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MCF Awards Announced!

Provincial Charity Steward, Ian Priest, has announced the winners of the Wiltshire Province’s MCF Awards, and The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust receives a wonderful £6,000!

Thank you to everyone who voted for the Trust, this money will ensure that more vulnerable people in Wiltshire and Swindon are visited and made safer in their own homes.

Representatives from the four award winning charities will be present at the Grand Provincial Lodge in Salisbury on the morning of Thursday 5th October.

 

Bowood Proms 2017

A great weekend of music and fun was had at the Bowood Proms this year, and raised a total of £1,201 for The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust!

Saturday 5th August was Classic Ibiza night and was full of iconic Ibiza anthems. A chill-out set in the first half was followed by a half hour interval with DJ Goldierocks playing the latest Ibiza tunes.

Sunday 6th August was the turn of the more traditional Great British Prom. The National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis, made their debut at Bowood to celebrate British music from across the home nations. They were joined by Classical Brit Award winning Welsh male vocal group Only Men Aloud, Soprano Philippa Healey and traditional piped band, for performances of Proms favourites, closing with a spectacular firework display.

Looking forward to another very soon!

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One from the Archives – Let them eat cake!

2008 marked the tenth year celebrations for The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust – 2018 will be twenty years!

The team have continued to work tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable people living within our community. The 10th anniversary was a milestone which illustrated the continued demand for the service which secures the homes of the elderly and vulnerable against burglary, fire, domestic violence and hate crime.

Many fundraising events took place throughout that Summer, but the Trust was particularly proud to have the enthusiastic support of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, who attended a special birthday celebration at the Melksham Divisional HQ in May 2008 for an official public photo call and accepted the keys for the two new Bobby Vans.

10th Anniversary 2008

Record amount raised for local charities at Middlewick House Open Gardens

More than £22,000 was raised for local charities at a special open gardens event at the Corsham home of Pink Floyd musician Nick Mason and his wife Annette.

This was the most the event has raised in its four-year history. The money raised will be split between The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Airbase Appeal.

The gardens, at Middlewick House in Corsham, were busy all weekend (10 and 11 June 2017) as thousands of visitors enjoyed the beautiful gardens. Attracting a lot of interest were Nick’s sports and classic cars which were on display, plus the family’s animals. Visitors also browsed a range of stalls, including plants, gifts and pieces by Alan Dun, one of Bath’s leading fine art sculptors.

Bobby Van Nick Annette Mason Doug Batchelor June 2017

Pictured above: Nick & Annette Mason with Bobby Van Operator Doug Batchelor in front of our very popular book stall.

Both the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and Wiltshire Air Ambulance are charities that are close to Nick and Annette’s hearts. Annette is a Vice Patron of the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust; and Nick and Annette recently became Ambassadors for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Nick Mason said: “Annette and I are thrilled at the support our open gardens event received, which in turn has raised vital funds for The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Airbase Appeal. Both charities do such wonderful work in the community helping people in need.”

Jennie Shaw, Director of The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, said: “We are delighted by the success of this year’s open gardens weekend at Middlewick House. The amount raised for local charities set a new record. We’d like to thank everyone who visited, volunteered at the event, donated items including cakes for sale and raffle prizes and also to the residents of Middlewick Lane, Corsham, who are so supportive.

The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust will be using the funds raised to roll out our new initiative supporting people over the age of 60 to identify online fraud, which is Wiltshire’s fastest growing crime targeting the elderly.”

David Philpott, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are so grateful to Nick and Annette Mason for supporting Wiltshire Air Ambulance and to everyone who attended the open gardens event. The funds raised will go to our Airbase Appeal to complete the building and equipping of our new airbase at Semington, near Melksham.”

More pictures from the weekend:

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The Bobby Vans pretending to be sports cars! Clouds were looming the day before, but the weekend weather was lovely.

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Kath Williams, Bobby Van Administrative Coordinator/Liaison Officer with Mike Biscoe, one of our lovely Camera Volunteers – our bookstall was so busy there was no room left for them!

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The sausages were sizzling all weekend; with tea, coffee, cake and ice cream to keep everyone happy.

There was a huge amount to explore and discover, thanks to all for a wonderful weekend, and for helping to raise such an amazing amount for both charities.

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Help us win up to £25,000!

The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust is appealing to all its friends, supporters and service users to vote online to help us receive a £25,000 Community Award from the Freemasons.

As part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing three million pounds to 300 charities across the country, and The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust is one of those selected.

Each of the nominated charities will receive a grant, but the public vote will determine how much they receive, ranging from £4,000 to £25,000. Those who want to vote should visit the MCF website: mcf.org.uk/vote, select the Wiltshire page and vote for the charity of their choice.

The voting period is from Monday, 12 June until Monday, 31 July.

Jennie Shaw, Director at The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust said:

“A grant of £25,000 would make a huge difference to our work. I would urge anyone and everyone to go online and vote for The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust. Please remember that every single vote counts.”

