Social Distance Friendly Ride for Helen cycle event gets back in the saddle
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is delighted to announce that its annual cycle event Ride for Helen is taking place on Sunday 20th September 2020 for its seventh year!
After Covid-19 restrictions were put in place, this annual event had to be postponed in May but it is now back in the saddle. Social distancing measures have been put in place to ensure riders can take part with confidence and guidelines set out by British Cycling have been followed.

Cyclists from across the county and beyond will be meeting at Crix in Hatfield Peverel, Essex to take part in this fantastic, family-friendly event which offers a choice of four cycling routes to suit all capabilities. All ages and abilities are welcome to join in as individuals or as a team and included in the registration price is a fundraising pack, route maps, route signage, first aid support, mobile mechanic support and recovery, refreshments and a medal for finishers.
This year there are four circular routes through the beautiful Essex countryside with distances of 6 miles, 15 miles, 30 miles and 65 miles all starting and finishing at Hatfield Peverel.
6 miles - For the beginner or families with children, cycling on country lanes and roads around Hatfield Peverel.
15 miles - For the occasional cyclist looking for a pleasant ride passing through Church End, Rank's Green, and Fairstead.
30 miles - For the regular cyclist looking for a challenge, cycling on roads passing through Rank's Green, White Notley, Silver End, Kelvedon and Great Braxted.
65 miles - For the experienced adult cyclist looking for a challenging ride passing through Great Leighs, Felsted, Thaxted, Steeple Bumpstead, Finchingfield, Stisted, Black Notley and Fairstead.
All adult registrations for the 6 mile route qualify for TWO FREE CHILD places.
Cyclist numbers have been restricted so if you don't want to miss out book your place today at
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity CEO Kate Alden said: "We are all really looking forward to this year's Ride for Helen which is always such an exciting and popular event; we know many people took up cycling during Lockdown so this is a great opportunity to get out on two wheels again and support Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.
To ensure that you can enjoy a safe and worry-free ride we are putting in place extensive safety measures to look after our riders; Covid-19 is still very much a threat so we will be limiting numbers on the ride to 500 and we have had to reduce the number of routes, however I promise this will still be a fun filled day. Full details of all the social distancing measures we have put in place can be found on our website;
My fundraisers and I have worked really hard to map out the best and safest routes through the beautiful Essex countryside and to ensure that all of our riders have a fantastic experience. A huge thank you to Spokes of Chelmsford who will be offering complimentary bike checks, Wilkin and Sons for providing snacks for the riders and Group 1 Auto (Chelmsford Audi) who will be providing support vehicles for all cyclists on the day.
We are fortunate that our patron Ian Twinley and wife Alison, have kindly allowed us to use the beautiful grounds of Crix as a starting and finishing point every year. We couldn't organise such an amazing and successful event without the help of our dedicated team of volunteers, staff, sponsors and supporters who will all be appropriately protected with PPE on the day.
As we stand, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is looking at a financial loss in the region of £150,000 for this financial year, this is just over 15% of our income for last year and this is assuming our budgeted income is achieved. Therefore we really need to make this event a success and raise as much money as possible to keep our vital charity operational.
During Lockdown we have been supporting clients with welfare calls and telephone counselling as well as setting up an online directory of support and virtual yoga/relaxation sessions; 1192 clients have been reached and 470 messages have been left. Here are some examples of the impact this has had on clients:
"You have helped me so much. I honestly do not think I would have got through this period without your weekly support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."
"The counsellor has given me back my joy in life. She has taught me how to deal with my own concerns using methods enabling me to deal with worries and fears as they come along. I have hope again and even look to the future with plans that I had long shelved. Cancer will be here long after Covid-19. Please help to ensure the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is also still here."
We have plans to start re-opening our Support Centres soon but we can only do it with your support; sign up today at and help us to continue enabling quality of life while living with cancer."
If cycling isn't your thing but you'd still like to get involved, why not volunteer on the day? We have lots of fun and exciting roles for you to get stuck into – call us on 01245 380719 for more information or email
Registration is now open for Ride for Helen 2020. Visit or call 01245 380719 to book your tickets today!
St. Andrew's Church, Earls Colne, Lunchtime Recitals 2020
    2020 sees our Lunchtime Recitals entering their fifth year and we have a very exciting programme to offer.
We will see the return of the ever popular Lizzie Gutteridge and Aurora Voices who also sang for us just before Christmas. We will be welcoming some new performers too. Kim Peek a ballad singer, the Sokolowski Trio and Malcolm Ball playing the Ondes Marenot.
Thursday 10th September - Malcolm Ball playing Ondes Martenot accompanied by Peter Humphrey on piano.
Recitals are free (retiring collection) and commence at 1pm. Refreshments available from 12.30pm
Solar Society Group
The Solar Society do not envisage starting their meetings again until January 2021 at the earliest. A further update will be given in December.
I don't believe it. Mum just called me "Fatso" as she harnessed me up for a walk! She says we dogs have taken lockdown to the "nth degree", whatever that means, and just because I'm not meeting my public doesn't mean I shouldn't keep trim.
Everyone wants life to go back to normal but humans have proved themselves adept at coping with change. Sharon, a seamstress in "real" life, sews washable, pleated face masks in triple layer dense cotton. Jayne knits "Rainbow of Hope" car hangings and has a new teddy bear line. Mandy sells donated items on Facebook. Jeanette arranged a pop-up stall to sell plants and run her famous Tombola. By the way, Jayne is still taking orders for masks on 07720 079370.
All Rescues are braced for a possible influx as new pet owners return to work and recently acquired animals start suffering with separation anxiety if unused to being left alone. Please get in touch if you are having difficulties with your pets, contact details below but be patient if our response time is slow due to staff shortages
Unfortunately we cannot accept any fresh stock as our big fundraising events are cancelled until next year. All efforts are concentrated on animal welfare leaving insufficient people to sort, or storage space to hold, goods. As you can see in the photo, I help by checking our stock of masks and rainbows. I don't know what SESAW would do without me, Kenny (the Boss) Chihuahua!
Suffolk & Essex Small Animal Welfare, Reg. Charity No.1124029, Stoke Road, Leavenheath, CO6 4PP. Tel: 01787 210888, email:

