High Sheriff grant helps J9 go national

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The Council’s J9 domestic abuse awareness initiative have been awarded a grant of £750 from the High Sheriff of Essex Fund to provide training for the Department of Work and Pensions call centre staff, which will help identify and support victims of domestic abuse nationally.

High Sheriff Awards 2017

Recognised for major contributions

The High Sheriff of Essex, Lorna Rolfe and Chairman of Essex County Council Councillor John Aldridge, presented Caroline Wiggins, Community Safety Manager at Epping Forest District Council with a grant of £750 for the J9 initiative project.

The High Sheriff hosted an evening dedicated recognising the voluntary organisations and people who have made major contributions to reducing crime and increasing safety within communities, at a ceremony held in Hylands House in Chelmsford last week.

Delivering training

The funding will deliver J9 training to the 300 members of staff at the national customer call centre for the Department of Work and Pensions, based in Basildon.

Excellent progress

Safer, Greener, Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller said: ”We are delighted to have received this funding. We have had such a positive response to the progress that has been made so far and we are proud to say the project has already trained over 400 professionals and service providers across Essex.”

”The £750 funding will allow us to provide training for the 300 employees at the Department of Work and Pensions call centre, who receive calls from people around the country. This means we are now in a position to help signpost and support victims of domestic abuse nationally, which is excellent progress.”

Sign up for training

Councillor Waller added: ”Any business and organisation that would like to sign up please call 01992 564608 or email j9@eppingforestdc.gov.uk – let’s make sure the victims of domestic abuse get the help and support they need.”

About J9

The J9 domestic abuse initiative has been running in West Essex for 4 years. It was named in memory of Janine Mundy. She was killed by her estranged husband while on police bail.

The J9 initiative was set up by Janine’s family and the local police in Cornwall to raise awareness of domestic abuse and help victims get the help they so desperately need.

Charter to inspire climate change action

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Reducing emissions and tackling climate change are the key aims of a new Environmental Charter signed by Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread and Chief Executive Glen Chipp.

Leader of Council Councillor Chris & Chief Executive signing the Environmental Charter


Climate Local

The Environmental Charter is part of Climate Local. Climate Local is a Local Government Association (LGA) initiative which asks councils for a commitment to help drive and inspire climate change action in the UK.

We have

  • Installed solar panel’s at the civic offices
  • Increased the recycling of our waste – through providing more bins and training staff
  • Insulated all council-owned properties to a high standard

We will

  • Help local people and businesses to be smarter about their energy use
  • As service providers aim to deliver services that are resource efficient and less carbon intensive
  • Ensure council owned buildings and operations are resource efficient and prepared for the impacts of a changing climate

Responsibility to our environment

Leader of Council Councillor Chris Whitbread said: “As a council we have a responsibility to our environment, by endorsing this Charter we are taking steps in the right direct towards making change.”

“Not only do we hope to reduce our carbon footprint but hope to inspire residents to make small changes resulting in a big difference.”

More info

Mental health outreach for local schools

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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

MiLife promotes positive mental health

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Health, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

MiLife is an innovative new programme for young people to teach them about positive mental health and dispel the common myths and misconceptions that exist. MiLife is aimed at 11–16 year olds.

It aims to raise awareness through education to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.

EFYC working with actors during rehersals for MiLife

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a poster below and then click start slideshow

MiLife roadshows

The MiLife programme was started following the 2015 Epping Forest Youth Conference. Young people who attended listed mental health as one of the top issues concerning them.

The MiLife Roadshow visits secondary schools in the Epping Forest district. Pupils watch a theatre piece acted out by the Red Balloon Family theatre group which tackles issues relevant to them. Thoughout the performance an explanation of positive mental health and building resilience gives the pupils the tools to support themselves and their peers.

Additional support is offered to any young person who feels that they would benefit.

MiLife website

A website designed to be safe and secure for young people to go to for help and advice has been set up.

Youth Councillors from Epping Forest Youth Council helped design MiLife, working with

  • North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT)
  • Epping Forest District Council (EFDC)
  • The Red Balloon Family
  • Essex County Council (ECC)

A healthy and happy mind

EFYC Youth Councillor Matthew Tinker was involved in the project from its beginning said: “The MiLife project is a really great youth led project that has allowed the young people of Epping Forest to understand their own personal mental health in greater detail.

The project aims to give young people a greater understanding of what to do if they feel mentally ill but also how to help themselves keep a healthy and happy mind. I strongly believe greater mental awareness will lead to a reduction in youth crime rates as young people can understand now when they need to see professional support.”

“I am so proud of our project and the great impact it is having on my peers and my friends.”

Help address mental health issues

Mrs Lorna Rolfe, High Sheriff of Essex met with youth councillors and praised them for being so advanced in addressing mental health. She said: “I was delighted to visit Epping Forest’s Youth Council on Tuesday evening at their monthly Council meeting. They, along with NHS NELFT gave an excellent presentation about their project MiLife. I was impressed by their knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm.”

“This is a dynamic group of young people who are in tune with their fellow students and are giving their time freely in order to help address mental health issues. We know that the Prime Minister has recently stated that tackling child mental health is a priority but Epping Forest Youth Council have already recognised the problem and are in schools now, confronting this scourge of modern life with imaginative, positive and insightful solutions.”

“Their initiative deserves nothing but praise and encouragement and I wish them every success with their endeavours.”

Interactive DIY care package

Diane Butler, EFDC Youth Engagement Officer said: “The MiLife web page includes an interactive DIY care package called a MiBox, a box with items that provide comfort and help to lift moods when feeling down. The MiBox can contain anything that is meaningful and helpful to the young person.”

Digital innovations in young peoples mental health

Emma Selby from the Emotional wellbeing and mental health service at NELFT said: “We pride ourselves on our digital innovations in young peoples mental health and we are so excited to be collaborating with Epping Forest Youth Council on making their fantastic MiLife roadshow a National Resource. The youth councillors have worked incredibly hard and produced a top class resource that we believe every young person would benefit from accessing.”

Delighted at their response

Debbie Lake Deputy head teacher from Davenant Foundation School said: “The EFYC’s roadshow MiLife was such a success. All years appreciate the presentation, they responded to the both the content and techniques adopted by the team. We were surprised and delighted at their response.”

“The involvement of local students through the Epping Forest Youth Council brought a reality to the presentations and content which got through to students. To see Joseph Pascoe one of our own students actively involved in the day and instrumental in its planning gave our students confidence in the team. Thank you to all the organisations and individuals involved.”

Training pack

A training pack for teachers and youth workers is available so they can continue the discussion and include practical self-help tips.

Find out more at the MiLife website at www.milife.org.uk or call Di Butler Youth Engagement Officer on 01992 564365.

Community Transport saves Nazeing bus service

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A vital bus route for Nazeing has been saved. Councillor Jeane Lea, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council went to see the C392 for herself after Epping Forest Community Transport stepped in to save the Nazeing-Hoddesdon service.

The 392 Little White Bus is connecting communities across Essex and Hertfordshire

Community Transport

Since January the C392 Little White Bus runs daily between Tylers Cross, Nazeing and Hoddesdon Rye Park via Broxbourne between about 7am and 7pm replacing an axed earlier commercial service.      

Community Transport trustee and District Councillor for Nazeing Richard Bassett was instrumental in organising the new service. He joined Councillor Lea and other commuters at Nazeing Crossroads to meet the 10.10 bus driven by volunteer Amy Carter.

Providing an essential service

Councillor Bassett said: ”We are seeing more and more the value of community transport in our district and in this case we would have seen no bus services in a village and surrounding area of 5000 people until Community Transport saved the day by putting together this service in record time.”

Councillor Bassett worked with Essex Passenger Transport and Nazeing and Roydon Parish Councils after both the 392 and 505 bus services were withdrawn. In addition to the C392, he helped to get the 86 service run by EOS diverted via Bumbles Green and St Leonards before resuming its route from Harlow down the Crooked Mile towards Waltham Abbey.

Cllr Bassett added that ”Thanks to some very speedy actions the C392 is running under the section 22 license which means all concessions are valid on the service.

Reducing fairs

We have reduced the single fare to £3 and the return to £5 with children getting a reduced fare of £2. I have received some early comments that people are very pleased with the service and the friendly drivers and the little white community bus.”

He also added ”I am very concerned that many rural services are finding they are having bus services reduced or cancelled. Community Transport is stepping up to provide services to dependant villages to prevent social exclusion and help with hospital and other appointments which otherwise people would struggle to attend.”

Local people working together

Councillor Lea was delighted to meet Councillor Bassett, the driver Amy Carter and fellow travellers. She said: ”I want to congratulate everyone involved in the project. Rural bus services are under pressure everywhere but the C392 shows just what can be done when local people organise and act together.”

More information

For Community Transport Timetables please visit:

For more information about Community Transport or to volunteer in the office or as a driver please call:

  • Community transport office on 01992 579556

Half term activities February 2017

Written on . Posted in Arts, Health, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Sports, Your council

From sports to drawing, we have lots of fun activities going on for your children this half term.

Half term holiday activities

Multi Sports Days

  • Tuesday 14 February / Thursday 16 February 2017
  • Upper Clapton Rugby Club, Upland Road, Thornwood, Epping, Essex, CM16 6NL
  • For young people aged 5-14
  • Cost £15 per day
  • 8.45am to 3.30pm

Multi sports day is a fun filled packed day including

  • Football
  • Dodgeball
  • Tennis
  • Mini Olympics
  • Dance
  • Games and competitions

Play in the Forest

  • Friday 17 February 2017
  • High Beach, Car Park behind Kings Oak Pub, High Beach, Loughton, IG10 4AE
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Cost £3
  • 10am to 12pm

Play in the Forest is all about playing games and having fun in the forest. A wide range of activities will be on offer including

  • Scavenger hunt
  • Den building
  • Arts and crafts

Please note that Play in the Forest sessions are provided as play opportunities for children and not as childcare. All participants may come and go as they please. Staff are not obliged to prevent any child from leaving the session. Parents/carers are free to stay and join in. Toilet facilities are located in the pub car park. No booking required.

