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by Lion Jim Hamilton

The Lions year runs from July until June and so it was that on Sunday, 4th July, the presidential chain of office was handed over to the new President, Lion Trevor Smith, at a social lunch held at the Conservative Club.

Some forty Lions, partners and families enjoyed an excellent meal, heard the odd joke or two, some of them funny, and listened to the outgoing president, Lion Andrew Middlecote review the past year. Lion Andrew reminded everyone of the reason for the club's existence, to help those in need, to foster peace and understanding, and to develop the potential in our young people. He reminded everyone that we have, for many years, supported a Peace Poster competition for 9 - 12 year olds. The national winner of this competition goes to the USA for the finals and all the national winning posters are displayed in the UN building in New York. We run this competition together with John Kyrle High School who enter over 150 pupils every year.

This year we have strengthened our ties with John Kyrle High School through the new LEO Club, a Lions club for young people. This club is developing in leaps and bounds and is an excellent example of the way that Lions try to encourage and develop young people.

Of course, our main work is helping the needy. This year we have raised over £10,000 through our Bonfire Night, Race Night, Christmas Grotto (Thank you Pengethley Garden Centre), The Ross Carnival (in which the Lions take a leading role), the Ross Round Walk and many other activities. We have sent disabled young and not so young people to the Lions Games for the Disabled in Swindon. This year we have 44 athletes taking part from our area, out of a total of over 200.

We have given financial help to 'Hope for Tomorrow;' We have supplied a wheelchair to the MS Group, funded a Christmas Dinner for over 50 old or needy people. We have helped the Basement Trust, the Stroke Club, the Sea Cadets and many others. However, one donation stands out above them all. We raised funds to pay for expensive treatment for a young boy suffering from Cerebral Palsy. As a result of this treatment, he can now cross his legs, little enough for most of us, but a fantastic achievement for him. It is moments like this, magic moments, that make being a Lion really worthwhile.

The incoming Lion President reminded everybody of the challenges ahead, and the rewards we achieve by giving a helping hand to the disadvantaged . To contact Ross-on-Wye Lions Club phone 0845-833-5786 or visit the web site at

Outgoing President, Lion Andrew Middlecote and the new President, Lion Trevor Smith.


As the run of hot weather continues, Safer Herefordshire is urging the county's residents to 'Be Safe - Be Water Wise' this summer, for as enjoyable as a swim in one of our many rivers may seem, people often don't think about the high risks attached to swimming in unattended rivers and areas of open water.

Councillor John Jarvis, Chair of Safer Herefordshire said, 'Understandably, when the weather is hot it's nice to get out and about and enjoy our beautiful countryside and waterways. However, people often forget about the potential dangers of swimming in rivers and open pools. Although an area of water may appear calm and safe, there can often be hidden dangers beneath the surface, including hidden currents, reeds and abandoned bikes or shopping trolleys. Even when the weather is at its hottest, the water can still be extremely cold and deeper than you think.

We urge parents and guardians to make children and young people aware of the potential risks of swimming in open water throughout the summer holidays. Herefordshire is proud to have a number of established swimming pools throughout the county, where swimming can be enjoyed in a safe and life guard controlled environment.'

West Mercia Police will also be increasing their patrols in areas with water access and are more than happy to offer guidance and advice where necessary. However, please remember if you do spot someone in trouble to immediately dial 999. We ask the public to take care around Herefordshire's waterways for a safe and enjoyable summer.


Three of the county's parish councils are now £6,500 richer thanks to winning their categories in Herefordshire Council's village hall energy challenge. To take part in the challenge, parishes had to encourage their community to calculate their own carbon footprints.

Councillor Phil Cutter, Herefordshire Council's energy champion said, 'Before the challenge started, we had 454 carbon footprints registered but now this has risen to a marvellous 1,630. It is hoped that residents involved have taken this opportunity to reflect on the impact they have personally on the environment and follow the recommendations offered by the carbon footprint tool. I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the parishes who took part in this keenly contested challenge and am looking forward to hearing what difference the energy efficiency measures make to the village halls.'

The winners of the challenge were Woolhope in category one with 87 footprints, Goodrich in category two with 138 footprints and Ewyas Harold in category three with 327 footprints. Prize money of £6,500 was awarded to each of the winners and this has to be used towards improving the energy efficiency of the village hall by installing a renewable energy technology such as solar panels or heat pumps. It can also be spent on communal cycle parking facilities or pool bicycles.

Beth Booth, secretary of Woolhope parish hall committee said, 'We are delighted to have won the challenge and will now be looking at what other sources of funding we can get before deciding on what energy saving measures we will be installing at our hall.'

John Bloxham, co-ordinator of Goodrich village hall committee said, 'We have already drawn up detailed plans for a £50,000 investment in making our village hall more energy efficient and this prize money will go towards this. The competition really gave us the motivation to get on with our scheme and we hope to start work in September.'

Chris Bray, chairman of Ewyas Harold Memorial Hall said, 'We have had two gas heaters condemned at our hall and have replaced them with air source heat pumps. We are going to use the prize money to buy two more of these and insulate our projection room, the only part of the hall that isn't insulated.'

Councillor Phil Cutter hands the winner's certificate to Len Morgan, Andy Bartle, Marjorie Whyberd, and John Bloxham.


Herefordshire Council is on the look out for people who are interested in working with children, particularly in Bromyard, Tupsley, Wigmore, Leominster and the Golden Valley, and are offering a start up grant to help establish new childminding businesses.

Childminding can be a very rewarding career; working from home, the pleasure of working with children, flexible hours and helping families by providing childcare in a homely environment. In particular the council's childminding team is keen to recruit childminders who can provide flexible childcare and care for older children before and after school and during school holidays.

Childminders have to be registered with Ofsted and are inspected against the Early Years Foundation stage which has specific requirements in relation to welfare, learning and development. They need to have a CRB check, attend safeguarding training and have policies and procedures in place. Herefordshire Council supports the county's childminders, providing training, supporting them with their professional development, helping them establish their new business and setting up support groups to share good practice with other childminders. The council also keeps a list of registered childminders and early years settings to give to parents who are looking for childcare. This can be obtained from the Children and Family Information Service by calling 01432 261681.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, 'We have some top quality childminders in Herefordshire who love working with children and have achieved very high standards of care. We want to appeal to people who have thought about becoming a registered childminder to get in touch and find out what sort of support is available. Herefordshire needs committed, dedicated individuals who enjoy caring for children. Despite the recession, there are still lots of opportunities for childminders who are able to be flexible and versatile.'

To learn more about what it takes to become a childminder, an information evening has been organised for 5th of July, 6.30-9.00pm at Blackfriars street Offices, Blackfriars Street, Hereford HR4 9ZR. Places can be booked by ringing (01432) 261681.


Local MP, Jesse Norman, visited John Kyrle to meet staff and students, award prizes to Sports Day winners and view the annual Technology and Art exhibitions. In a busy morning for the Hereford and South Herefordshire MP, Mr Norman also took the opportunity to meet with and congratulate the school’s newly elected Senior Prefect team and discuss life as a constituency MP.

Jesse said, 'John Kyrle is a magnificent school which is a pleasure to visit.' He added that his visit was to hear the Headteacher’s future plans and how he might support them and also to spend time with students and staff.

Headteacher, Nigel Griffiths said he welcomed Jesse to John Kyrle and congratulated him on his election victory and his recent appointment to the Treasury Select Committee.

Jesse Norman MP and Nigel Griffiths, Headteacher, with the new JKHS Prefect team, l-r Maddie Maloney (Head Girl); Sam Powell; Alex Baker (Head Boy); Hannah Kearns; Ellie Stanford and Jack Giles.

Jesse Norman MP and Nigel Griffiths, Headteacher, with winners of Years 9 and 10 Athletics Awards:
Max Parker, Tia Hill, Danni Ward and Phil Webb.


Herefordshire Council's archaeology team linked up with Channel 4's Time Team last summer to get to grips with a hill top enigma. Banks and ditches of the right scale for an Iron Age hill fort were rediscovered during survey of woodland on the Hampton Court estate near Leominster and were found to define a massive 43 acre enclosure.

