New Day Centre in South Woodham Ferrers

Cllr Sam Coley Mayor of South Woodham Ferrers with James Clarke

Moving into 2017, it was full steam ahead with our latest outreach centre in South Woodham Ferrers, which opened on Friday 13th January, this centre meets every Friday (except Bank Holidays) at Champions Manor Hall. We are getting off to a roaring start with 12 attendees on our second day!

Clients enjoyed a 2 course lunch as well as various activities throughout the day.

A big thank you goes to Essex Provide and also South Woodham Ferrers Town Council for their grant assistance in making this venture viable.

Can You Help Us?
As a volunteer to assist our staff members with the South Woodham Ferrers outreach centre. If so, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact either Nick Daws or Jayne Hare for an informal chat.

Florrie Daniels – a 101st birthday to remember!
In December, we celebrated a very special 101st birthday for Florrie, who attends our Action for Family Carers Harlow Respite Club.

Florrie was treated to lots of gifts from everyone at the Club. At lunch time, with huge thanks to Harlow Recreation Fund, we were able to provide everyone with a lovely healthy buffet lunch to mark the celebrations. Sainsbury’s, who provided our healthy sandwich platters, gifted Florrie with a beautiful bunch of flowers and passed on their good wishes in a card.

Both staff and members of our Club joined in to sing Happy Birthday to Florrie after lunch. After making a wish, Florrie blew the candles out on her homemade, handcrafted madeira cake, made kindly by Gillybear Bakes.

Accompanied by the music of Glenn Miller, everyone joined in with a special game of ‘Joyce’s handbag’, with all answers being Florrie themed!

Winter Day Centre Activities!

Winter Day Centre trips and outings continued as we headed toward the festive season, visiting the Essex Regiment Museum in Chelmsford and the Essex Police museum at Springfield; both visits were very interesting and enjoyed hugely (with both being followed by a very good carvery lunch out!)

Ever popular are our visits to the ten pin bowling at Maddison Heights, Maldon, where some close fought games were held before a fine lunch was enjoyed.

The jewel in the Christmas crown was a luncheon event organised at the Warren Country Club where a festive meal was enjoyed by all Carers and cared for.

They also enjoyed entertainment from the “Dengie Duo” song group, and even Santa came along bearing gifts! Our very grateful thanks go out to all of the fantastic Volunteers and Staff for making these events such a success.

Massive thanks must also go to Maldon Tesco and in particular the Tesco Community Champion, Rhiain Oakley who assisted us in staging this event through their very kind sponsorship.


Young Carers Awareness Day

Over the last 25 years there has been a growing awareness in to the lives of Young Carers and the tasks they undertake. During this time recognition, identification and support for this group of young people has grown rapidly. Not only do we know more about the tasks they undertake – the same tasks undertaken by Adult Carers – we also now know about the impact of caring on their lives.

They are more than four times as likely as their peers not to be in education, employment or training; on average they are achieving 9 GCSE grades lower than their peers. Up to 65% of Young Carers are bullied with 45% of Young Adult Carers reporting they suffer with poor mental health.

The 26th January 2017 was Young Carers Awareness day, a day to celebrate the achievements of Young Carers and enable them to focus on their futures.

Action for Family Carers helped to raise awareness of Young Carers in schools leading up to Young Carers day, Young Adult Carers had their artwork on their caring role displayed in Maldon high street and the Young Carers created pieces of art on the theme “When I grow up I want to be…”

The Maldon Young Carers had a great time dressing up for their dream jobs, which included a vet, a surgeon, a zookeeper, an Olympic swimmer etc.! We love that they have high aspirations, and know that with hard work and dedication they will achieve their dreams!


Generous Support!

All Saints Bell Ringers presented James Clarke with a cheque for £ 1370 after attending the Maldon Day Centre to perform for our clients. This substantial donation was kindly raised in conjunction with Newhall Vineyards. The Bell Ringers performed at Tesco and other venues leading up to Christmas; Tesco then added to this generous donation with a further £300. We would like to say a huge thank you to all those involved in raising this considerable donation.

Annual Quiz Night!

Action for Family Carers Annual Quiz night was held at Draper’s Farm in Heybridge and raised £499. It is always a fun filled popular evening and we all look forward to the next one where rivalries will be resumed!

Unexpected kindness

We are always overwhelmed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of people. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis paid us an unexpected visit to donate a cheque for £150 towards our charity which was gratefully received.

Hospital Service News

Jayne Moscow took up a new role as the full time Carers Hospital Liaison Worker at Princess Alexandra Hospital from the beginning of November 2016.

The pilot work she was undertaking at Epping and Saffron Walden Community Hospitals will be continued by Veronica Sadowsky.

