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Have an amazing 2021 everyone ISSUE 202



Enough of Mince Pies and Brexit Deals...

ISSUE 202 Editor

Alice Thomas

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By the time you are reading this you will probably have had enough festive cheer, mince pies, tiers and Brexit deals. Its such a worrying time for everyone and please remember your local businesses when you want to find your New Years Sales and spend that Christmas money. I hope that you and your family are safe and well after all the Christmas festivities and getting ready for a 2021 that, surely, can’t be any stranger than 2020 has been. We start 2021 with some great articles including Nikki and Richard thanking us for the support that everyone has given The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation, a charity they set up to continue the work their son Tom started. Page 10 sees some Colchester Zoo news and the ‘January Blues” offer is back for a January 2021 visit to the 60 acres of parkland and lakes that is, our fantastic Zoo. Page 18 has Festive Loan Fraud tips, especially relevant for this time of year, from the Essex Police Fraud Alert Team and its well worth a read. This months has three New Year recipes that will help you to #shoplocal and make something delicious for everyone and we would love to see your ‘Bake Off’ masterpieces with a pic sent to me at Page 32 is a chance to donate some money to the Essex Wildlife Trust as they need us all to help them create a Wilder Essex... Love Essex... Love Wildlife. We also have a chat with Steve Ball, Head Coach of the mighty Us on page 44 about Colchester United FC positive start to this season. As we look to keep expanding our delivery team please Saxham do contact Rik at, also we will be moving over the Christmas and New Year ready to start 2021 with a bang.... There is just space for Rik, myself and the team at Elite Magazine to wish you all a fantastic 2021... As always, please Remember: Hands | Face | S p a c e and please...Be Kind! Ipswich Belchamp AliceSudbury St Paul


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contents 12

Thank you for your support The trustees and Nikki would like to thank you for the support you have given to The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation in the past.

living WELL


All go for improvement project A multi-million pound project to transform urgent and emergency care at Ipswich Hospital is set to begin after plans to improve public transport access to the site were agreed.



With a New Year, and a vaccine currently being rolled out, the Headgate Theatre is hoping for much more than just a shot in the arm for 2021.

Our 12 page Pull Out section with this months activities to help us all to Live Well as we come out of Lockdown.

Help keep the lights

Living Well


FJG diverts funds to those in need Local law firm, Fisher Jones Greenwood have decided to divert funds which would normally have been spent on corporate gifts and direct these to charities desperately in need.


New Year Recipes

Let us know who your LOCKDOWN HERO is at: 4

Enjoy these recipes for the New Year #SHOPLOCAL for your ingredients.




Happy New Year

to all our readers and advertisers and we hope that 2021 will be everything you want it to be From the Team here at elite

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Don’t glaze over the triple or double question W ith energy efficiency one of the most important things homeowners must consider when it comes to replacing their windows, Steve Rawding, Sales and Marketing Director at leading home improvement company SEH BAC, discusses whether you should choose triple or double glazing. For decades, double glazing has been the norm whenever choosing replacement windows. With around a quarter of household heat escaping via the windows, it’s no surprise that an additional pain of glass proved so popular. With triple glazing going one better, and increased energy efficiency a major consideration both today and in the future, deciding between the two is now a decision the homeowner must make. With a third pane of glass, it stands to reason that energy efficiency is increased and there is no question that triple-glazed windows can achieve the better U-values – as low

With around a quarter of household heat escaping via the windows, it’s no surprise that an additional pain of glass proved so popular.

as 0.8W/m².K compared to around 1.4W/m².K on a standard doubleglazed window. And increased energy efficiency will help you bring down the amount you spend on your energy bill and lower your carbon footprint. But this does not mean that double glazing should be confined to history just yet; far from it, in fact. There are double glazing window options that offer excellent U-values, and it is cheaper than triple glazing. Essentially, it comes down to your needs and your budget. If your home is in a very exposed location, tripleglazed windows may make sense, and they will ultimately save you more money over time. If not, do you want to spend more for a little less heat loss when a high performing double glazed window can do a similar job?