Exploratory excavations involving Phil Harding, Francis Pryor and the Time Team regulars were carried out to better understand the site and the findings of the mini project are to be broadcast on Channel 4 at 5.30pm on Sunday, 11th July.

Dr. Keith Ray, County Archaeologist said, 'On the second day, the joint team had to cope with one of the worst July deluges we've seen in recent years, but the picture that emerges in the programme is of a site with a number of surprises in store for the excavators. There are a number of remaining puzzles, leading us to question yet again exactly what these massive hill top enclosures were all about.'

Ian Bapty, County Archaeologist with Time Team presenter, Tony Robinson and Neil Rimmington (Herefordshire Council countryside adviser) at the site of the dig.


Herefordshire Council's children's centre in Ross-on-Wye has been encouraging mothers to support other mums who want to breast feed their babies successfully.

The Ryefield Children's Centre has been providing La Leche League Great Britain breast feeding peer support training programme to a group of local mums. In addition, two of the children's centre's own staff have completed the facilitators' course for breast feeding , so that in the future they can train more mums to provide support to others. They are currently planning to deliver another peer support group in the Golden Valley area in the autumn.

Seven mothers have successfully completed the eleven week training course and they will be running a weekly drop-in session offering a friendly place to meet other breast feeding mothers as well as offering support on breast feeding problems and issues that are not of a medical nature. The sessions will take place at the Children's Centre (Ryefield), Grammar School Close, Ross-on-Wye every Thursday afternoon between 1.15 and 2.45pm.

Carole Amos, children's centre manager says, 'The mums have worked really hard to complete this course. Now they'll be able to offer advice and support to other mothers who want to breast feed successfully. We know that this is the best way to make sure your baby has a healthy start in life, but it's not always plain sailing for everyone. Mums who breast feed themselves understand first hand some of the difficulties, stresses and strains feeding your child can place on the family. They are therefore able to relate better to those who might be struggling.'

To celebrate, a graduation ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 14th July at the centre from 1pm to 2.30pm, where Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services will award certificates to the mums.


Herefordshire Council, working in partnership with Herefordshire Housing and West Mercia Police, have seen dogs and their owners put their best feet forward to mark the end of a successful training course.

The course, held at Waterfield Road, Newton Farm, was run by the council's dog warden, Matt Faulds, and lasted for 11 weeks. Dog owners from Hunderton, Newton Farm and Belmont attended the course which attracted up to 15 people each week over its 11-week duration. A dog show was held to mark the completion of the course.

Shane Hancock of Herefordshire Council said, 'The course has proved to be highly successful and each week we gave out free dog bags and gave owners information on responsible dog ownership. Tesco's kindly supplied a weekly most improved dog prize and the first prizes for each of the eight dog classes at the show while thanks must also go to Herefordshire Housing who allowed the whole training and event to take place on their ground.

It is important that people realise what a responsibility it is to own a dog and everyone who has attended has not only learnt how to train them but has also had great fun into the bargain. I would also like to thank the owners for coming along every week and supporting the dog show. We are now building on this success and will be rolling the course out throughout the county, the next one being held in Ross. We will then be having a championship show to celebrate the best dogs in the county.'

Every one who entered the classes but did not get a place received a special rosette. At the end of the classes, all the people and dogs who had completed the course were presented with a responsible dog owner rosette and a certificate.

