Grant aid scheme for community groups

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You can apply for a grant of up to £5000 from Epping Forest District Council, if your organisation is providing community work, cultural or sporting activities.

Grant Aid Scheme

Applications welcome

Epping Forest District Council Community Services team are welcoming grant applications of up to £5000 to support organisations involved in providing community work, cultural or sport activities.

An amount of money is set aside each year and priority is given to those groups delivering Council objectives and targets.

Valuable contributions

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said:  ”Epping Forest District Council makes grants to voluntary and community organisations. They range from sports and social clubs to charities and support organisations. At its core, each is making a valuable contribution to the social and physical wellbeing of our residents.”

”Some are major national charities making a very significant contribution across the district whilst others contribute in smaller ways to enrich the tapestry of community activities that make our district such an enjoyable place to live. In tough economic times, the Council’s contribution can make all the difference.”

F.I.S.H holiday club pilot a great success

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Over the six weeks summer holiday local organisations teamed together to run the Districts first food in the school holidays (F.I.S.H) holiday club.

FISH holiday club images

A place for families to eat together under one roof

EFDC’s Community health and wellbeing team partnered with Loughton foodbank and True Stars children’s centre based at the Limes Centre run the first Epping Forest F.I.S.H Holiday Club providing a hot meal each week to support local families struggling with the cost of food. With around 170 non-school days a year some families find it tricky to keep the kids entertained.

The F.I.S.H holiday club, part of the Trussell Trust’s ‘More Than Food’ programme, is one of 14 pilots which ran across the UK this summer, and aims to provide:

  • Fun activities
  • Learning opportunities
  • A hot meal for parents and children

Making a real difference

Heather Scholer, Loughton Foodbank Managersaid ; ‘Over the 6 weeks, 10 families attended the Holiday Club including 17 children and nearly 90 hot meals and desserts were cooked and served by 15 staff members and volunteers.

It has made a real difference to the families this summer and has created excellent partnership working between the three organisations’

FISH holiday club

Spending quality time

One parent, who has benefited from the programme, said: ‘Coming to the Holiday Club has made a difference to our family this summer, it’s been somewhere local and fun to come without it costing money and my child has had the opportunity to try different healthy foods.

It’s been nice for me to spend quality time with my child and socialise with other adults too.’

One child said, ‘I felt excited to come to the Holiday Club, I had space to do fun activities like making crowns and play tennis. I really liked the tuna pasta, the cream tea and making new friends!’

Patrick Arnold Community development officer said; ‘The school holiday is meant to be a fun time for parents and children alike, It’s great to know we’ve injected a little more fun made a difference in the district’

Dementia awareness session success

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Do you want to increase your awareness and get to know more about dementia? We are hosting Dementia Friends Awareness Sessions for local groups, in partnership with Epping Forest District Museum, in their new community area called ‘the space’.

The sessions are being lead by the Community and Wellbeing Team in conjunction with  Epping Forest District Dementia Action Alliance. The alliance are part of an initiative to make the district of Epping Forest a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’.

Successful sessions

The first Dementia Friends awareness sessions have already been held for the council’s apprentices, housing team, the Limes Farm Community Group and for many of those involved with the council’s walking for health scheme, Lifewalks.

Lifewalks leader, Erika Needham said: “The session helped me see how challenging it can be for those living with dementia and how we can help to alleviate this. Bringing dementia to the attention of the public can help us all to make small changes in our behaviour towards those living with dementia, which in turn will make life easier for them and their carers”.

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

Focus on increasing awareness

Epping Forest District Council’s Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: ”The information sessions focus on increasing people’s knowledge and awareness of dementia. We hope that this new knowledge and understanding will have a positive effect on the local area – for local people living with dementia and their carers”.

Get involved

She continued: ”Anyone of any age can come to a Dementia Friends Information Session. Help us to ensure local people with dementia are appreciated and feel valued members of their community. If you or your local group would benefit from attending a session or would like some further information,  please contact Karen Murray the council’s Engagement Officer on the details below, alternatively you can find your nearest session on the Alzheimer’s society website.”

Skye terrier takes home the gold

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Epping Forest districts dog lovers came to Waltham Abbey and saw Bruce the Skye Terrier take home the best in show title.

Companion Dog Show 2016

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow

Responsible dog ownership

Our Companion dog show, a must for all dog lovers, took place at the Town Mead Park in Waltham Abbey on Sunday 5 June 2016. It raised an amazing £1,572  for the German Shepherd Rescue (West Essex) charity as well as promoting responsible dog ownership.

On the day there were 18 novelty classes, 8 pedigree and 5 obedience classes to compete in, as well as German Shepard dog rallies.