For more information call 0800 666 444 or visit


Funeral Plans

- when is the best time? Now might be the best time to think about planning ahead For more information find your local branch on our website, or call Sarah on 01376 511592 for a personal consultation Please mention elite magazine when replying to advertisements


Thank you for your support T

he trustees and I would like to thank you for the support you have given to The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation in the past. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to continue to help teenagers and young adults in so many ways.

2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, but particularly young cancer patients. Over the last 8 months, thanks to the support of kind people like you, we were able to help 165 young vulnerable people with cancer and their families. You helped them to stay warm and fed, kept a roof over their heads and helped them remain connected with the outside world. One young cancer patient sent this thank you to you all:

“Just wanted to say thank you so much! It’s took a lot of weight off my shoulders; I really appreciate it during this tough time.” John 22-year-old cancer patient, could not work as he had to self-isolate, he could not claim benefits or pay his rent. But COVID-19 continues to threaten the support we can give. With 100% of our events being cancelled, the way we raise funds has become more difficult.


Could you give a donation to help support more teenagers and young adults with cancer this Winter?   Teenagers and Young Adults need your support more than ever. Every penny you give will enable us to provide these young people with things many of us take for granted.      If you could help raise...... • £60 it could help with travel costs so young cancer patients can receive the treatment they desperately need • £100 could help a young cancer patient stay warm this Winter • £150 could provide food for a month whether they are at home or in hospital so they can eat healthily • £200 could help us provide white goods so they can cook healthy meals or dry clothes safely to avoid living in damp conditions • £400 could provide IT equipment so that these young people can interact with their peers, support groups, and continue with their education. We really appreciate your commitment so far and are hoping you can help again.

Young cancer patients face more poverty As Winter sets in, this number is rising. More of our young people are facing poverty as they or their families have lost their jobs during the pandemic, or simply cannot continue to work. Shockingly, some families are having to make the decision of whether to pay for transport to the hospital or feed the family for a week.  Self-isolation is a necessity to avoid lifethreatening infections. Our young people have never felt more isolated. They are cut off from the world they desperately need.

Perhaps you would consider making a regular gift? A monthly gift would help meet this evergrowing demand for support.

£5 a month could help with those travel costs £8 a month could help keep those young people warm

Anything you can give would be so gratefully received. By giving a gift, you can do something amazing by making a genuine difference to more young people like John, with cancer, who urgently need you help this Winter.

£12 a month could keep food on the table

So please, will you make a special gift this Christmas to help a young person with cancer?

£35 a month could provide that much needed IT equipment

Thank you for making a difference in 2021.

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Littlegarth achievements recognised by THE GOOD SCHOOLS GUIDE After years of continual improvement, the GSG contacted Littlegarth earlier in the year to arrange a visit in preparation for a review of the school. This is a huge achievement as Littlegarth is one of only about 10 schools in the country that have been selected for review in the past calendar year. To receive a visit, the school has to show that it is performing to a very high standard and that it is has a strong reputation in the region. School names are submitted to a committee for scrutiny and the school has to go through consideration at three committee stages to qualify for a review. The visit took place in February and involved an interview with the Headmaster, a tour by the children and discussions with parents who had

been suggested by the school and many others who were known to the GSG representative. The subsequent review is written for the benefit of parents and provides an honest view of the school from those who have known the many good points and the faults! The review was released in May while Littlegarth was coming out of lockdown. There is plenty to celebrate as the review is glowing. In fact, the final paragraph begins with the statement: “The only gripe we repeatedly heard from parents was that their children were compelled to leave at the end of year 6.”

You can find the full review by accessing the link at: Littlegarth was established in 1940 in a house of that name in Dedham and moved to the present


Article by Sharon Jenkins

Headmaster Peter Jones said: “We are all delighted that our wonderful school has been recognised by the Good Schools Guide and that the report reflects what a vibrant educational community we are. The children love the family feel and the School works hard to fill these essential primary years with excitement and adventure so that our children leave us full of confidence and ambition to be the best that they can be”

groups, with unbeaten sports seasons and excellent drama and music results,” explains Peter. “We are proud of our broad curriculum and of the fact that so many of our children achieve outstanding results in their various senior school exams.

site at Horkesley Park, Nayland in 1994. Peter joined in 2003 and the school joined the Independent Association of Prep Schools shortly afterward.