The Dog show winners were:
· Dog in the best condition: 1st, Bev Massey with Leo; 2nd, Anne Dawson with Bally; 3rd, Debbie Baker with Jake; 4th, Lyn Bond with Benji.
· Prettiest bitch: 1st, Louise Harrison with Tottie; 2nd Sharon Podmore with Heidi; 3rd, Colin Stock with Sasha; 4th, Sami Smith with Chelsea.
· Handsomest dog: 1st, Nick Farrington with Kip; 2nd, Ray Smith with Prince; 3rd, Alison Price with Alfie; 4th, Lou Davis with Bailey.
· Best six legs: 1st, Dave Podmore with Heidi; 2nd, Alison Price with Alfie; 3rd, Cara Davis with Toby; 4th, Louise Harrison with Tottie.
· Best biscuit catcher: 1st, Alison Price with Alfie; 2nd, Jason Merrick with Banjo; 3rd, Sharon Podmore with Heidi; 4th, Sami Smith with Chelsea.
· Dog most like its owner: 1st, Cara Davies with Toby; 2nd, Ray Smith with Prince; 3rd, Dave Podmore with Heidi; 4th, Lyn Bond with Benji.
· Best young handler: 1st, Cara Davies with Toby; 2nd, Tara Merrick with Kiera; 3rd, Jana Manning with Benji; 4th, Emma Jane with Shadow.
· Rescue dog the judge would most like to take home: 1st, Ray Smith with Prince; 2nd, Cara Davis with Toby; 3rd, Mandy Morris with Mitsy; 4th, Louise Harrison with Tottie.

Local police officer Fiona Farrington (left) and dog warden Matt Faulds (right) with the dog show winners.


Summer is finally here so why not go outdoors to celebrate by visiting Queenswood Country Park? Queenswood is a great place for all of the family to explore and there are lots of events taking place over the next few months to keep people busy during the school holidays. Bertie Buzzard will be back again throughout the holidays with a special trail to help people learn more about Queenswood's feathered friends.

More bird themed fun is planned when the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) visit Queenswood on 24th, 26th and 27th July and 9th, 10th, 24th and 25th August 10am to 4pm. On Tuesday, 27th July, it's picnic time for teddy bears and their toddler friends. From 11am until 12.30pm the libraries service will be going along to Queenswood for a special Teddy Bears Picnic Rhyme and Story Time If your children are a little bit older, and a little bit braver, why not take them along to Monsters in the Woods Story Time on Tuesday, 3rd August from 11am until noon.

The story time events have been organized in partnership with Bookstore, a national charity that encourages parents to share and enjoy books with their children and it will be a great way to find out more about introducing children to books, however young they are. People need to book their place on these free events to help with managing numbers as well as bringing a picnic for the teddy bears picnic event and something suitable to sit on. Please note that these events will be cancelled in very wet weather.

Local textile artist, Lisa Pendlebury will be holding two special 'make and take' craft workshops in the woods. At the Ladybird and Bug Books on Tuesday, 10th August, people can make a cute little notebook with a ladybird or bug design that can be then taken home and treasured whilst on Tuesday, 24th August at Woodland Masquerade, Lisa will show people how to make a beautiful mask from fabric and found materials so they can hide like the birds in the trees or become another woodland creature! There will be three workshops on each of the days starting at 10am, 11am and noon and the cost is just £3.50 per child. Booking in advance is essential to help manage numbers in each workshop.

Older children are invited to join Sarah Adby to make paper kites in the woods using natural and recycled materials on Saturday, 14th August from 2pm until 3.30pm. This workshop will last for one and a half hours and cost £5.50. Again, booking is essential.

Two guided walks have also been arranged and will take place on Friday, 13th and Friday, 20th August. Join the Hereford and Worcester Earth Heritage Trust to walk the Queenswood and Bodenham Geology Trail and discover the secrets of the local landscape, including rocks that were formed in a desert 400 million years ago and the effects of the last Ice Age. These walks are free and aimed at families with children aged 8 years or over and booking is essential.

For children over 12 and adults there is a chance to join Herefordshire Council's principal countryside officer, James Bisset who will be on the lookout for bats at Queenswood's sister site, Bodenham Lake on Friday, 23rd July from 8pm until 11pm. This guided walk and talk will cost £3.50 including a copy of the FSC guide to bats.

Abby Marshall, Interpretation and promotion officer said, 'Don't miss out! Book your place on these events now by calling Queenswood Tourist Information Centre on 01568 797842. Full details of all the events taking place between now and December can be found in the special Walks & Family Fun leaflet available now from Tourist Information Centres, libraries and of course the country park. Alternatively get up to date information by checking out the Queenswood pages on Herefordshire Council's website at'

Queenswood is Herefordshire's only country park and has free car parking, toilets and a licensed café, the opening hours of which vary so please call 01568 797880 to confirm it will be open when you visit. There is a picnic area situated near to the very popular adventure play area and there is also a free 'seaside style' telescope at the viewpoint. There are three way-marked trails and easy access paths so that everyone can enjoy the park and there are electric mobility vehicles available to hire from the Tourist Information Centre. Please telephone 01568 797842 for further information.

