Radio Verulam Community Matters-logo

Radio Verulam Community Matters

Arts & Culture Podcasts

All about the St Albans Community

All about the St Albans Community


United Kingdom


All about the St Albans Community






Winter beds project

Lucy Gaygusuz, Trustee at Open Door, tells Rob Pearman about the plans to help and then keep local rough sleepers off the streets for the second Covid winter. This year - as last year - the project involves Open Door, Centre 33, Hightown Housing, Emmaus and the District Council and this year with the additional support of Morgan Sindall. This year, the project needs more volunteers to help manage and support the special cabins located at Emmaus St Albans where those without a warm place for...


Youth Talk Ep 2

Chris Tillin chats with Youth Talk CEO David Barker and fundraiser Phill Coates about the fantastic work the charity are doing as we approach Christmas


A perfect storm

John Mulholland, Trustee and Warehouse Manager at St Albans & District Foodbank, explains to Rob Pearman how the service works, how much it has increased over recent years (it now has six distribution points), and how the combination of increasing prices, the ending of the Covid uptick to Universal Credit and of the furlough scheme, plus announced increases in National Insurance may add to local requests for assistance - just at a time when the Foodbank has to move out of its current...


Local help for Afghan evacuees

Stacey Turner, founder of the local mental health charity It's OK to Say started to plan ways to help newly arrived evacuees from Kabul who were facing the trauma of their unplanned exit from their homeland . She soon realised that many of them - having left Afghanistan in haste - had very real immediate needs for clothing and other essential items. Stacey and her colleagues set up collection points around the city and within a matter of days local people had responded so overwhelmingly that...


One tile short of a …….

When someone knocks on your door and tells you he can fix that loose tile, beware. It's odds on he's a scammer aiming to rip you off. HCC Trading Standards Officer Darren Ward tells Local Life some hair-raising tales of the tricks these scammers play and how much it can end up costing you.


Energy saving scams that cost

We're all doing our best to help in the fight against climate change, so it's no surprise that scammers have decided that is where we're most vulnerable. Trading Standards Officer Darren Ward explains on Local Life how the 'energy-efficiency scammers' work, what to watch out for and - above all - how to save yourself a lot of grief.


Not what they pretend to be…..

Anyone who owns a phone, a computer, a letter box or even a front doorbell is a target for the scammers (which means all of us). On Local Life, HCC Trading Standards Officer Darren Wood explains the tricks the scammers use – focusing this time on the ‘Nottingham Knockers’ and the rogue fish sellers, who turn out not to be all they pretend. Scams Awareness Fortnight runs from 14 to 27 June 2021.


‘This is a text from Royal Mail…..’

Well actually, it isn't. And if you 'click on one' as invited, you could soon be handing over access to all your banking details. Darren Ward of HCC Trading Standards explains how the scammers use a simple text about an undelivered package (supposedly from Royal Mail or Amazon or DPD or.....) to get into your bank account and take whatever they like. Find out how to avoid a disaster. Scams awareness fortnight runs from 14 to 27 June 2021.


Helping the over-60s

The pandemic has not been kind to those living on limited income, at whatever age. But for those over 60, a single unexpected event can push you to the edge. Kate Newton, Grants Manager at St Albans Old People's Trust, explains how the Trust can help individuals in need - and has done so to the tune of £200,000 in the past year. Kate also describes other projects helping local people, including the Warmer Homes initiative and explains how many people are unaware that they can claim Pension...


Any unwanted laptops?

Don't leave those old laptops (or tablets, smartphones etc) just gathering dust. They can be put to great use by Computer Friendly, a local charity now refurbishing unwanted devices and getting them into the hands of local kids who don't have their own means of connecting with their online home schooling. Guaranteed protection for your old data by cleaning or destroying the discs. The kids need your help now!


Helping local groups during Covid

Helen Gray, CEO of Hertfordshire Communities Foundation, reports on the huge pressure on local charities/voluntary groups and the people they serve. Thanks to the Foundation's long history of fund raising, it has been able to assist many that were struggling to cope - and in some cases survive - during the pandemic.


Headway Hertfordshire

John Archer, CEO of the local branch of national charity Headway, explains its work with those who have experienced acquired brain injury - whether resulting from a medical condition or a traumatic event. As recent press coverage has highlighted, sports such as soccer and rugby are now areas of concern.


Energy costs

June Chapman, CEO of Citizens Advice St Albans, offers some timely guidance on ways to keep energy costs as low as possible.


SAHAAS – what it is, what it does, the role it plays

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society (also known as SAHAAS or Arc & Arc), here again is an interview with the Society's President, Sandy Walkington, first broadcast on Local Life a couple of years ago. As well as plenty about the Society, this conversation with Rob Pearman also includes a lot about our City's history.


Rough sleepers safely inside

There is nationwide concern that rough sleepers - taken safely off the streets at the start of the lockdown in March - are once again at risk as winter approaches and the pandemic is still all around. Most local authorities had no option but to place them in hotel accommodation which they then had to vacate. But in St Albans a joint project between local charities and the District Council made sure all local rough sleepers were offered secure homes where they can remain into the future. Two...


If redundancy comes knocking…

With the government's furlough scheme due to close at the end of October, many will be anxious about the possibility of redundancy. There is no easy solution, but it's best to know your rights in advance. On Local Life, June Chapman, CEO of Citizens Advice St Albans, offered seven critical tips for those facing the possibility of job loss. Forewarned is forearmed.

MacIntyre Charity

Jennifer Marshall, Regional Children’s Home Manager for MacIntryre Charity, explains how this local organisation supports children with often complex learning disabilities such as autism, helping them to develop skills for adult life. Youngsters who seek continuity in their daily life were especially at risk during the Covid-19 lockdown but learned to cope and develop against the odds.


St Albans Foodbank and Covid-19

The pandemic and subsequent lock-down brought additional financial difficulties to even more local individuals and families. But St Albans Foodbank - assisted by other local charities, volunteers and generous donors - continues to provide critical support, as Emma Dalton explains in this telephone interview...


New charity song to benefit St Albans

Phil Richards plays a new charity release which aims to raise funds for various community groups in St Albans.


Citizens Advice during Covid-19

June Chapman, CEO of Citizens Advice St Albans, explains how this critical support service is operating on the phone and online during the current crisis, which has forced the temporary closure of CA offices. June provides details including the dedicated local phone line and email address.