InterAct Activity Programme January – March 2018

InterAct’s new January – March 2018 Programme is here!

InterAct supports some of society’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families. From leisure and social activities, parenting and relationship support, to community connection and volunteering.

From hand drumming to Spice Girls and the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide to pamper evenings, they are sure there is something for everyone to enjoy in the new year. Please book fast as spaces will not last long for February half term and the booking deadline is the 5 January!

You can find the InterAct Activity Programme here.

For more information and to book your place visit:

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Job Opportunity: Recruitment of Community Agents

Community Agents Essex is a countywide network of agents and volunteers who will support older people and their informal carers to find and develop independent living solutions from within their local community.

The service is delivered through a community and voluntary sector partnership, bringing together four well established organisations: Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE); British Red Cross (BRC); Age UK Essex; and Essex County Neighbourhood Watch. These organisations bring a wide range of experience and expertise, working with vulnerable people across rural and urban areas.

As part of the ongoing implementation phase they are seeking to recruit  a Community Agent to work in Chelmsford.

For more information click here.

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Future leaders for the voluntary and community sector

ASPIRE is a 12 month leadership development programme that will bring 15 people from the Voluntary and Community Sector in Essex together to create a strong cohort that will learn together through an accelerated development journey.

The programme has been commissioned by the Essex Partnership in recognition that growing the skills and capabilities of a cohort of leaders for the voluntary and community sector is a long term investment that will support delivery of the county’s shared vision – The Future of Essex – and foster a new generation of leaders for the benefit of the sector and everyone who calls Essex home.

The ASPIRE programme is aimed at senior professionals that are currently employed within the Essex social sector, working for a voluntary or community organisation, social enterprise or charity.

It is most relevant for aspiring and developing leaders that have the desire to forge a future leadership career in the sector.

How it works

ASPIRE offers a chance for individuals to design a bespoke leadership plan building specific personal leadership skills and practicing them through on the job experience. Everyone will benefit from a mix of group residential days, individual 1:1 coaching, group webinars and optional external placements. Individually, participants will receive additional development aligned to personal goals and leadership vision. However, leadership isn’t just about the leader – leadership isn’t done in a vacuum. They will also learn about the nature of the people in the teams they lead, how they can create great environments, enable high performance, and develop and coach their teams. These opportunities will allow participants to develop new skills both through more formal learning and also to apply them in a practical way on real-life issues by providing ‘on the job’ experience in the workplace.

The development programme will leave participants challenged, supported, engaged and ready for more with a valuable learning network to support future growth.

The programme will be delivered by Humans Being, a leading Organisational Psychology Consultancy that works with global clients including PwC, Zurich, UNICEF and Big Society Capital to attract, hire and grow their people.

Apply to Aspire

Good leadership is a skill, and like all skills it can be developed, learned, mastered with the appropriate attention to explicit development opportunities.

Over 12 months Humans Being, on behalf of the Essex Partnership, aims to deliver the most effective leadership development programme for the voluntary and community sector. No dumbing-down, no corner-cutting. The team’s experience from working with blue-chip organisations worldwide has been used to carefully curate a programme that will allow every individual to develop their leadership.

ASPIRE is looking for applicants that can demonstrate the potential and personal commitment to grow their leadership capabilities and have an appetite for change and to bring innovative practice to their organisation.

Applicants should currently fulfil a senior role within their organisation in a position that directly affects decision making and influences business direction and should have the support and sponsorship of the Chief Executive / or Board to participate.

Applications can be made at until 18 December 2017 where more information can also be found. The programme will commence in February 2018.

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Make sure you’re protected against flu – get your jab now

NHS Mid Essex CCG is reminding people to be on the lookout for invitations to get their flu jab if they’re in the ‘at-risk’ groups.

The invitation letters, from our local GPs, are being sent to adults aged over 65; those with long-term health conditions such as severe asthma or heart disease; carers; pregnant women; children aged two to eight and other at-risk groups.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people see their GP with flu-like symptoms and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of flu. In mid Essex 115,000 in at-risk groups are eligible for a free flu vaccination. Last year only 58% of the eligible individuals went for their vaccination.

Symptoms of flu can be very unpleasant, last for several weeks and lead to more serious complications like pneumonia or bronchitis for those with underlying health conditions, and in some cases it can be fatal.

Dr Ahmed Mayet, GP in Witham and CCG Clinical Lead for Planned Care, said: “Flu is a highly contagious illness, which can spread rapidly through local communities. It can cause serious complications for at-risk groups, including pregnant women, the elderly and people with long-term health conditions.

