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After Prince Philip’s car crash, one local charity says mediation is the answer

The debate as to when individuals should end their driving careers was highlighted again following the road traffic crash that involved Prince Philip, on 17th January near to the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

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One local charity, West Sussex Mediation Service, has been helping families deal with this dilemma, and many other tricky subjects that result from our ageing population.

The Charity launched its Elder Mediation service in 2016 having recognised that we have an ageing population in the UK and families with older relatives are facing various difficult issues to resolve. This extends beyond driving careers to caring duties, living arrangements, dealing with change, wills/inheritances and powers of attorney.

Mediation helps everyone involved to hear and understand one another and to work together, with the aim of finding the best solutions that suit all those involved. West Sussex Mediation Service offers this service free, with an invitation to make a donation to help sustain the charity.

Service Co-ordinator for the charity, Nick Handley said,

“We know that this can be an emotive subject, as the ability to drive provides great independence. However, there can be positives out of hanging up your car keys. With free travel on buses and subsidies on trains, there could be a financial saving. Accepting lifts from friends/family can sociable events and most of us would agree that driving is very stressful anyway and not great for your blood pressure.”

By 2020 the number of people aged over 80 will have doubled. In 2016 18% of the population were aged 65 and over and 2.4% were 85 years or older. The over 65’s will account for roughly a quarter of the population by 2046.   If you would like any advice on this or associated issues, the charity can be contacted on 0300 200 0025 or via info@wsms.org.uk

Lifestyle

Council offers four new apprenticeships

Kick-start your career and make a positive difference to our community, is the message coming from Crawley Borough Council

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The council has four exciting roles available:

  • Worth Park Horticultural Apprentice
  • Communications Apprentice
  • Apprentice Building Maintenance Surveyor
  • Apprentice Specialist Fitter (Vehicle, Plant and Equipment).

Our apprenticeship opportunities aim to help talented people take their first steps in specialist areas while gaining local government experience.

If you’re passionate about helping others and making a difference to Crawley’s residents and the local environment, an apprenticeship with the council could be perfect for you!

The full-time 18-month Horticultural Apprentice role is a unique opportunity based at Worth Park; it’ll combine your passion for sustainable horticulture, hands-on outdoor tasks and a thirst for learning new things.

If you enjoy writing and have a keen interest in the media, Communications Apprentice might be the role for you! During the 18-month programme you’ll write press releases, schedule social media posts, work with local and regional press and so much more.

The Building Maintenance Surveyor vacancy is a two-year apprenticeship with Crawley Homes. You’ll work alongside experienced surveyors and get hands-on experience as a valued member of the Responsive Repairs and Planned Maintenance Teams.

Learn how to service and repair a wide range of vehicles, plant machinery and mechanical equipment with the Specialist Fitter apprenticeship. For three years, you’ll be part of our experienced Vehicle Workshop Team based in County Oak.

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “As a council, we’re committed to offering these opportunities to young people and those looking to start a new career.

“With our apprenticeships, you can be earning a competitive salary while gaining invaluable work experience and a transferable qualification – there are no drawbacks!”

All vacancies close on Sunday 21 July and offer a starting salary of £12,042.

Find out more about our apprenticeships and register for vacancy alerts at crawley.gov.uk/apprenticeships

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