Respite Centre and Outreach Groups
Celebration of Harvest Festival Week 22-26 September 2014

Harvest Festival – a timeless festival celebrating the successful gathering of the harvest which, in the past, meant that people had enough food to survive the winter. Today it is more like a feast of plenty with all the fruits, flowers and vegetables of Autumn gathered in safely. All the respite and outreach groups had the opportunity to enjoy Harvest Festival this year. The Rev Steven Carter from All Saints Church visited Brick House Farm. A group from Buddies Pre-School also paid a visit. The children dressed up and sang “Dingle Dangle Scarecrow” which the clients and staff loved. On the Friday children from Daisy Chain Nursery in Maldon visited. There was much laughter and chatting with the clients. It was a good opportunity for both the clients and the children to meet different age groups.

We would like to thank all those who contributed to the event and gave their time. The visits from the Children’s Centres and from the Rev Carter all helped to encourage interaction within the local community. Thank you to Crusty Loaf who kindly donated a lovely selection of bread and to Greens who were generous with fruit and vegetable platters. The respite staff helped clients to make baskets of fruit and flowers which some clients took home to their Carers. A Ploughman’s lunch was arranged and some of the clients prepared small loaves for baking. One client even had a wonderful Harvest Festival hat! Finally, thank you to Terry who took photographs of the occasion.

It was an enjoyable week for everyone and we look forward to doing it again next year. As the year draws to a close there have been other celebrations at the respite groups. There was some festive fun at Hallowe’en with plenty of decorations. One member of staff had a very convincing witch’s hat – no names given! On a more serious note, most people will be aware that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Clients may have childhood memories of the Second World War, but their parents or families may have told them about the first conflict which cost so many young lives. Clients were asked to bring in any memorabilia they had and a story telling session was run at the groups.

The days are now shortening, festive decorations are starting to appear in shops and a Christmas Party is planned for 2nd December at Fullbridge Hall in Maldon so, watch this space…

Provide – for Carers!
On 23rd October, Jayne Hare, Action for Family Carers’ Respite Service Manager attended an awards celebration evening organized by The Provide Foundation, where she was delighted to accept a very generous donation of £5,000 which will enable us to continue providing our Respite service in Tollesbury. John Willis, Chairman of Provide and John Niland, Chief Executive of Provide presented the awards to the winners. We are also very grateful to The Childwick Trust who have donated £5,000 to the Respite Day Care Services that Action for Family Carers provide in Burnham-on-Crouch.

Action for Family Carers have been chosen by Sainsbury’s as their new local charity partner for their Springfield, Chelmsford store. Tracy Elsdon and Kath Vale visited the store in July to give a ten minute presentation on our Young Adult Carer project in Chelmsford. We were really pleased to be selected. Sainsbury’s have already started promoting Action for Family Carers in store and will be carrying out fundraising activities throughout the year.

Many thanks to the Skipton Building Society and The ACT Foundation who have funded the installation of a new automatic Shower Toilet and Toilet Lifter Seat at our Maldon Day Care Centre.

Many of our clients who have limited mobility and find toileting difficult have now benefited from this new equipment.


Colchester Young Carers enjoyed the ultimate celebrity experience at Madam Tussauds!!!
Colchester young carers had a really good day at London Madame Tussauds during the half term holiday where they had photographs taken with celebrity models, walked through the chamber of horrors, enjoyed an indoor black cab ride giving a tour of Old London, and a 4D film experience of Marvel’s amazing super heros.

How the Maldon Young Carers Roll
On Tuesday 28th October 15 young carers took to 8 wheels and spent the afternoon at Sk8ers in Maldon. It was a successful trip, even if a few fell over, and some more than once! It was brilliant as the support worker to see the smiles, as the Young Carers set foot on the floor at the start, clinging to the edge for dear life, to then be free wheeling round the rink. Well done to all that attended, and look forward to seeing you at the next one . . .


We are running another series of Self Advocacy workshops in conjunction with the Adult Carer Support team. These aim to help you to build your confidence to speak up and put your views across. The next two Workshops will be during our regular carers groups on 04/12/2014 (10.00-12.00) at the Dementia Café in Wickford, further dates in January to be announced, see the website for information. If you wish to attend a Workshop please call 01621 851640 or email Our Advocate, Caroline, will also be available on Carers Rights Day (28 November) at the stand in Chelmsford. Further dates will be on our website as they are booked.

