Brew up support for your local hospitals with a virtual Christmas Cuppa

This festive season, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity are encouraging you to hold a ‘Care for a Christmas Cuppa’ virtual tea party. 

As COVID continues to keep loved ones apart and has put paid to the traditional Christmas party, the dedicated charity supporting Epsom and St Helier hospitals and community services is giving local people the perfect excuse for a virtual catch up with friends and colleagues over a hot drink and a festive treat – while raising vital funds for your local health services.  

Hosting a Care for a Christmas Cuppa event is as simple as one-two-tea! Just pick a virtual meeting platform that you know everyone can use – like Zoom or Microsoft Teams – and set up a fundraising page to collect the donations. Invite your friends, family and colleagues and either suggest a donation simply for the joy of joining in, or stir it up a bit, and turn it into a small entry fee to take part in the Christmas Cuppa quiz or even a bake-off style challenge. The quiz, along with other ideas and top tips, bunting and invites, are all available to download from the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals website at www.esthcharity.org.uk/get-involved/care-for-a-christmas-cuppa/

Fundraising Manager, Sasha Phillips said: “This year, support your local hospitals and community services with Care for a Christmas Cuppa. Whether it’s a small coffee morning or a big par-tea, every penny raised can help the ward or department of your choice.  

“Don your Santa hat and Christmas jumper, warm up a mince pie or indulge with a slice of yule log, put the carols on, and ease your guests into the festive spirit with our quiz. Forget big office blow-outs, this is the year for a new tradition. 

“Care for a Christmas Cuppa is a way to help support our hospitals and community services during a time when it’s needed most. Winter is traditionally a critical time for hospitals and with the added challenges of the pandemic, any extra funds are much appreciated.” 

If you’d like to host your own Care for a Christmas Cuppa event please visit www.esthcharity.org.uk/care-for-a-christmas-cuppa for more information including our virtual party tips. Alternatively, call 01372 735262 or email [email protected]. Let us know how your party goes, as well as sharing pictures, on Twitter at @esthcharity. 

Epsom and St Helier is here for you

Doctors, nurses and other medical experts working at Epsom and St Helier hospitals and in local community services are reminding people that the NHS is here for you and ready to provide safe and compassionate care to patients.

Dr Ruth Charlton, Joint Medical Director and Consultant Paediatrician, said: “Whether you need urgent care in our Emergency Departments, are due a home visit from one of our community teams, or have a planned appointment with us, please do not put off accessing health care services. Our staff, and the NHS as a whole, is here for you.

“We know that COVID-19 has had a significant and lasting impact on our local communities, and that many people might feel anxious about coming into hospital for care. I would like to assure everyone that we have put a number of stringent measures in place to keep you safe, and no-one should delay accessing medical care and advice when they need it.

“Our teams remain absolutely committed to caring for patients, and we want our local communities to feel confident about accessing our services – after all, it’s precisely what we are here for! Working in my outpatient clinic, where I care for young children with a range of conditions, lots of parents have told me that the measures we have put in place help them to feel instantly at ease when they enter the hospital buildings. It’s not easy to put a worried parent’s mind at rest, and so I think that is high praise indeed.”

Chief Nurse Arlene Wellman said: “It’s business as usual for Epsom and St Helier, including our emergency departments and planned care services – so that’s anything from a routine operation to repair a hernia, to a regular check up with a consultant. We are open and here for you.

“Many of our appointments are now done over the phone or by video call and we’ll only ask you to come in to hospital or to community services if it’s clinically necessary. But please be rest assured, our staff are doing everything they can to keep you safe – from new one way systems around our hospitals to sanitation stations at every entrance.”

For details on how to contact the Trust, please visit the ‘Contact us’ section of our website, https://www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/contact-us. For more information about Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk.

Epsom & Ewell Tier 2

Following lockdown, from Wednesday 2nd Dec  2020, the borough of Epsom & Ewell will enter Tier 2 (High Alert), along with the rest of Surrey.

