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Community First Responders group launched

2.12pm - 20th November 2014

A GROUP of volunteers that supports the ambulance service in their community has launched in Harlow.
The Harlow Community First Responder group, which has three members, will be co-ordinated by David Thurgood, a Harlow resident with a wealth of knowledge in first aid training. 
Community First Responders are activated by the East of England Ambulance Service to attend emergency calls where time can make the difference between life and death. 
Volunteers take it in turns to be on call and carry basic first aid equipment as well as an easy-to-use automated external defibrillator. 
The emergency operations centre sends them to the scene of high category 999 calls which have been triaged as potentially immediately life-threatening. 
Community First Responders are dispatched at the same time as the ambulance crew but often arrive first because they are based so locally. 
The responder then provides care until the ambulance arrives, usually only a few minutes later. 
The group has so far been dispatched to almost 20 emergency 999 calls but with more volunteers they could give a greater amount of cover. 
Jack Squires, Community First Responder lead for west Essex, said: "Last year we highlighted a need for a group to start in Harlow and we're pleased to say it is now fully operational with members trained ready to help their community. 
"The benefit of having a Harlow group is that our volunteers should only be four minutes away from a call, be it that they live or work locally. This way a patient can be assessed and treatment started during those vital first minutes of an emergency while an ambulance is on its way." 
East of England Ambulance Service Trust senior locality manager Karl Edwards said: "I'm so pleased to see the group up and running in Harlow. 
"CFRs provide such a good lifeline to communities and because it's not unusual to be called to neighbours or even family members some poignant relationships are often established. 
"As with any voluntary group, the more members we can recruit the more cover we can give. People can be on call for as little or as much time as they're able. 
"What's important is that they want to contribute something worthwhile to Harlow in a positive way." 
For more information on the group and how to become a qualified member, email Jack Squires at jack.squires@eastamb.nhs.uk

Man charged over hospice oil theft

1.36pm - 20th November 2014

A MAN has been charged with stealing oil worth over 1,500 from St Clare Hospice at Hastingwood.
Jake Seaton, 20, of Barn Mead, Harlow, has been charged with theft and released on police bail to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on December 12.

Chocolate Run charity seeks volunteers

12.15pm - 19th November 2014

VOLUNTEERS are wanted to help the Chocolate Run charity and its efforts to help the homeless in Harlow this Christmas. 
For almost 20 years the Harlow Christmas Haven has provided a shelter for the homeless at Christmas.
The charity provides simple accommodation and food in a warm, friendly and safe environment. 
The number of guests varies but up to 30 people can stay overnight. 
The Haven is open from December 23 until January 1. 
Cooks, cleaners and washers?up are welcome along with people willing to sit and chat with guests. 
The charity is holding a Volunteer's Evening where volunteering opportunities will be discussed. 
The session is on Thursday, November 27 (7pm) in the Playbarn, Great Parndon Community Association, Abercrombie Way, Harlow. New and experienced volunteers are welcome. 
The charity operates five shifts a day, covering 24/7, and aims to have five or six volunteers on each shift. For more information ring The Chocolate Run chairman Jo Busson on 07951 612803, email contact@chocolaterun.org.uk or visit www.chocolaterun.org.uk 
The Haven relies on the support of local people, organisations and companies as it does not receive any government or lottery grants. 
Gifts for guests, such as flasks, sleeping bags and sleeping mats, are welcome. 
This year the charity is asking local companies to consider asking staff to collect gifts as an alternative to exchanging Christmas cards.

Armed robbers target bookmakers

3.12pm - 18th November 2014

ARMED masked robbers dragged a woman into a back room when they raided a Harlow bookmakers.
Police say two men armed with a crowbar went into the premises at Prentice Place at 8.40pm last night.
The female cashier was dragged out to a back room and forced to open a safe. Money was stolen, believed to be a three-figure sum. 
The woman was treated at the scene by paramedics. 
One of the robbers is described as 6ft tall, believed to be aged in his late 20s, had his face covered and held a silver crowbar. 
The other robber was about 5ft 8ins tall, younger and also had his face covered. 
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Maleary said: "I have authorised increased patrols around bookmakers in the district as a deterrent to other offenders as well as to reassure residents. 
"An extensive enquiry has begun to identify the men responsible and I would urge anyone who does have information to contact us as soon as possible."
Anyone with any information should ring Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Christmas lights switch on

3.37pm - 17th November 2014

HARLOW'S Christmas lights in Broad Walk, Harvey Centre Approach and Market Square will be officially switched on at 4.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday).

High Sheriff visits Harlow youth projects

1.54pm - 17th November 2014

VARIOUS youth services in Harlow have been visited by the High Sheriff of Essex Nicholas Charrington.
Mr Charrington met Harlow Council chairman Ian Beckett and youth and community portfolio holder Emma Toal at the Civic Centre where he viewed displays showing the council's work on community safety and displays by Essex Young People's Drug and Alcohol Service, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Harlow Youth Council. 
The tour's first stop was Harlow Islamic Centre in Paringdon Road where the High Sheriff found out about the range of activities and events provided for young people and their families. 
The tour then visited Young Concern Trust in Maddox Road where Mr Charrington met staff and young people and learnt about the wide range of services delivered to young people in Harlow including advice, counselling and therapy. 
Next stop was Harlow Foyer, at Occasio House, where staff and young people spoke about the wide range of services and activities delivered by The Foyer which help young people access positive opportunities for development including support in to education, training and employment.

United call over street lights

1.52pm - 17th November 2014

THE three political group leaders at Harlow Council have written to Essex County Council urging an urgent review of part-night street lighting in Harlow. 
In the joint letter to highways and transportation cabinet member Rodney Bass, the leaders - council leader Jon Clempner, Conservative group leader Andrew Johnson and UKIP Harlow group leader Bill Pryor - have said the strength of public feeling in Harlow and the particular local circumstances would warrant looking again at the part-night lighting policy in Harlow. 
The leaders have also raised concerns about the impact the lack of appropriate street lighting has on the public's feelings of safety and wellbeing when using pavements and footpaths. 
The leaders are calling for a timetable to launch an urgent review across the county and they say Harlow Council would seek to assist in exploring appropriate options instead of just switching off lights between midnight and 5am. 
The letter follows a unanimous agreement of a resolution at a Harlow Council meeting in September 2014 that called on Essex County Council, where appropriate, to turn Harlow's street lights back on now.

Hospice's Light Up A Life services

1.00pm - 17th November 2014

EIGHT St Clare Hospice 'Light Up a Life' services are to be held in the Harlow and Epping Forest areas before Christmas. 
The services allow people to gather together to remember joy people close to them, and pay tribute to the support the hospice offers to patients and their families. 
Hospice chief executive Tanya Curry said: "The opportunity to come together with others who understand is, we know, a source of comfort and strength for many and our invitation is open to everyone who would like the opportunity to reflect and cherish fond memories at what can be a difficult time of year." 
Each service will include readings and carol singing. 
The highlight of the hospice event is the lighting of the Christmas tree with each light representing the life and memory of a love one. 
The services are: 
* Saturday, November 29 - Loughton Methodist Church (4.30pm) 
* Thursday, December 4 - Abbey Church, Waltham Abbey (7pm) 
* Saturday, December 6 - St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood (4pm) 
* Saturday, December 6 - St John's Church, Epping (5.30pm) 
* Wednesday, December 10 - St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood (7pm)
* Thursday, December 11 - St Martin's Church, Ongar (4.15pm) 
* Thursday, December 11 - St John's Church, Buckhurst Hill (7pm) 
* Sunday, December 14 - St Andrew's Church, Harlow (6.30pm).

MP seeks further action over rail services

8.53am - 17th November 2014

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon does not believe a study into how rail services could be improved goes far enough. 
His comments follow the consultation results released by Network Rail which looks at how the Greater Anglia rail links could be improved. 
Among potential options identified for the West Anglia main line, which serves Harlow and it villages, are longer trains, which would require platform extensions across this part of the network and journey time improvements while other options include adding two extra tracks to the West Anglia Main Line south of Broxbourne to increase capacity and doubling the single line tunnel to Stansted Airport. 
Mr Halfon said: "I would welcome Network Rail's acknowledgement that they need to provide more capacity on commuter trains but overall their proposals are inadequate. 
"They do not address the extremely poor condition that some of the rolling stock is in along the route, or that there is a serious need for extra investment in our stations, for example at Sawbridgeworth. 
"I have already raised these issues a number of times in Parliament and will continue to work with colleagues to push for greater changes." 
Mr Halfon will be responding to the consultation asking for more value for money for commuters, refurbishment of rolling stock, higher capacity trains, and updating the stations in Harlow and the surrounding areas. 
Last week he made the case for these improvements at a House of Commons debate when he urged the Government to look at value for money, overcrowded trains, and upgrading carriages on the West Anglia Main Line, which links Harlow to London, and Stansted Airport. 
Transport Minister Claire Perry agreed to meet Mr Halfon to discuss his concerns more fully, and see what more could be done. 
Mr Halfon has asked that any Harlow and surrounding area residents who are having problems with the train service contact him directly, and he will take their points to the Minister.

Man suffers broken jaw outside nightclub

8.41am - 17th November 2014

A 20-YEAR-OLD Epping man sustained a broken jaw during an incident outside a Harlow nightclub.
Police say the incident happened outside CM20 nightclub in Post Office Walk between 2am and 4am yesterday (Sunday). 
The man was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital for treatment. 
Any witnesses to the incident should ring DC Ryan Burgess at Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Investigation into business unit blaze

4.10pm - 15th November 2014

A POLICE and fire service investigation is being carried out into the cause of a blaze at the St James Centre, Harlow. 
Five fire crews, including an aerial ladder, were called to a business unit at the East Road site at about 3.40pm yesterday. 
A short time later firefighters reported that 30 per cent of the 20m x 20m unit was well alight.

Football journalist visits school

9.15am - 13th November 2014

A JOURNALIST who has toured the world with the England football team inspired children to enjoy reading and writing. 
Dan Freedman visited Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow, to tell Year 8 students how his writing gave him the international footballer lifestyle. 
The former FA editor now writes children's books on character Jamie Johnson, a wannabe footballer. 
The series follows the youngster to the age of 19 as he pursues his dreams. 
But Dan told the students very few people make it into the footballer world playing the sport. 
He said: "Glenn Hoddle came to your school but he's the only famous footballer you can name from your school's 50-year history. That shows you it is Lottery winning odds in making it to the top in football. 
"But I have flown on the England squad plane and stayed in the same hotels as them. I have stood in the tunnel at the biggest games and interviewed the top stars. I wasn't good enough to do that as a footballer, it's my writing which achieved that." 
The writer told how reading was punishment when he was at school so he would avoid books at all costs. 
He said: "When I was at school you never would have picked me out as someone who would go on to be an author and write books. 
"Although I made it my mission to avoid reading at school what I didn't realise was I was in fact reading every single day out of choice. But it wasn't the books my teachers gave me, it was the sports pages of the daily newspapers. 
"Even though I wasn't reading books, my vocabulary was blooming from reading every day. It's not about the subject you are reading, it's the fact you are reading." 
The visit tied in with the school's strategy to promote reading every day and to inspire students to reach for their dreams, whatever they are. 
Dan said his seven years working for the FA gave him the realistic storylines and details for his series of books. 
He said: "Books come from your life and, for me, football was my life. The World Cup finals were the greatest ever research I could have done for my books. 
"Your writing is a combination of everything that's gone on in and around your life."

Hospice searches for cute canine

4.57pm - 12th November 2014

ST Clare Hospice is searching for a cute canine to be the face of its Winter Walkies event. 
The charity is inviting pet owners to enter their dogs in a competition to find a top dog to front the 2015 fundraising event. 
The winner will be featured on posters, leaflets and other promotional material in the run-up to the event on Sunday, February 22. 
Fundraising manager Dominique Brunning said: "Our Winter Walkies is one of the most popular events in the hospice fundraising calendar and this year we want to give one lucky dog the chance to take the lead by featuring in our publicity campaign. 
"Dozens of walkers and their canine companions take part in Winter Walkies every year so we know our supporters are barking mad for their pets, so this is a wonderful opportunity for your pooch to be our Winter Walkies star." 
Owners can submit pictures of their dogs before the public are invited to vote for their favourite via the St Clare Facebook page. 
The winning dog and its owners will take part in a photo shoot at the hospice and will be invited to start the walk. The dog will also receive a canvas from the photo shoot. 
To enter, email a picture of your pet to fund@stclarehospice.org.uk
The deadline is midday on Thursday, November 20. Include your dog's name, age and breed and your name, address and contact phone number. 
Voting opens via www.facebook.com/stclarehospice on Friday, November 21, at 8am. 
The dog that receives the most 'Likes' will be named the winner. 
The winner must be available to attend the photo shoot on Tuesday, November 25 (6.30pm).

Children set for hands-on literacy

3.02pm - 11th November 2014

PRIMARY schools within the Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust (BMAT) are spending the coming year working with Discover Children's Story Centre in Stratford. 
Discover is a hands-on creative literacy centre providing arts activities, learning opportunities and creative events with a focus on stories. 
Freshwaters, Roydon, Little Parndon and Cooks Spinney schools will each have visits from poets, storytellers and writers to inspire Year 2 children to have an interest in writing. 
Their work will culminate in pupils' writing being published in a book. 
They will also take a trip to Discover to take part in a story trail where they will have the opportunity to build a story to help with their writing. 
BMAT executive headteacher Paul Jackson said: "We want to develop children's writing skills and to excite and engage them. 
"We want them to see learning is fun and for our families to see places like London - with lots of fantastic opportunities - are not a million miles away from Harlow. It's all about broadening horizons." 
The year-long project, Catching Words, will involve whole-school assemblies and workshops.

VOTE 2015: Green Party selects election candidate

12.52pm - 10th November 2014

THE Green Party has selected Murray Sackwild as 2015 General Election candidate for the Harlow constituency, which includes Nazeing, Roydon, Sheering and Matching. 
Mr Sackwild is currently General Secretary of Harlow and Epping Forest NUT, Deputy General Secretary of Essex NUT and until recently was a Harlow secondary school teacher for 13 years. 
He said: "I'm standing to give the people of Harlow a genuine choice. The Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and even UKIP are peddling the same Free Market brand, with the short-sighted idea that profit can and should be made out of anything and everything. 
"As a former teacher I know we have some great schools in Harlow but I am concerned that the town's education system has become fragmented and lacks local, public accountability which it needs. 
"I want to see the likes of schools, hospitals and railways publically owned, publically accountable and sustainably operated for the people and planet. 
"For the sake of the future we need to protect our green spaces and we need to encourage greater use of public transport with fair pricing and a first-rate, locally accountable, public transport system." 
He added: "I'm not standing to maximise the profit of a private few, but for the common good. 
"I believe I can turn a turn three-way battle for votes into a genuine four-way battle in Harlow next May. I am confident that people in Harlow will welcome a genuine choice."

Boy robbed at knifepoint

5.57pm - 6th November 2014

POLICE are appealing for information after a teenaged boy was robbed in Harlow. 
A 17-year-old local boy was walking along Tripton Road at about 9.15pm on Saturday when he was approached by two men who demanded his iPhone 5c mobile phone and threatened him with a knife.
One of the men was white, slim with dark brown hair and wearing a white jacket and blue jeans. 
The other man was white, skinny and wearing a white zip-up jacket and skinny jeans. 
The boy was not injured. 
Anyone with information should ring DC Ann-Marie Pitcher at Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Tributes paid to man hit by vehicles on A12

5.53pm - 6th November 2014

THE family of a Harlow man who died on the A12 northbound carriageway between Boreham and Hatfield Peverel when he was struck by a number of vehicles have paid tribute to him. 
Kyle Brooks, 28 of Broadfield, was struck in the early hours of Thursday, October 30. 
An inquest in to his death was opened and adjourned yesterday (Wednesday). 
Paying tribute, his family said: "Our son, brother, step son, step brother, cousin and uncle, Kyle, is loved and missed deeply by all his family and friends. 
"He was born and raised in Harlow and attended Kingsmoor Primary School before moving on to Stewards Secondary School. "He worked briefly at Stansted Airport and Sports Direct, before finding a job that he loved at Luminescence, Bush Fair, Harlow. 
"His greatest passion was football; especially his beloved team Liverpool. He played in a number of local teams whilst growing up, and he had, just this year, returned to Sunday League Football playing for a local team Brays Athletic. 
"Kyle loved music: he enjoyed listening to a wide variety of artists and loved going to festivals and socialising with his friends. 
"Although his life has been cut tragically short, he touched the lives of many people. This has been evident in the outpouring of love we have received and is testimony to what a wonderful, loving, kind hearted young man Kyle was. 
"Losing Kyle so cruelly is something we as a family, will not ever come to terms with, our lives are emptier without him, we are all heartbroken and struggling daily with the knowledge that he is not coming home. We will love him forever." 
Officers continue to appeal for any witnesses to the incident to contact them at the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 101 or email collisionappeal@essex.pnn.police.uk

Funding secured for Christmas lights

2.21pm - 4th November 2014

THE Harlow Town Centre Partnership and Harlow Council has secured funding which will help light up Harlow Town Centre this Christmas. 
This year the Partnership listed the project on Spacehive, the world's first funding platform for civic projects to help fund projects that make places better. 
Harlow Council worked with the Partnership to encourage support from the private sector to pledge and make sure Christmas lighting and the 30ft Norway spruce is put up in Broad Walk. 
Support was received from eight supporters, with over 6,000 pledged from just two organisations ensuring the project reached its goal. 
Places for People, a property and leisure management, development and regeneration company, and Courtenay Investments Limited, a town centre property owner and Town Centre Partnership member, both pledged and along with the 117 from individual pledges, their generosity has meant the project will go ahead. 
Harlow Council regeneration and enterprise portfolio holder Tony Durcan said: "This year the Town Centre Partnership wanted to explore different funding opportunities, including crowd funding, for the Christmas lights. 
"This is the first time this route has been taken and it is great news that the appeal has attracted funding from the private sector along with donations from individuals. Harlow Council was always committed to ensuring there are Christmas lights in Broad Walk whatever happens but we wanted to look at different ways the lights could be funded to reduce the financial contribution we make."
The project was listed on Spacehive in the hope of attracting match funding from Experian through its Save Santa campaign. 
Experian did not approve the application however 6,000 from Harlow Council, along with 1,500 from the Harvey Shopping Centre will meet the funding shortfall.
It is planned that the lights will be switched on in Broad Walk, Market Square and the Harvey Centre Approach on Friday, November 14.

Brick thrown at moving van

2.18pm - 4th November 2014

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a brick was thrown at a moving vehicle in Harlow. 
Officers believe three men were responsible for the attack on a white Ford Transit van which was being driven by a local man in his 20s in Ployters Road at about 11.30pm on October 28. 
Damage was caused to the vehicle's oil container. 
Anyone with any information should ring PC Craig Till at Harlow Police Station on 101.

