the Dan Albone Picnic Area beside the River Ivel.  Dan, who was born just over 100m from the sculpture’s location invented the machine which is the father of all modern tractors.  He also manufactured the Ivel Safety Cycle, riding to many victories at national and international races.

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The image of the tractor plays tricks with the mind as you walk around and view it from different angles and in different light. Is it 2D or 3D? Perhaps 2 1/2 ?!
With thanks to project partners: The Fen Reeves of Biggleswade Common, Biggleswade TC, Biggleswade History Society and CBC. Photo: Andy Buckley

Generous Donation to Village Agent Scheme from Happy Client

Written by Teresa Moon on . Posted in Latest News

BRCC Village Agents can be asked to assist with a wide variety of problems, and Teresa Moon, agent in the East of rural Bedford Borough, was recently asked to help a disabled client sort out his occupational pension paperwork.

As a result, the client was amazed to discover that he had a sizeable annual pension and a considerable lump sum, which had lain unclaimed since his retirement five years earlier.

The delighted client, who is a wheelchair user and lives alone, has kindly made a donation to the Village Agent Scheme to show his gratitude.

Village Agents help older people living in Bedford Borough villages to access the services and support that they are entitled to, and to make well-informed choices.  To contact the scheme, call Freephone 0800 039 1234 and leave a message, stating your village and phone number.

 

Vine pruning – dark art or science? Workshop 13th February

Written by Jane Markham on . Posted in Latest News, Volunteering, Warden Abbey Vineyard

A new year and a new vintage in the making! Pruning is a great time for new volunteers to come along to BRCC’s Warden Abbey Community Vineyard. So if you’ve been thinking of volunteering, why not take the plunge and join our merry bunch at our regular Tuesday and Friday sessions?!  For those who can’t make weekdays, we’re also holding sessions on Sunday 31st January and Sunday 21st February.   Just contact vineyard manager Jane Markham on 07981 113714 or info@wardenvineyard.org.uk.

New this year, we’re also running a vine pruning workshop “Vine Pruning – Dark Art or Science” on Saturday 13th February, which explores the art of grapevine pruning in more depth.  Maybe you have grapevines at home and would like to know more about pruning, or why the way you prune affects how much fruit you get? This day is for you! The workshop blends theory and practical experience, and goes into more depth than we can do at regular volunteer sessions.

Go to more information and booking

Frost in the vineyard

Frost in the vineyard

Have your say on rail services

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, Latest News, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station

Rail services in the next West Midlands franchise are under review (including the Marston Vale Railway Line).  There is an open consultation on proposals that runs until 22 March 2016 and all views are welcomed.  MVCRP will submit a considered response to this once in a decade opportunity, and in doing so hope to shape rail services on the Marston Vale Line into the future.

The full consultation document and online questionnaire are available at: bit.ly/west-midlands-franchise. Details of all public events (where you can come along and ask questions to inform your response) are contained in the following download.  Also, there will be a ‘drop in’ session at Milton Keynes Central Station on Monday 11 January (15.30 – 18.00).

Download: West Midlands Franchise Competition Leaflet – January 2016 (PDF 912KB)

It is also hoped to have a full set of these consultation papers, available for viewing, at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre (open Tue. – Sat. | 10.00-16.00)

For further information please contact:

West Midlands Consultation
Department for Transport
4/15 Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London
SW1P 4DR

Tel: 0300 330 3000 (switchboard)

This once in a decade consultation will run until 23:45 on 22 March 2016. Please ensure your response reaches the West Midlands Consultation before the closing date.

We’re recruiting: Business Development Manager

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

37.5 hours/week
£28,746 p.a. (SCP 33)
Based in Luton

Do you have the entrepreneurial flair and commercial nous to set up and manage a new social enterprise within a competitive marketplace?

The aim of the Bridge Project is to provide volunteering, training and employment opportunities for people in Luton who have had support or treatment for alcohol and/or drug use, so that they can develop the confidence, skills and experience required to compete in the open job market.

The project is now recruiting a Business Development Manager, a new position that will develop a strong, sustainable, locally-focused social enterprise to provide volunteering, training and employment opportunities for participants, now and beyond the life of the project.

The application deadline is Monday 18th January 2016 at 9am.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview on Tuesday 26th January in Luton.

For further information contact Lisa King at lisak@bedsrcc.org.uk or on 01234 832643, or you can download the application information below:

Business Development Manager recruitment information Dec 15

Business Development Manager Application Form

The Bridge project is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

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We’re recruiting: Volunteering & Employment Co-ordinator

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

37.5 hours/week
£23,698 p.a. (SCP 27)
Contract to end 2018
Based in Luton

Do you have experience of helping people into employment or volunteering, together with a strong commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable people?

The aim of the Bridge Project is to provide volunteering, training and employment opportunities for people in Luton who have had support or treatment for alcohol and/or drug use, so that they can develop the confidence, skills and experience required to compete in the open job market.

The project is now recruiting an experienced Volunteering & Employment Co-ordinator to support our participants as they progress through the project.

The application deadline is Tuesday 12th January at 9am.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview on Tuesday 19th January in Luton.

For further information contact Lisa King at lisak@bedsrcc.org.uk or on 01234 832643, or you can download the application information below:

Volunteering and Employment Coordinator recruitment information Dec 15

V&E Co-ordinator Application Form

The Bridge project is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

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BRCC achieves Level 3 of the ACRE Quality Standard for a further 4 years

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

ACRE (the umbrella body for Rural Community Councils in England) has recently confirmed that BRCC has achieved Level 3 of the ACRE Quality Standard (the highest level) for a further 4 years until June 2019, following its external reassessment earlier this year.

The Standard, which is endorsed by the Charity Commission, contains nine separate elements such as Managing Activities, Financial Management, Trustees and the Board and Networks and Partnerships.

BRCC Chief Executive Jon Boswell said, “We are delighted that the quality of BRCC’s work, governance and management has once again been recognised by ACRE. We look forward to building on the assessor’s feedback to continue to improve as an organisation into the future.”

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