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Happy New Year! We hope that 2019 has gotten off to a good start for you.
Please find attached the latest copy of The Rural Wellbeing Service's Newsletter, we hope it makes for an interesting read.
We would love to know what you think so please feel free to send feedback or comments to this email address.
If you would like to be featured in the Newsletter please use the contact details on the last page. More »
Posted: Fri, 08 Feb 2019 15:26 by Web Team
On Thursday 17 January I completed my first shift at the temporary Winter Shelter in Northampton.
Northampton Borough Council decide when SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) should operate. This will be when overnight temperatures fall below freezing and the Met Office forecasts that temperatures will be below freezing for at least 3 nights.
I worked between the hours of 8.30pm to 11.30pm. We accommodated 22 homeless individuals. After registration/assessment, the individuals left their bags and topcoats at reception and pockets were turned out for any offensive items. After collecting their sleeping bag, pillow and roll mat they were shown the room where they would be provided with a hot meal, drinks and an area to sleep. More »
The doors open at 9pm and close at 11pm, with lights out at 11.30pm. The individuals have to vacate the room by 7am the following morning.
Most people arrive between 9 to 9.45pm, some bedding down immediately they arrive. Once the initial admission process has been completed time can be spent chatting to the individuals gathering information which can be passed to the day teams to help them off the streets.
I had never stopped to think about, what to me seemed a bizarre request for donations of socks/boxers. Having now had first-hand experience - these individuals may be having their first shower in weeks and they just want to put fresh clothing next to their skin.
I arrived home feeling exhausted but unable to sleep. I reflected on the individuals I had met throughout the evening and the positive experiences I had. I was advised that it was likely that not many people would engage in conversation on the first evening but over the following evenings as their sleep deprivation disappeared and they had the protection of a warm and safe environment they would begin to chat more freely.
It is now Sunday and I have completed a further 2 shifts. Yes, the experience has been challenging at times, but it has been incredibly rewarding. I look forward to leaving for my shift this evening and any future ones which arise.
Should anyone be interested in making a donation of socks/boxers..
The link for the Emergency Shelter is http://www.northampton.gov.uk/swep
They are always keen to receive volunteers.
JM » Less
Posted: Sat, 02 Feb 2019 16:50 by Web Team
Northamptonshire Police are warning people once again of scammers contacting victims claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that trick people into paying bogus debts and taxes using gift cards.
- Fraudsters are contacting the elderly and vulnerable claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs.
- Victims are being told they have arrest warrants, outstanding debts or unpaid taxes in their name.
- The fraudsters are asking victims to purchase gift cards as payment. There are a variety of methods being used including calls, texts and voicemails.
Victims are being contacted in a variety of methods by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC and are being told they owe an outstanding debt. In most cases they ask for payment in gift cards. More »
Fraudsters like gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and easily sold on. The scammers don't need the physical card to redeem the value and instead get victims to read out the serial code on the back over the phone.
Methods fraudsters use:
Spoofed calls: Fraudsters cold call victims using a spoofed number and convince them that they owe unpaid tax to HMRC.
Voicemails: Fraudsters leave victims automated voicemails saying that they owe HMRC unpaid taxes. When victims call back on the number provided, they are told that there is a warrant out in their name and if they don't pay, the police will arrest them
Text messages: They may also use text messages that ask victims to urgently call back on the number provided. When victims call back, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately.
One 87 year old victim recently told the BBC he was phoned by fraudsters who claimed to be from HMRC stating there was an arrest warrant out in his name. They told him it would be cancelled if he bought £500 in iTunes gift cards at Tesco.
The man bought the cards and gave them the serial numbers. But when they asked for a further £1,300 in vouchers, he became suspicious and hung up.
How to protect yourself:
- HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way.
- Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephones display.
- If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.
Posted: Fri, 25 Jan 2019 15:14 by Web Team