The Nidderdale Plus column with Debbie Grassam

Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan during the recent advice surgery at the office.
Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan during the recent advice surgery at the office.
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I am writing this monthly article on the evening when our Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan is at our Pateley Bridge office holding an advice surgery.

We are pleased to welcome Julia to Nidderdale Plus and are grateful that she is holding sessions for the residents of North Yorkshire to meet her to discuss any community safety or policing issue.

It has been another busy month and since writing my last monthly article we have had the first Nidderdale Food and Drink Festival.

The community really did come together for this very successful event, and particular credit to Keith Tordoff, Chairman of the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade for his dedication.

I had the pleasure of spending the Saturday afternoon of the Festival – together with our administrator Sandra Walker – with the lovely Clare Balding OBE selling her fabulous book for children ‘The Racehorse who Disappeared’.

During this month it was of course Remembrance Day and on Saturday 11 November I was proud to be asked to lay a wreath on behalf of Nidderdale Plus Partnership at the Pateley Bridge war memorial. This was an opportunity for the community to congregate in order to honour and remember the sacrifices made by those involved in conflict.

We should always take time in our busy lives to reflect on those who may be less fortunate than ourselves.

The Harrogate district is often thought of as an area of affluence, which may not have difficulties such as inequality, poverty and social isolation. This is far from true, and earlier this week I was pleased to attend the launch of the Vital Signs Harrogate Report organised by Two Ridings Community Foundation.

This Report which shows a snapshot of trends and issues affecting the quality of life of those in our district and the aim is to encourage people to give local.

Working in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Services - ‘The Local Fund’ will be launched shortly to provide grants to local voluntary and community organisations.

I was pleased to sign up the Nidderdale Plus Partnership as a ‘Friend of The Local Fund’ so that we can become involved in this exciting venture. I am sure I will be talking more about this in the future, and how you can help to support community groups and charities in your area – or indeed how your group or charity may benefit.

One of the case studies in the Vital Signs Harrogate Report, was the success of the White Rose Credit Union. On Thursday December from 10am–noon, Natalie from White Rose Credit Union will be joining us for a free drop in session.

Please come along and see Natalie if you require a personal loan or if you want to talk about a savings plan. There are various savings plans including regular saver; long term; first saver account (for under 18s); and there is a Christmas Club.

If you cannot make the session, bearing in mind that it takes place on the day this paper is printed, please contact us and we can put you in touch with Natalie.

Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate District continue to hold monthly drop in sessions at Nidderdale Plus. These take place on the first Wednesday of the month, so the next session will take place on Wednesday 3 January 2018 from 10.30am–12.30pm. Free, confidential and independent advice and support is available for a variety of issues, including benefits, debt, budgeting and housing.

On 20 December, the popular monthly Carers Craft Session takes place from 2pm-3.30pm – new members are welcome.

To book your place, or to find out more, please call Carol Lancaster on 01423 500555, or alternatively ask at Nidderdale Plus. I am sure something very creative and festive will be produced at this session!

Nidderdale Plus is a vibrant community hub, and as Friday 15 December is Local Charities Day, why not pop in and say hello and enjoy a mince pie between 10am-4pm? On the evening , I expect to see many familiar faces in Pateley Bridge enjoying the Christmas late night opening.

The festive season will be here before we know it! Season’s greetings from all at Nidderdale Plus!