How to Draw

Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey EN9 1EL
Both sessions are for ages 7 plus and cost £8. 10.30am to 12pm

Level 1 Monday 13 February 2017

If you can draw a triangle you can draw a chicken!

This artist led workshop takes you through the basics of drawing in a fun and creative way, with practical exercises in looking, feeling, mark-making and developing your own style.

Level 2 Wednesday 15 February 2017

So you can draw a triangle and a chicken, what’s next? If you’ve been to our ever popular How to Draw Level 1 session and enjoy drawing, why not come along and develop your own style.

Learn about different ways of drawing, using a variety of artistic materials to explore different subjects, including landscape, portraiture and still life.

But most important of all, have lots of fun!

Disability Inclusion Project

Sessions for children or young people with disabilities/SEN only

Own a Pony

  • 13 February 2017
  • Age 4 upwards
  • High Beech Riding School, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3QL
  • Cost £25

Inclusion Multi Sports

  • 14 February 2017
  • All ages
  • Upper Clapton Rugby Club, Upland Road, Thornwood, Epping, Essex, CM16 6NL
  • Cost £15


  • 15 February 2017
  • Age 3 upwards
  • Debden Park High School, Willingale Road, IG10 2BQ
  • Cost £4

Book now

  • Book online

  • Or call our booking line on 01992 564226 open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm

Anti-litter campaign cleans up for third year

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An anti-litter campaign across Essex, Kent and Suffolk #BinIt has resulted in a reduction of litter for the third year in a row, an amazing drop in litter of 43%.

Don't toss it - #BINIT

Littering is a criminal offence

The Love Essex campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, is made up of local authorities and local business partners throughout Essex.

This year’s Don’t toss it – #BinIt campaign aims to remind people that:

  • Littering is a criminal offence
  • It comes with a fixed penalty notice from £75
  • And a maximum fine on conviction in court of £2,500

Spreading the message

The ‘Don’t toss it – #BinIt’ message has appeared throughout Essex on

  • Refuse vehicles
  • Bus shelters
  • Petrol pumps
  • 86 McDonald’s restaurants
  • 15 KFC restaurants
  • Spread to 2.4 million social media accounts

This has so far seen an average drop in litter of 43% and helped to reduce branded fast food litter by 63 per cent, in the areas monitored, and independently verified by Keep Britain Tidy.

Tackling litter

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “Litter is an issue that costs around £17 million across Essex. Not only does this take resources away from other much needed council services it also damages our environment.”

“It is important for people to remember that littering is a criminal offence that comes with a maximum fine of up to £2,500.”

“As a community we need to come together and tackle this important issue by behaving responsibly and reporting incidents so we can investigate further and take action.”

Working together

Cherry Lewis-Taylor, McDonald’s franchisee added: “I believe that working together and campaigning against littering at our restaurant locations helps remind people to dispose of their litter responsibly.”

“Between McDonald’s and KFC’s participating restaurants and drive-thru’s, we have reached millions of customers. Adding this to the number of people who saw the other campaign material, including social media, it is likely that the Don’t toss it … #Binit message will have been seen at least 6 million times.”

Do the right thing

Huw James, Director of Kefco, the KFC Franchisee in Essex commented: “I am proud that we at KFC can work with councils and other business partners to actively promote that people should do the right thing and bin their litter. As a business, we are committed to looking at ways we can help reduce the amount of litter that ends up on our streets.”

Report it

If there are large amounts of litter in your street or fly-tipped rubbish near where you live, let us know

Please give as much detail as possible so we can investigate what further action can be taken.

Staying well this winter

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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

Recycle your real Christmas tree

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Recycling your real Christmas tree in January this year really couldn’t be easier!

  • Remove the tree from the pot or stand

  • Remove all decorations and remove any artificial snow

  • If the tree is bigger than 6ft tall, saw in half

  • Place the tree by your green wheelie bin on your food and garden waste collection day

Collected throughout January

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: ”We have made recycling your Christmas tree as easy as we possibly can. It’s simple, just leave your tree to be collected with your food and garden waste bins, following the four step instructions. If you are unsure of the date of your food and garden waste collection, check using our online tool, all you need is your postcode. Trees will be collected throughout January 2017.

Great for the environment

He added: ”Our food and garden waste is composted to produce a high quality soil improver which is used on farms to enhance the soil, helping farmers produce high quality veggies. It’s great for the environment and benefits us too!”

#OurDay the people behind your local services

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Local business, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Tuesday 15 November 2016 is #OurDay. #OurDay is a yearly tweetathon for local government to show what it does in a typical day.

Here are just a few of the people behind your valued Epping Forest District Council services.

Karen & her lifewalkers set off from Clayton Hill on a mild autumn morning

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow