Community Information F - L

Family Care Counselling Service

Based in Waltham Abbey and serving Epping Forest and the surrounding areas (Loughton, Waltham Cross, Epping, Enfield, North East London) we offer professional, low cost, confidential counselling and therapy to individual adults and couples. The service is provided by qualified counsellors.
If you are looking for a counsellor please contact us:
Alex Dalziel - Manager, Family Care Counselling Service, Epping Forest Branch, 5A Greenyard, Waltham Abbey EN9 1RD
Telephone: 01992 788499

Family Counselling Service

The service's mission is to provide the highest quality of counselling to individuals and couples, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin or ability to pay. The charity has provided counselling in Loughton for more than 10 years and is a British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited organisation bound by its codes of ethics and good practice. The centre is open five days and four evenings per week, and there are 13 fully-qualified counsellors.
Counselling provides the opportunity to share problems with someone skilled in listening, as well as trained in helping to make sense of difficulties. Counselling enables people to share thoughts and feelings and gives help in the process of understanding oneself and family relationships. If you think that talking to one of our counsellors would benefit you, please telephone 020 8502 2714. If the answer machine is on, please leave a message and someone will get back to you.


Sources of information in the event of flooding in Loughton and surrounding areas :
  • Local radio stations : BBC Essex - 103.5 or Essex FM - 96.3 & 102.6
  • Floodline telephone 0845 988 1188 or Minicom 0845 602 6340
  • Epping Forest District Council's Flooding Advice
  • Essex County Council's Emergency Planning
  • Environment Agency's Floodline
The Met Office


Football pitches for hire

Football pitches on the Roding Valley Recreation Ground and Willingale Road Playing Fields are available for hire during the football season from September until April. There are changing room facilities at both grounds. Anyone looking to hire a pitch or require further information should please contact Loughton Town Council on 020 8508 4200.

Foster Carers

Essex County Council foster carers launched this year's foster carer recruitment campaign at County Hall in Chelmsford. The campaign "You could foster a child" is aimed at dispelling myths about the types of people who can become foster carers.
Foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds, married or unmarried, working or not working, with or without children. You too could become a foster carer.
There are around 500 foster families caring for children looked after by Essex County Council. The most successful carers really enjoy being around children and feel a great sense of satisfaction helping to make what can be a very difficult time for a child that bit easier. Essex County Council are looking for more carers in your area to be able to offer a local service to local children, to increase their chances of returning home and enabling them to maintain links with friends, family and school.
Foster carers look after children of all ages from babies to teenagers. There is a particular need for carers who can look after children aged 8 years and above, children who need long-term placements, children with disabilities, and for brothers and sisters who may need to stay together. Foster carers provide a variety of care ranging from a few days each month, to a few weeks or months and sometimes longer.
Councillors Mrs Iris Pummell, cabinet member for children's services and schools said "Our foster carers tell us that fostering is one of the most rewarding and challenging things you can ever do. Many say that the best rewards are often the simplest things like a child's smile or chatting with them about what they did at school".
Essex County Council offers support and training to foster carers and there are also fee paid schemes with very competitive rates and training opportunities. All carers receive an allowance that meets the costs of looking after a child. You can find out all about becoming a foster carer by calling the freephone number on 0800 801 530.


Falls are the biggest cause of accidental death and injury at home among people over 75. Freefall is an Voluntary Action Epping Forest initiative to reduce the number of such falls, under which the over-75s may be eligible for a free home safety check survey and repair work. A co-ordinator visits their home to identify hazards and shortcomings which could cause a fall, and recommend remedies. Any repairs are carried out free by a team of volunteers or contractors, where appropriate. For details, call Geoff Brown on 01992 564515.

Grants for Community Groups

Loughton Town Council operates a scheme for making grants to local organisations. A budget for grants is set each year and, though not unlimited, it is able to provide useful assistance to local groups in their activities and projects. Decisions on grant applications are made by the Town Council's Community Committee. Anyone applying for grants must complete the Town Council's Financial Assistance application form. All the required information to support the bid must be included when applying. There is no maximum figure set (but please check the budget available before submitting your application) and grants are not restricted to purpose. Instead, the criteria for consideration are:
  • Purpose for which the grant is required
  • How the grant will benefit the residents of Loughton
  • Interrogation of the applying organisation's accounts
  • History of applications and grants given to applying organisations.
The annual deadline for applications is 31 December. Ninety per cent of the grants budget will normally be allocated to applications that have been received by this deadline. The remainder is retained for emergency applications received during the year. The budget for 2005 - 2006 is £5000.
For an application form, please contact the Town Council at 1 Buckingham Court, Rectory Lane, Loughton, Essex IG10 2QZ, call 020 8508 4200, or download a copy from our documents & policies page.

Herts & Essex Architectural Research Society

HEARS is quite a small group but well worth a visit, even if you know very little about architecture. Visitors are always made to feel extremely welcome. An entry charge of £1.50 is made, which includes tea or coffee.
Meetings take place in The Wesley Hall, which is around the back of the Loughton Methodist Church, Loughton High Road.
For further information, call Alan Bayford on 01245 256102, or David Stevenson on 0208 508 2512.

Home-Start Epping Forest

Parenting does not come with an instruction book. Without the Rough Guide, all parents can do is tough it out. Have you been there, done that? That's where you can help Home-Start Epping Forest help families in the same situation. This is the local branch of the national charity Home-Start, set up in 1973 as a national organisation to offer support to families with at least one child under five, who were experiencing difficulties of any kind - from isolation to post-natal depression to multiple births. Support is offered via home-visiting volunteers and family groups. In earlier days, extended families were more likely to offer support.
Today, families are scattered across the globe. This is where the Home-Start volunteers can help. As a volunteer, you visit 'your' family from around two hours weekly, with as much or as little emotional or practical support as both parties are comfortable with. You might be someone to play with the kids while mum makes the shopping list, the chilli or the curtains, or some-one to bounce childcare ideas around with. You play it by ear. But Home-Start needs those volunteers whose qualifications are the fact that they have been there and done that. Volunteers are first given a full preparation course and there's always plenty of support from Home-Start Epping Forest's co-ordinators. Use those skills you acquired in the kindergarten of life.
Call Home-Start Epping Forest on 020 8502 5242.


Bridges to Work provide training for people recovering from mental illness via computer training, volunteering, employment preparation courses and much more. Our aim is to help people to help themselves by building confidence, providing training courses and social skills. We provide an excellent office environment in a relaxed atmosphere where clients work at their own pace.
For a leaflet or further information please contact Pauline Reeves, Deputy Project Manager on 01992 716616.
Bridges to Education provides information, guidance and support for those experiencing or recovering from anxiety, depression or other forms of mental distress who are considering a college or leisure course.
Discreet courses and one-day taster course have proved extremely popular.
These enable those people nervous of attending mainstream college to try something new or pick up on a former interest. Outcomes are outstanding.
For more information please call Project Manager, Natalie Watts on 01992 719100.
Anyone who knows of a family member or friend, or if they are suffering from anxiety or depression, why not pick up the phone and find out more?

Library Direct

Library Direct caters for people who find it difficult to get to the library because of age, disability or caring responsibilities. As part of the service, volunteers deliver books and books on tape to customers.
Volunteers are crucial to the delivery of the service and more are needed, so if you could spare some time to help telephone Janice Waugh at the library headquarters on 01245 244960 or email for more information.

Local Information for Essex

LIFE - Local Information for Essex is a community database of around 10,000 pieces of local information. It contains records from the county, the unitary councils and the bordering counties. It provides opportunities to share information, with entries having active links to relevant websites and email addresses. Accessible via the internet Life is an integral part of the Essex Online Portal, providing a gateway for Essex citizens to access services and information from a single starting point.
Find information on:
  • Clubs and societies,
  • Community groups
  • Advice and support groups
  • Local authorities and councillors
  • Political and campaigning groups
  • Doctors' surgeries, dental practices, alternative practices
  • Child care - such as playgroups or day nurseries
  • Halls for hire
  • Education groups and tutors
  • Places of worship

Life enhancement

To add your organisation fill in a form online, or contact the Life team. All the information is verified and updated at least once a year. The database is maintained in compliance with the Data Protection Act.
Contact Elaine Woods or Sue Clark on 01245 436559 or email

Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society

LADS is always ready to welcome new members, so if you are interested in theatre and would like to become involved in a society that produces four plays a year and has 80 years worth of experience, please either phone Jean Cooper on 020 8505 6988 or email LADS at Visit LADS website for uptodate information.

Loughton Astronomical Society

Regular meetings: The LAS meets between 8:00 & 10:00 p.m. every Thursday evening (except Christmas and New Year) in the Scout Hall, Theydon Bois, Essex. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Astrokyds is a group for young astronomers (6 - 14 years) run by some of the LAS members. It is held once a month on Friday evenings.
Activities include simple experiments, audience participation, demonstrations, show and tell, quizzes, mythology of the constellations and, if clear, some real observing. The aim is to kindle the interests rather than to provide a formal course in astronomy. Even some of the parents have been caught listening. Some of the more advanced young astronomers help out with some of the talks and demonstrations. Astrokyds meet on the second Friday of the month from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in St Mary's Parish Church Hall, Theydon Bois. If you think your young astronomer(s) would like to join our group in Theydon Bois then please phone Brian Morton on 01992 815804.

Loughton Athletic Club

Do you want to get fit and make new friends? Would you like to become involved in road or cross-country running, race walking or track and field events?
Loughton Athletic Club is a small, friendly club that welcomes runners of all ages, gender and ability. Club night is Tuesday at 7 pm. at The Pavilion by the tennis courts on the Roding Playing fields. Do come along, you will be very welcome!
For details, visit our website or ring John Hart on 020 8508 3661.

Loughton Bereavement Service

Loughton Bereavement Service, a free service to help those who are bereaved. Telephone 020 8508 6333.

Loughton Bowls Club

Loughton Bowls Club is on the look-out for new members, with the new playing season soon to begin.
The season for bowls extends from late April to the end of September and, apart from the matches themselves, members can enjoy various social events held throughout the year.
Applications for membership from beginners and experienced players are welcome.
Bridge: Vacancies also exist for membership of the Club Bridge Section, which meets in the Clubhouse on Monday and Thursday afternoons.
Chess: Roding & Loughton Chess Club meets in the Clubhouse on Tuesday evenings. It also runs a junior section (Epping Forest Junior Chessmates).
For details of all the activities, please call 020 8502 0237.