Do you work with young people who need to build social skills, self-confidence and independence?

InterAct’s new programme for January to March 2019 is here! They have lots in store for you in 2019. There are lots of exciting things going on during February half term including Mamma Mia, the musical, Southend Adventure Island and London Zoo! You can view the programme for January to March by clicking here.

The bookings for half term and the overnight break are now open. For more information click here.

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External Job Opportunity: North Avenue Youth Centre – Youth Support Worker

North Avenue Youth Centre is based in Chelmsford and works with young people aged 8 – 18 (25 with additional needs) in the area. They aim to engage young people in a range of activities both within the Youth Centre and in the community. Through these activities North Avenue Youth Centre aims to develop meaningful and positive relationships with young people, based on mutual trust and respect, helping young people reach their full potential. Previous experience working with young people would be beneficial but not essential

Responsible to: Youth Centre Manager

A youth worker will:

• Work as part of a team, with other youth workers and volunteers, under the direction of the Youth Centre Manager to develop and deliver a varied programme of activities for the young people, including crafts; sports; drama; gardening; young leader training; youth club; and other projects

• Prepare and supervise particular activities and deputise for the Youth Centre Manager, as agreed

• Be a responsible and positive role model for young people. Interact with the young people in a positive way, ensuring young people are listened to. Encourage young people to join in with activities or be part of planning activities of events

• Work in the tuck shop serving refreshments, taking money and ensuring the kitchen is left tidy

• Work at the entrance taking admissions, ensuring the young people sign in for the sessions

• Work with young people to promote a safe and unprejudiced environment

• Take part in meetings as required, subject to availability

• Carry out other responsible activities as requested by the Youth Centre Manager or the administrator

• Follow the code of conduct at all times, promoting the best outcomes and experiences for young people

Person specification


• Be reliable and honest

• Be ready to commit to regular term time working

• Be understanding of the issues and pressures faced by young people

• Enjoy working with young people

• Be prepared to undergo necessary training e.g. Safeguarding of children and young people

• Be a positive role model

• Be committed to empowering young people to achieve their potential

• Be prepared for occasional flexible working hours


• Leadership skills

• The ability to ensure relevant Health and Safety under the guidance of the Youth Centre Manager

• Be observant, patient and enthusiastic

• Have the ability to work as part of a team with the other members of staff and the volunteers

• Possess good listening skills and the ability to communicate and engage well with young people

• Have the ability to work on own initiative

Identity / Character

The successful applicant will be subject to the relevant health, social services and police checks.

Satisfactory references will be required.

Those interested in this position should contact Charlie Newton ( via email to arrange an informal chat or ask any questions. To apply, please send a CV with a covering letter by email.

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Local Charities Day 2018

Local Charities Day builds on the work of our recently published Civil Society Strategy, where the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committed to enhancing relationships between businesses, charities and local areas, to help communities grow.

This year, the DCMS are highlighting the importance of giving by encouraging people to pledge their time to a local charity, alongside championing the phenomenal and life-changing work of local charities, while shining a huge spotlight on local charity champions – the unsung heroes who always go the extra mile for their charity, the people and causes they support.

Join the conversation on social media

With four weeks to go and as we countdown to Friday 14 December, we will also be highlighting the work of a variety of local charities via this blog.

Today, Friday 14 December is #LocalCharitiesDay, be sure to follow the DCMS on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for more information and updates about the day.

Celebrate the work of charitable organisations and share why you’re supporting the day alongside the #LocalCharitiesDay hashtag.

Get involved

Use the interactive map to find local charities near you. Run a local charity? Add your details to our map and show your support for the day

#PledgeYourTime to a local charity

• Nominate a Local Charities Champion

• Add the #LocalCharitiesDay Twibbon to your social media channels

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Kids Inspire Christmas Appeal 2018

Kids Inspire are once again warmly welcoming your Christmas gift and hamper donations for their Christmas Appeal 2018.

All of the donations will be distributed to children and young people who, without Kids Inspire and you, may not have an extra-special Christmas, so please give generously!

Please see the flyers below which detail all that you can offer in support this Christmas.

For more information see the Kids Inspire website here.

