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Bexley

Winter

News

Latest news and information from your Council

Magazine Winter 2020


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News

Inside

your magazine Welcome

5 Budget update 7 New playground for Sidcup

The number of cases fluctuates but is a cause of real concern. People are continuing to die prematurely, and the second wave is putting pressure on the NHS.

10-11 Ageing Well

13 Black History Month competition winners

I know it can be difficult to keep track of the guidance that is being putting in place to protect us and allow work and education to continue. The best advice is to remember ‘hands, face, space’. We’ve reminder on what this means on page 7. You may have read that the pandemic has had an impact on the Council’s budget, as well as our lives. We have a clear strategy in place, but we may have to adjust it because of the difficulty of making financial forecasts in the current situation.

23 New skills, new hobbies

All our yesterdays 21 Six things 22 Local information 25

The news that a COVID vaccine will soon be available is giving us all hope that an end to the coronavirus pandemic is possible early next year. In the meantime, we must all focus on keeping everyone safe.

What’s on 26 Services 29 Local organisations 30

We are currently consulting on proposals to change our library services, which have been dramatically affected by modern technology and the pandemic. Please turn to page 4 to find out more and have your say. Stay safe – and I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas.

If you would like to know more about the services the Council provides, or would like either a translation of this document or the information in a different format, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 020 8303 7777, quoting reference: 602063/11.20 London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT Phone: 020 8303 7777 • Website: www.bexley.gov.uk • Email: communications@bexley.gov.uk Distributed free of charge to every property in the borough Editorial: Bexley Communications Team. Designed and produced by: Bexley Graphics.

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE Leader of the Council

London Borough of Bexley does not accept responsibility for goods or services offered by advertisers

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News

A new path for adult care

Bexley’s ‘Pathways’ programme is now underway. It will see ‘Trusted Partner’ staff, from eight local well-established charities, perform a number of tasks previously carried out by the Council. These Trusted Partners will initially focus on working with people who are already in contact with one of the organisations, but who could benefit from further advice or an assessment of their support needs. Using a personal approach, Partners aim to provide the right support to help people maintain their independence and quality of life. Support to family carers is also high on the agenda in recognition of the vital role they play in helping loved ones with care needs. A major aim of the programme is to help carers look after themselves. Funded and monitored by the Council through a new contract, the Pathways programme will be evaluated with the partner organisations to ensure it delivers the intended results. An important building block the Council’s training programme for Trusted Partners - began in September. It builds on Trusted Partners’ existing expertise and

knowledge and to ensure the Council and Partners work in partnership. The charities working on the Pathways programme include: X Age UK Bexley X Bexley Mencap X Bexley Voluntary Services Council X Carers’ Support Bexley X Crossroads Care South East London X Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice X Inspire Community Trust X Mind in Bexley Local people are often already in contact with support workers from these organisations, who may identify that a person requires additional formal support. Previously they would refer into Adult social care for an assessment of their care needs. Under the Pathways programme support workers are trained and able to complete an assessment or review of people already known to their

Still time to have your say on libraries The consultation into the future of Bexley’s libraries runs until 19 December. It includes a number of options including z amendments to opening hours z self-service only times z how events and activities are run z access to the Local Studies and Archives Centre z how we support communitymanaged libraries.

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organisation, as well as arranging care and support that best suits the individual The Council remains responsible for the quality of Bexley’s adult social care services and for safeguarding adults.

You can have your say by completing the survey at www.bexley.gov.uk/consultations or scan the QR code below to take you to the online survey. X Emailing libraries@bexley.gov.uk X writing to: Library Services, London Borough of Bexley, Foots Cray Offices, Maidstone Road, Sidcup DA14 5HS

Pathways in action A young woman with a learning disability being cared for by her mother was finding it difficult to manage under pandemic restrictions. Carers’ Support Bexley used their existing relationship with the family to help them find a way to adapt routines and obtain the support they needed.