Princess Alexandra Hospital at Harlow has a new website at

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital have appointed an Activities Co-ordinator to work with inpatients with a diagnosis of dementia.

Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford was rated ‘good’ overall in the Care Quality Commission report issued in December 2016.

The Dementia Team there would like to remind all Carers of patients with a diagnosis of dementia that there is an opportunity for them to complete a questionnaire on the care provided, either via a pack given out on the ward or directly downloaded from the website at (search dementia for the document).

Colchester Hospital is looking for local residents to join its Council of Governors

Macmillan Team bring Carers issues to the Macmillan National Conference

In November, two team members attended the Macmillan National Conference in Birmingham. It was a great opportunity to talk to other Health Professionals about the issues Carers face when they are supporting someone who is at the end of life.

During their visit they learnt more about the Macmillan Will service which offers subsidised wills to people affected by cancer and also the advice line which provides welfare rights advisers who can help access benefits. It also has a team of financial guides who can help with questions about pensions, insurance, loans, mortgages, wills and taxes. There are also energy advisers who can help reduce your energy costs and access Macmillan Grants.


MP in the house!

Back in November 2016, The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP visited our office to meet everyone and discuss the support Action for Family Carers provides in the Harlow constituency.

He spent time with Carers, Volunteers and Staff and he also met with James Clarke and Fiona Langridge to discuss the challenges Carers face.

Rt Hon Rob Halfon MP and Elaine Spicer

The Rt Hon Robert Halfon is very involved with the Princess Alexandra Hospital, so he was very interested to discuss how we as a charity are also working within the hospital.

He was also full of praise for our Volunteer Elaine who currently dedicates two days a week to provide our befriending service in the West.

Southend Carers Hub

On January 18th James Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, and Rebecca Loan, Macmillan Service Manager, were delighted to attend the launch of the Southend Carers Hub.

With over 100 Carer representatives, The Hub is a new gateway for Carers in Southend making it easier for them to get the support they need.

Carers in Southend-on-Sea have often had to struggle through a maze of information and services.

Southend Carers Hub is a new partnership of six specialist local charities who have joined together to create a one-stop-shop for Carers.

By working together we can make it much easier for Carers to access the right practical, financial and emotional support.

Action for Family Carers are proud to be part of The Hub providing support to Carers looking after someone at the end of life with a life limiting condition.


New Billericay Carer Support Group!
The new group got off to a great start this month at the Red Lion, with 12 Carers attending.

Free Counselling Service!
Following our recent recruitment of professional counsellors we are now able to provide a free counselling service to Carers in Brentwood, Billericay, Basildon, Chelmsford and Maldon.

This service is there to support Carers through all aspects of their caring role with one-to-one emotional support from professionally qualified and highly experienced counsellors.

If you feel that you could benefit from this service please speak to your community support worker or ring the office on 01621 851640 and speak to one of the team.

Do you know?
We have expanded our telephone befriending service for Carers in Essex? Please contact Julie Atkinson on 01621 851640 for more information.

Basildon & Brentwood Christmas Party
Carers from Basildon and Brentwood Districts got together in December for a Christmas Party. We were very pleased to be able to invite Cared for too and everyone had a great time.

Braintree District Meal
Braintree District Carer Support Group’s New Year/Christmas meal! We had a wonderful time at Bocking Village Hall restaurant. Lovely food and lovely company.

Braintree District Quiz Night!
Carers from the Braintree District enjoyed a quiz night in December, a great night was had by all.


A Few Words from the CEO
Welcome to the Spring edition of our quarterly newsletter – the weather as this goes to print suggests that winter is very much still with us so I hope that the first few snowdrops are appearing by the time you read this!

The New Year saw a very successful launch event for our new day care service in South Woodham Ferrers with Carers and the cared-for attending along with guests including the Mayor of South Woodham Ferrers Town Council, and from the Provide Foundation who have each contributed to this service.

Young Carers Awareness Day also took place in January with a national campaign to raise awareness about those amazing young people in every community – and there are around 10,000 in Essex alone - who selflessly look after family members that otherwise couldn’t manage.

I attended our Carers Forum in Epping Forest in January where I heard strong messages about the need for health and social care services to recognise and respond to the needs of unpaid Carers. I recognise that Action for Family Carers has a responsibility here to ensure that this message is taken seriously in Essex.

Our first Uttlesford Carers Forum takes place at The Garden Room, 3 Hill Street, Saffron Walden, CB10 1EH on 7th February from 2pm. I will be there along with a member of the Board of Trustees; if you would like to attend please call 0300 770 80 90.

Best wishes, James.
James Clarke, Chief Executive Officer

Richard Bettinson says Farewell
Trustees said farewell and acknowledged the work of their Treasurer, Richard Bettinson upon his retirement from the Board.