What this means:

  • Meeting friends and family: No mixing of households indoors apart from support bubbles. Maximum of six can meet in outdoor public spaces (like parks)
  • Pubs and restaurants: Pubs and bars must stay closed unless operating as restaurant. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. Last orders at 10pm and they must close at 11pm
  • Retail and personal care: Can open within covid secure guidelines (eg masks and social distancing)
  • Exercise:  Classes and organised adult sport can take place outside but not indoors if there is interaction between people from different households. Organised activities for under-18’s, disabled people and elite athletes can continue. Gyms and swimming pools can open but people should not interact with those outside their household.
  • Work: Everyone who can work from home should do so
  • Education: Schools, colleges and universities stay open
  • Places of worship: Can open but people cannot interact with anyone outside of their household or support bubble
  • Weddings: 15 guests maximum for weddings, civil partnerships and wedding receptions
  • Funerals: 30 people maximum at funerals, 15 people maximum at wakes

Councillor Hannah Dalton, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Covid spokesperson said: “Going forward the rules are slightly different than before, including for meeting up with friends and family, so please ensure you are aware of and comply with your obligations.  From Wednesday, both essential and non-essential retail can be open, providing that COVID secure measures are in place.  Our local businesses have had a tough time and I encourage you to shop local and support businesses across Epsom and Ewell whenever you can.  Also do please check if you can support a local businesses online first, as well as safely in your local stores.  Stay safe”.

For More Information Regarding Tier 2 CLICK HERE 

Local Crime Update

Emotional Well-Being

Are you struggling with difficult emotions?

Is there a long waiting list for services or someone to talk to?

Mind-Growth Mastery is a non-profit community interest company in Epsom, Surrey.

They are offering a FREE initial consultation and reduced cost therapy with closely supervised, mature student Counsellors and Therapists, either face to face or over secure video-conferencing.

Who can they help?

People experiencing the following would benefit most from this service:

  • Stress, recent job loss, bereavement or relationship struggles
  • Mild or moderate low mood, depression and/or anxiety or other emotional distress such as OCD, Social Anxiety, Phobias, Health Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem or loss of confidence or needing a morale boost, direction and focus

A voluntary donation of between £2 and £10, according to means, will be requested after the first session with the trainee and clients will need to consent to recording sessions in order that the therapist can be supervised closely.

Any limitations?

In order to ensure that they can provide the right sort of help, relevant to the therapist’s level of experience, we may need to offer help from one of our fully qualified Practitioners instead. Charges and details for other therapists can be found on their website.

If you, or anyone you know may benefit from this low cost service, please ask them to get in touch in one of the following ways, or if you have their permission, to contact them with their details:

Go to: www.mindgrowthmastery.org and fill out the Contact Form at the bottom of the web page

• Email [email protected] with your contact details and any questions

They are also on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram so please follow them!t

Video Chat with Santa

Keep this Christmas as magical as ever for your loved ones with a unique personal chat with Santa! The Ashley Centre has been in touch with Father Christmas himself and is offering this unique opportunity for 2020 which will support much needed local charities.

Santa will video call you from his magical grotto in the North Pole at a pre-arranged booked time to have a chat with your little one about Christmas, what they want this year, what good things have they been doing, all personalised using the information you provide him with.

The Santa call costs £5 and all money raised will be donated to Hope Into Action, Epsom Medical Equipment Fund, Love Me Love My Mind and Girlguiding Epsom Division.

All children who have this magical call with Father Christmas will be given a very special present. Details of how to receive their gift will be given with the booking confirmation.

Keep this Christmas as magical as ever for your loved ones with a unique personal chat with Santa!

Up to three children can be included on any one call for an additional cost.

Calls will be available on Thursdays, Fridays (3-6pm) and Saturdays (10am-6pm) in the run up to Christmas and extra calls will be available on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 December (10am-6pm). Santa will be available from Thursday 26 November.

To book please go to: www.theashleycentre.co.uk/book-a-call-with-santa/

Could you be a COVID-19 Community Champion?

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council wants to help residents stay up to date with the latest advice about COVID-19.

