This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
News


downsmail.co.uk Blue bus re-educates drinkers


PEOPLE found drunk and inca- pable in Maidstone at night are being given the opportunity to take part in a restorative process to educate them about the dangers of excessive drinking. As part of a new initiative, police officers have been taking the details of people who are found to be drunk and incapable in the town centre and in need of medical assis- tance. At a later date they have been contacted and offered the opportu- nity to work on the town’s Urban Blue Bus for a shift as a volunteer as an alternative to prosecution. The Urban Blue Bus provides respite and treatment in Maidstone


THE Princess Project has opened a help centre for new mums in Park Wood. The organisation, set up in 2011, provides support for mums, par- enting courses and Totcycle – a popular exchange service for baby and toddler goods. Maidstone Mayor Cllr Clive Eng-


lish opened the office in Christ Church,WallisAvenue, which will be a base for the charity’s activities, and offer drop-in support for


town centre on Saturday nights for people who have minor injuries or who have alcohol or drug related symptoms. A police spokesman said: “The initiative is intended to help people fully understand the impact that drunken behaviour has and show them first-hand the vulnerable state that drunk people can find them- selves in.” Two women, aged 21 and 25,


who returned to see the volunteers in action said the experience had made them more aware of how al- cohol affected people, and that it was eye-opening to see how many people needed help. One said that her return visit as a


Centre offers help for new mums


mums from 9.30am to 2.30pm, Monday toWednesday. Emma Tanner, the Christian group’s chief executive, said: “As well as space for parents to chat to our team of friendly volunteers,we want to make this a child-friendly space, too, so that the little ones can be entertained whilst their parents or carers get the help and advice they need.” For more on The Princess Project visitwww.princessproject.co.uk.


volunteer made her feel useful, to make up for the time that she had taken up when she needed treat- ment. The scheme underwent a five-


week trial before being imple- mented permanently in the town centre.


Inspector Jody Gagan-Cook from


Kent Police said: “This initiative is very much around educating peo- ple to try and change their behav- iour. The Urban Blue Bus is a fantastic facility and we have in- vited people to come and see the amount of work that is put in by both volunteers and police to keep them safe, instead of simply prose- cuting them.


“We hope this education will


help people and prevent them from finding themselves in a situation again where they need treatment.” District commander, Ch Insp


Simon Wilson said: “People who allow themselves to get extremely drunk in the town centre leave themselves vulnerable ... and can become complacent about looking after their personal safety and valu- able property, such as mobile phones or purses. “We are not afraid to prosecute people for alcohol-related offences in the town, but if we can stop the offences occurring in the first in- stance, through education, that benefits everyone.”


Rev Arthur Houston with Princess Project trustees and volunteers. Online


A great new community website from Maidstone & Mallings No1 local Newspaper


More news and views from your favourite newspaper


Want to sell locally - Free online advertisements


Business news and services free to upload


Visit our website for details or call us on 01622 630330


Information, local services and events


www.downsmail.co.uk 34 Maidstone Town April 2014


News


Business Hub


Private Ads FREE


Information Hub


NEW NEW NEW NEW


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56