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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 213

Date:- 07 August 2005

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Age Concern St Helens offers free thermometer to protect older people

EACH year a staggering 1 in 10 people in the UK suffer from food poisoning with a large percentage of these cases caused by poor refrigerator temperature control. Age Concern St Helens knows that food poisoning can be very dangerous especially for the older person and with much of Britain bathed in warm summer sunshine is campaigning to highlight the potential dangers.

Most domestic fridges in the UK have no accurate or reliable means of checking the temperature of the food stored inside. Keeping your fridge at the right temperature is essential to prevent bacteria from multiplying, particularly during the warm summer months. The Food Standards Agency recommends that the temperature of your fridge be checked regularly with a reliable thermometer to ensure it is operating at between 3 and 5°C. Freezer temperature should also be monitored, ideally they should be -18°C or colder and kept away from direct sunlight.

Andy Perry at Age Concern St Helens, said:- "Keeping food cool and properly frozen over the summer months may seem like an obvious thing to do but we know that many people still have their fridges set at the wrong temperature. To help older people combat the risk of food poisoning this summer, we are pleased to be able to offer a free fridge/freezer thermometer to everyone who visits Age Concern St Helens and obtains a quote for the Age Concern Energy Package which is specifically designed to meet the needs of the older person, and one that could prove to be an affordable alternative to a current energy provider."


CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service that helps consumers protect their identity from misuse, has reported over 375,000 live records on its database at the end of June 2005. This is an increase year on year of 6% with false ID fraud up by 13%. Although the rate of increase is down compared to 2004,, the only instant, online consumer credit information provider, is urging consumers to apply for a copy of their Equifax Credit Report to monitor their accounts for signs of fraudulent activity.

Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director of Equifax plc, comments:- "The rate of increase for ID fraud hasn't climbed quite as significantly this year as it did in 2004. But a 13% increase on 2004 is still pretty worrying. Consumers have certainly become more aware of the issue of ID fraud and the measures that organisations like CIFAS and Equifax can take to help combat this unseen crime. But our research still suggests that many consumers believe 'it won't happen to me'. The CIFAS figures reveal that there have been 39,000 cases of false identity in 2005 so far - far too many to ignore. ID fraud always involves an innocent victim and can be very distressing. CIFAS reports that it can take up to 60 hours of work for a typical victim to sort out their life and clear their name. We believe it can take much longer - up to as much as 300 hours! We, therefore, advise consumers to log onto for a copy of their Equifax Credit Report and easy online access to all their financial information. Plus it's now easier than ever for people to keep an eye on their accounts with Equifax Credit Watch, which monitors a consumer's credit file and alerts them to any changes to the information by email or sms. This enables them to take fast action at the first sign of somebody fraudulently using their name to obtain credit."

Equifax works closely with financial organisations to clamp down on ID fraud and help develop systems to protect consumers from this growing threat. If you are looking for commentary on this subject, Equifax can provide consumer credit information experts who have extensive experience on this issue.

CIFAS ID Fraud Statistics - Key Points

· False identity fraud increased almost 13%.

· There were 376,351 records on the CIFAS database at the end of June 2005 which represents an increase of more than 6%.

· There were over 27,000 identified impersonations, up 7% on 2004.

· Research shows that approximately 30% of cases involve the use of identities belonging to deceased people.

British Triathlon announces World Championship team after Salford World Cup Triumphs

FOLLOWING the success of British athletes at Sunday's 2005 Countryside Properties Salford Triathlon ITU World Cup the British Triathlon Association has announced its team for this year's ITU World Championships in Gamagori Japan.

Following their respective 1st and 3rd place finishes on the weekend, Liz Blatchford and Tim Don cemented their positions as the leading prospects for this year's Championships in September. Joining them will be Andrew Johns, Stuart Hayes, Michelle Dillon, Leanda Cave, Helen Tucker, Helen Lawrence and Andrew Whitcombe all of who finished in the top ten in their races this weekend in Salford, as well as Paul Amey who had already secured his World Championship start earlier in the season.

On the weekend's results and the resulting Great Britain team selections Graeme Maw, Performance Director, British Triathlon Association comments:- "We are absolutely delighted with the standard of the performances yesterday with 6 women and 3 men in the top 10 and it shows the strength and depth of the team we will be taking to Japan, but we are equally aware that this achievement does not yet equate to World Championship medals".

Men's Team

Tim Don
Paul Amey (already qualified at Mooloolaba World Cup in Australia)
Andrew Johns
Stuart Hayes

Women's Team

Helen Tucker
Michelle Dillon (Already qualified at Mooloolaba World Cup in Australia)
Leanda Cave
Liz Blatchford
Helen Lawrence
Andrew Whitcombe

Grants and Support Available Now For New Rural Social Enterprises

FINANCIAL support and free specialist advice is available now for those looking to set up a community or social enterprise in a rural part of the North West. But time is running out, as applications need to be in by 30 September. Enterprise for Inclusion is a DEFRA funded project which provides support for new or developing social and community enterprise activities in the form of small grants and specialist business advice. Support packages have been designed to help ensure that new initiatives start off in the right way and have the best possible chance of long-term success.

Some of the types of projects being considered include: community or employee buyouts of local businesses; the provision of essential rural services such as affordable, sustainable transport, childcare, finance for vulnerable groups, waste management and the need for affordable housing; co-operatives of key workers, such as carers; the production and supply of good quality food.

"Enterprise for Inclusion is a great opportunity for rural communities in the North West to get a helping hand with setting up enterprise activities. 
   It's not just about supporting one particular business idea, all types of enterprise initiatives which deliver social and community benefits to rural areas are being considered. However, time is running out as applications need to be in by 30 September, so if you think you might be interested, we'd encourage you to get in touch now." says Gareth Nash of Co-operative and Mutual Solutions, a support provider in the North of England.

According to Daniel Heery of CyberMoor Ltd in Cumbria, one of the businesses that has already benefited from the project, "Enterprise for Inclusion has given us the chance to promote our community website package and develop a new area of the business." 

Mike Dodd at Blacon Community Trust in Chester, another beneficiary, says:- "We applied to Enterprise for Inclusion for start up funding and what particularly interested us was the availability of consultancy work through this project."

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