Community Information M - W

Meeting Hall for hire
The Town Council has a hall in Austen Close (off The Broadway) which is currently available for regular hire on Monday evenings. There is also some limited availability on other evenings and at weekends.
Kingsley Hall is quite small but can accommodate 36 people seated or 60 standing. It has a fully-equipped kitchen, 36 chairs and some folding tables which are all available for use. Groups, societies and commercial hirers must hold public liability insurance, private hirers can be included on the council's own insurance.
The hall is not suitable for parties (other than those for small children) but is ideal for small group meetings. Call Judy Graham on 020 8508 4200 for details.

Message in a Bottle

Do you live alone? Could the emergency services easily find vital details about your medical history or next of kin?
Message in a Bottle is a voluntary scheme operated by Essex Neighbourhood Watch and is intended for use by any person who lives alone at home. The scheme provides the emergency services with vital details of any illness or allergy that an individual may suffer from, the medication they may be taking and the name of a person to be contacted in the event of them suffering a sudden illness or accident. These details are stored in a plastic container kept in the person's fridge - this is the last item to suffer damage in a fire.
Two special stickers are placed in your house - one on the outside of your fridge and the other on a wall or panel inside your front door. Anyone wishing to join this potentially life-saving scheme should contact Loughton Town Council at Loughton Library & Town Hall, Traps Hill, Loughton, IG10 1HD, call 020 8508 4200 or email Alternatively you could call Epping Forest Council for Voluntary Service at Homefield House, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping CM16 4BZ, phone 01992 564178, fax 01992 564254, or email

NHS Expert Patient Programme

The Expert Patient Programme is a national NHS programme to help patients who suffer from a long-term medical condition to gain self-confidence and using simple skills take more control of their condition. The programmes are free.
For details, call expert patient trainers Pete Moore on 01245 295043 (, David Matthews on 01245 295044 (

Nightingale Disabled Transport

Nightingale Disabled Transport is a family run business based in Epping which provides a service for wheelchair users or for people who have difficulty accessing normal vehicles.
They are licensed by Epping Forest District and approved by several NHS Trusts and Social Services. They accept the EDPA travel vouchers, can provide a trained escort if required, and are able to provide both a local service and a long-distance one if the pick-up or drop-off is in the surrounding areas.
Contact David or Kelley Sibley:, Tel : 01992 579300, Address : Treetops, Silver Birch Avenue, Epping, Essex CM16 6LB

North Essex Resource and Information Line

The North Essex Resource and Information Line for Metal Health is a telephone HELPLINE for anyone over the age of 16 (or their carer or relative) resident anywhere in North Essex (Loughton, Epping, Harlow, Uttlesford, Chelmsford, Maldon, Braintree District, Colchester and Tendring) who is experiencing mental health distress.
From 4pm to midnight daily NERIL has a staff supervisor on duty, as well as trained and vetted Helpline volunteers. Some of the team have relevant experience in the caring professions and direct knowledge of experience of mental health needs through their own or close relatives' experience. N E R I L originally opened its lines as MERIL, a service only for Mid-Essex, in November 1997; to date it has received over 6,000 calls and the rate of usage is steadily increasing. Unknown four years ago, NERIL has now become a highly respected community service.
Although we are a confidential service, we advise that we break confidentiality if we consider significant self-harm or harm to others may occur! Do you feel you can't cope and don't know where to turn?
Ring NERIL : 4.00pm - midnight every day - 0845 0900 909

Oakwood Hill Senior Citizen Club

The Oakwood Hill Senior Citizen Club on the Oakwood Hill Estate, Loughton is open five days a week:
Mondays - social and bingo at 2 - 4 pm, bingo 7.30 - 9.30 pm
Tuesdays - bingo 2 - 4 pm and darts 7.30 - 9.30 pm
Thursdays - social and jumble sale, 2-4 pm and social and line dancing 7.30-9.30 pm
Fridays - bowls 7.30 - 9.30 pm
Saturdays - bingo 7.30 - 9.30 pm
We also have outings to the seaside during the summer, as well as films and dress shows. Why not come along and see for yourself how enjoyable it can be? Age for joining starts from 55 years.

