Remembering murdered MP Jo Cox in Staffords Victoria Park


Tomorrow, Saturday 17 June in Stafford’s  Victoria Park there’s a special event in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox. Local organisations who have arranged this are, Stafford Welcomes Refugees, The Friends of Victoria Park, Stafford People’s Assembly and Castletown and Virginia Park Residents Association. There will be entertainment on the bandstand, stalls and games for children and adults. The Worshipful the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Aidan Godfrey will also be attending this event.

It will be one of hundreds of events held across the country under the heading of ‘The Great Get Together’ which is a national initiative of the Jo Cox Foundation as a way of remembering her and as a way of showing unity in communities. It is supported by a wide range of organisations including Save the Children and Amnesty International.

The event starts st 12 noon

Photograph courtesy of: Ian Hinchliffe/Rex/Shutterstock

Staffordshire groups recognised in Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service


Ten Staffordshire volunteer groups have been honoured with Her Majesty the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The announcement coincides with national Volunteers’ Week from 1 to 7 June, to celebrate the great work that thousands of volunteers do every day.

The organisations Have all received awards for their outstanding contributions to their local communities and include:

  • Borderland Voices, Leek
  • C.R.E.S.T. Burton Upon Trent
  • Eccleshall Community First Responders
  • Engage Communities CIC, Tunstall
  • Gartmore Riding School RDA group, Lichfield
  • House of Bread, Stafford
  • Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs
  • Staffordshire Women’s Aid, Stafford
  • The Alzheimer’s Drop In Club, Stone
  • The Right Stuff Project

In the coming months, the groups will receive their certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen along with an exclusive commemorative crystal to be presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson CBE KStJ.

Mr Dudson said: “The continued success of organisations dependant on volunteers in Staffordshire is fantastic.  Our society would be so much the poorer without the thousands of people who give their time freely to improve the lives of others in our communities – we are all extremely grateful.

“We are also proud that they maintain our position of being the shire county with the largest number of winners since the award was launched. I send them my warmest congratulations and I look forward to presenting their awards to each of them later in the year.”

Mr Michael Greatorex, Chairman of Staffordshire County Council added: “It’s wonderful to see such diversity in The Volunteer Groups in Staffordshire.  Where would we be without our many volunteers, it is clear to me that the people of Staffordshire are always ready to help in any way they can without seeking reward.  Once again my sincere congratulations to all the winners.”

224 UK volunteering groups have been honoured as recipients of this year’s prestigious Award.  Securing ten winners in Staffordshire now ranks the county third in the country and to date a total of 72 local groups have received this annual Award since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Staffordshire has thousands of volunteers and there are many more opportunities ready and waiting right across the county – many supporting people most in need of help, including the elderly,  young people  and vulnerable families and children.

Anyone interested in getting started with volunteering and exploring flexible opportunities that suit their lifestyle can visit or contact Support Staffordshire on 0300 777 1207.  Many opportunities are also available at


Quotes from some of this year’s Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service winners:

William Morris – Director of the House of Bread said: “House of Bread is delighted to receive the Queens Award For the Volunteer Sector 2017

The House of Bread supports the vulnerable and homeless and this important endorsement of the work will help the local community understand the importance of the work locally.

With over 150 volunteers at the House of Bread, this award is truly a recognition of the effort and commitment to many who support the work as volunteers week in and week out over the past seven years”

Mrs Stella Marian Winsor, Organiser – Alzheimers Drop in Club said: “We are thrilled with the news of this Award for the Alzheimers Drop in Club. It is recognition of all that the volunteers do to make it such a happy group.

Martin Watson, Group coordinator, Eccleshall Community First Responders said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to have been given this award.  It is clearly a testament to the efforts of all those involved in Eccleshall Community First Responders, who voluntarily give their time to support the group either as a responder helping those in need of medical aid or as fund-raiser.”

George Goodwin, County Chairman to Staffordshire YFC said: “Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (YFC) are absolutely delighted to win the Queens Award for Voluntary Service this year.  It is a wonderful way for our organisation to be recognised and to thank all our members who volunteer in their rural based clubs on a weekly basis.  Through our clubs we give young people aged 10 – 26 years a great social life, endless opportunities and equip them with skills which will serve them so well for the rest of their lives.

“This is also an opportunity for us to say thank you to the wider network of volunteer supporters, past members and advisory committees who commit so much time and energy into ensuring that our clubs remain strong and active and we continue as one of the strongest YFC federations in the country.”

Dickie James, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Women’s Aid said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, particularly in the year when we are celebrating our 40th birthday as a charity. Staffordshire Women’s Aid’s values are Passion, Empowerment and Trust, and that is the foundation for the incredible work our team does in supporting women and children who have lived with violence and abuse.

“This award is a great honour for us, and it acknowledges the tireless commitment of our volunteers who work so hard to make a positive difference to so many lives, helping victims to make the journey towards becoming survivors. Many of our volunteers are indeed survivors who have used our services. We feel so very proud that their work, and the work of our fantastic team, is being recognised in this way”

Parking problems set to be alleviated on and around major new Stafford route

Problem parking on a Stafford estate next to the route of Stafford’s new western access road is set to be alleviated with new traffic orders.

Parking restrictions will be installed on roads around Castlefields, to the west of Stafford town centre. Double yellow lines will be installed along the length of Martin Drive – which will form the gateway to the new Stafford Western Access Road off the Newport Road. In addition, there will be double yellow lines laid along Redgrave Drive and both double yellow and time restricted parking along Rose Hill.

In early July these parking restrictions will be implemented and then Castlefields residents consulted about the impact in the following weeks.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington, who is also the local county councillor, said: “Parking restrictions are needed along Martin Drive as this will form the gateway to the Stafford Western Access Road from Newport Road. However we’re aware of parking problems being displaced and so after consultation with residents we will be extending restrictions along the principal roads around Castlefields. After their implementation the highways team will be monitoring the parking situation in the following weeks to measure the impact and make sure they are working effectively.  We are also keen to potentially extend new regulations to other areas which may be affected by parking displacement. We know parking has been an issue on these roads and so the new restrictions should improve visibility and safety.”

You can find out more and download a leaflet explaining plans for  The Stafford Western Access Route here, Stafford Western Access Route

Limited stalls still available for Stafford food festival


Only a limited number of trade stands are still available at this year’s Stafford Cheese and Ale Festival.

The two day festival takes place next month with spaces available from £85 for a stall on Saturday 17 June in the marquee in Greengate Street.

There are also stands available in the Market Square marquee for both June 16

and 17 for £140. Traders interested in this opportunity are advised to book quickly to avoid disappointment.

Around 30 different cheese, ale and food producers and suppliers display their wares alongside other complementary food and drink stalls. The festival takes place on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June.

Top celebrity chef Jean-Christophe has also been confirmed to make a guest appearance at the festival on the Saturday, where he will be putting his culinary skills against a local chef in a ‘cook off’ as well as opening up the festival with a demonstration of his cooking talent – using Staffordshire produce.

Jean-Christophe is a 5 out of 5 AA Rosette and multi Michelin Star award winning chef. He has been a familiar household name over many years having appeared on a diverse range of TV programmes – including as a head chef in ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ ‘A Question of Sport’ and ‘Countryfile.’

Around 45,000 people visited the town centre last year during the two days.

The event is organised by the Borough Council and Town Centre Partnership which boasts more than 110 members from retailers, leisure services and other businesses in Stafford.

To book a stand call Lisa Clemson  on  01785 619470 or email [email protected]