Sign up for our news updates www.bexley.gov.uk/ newsupdates


News

Meeting unprecendented financial challenges

SHOAPL

In November, the Cabinet discussed the changes needed to respond to the increased financial challenge created by the coronavirus pandemic.

C afe LO hop s S

Support our local businesses This has been a difficult year for businesses across the country. Last month saw non-essential shops close their doors at what is usually their busiest time of year. Please remember to help our local businesses to stay afloat by continuing to use them whenever you can. Many of these businesses set up online ‘click and collect’ services during the restrictions and some can make special deliveries to serve their customers. As this magazine went to print we are hoping to see our local businesses opening again. When they do please shop local and support local services and employment. To find out more about the support available to local businesses visit www.bexleyforbusiness.co.uk

The pandemic has added to the scale of the challenge we already faced, by increasing spending and creating unprecedented uncertainty. Throughout the year we have been exploring opportunities to reduce the size of our budget gap. These include transforming services, making more behind the scenes efficiencies, reducing costs, and increasing income to make it possible to invest in priority services. The Cabinet approved a strategy to close the latest forecast budget gap of around £13m. This includes an in-depth review of services and establishment costs, with more proposals coming forward next month. Other plans include negotiating a line of credit with the government, to let us spread some of the financial impact and risk of the pandemic over future years.

The Cabinet considered the response to the public consultation this summer on six savings proposals. It approved them all, apart from changes to children’s centres, on which there will be further consultation (see below). Vulnerable people and the services that are most important to residents continue to be a priority. A further report on the Council’s financial forecasts and plans will be discussed at the Cabinet’s meeting on 15 December. “The pandemic has increased the scale of the challenge we face and makes forecasting difficult. We have a clear plan to deliver a balanced budget that invests in local services, but we may face further decisions in the new year.” Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of the Council

Children’s Centre consultation Cabinet Members approved a proposal to develop a range of children’s centre options for further consultation at their meeting last month. A consultation into the future of the centres began in July as part of a wider consultation on proposed savings. The consultation ended last month. More than 3,700 people commented on the proposals. Cabinet Member for Children’s Services Cllr Philip Read said: “The high level of responses received demonstrates the effectiveness of

the Council’s efforts to maximise community engagement. “Whilst we in Bexley, as with all local authorities, must make difficult decisions in the current financial climate, we will always want to listen to our residents. We want to find a model for the service that will continue to provide services to our most vulnerable families.” A range of options will now be looked at before further consultation with residents, partners, staff and all stakeholders in the spring.

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News

Connections to Ebbsfleet

An important study into transport improvements to support growth and regeneration in the corridor between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet was launched in September. Funded by the Ministry for Housing and Local Government, the work will be overseen by the C2E Partnership, of which Bexley is a key member. The Partnership has commissioned a programme of research into the area’s transport and development challenges, to identify possible transport improvements, understand how these can support further housing and jobs growth and how improvements can be funded. The study will include public consultation in the new year. The study is programmed to end in autumn 2021.

“This is a really exciting moment for all those who have been pushing for improved public transport in this area and across the Thames Estuary for so long. We know that to get good growth you need to better connect people to jobs and services both locally and in the wider area. This study is a big step forward in understanding how we do that in a deliverable way that makes sense in a post Covid 19 world.” Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE, Chairman of the Partnerships Local Authority Board

Sidcup plans move on The new cinema and library in Sidcup have moved a step closer as cultural infrastructure developer Really Local Group and local construction company Neilcott finalised their plans to start works on site.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth, Cllr Louie French said: “Despite this time of uncertainty for high An artists impression of the new cinema, library and residential development streets generally, The new cinema, library and we are delighted to have kept this residential development in Sidcup important project on track. Bringing High Street, has been designed by these two experienced organisations on award winning architects DRDH. board means this exciting new project is Really Local Group will fit out and that bit closer to becoming a reality. The run the independent cinema. Locally new facilities will be a great addition to based contractors Neilcott will build the high street.” the new development. The fantastic new venue is Construction will start in earnest in scheduled to open in 2022. January 2021.