If you are eligible for the free flu vaccination, make sure you act on your letter from your GP and get the jab – please don’t ignore it. Having a flu jab will protect you and others. Contact your GP practice if you believe you are eligible for the jab but haven’t received an invite.”

Although it’s not possible to know which strains of flu will circulate each winter, the flu vaccination is still the best protection against an unpredictable virus, which can cause severe illness and deaths amongst vulnerable groups. 

In some instances, our GP practices may text you instead of sending a letter.

For more information visit

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Job Opportunity: Projects & Communications Assistant at Families InFocus

External Job Opportunity

An exciting new job opportunity to join the Families InFocus team.

Hours 28-37 per week (flexible)

Salary: FTE £20,456pa to £22,434pa (Depending on experience)

Families InFocus are looking to recruit a highly motivated, experienced individual to join the team and provide effective project, communications and administrative support to maintain and develop the efficient running of the charity.

Duties for this interesting and varied role will include providing high quality support to the CEO; monitoring, reporting/analysis across a range of successful projects; administration/HR support; and supporting internal/external communications including website, social media and e-bulletins.

The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic team player with excellent interpersonal, IT, written and verbal communication, analytical and organisational skills with proven experience.

Job pack can be downloaded here, it can also downloaded from their website.

No CVs please.

Email or phone 01245 353575

Closing date 19th September 2017 (3pm)

Interviews: 26th September 2017

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New Guide to Adult Community Learning

ACL Essex offers a wide range of day time and evening adult learning courses to help you improve your job prospects, learn a new skill or simply inspire you. Some of courses lead to qualifications, some don’t, but they all give you the chance to learn something new. They have popular courses like pottery, languages and cake decorating. They also offer qualifications in accountancy, law, beauty, bookkeeping and more.

If you missed out at school or want to change career, they have a range of courses up to and including GCSE and can help you access higher education options, including university.

Read their new Guide or the Easy Read version below or visit:

ACL Course Guides 2017 CENTRAL

ACL Course Guides 2017 NORTH

ACL Course Guides 2017 SOUTH

ACL Course Guides 2017 WEST

ACL LD guide

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Silver Sunday

Silver Sunday is a national campaign to help prevent loneliness and tackle the problem of isolation for older people by organising fun activities for them to join in on this day.  Click here for more details.

Essex County Council are planning to hold an afternoon tea party in the library, with entertainment from a singer or musician, for older people to come along to on this Sunday afternoon and I wondered if you would like to get involved or knew people who would like to attend.  This will be a free event.  We would also be grateful for any publicity you can give us or any contacts you may have of groups or people who may be interested in participating or coming along.

The library is open from 1pm – 4pm on Sundays, so our plan is to start the tea party from 2:30pm, possibly with the entertainment first, and then refreshments from 3pm with a 4pm finish.

For more information contact Ian Messer:

Please feel free to share the poster above.

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Job Opportunity: Volunteer Coordinator at Dementia Adventure

Dementia Adventure is an innovative charity working to make sure that people living with dementia have access to nature and the outdoors on a regular basis. They provide training, research and consultancy services. Dementia Adventure also provide adventures and short breaks for people living with dementia and their carers across the UK.

They depend on a network of volunteers to help them throughout the organisation. Their existing Volunteer Coordinator has developed a number of roles for their volunteers. Volunteers support the delivery of outdoor activities for people living with dementia and their carers, volunteer ambassador roles. There are fundraising volunteers and administration and support roles, including governance roles.

Dementia Adventure are looking for someone with considerable volunteer management experience to cover for her while she is away on Maternity leave.

Read the full job description here.


Applications must be made by Tuesday 29 August.

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Foster carers change children’s lives

Foster carers with Essex County Council help build better, brighter futures for hundreds of children across Essex every year.

Could you provide a loving, safe, stable home and a nurturing environment to support the most vulnerable children in our county grow in confidence and achieve their potential?

You don’t need any specific qualifications to foster, just patience, time and a commitment to improving children’s lives.

To find out more, visit the website, like the Facebook page or come to one of Essex County Council’s local events where you can hear first-hand from experienced foster carers, find out more about the children that need foster care and ask a social worker questions.

There is a local event happening in Chelmsford on Saturday 16 September 2017 (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM) at County Hotel Rainsford Road Chelmsford CM1 2PZ. For details and to book click here.

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Spare Change or Real Change?

