British Red Cross

I was at a presentation by the Red Cross last night where they were updating the voluntary sector on what they are up to! So, I thought I’d let you know too. For us the important bits were:
1. Actively simplifying First Aid!
2. Making it easier for young people to access First Aid Training by:
* A simple package whereby we can be trainers
* A simple package that can train young people to be peer educators
* Supplying resources for both of the above
* Online resources for learning/exploration

The website doesn’t seem to be fully up to date with the ideas I was presented with last night and I’m struggling to find all the links, especially the possibilities around accessing the training to be be deliverers of basic first aid training. This is the link for the educator kit though.
They were also showcasing their Youtube videos that helped teens learn some simple techniques like “The Pushover!”

Two Questions for men

What as a man do you struggle with in Church culture, practice and services?
What changes would result in a church you more readily engaged with and participated in?

I’m also very interested in opportunities to ask this of lads in Youth groups (or for you to ask). Comments are working although they may not appear straight away as nearly everything gets held or blocked until I have approved it. (Sorry, Spambot war!!)
Just click on ‘comments’ or ‘no comments’ if you are first. If you’d prefer not to comment but to e-mail instead, also fab.


Have spent a few nights knocking up a ‘pitch’ for a Vdub magazine for a monthly slot. It was an interesting process working out a niche and then attempting to design and write a piece to fill it. Have to admit being slightly nervous but enjoying the challenge! It’s all very well hitting heady heights as a Creosote Expert in the virtual world, but can I cut it in the world of print in VDubdom?
A blog reader did comment that my Vdub Bus was [‘merely’] another type of shed for me, but one that moved. I think the move towards writing about Transporters is therefore a natural progression (especially as I’ve slipped to Google #25 now if you want to know about Google Substitute!)


This week sees the next “New Appointment: Training and Support” gathering. It’s on Wednesday at CMS. Let me know if you’d like to come
(For Oxford and surround, I notice Clint is putting on a gathering on the same day to get local workers across the churches together. Contact him for details)
The I.D Weekend for teenagers in Churches in Berkshire on November 3rd, 4th. PLEASE can you contact me if you are interested in your group being involved as I’d love to chat with you.

[email protected]

I was up in the far North of the Diocese yesterday evening in the lovely market town of Olney. Had the privilege of being at [email protected] which is a great informal service which attracts all ages but is very much owned and run by the teenagers. Really REALLY great band!
So encouraging to see young people so much at the heart of the church and part of making things happen. The Church are actively running the “Growing Leaders (Youth Edition) course” and I spoke to a couple of the mentors last night who were really getting a lot out of it too.
I was laughing at myself on the way back. The conundrum of loving loud, energetic Youth Led worship BUT then listening to Radio 4 all the way home!

Dub Music

We took Charlie Bus out for a ‘run’ at the weekend enjoying a trip through the Wye Valley in all it’s Autumnal magnificence. It was a kind of birthday bash! Not for any of the family as such, It was Charlie who is celebrating 21 years since date of first registration.
I have made one slight mod’ to the van or at least the sound therein. Aldi had a killer offer on a new stereo and I sort of happened to accidently buy one to boost the range of listening options on journies. I expected Haddon to be a bit impressed but he went way beyond that heralding the stereo as “the best thing ever!” This was prompted by his utter delight at being able to Bluetooth his tracks from his MP3 player through to the stereo. Great fun to see him lounging on the ‘sofa,’ feet on the trunk and happily filling the van with his eclectic music choices ….. and all without wires.
Definitely nearing the end of the Vdub season though and Charlie will be back in his winter Chrysalis soon after a rub down with Waxoyl, WD40 and any other anti-rust embrocations lying around.

Vodafone Price Increase

I was very un-impressed with Vodafone putting up their line rental. I, like many others, had assumed that as it was a fixed rate contract and that the monthly rate we had agreed was what I would actually be paying for the 24 months of the contract.
I popped into the local Vodafone shop and explained why I thought this increase was wrong, but met quite a forcible rebuff along the lines of it’s not that much, we’re entitled to add the increase and I should have read the terms and conditions where it is clearly laid out.
Where I differ with the thinking … and the re-buff, is:
1. When I took on the contract, the salesman reiterated the deal before I signed, checking I was clear that it was a 24 month contract at £X per month. There was no mention of £X being a variable. Regardless of whether it is in the small print or not the salesperson should be up front about charging structures.
2. It may only be 2.4% but each member of my family has a Vodafone contract, it adds up. There is also nothing to say that it will not levy a 2.4% (or more) again next year.
3. Vodafone are free to put their prices up at any time and have a great mechanism for doing that. The deals on offer change and people sign up to the new deal.
4. A deal requires a commitment on the customers side, I believe morally that the company should commit to their side of the deal.
(5. The fact that Vodafone (or at least their representative and the decision maker(s) doesn’t get why this change is wrong)
When companies damage the trust placed in them by their customers they are taking a huge risk, much bigger than the 2.4% they hope to gain.
fixed-means-fixed logo by which.jpg
Which Magazine have set up a petition for “Fixed Contract” to mean ‘fixed!’ which I’ve signed. You’ll find it here
Vodafone aren’t the only mobile provider do have done this I should point out. I do feel strongly though that if the contract that you are being asked to sign is only binding on your side and not on the companies it becomes an act of great faith/recklessness to sign. With contracts now being 24 month it is not a short lived penalty.
If this is the trend it is worth stepping away from phone related deals, to SIM and airtime contracts with the likes of GiffGaff who I hear good things about.