June 2020

Wathall’s Expands Bereavement Support Services

Family-owned Wathall’s funeral directors has launched a bespoke services for local businesses, organisations and charities to help bereaved staff and stakeholders come to terms with their grief.

The Dandelions Grief Journey support and education programme enables people to understand the grief process and learn how to cope with life moving forwards.

Single or regular sessions can be held virtually in the interim and then either in the workplace or an external venue.

Rams Ace Kicks Off Skills Challenge

Former Derby County Captain Shaun Barker and ambassador for specialist Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound has launched an online football challenge for young people eager to showcase their skills and to raise awareness of internet safety.

Shaun has produced a video for Safe and Sound’s social media channels  https://vimeo.com/432176695 - challenging young people to do as many keepy ups as they can and then post their skills online.

DCG Celebrates Employer Partnerships

A wide range of businesses and organisations who work with Derby College Group (DCG) to better prepare students for the world of work have been officially recognised.

DCG works with around 3,000 businesses and organisations with a large proportion involved in helping to shape the curriculum for students and providing work placements, specialist speakers and projects for students across the College sites in Derby, Morley and Ilkeston.

Derby husband-and-wife team welcoming back furloughed workers with Colleague Box

A DERBY husband-and-wife have been inundated with orders for their personalised gift boxes from companies wanting to welcome furloughed colleagues back to the workplace. 

Natalie Bamford – founder of the award-winning Derby Days Out - and husband Adam launched Colleague Box, a letterbox gift company, as the Coronavirus pandemic was at its peak, and they have just taken a quote for over a thousand of their Return to Work Treat Boxes – one of the 13 options available to companies wanting to put a smile on the faces of returning team members or those who may still be on furlough.

Project D advertises the sweetest job in East Midlands – doughnut taste testers

Die-hard doughnut fans are being given the opportunity of a lifetime by a bakery which is looking to recruit an army of sweet-toothed taste testers.

Project D delivers a range of handcrafted doughnuts, which are embellished with an array of delicious and decadent toppings, to homes across the region.

Now the company, which changes the flavours of its doughnuts every six weeks and also offers a vegan range, is looking for between three and five taste testers in each of its delivery locations.

Safe and Sound Wins Two Prestigious Awards

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has clinched two regional awards in recognition of its achievements.

The East Midlands Charity Awards were announced during a virtual event – celebrating the work of charities across the region and concluded with a resounding #Cheer For Charities.

Local Business Leader First To Join Virtual Cycle

Derby business leader Helen Wathall MBE has become the first to sign up for a virtual cycle ride organised by specialist Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound.

Miss Wathall is managing director and the fifth generation of her family to head up Wathall’s funeral directors in Derby, Alvaston, Borrowash, Ashbourne and Burton-on-Trent.  She is also board chair of St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District (BID).

BIDs Support Hospitality Businesses To Re-open

Businesses in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter who are gearing up for re-opening say they are now more optimistic for the future following the Government’s announcement today that social distancing has been relaxed.

Hospitality businesses, including pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels – which represent one of the largest sectors in both the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter - are due to re-open on July 4.

Rebooting Derby’s economy

The Derby Economic Recovery Task Force is seeking discussions with ministers over how Government can support its ambitious efforts to restart, revive and renew the city’s fortunes.

Bringing The Hannells Darley Park Concert to your home

Just as the final plans were being made to announce The Hannells Darley Park Concert, the country went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Owing to the continued need for social distancing and to ensure the safety of the public, no date has yet been given for when large-scale public events can be held again. This means it is not possible for this year’s concert on Sunday 30 August to go ahead as planned.

Join us for the Derby Museums Online Quiz!

And find out how you can support Derby Museums for FREE...

Grab a cuppa or even your own virtual quiz team and get ready for what could be the cultural quiz of the century! Join us at 8pm on Friday 3 July for our first ever online quiz, hosted by our very own quiz master Mo Suleman! We'll be streaming the quiz on our YouTube channel live from the Museum and Art Gallery. 

City Landmark Decision

An ambitious scheme to invest £30m bringing £68m of economic benefit, by building 201 high quality build-to-rent apartments on Derby's North Riverside, will be considered by planners tonight.

DCG Recognised As Leading The Way In Remote Teaching and Learning

Derby College Group (DCG) has been chosen by the government as one of a further 18 schools and colleges to become ‘edtech demonstrators’.

DCG is the only college in the East Midlands to be part of the second stage of the programme. Others are Exeter College, Grimsby Institute, Harlow College, The Manchester College, Oldham Sixth Form College, West Suffolk College Group and Wilberforce College.

Dare to Dream at Artcore

Are you a creative person?

There is an opportunity to join Dare to Dream 2020 Tuesday online course. Learn new skills through online art workshops, training and support. Over the course you will learn how to make high quality crafts which you can sell through Artcore.

Open routes to employment and volunteering through your creative personal development.

FREE for unemployed people aged 16+ who live in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The Sharing Of Uncertainty - John Newling

John Newling will be exhibiting in Artcore Gallery later this year, but in this period between then and now we have started working with him on a blog called 'The Sharing Of Uncertainty.' The blog explores the idea of reconstruction and also gives you an insight into his latest project, Dear Nature which is on display at IKON Gallery, Birmingham. The design process has been very rewarding and we are excited to share this new collaboration with you this month, so do stay tuned!

A note from Artcore founder and Artistic Director – Zahir Shaikh

In mid-March, whether we were prepared or not, the world as we knew it changed. The nation went into lockdown due to COVID-19 and business and non-essential sectors were forced to close down in lieu of public safety. But rather than focus on the immense, adverse impacts this pandemic has had on every person and every country, I would like to talk to you about how we, in our own way tried to overcome that. I believe that as an arts organisation we had a responsibility to our sector and to our community; responsibility became an ability to respond.

PhotoForum Live A series of inspirational talks

PhotoForum Live 
A series of inspirational talks 

Every Tuesday in June and July at 3.00pm [BST]

With limited places available don't miss out on attending the next Photoforum Live with Photography Editor Bridget Coaker in conversation with Paul Lowe, Reader in Documentary Photography and award winning photographer

Book Now


FORMAT International Photography Festival & The People’s Picture

FORMAT is proud to announce a new partnership with The People's Picture, a photographic and design studio founded by British artist Helen Marshall.

The response to the #massisolationFORMAT project has been enormous and working together FORMAT and The People's Picture are creating a Covid19 pandemic archive in the form of a giant digital mosaic to commemorate this moment in our history.


Dronfield Barn Virtual Market - Coming Soon

In these testing times, we were disappointed that we weren't able to hold our planned Artisan & Producers' Market on the 7th June.

However, that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on your usual shopping experience, as you will soon be able to shop for your favourite products in our ‘VIRTUAL MARQUEE’. We’ve invited our local craft makers and sellers into our virtual marquee where you'll be able to shop for original, high quality products and gifts from the comfort of your own home!

Acting Alone - Ava Hunt Theatre (based in Crich)


7.30pm, Wednesday 17 June

A provocative, funny show about standing up for what we believe in. Can one person actually make a difference?

Acting Alone is inspired by people Ava met in Palestinian refugee camps. In her unique performance style, she weaves together these stories of fragile humanity, asking questions of us all.

Link on the day: https://youtu.be/JtuQYpL5MyE

Digital transformation for Derby

Bondholder CityFibre has started work on transforming Derby into one of the world’s best digitally-connected cities.

As part of an initial £45m private investment from CityFibre, Derby will benefit from the state-of-the-art full fibre network roll-out. Construction work has officially commenced in the Mackworth area, with Abbey, Mickleover, Allestree and Darley set to follow later this year.

£23m bid to revitalise Derby

Derby is to ask the Government for £23.7 million to help fund a series of schemes that will reinvigorate the city centre, attract more visitors and create hundreds of jobs.

The money will enable delivery of new office space, create attractive public areas, utilise digital technology to improve visitor experience and provide an exciting new use for one of the city’s most historic buildings. It will establish striking new ‘gateways’ to the city centre and better connect key areas.

Get On Your Bike And Support Safe And Sound

Specialist Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound are hosting a virtual cycle ride to raise money needed to help them support more young people across the county who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation.

Everyone signing up and donating to the charity will receive details of an easy to follow and cycle-friendly circular 11-mile route taking in five Derby parks - Markeaton Park, Darley Park, Bass Recreation Ground, Alvaston Park and West End Park (Markeaton Recreation Ground) before working back to the start.

Timber Festival launches Sounds of the Forest

Call-out to collaborate in creating the first ever forest soundmap of the world

Following the postponement of Timber 2020, the festival organisers are inviting people from across the globe to contribute to a different kind of gathering with the launch of Sounds of the Forest, an exciting new mass participation audio project. The annual three-day festival at the heart of the National Forest, Timber celebrates the connection to trees and woodlands through music, art and ideas. This year it has had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

DCG Outlines Future Arrangements

Derby College Group (DCG) has remained open for certain students to attend Broomfield Hall and for children at the Little Explorers Nursery also at Broomfield Hall.

In line with government guidance, DCG are planning to expand engagement on all campuses from June 15 with some face to face contact with certain students.  

This engagement will be by invitation and will include students preparing for year two studies and those having to undertake assessment to gain their licence to practice. 

DCG Applauds Adult Learners’ Commitment To Learning

Virtual learning and studying at home are not just the ‘new normal’ for young people across the county – it is also the challenge facing hundreds of adult students at Derby College Group who are juggling their studies with work and family life.

Exile Festival Poets Breakout - Fri 26th June 7.30pm

The weekend 26 - 28th June would have been Exile Music Festival - sadly cancelled this year due to the pandemic. However, I am hosting an on-line zoom event Fri 26th June at 7.30pm in lieu of the Poetry Aloud presents: stage at Exile Music Festival.

Featuring two Derbyshire poets Mark Gwynne-Jones and Lucy Peacock, plus an open mic with slots bookable by email to: info@lytishapoet.co.uk


For more details email Info@lytishapoet.co.uk or see the FB event: 

The Imagination Project - For Writers & Creatives

The Imagination Project. Helping kickstart creativity and banish writer's block. A collection of bespoke and unique creative writing prompts delivered to your door with workbooks and support to help get you unblocked and writing again. And just like no person or story is the same, no box of items is the same either. But there's so much more to the project too... Full details and tickets at https://peakdistrictevents.com/the-imagination-project

Stainsby 2020 Newsflash

Let’s get the Bad News out of the way first...

Not surprisingly, you can’t run a festival with six people from two households standing 2 metres apart. We‘ve assessed all the risks and there’s no way we could run (or afford) a safe festival in its usual form – not even if government rules were relaxed (or our name was Dominic Cummings). Sadly, this year’s Stainsby Festival, in the form you’ve grown to love it, won’t be happening (not even in Durham).

We’ll see you back on the festival field again in 2021.


Enterprise Digital Webinar

Enterprise has gone digital in Derbyshire – The Prince's Trust is now recruiting for a free 2 day DIGITAL business programme within the city and county.

This programme is open to anyone aged 18-30, not in education, employment or training, and looking to learn new skills in self-employment.

Programme:     22 & 23 June 2020 9.30am-4.30pm
Location:           Log in from smart phone, tablet device or computer.

If you or someone you know might benefit from this FREE course, please contact  0800 842 842, or the local team on 07919 221 443.


Lubrizol praises mental health projects after it gives them a £250 helping hand

Derbyshire chemical company Lubrizol UK has praised the organisers of two online mental health projects after they won an online Dragons’ Den-style charity pitch event that was sponsored by the firm.

The company, based in Hazelwood, has congratulated Gaby Goodchild and Helen Woodford, who walked away with £700 and £300 respectively for their new ventures after taking part in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Soup online event last week.

Wathall’s Step Up Support Programme For Local Charities

Family-owned funeral directors, Wathall’s, have brought forward its year-long community support programme in light of the pandemic to ensure local charities have the support they need now.

A Wathall’s Wish was originally launched in January and planned to support a different charity every month with money, volunteering or donations of goods and services.

The company earmarked charities operating in and around the communities in which it has branches – Derby’s St Peters Quarter, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Burton-on-Trent and Borrowash.

BIDs Help Businesses Prepare For Re-opening

Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have further stepped up support for local businesses by offering Business Covid-19 Recovery Starter packs to help them re-open safely.

Businesses who pay a BID levy can apply for the pack which includes social distancing floor graphics and tape, washable face coverings, hand sanitiser, and a series of posters and window vinyls advising on COVID-19 prevention measures.

Derby Book Festival at Home

Despite the disruption to its 2020 plans caused by COVID-19, the team at the Derby Book Festival has created a series of online events to bring some of its programme to you at home.

A series of 'DBF at Home' author interviews, posted daily on the Festival website from 29th May to 6th June at 10am, gives a flavour of the breadth of the programme and to keep the joy of books and reading alive in the absence of the Festival.

Derby Live: Updated information about events during COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of the public and our staff has been the priority of Derby City Council. It is with regret that we are now announcing that all outdoor events, and events at Derby Arena and other venues, will not be running until at least the end of August.

In the meantime we will work to put measures in place to ensure that events are run safely for the public and staff members, ready for when we are able to start hosting them again.

Online Photography Competition 'NATURE'

We might not be able to hold our annual Dronfield Wildlife & Natural History Group photography competition this year, but you can still get involved with a fun online competition we're running instead!

The theme is of 'nature', and you can enter up to five photos taken at any time within the last year. Images must not have been previously entered in our previous photography competitions. Please list image titles and dates taken in your email.

Art from Ruth Gray - Summer

I'm in my what seems like the hundredth week of lockdown although technically I can go out if I want to but, I don't yet want too so I'm not! I'm hoping that soon I will feel confident enough to venture out there once the transmission figures look safe enough!

But in the meantime the dissertation continues although I've handed a draft over to my supervisor so I can have a break while she looks over it. There's still an awful lot of chip shop waffling I need to do yet!

Derby Museums launches Derby Museums from Home microsite

Derby Museums today launches its brand new microsite, Derby Museums from Home, making new online content accessible throughout the lockdown.

