Welcome to Voices & Choices
Voices and Choices is a Registered Charity and Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. It has been set up to provide information and advice to help people to remain in their homes with the help and support of community services and other agencies. It will also provide reassurance to family carers living outside Buckinghamshire.
Safe and Sound at Home
It is often the little things that go wrong which affect whether we feel in control of our lives. It could be the cobwebs, the garden, our hair, or the family insisting we can’t cope.
Whatever matters to you, we will help by offering friendly, impartial information, advice or advocacy which helps you stay safe and sound in your own home.
Need our help?
Whatever you need: a trusted tradesman, access to a leisure or social activity, advocacy to talk to a health provider, or any other impartial information, advice and support, we can help you find safe services to maintain your independence in your home. If you are elderly, or have a physical or learning disability, a mental health problem, or you are living alone, and you live in Amersham, Chesham, Gt Missenden or Prestwood and surrounding parishes, we are here to help.
We need you
Will you join us today to help us provide a service that will touch a need in the lives of most families at some point? Could you volunteer a couple of hours of your time to visit people in their own homes, answer telephone queries, or help populate our information hub? Would you give a few pounds a month to help provide the support necessary for people to remain living independently? Our aim is to ensure people feel safe and sound enough to stay in their own home.
Voices & Choices News
Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.
Bags for Help offers community groups and projects across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store during March and April on who should receive the £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 awards.
Please see below a list of stores taking part in the voting on our project:
Amersham Hill Avenue Express
Little Chalfont Express
To vote, you will need to make a purchase within store of any value. You will receive one token per transaction and it’s not necessary to purchase a carrier bag in order to receive a token. Tesco Bags of Help
Support Voices & Choices through the new
Chiltern & South Bucks Lottery is a fun and effective way for us to raise funds. Visit the Voices & Choices page on the Chiltern & South Bucks Lottery website to enter and we’ll collect 50% of all ticket sales made.
All supporters will get the chance to win prizes of up to £25,000 for just £1 per week. Every ticket has a 1 in 50 chance of winning a prize every week! That’s better than the National Lottery and the Health Lottery.
Safety tips for keeping your home secure in the warm weather
With the warmer weather, Thames Valley Police would like to remind residents to take basic home security measures to keep their homes safe.
Top tips to reduce the risk of your home being targeted:
- keep all valuables and keys out of sight and out of reach of doors and windows
- keep front and back doors locked, even when you’re at home
- don’t leave spare keys in obvious places such as under doormats or plant pots
- lock side gates to prevent easy access to the rear of the property
- consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Enjoy the sunshine!
For more top tips please visit the crime prevention advice on the Thames Valley Police website.
False Telephone Preference Service Calls
Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ – an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.
In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.
On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.
During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.
- There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK ‘do-not-call’ register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk.
- You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
- Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Attempted Burglary in Ashley Green
On Tuesday 17th April 2018 between 10 am and 12 pm an attempted burglary occurred at Chesham Road, Ashley Green. The offenders tried to gain access to the house by forcing the front door. If you saw or heard anything suspicious in the area of Chesham Road please contact Amersham Investigation Hub via the Thames Valley Police non emergency number, 101 and quote crime reference 4318015176.
If you don’t want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
Burglary in Chesham
Between Tuesday 3 April 2018 at 8.30 am and Thursday 5 April 2018 at 8.15 am a burglary occurred at West View, Chesham. Unknown offenders have gained entry via the front door and stolen items of jewellery. If you saw or heard anything suspicious in the area of West View please contact DC 5815 Stuart Cook, Amersham Investigation Hub via the Thames Valley Police non emergency number, 101 and quote crime reference 43180101208.
If you don’t want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
Please consider a few simple prevention steps for your home:-
1. Keep windows and doors shut, locked and in good condition
2. Property mark your valuables with a UV pen or forensic property marking kit, then register on www.immobilise.com. Make a note of all model numbers and serial numbers of all electrical items
3. Use a timer switches to make your home look occupied in the evenings
4. Ensure car keys are safely stored away from the front door
5. Keep tools and ladders locked away out of sight
Theft from Motor Vehicle
There has been an increase of opportunistic theft from motor vehicle offences across Chiltern and South Bucks.
To help to try and prevent thefts and to ensure that your car is not an appealing target for a thief, we are asking you to be extra vigilant and consider your vehicle security.
1. Ensure your car is always left locked and secure.
2. Do not leave possessions in your vehicle, whether valuable or not. A thief wouldn’t know the bag left on the back seat only contains a gym kit for example.
