CPRE Photo Winners Announced In Changing Landscape Competition

Blowing in The WindDavid Bond
CPRE Bedfordshire is delighted to announce the winners of its photo competition. The competition was run to mark the charity’s 30th anniversary, during which time it has worked to promote and protect the countryside of Bedfordshire.

 The theme for the competition was ”Bedfordshire: A Changing Landscape”, and we received 89 entries, each of which offers a different perspective on our beautiful county. The full shortlist of photos can be viewed here on our Facebook page.

First prize - Blowing in the Wind: Combining the modern wind turbines with a traditional cornfield by David Bond (pictured)
This dynamic shot shows a backdrop of contrasting wind turbines against a cloudy sky, set against a yellow field of barley in Langford. The judges especially liked the colour, contrast and composition of the shot. The wind turbines also reflect a recent change in the countryside across Bedfordshire. Although they have been the subject of controversial planning decisions, turbines are now a largely accepted feature in many of our landscapes and represent a shift towards a more sustainable use of our natural resources. In this shot, the judges felt that the photographer has found harmony between the new turbines and the agricultural landscape.

Runner-up – Morning Glory by Joe McDonald
This striking image shows a farmer at work as the sun rises over a field in Little Staughton. The judges especially liked the mood of the image, and the composition. Farming remains one of the most significant uses of land in Bedfordshire and will continue to have a huge impact on the character of its landscapes.

The following photos were commended:
Growth by Helen Flack
Riseley Sunset by Tony Pay
Homeward Gallop by Claire Davenport
A spokesperson for CPRE Bedfordshire said: "We are delighted with the number of entries in our photo competition. This is CPRE Bedfordshire's 30th anniversary, and over this time, many of our landscapes have inevitably undergone change.

At CPRE, we work to ensure our valued countryside and urban green spaces, which we all benefit from, are protected and enhanced for future generations.

These photos provide a snapshot of Bedfordshire's countryside today, and tell some stories about how our landscapes can be seen to be changing - they also showcase some of the variety of landscapes and natural beauty that can be found throughout Bedfordshire."

See all the pictures

Carnival July 8th - Town Crier Latest

The Carnival edition of the Town Crier has been dropping through local doors. The annual Carnival is the 2nd Saturday of July when Tithe Farm Rd will be closed to permit a procession. You can read the Town Crier online (pdf) at http://www.houghtonregis.org.uk/useruploads/town-crier/HRTC__Town%20Crier_part-v7.pdf

The Big Lunch - Houghton Regis Saturday 17th June

‘Big Lunch’ will take place on the Village Green, Houghton Regis on Saturday 17th June from 12 noon.

The event is being hosted by the new Town Mayor, Councillor Joanna Hillyard, as part of the national ‘Big Lunch’ event, which has been organised by the Eden Project. The ethos of the event is for communities across the country to come together to share lunch on the weekend of 17-18 June, and the Town Mayor very much hopes that you can attend this event.

The event will be free to attend and guests are asked to bring a picnic. There will be refreshments on sale in the Village Green Pavilion in aid of the Mayor’s charities, which are Recycled Teenagers, Streetlife and Houghton Regis Youth Club, and there will also be some giant games on the Village Green for guests to take part in.

The mayor will be setting up a donations box at the event, for donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste, adult socks, items of sanitary wear for ladies and bottled water, which will be donated to ‘Streetlife’ to be distributed to the homeless in the local area. All donations would be very greatly appreciated.

Councillor Joanna Hillyard was born and grew up in London, attending local schools there. She worked with horses until getting married and moving to Bedfordshire in the late 1980s. Joanna  moved to Houghton Regis a few years ago, where she can be seen volunteering at Craft and Coffee as well as for Houghton Helpers occasionally.  Better known as Jo by people that know her, she spends time crafting and particularly enjoys crocheting toys for her Granddaughter Ellen.

Councillor Hillyard is looking forward to supporting Streetlife, Houghton Regis Recycled Teenagers and the towns Youth Club in the coming year with various Mayoral events along with Deputy Mayor Ken Wattingham.

Organiser Sought For Houghton Regis Poppy Appeal

My name is Michael Price, I am the Poppy Appeal Organiser for Houghton Regis.

Over the last 4 years we have been running the Poppy Appeal in Houghton Regis. During this time, with the help of the Bedfordshire "Royal British Legion Riders" and a few other volunteers we have raised more than £44,000 for the Poppy Appeal, something I think our relatively small community can be really proud of.

The small businesses, local Schools along with the general public of Houghton Regis have supported the campaign handsomely and in particular the 1st Houghton Regis Guide Unit. Morrison's Store have always given us a base to collect from and we were very grateful for the fantastic support we have received from their staff during the two weeks of Poppy tide.