These are difficult times for all schools and it is ironic that we received our Good Schools Guide report when we were in lockdown. However, I am sure that the strong Littlegarth staff team will continue to work hard to provide the very best educational experience for the children, whatever challenges we might face in the future”

Littlegarth is rated as Excellent in all aspects by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). It’s no surprise then that the past ten years have seen 20-30% of children gain places at local grammar schools while over 50% of leavers have gained scholarship awards to independent senior schools While academic standards continue to rise, Peter is equally proud of the school’s extra-curricular programme which helps build confidence in children across a wide range of activities. “Littlegarth provides many opportunities for children to develop their talents across the age

If you would like to know more about all that Littlegarth provides, please visit our website or email or telephone 01206 262332 to arrange a visit in the coming weeks.

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Telep 01206 5hone (evening 17788 need an s) if you y he garden.lp in your can assis If I at a reas t, I will ona cost. ble

At the time of writing we have just experienced a week that has been most unhelpful to the average gardener, with frost, fog, snow and rain putting in appearances. Also, the light has been very dim, reducing daylight hours. However, it is January and we should expect these conditions.

as you go - roots and all, especially dandelion, couch grass, thistle, dock and bindweed.

Weather permitting there are still lots of jobs to do. Leaves continue to fall from some trees and others that have fallen and not been cleared away get blown around, causing problems on pathways and lawns.

Now is the ideal time to prune apple and pear trees. Use only tools that are sharp to cause as little damage as possible. All dead branches and those that cross others should be removed, along with any weak or sickly-looking growths.

Both should be cleared with the leaves collected being composted, to provide free material to be added as a mulch around plants later in the year. Leaf mould makes an excellent mulch, being both nourishment for the soil and temporary weed repellent.

About half of any water shoots - the straight ones with no fruit buds - should be shortened to three buds, with the rest being pruned in summer. Stone fruits - plum, damson, apricot, cherry, peach and nectarine should not be pruned at this time as they are susceptible to disease when pruned in winter. Prune these in summer.

On both flower borders and vegetable plots rain compacted soil will benefit from a gentle hoeing, removing any weeds


Do not compost these as they will only regenerate. Burn them in an incinerator, along with any rose prunings and other woody growth, pruned from other bushes and trees.

Lawn care is relatively simple.

If the grass is very wet, frozen or covered in snow keep off. If it is dry, after sweeping up leaves and debris, give it a very light mowing with the blades set at their highest. If there is an abundance of moss and weed, apply a combined winter feed, moss and weedkiller treatment as stipulated on the packaging. Do not exceed the recommended dosage. Ensure it is a winter version, as summer ones are rich in nitrogen which will encourage excess growth rendering the grass susceptible to frost damage in early Spring. Enjoy your gardening and a Happy New Year!

Need some help in your garden? I may be able assist, at a reasonable cost. Telephone 01206 517788 (evenings).

John Fisher

Gardener & Landscaper 30 years experience

Hedge Cutting Tree Cutting Regular Garden Maintenance One off Tidy Ups New Planting Schemes Pressure Washing Garden Design Garden Gates Made to Size

Fencing Patios Turfing Driveways Concreting Brickwork Gravel Gardens Shed Bases/Roof Repairs

FREE QUOTES. No job too small. Very competitive rates. Good references. For a friendly and reliable service please call John on 01206 251276 or 07775 562201 Please mention elite magazine when replying to advertisements





living WELL


We have loved our time at Ardleigh Studios and made some lovely friends and colleagues but its time for something a little bigger. So Elite Magazine and Creative Fabrik are on the move to the beautiful small riverside town of Mistley, noted for its swans. Our new address and contact details are:

In the 18th Century plans were developed to turn Mistley into a saltwater spa. Two reminders from this are the swan fountain outside our new office window and Mistley Towers - Robert Adam’s twin neoclassical structures and we have neighbours with connections to Matthew Hopkins, the 17th Century Witchfinder General. Our new address and contact details are:

Elite Magazine 4 Mistley Quay Workshops High Street Mistley CO11 1HB

Creative Fabrik 4 Mistley Quay Workshops High Street Mistley CO11 1HB

Office: 01206 482891 Mobile: 07900 154579

Office: 01206 482891 Mobile: 07900 154579

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Enjoy these recipes for the New Year #SHOPLOCAL for your ingredients and pop us a picture of your finished masterpieces.

Vegetable Low Carb Soup Cook Time

40 Mins


124 kCal

Ingredients • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 onions, chopped • 1/2 cup chopped celery • 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped • 2 zucchini chopped • 10 oz (300 g) fresh green beans sliced into 1-inch pieces • 10 oz (300 g) cauliflower florets • 4 cups chopped cabbage leaves, washed (about 1/4 of a head) • 2 quarts (2 litres) low sodium beef stock (chicken or vegetable broth may be used) • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder, (chicken or vegetable may be used) • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired -- adjust to your heat preference) • 1 teaspoon salt to season • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves washed • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh parsley leaves • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Versatile to suit your taste and suitable for a low carb diet! Whether your on Weight Watchers, a Keto diet or a loose low carb diet, homemade vegetable soup is the perfect food to have in your refrigerator.

Instructions Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until they begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the zucchini and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Throw in the cauliflower and cabbage leaves. Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, season with the buillion and cayenne. Taste test and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and stir through until wilted. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes You can follow our recipe or clean out your fridge and use whatever vegetables you have on hand. We load our soup with cabbage, celery, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower and spinach. Carrots are optional, especially if you’re strict Keto. The greener your soup, the lower in carbs it will be. You can even make your own Bone Broth. Don’t care about carbs? Feel free to add in corn, potatoes or butternut squash. Vegetable soup is naturally low in carbs and calories, which makes it the perfect snack to heat up through the day and eat between meals. It helps keep you full until the next meal without adding too many calories or carbs to your daily intake.

Crispy Chicken Parmesan Cook Time

45 Mins


560 kCal

A deliciously crispy breadcrumb coating, smothered in a rich homemade tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese makes this the best Chicken Parmesan you will ever make!



For The Chicken • 2 large eggs • 1 tablespoon minced garlic • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley • Salt and pepper to season • 3 large chicken breasts halved horizontally to make 6 fillets • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Italian or golden) • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese • 1 teaspoon garlic or onion powder • 1/2 cup olive oil for frying For The Sauce • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 large onion chopped • 2 teaspoons minced garlic • 14 ounces (400 g) tomato puree (Passata) • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) For The Topping • 8 ounces (250 g) mozzarella cheese sliced or shredded • 1/3 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil or parsley

For The Chicken Preheat oven 430°F | 220°C. Lightly grease an oven tray (or baking dish) with non stick cooking oil spray; set aside. Whisk together eggs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Add chicken into the egg, rotating to evenly coat each fillet in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes (or overnight night if time allows for a deeper flavour). When chicken is ready for cooking, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder together in a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into the breadcrumb mixture to evenly coat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Fry chicken until golden and crispy, (about 4-5 minutes each side). Place chicken on prepared baking tray / dish and top each breast with about 1/3 cup of sauce (sauce recipe below). Top each chicken breast with 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese and about 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with basil or parsley. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and melted, and the chicken is completely cooked through. For The Sauce Heat oil in a medium-sized pot. Fry onion until transparent (about 3 minutes), then add the garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the tomato puree, salt and pepper to taste, Italian herbs and sugar (If using). Cover with lid to simmer for about 8 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.

Banana bread with choc chips Cook Time

65 Mins


236 kCal

Easy homemade Banana bread recipe is not only the best way to use up over-ripe bananas, but it’s possibly the best slice to go with your morning coffee! No mixer needed!



• 1 3/4 cups (8oz | 235g) allpurpose flour • 3/4 cup (5oz | 150 g) granulated white sugar • 1/4 cup (2oz | 50g) brown sugar • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • 3 medium ripe bananas (about 1 pound or 500g) • 2 large eggs lightly beaten • 1/2 cup (4oz | 115 grams) unsalted butter melted and cooled (or cooking oil) • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • 1 cup (6 oz | 175 g) chocolate chips (or roughly chopped nuts of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan and line with parchment (baking) paper. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate medium-sized bowl mash the bananas really well. Then add the eggs, cooled melted butter (or oil), and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon or spatula lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in half of the chocolate chips (or nuts if using). The batter should be thick and lumpy. (Do not over mix!) Pour the batter into prepared pan and top with remaining chocolate chips or nuts. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. After about a half an hour, turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes How to make banana bread moist Start with super ripe bananas with a dark brown peel or black spots. These bananas are soft and full of natural occurring sugars. However, you don’t want them TOO ripe as they will ooze liquid. The Best Fluffy Banana Bread with chocolate chips or chopped nuts is not only the best way to use up over-ripe bananas, but it’s possibly the best slice to go with your morning coffee! Better than anything store-bought, our banana bread is buttery, moist and smells amazing while baking!

Enhance your garden space today with traditional wooden rustic garden furniture

All of my furniture items are handmade to the highest quality from the very finest materials and I have a wide selection of options made from substantial woods such as Chestnut, Oak and Pine. For expert advice or for further information, call me on my mobile: 07976 315984 or landline: 01227 832910


Mood Food for 2021 Many of us will have felt low and anxious from time to time as we’ve navigatedour way through the pandemic says Karen Maude at Balanced you Nutrition. To help you keep calm and feel upbeat, find out how food can support your mood with a few top tips:


Choose foods high in protein and slow releasing energy such as porridge to keep you feeling full and alert for hours. Pop a handful of fruit on top of your porridge and finish off with a sprinkle of mixed seeds.


Not getting enough can leave you feeling tired and on edge with difficulty concentrating. Try and drink 1.5 – 2 litres of water across the day to stay hydrated. Enjoy herbal teas such as calming camomile or lemon balm.


Although tea and coffee contain protective compounds against aging and disease, excess can amplify feelings of anxiety. Reduce your cups to two before lunchtime so as not to impact on sleep.

B vitamins

Good levels are important for energy and for relaxation and are commonly found together in whole grain foods such as wholemeal breads, brown rice and pasta, beans and peas.


Our need for this calming and sleep enhancing mineral that also maintains energy levels increases during difficult times so eat plenty of green leaves such as kale and spinach to get your supply.

Vitamin D

Low levels can have a significant impact on mood and energy and as it’s difficult to maintain levels, during the winter, supplement with the government recommended 10μg daily, or test to check your individual requirement.

Balance blood sugars

Eating too many carbohydrates, processed foods and snacking can throw your blood sugar levels out of balance and lead to an increase in stress hormones like cortisol and lows and highs in energy levels. The key is to not to overeat, to reduce snacking and to avoid sugary foods.

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Help us create a


Wilder Essex

his year has been difficult for all of us. The Trust suffered from the loss of income caused by the closure of it’s Nature Discovery centres and the cancellation of all it’s fundraising events. But sadly this year has been hard on our wildlife too. Our snuffling hedgehog is now officially classified as vulnerable to extinction, having suffered plummeting population numbers in the last 20 years.

We have an opportunity to transform the picture for wildlife in Essex’s towns and villages, forever. If every garden and open space was Wilder and better connected, with shelter, food and water, animals like our hedgehogs would stand a better chance of survival. Essex Wildlife Trust wants to ensure that our urban areas have the habitats and space needed to help wildlife survive. We need to act now and we can’t do it alone. Essex Wildlife Trust is launching an ambitious Urban Engagement Programme in 2021 to help all of our urban wildlife to thrive.

Populations are now so low that we rarely see them. And it’s not just hedgehogs; toads, bees, even the previously abundant house sparrows have suffered drastic declines.

Please consider helping Essex Wildlife Trust make a real difference to wildlife this winter by donating to their appeal. Visit the website at www. to donate online today.

But there is still hope, as many of our wildlife are increasingly taking refuge in our urban landscapes.


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“Pegasus gives us that trust and reliability. They have helped us add value to our bottom line by assisting us in streamlining and improving our systems and communications. Any problems is always met with a quick solution. Any challenge is always sorted efficiently and professionally. We consider Pegasus to be a big part of our Euroline family as we could not do what we do without them and we have no hesitation in recommending them.” Nigel & Christine Jacobs, Euroline

We are an Essex based IT Support Company with a solid decade of IT expertise. We support both large and small companies and liberate you to focus on your passion doing business. We handle everything from cloud services to installing servers and helpdesk support. Our service is all about the needs of the customer and we value cost-consciousness as much as you do. We also provide a wide range of software products from our well-known partners, along with our high-quality IT hardware.

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Green light for multi-million pound improvement project A

multi-million pound project to transform urgent and emergency care at Ipswich Hospital is set to begin after plans to improve public transport access to the site were agreed. East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has been granted permission to build a new £35m urgent treatment centre (UTC) and emergency department (ED) at the Heath Road hospital. It comes after Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously agreed with transport improvements ESNEFT has made to the scheme, which include creating eight new drop-off spaces and extra bus stops and crossing points, as well as widening the bus loop. The changes mean that work can now begin on the UTC, which will cater for an estimated 50,000 patients who arrive at the ED each year with conditions which could be safely managed elsewhere, such as sprains, fever and vomiting. Paul Fenton, Director of Estates and Facilities at ESNEFT, said: “We are delighted to have received the green


East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has been granted permission to build a new £35m urgent treatment centre (UTC) and emergency department (ED) at the Heath Road hospital.

light from Ipswich Borough Council and look forward to work beginning on this important project, which will transform services for our patients when it opens in 2022. “The new centre will offer treatment for a range of urgent but not lifethreatening conditions, in turn easing pressure on the ED by freeing up staff to focus on providing care for the most critically ill and seriously injured patients. “It will be built alongside the new ED, which will simplify services by providing a single front door which all urgent and emergency patients will use before they are triaged by our clinical staff and directed to either the UTC or ED, depending on which service will best meet their needs. “By ensuring that patients are seen by the right team first time, this exciting development will improve their experience of accessing care while reducing the amount of time they need to wait for treatment. At the same time, it will help us to make sure our emergency department remains available to those in the greatest clinical need.”

Patients should continue to use alternative services, such as their local pharmacy, NHS 111 or their GP, for help with minor or routine problems.

We have specialised in luxury handcrafted upholstery for over 20 years. We produce high quality bespoke furniture and offer a range of services from re-upholstery to handmade curtains and blinds. As a small family run business, the traditional values of personal service are what sets William Austin apart from other upholstery companies, as well as our attention to detail and commitment to quality and craftsmanship. A full consultation service is offered to assist you with choosing colours, designs and fabrics. Whether you are thinking of updating existing furniture or need some new curtains, why not give us a call to see how we can assist you. Find us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Support your LOCAL Charities... ...they all need and would love your SUPPORT

Supporting teenagers and young adults with cancer

Offering counselling to whoever needs it, whenever they need it, for as long as they need it

Let us advertise your Charity or Charitable Event None of these charities work stopped because of COVID-19 and they are all still working tirelessly to support the people that need them Have a Charity event? Let us know at: and we will do all we can to advertise it for you...

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Help keep the lights on at the Headgate Theatre W ith a New Year, and a vaccine currently being rolled out, the Headgate Theatre is hoping for much more than just a shot in the arm for 2021. Plans for some shows and events at the theatre in the Spring are still in the making, as they try to take into consideration the changing restrictions. But voting for the festive Sofa2Stage project took place online over Christmas and the performances of the shortlisted scripts can be seen on the theatres YouTube channel. The theatre is a self-reliant charitable trust, and every Christmas their pantomime is an important source of vital funds. But this year’s production, like all performances since March, didn’t survive the lockdowns and social distancing requirements.

The theatre is a self-reliant charitable trust, and every Christmas their pantomime is an important source of vital funds.

Facing a major loss of income - not only from ticket receipts but also the refreshments and other sales that come with performances - plans including the upgrade of the stage sound and lighting system in 2020 were halted as all financial resources were diverted towards surviving the catastrophic loss of income. So, at the start of December, as part of a national initiative launched by Theatres Trust, the theatre launched a ‘virtual bucket shake’ to “help us keep the lights on”. All donations will be used to support two key aims. Firstly, to keep the theatre in great condition to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as the auditorium can again host a great programme of community and professional shows. And secondly, to allow them to re-start the process of improving both the sound systems and lighting equipment. 50% of the current equipment has been in place since the building opened over 18 years ago, and it wasn’t new even then!


Short of funds, back then the new volunteer-led theatre relied on the generosity of local organisations such as the Mercury and Garrison theatres who donated surplus equipment. Now that donated equipment is proving to be unreliable and doesn’t always meet the needs of hirers. The theatre will be taking a big step towards greater sustainability by bringing the lighting up to the modern standard of energy efficient LED’s and upgrading the sound equipment to improve the experience for those with hearing difficulties. At the Headgate Theatre, community underpins everything it does and stands for. The production and technical teams who support the actors and musicians include community volunteers from all backgrounds and walks of life, calling on their expertise and passion for theatre as well as encouraging new interests and developing new skills. And during the pandemic, a team of volunteers have made sure the theatre is Covid-secure and able to provide a home for a limited number of dance classes and exercise groups. These opportunities have become vital in these challenging times, helping as they do to maintain wellbeing. When live performance returns to the building, the activities and wide-ranging programme of performances will ensure the Theatre continues to consolidate its

We rely on the support of the local community, and no more so than now. Any donation to its virtual bucket will help secure the theatre’s future and “Help Us Keep The Lights On”.

recognised position as a significant contributor to the arts scene of Colchester and the surrounding area. But while a contributor, it also relies on the support of the local community, and no more so than now. Any donation to its virtual bucket will help secure the theatre’s future and “Help Us Keep The Lights On”.

Please consider donating to its appeal to help secure the theatre’s future and “Help Us Keep The Lights On”. Visit the website at www. or call 01206 366000

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West Bergholt Concert Band – Last Chance to Zoom “You’re welcome to join our Zoom sessions to meet our friendly band members, or you can follow our latest happenings on our website (www.wbcb. org) to find out when we will be restarting the band properly.”



est Bergholt Concert Band & Training Band wrapped up their 2020 and many months of virtual rehearsals with a wonderfully fun virtual evening of Christmas Music & Carols for their last Zoom of the year. Whilst we couldn’t play together, we did manage to gather together the band, its family & friends and a few loyal supporters for a proper Christmas sing-along, with some amusing recollections of 2020 thrown in. For the new band members who have joined since we started Zooming it was a particularly memorable evening – not many people can say their first concert with a band was over the internet.

Looking ahead to 2021 both bands will start the year with more virtual rehearsals, but we are hoping to be back to some sort of normality by spring or summer. Whilst we will be joyously happy to start real rehearsals when that day comes, we will miss our Zoom sessions. We’ve surprised ourselves with how much fun they are. We’ve also played through over 150 pieces, from Barnard Castle (we couldn’t resist !) to Doctor Who, Star Wars, Michael Buble, The Lion King, Shostakovich, Gershwin and more… our usual wide range of styles.

Zoom rehearsals are also a brilliant way to join a band for the first time - you get to meet all of us without being put off by our wrong notes, and without us hearing yours. In keeping with the band’s mix of all ages we’ve had 11 year olds through to 70 year olds join us since we started Zoom sessions…and having lost a year of school events to recruit more young musicians we would very much welcome any young brass & woodwind players who’d like to join us. So don’t delay – act now ! Early 2021 will be the last chance to join us virtually…so please do. I t’s free, we have great music, and our two bands cater for all abilities (Training Band Grades 1-4, Concert Band Grade 4+).

To take part just email Conductor@ and we’ll send you Zoom details plus your own copies of the music.