When we see someone in distress, our first instinct is to help. Giving spare change seems like a kind, easy way to help. But it’s often the opposite. Every person begging has a different story to tell. People end up on the street through all kinds of problems, often building up over years. At some point on this path, many people develop an addiction to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope. Sadly, people can become dependent on begging. Research by Thames Reach shows that over 80% of people who beg do so to fund an addiction. Along with other issues they may be facing, this can keep them on the street.

By not giving spare change, we can weaken or break this cycle. Changing how we help can be the spark that sets someone on a different journey, engaging with outreach workers and staff to move on to long-term accommodation or appropriate treatment.

An addiction doesn’t make anyone less in need of help. Drug and alcohol use often starts as a way to cope. People begging for money are almost always in a desperate situation – just perhaps not the one they say they are in. Police, homelessness organisations and councils are actively working to deal with the complex issues faced by each individual person begging in Chelmsford. Our outreach workers are out every night. Help us to help people in need by not giving spare change.

“So how can I help?” It’s difficult to walk past someone in need. We ask that, instead of giving spare change to people who beg, you work with us to make real change:

DONATE You could donate your change to homelessness charities like CHESS Homeless, which specifically helps people in the Chelmsford area. If you’d like to donate go to, text 70070 with the code NITE17 and the amount you want to give (e.g. to give £5, type NITE175) or in person at 200 New London Road, CM2 9AB.

VOLUNTEER CHESS relies on the support of volunteers. Visit for an application form.

CHAT If you’d like to stop and chat with someone on the street and feel that they would welcome conversation, please do. You might be able to help direct them to a service that can start their journey to real change.

IN-KIND ASSISTANCE By all means, buy a cup of tea or food for people on the street if you wish.

Find out more at:

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Nominations open for the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service!

Do you know of a volunteer group that devotes it’s time to helping others in your
local area and deserves a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service?

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local
volunteer groups, recognising the outstanding work they perform within their

Go to and submit your nomination by 15 September 2017
to make sure they are considered for an award next year.

You shouldn’t be part of the group, entry is free and you can make your nomination
at any time. Notes to help you can be found at

If you know a local volunteering group deserving of recognition for services to the
local area, please consider nominating them! Anyone aware of the group, including
people who benefit from the group’s activities, may make a nomination. Please don’t
nominate your own group if you’re a volunteer or paid staff member!

The winners are announced on 2 June every year and they will receive a domed
glass crystal and a certificate signed by the Queen.

Make your nomination for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017 today!

To nominate, simply complete the online form at
Notes to help you can be found at

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Doctors and health care leaders announce a new development in the options for future hospital services in mid and south Essex.

NHS Mid and South Essex Success Regime

In recent months, two main options for change have been discussed with patients, staff and stakeholders. Both options would have seen significant changes to the way the three A&E departments at Broomfield, Basildon and Southend hospitals operate.

Having studied the available evidence and listened carefully to the views of local people, patients and stakeholders, clinicians and health leaders have now decided to develop a revised model that would enable all three current A&E departments to continue to treat people who need emergency hospital care, including continuing to receive ‘blue light’ emergency patients with serious conditions. It would rule out the blanket redirection of all ‘blue light’ ambulances to Basildon, as in previous options.

Under this plan, patients would be assessed, stabilised and treated in their local hospital, with the most unwell patients transferred to a specialist team, if that’s what they need. The ‘norm’ would be for people to go to their local hospital in an emergency. As before, all three A&E departments would continue to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and run by consultants.

As now, a small number of people who are very seriously ill would go straight to a specialist centre to get the best treatment (for example, people suffering severe burns already go to Broomfield in Chelmsford).

Senior doctors are currently looking in detail at the clinical evidence to see if there are other severe conditions that may require this approach – for example for people suffering from burst blood vessels in the brain or heart, or people with very severe abdominal bleeding requiring urgent emergency surgery. This work is not yet complete but doctors are focusing on it over the next few months.

Clare Panniker, Chief Executive of Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals, explained:

“We have been looking at how we could organise services across our three main hospital sites, working together and using our people and resources as effectively as possible for the greatest benefit for patients. One of the improvements we want to make is to separate out emergency care from planned operations and treatments needing an overnight stay, to reduce the number of times we have to cancel planned operations. We know when this happens it is frustrating and difficult for those patients and their families. We also want our three hospitals to work together, offering different specialist services at each of our sites. We know specialising in this way for those with the most serious conditions and illnesses gives better chances of recovery to our patients.

“In considering our options, we have discussed with staff and local people the benefits of one hospital, possibly Basildon, providing the most serious emergency treatment. But, in the feedback from over 100 local discussion events, we have heard very clearly that some people have significant concerns about all ‘blue light’ ambulances going straight to Basildon. We have been thinking how we could address these concerns, and still improve patient care with different specialist teams across our three hospital sites and the separation of planned and emergency care.”