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Public consultation on Essex Future Library Services Strategy (2019-2024)

Essex County Council recognise that library services play a unique and valued role in our society. But in the last five years use has slumped: loans have almost halved and fewer than one in five Essex residents use libraries. The current service needs to change to fit the way we live now and in the future.

Earlier this year Essex County Council asked for people’s views on library services. They have listened to what Essex people have told them and they have come up with a set of proposals which are set out in a draft strategy. Their five-year plan in that draft strategy is for a service that:

  • Keeps books and reading at the heart of our library service offer
  • Embraces digital technology and e-library services
  • Has a smaller number of libraries which better meet community needs
  • Works in partnership with communities to run library services.

It is vital that Essex County Council operate a service that is viable to run and is relevant to people’s lives. The proposals therefore include some significant changes to the current service. Essex County Council want to get your views on these proposals.

You can find more information about the proposals and complete the survey at You can complete the survey as an individual or on behalf of an organisation.

If you need help to complete the survey, would like it in large print, or would like a printed copy of the EasyRead versions, please ask at your local library or call 0345 603 7639.

During the consultation, Essex County Council will also be holding information drop-ins at every library providing a further opportunity to ask questions, complete the consultation and find out more.

If you are from a community group or organisation please publicise the consultation to your members or service users. If you would like copies of publicity material please email

The deadline for completing the consultation survey is 20 February 2019.

All the responses from the consultation will be analysed and findings published on the consultation website. These will be available on request for those without internet access.

Any changes proposed will be considered when the strategy is finalised in summer 2019.

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Message from Roger Hirst PFCC for Essex – Policing Precept Survey

Police funding is an important topic both nationally and particularly in Essex. There is always a demand for greater police visibility by the public. The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has to set a budget for Essex Police that enables the Chief Constable to deliver the best possible policing service that the public of Essex deserve.

Funding for Essex Police comes from two sources – central Government and local Council Tax. Taking these two funding sources into account, Essex Police receives the second lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has one of the lowest Council Tax precepts for policing. Next year we are also expecting significant additional costs from increases in police officer pay, higher insurance costs and changes to police officer pensions. There will also be costs as a result of extending the police’s Airwave radio system due to delays in the roll out of the National Emergency Services Communication Programme.

Last year, the PFCC carried out a public survey which received more than 5,000 responses. Approximately two thirds of the people who answered (65 per cent) said they would be prepared to see the police element of local Council Tax increased by more than two per cent so more money could be made available for policing in Essex. More than half were prepared to pay up to £20 more per year.

In light of the results from last year’s survey, the PFCC raised the policing element of the Council Tax by up to £12, or £1 a month, for a Band D property. This increase, as part of the £450 million in police funding secured nationally from the Government last year, allowed Essex Police to recruit 150 more frontline officers, bringing the total amount of Essex Police officers to at least 3,000. These additional officers are being recruited and trained and will be arriving in local communities by February 2019.

Prior to the setting of the policing precept for 2019-2020, the PFCC is asking for residents’ views to help inform my approach. This survey was launched on Tuesday, November 6.

You can fill in the survey online here.

The survey will close at midnight on Tuesday, November 27.

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Embracing Risk Management

Charity update on Tuesday 13 November

All charities, large and small, are exposed to risk.

Trustees are ultimately responsible for managing these risks and for deciding how much risk their charity should take.

Never forget that with risk comes reward! Risk management is about getting the right balance between innovation and change on one hand and the avoidance of shocks and crises on the other – this is not always easy!

In this short session we will explore:

• The role and responsibilities of Trustees for risk management
• A simple ‘How to…’ guide for managing risk in your charity
• The benefits of ‘embracing’ risk management – making it work to your advantage
• Where to go to learn more

The session will be delivered by Colette Dark, Director ALARM. With over 30 years experience, Colette has assisted organisations from many sectors embed robust and practical approaches to risk management. She is most well-known for her expertise in insurance liability risk, local and central government, NGO and Third Sector organisations. A frequent speaker at conferences, she has contributed to several thought leadership publications in risk management. During a long association with the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), she has chaired the institutes training committee, authored accredited training programmes and served on the Board as a non-executive director. In 2016 she was invited to join the Board of Alarm; a membership organisation that supports risk professionals and those that deal with the management of risk within organisations that provide services to, or support, our communities and citizens.