To do this, the council has launched a new initiative with Central Surrey Voluntary Action. The team are looking for COVID-19 Community Champions. These will be the first to receive the latest updates and guidance from our Public Health colleagues about how to stay safe during this pandemic to share with their families, friends, communities and workplaces.

COVID-19 Community Champions are an additional way to help people in Epsom and Ewell get clear information on how to stay safe and reduce the risk of getting and spreading the infection, and what additional support there might be to help do this. The council is especially keen to involve those who can access communities and others who do not necessarily regularly engage with the council.

Councillor Liz Frost, Chair of the Health Liaison Panel and Covid-19 spokesperson, said  “Epsom and Ewell’s volunteers and community groups have been exceptional throughout the coronavirus crisis in supporting each other and helping people in need.

“To build on this we are looking for community spirited individuals from all walks of life to take on the important role of COVID-19 Community Champions to help us share key public health messages in order to help protect our communities from the ongoing pandemic.

“Could you help with this? You don’t need any special skills, just a willingness to get involved. You may be involved with a local sports club, social group, or just have a wide circle of friends on social media. Communicating vital health messages and reaching everyone in the borough is key to ensuring we all adopt the measures designed to keep us safe and stop the spread of this horrible disease”.

If you are interested in becoming a COVID-19 Community Champion please contact Central Surrey Voluntary Action – 01372 722911 / [email protected]

 

For the latest Covid-19 Data Click Here 

Charity Online Auction 2020

Former Mayor of Epsom & Ewell John Beckett, who’s fundraising events were cancelled due to Covid-19 has launched an Grand Draw and an Online Auction to raise much needed funds for his 3 charities Epsom & Ewell Phab, Motor Neurone Disease Association  and the Alzheimer’s Society

Among the items up for auction are

As for the Prize draw tickets are just £2 each and the draw will be made by Councillor Beckett and his wife Alison live on Facebook at 6.00pm on Saturday 28th November. Closing date/time for purchase of tickets: 11.59pm on Friday 27th November.

Over 50 fantastic prizes to be won, including:

  • Meal for two with bottle of house wine – donated by Topo Gigio, Ewell
  • Sunday lunch for four – donated by the Barley Mow, Epsom
  • £45 voucher – donated by Tiley Hair Salon, Epsom
  • £35 voucher – donated by Eden Hair Salon, Stoneleigh
  • £25 voucher – donated by Stoneleigh Brasserie
  • £25 voucher – donated by B Radford, Butcher
  • £20 voucher – donated by Bibbidi Bobbidi Balloons / Village Ceramics
  • Brooklands family ticket – donated by Brooklands Motor Museum
  • Four weeks paracise class – donated by Surrey Active Pilates
  • Two pilates or yoga classes – donated by Liz Daffen Yoga & Pilates
  • Voucher for garden plants etc – donated by Tania, the Lady Gardener
  • Horton Country Park 2021 calendar – donated by Doggy Day Tours
  • Two Odeon cinema tickets – donated by Galatai Web Design
  • Two toddler dance and music sessions – donated by Moojangles, Carshalton
  • Skincare / Makeup consultation – donated by Tracy, Tropic Skincare
  • Special edition bottles of Hendricks gin and Jaguar vodka
  • Prosecco gift baskets
  • Champneys gift box

    …and many, many more!

    Prize-winners will be notified as soon as possible after the draw and, where possible, prizes will be delivered or posted directly to winners.

For The Auction CLICK HERE

For The Grand Prize Draw CLICK HERE

Good Luck and Thank You for supporting these great charities….

Equality Matters

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is currently developing a diversity, equity and inclusion framework to ensure that its services, its communications, employment practices and engagement with residents do not disadvantage or discriminate against any group in the community.

The framework will support the borough’s long term vision to be a creative and vibrant place where people support each other and work together to build a fair, inclusive and safe place for everyone.

As a public body, the council has both a legal and moral duty to promote equity, diversity and inclusion amongst residents, service users and employees.