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Council funding success promises boost for Erith There was good news for Erith in November, with the announcement that the Council has secured £900,000 for local regeneration projects through the Greater London Authority (GLA) from the Government’s Getting Building Fund. The grant will be used to fund schemes to improve Pier Road and the section of Erith High Street next to the Riverside Gardens. They are part of the Council’s Erith Links programme to improve public spaces, highways and junctions in the town. Government launched the Getting Building Fund in August and in London it has been distributed by the GLA. It aims to support the delivery of shovel-ready infrastructure projects, create more local jobs, and support the green recovery across the UK. “The success of our bid is great news for the town and the local economy. These schemes will improve the town as a place to live and do business and deliver a boost just when it is needed.” Councillor Louie French, Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth.

(L-R) Cabinet Member for Places, Cllr Peter Craske and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth, Cllr Louie French at the site of the new cinema


The Magazine went to print just after a sharp increase in the number of people in the Borough testing positive for Covid-19. The number of cases can change rapidly, which is a reminder to us all that we need to stay alert and do whatever we can to keep everyone safe. There is still a risk the number of cases will continue to increase, which will have an impact on our local hospitals. Please take note of the key public health messages designed to protect us particularly on hands, space, face, the need to get a test if you have Covid symptoms

and the need to self-isolate if you or someone you have been in contact with tests positive. This year has been challenging in many ways, but there has been good news that we hope points the way to an end of the pandemic next year X New testing site The borough’s third local testing site recently opened at Felixstowe Road in Abbey Wood for use by people who book a test through the NHS.

X Vaccination – Largescale vaccination against COVID-19 is due to start next month for NHS staff, followed by other groups in priority order.

Inspirational park opens The borough’s most recently transformed and upgraded open space officially opened on 26 September. Old Farm Park playground and wildlife habitat in Sidcup is fully accessible by wheelchair and boasts a brand new playground, paths, trim trails, exercise equipment, benches, plants, trees and a wildlife area. The park will also become home to the borough’s official Covid-19 commemorative garden. Sponsors are being sought for the ongoing project and those interested are asked to email Parks&OpenSpaces@bexley.gov.uk

Pictured at the official opening are (l-r) Mayor of Bexley, Cllr James Hunt, Leader of Council, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Cabinet Member for Places, Cllr Peter Craske, James Brokenshire MP

For the latest national and local updates  www.gov.uk/ coronavirus  www.bexley.gov.uk/ coronavirus-covid-19

We will continue to share local Covid-19 information through our Community Champions, website, enewsletters and local papers. If you have a neighbour, friend or relative who may not have online access please share the latest local information with them.

Looking after your health

NHS and GP services remain open and they are working hard to make sure that when you come in for your appointment or treatment, everything is done to protect you from Covid-19. It is important that anyone who needs medical attention still receives it during the pandemic and that you turn up for hospital or doctor appointments. The NHS 111 telephone service can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. In an emergency always call 999.  Visit - www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhsservices/urgent-and-emergency-care/

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Covid-19

Covid-19 support information We have put together some useful information and contacts to help support you during the pandemic. Further support is listed on the Council’s website at https:// www.bexley.gov.uk/coronaviruscovid-19 (under the Help and information section). Mental health Mind in Bexley’s Crisis Cafe is a safe place for those aged 18 and over who are experiencing severe emotional or psychological distress. The drop-in service, based at 2a Devonshire Road, Bexleyheath DA6 8DS, is open 6pm to 10pm every day. Their free well-being phone line also operates Monday to Friday, 9am5pm – telephone 0808 196 3896.  www.mindinbexley.org.uk  www.nhs.uk/oneyou/everymind-matters

Domestic or sexual abuse

Solace Women’s Aid

Many women, men and children will be at higher risk of domestic abuse during isolation. If you are concerned for anyone due to domestic abuse you can report this anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111. If you need support, or have worries about domestic or sexual abuse, the organisations below can provide advice and help. In an emergency call 999.

