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

Surrey Police ready to meet the challenges of second lockdown

Robust plans are in place to ensure that Surrey Police can continue to meet the challenges of further changes to the coronavirus regulations – that was the message from Chief Constable Gavin Stephens following the introduction of the second lockdown last week.

Urging Surrey residents to play their part in preventing the spread of the virus, CC Stephens urged people to stay at home as much as possible to save lives.

Thanking the Surrey public for their high compliance with the restrictions since the first lockdown was imposed on 23 March, he said:

 “We know that this a challenging and unprecedented time for everyone and that the public are doing their best to adapt and follow the rules in place for everyone’s safety. We have seen high levels of compliance in Surrey and I am so grateful to our local communities for this and am confident that this will continue to be the case.

He continued: “Our officers will continue to engage with our local communities using our well-established policing approach of engaging, educating and explaining. However, in exceptional cases, and only as a last resort and where people show a blatant disregard for the rules, we will take enforcement action.”

520 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued by Surrey Police since the start of the lockdown on 23 March for contravention of lockdown regulations.

A total of six Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued over the weekend following the introduction of the second lockdown on 5 November. Three of the FPNs issued related to the same incident after three men were stopped in a van at the Clacket Lane services on Friday evening (6 November).

Although there was not enough evidence to link to them to the reported poaching incident, all three were issued with £200 fines for breaching current covid restrictions.

Of the six tickets given, all were given to people aged 22-35 years and five of them were given to men.

During the first lockdown, Surrey Police saw an increase in reports of certain crimes, including online fraud, domestic abuse and online child exploitation, as well as a rise in the number of mental health incidents being reported.

However, there was a decrease of 37.5% in the number of residential burglaries between 1 April and 8 November compared to the same period last year. Reports of external child exploitation also decreased during the first lockdown.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Ali Barlow said: “These crime patterns are reflected nationally and we will obviously continue to monitor these trends as we navigate our way through the second lockdown.

“We will continue to work with the county’s fantastic outreach services and helplines to support those who report domestic abuse.

“Similarly, we will work with our partner agencies to tackle online exploitation involving children, particularly as they will inevitably be spending more time on their mobile devices during this period.

“During the first lockdown, children were subject to increased tensions within the family and increased exposure to domestic abuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs. The dynamics are different in the second lockdown because children are still going to school.

“We also believe that child abuse did increase during the first lockdown but that it wasn’t reported and so wasn’t reflected in the crime figures.

“We would urge anyone who suspects a child as being at risk of abuse or online or external exploitation to report it to us straightaway. We do not want children to suffer in silence.

“We will also continue to issue tips and reminders about keeping yourself safe from fraud and to not give out your personal details or banking information as we see a shift in everyone spending more time online.

“Safeguarding our most vulnerable victims will always be a top priority for us and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure that we continue to do so alongside all the other demands which are being placed on us in these unprecedented times.”

More In Detail Look At Trends Since March 2020

FPNs issued

Since 23 March, Surrey Police have issued 520 fixed penalty notices (including the six issued over the weekend). These included contravention of restricted movement during emergency period; contravention of gathering of more than two people in a public place; failing to comply with instructions; participating in a gathering in an indoor space; not wearing a face mask within a relevant place; coming back from a non-exempt country and failing to self-isolate; contravention of self-isolation regulations.

 Crime trends during first lockdown

Domestic abuse

Reported incidents peaked in May at the height of the first lockdown (1,509 domestic abuse offences reported in May 2020 compared to 1,292 incidents reported in May 2019). Outreach services across the county also saw an unprecedented number of calls during the first lockdown period.

Child abuse

  • Since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March 2020, Surrey Police have seen a 12.2% decline in the number of child abuse reports compared to the same time frame in 2019 (103 less reports). This is largely attributed to the reduced opportunity to spot the signs of child abuse within school, nursery and youth clubs settings with them having closed temporarily.

Online child exploitation

  • There was a 19% increase in referrals to their Paedophile Online Investigation Team during the same period, indicating that more child exploitation is happening online as children and perpetrators are spending more time on their devices.

