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NHS Cyber Attack – Advice for patients

Posted on: May 17th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

A number of NHS organisations have been affected by a ransomware attack (an attack on the IT systems which support NHS services). This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS but it has had an impact on NHS services.

The NHS is working hard to ensure that as few patients as possible are affected.  Below is guidance for those accessing the NHS over the coming days.

Planned treatment and outpatient appointments

If you have a planned operation, procedure or outpatient appointment at a hospital affected by this incident, you should attend as planned.  Please visit the hospital website for further advice and information about routine services at this time. If you are still unsure what to do, contact the hospital directly.

Patients already in hospital at this time will continue to receive normal care. Inpatients will be told if any changes to their planned treatment are needed because of this incident.

If you have a GP appointment

Patients with GP appointments scheduled should attend for their appointment unless they have been contacted by their GP and told not to do so. Your GP practice will be open and working as normal during at this time. However, you may experience some difficulties contacting the surgery while telephone systems are being reconnected.   Appointments may be slower than usual, as some surgeries will be using paper based records whilst electronic systems are switched back on

Helping the NHS at this time

You can help the NHS cope by choosing the right service for your needs, and attending A&E only if it is essential.    Apart from your hospital, there’s a range of other primary care services that can offer help, such as your GP, pharmacist, dentist or optician. There are also specific services provided by midwives, health visitors and specialist nurses.


If you need emergency care, Accident and Emergency departments are open to deal with serious and life-threatening conditions. As is always the case, only those adults and children with genuine emergency needs should go to A&E.

Emergencies include:

  • major injuries, such as broken limbs or severe head injury
  • loss of consciousness
  • an acute confused state
  • fits
  • severe chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns or scalds

Alternatives to A&E

If you become ill with a non-urgent condition and need advice, please visit Health A-Z for information or go to your local pharmacist. For more urgent conditions that you believe you can’t take care of yourself, you should contact your GP as usual, or call 111.

For minor injuries or illness (cuts, sprains, rashes and so forth) you could visit the walk-in centre at Colchester, minor injuries units at Clacton and Harwich if the problem can’t wait for a GP appointment. Bear in mind that these services may be busy.

Healthcare leaders mark International Nurses Day (12 May) by saying ‘thank you’

Posted on: May 16th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

The Chief Officer at the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, Sam Hepplewhite, has expressed her gratitude on International Nurses Day to the thousands of nurses who work tirelessly for patients across Colchester and Tendring.

The day long event on 12 May is held around the world to mark the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday in 1820.

Sam also urged nurses to take a moment to think about the ways in which they help and support patients and their carers, often in very challenging and stressful situations.

She said: “Our nurses, matrons and auxiliaries in the NHS and within our provider organisations are very special people.  They do so much for our patients and make a huge contribution to our society.  Their dedication, skill and hard work is an inspiration to us all.”

Mark Jarman Howe, Chief Executive at St Helena Hospice, said nurses play a key part in providing palliative care.  He said: “Our nurses have a really important role at the hospice.  They offer clinical and emotional support to patients with an incurable illness as well as their families and carers.  I am very proud of the hard working teams we have here at the hospice.”

This year’s theme to the day is ‘A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ with several events planned for nursing staff around north east Essex.

At Colchester Hospital, the first group of work based learners who have qualified as registered nurses will be recognised during a special ceremony on the day.  There will also be posts on the hospital’s Facebook site where patients, carers, staff and friends can post inspirational messages about the nurses at the hospital.

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust will be holding a conference on 18 May aimed at celebrating the contributions of its nursing workforce to patient care. The event will focus on a range of issues including nurse apprenticeships and changing culture.

Alexina Weston is Clinical Quality Lead for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities at the CCG.  She’s been a nurse in psychiatry, community and hospital services with over 40 years experience.  She said: “Being a nurse is a hugely rewarding role. It’s a real privilege because you are dealing with people who may be feeling vulnerable or living with illness and need your support.  I get a huge amount of job satisfaction and would recommend the profession to anyone wanting a fulfilling and varied career.”

Open Invitation from Jonathan Moore of Age Concern

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

Open invitation to Colchester & District’s Charities

Dear Colleague,

Rumours may have reached you about an extraordinary Race meeting happening in Colchester on 17th September this year that Age Concern Colchester is responsible for.  I can confirm that at least part of what you’ve heard is true and it is the reason for this invitation, request and opportunity that I am contacting you about.

On this September Sunday, Colchester High Street is being closed morning through to late afternoon for Auld Nag’s Folly, the FJG Pantomime Horse Races between North Hill and the Town Hall.  We would very much like you and your group to be involved and to use the opportunity to fundraise, promote your cause, recruit volunteers and/or enjoy yourself by perhaps entering a Panto Horse for your charity’s cause.

