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Do you know a crime victim who needed support?

Victim Support LogoVictim Support needs more volunteers

Victim Support is an independent charity working towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve. They help people feel safer and find the strength to move beyond crime. They tailor their support to victims’ needs and it is given freely & confidentially.  Last year in Essex, their team of trained volunteers and staff supported over Continue reading


Supporting Carers

Supporting CarersSupporting Carers

If you are a carer in need of some support, or maybe you know somebody who is and does, then Supporting Carers in Essex offers “A single source of help and advice for all unpaid carers”.  This organisation is a partnership of registered charities working together offering a single point of contact by phone or email.  The group offers the following range of support Continue reading


Colchester’s Big Choice – Vote Now!

Peldon Village Hall

Peldon Village Hall is looking for £50,000 towards rebuilding the village hall so they can accommodate larger activities which the community would like to provide.

Peldon Village Hall’s bid for Colchester’s “ Big Choice ” funding needs your support!!!!

Great news! – the project to rebuild Peldon Village Hall is one of 12 shortlisted projects that are competing for a share of £200,000 of funding being provided by Colchester Borough Council to provide funds for community projects in the Borough under its “ Big Choice ” scheme. Colchester residents will decide who the winning projects are by voting for their favourites. Voting will be open between Monday 22 February and Friday 4 March, and the winning projects will be announced the following week.

We have pitched for £50,000 of the funding. If we are successful, this money, together with the money we’ve already raised, should be enough to allow us to start rebuilding our hall (at last!). But whether or not we’ll succeed depends on how many people vote for our project when the voting opens. So it’s really important that we mobilise as much support as we can.

We’re working hard to ensure that our project is promoted widely throughout the Borough. Please support us when voting opens and pass on this message to your friends, relations and anyone else you know who lives in the Borough.

The Council will be promoting the scheme during the next 4 weeks, so look out for it in the local press and on radio. You can see who we’re competing against by visiting where all 12 projects are listed.

I’ll be sending out more information about how to cast your vote before voting opens, but if you’d like to know more about what we’re doing or are able to help us in any way, please get in touch with me on 01206 735510 or [email protected].

Thanks for your support!

Bob Holmes
Peldon Village Hall Management Committee


Cancer Drop-In Day

We Are Macmillan Cancer SupportFree Health And Wellbeing Event For People Living With And Beyond Cancer

Colchester’s Mayor Cllr Colin Sykes, and his wife Cllr Laura Sykes, will open the event at 10.30am

For the first time in North Essex and surrounding areas cancer patients and their families who are living with and beyond cancer are being invited to a free health and wellbeing drop in cancer information day taking place on Saturday 26 April at the St John’s Community Centre, St John’s Close, Colchester, CO4 OHP between 10.30am and 3.30pm to find out about all there is available for those affected by cancer.  There will be free parking and refreshments. Macmillan Cancer Support and Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces to host this major cancer event to provide people, who have undergone or completed treatment for cancer, no matter how long ago or for what type of cancer, with the opportunity to find out about what support, information, advice and facilities are available, to help them adjust to life with, and beyond, cancer. This event is linked to a new Self-Managed After Care service launched on the 1st April by the Trust and Macmillan Cancer that will provide one of the most comprehensive support and information services to cancer patients and their families in the UK. The event is funded by Macmillan Cancer and supported by more than 20 local organisations such as Macmillan Welfare Benefits, CHAPS – Men’s Health, Age UK, Breast Care, St Helena Hospice, Health Professionals, Equipment Suppliers, Cancer Support Groups, Marie Curie, St John’s Church Community Centre, Essex Carer Support and many more. The day will include four 45 minute presentations and question times on Benefits Advice, Counselling, Men’s Health, Physiotherapy & Exercise.

Peter Carrington, Lead Volunteer at the Macmillan Cancer Support, Drop-In & Information Centre, based at Essex County Hospital, said:

 We are encouraging people and their families affected by cancer to come along to the event, so they are better informed about how they can make a positive difference to their every-day life. No one with cancer should have to face it alone; they should have easy access to high quality care, treatment, information and support, to meet their medical, practical, emotional and financial needs. Research has shown how important health and wellbeing is to the recovery and long-term health of cancer patients. For more information please phone 01206 744401.