Maldon Carers Forum
Monday 1st December 2014 10.30am to 2.30pm, West Maldon Community Centre CM9 6YH. We would like to hear what Carers have to say in person by holding Carer’s Forums in every district. We would like to invite you to our Maldon Carers Forum to meet our CEO and a Trustee. Light buffet lunch will be served
R.S.V.P. Jenny Goodson 01621 851640


Essex Carers Partnership needs your help

The Essex Carers Partnership Group consists of Essex County Council (ECC), Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and carers. They are considering how best to support carers in Essex to give them the best possible support in their caring roles and want to know your views on two key points:

1) The main things that you need to make your life as a carer better.

2) Your opinions on what our priorities should be to achieve these.

To take part in the survey please visit:

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals is inviting members of the public to tell his inspection panel what they think of the services provided by Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.

To ensure the views of patients and the local community are properly heard, the inspectors will be at a listening event at the following venue on Tuesday, 25 November from 6.30pm.

The Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Duke St, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JE.


Celebrating teamwork in style:
Matt Riddleston (MEHT), Jaco Beukes (AFFC),
Maria Curtis (Farleigh Hospice), Gary Clark (Farleigh Hospice)

The Key is Teamwork . . .
One of the most effective ways to ensure that carers are supported is to work in teams. Together we can achieve so much more than any of us would be able accomplish on our own. The same is true when it comes to various organisations combining forces to offer more comprehensive support to carers. Action for Family Carers has a proud history of working with other organisations to support carers and no-one has demonstrated this approach better than the Macmillan Carer Service. Since 2011 this team has been working in partnership with the CCG (formerly the PCT) and Macmillan Cancer Support to offer emotional and practical support to carers of people with cancer and other long-term life limiting conditions in Mid Essex. A vital part of this service is the regular drop-in clinics in various community hospitals and surgeries across the area.

A year ago the Macmillan Information and Support Centre officially opened in Broomfield Hospital. This centre is a collaboration between Mid Essex Hospital Trust (MEHT), Farleigh Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support to provide valuable information and advice to people affected by cancer and other life limiting illnesses, as well as their families. The Macmillan Carers Service was invited to be part of this team and provide cover for the centre on Fridays. Together this team supported more than 3,400 people, including carers as well as patients, over the last year. This successful partnership was celebrated in style at the end of September in Broomfield Hospital.

Brentwood Carers Events
Carers across the Brentwood district are continuing to enjoy events and training courses in a special project, funded by Essex County Council. We have a Manual Handling course and a Nutrition course coming up early in December as well as our Carers Christmas Party, which will include a performance by children from a local junior school and Complimentary Therapies for Carers.

Next year we are organising a Spa Day at Prested Hall and a Southend theatre trip to see Return of the Grumpy Old Women-Fifty Shades of Grey, plus many other events. To book your place for any of these events please contact Sharon Williams on 01621 851640.


Maldon Carers Support Group Christmas Lunch
Monday 15th December 2014
The Queenshead, The Hythe, 12.00 to 2.30pm
Booking essential, limited to 10 places.
Contact: Jenny Goodson – 01621 851640

Adult Carers Support Group Christmas Lunch
Wednesday 17th December 2014
The Anchor Inn, Burnham on Crouch 12.00 to 2.30pm. Booking essential, limited to 10 places.
Contact: Jenny Goodson – 01621 851640.

Mersea Island Adult Carers Support Group Christmas Lunch
Thursday 18th December 2014
The Fox Inn, East Road, West Mersea, 12.00 to 2.30pm. Booking essential, limited to 10 places.
Contact: Jenny Goodson – 01621 851640.


Evening Carers Support Group
Chelmsford in 2015. Come and meet other Carers. At the Angel Pub, Broomfield Road, Broomfield CM1 7AH.

Every 2nd Wednesday of the Month, 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Come and join us for information and support.

Meet with other carers. We buy your first drink. Varied menu for light meals - if required.

Dates for 2015
January 14th • February 11th • March 11th • April 8th
May 13th • June 10th • July 8th • August 12th
September 9th • October 14th • November 11th
December 9th

Join us for Support and Information at Chelmsford Carers Support Group 2015
At The Centre Supporting Voluntary Action, Burgess Well House, Coval Lane, Chelmsford CM1 1FW. Come and join us for information and support. Meet with other carers. We meet on the first Tuesday of the month from 2pm to 4pm.

Dates for 2015
January 6th • February 3rd • March 3rd • April 7th
May 5th • June 2nd • July 7th • August 4th
September 1st • October 6th • November 3rd
December 1st

For more information please contact Action for Family Carers on 01621 851 640. Charity Number: 1127164

A Few Words from the CEO
Action for Family Carers will be 25 years old next year! In fact we started work in the late 1980s but it was in 1990 that we registered as a charity – as Maldon Carers Centre. Since then the charity has grown so that we are now in touch with over 4000 Carers and we currently work across 7 Districts. Yet support for Carers in Essex is still patchier in nature than in any other county in England. Why should Carers in one part of Essex not have access to the same high quality support as others? We believe they should and we are working hard to make that happen, including through partnership with other organisations such as Caring for Harlow Carers. We are also busy making plans to mark our 25th anniversary – watch this space!

Carers Rights Day takes place on 28th November and this year the theme is ‘Looking after someone? Know your rights’ with a focus on:

• Making carers aware of their rights. Did you know there are more than 180,000 unpaid Carers in Essex? Many struggle to navigate the maze of services and entitlements, and miss out on financial and practical support.

• Letting carers know where to get help and support. We want every Carer in Essex to know where to turn for high quality advice, information and support.

• Carers Rights Day raises awareness of the needs of carers with the public, decision makers and professionals, helping us realise our vision of a community that respects, values and supports carers. So, we are holding a conference on Carers and The Care Act at County Hall to highlight the implications for Carers in Essex with commissioners and providers.

We are holding our next Carers Forum from 11am on 1st December at West Maldon Community Centre in Maldon – an opportunity for Carers living in Maldon District to tell us what they think of the services we currently provide and what they would like to see in place in the future. I will attend along with a member of our Board of Trustees.
If you are interested in attending please contact Jenny Goodson on 01621 851 640.

Thank you for reading our newsletter. I hope you will have noticed that for the first time we have produced 4 editions – one for each season – so our next edition will be published in the Spring. In the meantime, best wishes for a warm Winter and a peaceful Christmas!
James Clarke, Chief Executive Officer

I have just been elected as a Trustee so I am new to the role but know what is expected of me after attending and passing a “Trustee Essentials” training course and portfolio submission earlier this year. I was first invited some 2 years ago after giving a short presentation of my Carers’ role at the AGM but my wife’s health precluded it at that time.

I took early retirement in 2004 from Ford Motor Company, after 34 years service, in order to care for my wife who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis and multiple other ailments. Like most patients in our age groups, ailments only seem to accumulate and the caring role does not get any easier!

In business, I was a chemist, responsible for laboratories in Dagenham and Cologne and for Ford paint materials in sixteen different countries. I worked for 2 years in Detroit and spent my final years, helping set up new plants in Russia, Turkey, India and China.

After retirement, I wanted to contribute to the local community and became a school governor for eight years during which time I chaired multiple sub-committees and carried responsibility for Child Protection.

My wife’s increasing infirmity, prompted my involvement in the NHS support for carers. I sit on our GP surgery Patient Participation Group and represent them to the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and Healthwatch Essex.

A Londoner by birth, I have lived in the Chelmsford area since 1968 and joined AFFC in Chelmsford 3 years ago and was pleasantly surprised to find there were many others with the same responsibilities and problems. I try to pass on tips and information about Carers’ entitlements to other Carers who are perhaps not so vociferous or computer literate!

The vacancy of Lead Trustee for Carers Engagement was highlighted at a Carers’ Forum with the suggestion and support of attendees that I should apply. I look forward to the new challenge of representing Carers’ views and ambitions.
Paul Osman

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 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 - 2.30pm.
Lunch will be provided.

The Parish Rooms, Church Street, Tollesbury CM9 8QJ.
For adults, every Friday, 10.00am – 2.30pm.
Lunch will be provided.

Great Baddow, Chelmsford
Meadgate Church Centre, 162A Meadgate Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 7LJ.
For adults, every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month 11.00am – 2.30pm.

Springfield, Chelmsford
St Augustines Church Hall, Beardsley Drive, North Springfield, Chelmsford CM1 6DQ.
For adults, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of month, 11.00am – 2.30pm.

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 or Liz who will be happy to be of assistance.

Our phone number is 01621 851640.

Office hours Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm


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