Dr Anita Donley OBE, Independent Chair of the Mid and South Essex Success Regime, said:

“The aim still stands to develop specialist centres across our three hospital sites and to separate planned operations and treatments from emergency care. We know from national evidence that this can improve the quality of care and patients’ chances of survival – particularly with very serious cases. But we are working with our clinicians and local people to make sure we develop the right proposals for mid and south Essex. We are developing an option where the majority of patients could get the specialist emergency care they need via their local A&E.

“No decision on the future pattern of services has yet been taken. We will only decide what changes to make after a full public consultation.

“We are determined to find the very best solution for delivering excellent, safe, high quality hospital care, within our available funding, into the long-term for people in mid and south Essex.”

For more information see the Success Regime website here.

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Exciting new opportunities to join the team at Families InFocus (Essex)

Families InFocus are recruiting for the following positions:


25-37 Hours per week (flexible), FTE Salary £23,166-£24,717pa

Experienced practitioner, to join our valued team, to provide quality information, advice and practical/emotional support to families/young people including disability related benefits, education and reforms, health and social care.

The ideal candidate will be committed to helping families at the most challenging of times, supporting families with warmth and empathy, whilst maintaining a calm and professional approach. They should have previous family support experience in either a health, education, social care or third sector setting, together with a good understanding of the statutory entitlements for health related benefits and educational support.


Annualised contract up to 220 hours per annum. Core working hours Saturdays 3pm to 6pm, across c44weeks (flexible). Salary £9.30 per hour.

Saturday Co-ordinator required for popular activity club for families of children/young people with SEND. To organise, attend, prepare, facilitate and regularly engage with children, young people (with support from volunteers and specialist coaches) and their parents/carers to provide a rewarding and stimulating experience for all.

Full job packs can be downloaded from Families InFocus’s website or you can request it by Email: or Phone 01245 353575.

Closing date 5th June (3pm)

Interviews: week commencing 12th June

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Did you know you can plan for your family’s future AND raise money for your chosen charity?

Backhouse Solicitors are delighted to announce that for every Will or Lasting Power of Attorney made they will donate either £25.00 or £50.00 directly to the charity of your choice. To take advantage of this offer simply quote code CVS when you sign up and they’ll do the rest.

Their qualified, expert Solicitors will discuss your family and financial circumstances and prepare a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney designed to carry out your wishes to the letter. Once you have approved and signed your Will they can register it, for free, with the National Wills Database and provide secure storage in our fireproof strongroom for as long as you need.

If you aren’t sure whether you need a Will here are a few things that you may wish to consider: Key fact: 58% of the adult population do not have a valid Will and most don’t realise what happens to their Estate in the event of their death. Don’t be one of those 58%!

If you are concerned about what happens to your bank accounts, property or business after you die, you should make a Will. It is particularly important if you are not married to your partner or if you have young children or dependants. Even if you already have a Will, the Government recommends that you should review it every 5 years, as some changes to your circumstances (e.g. marriage, separation or divorce) can make all or part of your old Will invalid or inadequate.

If you die Intestate (without leaving a Will) then your house, personal belongings, money and other assets are distributed using the Government’s rules. They will pass to your family in a strict order …. not necessarily how you would choose or in the shares that you would like!

A Will isn’t just about dividing up your property. You can appoint guardians to care for your children should you die before they reach adulthood. This saves your family having to apply to the courts which is time consuming, expensive and emotionally draining. A well drafted Will can also save your estate from a large Inheritance Tax bill, meaning more money for your family.

To book an appointment or, if you are a charity or organisation who would like to work with Backhouse, contact them today.

Tel: 01245 893400



Visit: 71 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU

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Volunteers Week Competition!


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Beat the queues in A&E – The Pharmacist Will See You Now

Traffic on the roads at Easter is challenging and it can be just the same in A&E – so why not be smart and beat the queues in Mid Essex this Easter Bank Holiday weekend (14 – 17 April 2017).

Patients can save time in the waiting room by visiting their pharmacist for quick, confidential advice on a range of common illnesses.

Dr Alistair Lipp, Medical Director at NHS England Midlands and East (East) said:

“Your local pharmacy can help you with more than you might think. Pharmacists offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems.

“As most GP surgeries will be closed on Friday and Monday, we would like to encourage patients to order any medication they need in plenty of time so they have a good supply during the bank holiday.”

