Colchester Zoo and Friends – Bringing the Zoo to you - Fundraiser
On Saturday 28th November 2020, Colchester Zoo is coming to YOU…
…with the help of some familiar faces, some amazing animals and some musical and comedy acts! This live fundraiser will have something for everyone. We plan to get your feet tapping and bring smiles to your faces, explore how Colchester Zoo has weathered the pandemic and, ultimately and most importantly, raise some much needed funds to help towards the zoos future!
We’re taking you on a journey… Keepers will answer questions sent in by children around the UK (there’s still time to do this –send your questions across via Colchester Zoo’s Facebook Page!). We’ll discover what life has been like for the animals during lockdown and how they are missing YOU!
Our hosts, including actor and singer Lee Mead, will be feeding animals and meeting some of the new arrivals, as well as finding out about how the conservation work that’s making a difference around the world has been impacted by the zoo’s closure..
We’ve got games and chit-chat with radio hosts Ross McGrane and John Oakes and amazing entertainment from the likes of the X Factor’s Matt Linnen, BGT’s Graeme Mathews and online sensation ‘Red’, as well as messages from an array of friends of the Zoo.
The survival of Colchester Zoo is an ongoing battle – and the future is far from certain
Like all other UK zoos, Colchester Zoo is currently closed for a second extended period this year. Colchester Zoo is set in over 60 acres, cares for over 200 species and needs about £20,000 per day (that’s over half a million pounds a month) to keep operating. With most of this income coming from ticket sales and visitor spending, the closure represents a very real threat.
The zoo has done its utmost to cut costs wherever possible, and many difficult decisions have been made, but without visitors, these savings are being swallowed by the day-to-day running costs of the zoo. Most of the zoo’s overseas conservation support (via its charity Action for the Wild) has had to cease while the zoo’s future lies in the balance.

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."

Saturday 28th November from 10am to 6pm. Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Christmas Gift Market at Trinity Park, Felixstowe Rd, Ipswich IP3 8UH. We always ensure a wide variety of different stalls, from homemade crafts, food stalls, Christmas gifts, toys, unique gifts for men, women and children, personalised items from local designers, boutiques and bespoke craftsmen including Lisa Jane Jewellery, Woodland Crafts, Suffolk Peace Creations, Great Leighs Honey, Charlotte Churchill Pottery, The Suffolk Hamper Company and Retro Barb Furniture. We always limit similar genres of sellers amongst our stall holders, to ensure happy shoppers and successful sellers.
Alongside the shopping stands, there will be a range of popular food and drink stalls, including The Tipsey Grey serving up alcoholic beverages including festive hot drinks, mulled wine and hot chocolate with Baileys. And even treats for our four legged furry friends from Toffs Treats Bakery.
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Community Fundraiser Karen Mitchell explains the extra safety measures we will be taking for this event; "We are very excited to be holding our Christmas Gift Market at Trinity Park; a lot of other Christmas Markets have had to be cancelled this year so we are making every effort to keep our event as safe as possible. For more information or if you are a stall holder interested in booking a pitch with us, please contact the fundraising team on 01245 380719 or email

SESAW Tombola at the Festive Fair on Saturday 12th December at Bridge Farm Barn, Monks Eleigh, IP7 7AY.
Sharon's Christmas face masks, including the "Maggie's Farm" design, will also be on offer, quite the must-have fashion accessory for humans!

Solar Society Group
The Solar Society committee (your local adult learning group) are sorry to have to announce that we cannot meet in January, February or March 2021 as planned.
We will make every effort to restart our meetings in April on the first Monday of the month however. Programme to be announced. In the meantime , take care everybody.
Further info from Miles Scrivens 01787-469766 or Wanda Sellar 01787 463449.

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity plan to reopen Witham Charity Shop and appeal for volunteers
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is looking to reopen their established Witham Charity Shop on Newland Street in Witham after closing in line with Government guidelines on the 23rd March.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic a number of their regular volunteers have been forced to retire, leaving the charity with a shortfall of help. Now the charity is appealing for people to give up their time and volunteer at the shop otherwise it will be unable to reopen as planned.
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity CEO Kate Alden said; “We are looking forward to being able to reopen our Witham Charity Shop as our shops are the absolute lifeblood of the charity. However we have sadly said goodbye to some of our regular volunteers and are therefore calling on the local community to help us.
If you can spare a few hours, have a good sense of humour and enjoy meeting new people, we would love to have your help with volunteering in our Witham charity shop. Our shops are a hive of activity, with donations to sort, and our excellent regular customers to serve. We are always receiving new donations so our shelves are regularly filled with fresh stock and different items.
I know that our regular customers in Witham have really missed popping into our shop for a browse and a chat; there is always a warm welcome waiting. However we can only reopen if we have enough volunteers to man the shop.”
For more information on volunteering please call Kate Alden on 07730 209442 or you can email her on

Fancy winning £500 cash while helping to support the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity have recently launched their 2020 Winter Raffle with the chance to win fabulous prizes and a top prize of £500! It's so simple to play and you will be helping to enable quality of life while living with cancer.
There are three exciting prizes to be won:
1st prize - £500
2nd prize - Private Virtual Wine Tasting (Burgundy tasting in your own home, for up to 6 people on a date in 2021 subject to availability)
3rd prize - Winter Tiptree Hamper
Tickets cost only £1 each and the closing date is Wednesday 27th January 2021.
To purchase your own tickets and be in with a chance of winning up to £500 simply visit Alternatively you can pay over the phone by calling 01245 380719; lines are open 9am-5pm weekdays.
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Marketing Coordinator Holly Butler said "As a result of the coronavirus outbreak and second lockdown we have unfortunately had to cancel many of our fundraising events, which means the charity will suffer a considerable loss of income. Of course Covid-19 is still at the forefront of all of our minds, but even once it has calmed down, cancer will still be there. We rely solely on donations, fundraising and money raised through our charity shops to continue operating our Support Centres.
Our Raffle draw is a fun and yet valuable way in which to help our charity enable quality of life while living with cancer. By playing you can help secure the future of the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. On behalf of all our clients, therapists, volunteers, trustees and staff thank you in advance of your kind support and good luck!"

Venturing out from “Lock Down”
As the Covid19 restrictions are eased and we cautiously emerge from the security of our homes whilst not wishing to alarm we do need to remember to secure our property once again.
Whether we are just going to the shops, going out for the day or perhaps taking that well deserved break make sure your home is secure and it looks like you are still there.
Just a few tips to remind you:
Ensure that windows, doors, outbuildings and gates are closed and locked correctly, make sure all tools are put away too. Remember with PVCu and similar doors – when locking Lift the handle, turn and remove the key. If you have a night latch and a mortice lock ensure that you lock both not just the night latch.
No keys outside in hidey holes please, the thief will find them no matter how well you think they are hidden.
Create the illusion of occupancy: A radio on, a chair that looks like you have just got up, book or magazine open with a pair of spectacles and a mug next to it, a vacuum cleaner with the lead trailing out of sight (not plugged in), the usual signs of habitation and don’t leave it too tidy.
Consider a doorbell that you can answer remotely on your smartphone. A lot of these you can add further CCTV cameras that you listen and speak through too.
Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it gets dark, also consider a “Fake TV” unit discretely hidden from view.
If you have an intruder alarm make sure that you set it before leaving and ensure that your neighbours know who the keyholders are.
Keys to other cars; put them away and in a “faraday bag” if you have a keyless car.
If you are away for a longer period:
Curtains open or curtains closed? – The worse thing is half open half closed, day or night the thief will know you are out. I go by the principle that some people do not close all curtains at night but most are open during the day especially in those “lived in” rooms. So as long as you have evidence visible that looks like you are in the house somewhere then it makes sense to leave them open.
Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries, delay ordering online purchases before you go away or have them delivered to friends or family that are at home to hold until you return.
Use the Royal Mail's 'Keepsafe' service - they keep your mail for up to 2 months while you're away. Mail sitting on your doorstep is a sign that you are away.
Trusted neighbours may be able to help you by collecting your post, opening and closing curtains and they could park their car on your driveway.
Avoid discussing holiday plans on public social networking sites, watch what you are posting including photographs (they may be date stamped) while you are away too or you may find you are giving useful information that the burglar or fraudster may use.
Don’t forget the car when you leave it unattended:
Close the windows and lock it, verify it is looked by the sound, the flash of the lights or try the handle.
Leave nothing on show, remember to the thief even the empty bag or jacket is inviting, they don’t know what they may contain until your car has been damaged in the course of them breaking into your car.
Choose a safe place to park, with lots of visibility over it, if you can look for a “Parkmark” accredited car park .
Further advice can be found at or


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