Where: Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Campus

When: Registration, networking, coffee, tea and biscuits from 4pm
Session starts at 4:30pm

Book: Reserve your place with a £5 registration fee here.
All welcome, but please book early as places are limited.

Supported by:

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Could you be the Chelmsford Museum Volunteer Coordinator?

An exciting and new role has been created at Chelmsford for an enthusiastic Museum Volunteer Coordinator to enhance the participation of our community in the history of Chelmsford and the Museum.

The Museum has been progressing significant change since 2016 and following the awarding of funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund in Summer 2017, Chelmsford Museum is undergoing a £2.2 million transformation, covering all aspects of the visitor experience. To support this major transformation, Chelmsford Museum is looking for an individual to lead the development of exciting new volunteer opportunities at the Museum, and take responsibility for growing a strong volunteer network.

There is already a fantastic and very active volunteer group, but with so many exciting projects coming forward, we know that more people want to be involved in what we do. The post holder therefore will also be required to work with the Chelmsford Volunteering Centre in the attraction, recruitment, induction, training and retention of a growing team of volunteers.

This is a fun and interesting role for an individual who is keen to open up the history of Chelmsford to a wide range of audiences, to inspire them and create memorable experiences whilst helping to shape the future of Chelmsford Museum.

Interviews will be held week commencing 8th and 15th October 2018.

Chelmsford City Council is committed to safeguarding vulnerable groups and expects all employees to share this commitment. This includes obtaining references and ensuring compliance with the Disclosure and Barring Service process.

For more information about this role, please click here.

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Mental Health First Aid Training

What you say, how you say it , and how well you listen can have a profound impact on someone who is emotionally distressed or having a difficult time. Everyone can learn and benefit from MHFA skills.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training is an interactive and practical training course to help you spot the early signs of a mental health problem. It will equip you with tools and techniques to help you, your friends, family and colleagues.

This course is for you if you want to learn new skills and enhance your CV, if you care for or work with vulnerable young people/adults, if you are thinking of volunteering or seeking paid employment.

This course is free for people aged 19+, the course runs over two days from 9:30am until 4:30pm.

The course is put on by InterAct and is available on the 13th and 20th September and the 22nd and 23rd October at Moulsham Mill, Parkway, Chelmsford, CM2 7PX. InterAct require a contribution of £30 to cover course materials and to book your place.

Further MHFA and Youth MHFA training courses are to be scheduled across Essex.

To book your place on either of the dates, click here.

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Showcasing Healthcare this September


It’s just over a week until the 5th Mid Essex Showcasing Healthcare event at Broomfield Hospital.

Last September we held our largest ever multi agency Health & Wellbeing Showcase attended by commissioners, professional, practitioners, health providers and representatives from local charities working in the field of health and social care. The event was very well received by the hospital, its staff and the 40 plus charities that attended found it very worthwhile in terms of valuable networking opportunities and meeting key clinical staff.

This years event will be taking place in the public areas of the Atrium at Broomfield Hospital on Thursday 13 September 2018 from 11am to 4pm.  Click here to download a guide to the day and map of the atrium.

The Trust will also be hosting its Annual General Meeting on that day and will be inviting members of the public to join their event and gain an insight into the business of the hospital and learn more about a range of services provided and their world class care.

We’re very much looking forward to seeing you on the day!

Working with

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External Job Opportunity: Age UK Essex Nail Trimmers

Age UK Essex is an ambitious local charity with a proud history of improving the lives of older people. They are currently seeking Nail Trimmers to join their growing team.

They provide a comprehensive training programme in partnership with the NHS so no experience is required and they offer flexible working hours. You will be based in their Chelmsford office and provided with a company vehicle to visit clients in their own homes and travel to venues across Essex, Thurrock and Southend.

A full UK manual driving licence is essential and due to insurance purposes you must be 25 years or over.

For an application pack click here or email:

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Marvels of Mid Awards

Do you know an individual or group that has gone above and beyond in helping local people Live Well? Have they had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of residents across mid Essex?

