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click on posters to enlarge   - editor David Wilson  07714772707 -   Journalist,     07917730238



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Public health report sets out council’s aims for 2019/20

Parents and carers of children with special educational needs are invited to have their say on Post 16 opportunities for young people in Southend living with special educational needs.

 The parent and guardian event - which is being held at the Park Inn Hotel, Tuesday 17 September – gives parents and carers of children with special educational needs the chance to comment on Post 16 opportunities, find out about what services and support is available, and the chance to watch presentations from community resources centres offering day services.

The views of parents and carers will be welcomed throughout the day, with the event taking place from 9.30am – 2.30pm, and there will be opportunities to ask questions about benefits, job coaches and access to work. Attendees will also receive a free lunch.

 Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Events such as this give us the opportunity to hear exactly what we are doing well, and what we can improve.

 “I hope we will be able to welcome lots of parents and carers to the event, so that we can help those caring for children with special educational needs understand what support we offer as a local authority.”

Booking is necessary. To book a place, please contact Margaret Wall on 01702 215905.

Public event for parents and carers



A new service has been launched at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust providing emotional and practical support to people newly diagnosed with sight loss.

Funded by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Tracey Meddle has started work as a new Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO). Employed by local charity, Southend in Sight, she works five days a week alongside health professionals at the hospital to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people on a range of areas. These include independent living, returning to work, benefit entitlements, emotional support, and coping at home.

Tracey said: “The staff here are wonderful and are very supportive, it’s fantastic to have an opportunity to help patients within the Eye Unit with emotional and practical support straight away.

  “I’ve got a dedicated room to listen to patients and give them that private time to talk about their diagnosis and about how perhaps they are struggling to come to terms with it or cope with their treatment. I’m there to listen, reassure and help give them the best guidance.”

 Karen Looker, RNIB ECLO Service Manager for the East of England, said: “It can be an overwhelming experience being told you are going to lose your sight. That feeling is compounded if people have to deal with it alone.

“ECLOs provide much needed information, advice and guidance. We are extremely pleased to be working with our partners to bring this support and advice to patients attending Southend University Hospital.”

Lucy Martin, CEO of Southend in Sight, said: “I am delighted that we can offer this much-needed service in Southend. Support in those early days is vital and Tracey will be on hand to ensure that people are not alone.”

Niral Karia, Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology across Southend, Basildon and Mid Essex Trusts, said: “Being told that you’re losing your sight can be a traumatic experience. The appointment of an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer will make a huge difference to these patients by providing them with essential support, information and advice when they need it most.

“It’s great for our patients that we are now able to offer this service to them over and above the excellent clinical care that they already receive, thanks to our partnership with RNIB and Southend in Sight.”


To find out more about ECLOs, visit

A report into the health and wellbeing of local people is set to be discussed by the council’s Cabinet next week (25th June).

 The Director of Public Health’s annual report sets out key priorities for the forthcoming year, whilst also highlighting key findings from the past year.

 The report covers all areas of public health in Southend-on-Sea, including smoking, drinking, obesity levels, sexual health, mental health, how local planning of housing impacts public health, and much more, in supporting health improvement and tackling local inequalities.

 Over the past year or so, the council has undertaken various joint strategic needs assessments with partners, including Southend CCG, to ascertain the areas of public health in Southend that need improvement, and which areas are currently excelling or improving. This has led to the interim director of public health, Krishna Ramkhelawon, setting out 23 public health outcomes to achieve, linked to the Southend 2050 ambition.

 The main focus for public health in 2019/20 in Southend will be:

•         Reducing the impact of cardiovascular conditions and diabetes and improving related prevention work

•         Improving community safety and building resilience, with a particular focus on our children and young people, and;

•         Ensuring that spatial planning incorporates health and wellbeing impacts, and delivers what residents will need to promote their health and wellbeing

 These items of focus also feed into two of the four sustainability and transformation partnership’s priorities for 2019 onwards.

 Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “The report makes for interesting reading as it allows us to properly evaluate public health within the borough through thorough research and community engagement.


“There are, of course, areas to improve, and that is why this report is vital in deciding the next steps for the forthcoming year. Public health and the needs of local residents has changed drastically over the past few years, however we are confident we are taking the right steps to provide a broad service that caters to the wide-ranging needs of residents keeping them safe and well within the borough, through continued work in the sustainability and transformation partnership.

 “Through excellent partnership work with a variety of partners, we have been able to pinpoint the key areas of focus for the next 12 months. The Southend 2050 engagement has led to the creation of specific outcomes and themes that relate to public health, such as ensuring Southenders are remaining well enough to enjoy fulfilling lives, throughout their lives and we are committed to achieving that.”


You can view the report in full by visiting the council’s website.

Havens Hospices, working in partnership with Wild in Art, the UK’s leader in the production of spectacular mass-market, public art events is delighted to announce that a colourful array of giant Hare sculptures will be hopping all over town in July 2020!

 Southend will host the most spectacular arts event that the town has ever seen! 30 super-sized Hare sculptures will be hopping their way into the town in what promises to be an incredibly impressive, huge art installation.  It will bring together businesses, schools, community groups, creative artists and the media, providing a thrilling opportunity for adventurers young and old – everyone will be encouraged to be involved! Several big name sponsors are already on board such as Genting Casino, Rossi, C2C, Rickard Luckin and The Royals and the project is gaining momentum daily.

  The Hares will make an unforgettably stunning spectacle when the trail goes live, and after enthralling, entertaining and bringing people together, the legacy of Hares About Town continues as many of the sculptures will be auctioned to raise awareness of, and vital funds for Havens Hospices.

 For more information about this event or how to become a sponsor, visit or email

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