Bruce the Skye terrier took home best in show with Cindy the Pembroke Corgi taking home best veteran.

Helping with the judging were Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Jeane Lea and Waltham Abbey Mayor Councillor Helen Kane.

Chairman Jeane Lea said: “Our dog show is brilliant at bringing the community together and shows the strong bonds families have with their pets. Today was a lovely day and it was obvious to me just how much we love our animals – take a look at all the great pictures.”

Get your dog chipped

She continued: ‘It is important to look after your dog responsibly. From April it has been a legal requirement to microchip your dog and you could be fined up to £500 if your dog isn’t chipped by the time they’re 8 months old. Something as simple as a microchip could reunite you with your pooch if they were to get lost. Don’t delay, microchip your dog today!’

Pupils amaze at Big Dance performance

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Pupils from Epping Forest district’s after-school dance clubs took part in the Big Dance Pledge on Friday 20 May 2016 at Chipping Ongar Primary School.

They joined thousands of dancers from all around the world who simultaneously performed to music created especially for the Big Dance by musician Nitin Sawhney, and dancer Akram Khan choreographing the dancing.

After-school dance clubs run by Epping Forest District Council are from

  • Chipping Ongar Primary School
  • Coopersale and Theydon Garnon Primary School
  • Ivy Chimneys Primary School
  • Moreton Primary School
  • Nazeing Primary School
  • Roydon Primary School

Dancers photos

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

A day to remember

Vanessa Gayton, Dance Engagement Officer at Epping Forest District Council said: “Today has been a fantastic experience for the children. I’m very proud of each and every single one of them, this really has been a day to remember.”

“The beauty of the dance pledge is that it is for everyone, with all types of people and levels of experience of dance in mind. It’s important to put dance on the map in the local community and to show how dance can bring people together.”


Want to get involved? Find out more on the Big Dance website.


Explore the life of a hedgehog

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What’s small, round, brown and covered in spines? A hedgehog of course!

Bring your kids to our Hedgehog Day on Wednesday 1 June to learn about one of Britain’s most familiar wild mammals with the Epping Forest Countrycare team.

Hedgehog day 2016 poster

Hedgehog day

  • When – Wednesday 1 June 2016 11am to 1pm
  • Where – Linder’s Field, Roebuck Lane, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5QN
  • Cost – £3 per child
  • Booking – call 01992 564224 to book a place

Come and explore the life of a hedgehog

Enjoy some hedgehog inspired games, learn how to make your garden more hedgehog friendly and what sort of food will encourage them to visit. Hedgehog day is aimed at 4 to 11 year olds.

Find out about Hedgehogs


Museum galleries spring to life

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Museum galleries sprang to life in an enchanting dance exploration called On the Move. Dancers performed to over 200 visitors at Epping Forest District Museum on 30 April 2016.

Museum dance residency

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

Students from the Waltham Abbey-based DNA Studios performed dance interpretations by Choreographer in Residence, Elysia Tebb. Dances were inspired by the themes in the temporary exhibitions gallery, On the Move.

The group performed this piece before dispersing around the museum where they performed their own individual pieces, offering a new and slightly different take on the interpretation of the galleries displays.

Reopening celebration

The performances were a celebration of Epping Forest District Museum’s reopening after it’s Heritage Lottery Funded refurbishment and expansion.

Innovative performance

Speaking about the project, Epping Forest District Council’s Dance Engagement Officer Vanessa Gayton said: “The On The Move Dance project finds both the Museum and DNA Performing Arts students experiencing a totally unique way of representation and performance.”

“This is an immersive experience for the young people involved as they interpret the history of the collections, working in unconventional settings and interacting closely with their audience.”

“The week-long residency has challenged their imaginations, spatial awareness, self-confidence and fitness levels, building towards what will, no doubt, be an innovative performance for our visitors to enjoy.”


Join our dementia friendly community

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In celebration of Dementia Awareness Week from 15 to 21 May 2016 the Epping Forest Dementia Action Alliance is holding an event, hoping to bring together  local people to unite in making the district more dementia friendly.

Epping Forest District Council Apprentices are now Dementia Friends

Enabling people to live well with dementia

The aim is to encourage and support communities and organisations to take practical actions to enable people to live well with dementia and to raise awareness on how to support those living with dementia. Making small changes can make a big difference.

Increase your understanding of dementia

The Epping Forest Dementia Action Alliance is inviting all residents to attend

  • Friday 20 May
  • Epping Hall, Conference Room, St Johns Road, Epping, CM16 5JU
  • 12.30pm to 2pm

The day will include a 1 hour, interactive Dementia Friends information session, which is an opportunity to increase your understanding of dementia.