Queenswood Country Park is on the A49 between Hereford and Leominster. Just follow the brown signs at the top of Denmark Hill. Alternatively the 492 bus service departs Hereford and Leominster at regular intervals throughout the day.


Staff and pupils of Herefordshire schools gathered together at Hereford's Town Hall last Wednesday to receive their annual awards for developing travel plans, gaining healthy schools status and becoming an Eco School. The ceremony was arranged to celebrate the success of the county's schools in their efforts to protect and improve the environment and promote a healthier, safer and more sustainable lifestyle.

School Travel Plans aim to reduce car traffic, cut congestion and improve safety outside the school gate using government grants of between £3,000 and £5,000 for primary schools and between £9,000 and £11,000 for secondary schools who develop travel plans. In Herefordshire 98 per cent of schools now have a plan in place. Pupils are encouraged wherever possible to walk or cycle to school because this also supports NHS Herefordshire's campaign to get children to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Linda Sinker, Herefordshire Council's school travel advisor said, 'Many primary schools are located in relatively isolated rural locations with large catchment areas and they have limited or no safe pedestrian and cycle access. At these schools we focus on car sharing as the most realistic sustainable alternative to solo car trips. This has resulted in a continuing reduction in the number of solo car journeys from 36 per cent to 32 per cent. Whitchurch Primary School has had a travel plan in place since 2006 and a number of improvements have been made to improve safety for walkers and cyclists. This has resulted in a major increase in the number of children walking to school, rising from eight per cent at the start of the travel plan to 22 per cent now.'

Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life. To date, 105 Herefordshire schools are now registered Eco Schools.

Healthy Schools is a government initiative in which schools have to address the issues of personal, social and healthy education, healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health and well-being in order to gain Healthy schools status. Almost all Herefordshire Schools are signed up to the Healthy Schools process and 15 schools are embarking on the enhanced module.

School Travel Achievement Awards are made to schools who have made significant efforts to implement their travel plans. 150 children and adults from 30 schools gathered in the Town Hall for this joint Award Ceremony and all the youngsters received special goody bags from Spike the Hedgehog. Presentations were made by the following schools: Trinity Primary - a short play about cutting car use. Weobley High School on their work to gain a second Eco Schools Green Flag Riverside on healthy schools status Aconbury on their third School Travel Achievement Award Shobdon on their work as a sustainable school.

New travel plan awards were presented to: Eastnor primary school, The Minster College, Riverside primary school, The Hereford Academy, St Mary's High School, Hereford Cathedral School and The Elms School at Colwall.

Eco School Bronze awards went to: Bredenbury primary, Marlbrook primary, The Hereford Academy, Hereford Cathedral School, Holme Lacy primary and Hampton Dene primary.
Eco School Silver awards were presented to: Eastnor primary, Canon Pyon primary, Michaelchurch Escley primary, Pembridge primary, Aylestone Business and Enterprise College, Whitecross High School, Brockhampton primary.
Eco School Green Flag awards went to Madley primary, Marden primary, Peterchurch primary, Shobdon primary, Weobley High School and Oak House Nursery.

Healthy School Awards were presented to: Burghill primary, Riverside primary and St Paul's primary.
Healthy School Enhancement awards went to: Kings Caple primary, Leintwardine primary, Madley primary, Marden primary, Marlbrook primary, Peterchurch primary, Whitchurch primary, Aylestone Business and Enterprise College, Whitecross High School, Cradley primary, Hampton Dene primary, Lord Scudamore primary, Wigmore primary and Mordiford primary.

