Helping the homeless 

The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, will formally launch the overnight charity ‘Sleep Out’ in Long Eaton to support the drive in raising awareness of the needs of the homeless in the community.
The Sleep Out will begin at 8pm on Friday 6 April alongside the war memorial in Long Eaton Market Place. The event has become a popular annual event organised by the Long Eaton-based Canaan Trust – an independent charity which supports those who find themselves homeless.
Councillor Chris Corbett, the Deputy Mayor of Erewash, has again pledged support for the charity by signing up for this year’s event – meaning he has taken part in every overnight sleep out since the event was started several years ago.
Residents, sports clubs and other organisations are invited to join in the fundraising event and help raise as much money as possible. Those taking part will ‘bed down’ in the area around the war memorial until 7am the next morning.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, has also given her backing to the charity and its annual fundraising event:
“The Canaan Trust offers vital support every single day of the year to those people who find themselves homeless and the Sleep Out is one of its most important fundraising and awareness-raising events. I salute the people of all ages who take part and would encourage residents to sign up for this year’s event to help raise even more money.”
Anyone interested in signing up for the Sleep Out should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 0115 946 4903. Children under 16 can take part if accompanied by an adult. The young people will bed down on the floor of St Laurence’s Church, which stands alongside the War Memorial.
The Canaan Trust, which is based on Main Street in Long Eaton, is a charity that has been working to help homeless people in the borough for more than 20 years. Visit Facebook/longeatonhomeless for more information.

Could you be tea room volunteer?

More volunteers are needed at the popular Old Stables Tea Room at Erewash Museum as it marks its two year anniversary.
The Victorian themed tea room is managed by the Friends of Erewash Museum and staffed entirely by volunteers, many who have been there since the beginning. The amounts of days that the tea room is open have been extended, meaning that extra hands are needed on deck. 
Helen Martinez, manager of the museum, says at least five volunteers are needed and they can do as many or as few hours as they wish, whether it is one day a week or one day a month.
The Victorian-themed tearooms were opened alongside the learning, community and exhibition centre development at the museum, which was completed thanks to funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Friends of the Museum and Erewash Borough Council. Volunteers help serve tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches. They will also be given food hygiene training. 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“The Old Stable Tea Room has been a great success since it opened two years ago and the volunteers that give their time are a great asset to the community. 
“With spring upon us and lots of exciting activities in store at the museum we just need that extra bit of help to ensure that the tea room continues to thrive.”
Lynne Thorpe, a volunteer at the tea room, says: 
“We meet some lovely people here and our customers come from far and wide.  It is enjoyable and we always try to make people feel welcome. Even if someone could help out on the odd occasion to sell ice creams outside in the summer it would benefit us.”
Barbara Priestley has volunteered at the tea room since it opened. She says:
“I am sure that anybody would find it rewarding. We have a lot more people coming here now than when it first opened. Where else in town can you get a sandwich for £1.20 and a coffee for £1.50?”
The tea room is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am until 3pm and Monday to Saturday 11am until 3pm in the school holidays. 
Erewash Museum is in Ilkeston town centre, a short walk from the Market Place. Opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm, and Monday to Saturday during school holidays.  Admission is free. Contact 0115 907 1141, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the Facebook page /erewashmuseum 
Photo: Pictured from left: Lynne Thorpe, Sue Preston, Caroline Hailwoods and Lynne Mills.

Parking charges frozen

Car parking charges in Erewash have been frozen for this year and the popular free one hour parking in town centre car parks will continue.
Erewash Borough Council has confirmed that there will be no increase in parking rates in its car parks following its budget setting meeting this month.
The move comes despite many local authorities across the country announcing a hike in parking rates as councils continue to find ways to deal with budget shortfalls in these financially challenging times.
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
“Our message is clear – there is no increase in parking charges in Erewash and our free one hour parking scheme continues. We firmly believe this is important in the continued drive to bring people into our town centres which is why we worked hard within our budget to ensure we could freeze the parking rates and still offer the free parking.”

Creating and inspiring art 

Erewash residents have the chance to join the Get Creative campaign when award winning Erewash Museum hosts an arts event as part of the nationwide festival on Saturday 24 March.
The drop-in session between 11am and 3pm will give people of all ages the chance to use words and images inspired by their favourite local buildings and places to create a recycled mobile.
Artist Jackie Ward, of Treehuggery, together with Erewash Borough Council’s Arts Development Team, will be at the museum throughout the day giving help and advice as people get creative and make their own masterpiece to take home.
The Get Creative campaign is run nationally by a group of cultural organisations to celebrate and support everyday creativity happening in homes and public spaces. It aims to inspire people to try something new at home or at a Get Creative event and to encourage people to share their own examples of everyday creativity.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“Over the past couple of years the Get Creative events at our museum have proved a huge success and I’m sure this year will be just as popular with families - so pop along to meet new people and discover your creative flair.”

Letters that say so much

Erewash Museum is currently undertaking conservation work on the Margaret Hope Robinson letters – an archive of more than 2,000 letters that give an emotional insight into the lives of families of British prisoners of war (POWs) during the Second World War.
In 1944, Margaret Hope Robinson, who was known by her middle name of Hope, was a 29-year-old deputy registrar at Ilkeston Registry Office and was desperate for news of her husband Paul Maltby Robinson, a Major with the Sherwood Foresters, who had been captured by the Japanese forces a few years earlier.
She broke Whitehall regulations to interview two repatriated former POWs and produced a pamphlet about life in in a camp near Bangkok, something which gave vital information to hundreds of anxious relatives.
Letters from the families of missing POWs began to flood into Ilkeston as Hope became a beacon of light for them. The letters show the support network that grew amongst the relatives as well as detailing many personal tragedies and memorable stories.
Hope kept all correspondence and the archive that she left behind was given to Erewash Museum by her daughter Penny last year. The war had a happy ending for Hope, who was eventually reunited with her husband, a prominent local solicitor.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“We are extremely grateful to Hope’s family for donating this fascinating archive to Erewash Museum. It is a remarkable story and the letters – from families as well as business letters to newspapers, MPs and other organisations – give an important insight into the day-to-day realities of life on the home front in Britain. They also show the anxieties, frustration, hope and tragedy of the families desperate for news of their missing relatives.” 
Anyone wanting more information or interested in volunteering at the museum should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.