Families are being encouraged to put on their festive outfits for a dash along Stoke-on-Trent’s newest road.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is hosting a Santa Dash at 10.30 on the morning of Sunday, December 18, giving people a once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel along the Etruria Valley Link Road on foot before it officially opens to traffic in January 2023.
The road, which connects the A500 at Wolstanton to Festival Park and St Modwen Park Stoke Central,is no longer than 2km giving participants the chance to walk, jog, run, push or come along in a wheelchair.
The Santa Dash is completely free to enter with families being invited to make donations to the Lord Mayor’s charities – Brighter Futures and the Hubb Foundation – on the day.
Parking is available at Festival Park but, due to its location, the Santa Dash cannot accommodate spectators. Only those registered will be able to enter the event and children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public heath, added: “The Santa Dash will be fantastic way to mark the festive season and the seven day countdown to Christmas day. It is guaranteed to be fun for all the family and it’s open to everyone no matter your age or ability. We want to see you walk, run or even dance your way down the Etruria Valley Link Road. Channel your festive spirit and come dressed in costumes, Christmas jumpers – or even your favourite Christmas pyjamas!
For more information visit www.stoke.gov.uk/santadash or book a place via Eventbrite. Registration closes at 10.30am on Thursday, December 15.
Young carers in Staffordshire say they feel supported and know who to speak to if they are struggling with their caring role.
Members of Staffordshire County Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee have heard the thoughts of young carers aged between 8-15, to ensure they are getting the services that they need to support them.
There are over 2,000 people aged under 18 years of age who are ‘young carers’ in Staffordshire. These young carers provide care, assistance or support to another family member who is disabled, physically or mentally ill, or has a substance misuse problem.
Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Mark Sutton said: “Young carers are under a lot of pressure – not only are they coping with the usual things that come with being a young person, they are also having to care for a loved one. “This is why it’s so important we ensure the support we have in place for them is the right support, that they can speak to someone whenever they need to, and can also have some respite from their caring responsibilities.
Former armed forces personnel and their families are being invited to share their experiences of using and accessing public services, An online survey gives them the opportunity to provide direct feedback on essential services like healthcare, education, social care, employment or retraining.
Staffordshire has a strong connection with the armed forces, with large bases in Stafford and Lichfield, along with many veterans, reservists, cadets and armed forces families across the county. According to the 2021 Census, 30,758 Staffordshire residents reported previously serving in the UK armed forces, 4.2% of the local population. This is above the national and regional average.
The survey is available at Veterans’ Survey and is being carried out by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The feedback will provide a better understanding of the needs of armed forces communities and to help reshape services to make sure they have fair and equal access to all public services.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said: “It’s important that we recognise the valuable skills former service personnel and their families, can bring to Staffordshire. It’s also vital that they have good access to public services when they need them.
“The survey is the first of its kind in the UK and will help organisations better understand more about the experiences, needs and wellbeing of the veteran community. We’re keen to hear the views from a wide range of people to help inform and guide future action and I would encourage people to complete the survey.”
The county council also signed the Armed Forces Covenant in May 2012 and continues to support its armed forces communities. The covenant sets out how the county council is recognising, supporting and helping integrate its armed forces, as a valued part of Staffordshire’s communities.
Further details on the Staffordshire Armed Forces Covenant and how businesses and organisations can pledge their support are available at The Armed Forces Covenant – Staffordshire County Council.