The proposed framework builds upon the progress already made. The council appreciates and recognises that there is more to do, and this draft framework proposes ambitions and plans to continue to promote opportunities for all.

A public consultation has been launched to give those who live, work and study in the borough the opportunity to review and submit their comments on the framework.

Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Strategy and Resources Committee said “Diversity, equity and inclusion really does matter as every single person, whether a resident, student, commuter, worker, fellow councillor, member of staff or one of our many customers deserves to be treated fairly and with respect.

“We know that Epsom and Ewell is becoming an increasingly diverse area, and it is important that all residents are able to access our services and also contribute to the development and success of the borough going forward”

The consultation is open for comments until Sunday 6 December 2020.

To take part in the consultation, please respond online via the council website or Click Link Below https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=160335924069

The councils Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Framework explains the council’s commitment to equality across all aspects of the council’s work. Within the framework, the objectives have been set out as three themes:

  1. Developing inclusive communities and creating community cohesion
  2. Engagement and accessible services
  3. Workforce inclusivity

This consultation aims to gather the views and feedback on the proposed framework. It also invites ideas for different themes or objective

Epsom Choral Society Keeps calm and carries on singing!

Amateur choirs,  like many other groups, have struggled enormously during the Covid-19 pandemic. We all had to stop singing and an important part of our lives disappeared.

But Epsom Choral Society, now in its 99th year, was determined to find a way to keep going. For nearly a century we continued to sing through wars and crises, and we were not going to stop now if we could find a way to continue safely. 

During lockdown, when choirs were forbidden to meet in person, we held weekly rehearsals online.  Something of a challenge for many of our members, but despite having to master this new technology, over 70 members of our choir joined in. 

When the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced in September that community choirs could meet again, providing they adhered to government guidelines, that was the green light Epsom Choral Society had been waiting for and we sprang into action. 

We used to rehearse in St Martin’s church hall but, under the new social distancing rules, that wasn’t possible for a choir of our size. Instead St Martin’s offered us the use of the church itself where we usually perform our concerts and which could accommodate all members who wished to return to group singing, suitably distanced. Our members were so happy to have the chance to sing together again. And for those who were too vulnerable or shielding, we streamed all our rehearsals live so that they could still join in at home. Now during the second lockdown we will go back to online rehearsals but hope we can resume rehearsing in December.

And so, through adversity, Epsom’s longest established choir continues to sing.  

Chairman Helen Phillips said: “I can’t tell you how excited we were at the prospect of singing together again. Zooming was invaluable as a way to keep us connected but was like eating dry toast when what you really want is a cream tea. We are so grateful to St Martin’s for helping us get back to the real thing.” 

Now ECS are going one step further. We realised that, as we have the ability to live stream into people’s houses, we can put on a live Christmas concert that our loyal audience can watch from the safety of their own home. So on Saturday 19th December at 5pm we will be live streaming our annual Christmas concert from St Martin’s Church. This concert will be streamed directly from our website (www.epsomchoral.org.uk) and free of charge – although we will be inviting people to make donations to help us keep singing in the future. Singing is good for mental health and we hope that our Christmas concert will bring festive cheer for the Epsom community.

We are extremely grateful to Epsom businesses Artifax Software Ltd who have kindly offered to sponsor us, and also to Grayside Insurance. Both Artifax and Grayside have been long term supporters of ECS and we are very appreciative of their continued support during these difficult times.

Please note:

  1. Epsom Choral Society is in its 99th season and has over 100 singers. In normal times, we put on at least four concerts each year in Epsom, Cheam, London as well as singing each year in a European town. www.epsomchoral.org.uk
  2. Epsom Choral Society is a friendly choir and, once the pandemic is over, look forward to welcoming new members again. They do not audition but do aim for high performance standards.
  3. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings, currently in St Martin’s Church, Church Street, Epsom under the artistic direction of conductor, Julian Collings.
  4. Artifax Software provides Venue and Event Management software to arts organisations world wide – and is based in Epsom. www.artifax.net
  5. Grayside Insurance, also Epsom based, provide Financial and Insurance services. www.grayside.co.uk