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Want to book a library PC online?

Did you know that you can now book a library PC online? Simple - go to https://arena.yourlondonlibrary.net/web/bexley/home and book your slot. It's free to book and free to use!

Bogus Trading Standards Officers

There has been a spate of bogus Trading Standards Officer (TSO) incidents recently - and the London Borough of Bexley is warning residents to be on the alert.

A scammer calls at homes, claims to be a Trading Standards Officer and attempts to defraud the householder by saying that they are due money in connection with previous household work that the resident has had carried out.

The householder is then told that they will need to pay for court costs or other administrative fees which they will get back at a later date.

There have been five recent incidents reported to Windsor and Maidenhead Council, one in Surrey and two in the London area, with a victim in Ickenham losing £170k. Others have lost £10k to £24k. In each instance local police are involved and there are suggestions that the scam may be taking place nationally.

Bexley borough is not new to the scam. Last year an elderly Bexleyheath man was approach by a bogus Trading Standards Officer calling at his home, claiming that the householder had been overcharged by a double-glazing company. The bogus TSO then asked for the resident's bank card and account so that he could arrange for money to be returned to him.

Fortunately, the resident had previously attended a talk given by Bexley Trading Standards and knew exactly what to do. He turned the scammer away and contacted Bexley's Trading Standards team on their dedicated rogue trader number.

Remember, Trading Standards Officers will never ask you for money. If you are in any doubt about someone at your door claiming to be a Trading Standards Officer, please call the Council on 020 8303 7777 to check if the officer is genuine and do not let them inside your home until you have checked. A genuine officer will not mind waiting while you do so.

Alternatively, keep a note of the dedicated rogue trader number 07716 116452, which you can use to report a doorstep scam actually taking place.

Pop-Up Flashback

Pop up books will come to life in an enchanting show for everyone aged 5 plus at Central Library, Townley Road Bexleyheath on Saturday 7 March at 2.30pm. Half Moon Theatre and Poet Joseph Coehlo present a heartwarming adventure of families and growing up.

Pop-Up Flashback is part of the SPINE Festival, a celebration of Arts and Literature across London libraries developed by Apples and Snakes in partnership with library authorities across London.

Tickets are free and can be booked at popupflashbackatbexleyheath.eventbrite.com or call 020 8303 7777 or at the library.

Could you be a volunteer Learning Mentor?

Bexley's Youth Offending Team is currently looking for volunteer Learning Mentors to help young people who have committed offences turn their lives towards a more positive future.

The team strongly encourages its young people to stay in education or training, as this goes a long way in reducing the risk of re-offending. Participation in school or college life not only helps personal and social development - but leads to the attainment of vital skills and qualifications for employment prospects.

As a volunteer, you would be supporting the education and learning needs of these young people.

The role involves helping them overcome social, emotional and behavioural problems which can act as barriers to learning. You might also work with young people who have organisational difficulties or need support with their study and planning skills.

Volunteers do not need to provide a set amount of hours each week - however, they do need to be able to commit to the programme for at least six months and should be available during the day.

Most of the volunteer Learning Mentor's time is spent supporting the young person in school, or to prevent disengagement from learning. However, there will also be opportunities to meet the young person and offer support after school.

YOT will take great care when matching you with a young person and will always make sure that the partnership is suitable for both parties.

If you are interested in applying to work as a volunteer Learning Mentor please contact Lorraine Bedford, Bexley Youth Offending Team 020 8303 7777 or email Lorraine.bedford@bexley.gov.uk

Young writers get creative in Bexley Libraries

Author Ali Ellsmore will be helping aspiring writers aged 11 to 15 to create stories and poems at Central library, Townley Road, Bexleyheath on Thursday 5, 12, 19 and 26 March from 5pm to 6.30pm.

The course is free and places can be booked at the library or by phoning 020 8303 7777.

Open your heart to fostering in Bexley

We are on the lookout for foster carers and in particular those would like to foster siblings, teenagers, children with disabilities as well as foster carers from ethnic minority groups.

Fostering for Bexley is an amazing opportunity. We recognise and value the work of our foster carers and can offer a very attractive package, including a generous fostering salary and full support and training.

If you are interested in fostering for Bexley please contact the team on 0800 783 7699 or email adoptionandfostering@bexley.gov.uk or come and have a chat when we are out and about in the community.

Upcoming fostering information roadshows include -

• 3 March, Morrisons, Thamesmead, 10am to 6pm
• 25 March, Crook Log Leisure Centre, 9am to 5pm

Open your heart to Bexley fostering, we need you!
Find out more and meet some of our current foster carers at www.bexley.gov.uk/fostering

Easter timetable changes

There is significant engineering work taking place across the Southeastern network over the Easter weekend which will affect your journey. This may impact passengers travelling across Kent as well as to and from London. An amended timetable will operate throughout the four day Easter weekend from Good Friday to Easter Monday. There will be changes to calling patterns and some diversion of services.

Please check before you travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk

For a free reminder about major planned Thameslink Programme work, text TLP10 and your home station to 60777, Tweet @Se_Railway, call 0845 000 2222 or 01732 378 751 or write to Southeastern Customer Services, PO Box 63428, London, SE1P 5FD

Deaf Awareness Course

Bexley Deaf Centre, 20 Whitehall Lane, Slade Green DA8 2DH are holding a Basic Deaf Awareness and Sign Skills course on Wednesday 18 March from 10.30am to 12.30pm. The course lasts for 2 hours.

Places on the course cost £15 and refreshments are provided.

For more information call 01322 351122, or email: bexleydeafcentre@fsmail.net

Digital advertising on Sidcup High Street

Businesses can now take advantage of an exciting new advertising opportunity on Sidcup High Street, costing as little as £1.32 per day plus design costs.

A digital advertising screen has been installed at Nisbett Walk on the high street to provide businesses with a way to attract new customers using modern technology. The digital screen has proven popular with local businesses, promoting special offers and new products.

It offers attractive, high impact adverts which can be animated with special effects and a section of rolling text to highlight additional information. It is also flexible and convenient, as adverts can be updated quickly to reflect new stock and seasonal promotions.

The installation has been funded by the Council's 'In Store for Sidcup' regeneration programme, which is delivering a variety of measures to support local businesses and make the high street a more attractive place for shoppers. It is located on the main route between Morrisons' superstore and the high street, making it highly visible to both traffic and pedestrians.

Resknow, a digital marketing and design company on Sidcup High Street, can provide graphic design service for any businesses that need support. Design costs start at £75 +VAT.

Full details and costs can be downloaded from www.bexleyforbusiness.co.uk/digital-advertising Call 020 3045 5726 or email business@bexley.gov.uk with any queries.

Return to this week's Bexley Bulletin.

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