Mid Essex CCG’s Marvels of Mid Awards (MOMAs) are back for a third year to celebrate the outstanding contributions of people, organisations, schools and community groups across Braintree, Chelmsford and Maldon who are making a difference – transforming people’s lives, improving health services and putting patients, service users, carers and communities at the very heart of health and wellbeing in mid Essex.

There are 11 categories, and you can nominate as many people, teams or projects as you wish (but you need to complete a separate form for each nomination) – you can even put yourself or your team forward if you’ve got something great to shout about.

Mid Essex CCG Accountable Officer Caroline Rassell said: “With the NHS turning 70 this year, there has never been a better time to recognise the stars of our local community and say thank you for the great work that is being done to support the NHS and community health services right here in mid Essex.”

If you know someone who fits the bill, nominate them for a MOMA today!

The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Friday 7 September. To nominate click here.

The awards are presented at Mid Essex CCG’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September. It is a great way to say thank you to someone who should be recognised and to celebrate the everyday local heroes. All nominees will be recognised by the CCG. Those shortlisted will be invited to our AGM on 27 September at Chelmsford City Football Club.

Mid Essex Community Awards 2018

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External Job Opportunity: Families In Focus

Families In Focus are a leading independent parent led registered charity providing holistic support to families of children with disabilities and special needs (aged 0 to 25) across Essex, who require advice, information and support, particularly at times of change, challenge and crisis. 

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Saturday Co-ordinator required for our very popular activity club for families of children/young people with SEND.

The ideal candidate will be able to organise, attend, prepare, facilitate and regularly engage with children and young people (with support from volunteers and specialist coaches) and their siblings, alongside their parent/carers, to provide a rewarding and stimulating experience for all.

Knowledge and experience of working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, preferably in the not-for profit sector, with a genuine interest in the issues that face disabled children, young people and their families.

Location:   Chelmsford Sport & Athletics Centre, Salerno Way, Chelmsford, CM1 2EH
Annualised contract up to 220 hours pa

Core Working hours: Saturdays 3pm to 6pm, across c44 weeks (flexible)

Salary: £9.30 per hour

You can downloaded the Job Pack from the Families InFocus website here.

Email  or phone 01245 353575.

Application forms (no CVs please) should be submitted no later than 3pm on Thursday 6 September 2018.

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5th Mid Essex Showcasing Healthcare Event

Last September we held our largest ever multi agency Health & Wellbeing Showcase attended by commissioners, professional, practitioners, health providers and representatives from local charities working in the field of health and social care. The event was very well received by the hospital, its staff and the 40 plus charities that attended found it very worthwhile in terms of valuable networking opportunities and meeting key clinical staff.

I am delighted to confirm that the Chair, Chief Executive and Trust Board of Mid Essex Hospital Trust have once again kindly agreed to allow Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action to hold a fifth charity exhibition showcase in the public areas of the Atrium at Broomfield Hospital on Thursday 13 September 2018 from 11am to 4pm.

If your work supports the health and wellbeing of local people and you would like to showcase your organisation in a hospital environment please download the booking form here and return it to us as soon as possible, but by Friday 10 August at the latest. This event is extremely popular and there is always a high demand by exhibitors – spaces are limited. In response to feedback from last year we will not be occupying some of the lower footfall areas so the number of stands will be less than in previous years – 30 only.

As the event is taking place on a normal working day when the site is fully open to the public, we will need to comply with the health and safety requirements of the hospital, therefore it is essential that all stands are set up by 10.30 am and are not taken down until 4 pm.

The Trust will also be hosting its Annual General Meeting on that day and will be inviting members of the public to join their event and gain an insight into the business of the hospital and learn more about a range of services provided and their world class care.

Once we have exhibitors confirmed we will release more detailed information about the format and timings for the day. In the meantime, if you have any questions please call Peter Brooks Charity Engagement Manager on 01245 351888.

Working with

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Putting multi-agency reviews into practice

Essex Safeguarding Adults Board and the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board in conjunction with the Essex Social Care Academy, Essex County Council are hosting a workshop on putting multi-agency reviews into practice – professional curiosity and themes from reviews.