Richard has helped Action for Family Carers go from strength to strength and fellow Trustee, Colin Bennett highlighted Richard’s key skill in not only efficiently and effectively counting numbers but always making Carers count. Richard as Lead Trustee Audit also made sure that the Charity secured a clean set of accounts and basis for planning for the future. We know that Richard remains a supporter and wish him and his family the very best for the future. Denise Fielding, Chair

Introducing Sharon Longworth, our new Trustee
I first became aware of Action for Family Carers while I was working for Essex County Council and I was really impressed by the commitment shown to improving experiences for Carers.

I was able to see first-hand how staff, Trustees and volunteers support Carers to overcome the challenges they face and achieve better outcomes, so when I left the Council in 2016 I really wanted to continue my involvement and I was delighted to be welcomed as a Trustee.

During my time at the Council, I worked with NHS and Social Care partners to commission support services for Carers, implement the requirements of the Care Act, and publish a Carers Strategy for Essex and I hope to draw on that knowledge and experience to shape and support the long-term development and success of Action for Family Carers. Outside of work, I host a knitting group in the village where I live, and I’m an enthusiastic although not terribly talented member of our local drama group. I’ve also recently started studying for a Masters degree in Creative Writing. I’m hoping I can bring some of all this creativity to my role as a Trustee!

Do you need respite care?

We can offer Carers in Maldon and Chelmsford a few hours break by looking after your cared-for in our day centre or one of our outreach venues.

Trained Care Assistants are available to provide a variety of activities and a Carer Support Worker can offer support to Carers.

Brickhouse Farm, Poulton Close, Maldon. CM9 6NG.
Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 10.00am – 3.00pm.
Lunch will be provided and transport is available if required.

Burnham on Crouch
Carnival Hall, Arcadia Road, Burnham on Crouch, Essex CM0 8BS.
For adults, every Thursday, 10.00am - 3.30pm.
Lunch will be provided.

The Salvation Army, Tendring Road, Harlow CM18 6RN. Wednesday 10.30am – 3.30pm.
Enquiries to Fiona Langridge, 01279 308314.

Springfield, Chelmsford
St Augustines Church Hall, Beardsley Drive, North Springfield, Chelmsford CM1 6DQ.
For adults, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 10.30am – 3.30pm.

South Woodham Ferrers
Champions Manor Hall, Hullbridge Road, CM3 5LJ
Every Friday 10:00am – 3:00pm.
Lunch will be provided.

Mersea Island
Harrison Court, Greys Close, West Mersea CO5 8QR.
For adults, every Thursday, 10.15am – 2.30pm.
Lunch will be provided.

If you would like any more information please contact Jayne who will be happy to be of assistance.

Our phone number is 01621 851640.

Office hours Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm


Adult Carer Support Groups

Basildon Carers Support Group
3rd Thursday – 12pm-2pm The Watermill (Beefeater), Felmores, East Mayne, SS13 1BW

Billericay Carer Support Group
4th Tuesday of the month – 12pm-2pm Red Lion Pub, 113 High Street, Billericay CM12 9AJ

1st Friday of the month – 11am-1pm Archers Community Centre

2nd Monday – 12pm-2pm The Artichoke

Chelmsford CVS
1st Tuesday – 2pm-4pm Chelmsford CVS, Covall Lane

Chelmsford Evening Group
2nd Wednesday – 6.30pm-8.30pm The Angel Pub

4th Wednesday – 10.30am-12.30pm The Station House, Burnham on Crouch

2nd Thursday – 1.15pm-3pm Jack Silley Pavillion, Stonards Hill Recreation Ground

4th Thursday of the month – 1pm-3pm Colne View Residential Care Home

2nd Tuesday – 10.30am-12.30pm Great Parndon Community Centre, Abercrombie Way

Harlow Care to Chat
Last Thursday of the month – 1pm-3pm Museum of Harlow, Muskham Road

1st Monday – 10.30am-12.30pm West Maldon Community Centre

Maldon & Dengie Stroke Group
Once a month on a Thursday – 10.30am-12.30pm Fullbridge Church, Maldon

Saffron Walden
1st Tuesday – 2pm-4pm ‘The Garden Room’ 3 Hill Street, Saffron Walden

4th Wednesday – 10am-12pm Banks Court (Housing 21), Chequers Lane, Great Dunmow

Waltham Abbey
3rd Tuesday – 10am-12pm James Suite, Waltham Abbey Town Hall

2nd Wednesday of the month – 2pm-4pm Helen Court, Riverview, Maldon Road, Witham, Essex CM8 1FX

South Woodham Ferrers Support Group
1st Friday – 1pm-3pm First Floor Meeting Room, Champions Manor Hall Community Centre, Hullbridge Road, CM3 5LJ


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