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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Childhood Illness Workshops – back by popular demand

Parents across mid Essex are invited to a second phase of free NHS workshops aimed at providing information and advice about common childhood illnesses.

Mid Essex CCG are running another series of workshops between 6th and 10th March 2017 and would like to invite local parents, grandparents and anyone  caring for children aged 0 -11 to come along. Your local workshop will be held at Marconi Social Club, Chelmsford on Monday 6 March from 7pm until 8:30pm and at Chelmsford West Children’s Centre on Tuesday 7 March from 10am until 12pm.

To book your place click here.

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Chelmsford Start Co-operative Charity of the Year

Since 2006, Chelmsford Star Co-operative has supported a different local charity each year to be the focus for staff fund raising. Over this time through a variety of initiatives and events, they have raised over £283,000 which has benefited the Essex Air Ambulance, Helen Rollason Heal Cancer, Little Havens Children’s Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support,  Families InFocus(Essex), Canine Partners, Essex Dementia Care, The J’s Hospice & MIND.

This year Chelmsford Star Co-operative are working with Kids Inspire.

How can you support?

  • Donating to collecting tins at their many till points
  • Donating 1p or more from your change at till points in their food stores
  • Buying raffle tickets for prize draws offered in their stores throughout the year
  • Buying tickets for events held in their department stores (see events)
  • Gifting

How to become our Charity of the Year

If you are interested in applying to be Chelmsford Start Co-operative’s Charity of the Year partner please read the information below to ensure that you meet the criteria.


  • You must be a bona fide charity with Essex coverage
  • They raise on average £30,000 for their charity partner and you should provide information on a specific project they can help fund.
  • They have over 45 branches from Braintree to Southend-on-Sea. You should be able to supply not only 150 collecting tins, but fund raising ideas and opportunities. You will be required to make contact with their individual stores and assist in local initiatives as and when required.

The selection process for 2017:

  • Applications must be received by the Society by Sunday 12th February 2017.
  • Up to 6 charities will be selected from the applications and invited to present in March.
  • 3 charities will be short-listed and will go forward to the staff vote in April.
  • The winning charity will be notified and introduced at Chelmsford Star Co-operative’s Annual General Meeting around May time.

How to apply

Interested parties for 2017 should email Pauline Dodd, President at or write to her at 220 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0LS by 12th February 2017. A succinct summary (maximum of 2 pages of A4) of your charity’s work would be helpful including why your charity should be considered and what you require the funds for.

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Dry January #dontbottleitup

As the festive season comes to a close Chelmsford CVS and Essex County Council are urging people to get their 2017 off to a positive and healthy start by signing up for Dry January.

Dry January is a national initiative run by charity Alcohol concern, which encourages people to sign up to go alcohol free for 31 days.

To sign up for Dry January visit

If you are concerned about your drinking, Essex County Council has also designed an online tool which can tell you if your drinking is risky. DBIU is an innovative alcohol screening, advice, intervention and referral website, leading the field of online alcohol interventions in the UK. Visit for information and to take the alcohol test.

For tips to help you cut down on your alcohol intake, head to:

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Chelmsford Awards for Voluntary Service | Get your nominations in!

Would you like to acknowledge the outstanding work of your volunteers? There is still time to nominate someone for the 2016 Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Voluntary Service.

The Awards raise awareness of the thousands of local people who give their time to help others by volunteering and in particular those who have made an exceptional contribution to local voluntary action in Chelmsford City, its villages and South Woodham Ferrers.

Nominations for this year’s prestigious Mayor’s Award for Voluntary Service Outstanding Contribution to Voluntary Service (any age or activity) must be received by 10am on Tuesday 31 January 2017Please click here to complete the application form (Please note: application forms must be printed off and posted)

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Essex Trading Standards | Illegal Tobacco

Essex Trading Standards is currently undertaking a wider initiative on tobacco control, covering the reduction in the sale of tobacco to children and inhibiting the supply of illegal tobacco.  The important message that we want Essex residents to take from it, is that cheap tobacco can be potentially unsafe, it damages the local economy and positively we want to promote a safe and healthy Essex.

View the video here:

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NEW woMEn TIME activities for January 2017

woMEn TIME is all about providing opportunities for women to be more active or try a new sport, in a friendly and non-competitive environment. This project is funded by Sport England to get more women active. The project is aims to get females aged 14 and over to chat, laugh, be active and  have fun! Here are our NEW activities on offer from January 2017  . . .

Get Back Into – Netball – Tuesday 10 Jan – 7 Feb from 8-9pm at Chelmer Park, Beehive Lane

Self-Defence – Sunday 15, 22 and 28 Jan from 10-11.30am at Dovedale Sports Centre

Ladies Rec Morning – Every Monday from 10am – 12pm at Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre.

On one Monday every month there is an extra taster activity including Self-Defence, Rounders, Futsal and Walking Netball!

Park GYM – Friday 27 Jan, 24 Feb and 24 March from 12-1pm meeting at the Marconi Plaza Square off Fairfield road (CM1 1JG)

Cricket – Sunday 8 Jan – 19 March from 7-8pm at Moulsham High School, Brian Close, Chelmsford CM2 9ES

Orienteering – Saturday 14 Jan – 18 Feb from 10.30am-12pm at Admirals Park, Rainsford Rd, Chelmsford, CM1 2PN (the Car park opposite Tower Av.)

For more information or to book please go to or call 01245 606206.

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