Youth Councillors say no to N2O

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Uncategorized, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Epping Forest Youth Councillors took to districts car parks to clean up laughing gas canisters, empty bottles of alcohol and general waste.

Along with members of the Waste Management Team and City of London Volunteer Wardens, Youth Councillors dressed in protective clothing cleaned up over 550 laughing gas canisters in Epping Forest, Traps Hill, Loughton and Cornmill Lane, Waltham Abbey.

So what is laughing gas?

The Home Office has found Nitrous Oxide (N2O) more commonly known as laughing gas, to be the second most popular recreational drug among 16 to 24 year olds in England and Wales.

Nitrous oxide is not a controlled drug, and has legitimate uses in medicine and dentistry.

Under the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, it is illegal to sell to under 18s when the seller believes the substance may be inhaled for the purposes of intoxication.

While it is not illegal for an adult to inhale the gas, many authority’s across Britain are concerned about its use.

Raising awareness

Youth Councillors are currently conducting an on line survey in schools, aiming to identify

  • Young people’s understanding of drugs
  • What drugs they have tried
  • What made they try them
  • Peer pressure
  • Curiosity or boredom

The findings will be published as part of the Youth Council’s drug awareness project.

Youth Councillors are currently designing a poster campaign to take into their schools and raise awareness of the dangers of the laughing gas craze.

Are you aged between 11 and 24?

Understanding the risks

Youth Councillor Nina Honey said: “It is important young people understand the serious health risks the substance can pose.”

“Nitrous oxide can be very dangerous when misused. When inhaled the gas restricts oxygen getting to the brain and can cause someone to become faint or unconscious and can even cause heart attacks.”

“The amount of canisters we found whilst out and about is worrying and it shows laughing gas is a real issue for young people today. Through our drug awareness project we hope to highlight the risks and make young people aware of the damage they are doing.”

More information

For further information contact

  • Di Gilson-Butler
  • Youth Engagement Officer
  • 01992 564 365

Mental health outreach for local schools

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

MiLife, an innovative mental health project developed by Epping Forest District Youth Council is touring local schools.

1 in 4 school age children experience mental health problems before the age of 18.

MiLife Roadshow

Click to enlarge photo and then click to see more photos

Addressing mental health

Delivered by a local theatre group, the latest MiLife performance helped Year 7 and Year 8 students at the Ongar Academy think about their mental welfare and that of their friends.

Using electronic voting handsets, students were asked what they would do in a series of different scenarios. The results of their choices were then played out by the actors.

Bringing the subject out into the open

MiLife was the innovation of Epping Forest District Youth Council. It evolved from the annual district-wide youth conference and was produced with the support of Epping Forest District Council.

Epping Forest Youth Councillor Adam Freeman said: “There tends to be quite a bit of focus on adult mental health at the moment but people can forget your school years can be some of the most stressful. There could be many different reasons for poor mental health.”

“By bringing the subject out into the open and talking about it, we hope to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to look after themselves and each other.”

A marvellous programme

Leisure and Communities Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane supports the scheme. She said: “This is a fantastic  initiative. The issues around mental health are often misunderstood or worse ignored. Perhaps we tend to dismiss it as part of growing up.”

“However, there are many reasons why a young person might not have good mental health and I congratulate our Youth Council for developing such a marvellous programme.”

MiLife is touring schools and colleges throughout the district.

Find out more

To find out more about MiLife please visit

Staying well this winter

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Equalities, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Stay well this winter events took place across the district, advising residents on how to prepare for colder months.

Preparing for cold weather

Epping Forest District Council and NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group bought together professionals from across West Essex aiming to advise the elderly on how to prepare for winter, promoting available services and how to practising good self-care.

Helpful advice

The roadshows speakers gave information on selecting the correct services. Including how to prepare you in case of an emergency, tips on keeping in good health and how to manage health conditions.

Speakers included:

  • NHS Pharmacy Team
  • NHS Falls Prevention Team
  • NHS Community Nurses
  • Specsavers optometrist
  • Trading Standards
  • Self-Management UK
  • East of England Ambulance Service
  • Essex County Fire and Rescue
  • West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

Great range of services

Councillor Helen Kane Leisure and Community Portfolio Holder said: “Events like this showcase emphasise the range of services we have available in West Essex, and prove that there is help available if needed.”

“The stay well this winter events also highlight the importance of good self-care and how vital is to be prepared in staying well and making sure you’re ready for any kind of emergency you may face, not only in winter but all year round.”

“It’s great to see services across West Essex coming together and working in partnership, looking out for our community’s safety and wellbeing.”

More information

For more information on how to stay well please visit

Grants for community groups

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Epping, Grants, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Volunteering opportunities, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Could your community group use £5,000 to help the social and physical wellbeing of the districts residents?

If yes, apply now for a grant for your one-off project, initiative or even the further development of an existing scheme.

Money

Grants up to £5,000

These are available to

  • Local voluntary and community groups
  • Sports clubs
  • Arts and culture groups
  • Trusts
  • Friendly societies
  • Social enterprises
  • Community interest groups

Who can apply?

Groups that apply must

  • Operate on a charitable or non-profit making basis
  • Be based, or are active, in the Epping Forest district
  • Demonstrate true local independence
  • Offer services and facilities to all eligible local residents
  • Have no unfair restrictions on membership or participation
  • Be able to show a clear need for financial support
  • Have a bank or building account under the name of the applicant organisation

Making a difference

Our grants have helped groups like the Haven House Children’s Hospice, Waltham Abbey Church and Coopersale Social Institute, among many others.

  • Haven House Children’s Hospice received £500 for their Toy Home Loan service in May 2016, helping families access specialist toys for children with complex medical needs and life-limiting conditions
  • Waltham Abbey Church received £1,480 in February 2016 for the purchase of a defibrillator
  • Coopersale Social Institute received £5,000 in August 2015 for the purchase of new windows and doors for the community hall

Make your application now

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: ”We really appreciate the work the voluntary and community sector does in the district. In tough economic times the need for groups to receive funding and support from the council goes up and I look forward to seeing how our grants are spent to help the lives of those in our community.”

“We want to support voluntary groups who carry out great work in our district, as they know first-hand some of the problems and unmet need of our community.”

“If your group is eligible and the grant will help the social and physical wellbeing of our residents, don’t delay, apply now.”

Make an application

  • Download an application form
  • Fill in an application
  • Attach your most recent balance sheet and set of accounts
  • Submit the application to grantaid@eppingforestdc.gov.uk
  • Or by hard copy to Community, Policy and Grants Manager, Epping Forest District Council, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, CM16 4LU.

More information

For further information on Grant Aid

We will listen and there will be changes

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Democracy, Epping, Leader, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Councillors had their first chance to debate future development policy following the publication of the draft Local Plan at Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 6 October.

EFDC Local Plan logos

Cabinet supported recommendations asking Full Council on 18 October to endorse the plan for public consultation.

Councillor John Philip, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning assured fellow councillors that the document before them was for full consultation. The Council would listen and he was sure that there would be changes. However, to be persuasive, Councillor Philip said that arguments for change to the Plan had to be backed up with clear evidence. For example, evidence could include information about issues such as;

  • Flooding
  • Access arrangements
  • Contamination
  • Utilities
  • Other infrastructure
  • Availability of the site

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread thanked Councillor Philip, his predecessor Councillor Richard Bassett and council staff for all the hard work that had gone into the draft.

Subject to the approval of Full Council, public consultation on the draft Local Plan will take place between 31 October and 12 December.

Planning our future

To view all the latest Local Plan information go to the consultation website.

Get involved

Join in the conversation