Finally a very Happy New year

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Every chance of achieving our goal T

he year 2020 will be remembered for Coronavirus and the staggering amount of people that sadly died from the deadly pandemic. The world as a whole was affected, with lockdowns enforced across the globe as Governments worked to manage and beat the virus. In the UK, many industries were decimated by the inactivity, and many of the outlets of recreation were unavailable for the British public. Arguably the biggest, professional football, ground to a halt in March and only, with some stringent testing procedures and diligent protocols in place, restarted in June with all matches played behind closed doors. In Leagues One and Two, it was agreed that just the Play-Off matches from the 2019/20 season would be completed – with Colchester United gaining a spot thanks to a 3-0 victory at Carlisle just before the games were stopped. Unfortunately, a two legged defeat to Exeter City kept the U’s in League Two for another campaign, which started a month late in early September. The aim is to go one better as the second half of the season begins in 2021, with Colchester born Head Coach Steve Ball keen to keep his side in the running for promotion.

He told Elite Magazine: “We’ve had a positive start to the season, and the aim has always been to improve on last season’s showing. We’re working hard to get the success we all crave in 2021 and for many reasons, I’m sure we’re all glad to see the back on 2020.” “Nothing that happens in football can be compared to the many lives that have been lost and the grief that the Coronavirus has inflicted on so many families that have lost dear ones. Life does have to go on, and eventually return to normal, and us playing games is hopefully the start of that return to normal. “We are now into the second half of the season, and have still got every chance of achieving the goal of promotion into League One. We will have to keep our standards high, and will need the supporters as much as we ever have – whether that be them cheering us on in person at the JobServe Community Stadium, or watching us on iFollow from the safety of their own homes. Thanks to all of them for their support so far, keep up the good work.”

JobServe Community Stadium, United Way, Colchester CO4 5UP.

LEFT: The crowd against Tottenham Hotspurs and RIGHT no crowds versus Leyton Orient


Local Law Firm to divert funds to those in need L FJG donated

ocal law firm, Fisher Jones Greenwood (FJG) have decided to divert funds which would normally have been spent on corporate gifts and direct these to charities desperately in need. One of those is Home-Start; a local community network of trained volunteers working with families with young children struggling with post-natal depression, isolation, physical health problems, bereavement and other issues.

Secondly, FJG are donating to the Colchester Emergency Night Shelter. For the first time in their 35 year history, the Shelter has had to close making donations crucial to ensure the homeless in Colchester can continue to use their services in the future. Finally, FJG are supporting the Colchester foodbank, part of the nationwide network of foodbank

£1000 to three local charitable organisations: Home Start, Colchester Emergency Night Shelter and Colchester foodbank.

The Trussell Trust, Colchester’s foodbank has five locations helping local people in crisis. Paula Cameron, Managing Partner at FJG comments “This year has been unprecedented, bringing “business unusual” and hard times onto many and even as 2021 starts, circumstances are still very different. Consequently we felt it important to support the local communities in which we work.”

Advertisers Index 2 SEH BAC - Where your home matters

30 All UK Best Discos - Professional UK DJs

6 Mr Misty - The Window Doctor

31 BBX - Business Network 43

9 Fisher Jones Greenwood - Solicitors

31 Prested Tennis Club - Racket Sports

9 Hunnaball - Family Funeral Services

34 Pegasus IT - IT Support Company

14 Littlegarth - Independent School

37 William Austin - Upholsterers

17 AEL - Accountancy Services

37 Garolla - Roller Garage Doors

17 John Fisher - Gardener & Landscaper

38 Tax Racs -Accountants

20 Creative Fabrik - Design & Marketing

38 Dave Neal - The Man with a Van

21 Seckford Hall - Hotel & Spa

38 AFC Legal - Business Services

22 Peake Spa - Spa and Poolside

43 Nick Blatchley - Copywriter

27 Wooden Rustic - Garden Furniture

48 Peake Fitness - Health Club

29 Woodhall Manor - Wedding Venue


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Profile for Elite Magazine

Issue 202  

Delivered FREE every month to homes in the CO postcode of North East Essex. To advertise in Elite, call Sales on 07795 816766

Issue 202  

Delivered FREE every month to homes in the CO postcode of North East Essex. To advertise in Elite, call Sales on 07795 816766


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