Copyright 2019 - The Ark Trust Ltd

Universal Credit a How to Guide

Learn My Way is a website of free online courses for beginners, helping you develop digital skills to make the most of the online world. (Please note this is not us providing this service, the course we tested, Universal Credit was useful).

Universal Credit: a how to guide

In this course you will learn about Universal Credit and how to work out if you can claim. The course will also show you how to make your first claim online and tell you what information you will need to do this.

Universal Credit is a single benefit payment that is replacing six other benefits and tax credits. Knowing if you are entitled to payments could help your finances and those of your family. Universal Credit is available in some areas of the country currently, but it will be available everywhere soon.

Learn My Way also has a number of other free courses about;

  • Using your computer or device
  • Online basics
  • More internet skills
  • Online safety
  • Finding a job online
  • Improving your health online
  • Managing your money online
  • Public services online

Healthwatch Bracknell Forest and SIGNAL for Carers calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund


The Ark Trust, a local registered charity who runs Local Healthwatch and Carers Support services across Bracknell Forest, is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of up to £4,000, up to £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Healthwatch Bracknell Forest and Signal for Carers is one of the groups successful at getting on the shortlist which they are really proud of.

Local Healthwatch collects feedback from patients and the public about local health and social care services. These views are then collated and shared anonymously with providers and commissioners to help make improvements to health and social care services. The other role of Local Healthwatch is to signpost and provide information about health and social care services to help people who at times maybe finding the system difficult to navigate.

SIGNAL for Carers provides support, information, guidance, advice and learning to carers. A carer is someone who is looking after someone else and they are not being paid to do this, for example a support worker is paid. Carers are looking after their spouse, their partners, family members, neighbours, friends. It doesn’t matter who they are looking after they are all carers. There is no minimum amount of time someone may spend caring to entitle them to free information and advice to assist them in their caring role.

Chris Taylor, Communication and Systems Manager at The Ark Trust said “Both of these services are funded by Bracknell Forest Council, any monies raised will be used to enhance the services, for example, we want to be able to be in more public places to collect people views and we want to be able to host more events for carers and the person they care for, something that is not part of our core contract but is something that carers tell us they and the person they care for really value and enjoy.”

Voting is open in the following Tesco Stores throughout May and June 2018; Ascot High Street (SL5 7HP), Bracknell (RG12 9TZ), Bracknell North RG42 3JP, Forest Park (RG12 0XQ).

Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop. If you don’t receive a token, please ask a member of staff for one.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £40 million to 9,700 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for May and June. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:
“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”
Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit

NFIB Alert - False Telephone Preference Service Calls

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a 'Telephone Preference Service' - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.

In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim's direct debit cancellation request was refused.

During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.

Protect yourself:

  • There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at
  • You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
  • Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Received from Action Fraud via Thames Valley Alert.

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