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The Masonic Charitable Foundation obtains all of its funding from Freemasons and their families. It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country.

To vote for The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust to win up to £25,000, visit: mcf.org.uk/vote

Stay Safe Online – Volunteers’ Thoughts

Stay Safe Online – a few thoughts from some of our Stay Safe Online Volunteers.

Tamas Kiss:

“I’m very excited to be part of this new initiative, Cyber Crime is unfortunately on the rise and this new team of volunteers are here to help reduce the risk and raise awareness, and help those who may not know enough about the dangers online.

I hope that we will be able to help people to become more comfortable and feel safer about being online and using the internet, and to show them how to do so safely so it will reduce and prevent cyber crimes.

Due to my line of work Cyber Security is a daily topic for me, and I know how much benefit there is in using the internet and online services but I am also very much aware of the dangers. I wanted to help others to also know how to stay safe online, outside of a professional environment and that’s when I found the Bobby Van Trust and this new initiative which is backed by Wiltshire Police.”

Alan Pollard:

“I am extremely pleased to be associated with the new Online Safety Initiative. As an experienced IT professional I take a special interest in the use of IT in the community and am concerned about the vulnerability of people online. Older folk (and some younger ones) are often very naïve and trusting. Coupled with bewilderment about technology they are easy prey for fraudsters and conmen.

Following my retirement I have spent the past 8 years helping elderly people with their computers and am only too aware of the risks they face online.

The Bobby Van Stay Safe Online scheme promises to fill a big gap in how we can play our part in helping the elderly and disadvantaged in the Wiltshire community to be aware of and protect themselves from these risks. I really hope that the scheme enjoys great success and sets a standard for others to follow.”

A note from one of our kind volunteer training test subjects:

“Thank you for inviting me along to the Volunteers’ Training Day. I found it very thought provoking, and realised that there is indeed a genuine need for this service in the community. This applies particularly to the elderly, who, like me, are not conversant with computers, and could easily be hoodwinked by some of these clever scams.”

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Chief Constable Mike Veale on the Bobby Van

Chief Constable Mike Veale’s monthly column for May focuses on the work we do here at the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust. He focuses on the recent launch of the Stay Safe Online initiative we launched this month in partnership with Wiltshire Police.

It is great to see the kind words he has for our work, which we hugely appreciate. He also talks about the other work that we do supporting not just those over 60, or 18+ with a registered disability, but also victims of domestic abuse.

 

Director Jennie Shaw on BBC Wiltshire Radio

Yesterday, Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust Director, Jennie Shaw, was interviewed by Graham Rogers on his afternoon radio show on BBC Wiltshire. Jennie spoke about the work of the Bobby Van and the new joint initiative Stay Safe Online.

The radio show will be available for another 29 days, and can be listed to here. Jennie’s interview starts at 1hour 42mins into the show.

Stay Safe Online Initiative Launched!

SSO Volunteer launch 2 May 2017On 2nd May 2017, The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, working in partnership with Wiltshire Police, launched a bespoke Online Safety Initiative – Stay Safe Online. Initially a pilot scheme, this is believed to be the first of it’s kind in the country.

Bobby Van Stay Safe Online Volunteers have been interviewed and trained by Wiltshire Police to deliver the new initiative across Swindon and Wiltshire. They are working together with the Police to maintain an awareness of current computer crimes and to ensure advice is up-to-date with the ever changing scams.

IMG_0013 croppedWiltshire Bobby Van Director,
Jennie Shaw explains:

“Computer crime is one of the fastest growing crimes targeting the over 60s. The aim of the volunteers will be to visit the client’s home to offer a tailored service to improve their awareness of on line security and help them to identify potential risks.

If an offense has been committed, the client will be encouraged to report it via 101.

Referrals can be made through Wiltshire Police, through supporting agencies or can be self-referred via 101.

Our advisors will be happy to provide talks and presentations to wider community groups. Raising awareness through education is the key to its success.” 

Sergeant Vincent Logue of Wiltshire Police, adds:

“The Bobby Van Trust is already a well-established and trusted Charity in Wiltshire, with it now offering the Stay Safe Online service, it will give vital knowledge to those within our community who might otherwise become victims of computer crime. 

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The service will allow people to protect themselves and their families against this growing and sinister crime type.  I would like to thank our fantastic volunteers who have come forward to give up their own time to deliver this service, free of charge, to those who need it.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson said:

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“One of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is to protect the most vulnerable in society, and I am grateful to the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and their volunteers for all the work they do in our communities.

Cybercrime is a growing concern, which doesn’t discriminate, and knows no boundaries. Whether you have grown up with the internet, or have discovered it later in life, we all need to be more aware of the hidden dangers online.

I am pleased to see the partnership work between Wiltshire Police and The Bobby Van Trust. The Online Safety Initiative will inform and educate about the importance of cyber security, providing an invaluable service to help keep our communities safe.”

To find out more about the initiative, and get in touch for an Online Safety Advisor to visit or give a talk to your local community, please see the Stay Safe Online section of our website.