To get really involved in the Races themselves, you need to:

-          Send Entry form. Fill in and return asap

-          Read the Fundraising and Briefing Pack  Full information will be sent to you on the Race and ideas on how to you and your horse can raise money for your charity’s work in Colchester and surrounds

-          Persuade two people to agree to be the front half and back end of the horse;

-          Make a Horse – get a few crafty volunteers on equine construction (we are have the first “How to “ session on 30th May). Ideally one that helps promote your cause.  The easier, but costlier way, is to hire a costume for the day.

-          Form a small Fundraising ‘syndicate’ to use it to meet the entry fee but more importantly fundraise for your charity (To help us pay inevitable event costs we ask for £5 entry per Horse half and – if you want it- £50 to have naming/blanket rights for the Horse (otherwise we are asking companies to pay this to have naming rights and a horse blanket with their logo on))-

Stalls & Stables

-          On the 17th September itself, you could have a stall or stable to fundraise for your charity, give out information, recruit volunteers, use as a ‘social’ gathering place for your supporters or as a stable for your Panto Horse (or all of these things!!).  We need a deposit of £30 per stall, which we will be happy to pay back if you want after the event (this is to ensure all stalls are occupied).   Note 1. you have to let us know what you are doing on the stall to help us plan allocation and ensure variety. Note 2: Specifically, not allowed will be Tombola/Raffles/Betting or Burger/Sausage/Hot Dog Stalls so we are able to meet licensing and sponsorship commitments and restrictions. Note 3: Anything else, legal, will be fine!

Age Concern Colchester is refreshing what and how we do what we do and we are very keen to work collaboratively and in partnership with our sister Charities across the Borough of Colchester.   After having met all the event costs, we want Auld Nag’s Folly to make some money for our vital work with Older People in Colchester and to let people know what we do.   We also want it to be great fun – with your involvement – we are sure we will be able to launch an exciting, fun and well supported community event for the Town.

Please sign up today (the Race course, whilst big, has limited stall space) and if you need more information or would like to be sent the Fundraising and Briefing Pack, please get in touch.



Jonathan Moore
Chief Executive  Age Concern Colchester
01206 368420  or  07545 545 744

We’d love you to volunteer with us: Caseworker, Pantomime Horse Wrangler, Befriender, Quiz Master, Scribes, Rally Drivers, Researchers, Presenters, Students, Publicists, Animateurs and a whole shelf full of other opportunities.  You know your skills, talents, knowledge, bucket list, experience and aspirations – we’re pretty sure we can use them or fulfil them in helping older people in the Borough. In first instance email or ring 01206 368420 and your next adventure begins 

Peasants Required!

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

If appearing on stage is on your bucket list – appearing in a proper play not just to draw the raffle – then perhaps this might be your chance…..

Colchester’s very own Anthony Roberts has a production of a classic play in need of 12 extras to become an invasion of peasants!  If it’s not for you perhaps you could please forward to any friends or family you think might like to be involved?

Here’s what’s involved:

Two weekend afternoon rehearsals Sunday 14th & Saturday 20th May. Show runs Monday 22nd – Saturday 28th May.

The play is the brilliant Miss Julie By August Strindberg and the venue is the beautiful Headgate Theatre in Colchester.

You don’t need to be experienced. If you are that helps but its not important. It’d be fun to get a nice group together and make this little scene really special.  To register your interest and find out more just email: or call 07814 695598.

If you just want to see it – you can book tickets here.

Colchester in Bloom News

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

Colchester in Bloom have been hard at work digging, planting and tidying  around the town and on their allotment.  But there is still plenty to do at the various green pockets around the town that they tend.

The next arranged working parties are:

Thursday 1st June        10.00     meeting place to be confirmed nearer the time

Thursday 15th June     10.00               ”

Thursday 29th June    10.00               “

Summer is approaching fast so please help to make Colchester beautiful and their allotment productive.  Please come along if you can.  For more information please contact:

Pam Schomberg
Chairman Colchester in Bloom
voluntary not for profit community group
07767 756123

Essex Compact Forum & AGM

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

Compact Forum  invite you to join with us at the Essex Fire and Rescue Headquarters on Thursday 18 May from 9.30am through to 1.00pm, buffet lunch provided. There will be a presentation from Essex County Council on their new initiative ‘Economies, Localities and Public Health’, on the recent Review of the Essex Compact and the inclusion of a Mediation Procedure and Social Value component, and an interactive workshop on ‘Being a Compact Champion’.   Registration is from 9.30am, the Forum commencing at 10.00am.

Members of the Essex Compact Steering Group will be elected at the Forum. Please ensure that booking forms are returned by 11 May.



Colchester Youth Awards 2017

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

Colchester Youth Awards nominations are now open, please see the attached 2017 Nomination Form.


Don’t delay, nominations deadline is Tuesday 6th June 2017.

Still time to support “Team Time Garden”

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

A team of runners taking part in next month’s Colchester 10k run to raise money for the Time Garden Appeal is rapidly closing in on its £2,000 target.

So far, the 24-strong “Team Time Garden”, the biggest single team registered for this year’s event on Sunday 14 May, has raised £1,940.63.