3. Remove sat navs from your car, including the cradle and clean the suction mark from the window. A thief will expect to find it hidden in the glove compartment or under the seat!
4. Do not leave valuables in your boot.
5. Tradesmen do not leave tools in work vehicles.
6. Anti-tamper proof screws for number plates are available from Vehicle Accessory shops.
Please report any suspicious activity via the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number on 101.
How you can help
Join our Newsletter Today!As we develop this exciting new service why not stay in touch? We can bring the website to you every month keeping you up to date on what information and services are available and other news.
Contact UsWould you like to learn more about what we do? Perhaps you would like to participate in some way? Send us a message and we can get back in contact with you.
VolunteeringMake a difference to people that live in or near your community. We have a number of exciting roles ranging from advocacy advisor to website development. If you are willing to provide a few hours a week to help people remain independently in their own homes then we have just the role for you.
FundraisingCan you help us to raise funds? Would you like to make a donation to help Voices and Choices develop services in Buckinghamshire? We need your help to build this service.
Case Study: Just a Gardener!
Just a Gardener!
Mrs G was recently widowed. She lives in a family house with a large garden that was her husband’s pride and joy. She is distressed she cannot keep the garden to the standard he did, but does feel closest to him when she is there. Her children who do not live close by, are worried that the house may be targeted if it looks uncared for and are suggesting that she move to sheltered accommodation. She would prefer to stay safe and sound in the family home. She needs someone to talk to and help her explore her options. Voices and Choices can help Mrs G work through the plethora of choices: a gardener; male or female: the garden maintained or changed: a shared vegetable patch? Would she like Voices and Choices to advertise for a gardener to protect her privacy? Would she like a volunteer to sit alongside her when she talks to prospective gardeners?
Voices and Choices can help at any of these stages, from providing a list of local gardeners, visiting her at home to support her through the entire process and, if it goes wrong, to help her complain about an unsatisfactory service.
Following our work with Mrs G, we ask her whether we can provide some reassurance to her family. With her permission we contact the family, in Durham and Sydney, and tell them of our work with Mrs G. Both children are concerned that family commitments and distance mean they cannot drop everything if Mrs G requires further help. We can offer the family a number of choices to give them peace of mind. We can ring her on an agreed timetable to see how things are going. We can contact her immediately there is a local problem, snow-fall, flooding, etc. We can help problem solve if the family ring to say there is something we can help with, or we can send the families our newsletter so they have can keep up-to-date with what we do. At this stage the family decide they would like the newsletter and would like us to contact Mrs G monthly to see how things are going. We are aware that both children have lasting powers of attorney and in the event of a deterioration will contact them immediately with details of local services.
Case Study: Who will feed the cats?
Who will feed the cats?
Jane has multiple sclerosis. She lives alone, supported by her sister who lives locally but has a young family. Jane has the opportunity to go away for a fortnight on a holiday arranged through her support group. Jane has not had a holiday for a long time and the logistical problems of her MS means she has not found a trip she feels she can go on alone. The love of her life is her two cats. Jane lives in a ground-floor flat with access to a small patio but no garden so the cats are house cats. Jane does not feel she can go away and leave her cats for a fortnight and it is too much to ask her sister to cope with the feeding – and the litter-tray. Jane rings Voices and Choices to ask if they have any suggestions. The office volunteer provides details of a couple of services that can help. Jane can either ring them herself or we can do it on her behalf – whichever she prefers. Jane rings the services and finds one that is right for her and her cats. She can go away with a quiet mind.
Case Study: My Doctor does not listen to me
My Doctor does not listen to me!
George has been upset since the breakdown of his marriage last year. Although he is coping at work, he finds the weekends very hard and sometimes spends the whole time in bed. He has been to see his doctor but she seems to be very unsympathetic. Because he is managing at work, she doesn’t believe he is becoming depressed, and has hinted that he stays in bed at the weekends because his wife is no longer around to cook for him. He contacts Voices and Choices to see whether we can offer any support for him. A volunteer visits George and together they work on writing down some evidence to show what is happening for George. The volunteer goes to the GP with George and supports him with his discussion with the doctor, at one point giving George a gentle prompt. George is aware that he has put on a lot of weight and one of the options the GP suggests is a prescription for weight watchers or slimming world which might also help find him some new friends. The GP also provides a couple of treatment options for George to consider.
Voices & Choices CIO
The White Hill Centre, White Hill
Chesham, Bucks. HP5 1AG
Tel: 01494 784566
Copyright ©2016 Voices & Choices CIO
Voices & Choices CIO is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales. Company No: 9374009
Registered Charity No: 1172724 CIO
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