Pharmacy opening hours in Essex over the bank holidays can be found on along with information on walk-in centres, urgent care centres or minor injuries units.

Patients can type in their postcode on the website to find their nearest services.

Pharmacy opening times for Mid Essex are:

Braintree Your Local Boots Pharmacy 7 George Yard CM7 1RB 08:00 – 17:00
Braintree Tesco Instore Pharmacy The Square, Great Notley CM77 7WW 08:00 – 20:00
Chelmsford Your Local Boots Pharmacy Unit B2, Chelmer Village Retail Park CM2 6XE 09:00 – 20:00
Chelmsford Your Local Boots Pharmacy 43 High Chelmer CM1 1DD 08:00 – 17:30
Chelmsford Your Local Boots Pharmacy Unit 29, The Meadows Shopping Centre CM2 6FD 09:30 – 17:30
Chelmsford Tesco Instore Pharmacy Tesco Store, 47-53 Springfield Park Road CM2 6QT 08:00 – 20:00
Chelmsford Tesco Instore Pharmacy In-Store Pharmacy, Princes Road CM2 9XW 06:30 – 22:30
Halstead Your Local Boots Pharmacy 69-71 High Street CO9 2JD 08:30 – 18:30
Witham Your Local Boots Pharmacy 42 Newland Street CM8 2AR 08:45 – 17:30
Maldon Your Local Boots Pharmacy 54 High Street CM9 5PN 09:00 – 17:30
Maldon Tesco Instore Pharmacy Fulbridge CM9 4LE 08:00 – 20:00
Chelmsford Colecross Ltd 1 Hylands Parade, Wood Street CM2 8BW 09:00 – 11:00
South Woodham Ferrers Govani Chemists 14 Queen Elizabeth Square CM3 5TD 10:00 – 12:00
Braintree Your Local Boots Pharmacy


7 George Yard CM7 1RB 10:00 – 16:00
Braintree Tesco Instore Pharmacy


The Square, Great Notley CM77 7WW 09:00 – 18:00
Chelmsford Your Local Boots Pharmacy Unit B2, Chelmer Village Retail Park CM2 6XE 10:30 – 16:30
Chelmsford Your Local Boots Pharmacy


43 High Street, Chelmer CM1 1DD 10:30 – 16:30
Chelmsford Your Local Boots Pharmacy


Unit 29, The Meadows Shopping Centre CM2 6FD 09:30 – 17:30
Chelmsford Tesco Instore Pharmacy


Tesco Store, 47-53 Springfield Park Road CM2 6QT 09:00 – 18:00
Chelmsford Tesco Instore Pharmacy


In-Store Pharmacy, Princes Road CM2 9XW 09:00 – 18:00
Halstead Your Local Boots Pharmacy


69-71 High Street CO9 2JD 10:00 – 16:00
Witham Your Local Boots Pharmacy


42 Newland Street CM8 2AR 10:00 – 16:00
Maldon Your Local Boots Pharmacy


54 High Street CM9 5PN 10:00 – 16:00
Maldon Tesco Instore Pharmacy


Fulbridge CM9 4LE 09:00 – 18:00


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 Parkinson’s UK share our charity shop!


The Chelmsford 4 Good charity shop in Chelmsford is being shared with Parkison’s UK between the 10 April and 13 April. Come to the shop to find out more about what they do, and how you can help them! Find directions to the shop below.

We offer a weekly share of our City centre shop space to help promote your local cause. For more information click here>

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How to avoid a heart attack

How to avoid a heart attack - Poster-page-001

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Do you want to make a difference to health and care in Essex? 

Have you got what it takes to ensure that Healthwatch Essex is a thriving ‘independent voice for the people of Essex, helping to shape and improve local health and social care services’?

A full role-profile, highlighting the main responsibilities of their Trustees, as well as the knowledge, skills, attributes and experience required, is available here:  

Further details can be found below.

Healthwatch Essex – Directors role profile 

Notice of appointment of Trustees to Healthwatch Essex Ltd – Advert 

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Culture in Essex – Small Grants funding available

If you’re an individual or member of a voluntary organisation or community group with a vision to host a community arts or heritage activity in Essex this year, then you could receive much needed funding from our ‘Culture in Essex – Small Grants Scheme’. A fund of £25,000 is now open for grant applications and will award grants of between £250 and £2,500. Over the last three years, we’ve invested £142,000 in over 75 projects such as music festivals, carnivals, exhibitions and workshops featuring visual arts, music, dance and literature.

For more information and an application form or contact the Essex Cultural Development Team on 033301 32470. You have until 13 February 2017 to apply.

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