Take to your bikes this winter

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

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.

Join Active Epping Forest

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Democracy, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Olympics, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Residents are being invited to join Active Epping Forest on 19 October 2016 to help shape the future of the districts sports and leisure facilities.

Former British 100m record holder, Commonwealth gold medal winner and Olympian Montell Douglas will be there for you meet.

Active Epping Forest

Active Epping Forest aims to be a group that represents local people, meeting to discuss the development of local sport, physical activity and leisure provision in the district.

The Active Epping Forests group’s main aims will be to help make ideas a reality by:

  • Delivering new projects locally
  • Applying for funding
  • Deciding how funding will be spent

Get involved

  • 19th October 2016
  • 6.30pm
  • Loughton Cricket Club, High Road, The Uplands, Loughton IG10 1NQ

The launch event will be a chance for people to sign up and have their say on the work the group should be doing.

The event will also be an opportunity for people to enquire about sports and leisure in the district, and what’s currently available.

Be inspired by an Olympian

Leisure and Community services portfolio holder Councillor Helen Kane said: ‘Active Epping Forests is a great opportunity for people to get involved in their community and have their say about leisure and sports in their area.

Montel Douglas is proof of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication, and we hope she will inspire residents to have their say on leisure in the district.’

More information

For more information please contact:

  • Fabrizio Ferrari 01992 564567
  • James Warwick 01992 564530

Free tennis activator training

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Community, Health, Local business, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

The council are running a free tennis activator training course in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association on Tuesday 12 July 2016 from 12pm to 3pm at the Limes Centre, Chigwell.

Free tennis activator training

Improve your skills

The aim of the course is to improve your skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to deliver tennis activities to beginners of any ages!

You do not need to be able to play the sport at a high level to take part! The aim of this course is to help you make a difference by encouraging your local community, colleagues or school friends to take up a new sport and get active!

The course will be delivered by a professional tutor who has a minimum of level three coaching qualification.

Book now!

If you would like to book onto the course please contact Fabrizio

Free activities at Healthy Living Festival launch

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Health, Loughton, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Thursday 30 June 2016 marks the launch of the Debden Festival of Healthy Living and we are offering you and your family free taster activity sessions from 3pm to 7pm at Debden Campsite and Conference Centre.

There will be a number of activities for children, adults, the over 50’s and the whole family to enjoy

  • a forest buggy walk
  • a lifewalk
  • Taoist Tai Chi session
  • Play in the forest
  • Family yoga
  • Orienteering
  • Mountain biking

With the longer days and warmer weather coming, there’s no better time to improve your health and wellbeing by getting active!

Try it for free

Yes! You read correctly – try all of the above for free! So why not come with your friends and family for the day, bring a picnic or enjoy our tasty BBQ? Whether your aim is to try something new or spend some quality time with your family, come along and enjoy the day with us!

Summer activities for all

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: “The event on 30 June is the perfect opportunity to showcase all of the exciting activities that will be available to all over the summer. The Council are offering activities for children, adults, the over 50’s and the whole family from 30 June – 24 July, there is something for everyone and for all abilities.”

Councillor Kane continued: “Don’t be shy, come and try something new and plan to get active this summer! Many activities are offering free first sessions too, so book now!”

Debden Festival of Healthy Living

New Horizon’s co-ordinator, Hettie, retires

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

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 kmurray@eppingforestdc.gov.uk 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

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Energy efficiency, Health, Local business, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

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


College to show underwater drawing exhibition

Written on . Posted in Arts, Health, Media, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Come and see our underwater drawing exhibition at Epping Forest College in February and March to find out what happens when you draw underwater.

Students from Epping Forest College (EFC) have curated and produced their own exhibition of drawings, photos and films from their time spent drawing underwater.

The Big Draw Underwater

Exhibition details

  • When – Tuesday 9 February to Thursday 31 March 2016, from 10am to 6pm

  • Where – Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA

The drawings were made in Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool in October 2015, as part of the Big Draw, the world’s biggest drawing festival, a nationwide drawing campaign to promote visual literacy.

Drawing in a different environment

Students were experimenting with drawing in a different environment, using special waterproof paper and everyday drawing pencils. The films show each dive to the bottom of the pool where the weighted down paper waited for swimmers to make their marks for as long as they could hold their breath.

EFC students spent time editing the film footage, selecting photographs and drawings for the exhibition. The exhibition will also include work from Davenant Foundation School pupils. It was a chance for creative people to get active and active people to get creative.

This project was delivered in partnership with Epping Forest District Council Museums, Heritage and Culture team and Everyone Active Essex.

#OurDay 2015

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

A snapshot of 24 hours in the life of Epping Forest District Council for #OurDay 2015.

Jarvis, Karen and 14 keen cyclists set off on a 10 mile ‘Cycle For Health’ on ‪#‎OurDay‬

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

Find out more

Find out what was tweeted


Stroke survivor wins InstructAbility award

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Health, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your council

Everyone Active along with Level 3 qualified Exercise and Disability Trainer Lee Cartwright have been presented with an InstructAbility award for their work, setting up a Stroke Survivors fitness group.

The InstructAbility awards is a programme created in 2010 by Aspire, the spinal injury charity and YMCAfit training provider. The award recognises successful partnerships between disabled fitness professionals and their employers.

They engage with disabled people within fitness activities, led by qualified instructors who are experts due to their own experiences. The programme has supported over 200 disabled people to qualify as fitness professionals  and their instructors have contributed 20,000 hours of voluntary service to the leisure industry to encourage more disabled people to feel welcome and supported in the gym environment.

InstructAbility Award

(Photo above Lee Cartwright being presented with his award by Centre Manager Chris McCarthy)

Three and a half years ago Lee Cartwright had a major stroke which left him with left side paralysis. Whilst training to try and regain movement he was disappointed with the lack of support for stroke rehab. This led him to qualify as a gym and disability instructor through the InstructAbility programme and set up his own Stroke Survivors fitness group with Louise Bonfield, a friend who had also had a stroke and suffers from epilepsy.

The group meets every Friday in a fitness studio at Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool from 12:00-14:00 and offers accessible fitness sessions, as well as support and a friendly social atmosphere. On Monday and Wednesday, a functional training class also offers exercise sessions for all those with disabilities.

“We are delighted and very proud to have been given the InstructAbility award alongside Lee,” says Everyone Active Centre Manager Chris McCarthy. “He is a fantastic instructor and role model for many people with disabilities, and we hope that the classes will give people with similar conditions the support they need to help them recover.”

Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Helen Kane said:

‘’I am absolutely delighted to hear that Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool and Lee Cartwright have been presented with this award. Their commendable work means that stroke survivors in the District are supported by an instructor that understands their condition first hand, encouraging successful rehabilitation. I would like to extend my congratulations to both and thank them for making fitness accessible within the Epping Forest District.’’

More information

Find out more about Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool

More information on InstructAbilty