The Dementia Friends initiative is led by the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, the Alzheimer’s Society. They will also be attending the event with information about their various local groups and activities.

Implementing small changes

Karen Murray, Epping Forest District Council’s Older Peoples Engagement Officer said: ‘I have recently become a Dementia Friends Champion and this has really opened my eyes to the fact that you can live well with dementia by those around you helping and implementing small changes. By becoming a dementia friend or joining the alliance you can take the first steps to making our community dementia friendly.’

Get involved

To attend this event and take part in the Dementia Friends information session or if you or your organisation wish to become a  member of the Epping Forest Dementia Action Alliance please contact;

Louis Walton, Community Policy and Grants Assistant

If you would like more information please visit

New Horizon’s co-ordinator, Hettie, retires

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New Horizon’s Hettie Williamson has hung up her ‘days trips hat’, after 26 years of organising the Epping Forest District Council run ‘Stepping Out Club’ outings. Future day trips are to be run by Karen Murray, the District Council’s Older People’s Engagement Officer.

Julie Chandler (Assistant Director of Community Services and Safety), Hettie Williamson (Ex-coordinator of New Horizon’s outings) and Karen Murray (New coordinator for New Horizon’s outings)

Karen Murray said: “Hettie has done a fantastic job and we are sad she won’t be organising the trips any more, but she will hopefully be coming along on a few trips as a guest in future, that’s if she’s not too busy with all her other activities!”

Hettie joined the team as trip coordinator in November 1989 and since then she has dedicated her time and energy into making the club a success.

88 Years Young

At 88 years young, Hettie will continue to manage the District Council’s Bowls club at the David Lloyd Health and Fitness Club in Chigwell and organise her monthly tea dances. Hettie said: “I never looked back and in its heyday I was arranging up to 22 day trips a year. We have been like one big family and we have shared many happy memories together”.

Hettie is an ‘inspiration’

Julie Chandler, Assistant Director for Community Services and Safety said: “I’m delighted that Hettie has been part of the Council for so long. She has been an inspiration to many people and still is. On behalf of the Council, I’d like to thank Hettie for the commitment and energy that she’s given to the Stepping Out Club over the years.”

Popular day trips

New Horizons offers a range of sporting, social and leisure pursuits for the over 50s. They offer everything from badminton to yoga, dancing to petanque, bowls and the ever popular day trips. Trips are run throughout the year to stately homes, gardens, coasts, as well as other special events.

Day trips in 2016 include:

  • Friday 24th June – Oxford the “City of Dreaming Spires”, £41.85 per person
  • Monday 12th September – Royal London-with a visit to Buckingham Palace, £45.65 per person
  • Tuesday 22nd November – Christmas in Faversham & Canterbury with Choral Evensong at the Cathedral, £28.75 per person

Whether you are looking for a new interest or simply looking to enjoy the company of new friends, take a look at what is on offer this year.

For further details about the trips or Tea Dances or 01992 564222

All trips include coach and entry costs unless otherwise stated and local pick up points are available

Top energy rating for swimming pool

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Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool, operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Epping Forest District Council, have seen their energy rating improve considerably over the last year due to a number of energy-saving initiatives.

Waltham Abbey swimming pool covers

The centre installed new pool covers in 2014, in order to reduce heat and energy loss and reduce utility consumption. The £4,000 investment is now showing real results in improving the energy efficiency of the site.

Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool have also converted to LED lights throughout the building, installed Passive Infrared Sensors to trigger lights only when people are moving through an area and spent time re-educating colleagues on energy wastage.

These combined efforts have led to a 10-point reduction on their DEC (Display Energy Certificate) which shows the energy performance of a building based on energy consumption. The lower the number the more energy efficient a site is.

Efficient and green

“Everyone Active are committed to making Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool as efficient and green as possible, in order to improve our local environment” says Everyone Active General Manager Chris McCarthy.

“This year we also installed collection bins for recycling batteries, printer cartridges, glasses, CDs, old cassettes and videos. We will continue to invest in the site and encourage staff and members to get involved in our energy saving and green initiatives.”

Reduction in energy use

Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool is owned by Epping Forest District Council. Councillor Helen Kane Leisure and Well-being Portfolio Holder said: “The reduction in energy use is fantastic. The council is investing heavily to reduce fuel bills across all our assets. The installation of solar panel on the civic offices in Epping was completed last month.”

“The investment at Waltham Abbey Pool is another major step forward. It is good for business, great for the environment and fantastic for our customers.”

Contact Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool

For more information on Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool