Jan. 20th, 2010

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We were informed last night that the organisation that I've been doing voluntary work for, Ormiston who operate the Prisoners Families Helpline in conjunction with Action for Prisoners Families, have not succeeded in retaining the contract, which was up for tender. We believe that it has gone to our former colleagues Partners of Prisoners (or POPS) in Manchester, although there is nothing (yet) on their website.

So, what happened? Well, I better explain. As it stands at the moment, the National Prisoners Families Helpline was launched in 2003, using funding from the Big Lottery Fund. There were initially five partners around the country, although this was down to two – Ormiston near Cambridge, and POPS in Manchester, when I started in Aug 2007. Shortly after, the lottery funding ran out, and if I remember rightly, both partners dug out some money to keep the service going. From April 2009, the tender was offered to both partners to provide sole ownership of the service for one year, with funding from the National Offender Management Service, now part of the Ministry for Justice. A wider tender was offered from April 2010, open to all comers, and I think was offered on the basis of an enhanced service level provision, although we don't know if that will be proceeded with, or if they just wanted to get the cost of it. One way or another, the service will continue, but will be back in the hands of the Manchester-based group from April 2010.

My thoughts? Naturally disappointed, but I want to remember the good times that I've had working there, since August 2007. They have genuinely been a wonderful bunch to work with, and I've got close with most of them over the last little while. I will continue to provide the assistance that I can, until the last.

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From the company announcement... the all-day X42 looks like a good one, and will fulfill a number of often-requested links, as well as supporting the popular X1 between Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes. The 96 being reinstated to/from Ninewells Hospital also brings back a direct service to/from St Andrews, but it's interesting to note the 42 and 96 are swapping around in Tayport.

Stagecoach in Fife would like to advise passengers of a number of service changes that will be introduced across Fife as a result of feedback received by ourselves and Fife Council in relation to the new network of supported services introduced in August 2009 in North East Fife. In the Central Fife area a number of minor changes will be introduced in order to improve the reliability of certain services, particularly at peak times. A summary of the changes can be found below:
Cut for the rest )
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I had a part-of-the-afternoon shift on Switchboard, and wanted to attend a meeting in the evening. So, left Royston mid-morning and headed for London. I intended on a little travel before, and after arriving in London, took a 59 bus heading south to Waterloo.

After browsing two bookstores and walking through the railway station, I headed down the drain! For those who did not get the suggestion via Facebook, it's a nickname for the Waterloo & City tube line. From Waterloo, all stations to Bank via Bank, the next station is Bank – you get the idea. I wasn't going above ground at Bank though, merely using it to change to the Central Line tube, heading to Liverpool Street.

When I got to Liverpool Street, I was a bit ahead of schedule/ I'd planned to be arriving by 1320, but arrived about 20-30 minutes in advance. From here, quick drink and sit down before continuing to St Pancras station on the 214 – again to kill a bit of time, before getting the same bus back again to work.

After work, had some time to kill before Caroline was due to arrive in London, so took the 205 bus through to Marylebone, before getting the same back to Kings Cross.

While waiting for Caroline to arrive, I checked my email via my mobile phone, and got some news with regards to the tender for provision of the Prisoners Families Helpline – the contract has been lost. More on this is in this separate posting.

After Caroline arrived, we went for a bite to eat, before continuing onto Gays The Word bookstore, for the monthly TransLondon meeting. This month's event was a presentation and talk from [livejournal.com profile] the_local_echo , with assistance from [livejournal.com profile] auntysarah. The en-massed standing crowd were duly impressed by the content, as well as Sylvia's delivery.

As ever, it's over to a rather packed pub over the road. We stayed for one, before leaving to walk around to Woburn Place, for a 59 or 91 bus back to Kings Cross. The latter arrived, and we went for the 2215 Kings Lynn train home to Royston.

So, my full list of travels was -

First Capital Connect train Royston – London Kings Cross

Arriva London South bus DW68 59 Kings Cross at Camden Town Hall – Waterloo, Waterloo Road

Waterloo & City Line tube train Waterloo – Bank

Central Line tube train Bank – Liverpool Street

Metroline bus DLD703 214 Liverpool Street – St Pancras, St Pancras Road

Metroline bus DLD130 214 St Pancras, Midland Road – Islington

East London bus 15118 205 Islington – Marylebone

East London bus 15121 205 Marylebone – Kings Cross

walk to Gays The Word

Metroline bus TE914 91 Woburn Place – Kings Cross

First Capital Connect train London Kings Cross – Royston

Only the three pictures from yesterday (left the card in the laptop!) but those will follow in time, as I can't transfer them easily onto the card.

Today, more gremlins! I've been browsing the Stagecoach Fife service changes (more about those in a separate post), and the printer doesn't seem to respond. I've only just clicked that this machine was still set up for the colour machine we sold last year, even though I installed the drivers the other day. Never mind, now sorted!


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September 2010


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