#OurDay the people behind your local services

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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

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Take to your bikes this winter

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As the leaves turn brown and the dark days and nights creep in, Lee Valley Regional Park – in cooperation with Epping Forest District Council – will be running a series of enjoyable, weekly Cycling For Health bike rides this wintertime, encouraging visitors to get outdoors, get fit and stay healthy on just two wheels whilst enjoying the park.

The first two-hour, guided bike ride of the series begins this week on Wednesday 2 November, departing from Fishers Green Car Park in Waltham Abbey at 10.00. Meeting points for subsequent rides include Chingford Plain, Nazeing’s Clayton Hill Country Park and the London in Bloom 2016 award winning site Gunpowder Park, recently honoured with gold level scores and named ‘Country Park of the Year’.

Cycling Back of group

Cyclists lucky enough to own a bike will need to pay just £3.50 to join one of the 20 group rides scheduled until the end of March. Riders eager to join but without wheels are welcome to hire a helmet and bike for just £7.00 per person which includes the ride fee.

Matt Ewings, Cycling Development Officer at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said:

“The Cycling for Health programme provides lots of opportunities to not only get outdoors and get fit, but to meet new people and discover new cycle routes throughout the park. Even if the weather is a little grey and wet, cyclists will enjoy the park’s varied landscape and ever active wildlife. We hope the programme encourages our new and regular visitors to cycle in the beautiful park.”

The park will also host a special Bike Maintenance Workshop at Gunpowder Park from 9.30 until 15.00 on Wednesday 23 November, offering cyclists expert advice and tuition on how to look after themselves and their bikes. The two-hour indoor workshop will include bike safety checks, guidance on how to change a wheel’s inner tube, demonstrations on brake and gear adjustment and tutoring on the upkeep of a bike’s drive chain.

Participants at the workshop will then set off for a rewarding two-hour ride to explore the surrounding area and stop off for lunch at a local café on the route. Places for this special event are limited and booking is essential – cyclists are advised to secure their place in advance for

the price of £13.50 per person. Riders attending the workshop will also receive a complimentary bike puncture repair kit.

Covering distances between 10-15km, every group ride has been categorised into either an easy, medium or hard difficulty level taking into account the route’s gradient and will also venture across a variety of ground terrains such as tarmac, solid earth and redgrow. In addition to discovering new cycle routes, participants can also take advantage of the session’s rest break to refuel and meet their fellow riders.

Cycling offers numerous health benefits for riders, young and old, regardless of experience or difficulty. Hopping onto a bike for just one hour a day can burn up to approximately 650 calories – the equivalent of two large slices of pizzas or a bowl of luxury ice cream.

In addition to keeping riders fit, cycling can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease – one of the UK’s biggest killers taking over 160,000 lives a year – by up to 50%, whilst improving mental health and wellbeing.

To book your place, visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/cyclingforhealth or call 01992 564226 for more information.

Helping the distirct ‘stay well this winter’

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‘Stay well this winter’ events have been taking place across the district preparing residents for the colder months.

Stay well this winter

Health and wellbeing event

These free events in partnership with the West Essex Clinical Commissioning group include:

  • Advice on managing prescription medicines
  • Advice on where to access to help i.e. pharmacies, NHS Choices, GP, NHS111 or A&E
  • Informative talks from pharmacist, nurses and specialist health care advisors
  • Free health care checks
  • Free Lunch

The event also includes useful help and advice from:

  • Age UK
  • Care line
  • NHS falls prevention
  • The Alzheimer’s society
  • Community Agents
  • Trading Standards
  • NHS Nurses
  • East of England Ambulance
  • East od England Fire Service

The events conclude with some light entertainment from ‘Elvis’ and a goody bag.

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Know the steps you can take

So far ‘stay well this winter ‘has visited The Zinc Arts Centre in Ongar and The Limes Centre Chigwell.

One participant said ‘The talks were very informative and it was good to have a chance to speak to lots of professional in one place’

Karen Murray, EFDC Community Engagement said: ‘These events are a great opportunity for people to know the steps they can take to protect themselves, family and friends over the colder months and to have a bit of fun together whilst enjoying a performance from Elvis’.

Come and join us

The last ‘stay well this winter’ will take place:

  • Wednesday 16 November

  • 8 Station Road, Loughton IG10 4NX

Please note that the events run all day and include a free lunch.

Booking is required, please call to confirm a place.

  • 01992564226

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’