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Support Centres reopen
Having temporarily closed our doors amid the coronavirus crisis, the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Mid Essex Support Centre in Hatfield Peverel has now reopened!
Initially we will be offering 40 hours of reflexology per week to those living with cancer. Our West Essex Support Centre in Harlow has also opened offering 15 hours and 4 hours of reflexology per week. We have also restarted our services at our North Essex Support Centre at Colchester Hospital where we will be offering 20 reflexology sessions over a two week period.
As our Support Centres begin to reopen, visitors will be asked to sanitise their hands when they arrive and before they leave and will need to wear a face mask or covering during the duration of their visit. They will also need to follow social distancing guidance.
Karen Fox from Hatfield Peverel was one of the first clients to visit the Mid Essex Support Centre after reopening; "I was very lucky to have an amazing foot massage in a very safe environment this week. A lot of thought had been put into access into the building and I felt totally secure and safe. Such a special place and lovely to see it open. Thank you everyone for making it happen."
TripAdvisor announce Colchester Zoo has fallen into the top 10% of attractions worldwide
  Colchester Zoo is officially a 2020 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Winner for Attractions! Each year, TripAdvisor looks at attractions from around the world, analysing their reviews and ratings from visitors throughout the year and recognises those who earn consistently great feedback! Colchester Zoo are very pleased to share that they have been recognised as one of these locations and as a Traveller’s Choice Winner, the zoo falls into the top 10% of attractions worldwide!
There is no application process for Travellers’ Choice Awards, the award is based on the quality and quantity of reviews alone, something that Colchester Zoo has earnt thanks to the support and amazing feedback from visitors.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to all the dedicated and hardworking staff and our loyal visitors. We would not have won this award without your continued support, especially throughout our closure due to the pandemic and re-opening. Of course, we cannot forget our amazing animals who all this hard work is ultimately for.”
Colchester Zoo continues to work hard throughout this difficult time, to offer visitors a safe and amazing day out for all the family, unique experiences, great customer service and memories to last a lifetime, all whilst learning about the wonders of wildlife and importance of conservation.
“Winners of the 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners' achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travellers as the world begins to venture out again.”

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