Patients' Advice and Liaison Service

Since April 2002, all NHS Trust have been required to have a PALS.
Epping Forest PCT has been a pathfinder for PALS, having started its service in November 2001, and has been giving independent and confidential help, information, advice and support to anyone using Primary Care Services or the Elderly Wards at St Margaret's or Ongar War Memorial hospitals.
When you or your family or friends are unwell or have concerns about your health, it can often be a worrying or confusing time. It is then that you may feel the need to turn to someone for help. This is where PALS can help, guiding your or your family through the different services available within the Trust, and trying to sort out any concerns you may have about the healthcare you receive. Our two PALS managers are Jackie May and Karen Leese. They visit various locations within the Trust area. So if you would like to discuss any concerns or issues that you have about your care or treatment, and would like to make an appointment to see one of them, you can contact them on:
Tel: 012789 827473 or 01279 827519, Fax: 01279 827847, email:
Epping Forest Primary Care Trust is committed to providing a Patients' Advice and Liaison Service which is proactive and listens to your views. The aim of the service is to make a genuine difference to the overall quality of health services provided and accessed by local people.

Planning Applications

A few years ago, Epping Forest District Council created Area Planning Committees to give members of the public a chance to air planning application objections. The system works well, and the Town Council has adopted a similar scheme. Residents can speak for three minutes on an application at its Planning Committee meetings. Though not a planning authority, the Town Council sees all the local applications and its views are put to the Area Planning Committee. These meetings are held every other Monday. Residents wishing to speak must let the Town Clerk know by 3pm on the day of the meeting.
(The results of recent Planning Applications can be found from the Planning links on the Agenda & Minutes page.)

Prince's Trust

The Prince's Trust in conjunction with Essex Youth Service runs twelve week personal development courses for young people between sixteen and twenty-five years of age. The course is designed to build self-confidence and self-development, and aims to make each team member more impressive to future employers. The course has been very successful in Harlow and it is now moving to the Roding Centre at Buckhurst Hill. There is no cost for this course and if you are unemployed you can use this course to improve your skills while you are still signing on. Hopefully this course will put you in front of the rest when it comes to getting your next job.
The programme includes an outdoor adventure week to build teamwork, environmental and community projects, care work, fund raising and individual community placements, which are similar to work placements, each tailored according to individual needs and requirements. Whilst on the programme we also offer a nationally recognised First Aid qualification and a City & Guilds 3791 Profile of Achievement, and the opportunity to gain City & Guilds Key Skills. There is also a facility to gain Trident Certificates in recognition of community based projects, and work experience. In total there are seven certificates available from completion of the course.
If you would like to get some more information for yourself or somebody else please call or write to John Hazlett the team leader at :
Prince's Trust, The Roding Centre, 50 Loughton Way, Buckhurst Hill, Essex. IG9 4AB
Tel: 0208 559 2144, Mobile: 07949 068964

Roding Gateway Project

A project has been started in Roding ward, where a group has been set up to transform the strip of County Council owned land between Roding Road and the Loughton Brook. This area has become run down and neglected, and the Roding Gateway Project is intended to open up the land and make it into an attractive gateway to Loughton.
The project was begun by a number of residents who have obtained lottery funding for a feasibility study and the Town Council has agreed in principle to adopt the land, should the study be acceptable. Under the lottery funding rules, grants must be made to established organisations, so as the original proposers are all members of Loughton Residents' Association, the Project team is a sub-group of the LRA, but the team wishes the project to be open to all residents of Roding ward or other parts of Loughton. The team is already in contact with schools and is seeking views and suggestions from anyone with an interest.
If you would like to know more, or would like to make suggestions or comments, please contact the Roding Gateway Project, c/o 40 Stonards Hill, Loughton.

