Derbyshire news in brief

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A young man who hopes to become a voice for disabled people is appealing for help to fund a fact-finding trip to America.

Tom Hardwick, 23, of Chesterfield, suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease which has left him permanently wheelchair-bound and in need of 24-hour care from his father. Despite his disability, inspirational Tom, who became a Christian ten years ago and attends Holmebrook Valley Church, will travel to California in June for seven weeks to be an intern for a global mission called Cause 4 Life run by charity Joni and Friends. While there, Tom hopes to learn how he can become - and help others become - an advocate for disabled people back home and particularly within the church.

In order for Tom to go to America, he will need to raise more than £10,000 and is appealing for kind-hearted folk to help pay for his trip. Friends and family have already helped raise more than £8,000 thanks to generous individuals and organisations. If you would like to donate to Tom’s campaign, visit my.give.net/notwasted. Alternatively, if you would rather send a cheque, call Ian on 07896 429418.

• Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has safeguarded the future of an IT system which helps justice agencies share information about anti-social behaviour. Mr Charles has provided £107,801 from his Community Safety Fund to continue the roll-out of the Empowering Communities Inclusion and Neighbourhood Management System for the next two years. He said: “Anti-social behaviour remains one of the biggest concerns of residents and is responsible for exaggerating the threat of crime in our communities. Time and time again local people tell me how anti-social behaviour is impacting on their quality of life and I’m determined to do everything possible to support them. This system helps us all to communicate more effectively and highlights those cases which need urgent action, thus improving victim safety.”

• Chesterfield and Dronfield charities have benefited thanks to the generosity of customers at the UK’s second largest building society. Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation, which is largely made up of customers donating the pence of their annual interest, has given £17,703 to charities in Dronfield and £5,702 in Chesterfield. Members of Chesterfield Canal Trust, pictured, received £1,559 to complete a new audio loop system at the group’s Hollingwood Hub which will allow visitors to learn more about the history of the site. More than 20,000 donations have been made across the country since the Charitable Foundation was established.

• Vandals have twice targeted a parish council flower bed in South Normanton, stealing plants. The latest theft happened sometime between 4pm on Monday, April 20 and 7am the following day. Plants were taken from a bed on the mini roundabout in Birchwood Lane, next to the A38 slip road. The first theft happened between 4pm on Tuesday, April 14 and 7am the next day, when the same bed was targeted. Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting crime reference 15535/15, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

• A mum who underwent a close shave raised £983 to help poorly youngsters. Helen Ayre had about nine inches of her hair cut off for the Little Princess Trust last month. The charity provides real-hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment. Helen, 35, was also raising money for the neonatal unit at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham. Medics there spent 14 hours treating Helen’s “beautiful” son Jack, who was born by emergency caesarean section in 2006, for perinatal asphyxia.

• NHS director Amanda Rawlings has been appointed to sit on the executive board of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in a joint appointment with Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust. Amanda began her new dual-role as director of people and organisational effectiveness across both NHS organisations on April 1. An NHS spokesman said: “It marks a new step in generating stronger partnerships and more joined-up care within NHS services across north Derbyshire.”

• Officers investigating a burglary at a property in Grindleford are appealing for any witnesses to come forward. Sometime between 11.30am and 1.30pm on Tuesday, April, 14, thieves used tools to force open the conservatory door of a property on St Helen’s Close. While inside the thieves carried out an untidy search of the master bedroom. However, a Derbyshire police spokesman said it is not known what was stolen. Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

• Chesterfield and Dronfield charities have benefited thanks to the generosity of customers at the UK’s second largest building society. Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation, which is largely made up of customers donating the pence of their annual interest, has given £17,703 to charities in Dronfield and £5,702 in Chesterfield.

• Families in Shirebrook enjoyed two days of coding, hacking and even racing robots when they took part in a festival devoted to the art of computer programming. Enthusiasts from across the country joined pupils, parents and staff at Shirebrook Academy when it played host to the JamPackedUK roadshow at the end of last month. School staff said the event was a great success.

• Barlborough Parish Council has a new address and contact details after moving offices at the end of last month. The authority is now based at the Community Centre in Park View, Barlborough.

Office opening hours are 10am until 2pm. The council’s telephone number is 01246 819776 and its email address is clerk@ barlboroughpc.co.uk