All funds will be donated to the Time Garden Appeal, which Colchester Hospitals Charity (CoHoC) launched last year to raise about £160,000 to develop a special garden at Colchester General Hospital for patients who are in their last weeks and days of life, and their families. Twelve members of the team are staff at Colchester General Hospital with the remainder being friends and family, including Becky Evans, a nurse at St Helena Hospice, Colchester.

One of the runners, Dr Julia Thompson, consultant in palliative medicine, appealed for colleagues and the public to support Team Time Garden by making a donation. “Although we’re nearing our £2,000 target, our aim is to raise as much money as possible for the appeal,” she said. “The vast majority of Team Time Garden are, like me, novice runners so this has been a challenge which we haven’t taken lightly. Personally, I’ve really caught the running bug and I’m sure I’ll keep it up after the 10k. “What’s inspired us is the passion we all share for the Time Garden, which we are confident will add quality to what we can offer patients towards the end of their lives.”

Most of the runners from the hospital are members of the Palliative Care Team, such as Beverley Pickett, End of Life Care Facilitator, but they also include a pharmacy technician and a ward clerk. Eight members of Team Time Garden, including Dr Thompson and Mrs Pickett, are mothers with children at Chappel Primary School. The Colchester 10k starts and finishes at Abbey Fields.

The Time Garden will be a place for quiet contemplation, peaceful reflection and privacy for terminally ill patients to spend time, either on their own or with loved ones. It will include a self-contained log cabin which will be used by patients, including bed-bound patients, and their families. The cabin will have facilities for refreshments and music, and careful planting will help to provide privacy. It could also be used for weddings involving patients who are terminally ill and for patients to be re-united and spend time with a much-loved pet.

The Time Garden, which will be created in the courtyard between the Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) and Radiotherapy Centre, will be open all-year round. The fundraising appeal has so far raised about £65,000.

Research shows that green space and gardens in hospitals can benefit patients’ health and wellbeing, and can even improve the health of some patients. The idea for a garden at Colchester General Hospital for terminally ill patients and their families originated from a visit last year made by staff, including Dr Thompson, to Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, which already has a Time Garden.

* Anyone who would like to support Team Time Garden can make a donation, either via or by contacting Teresa Steadman from the Hospital Palliative Care Team: 01206 746272;

Castle Point Volunteer Awards 2017

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

Don’t miss the opportunity to thank your volunteers. Deadline to nominate Wednesday 3rd May 2017

The deadline to nominate for a Castle Point Volunteer Award is looming!  You still have time to tell us about a volunteer that has made an impact on your community and improved the lives of others. This is your opportunity to show just how much you appreciate them, a time to say thank you. 

People across Castle Point are being asked to nominate those special individuals that they feel deserve recognition for their volunteering efforts and commitment, for going that extra mile and making a difference. Every nominee will receive an invitation to the ceremony.

There are two categories to choose from:

  • The Mayor’s Award (adults over 21 years)
  • Young Volunteer Award (young people under 21 years) 

The Castle Point Volunteer Awards are hosted annually by CAVS and this year the event, which will be held on Saturday 3rd June 2017 at Runnymede Hall, Thundersley, is kindly supported by the Mayor of Castle Point, Affinity 1777 Restaurant, Sceptre Football League, Design4 Print and Ellie Mae Florists. 

Please see below for forms for you or to make a nomination online simply visit the CAVS website now at

Nomination Form 2017

Nomination form 2017 

Deadline for entries is 5pm, Wednesday 3rd May 2017.

Organisations can nominate a maximum of two volunteers for each category provided that they have not been nominated in the last 3 years. 

Danielle Phillips

Public Relations & Information Officer

Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS)

The Tyrells Centre, 39 Seamore Avenue, Thundersley, Essex, SS7 4EX

Tel: 01268 638416      Fax: 01268 638415    Web:

Focus on mental health support at Colchester Library

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by CCVS Admin

Community360 have organised a group of charities who provide support for people with mental health issues to be on hand at the library throughout May to offer help and advice.

Groups such as Mind, Pohwer and Alzheimer’s and also Headway, who support people with brain injuries, will have a stand at the top of the stairs on the first floor of the library on Tuesday mornings from 10.00am – 1.00pm.  Headway will be there on the 9th May and Pohwer, who provide independent mental health advocacy for people who face difficulty making decisions about their lives will be there on the 16th May.  The Alzheimer’s Society will attend on the 23rd May and Mid and North Essex Mind will be offering support and advice on 30th May.

Tracy Rudling, Chief Executive Officer of Community360, says ‘Mental health problems can happen to anyone and it can be difficult to know who to turn to for help.  We are delighted to be able to work with local charities to offer this resource to members of the public.  Anyone can come along on Tuesday mornings and get some informal advice or signposting’.

Mental Health awareness has been widely publicised recently, with members of the royal family joining in the discussion promoting the need for more open discussion so that people are encouraged to get help.  Mental Health Awareness Week, a national campaign, also takes place this year from 8th – 14th May.

Please contact Community360 on 01026 505250 for more information.