I am somewhat sad therefore to have to report that I am moving out of the area and will be unable to run this year's appeal and so I am looking for someone who might be able to take on the task of doing this.

I am willing and able to support the volunteer/s in this task by ordering the necessary stock and giving them all the advice to make it happen. I will also be on hand during the appeal although time will be limited, I will do whatever I can. But this project does still need someone to coordinate the 2017 campaign and its supporters.

We do already have a small team of volunteers in Houghton Regis who I am sure will continue to do so, however if you are able and willing to help with delivering/collecting Poppy Appeal merchandise & tins etc out and about to the Houghton Regis community or willing to man the stand in Morrison's Foyer for an hour or two during the week when we run, or you are able to take on the role of Poppy Appeal Organiser then please contact me in the first instance on 07588 700883 or sam.price74@yahoo.co.uk.

Outdoor ​Volunteer Tasks January-March 2017

North Chilterns Chalk Living Landscape
Volunteer Tasks January-March 2017
Programme starts January 5th. 

2016-Nov-08 Do You Need Funding? Here's Some Opportunities

Voluntaryworks Luton

8 November 2016


This week is Trustees' Week (7-13 November), a chance to promote the vital work that trustees do and encourage more people to get involved.

If you have any trustee vacancies and would like Voluntaryworks Luton to help you promote any roles, please provide details to reena.mistry@voluntaryworks.org, or share posts on our social media:


 Events and Training Opportunities


NOAH Enterprise is working with Luton Adult Learning to deliver a Government funded mental health research project. The project is investigating whether short courses help people to develop strategies to manage mild to moderate mental health problems. All courses aim to help clients identify practical steps to managing their mental health which can be applied in a range of situations. Courses start every month and run for 3 hours a week for five weeks. For more information click here.

SEMLEP will be hosting ESF Information and networking events to provide information and support to potential applicants for the European Social Fund.

  • Tuesday 22 November at University of Bedfordshire (Bedford Campus) - click here.
  • Tuesday 29 November at The Hat Factory, Luton - click here.

The events will take place between 10:00am and 14:00pm with refreshments and lunch provided. Spaces are limited so please book your place ASAP.

Introduction to PQASSO and the PQASSO Quality Mark - Wednesday 14 December, 10.30 - 12.30, Bedford. This free NCVO workshop will tell you everything you need to know about the PQASSO Quality Mark. Hosted by CVS Beds. Click here.




ESF Community Grants - Grants between £5,000 and £20,000 for organisations with a turnover of less than £300,000 per annum that 'support people who need help preparing for work or training'. Applications open for funding on 7 November and close on 28 November. Briefing sessions are being held in Luton and Milton Keynes on 10 November. For more information click here.

BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme is open to charities and not-for-profit organisations applying for up to £10,000 for one year only. They give grants for children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:

  • illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  • any kind of disability
  • behavioural or psychological difficulties
  • living in poverty or situations of deprivation

Next deadline is 1 December. Click here.

The Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund is looking to help small, local community projects and groups throughout the UK. From November 7 until February 26, they are seeking to award a total of seventy, £300 donations to help community groups and people across UK and Ireland. Click here.

Greggs Local Community Projects Fund - grants up to £2,000 to smaller not for profit organisations that improve resilience within communities of interest, such as people who are:

•    disabled or suffering chronic illness
•    living in poverty
•    voluntary carers
•    homeless
•    isolated older people
•    other demonstrable significant need
The next deadline is 3 March. Click here.

Spaces 4 Change is an initiative from Young Unltd, offering grants up to £5,000 and support to help young people aged 16-24 to start and run social ventures that develop unused or under-utilised spaces for the benefit of the local community, especially other young people. You can apply as an individual or an informal group. Click here.

Baily Thomas Charitable Fund give grants only to registered charities and their priorities are learning disabilities and autism. Research grants are usually for £100,000, and large grants for care around £20,000 - the next deadline for these is 1st December 2016. A large number of smaller grants up to £10,000 are also made and applications up to £10,000 will be considered at any time. Click here.


 Other News and Information



Does your group need goods? In Kind Direct redistributes goods from companies to charities and other not-for-profit organisations. Click here.

The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Sustainability and Transformation Plan has been released by Bedford Borough Council 'In an attempt to tackle major local concerns and on-going secrecy from the NHS'. Click here.

Bedfordshire Stop Search Scrutiny Panel - Does your organisation operate in Bedfordshire? Bedfordshire's Stop Search Scrutiny Panel is looking for organisations to help provide community input and oversight on policing tactics across the county. Meetings are held four times a year alternating between Bedford and Luton. Panel members give their views on issues such as how tactics are used and input on body worn video cameras, and feedback to their communities, to ensure residents of the county are well informed. Click here.