Debbie Farthing, Macmillan Information & Support Manager said:

The cancer journey can be a particularly difficult time for many patients and their families and they need to know there is a robust safety net of support throughout diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, rehabilitation and beyond enabling them to return to everyday life and activities. This event will empower people to live more independently knowing our support and help is always available no matter when on how they need our help. We meet or talk to approximately 5,000 people, families and health professional per year and give out 18,000 plus information booklets with 309 patients and their families receiving on-going daily support from our volunteers with fast track access to health professionals where needed.


NHS with Macmillan announce new cancer support

We Are Macmillan Cancer SupportNew, improved self-management scheme launched for cancer survivors

The NHS in North East Essex, in partnership with Macmillan cancer charity, is launching a pioneering new service on the 1st April to better support survivors of cancer. It has been designed with the active involvement of patients from the cancer service user-groups.

This new scheme is designed to take some of the national ideas and build a new local service to better support people to manage their own medical and wider recovery process.

For those who have survived breast or colorectal cancers

The scheme is specifically for those who have survived breast or colorectal cancers and who are now judged as at lower-risk of relapse, with the intention to learn from this to potentially expand the service to survivors of certain other cancers. Higher-risk patients, such as those who have suffered from aggressive forms of the disease, will continue to need and get a different, more medically intensive follow-up programme.

Dr Linda Mahon-Daly, a GP at Shrub End in Colchester, leading the collaboration with Macmillan, said:

We will be providing an improved service for patients ensuring that every patient has real, continuing practical and moral support. National research and planning is all pointing towards similar services, but we are making it work practically for these patients, who often face very challenging circumstances. There is also the benefit of freeing up hospital doctors’ time, allowing them to deliver more services.

Many people, once their treatment is successfully concluded for these cancers, can find themselves without effective follow-up support. There are about 200 new lower-risk patients each year in NE Essex for each of these cancers. Under the new scheme, they and their families will be invited to attend a workshop specific to their type of cancer, which will help them understand and prepare for problems they may face, for instance certain physical side-effects that may follow. Patients will then be discharged from routine outpatient appointments; they will be assigned a Macmillan “buddy”, a trained volunteer with experience and interest in this type of cancer.

There will be a clear, rapid procedure to get the patient back under consultant care if needed and patients will still be able to contact their clinical nurse specialist (CNS) for advice on medical problems.

Michelle Bath, Macmillan Development Manager for Essex, said:

Following active treatment many patients tell us they feel alone and try to ‘get back to normal’ but their cancer experience has had such a big impact that they’re no longer sure what their ‘normal’ is. By training volunteer buddies we are aiming to give patients a support network and somebody to speak to about their concerns. This will give patients a listening ear that isn’t a member of their medical team but they will know how to access medical support if they suspect a change or recurrence of their cancer.

Clinically proven effective follow-up medical investigations, such as regular colonoscopy and mammography will still be carried out, as at present, to ensure that any problems are found and dealt with quickly.

Donna Booton, Matron for Cancer Services at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said:

This is an exceptional scheme for the patients of North East Essex. It will reduce their fears and give them the support and knowledge they have not received before in order to be able to move on with their lives. This is also an example of excellent collaborative involving Colchester Hospital Trust, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The volunteer buddies are initially funded and trained by Macmillan offering patients their wide experience, good information and non-medical advice. Perhaps crucially they will offer support for the patient, if needed, with re-building life routines, such as finding a job and other services. Patients will know they have continuing support and quick, easy access to further help as needed. Each patient will get the support they need as an individual, rather than the current system of routine out-patient appointments at hospital for everyone.

Dr Shane Gordon, Clinical Chief Officer at NE Essex CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) said:

This is a brilliant scheme; it will directly support many cancer survivors to rebuild their lives successfully. It is an excellent collaboration between Macmillan and the NHS which meets the support needs of patients at any time and links effectively with professional clinical services.

A lot of work has been done in the NHS nationally to understand why so many people who have been successfully treated for cancer, don’t feel they get effective follow-up support. There is good evidence too that the current routine follow-up appointments are not the most effective way of picking up any symptoms of recurrence of the disease, but patients do need help with any side-effects of treatment and sometimes with re-building their lives after treatment.

There will be an ongoing series of general cancer workshops, run and funded by Macmillan, on topics such as finance, diet and exercise and sexual health, which will be available to all cancer patients. Pilot workshops will be held and then evaluated, with the patient groups defining the feedback questionnaire which will be used.