Apprentice-style challenge gives charity shops youthful edge
from Merseyside and Cheshire have been transforming the image of
charity shops and making them more appealing to today’s youth as
part of the Agents4Change campaign.
15 volunteers aged between 16 and 25 were given training by design
professionals from brand new Cavern Walks boutique Amethyst, before
going head to head in an ‘Apprentice’ style challenge to
transform the window displays of five different Cancer Research
charity shops in Old Swan, Huyton, West Kirby, Moreton and
Rachel Solomon, Agents4Change volunteer coordinator, says:-
“Charity shops like Cancer Research UK are a treasure trove of
vintage clothes and accessories and the volunteers managed to find
some hidden gems that were just perfect for attracting stylish young
people. The event was hugely successful and it was great to
see everyone working hard and enjoying a bit of healthy competition
for a really good cause. We hope that the event will inspire more
young people to volunteer and make their mark on charities in a
The event took place on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 April and the
finished displays will be assessed at the end of the week by young
entrepreneurs Kate Derefaka and Jodie Gasteretous, whose new
boutique, Amethyst Designer Clothing Store, will be opening later
this month. An award will be presented to the team behind the best
Agents4Change is a project coordinated by volunteering charity CSV
with support from Tesco and youth volunteering charity v. It aims to
empower people aged between 16 and 25 to get involved in community
David Vickers from Cancer Research UK says:- “It was great to
have these young volunteers creating fantastic eye-catching window
displays. They've turned heads and received a huge amount of
positive feedback from our customers, both old and new. We hope that
this Agents4Change project will encourage more young people to
volunteer some of their time to Cancer Research UK. It's incredibly
worthwhile and good fun!”
Prospective local Liberal Democrat candidate signs up to Social Care
local Liberal Democrat candidate signs up to Social Care pledge Mr
Colin Francis Trollope commits to reinvigorated vision for social
care Mr Trollope has signed a social care pledge, committing to
working towards a reinvigorated vision for social care if elected.
The Right care, Right deal is the new national campaign launched to
build public awareness and support for the need for brave and
innovative solutions for the social care system. With the Government
indicating that social care is an urgent political priority, and in
advance of the expected green paper later in 2008, the campaign
combines three of the UK's largest charities working with and for
older people and their families and carers, and will urge the
government to renew its vision for the future of social care in
Mr Trollope said:- "Many people in Ravenmeols are reliant on
social care services in their day to day lives.
The term 'social care' covers a huge range of services from care
homes and meals on wheels to fostering services and drop in centres
for disabled people. Sefton council is in charge of delivering these
services for residents of Ravenmeols.
I believe social care should be about supporting people to live a
better life, expanding their opportunities, not just managing their
If I am elected, I will work to achieve a reinvigorated vision for
social care, ensuring we have a personalised, easy to understand and
accessible system for all."
Paul Cann, Head of Policy at Help the Aged, said:- "I'm
pleased to welcome Mr Trollope to our campaign. Right care Right
deal is the new joint national campaign launched to build public
awareness and support for brave and innovative solutions for the
social care system."
For more information about Right care, visit:-
Winter bills checklist
for the 2008 winter quarter will start thudding onto doormats across
the country over the coming days and weeks.
With average energy
bills having rocketed by 14% over the last 3 months independent
energy price comparison website TheEnergyShop.com is urging
customers to pay special attention to the detail in their winter
bills to ensure that their bills are accurate and that they are not
unknowingly running into payment difficulties.
These are just a few
reasons why customers need to take particular attention with these
Firstly average energy bills have risen by over 14% since the
beginning of 2008, which will add £128 a year to the energy bills of
the average household.
With the winter quarter accounting for 35%
of annual fuel usage, customers will begin to feel the impact of
this increase almost immediately.
The earlier your energy supplier
increased their charges, the bigger the impact on your bill. The
prospect is for another round of price hikes later in the year.
Secondly, recent energy price hikes are estimated to have put 4.5m
people into fuel poverty. However, because a large proportion of
bills are based on estimated, rather than actual meter readings, and
direct debit monthly payments are typically only adjusted once every
6 to 12 months, some customers may be getting into financial
difficulties without being aware of it.
Thirdly, although billing inaccuracy only affects a very small
proportion of customers, for those affected it can be a frustrating
experience and in extreme circumstances can lead to debt problems.
Customers should be careful to spot potential problems early on.
Joe Malinowski, founder of TheEnergyShop.com commented:-
“Consumers are much more likely to pay attention to the rising cost
of their mortgage than they are to their energy bill. But because
energy bills are often estimated and payment amounts adjusted
infrequently, consumers can be storing up trouble down the line,
which they may not be able to afford. It’s best to be prepared.”
TheEnergyShop.com has produced a 5 point checklist to help consumers
better understand where they stand with their energy bills.
Energy Bills Checklist
(1) If your bill is based on an estimated meter reading, take
your own reading and pass this onto your energy supplier. Ask your
supplier to send you a revised bill based on the actual meter
reading. This will tell you exactly where your account stands. You
may even be due a refund.
(2) If you are elderly or disabled and cannot easily take a
meter reading ask your supplier to take one for you. To qualify for
a regular quarterly meter reading you will need to be on your
supplier's Priority Services Register. If you meet this requirement
it will not cost you anything to get regular meter readings.
(3) If you think there is a problem with your meter, rather
than your bill, you should contact your energy supplier. They will
be able to test your meter to ensure that it is working properly. If
you are still concerned about the meter's accuracy direct your
enquiry to energywatch who will be able to offer you advice on
resolving the matter. Once the meter has been checked, if it is
shown that you have been overcharged, your supplier will have to
repay the excess owed. On the flip side, if the meter test shows
that you have been undercharged, the supplier has the right to
reclaim the extra cost from you.
(4) If you think you will have difficulty paying your bills,
contact your energy supplier as soon as you can. Licensed energy
suppliers must offer you help and advice if you have difficulties
paying your bills and should discuss alternative ways for you to
pay. Again, if you are not satisfied with the way your supplier
handles your situation, then contact energywatch. They will offer
you advice and assistance (but not money).
(5) Consider switching to a cheaper supplier. Use an
energywatch accredited website such as
TheEnergyShop.com for a free price comparison. Switching to an online tariff and paying by monthly direct debit
could save you around £200 a year.