The aims of the workshop are to give you an opportunity to shape practice, a chance to reflect, share good practice and learning, make a difference to how we work together, and to respond to need and risk.

The workshop is for anyone who has involvement with domestic abuse and safeguarding in their role and with the ability to influence practice within their organisation.

Dates available throughout October/November 2018 – find out more and book your place here.


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Do you care?

Plastics are affecting our waterways, rivers and oceans.

Dawn Wood (aka Smiffy) a former resident of South Woodham & a student at William de Ferrers School, does care. She has taken on this initiative as her personal challenge to raise awareness of the problems affecting our oceans.

How is she doing this? …she plans to row solo across the Atlantic. The challenge primarily is to raise awareness about the amount of discarded plastics in our oceans and how this is affecting the marine ecosystem. Dawn is also talking to the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton to develop a way of filtering sea water during her Atlantic row to determine how micro-plastics are affecting our oceans.

Dawn will be training on the River Crouch throughout the coming months. If you see her in ‘True Blue’ her very distinctive small rowing boat, give her a wave and shout some encouragement!

We sincerely hope that school children and local communities along the Crouch will be able to witness for themselves a dream being put into reality by a local lass.

This young lady is no stranger to ‘salt’ water. Dawn is a yacht master and skipper with the Essex Police Marine Unit. She’s made several trips to China as part of a team to train Chinese students in preparation for their own Ocean row.

The Challenge will commence in January 2019 when ‘Smiffy’ will leave Gran Canaria, to row solo unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados, a crossing of 3000 miles.

For more details on all aspects of this Solo Atlantic Challenge please visit

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Walking for Health!

Heart and Sole is Chelmsford’s very own healthy walking scheme. Could you help our community put it’s best foot forward?

As a volunteer walk leader, you’ll be helping people in your community to get active and healthy, providing vital support that they otherwise might not get.

Our walk leaders love their roles and tell us great stories about how much they enjoy helping others to get active and get walking. Plus you’ll stay active, develop your leadership skills, get to know your local area and meet lots of new people.

All it takes is enthusiasm and a little time, as we will supply the training. You will only be asked to commit to covering at least two walks a month, but more if you are able. As a leader you will join a team of leaders who take regular groups of people walking around the beautiful parks and gardens Chelmsford has to offer, often finishing with a cup of tea! All walk leaders will be required to attend a one day Walk leader Course.

The next course is Thursday 13 September at Chelmsford City Council.

For more information, including how to apply, please contact Sally on 01245 250731 or email

PS. Why not combine your new healthy walk with our friendly Weight Loss Programme?  Find out more by contacting the Volunteer Centre.

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The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups was created by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 to recognise exceptional contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers.

Do you know an exceptional volunteer group positively impacting the lives of others in your local community?

Learn more about the award and how you can nominate by visiting:

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When Women Rule – National Democracy Week

Image may contain: 3 peopleWhen women enter politics, they make a difference. So why are so few in the highest ranks of power?

World Leaders have pledged to achieve women’s equal participation in politics by 2030. But there are concerns that progress is too slow to reach this United Nations goal. Currently only 23% of national parliamentarians are female.

Join Chelmsford City Life for a screening of ‘When Women Rule’ followed by a panel discussion as part of National Democracy Week across Essex.

The documentary, produced by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was created in an effort to understand the structural, legal and social barriers women face when entering public life, following women who went against the grain to become politicians.

Tickets are FREE, but registration is essential, click here for more information.

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Epilepsy Family Fun Day

Join Epilepsy Action for their Family Dun Day on Saturday 2 June from 10:30am to 4pm at Springhouse Sports and Social Club.

Meet other families, epilepsy nurses and doctors and join in the fun! Activities on the day will include Volleyball, badminton, swingball, face painting, table tennis, pool, a dedicated teenager space, welly womping, egg and spoon races and more.

This day gives families a chance to meet each other and make ongoing friendships; exchange what works for them; helps the children to talk to each other and to the professionals; have fun and games; meet the professionals in an informal way; find out about support available locally.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

This event is open for all families affected by epilepsy, a £5 booking fee per family applies.

To book your place click here, or contact Marie Edgar, South East Manager on 01708 479536.

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