Estate agents net 1,000 for hospice

2.16pm - 4th November 2014

A HARLOW estate agent has donated 1,000 to St Clare Hospice as part of a fundraising initiative that ran during the summer's football World Cup. 
The Hastingwood-based charity has netted the money from Reyland Johnson after the company pledged to donate ten per cent of its fee for every property that came onto the market with the firm while England remained in the competition.

Walk raises over 13,000 for Motability

1.01pm - 4th November 2014

A TEAM of 44 people supporting the disability charity Motability raised over 13,000 in a marathon walk.
The 27-mile trek along the River Lea started at Motability Operations' offices at Southwark Bridge, London, and finished at the charity's offices in Harlow. 
Motability director Declan O'Mahony, who was one of the participants, said: "I would like to thank everybody who took part and made this event such a success. 
"The walk was a great opportunity for colleagues from across the Motability Scheme and its partners, who see first-hand how important the scheme is to disabled people in the UK, to come together to raise a significant amount of money for charitable grants." 
He added: "Funds raised will support Motability customers who cannot afford the right car or adaptations for their needs, and customers with driving lessons." 
To support the team, donations can still be made online at www.justgiving.com/WalkabilitySouth2014LondontoHarlow/ 
Motability's charitable work relies on voluntary income and aims to raise about 2.8m each year to help customers who would otherwise be unable to afford the mobility solution they need. 
This income is raised through charitable trust and foundation donations, corporate support, individual fundraising and from trading activity.

Police appeal over series of incidents

6.53pm - 3rd November 2014

POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a series of incidents that happened on the same evening. 
Three incidents happened between 7.15pm and 8.40pm last Wednesday evening (October 29) across Broxbourne and Harlow which detectives are linking. 
Three men with covered faces stole personal items from the staff area of the Moorhen pub in Burnt Mill Lane, Harlow, at about 7.15pm. 
A second incident occurred at about 8.10pm at The Crown Hotel in Old Nazeing Road, Broxbourne, where men with covered faces were seen to enter the staff and living area to remove personal items before fleeing in a vehicle. 
Finally police had reports of three men entering the Co-op in Colt Hatch, Harlow, at about 8.40pm via the back room where they threatened staff and removed cash and personal items. The men were armed with a crowbar. 
Police believed a silver or light-coloured vehicle may have been used by the suspects. 
A police spokesman said: "Incidents of this kind are thankfully rare and because of the similarities in the crimes we are linking them at this early stage. 
"Extensive enquiries are being carried out to find the people responsible and we ask anyone with information to contact us." 
Witnesses are asked to ring Harlow CID on 101 or people can also give information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thousands turn out for fireworks

6.51pm - 3rd November 2014

AN estimated 15,000 people turned out for Harlow's annual firework and bonfire night celebrations last night (Sunday). 
The event, organised by Harlow Council with support from Great Parndon Community Association, has been running for over 40 years. 
The celebrations begun with a funfair and the Heart 101.7 music roadshow hosted by breakfast show presenters Martin and Su. Council chairman Ian Beckett accompanied by the Ugly Sisters from the forthcoming Cinderella pantomime at the Playhouse lit the bonfire before a 20-minute fireworks display lit up the skies. 
Mr Beckett said: "I am very pleased to say Harlow Council has provided another great event enjoyed by thousands of people. 
"There was a huge amount of cheers and applause at the end of the fireworks display so we know we put on a great show. "There are not many free admission events like this nowadays and the council's display is one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the area. 
"By putting on a public display means that many local families can celebrate this occasion together in safety rather than organise their own events. 
"I would like to say a huge thanks to council staff, stewards, David Shimmen, from Great Parndon Community Association, and volunteers who worked hard all day and into the evening to make sure that this event was such a success." 
More than 110 was raised through donations for the chairman's chosen charities - No Child Without, The Chocolate Run and Gibberd Garden.



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