The hashtag, #MuseumFromHome, first emerged on social media in March as museums around the world were forced to close in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It has since grown to become a global phenomenon with museums near and far taking to the web to showcase their collections digitally and engage with their audiences in all manner of creative and innovative ways.

We're re-opening the St John Street Gallery!

Subject to authorisation by the government

We're re-opening the Gallery!

with a Special Exhibition from 15th June 2020

Artwork for £250 or less by established as well as new artists.

A great opportunity to get original art  at a reasonable price!

Gallery News OPEN iso online

I'm excited to let you know that OPEN iso online will be available for you to view from 9am tomorrow morning via the galleries website: please click on the link below (not live until 9am)
The exhibition is a diverse show of over 130 pieces of work by 77 artists from across the UK: many thanks to all of the exhibiting artists for making the show possible!

New Mills Festival News

Ok all you fabulous people, artists, organisers, audiences, partners, contractors, vendors and volunteers. In these uncertain times, it’s good for the soul to have something to look forward to, and the Festival Team, like everyone else, is really looking forward to the time when we can meet up with friends and family again.

Kinder Choir keeps on singing!!

The coronavirus lockdown has stopped many choirs in their tracks since they can no longer meet to rehearse but that’s not been enough to deter Kinder Choirs of the High Peak. Singers from as young as seven, to more experienced Youth Choir teenagers, have been learning and practising a new song at home and their efforts can now be heard on youtube .


The velocity of throwing: new work by Penny Withers

As the lockdown begins to ease, new work is arriving in the gallery in preparation for re-opening in a few weeks time. Penny Withers has just delivered a new group of her ceramics and you can see them and read about her by clicking on the image. 



We are inviting image makers around the world to participate in documenting the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic charting the time before, during and after the lockdowns. The images can express your thoughts, feelings and the world around you at this extraordinary moment in our collective lives.
Take part by uploading your images and captions on Instagram, using the tag #massisolationformat. Follow @massisolationFORMAT to see the highlights so far.  

Thousands tune in to unique livestream Macbeth

Whilst theatre companies across the world have responded to the current lockdown by posting past productions online and hosting Zoom box readings of plays, Derby based theatre company Oddsocks Productions have taken an altogether more ambitious route in order to keep in touch with their audience and are attracting new and unusual ones in the process.  

Dronfield Arts Festival's Open Art Exhibition Open Now!

This year, in light of the current situation, Dronfield Arts Festival is now hosting its popular Open Art Exhibition as an online event!

Although the exhibition is not currently able to take place in the Barn's gallery, we are now sharing the artwork online on the Dronfield Arts Festival website, so you can still enjoy a fantastic selection of unique pieces created by some of our most talented artists, living and working in and around Dronfield.

This Month We Recommend You Read...

We're focusing this month on some of the excellent children's books we have available from our eBook and eAudiobook collections, which are great choices to share with your family.

Mark Men's Health Week With Derbyshire Libraries

From the 15th to the 21st of June it is Men’s Health Week. This is a period used to highlight particular issues that affect men’s health specifically and also more generally and to try and both highlight and offer advice, support and encouragement for men in dealing and coping with these. One of these areas in particular over the last couple of years has been mental health.

Take Part In Empathy Day on June 9

We’re counting down to Empathy Day on June 9, celebrating how reading helps us all to understand other people better. The more we empathise with the great characters we read about, the more we understand how others think and feel.

Explore The Local History Around You!

A lot of us are taking our daily exercise close to home and walking/running/cycling familiar routes and we’re asking you to photograph and share the local history that surrounds you. Have you spotted something that you’ve never noticed before? An old building, mile stone, building plaque or something else?

Find Out More About Hi-Vis Fortnight

Hi-Vis Fortnight runs from 1-14 June and celebrates alterative formats and accessible library services for all. Derbyshire Libraries supports and provides services for visually and print impaired customers and our eaudio offer from RBDigital is just one great example of this.

#LibrariesFromHome Resources

Whilst we unfortunately continue to remain closed due to the current pandemic, we are continuing to provide you with as much of the service as we possibly can.

Derbyshire Libraries Saying Hi!

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the screen/scenes? Throughout June we will be featuring our staff that have been part of the #LibrariesFromHome team. They are just stopping by and saying hello and are highlighting what they like to do and read and what they have been working on, from eBook reviews, cookery demonstrations to staying in touch with our home library service customers.

Online Education Service Secures Government Grant

An innovative digital platform which was created by a former Derby headteacher to safely share quality teaching between the classroom and the kitchen table has attracted £50,000 Government funding.

You Teach Me (YTM) has been awarded funding by Innovate UK which aims to drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop the potential of new ideas.

Regional Recognition For Safe and Sound

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has been shortlisted for two regional awards in recognition of its achievements.

Safe and Sound has reached the finals of the East Midlands Charity Awards 2020 which incorporates 14 different categories and has attracted entries from across the region.