Roding Players

The Roding Players, a friendly amateur orchestra, meets on Monday evenings in Loughton.
The orchestra gives three concerts a year, playing classics to show music. In addition, the musicians also enjoy playing at community events. All instrumentalists are welcome, although new horns and brass are particularly welcome. There is no audition.
We meet on Mondays, 7:15 - 9:30pm at Roding Valley High School, Alderton Hill, Loughton
For details, call Miles Harwood on 020 8505 4329.

Royal United Kingdom Beneficent Association

The RUKBA is a national charity that provides life-long financial help and friendship to older people in need. A free advice guide is available called "60-Wise! - Your essential guide to enjoying an independent life in later years", which can be obtained from their website, by e-mail or by ringing their lo-call number 08457 585680. 60-Wise includes useful information on managing money, finding help at home and residential and nursing home care. The guide also gives contact details of helpful organisations for older people.

South Loughton Cricket Club

Founded in 1938 and based at Roding Road, Loughton, we field two Saturday XIs in the Herts & Essex Cricket League, a good-standard competition played on some of the loveliest grounds in the two counties. Both XIs were divisional champions in 2004 and 2005. We also run a Saturday 3rd XI and two Sunday XIs in which the emphasis is on enjoyable participation and the development of young players. We have a thriving junior section offering regular coaching and matchplay for children aged six upwards.
We hold Sport England's prestigious 'Clubmark' accreditation which demonstrates that we are 'a safe, effective and child-friendly sports club'. We have also been selected by the Essex County Cricket Board as a 'focus club' for disability cricket.
For more details contact Andrew Shields on 020 8530 2200 or visit

Theydon Bois Folk Country & Barn Dance Club

If you enjoy gentle exercise, music and laughter why not come long and join in.
New members are very welcome and you don't even need a partner, just a sense of humour.
7.30 p.m in the New Village Hall, Theydon Bois. Your first visit is FREE.
For more information please telephone Pauline Martin: 01992 814445.

Theydon Bois Drama Society

Theydon Bois Drama Society perform plays at Theydon Bois Village Hall four times a year.
The Society has presented a wide range of comedies and tragedies, thrillers, music halls, variety shows and revues, pantomimes and musicals and many people have played many parts on stage and back-stage. Our membership is drawn from a wide area and we are always keen to welcome new members from Theydon Bois and beyond. 

West Essex Ramblers

West Essex Ramblers are part of the Ramblers Association and with a membership of more than 1000, it is possibly the largest in the country. The major focus of the group is the extensive programme of led walks. There are, on average, four walks a week.
From April through to October, there is also a choice of coach rambles, as well as short holidays, to enable the walkers to enjoy a variety of different scenery. For details, contact Pat or John Juchau, after 6.30 pm on 020 8502 1628.

West Essex Victim Support Scheme

Would you agree with the statement that 'time' is probably the most precious commodity that is so often undervalued? I believe that most people would agree, but I think there is another dimension to the value of time.
If somebody contacts you to see if you are all right, after a burglary for example, you would probably be pleased that they have made the effort. If you subsequently find out that this person is not being paid to contact you, it is not their job so to speak, but their motivation for doing so is because they actually care about your welfare, doesn't that add value to the time they are offering you?
It is that added dimension that Victim Support Volunteers being to their 'work'. The West Essex Victim Support Scheme would really like to hear from people in the Loughton area who would like to help others come to terms with the effects of crime. Comprehensive initial training will be given, which is followed by a regular programme of updates and constant support. Satisfaction with helping people in their time of need is guaranteed.
We are looking for people who have experience of life and who have a compassionate nature. There are very few other requirements, except of course we would like you to be able to give some of your time. Whilst there is a selection process for volunteers because of the sensitive nature of the work, we would be very happy to talk to you if you feel this is an area in which you would like to be involved.
Please contact Peter Hesketh or Jackie Apps for further information on telephone number 01279 641074.