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Ashgate Hospice Spooktacular 2014 Fundraising

October 31, 2014 at 4:29 PM

On Friday 31st October, Spencers Solicitors took part in Ashgate Hospice's Spooktacular event where staff were encouraged to dress up in spooky Halloween costumes to raise money for their local hospice.

Ashgate Hospice are an independent Chesterfield based charity that covers all of North Derbyshire, providing specialist palliative care to terminally ill adults and their families, maintaining best quality of life throughout illness. All their services are provided free of charge and £4.3 million must be raised annually from voluntary giving.

Many local businesses in the Derbyshire area were involved, all tweeting their fundraising progress and costume efforts using the hashtag #Spooktacular. The Spencers team were no exception as you can see from the below picture: 

Spencers team dress in Halloween costume

You can still support this great charity by donating online via JustGiving or by texting 'FANG66 £1' to 70070 to donate £1.

www.justgiving.com/spooktacular14/

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The short school walk - keeping your child safe

October 29, 2014 at 4:49 PM

If you only live a short walk from your children's school, the day will inevitably come when they are trusted to undertake the short journey by themselves.

As a parent, I understand that it can be difficult to let your children walk on their own to school, or even just to the bus stop, without constantly worrying about their safety. Charity Living Streets report that 44% of parents worry about their children's safety on the school run, but there are things that can be done to ensure their journey is as safe as possible.

Walking School Bus

The benefits of walking to school

Although it is natural to feel nervous about letting your children walk to school alone, allowing them to do so will benefit your children in several ways;

• It will give your children some much needed fresh air while also increasing the amount of physical activity they do. It is recommended that children exercise for at least 60 minutes per day.

• With the charity Living Streets reporting that one in three children will leave school overweight, walking to school rather than driving is a positive step towards reducing this figure.

• Before children take the step of walking to school alone, walking to school with a parent or carer provides an opportunity to teach and develop road safety skills.

• Walking to school is less stressful than driving.

• Walking reduces the dependency on cars, and can encourage an overall healthier lifestyle for our children.

• It is a way of reducing traffic congestion and pollution, especially outside schools.

• Children who walk to school are likely to be more alert and aware when they arrive.

• Walking to school will also increase your children's independence and social skills.

Driving versus to Walking to school

There is no denying that traffic poses a danger to pedestrians, regardless of their age. But it is important to put this danger into context as accidents can still happen if your child is a passenger in a car.

For example there were just over 24,000 pedestrian casualties reported in 2013. While this may seem like a large number, it's actually less than a quarter of car occupant casualties which were almost 110,000 in the same period.

Another reassuring fact is that the number of pedestrian casualties under 16 years old has been steadily decreasing for the last four years across Great Britain as a whole.

YearAge 0-4Age 5-7Age 8-11Age 12-15     TotalReduction
2013 926 1,086 1,931 2,453     6,396 - 8.62%
2012 914 1,080 2,206 2,799     6,999 - 10.35%
2011 1,023 1,277 2,418 3,089     7,807 - 1.54%
2010 1,004 1,209 2,408 3,308     7,929  

Data from www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/357321/ras30026.xls

Education and Planning - what you can do

For your peace of mind, it is advisable to work out the safest route and practice it with your children before letting them walk to school on their own. You need to be sure that they know where they're going, that they are aware of any potential dangers on the way, and you need to make certain that they will stick to this same route every day. In some residential areas, traffic calming and 20 mph speed limits are becoming more commonplace so, if you are able to, it is sensible to plan your child’s walking route along these roads.

School with crossing

Warn your children of the danger of talking to strangers, and perhaps see if they can walk to school with a friend who lives nearby rather than alone. If they walking with a friend, however, explain the importance of staying sensible; chasing each other or play fighting could lead to accidents.

Make sure that they know how to cross the road safely. This includes checking thoroughly for oncoming traffic, using dedicated crossings (Zebra, Pelican, Lollypop etc) and highlight the importance of being alert; they need to understand that parked cars may still pull away at any moment.

Finally, make sure that your children wear brightly coloured clothing so that they can easily be seen, and in the winter, ensure that they have reflective gear and torches, if needed.

Working with your School and Community

There are plenty of initiatives out there to encourage children to walk to school, and to make their journey safer and easier.

• See if your children's school has a Walking Zone map, highlighting how little time it can take to walk to school, or consider creating one.

• You could also check if your local area has a Park and Stride campaign, which encourages those who live a little further away to drive some of the distance and walk the rest.

• Living Streets are also encouraging schools, parents and children to take part in a School Route Audit, which looks at safe road crossing points and alternative routes to take. While safety is always paramount, ensuring that your children stay safe when walking to and from school can be done in a fun way. 

 

Do you let your children walk to school on their own? If so what would be your best piece of advice to other parents? Please share them in the comments.

 

About the author

Rachel Brown PhotoRachel Brown is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives having over 11 years experience in securing compensation for her clients. Rachel specialises in dealing with claimant personal injury cases following road traffic accidents.

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Spencers named among the top injury law firms in the Legal 500

October 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Derbyshire based law firm Spencers Solicitors, have been named among the top personal injury practices in the region according to the 2014 edition of Legal 500.

Legal 500 Leading Firm 2014 logo

The Legal 500 is now in its 27th year of publication and is widely acknowledged as the world's largest legal reference on the leading law firms operating within the UK, with the 2014 edition being published on 10th October 2014.

Spencers Solicitors are one of only thirteen practices in the East Midlands that received recommendation under the 'Claimant Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence' section with editorial comments of:

"Spencers Solicitors' varied practice takes in brain, spinal cord and industrial disease cases. The firm is also active for claimants on the regulatory side."

Robert Landman Photo

This is the second consecutive year that Spencers have been listed in the Legal 500 and Chief Executive Robert Landman had the following to say on the achievement:

"We are thrilled to again be recognised as a top firm within the region, demonstrating our expertise as a provider of high quality legal services. This is a great acknowledgement of the outstanding work done by our team here at Spencers, and reflects our ambition to become the UK's personal injury law firm of choice."


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