School Travel First Achievement awards were presented to: Bredenbury primary, Leintwardine primary, Clifford primary and Trinity primary.
School Travel Second Achievement awards went to: Kings Caple primary, John Kyrle High School and Aylestone Business and Enterprise College.
School Travel Third Achievement awards were presented to: The Aconbury Centre and Shobdon primary.

The guest speaker at the ceremony was Howard Bentham from BBC Hereford and Worcester and the ceremony was be hosted for the fourth year running by Jamie Elliott, now a student at Durham University but formerly of Weobley High School and Hereford Sixth Form College.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for children's services said, 'All the schools here today have shown a commitment to improving the environment and making a real difference in Herefordshire. I myself recently joined Bridstow pupils on a walk to school day and it was a wonderful experience.'

Councillor Philip Price and Councillor Jenny Hyde with some of the children gathered at the Town Hall for the awards.


A team of budding cyclists from NHS Herefordshire are attempting a gruelling challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.

Dr Adrian Vos, a Consultant Psychiatrist with NHS Herefordshire's mental health service has persuaded colleagues to enter a team for the Iron Mountain Sportif cycle ride on 10th July which is part of the Abergavenny festival of cycling. All of the team work in the Department of Mental Health for Older People which has strong links with the Alzheimer's Society.

Dr Vos said, 'As mental health professionals we really appreciate the work that the voluntary sector do in this field, and we wanted to give some of our own time to show our thanks and support.'

The members of the team taking part are a mixture of keen cyclists, people who commute to work on their bicycles and leisure cyclists who have never challenged themselves before. There are several events, ranging in distance from 25 miles to 50 miles, so there is plenty to challenge all abilities. All of the team members have purchased their bikes through NHS Herefordshire's 'salary sacrifice' scheme, which enables staff to purchase a bike and spread the cost of payments over 6 - 18 months.

'Climb on Bikes' from Hereford, who supplied all the bikes, are supporting the team in their attempt. The team have been organizing local collections and have set up a 'just giving' page for any donations, which go straight to the charity. Donations can be accepted up to two months after the event. For further information see


Herefordshire's young sporting hopefuls were given an incredible treat when the school sporting event of the year, the Youth Games, was officially opened by former English middle and long distance runner and 5,000 metres world record holder, David Moorcroft OBE. There was also a special guest appearance from Manderville, one of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots.

More than 1200 children strutted their stuff in a huge aerobic workout and they weren't alone. Teachers, staff and parents joined in, alongside Manderville and David Moorcroft. Later Manderville took time out to meet some of the pupils as well as The Countess of Darnley, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire. It was a fantastic day and great to see so many children and young people getting stuck into their games, enjoying the fantastic weather and most of all, having great fun. Young people also got a chance to try the new sport, Tchoukball, during the day, which proved to be really popular.

Amy Jenkins of Herefordshire Council, who organised the event said, 'It was a great opportunity for the young people to meet these two guests, especially considering that this was Mandeville's first visit to the West Midlands. It's great to see so many people wanting to be involved in the day, helping to give young people the chance to try new sports and compete for medals. The games have gone from strength to strength and each year gets bigger with more young people getting involved.

A big thank you to students from Hereford Sixth Form College who were involved in organising the event and helped out before the day with some of the organisation for the event. I'd also like to say a big thank you to the 90 volunteers who were involved in the day helping to make the various sports run smoothly throughout the day.'

The results for the day were as follows:

Sport Winner Runner Up
Tag Rugby
Tri Golf
Girls Cricket
Girls Football
Floor Lacrosse
Almeley Primary
Burley Gate CE Primary
Ashfield Park Primary
Ashperton Primary
St Paul's CE Primary
St James
Our Lady's RC
St Paul's CE
Kington Primary
Whitecross High School
St Mary's RC High
John Kyrle High School
Ashfield Park Primary
St Paul's CE Primary
St Paul's CE Primary
Kington Primary
Madley Primary
Ashfield Park Primary
Kington Primary
Broadlands Primary
Gorsley Goffs Endowed Primary
St Mary's RC High
Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School
Hereford Academy
St Mary's RC High

1. The Countess of Darnley, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire meets Manderville.

Herefordshire Council's sports development team meets Manderville.

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