Mental health

•             There were noticeable increases in the number of mental health incidents and s136 detentions in Surrey.

•             These incidents were made more complex because of the pandemic, with a recognised increase in presentation by people not previously known to services.

•             There has been a significant increase in young people being detained under s136 during 2020 (73%) and this uplift begins in April during the Covid-19 pandemic.

•             The increase in demand is not Surrey specific and has been identified as a national issue by the NPCC and College of Policing mental health lead.

Fraud

676 fraud offences were reported between 23 March 2020 and 4 July 2020, which was an increase of 73 offences (12.11%) compared to the same period last year. Action Fraud also reported significant increases in reporting of online fraud during lockdown, particularly in relation to online shopping, advance fee fraud, and cheque, plastic card and online banking.

Cyber crime

During the first lockdown (March to June) there was an increase in reports of cybercrime (166 reports, compared to 136 reports for the same period in 2019.

•             January 2020 – 145

•             February 2020 – 120

•             March 2020 – 133

•             April 2020 – 157

•             May 2020 – 186

•             June 2020 – 189

•             July 2020 – 201

2020 Epsom & Ewell Special COVID Awards

The shortlisted businesses for the 2020 Epsom & Ewell Special COVID Awards have been announced.

The 2020 Epsom & Ewell COVID Special Business Awards were launched on Monday 21st September and up till close of entries on the 31st Oct has had huge amount of entries. The COVID special Business Awards are to recognise businesses that have adapted and gone above the call of duty during this pandemic. Due to a high number of entries for support of the community the judges took the decision to add another category Support of a Charity and decided not to run with Best Employer.

The shortlisted businesses are:

Best Business in Ashtead

Ashtead Fruit Box
The Rye Café & Juice Bar
The Maths Mum

Best Business in Epsom & Epsom Downs

Cirrus
Epsom Stagecoach
The Epsom Bakehouse

Best Business in Ewell & Stoneleigh

Radford’s Butchers
Minuteman Press
Colombo Kitchen

Best Business for Support of the Community

Gillespie’s Bakery
Stoneleigh Post Office
Picky Bits

Best Business for Support of a Charity

All Things Nice
The Oracle Group
Epsom & Ewell Families

All shortlisted businesses will be contacted shortly with details of the Online Awards Ceremony on 19 November at 7pm.

Councils Can Day

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be taking part in the Local Government Association’s second #CouncilsCan Day– an online celebration to highlight the critical work of local government during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the council has worked tirelessly to keep services running during this crisis and support residents and businesses.

This includes:

  • Administering the payment of grants totalling £10million to over 700 small businesses
  • Establishing a High Streets Task Force to help with the safe recovery of the boroughs retail and hospitality areas
  • Housing 50+ households directly affected by the impact of the coronavirus
  • Contacting over 100 restaurants and food business providing relevant information and guidance
  • Establishing a team of Borough Wardens to provide reassurance, advice and guidance to visitors and local businesses
  • Taking measures to ensure rubbish and recycling continued to be collected over the lockdowns
  • Ramping up meals at home and home shopping services ensuring the elderly vulnerable were safe in their own homes

Councillors and officers from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be taking part in the national social media campaign on Tuesday 10 November to promote ongoing council efforts to lead communities through this crisis and beyond.

Cllr Eber Kington, Chairman of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee said, “During the pandemic we’ve seen Borough Council members of staff taking on new roles, for example supporting vulnerable members of the community, and others ensuring that essential services are maintained to provide some sense of normality. 

“Importantly they have been a reassuring presence in the town and on the telephone offering advice and assistance to many residents and businesses in the borough”.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said:

“In this time of national crisis, it is council staff who have kept our communities running and provided crucial local leadership.

“While showcasing this vital and fantastic work, the LGA will be using the #CouncilsCan Day to highlight that councils can have an even greater impact on the health and wealth of our country with proper and sustainable funding.”

For more information, visit www.local.gov.uk/councilscan-day and follow the hashtag #CouncilsCan on the day.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be taking part in #CouncilsCan Day on our social media channels – @EpsomEwellBC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.