Free accounting software for not for profits - Sage Accounting is offering free licences for its accounting software to registered charities, social enterprises or non-profit organisations. They have three different products, suitable for different sizes of organisations, from start-ups to those employing large numbers of people. Click here.


Finance Officer, Autism Bedfordshire, a part-time post working 15 hours per week spread over 3 days between the hours of 9.00am and 3.00pm. Salary in the range £17,706 – £19,750 pro rata, plus stakeholder pension. Deadline 21 November. Click here.

Youth Worker, Teenage Advice and Information Centre (TACTIC), Leighton-Linslade, part-time (27 hours a week), £26,556-£29,033 pro-rata.  Deadline 29 November. Click here.

Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Luton, full time, circa £40,000. Deadline 22 November. Click here.




Trustees’ Week Aims to Build Stronger Charities through Good Leadership

What Is Trustees Week?

Trustees’ Week is an initiative run throughout the UK by Charities Commission, which this year has a focus on Stronger Charities through Good Leadership.  The objective is to showcase the great work that trustees do, and to highlight the opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference in their local community. This is an open invitation for anyone who would like to volunteer in a trustee role, or is wondering what it might involve, to come along and see what roles are available.

When Is Trustees Week?

Trustees’ week runs from 7th to 13th November this year.

Community Voluntary Service are looking to help organisations by supporting trustees, helping to recruit new trustees, and raising the profile of the valuable work done by hundreds of volunteers for charities and voluntary groups in Bedfordshire.  Their first ever trustee recruitment session will take place on Thursday 10th November between 4pm and 7pm at 43 Bromham Road, Bedford, MK40 2AA (location map).

What Do Trustees Do?

Trustees have the overall legal responsibility for a charity – whether they are known as governors, or councillors, directors or committee members, they are the decision makers and retain the overall legal responsibility for an organisation.

Who Gets Involved?

Get into conversation with a Trustee or Executive of a local organisation and you will soon find that the role is both rewarding and demanding.  Alison Fisher, Chief Executive of Mind BLMK, has years of experience working with Trustees and knows that it is important to get the right team to steer safely into the unknown future.  She says that when seeking a new Trustee, her Board "looks for motivation, a team player, a belief that the person can make a difference at the strategic level and a questioning mind”.

CVS know that hundreds of their local small charities and the bigger ones too, are reliant on volunteers from all walks of life, with a passion for their cause and some business skills, to ensure that they have good governance.

Through the month CVS will be taking an insider look at Trustees from the view point of volunteers, organisations and staff to highlight some of the great work that is being done locally. Look out for posts on their website and twitter accounts https://twitter.com/VolunteerBeds and https://twitter.com/CVSBeds– They will be raising awareness of the value of trustees to organisations, and supporting trustees by providing information and sign-posting to resources.

Community Voluntary Service is a voluntary and community sector support organisation, offering a range of services in Bedfordshire, enabling local organisations and communities to make a difference.

Sample Events

CVS will be running some training during November that would give existing trustees some useful grounding to help support their organisations.

Safeguarding Awareness: On Monday 14 November, 10am - 1pm, in Biggleswade - a free session to enable those working or with small voluntary organisations and community groups to understand what is meant by safeguarding.

Fit for Funding:  On Tuesday 15 November, 2pm - 4pm, Bedford - a free two-hour workshop covering all the basics that will get an organisation to the stage where they will be able to apply for funding.

Who Do I Contact?

If you are a trustee looking for some advice, or if you want to find out more about becoming a trustee, contact CVS on 01234 354 366 or info@cvsbeds.org.uk or find them on social media - @CVSBeds | @VolunteerBeds.


Parent Puzzle: A Brand New Course For Dads! Starts 7th Nov

What a huge and challenging task bringing up children can be! Parent Puzzle sessions start 7th November from 5-7pm for dads and males carers. Please ring the centre and speak to Sue or Elaine for more details. 01582 86786792 ask for Sue or Elaine.

Bedfordshire Employment & Skills Service Open Day Thursday 3 November

Bedfordshire Employment & Skills Service

Open day Thursday 3 November

9.00 through to 15.00


Come along to the Bedford Square Community Centre in Houghton Regis to find out about the wide range of training on offer.

We can help you:- 

  • improve your English, Maths and *IT skills
  • learn / improve your  English with *ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • gain a qualification
  • develop your skills and confidence for work and everyday life
  • learn in small, friendly classes


For further information please contact

Bedfordshire Employment & Skills Service 0300 300 8110

Email Claire Quinlan at Central Bedfordshire Council

*Free subject to funding eligibility (evidence may be required)