Solace Duty Line - 020 3198 4659 (9am to 5pm) Email Bexley.community@ solacewomensaid.org  www.bexleydomesticabuse services.org.uk

Need help with food and supplies? Bexley Foodbank A food voucher is needed, and residents are asked to collect goods themselves. For further information please telephone 07932 431350 between 10am and 4pm, visit https://bexley. foodbank.org.uk/ or email info@bexley.foodbank.org.uk

Slade Green Food Bank For Bexley borough residents in need. No voucher is needed. Opening hours are 9.30am2.45pm and 5.45pm-7.30pm Monday to Friday, please bring your own bags. Goods are provided on a first-come firstserved basis.

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St Augustine’s Church Hall, Slade Green Road, Erith DA8 2LW (just behind the church) Telephone 07538 300768 Email sladegreenbiglocal@ outlook.com

Local families can access the Healthy Start scheme. Residents who are 10 weeks pregnant or have children under the age of four and receive income support could also qualify for free ‘healthy start’ vouchers every week to spend on milk, fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh, dried, and tinned pulses, and infant formula milk. Visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk

National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 (24 hrs}

Improve your health for free There is lots of free support available in Bexley to help anyone who wants to improve their health and reduce their risk of serious illness. Programmes include -

Alive ‘n’ Kicking Families living in Bexley or registered with a Bexley GP can join a free 8-week Alive ‘n’ Kicking programme for children aged 4 to 11 who need help to lose weight. The service is delivered virtually and you’ll get lots of useful tips. www.everyonehealth.co.uk/ london-borough-of-bexley/aliven-kicking

FIT FANS A FREE health programme for men and women aged 35-65 who are looking to lose weight, get fitter and lead a more active life. Email the Charlton Athletic fitness team at fitfans@cact. org.uk to find out more.


Debt advice

If you are struggling with your finances, please remember that you are not alone. There are a number of organisations locally that can offer help and advice. X Bexley Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice www.bexleycab.org.uk X Christians Against Poverty provides a free debt counselling service to everyone. They also offer a free money course and job clubs  www.capuk.org X StepChange Debt Charity provides free debt advice through their telephone debt helpline and online debt remedy tool.  www.stepchange.org

Stop Smoking

Giving up smoking is the best thing a smoker can do for their health right now. It can also save you money.

X Shelter gives practical housing advice and support online, in person and by phone 365 days a year and helps with everything from mortgage arrears to finding a place to sleep www.shelter.org.uk

Smokers in Bexley can get weekly telephone support from our local specialist stop smoking service.

Remember our local charities

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

It’s been a difficult year for us all, including our local charities. These groups that do so much for our borough have been unable to fundraise in their usual way.

If you are able donate to a local organisation at this time of year, please visit their website and give what you can.

If you want to stop smoking, or book a telephone consultation with an expert advisor, contact the Stop Smoking team on 0800 783 2514.

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, which runs until 31 January 2021, pays £500 to those on low incomes who meet ALL the following criteria X told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace X employed/self-employed who will have a reduction in earned income due to being unable to work while self-isolating X receiving one of the following: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, incomebased Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Pension Credit A discretionary payment may be made for those meeting the first two criteria but who do not have access to public funds. Apply at www.bexley.gov.uk/coronaviruscovid-19 under the ‘Help and Information’ section. If you do not have internet access please call 020 8068 1225.

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wellbeing

Bexley’s Ageing Well This year’s Ageing Well event went live online in October at www.bexley.gov.uk/ageing-well-virtual-event-2020 It brings together 57 providers in one place, so that older people and their families can easily find out information on support and services on offer in Bexley. “This is the fourth year for this event which goes from strength to strength. For obvious reasons we’ve had to do things differently in 2020. It’s still a great chance for Bexley residents to make connections with local providers.”

Cllr Brad Smith, Cabinet Member for Adult Services We’ve highlighted a few of the providers at our 2020 Ageing Well online event and some residents who have benefitted from their services. You’ll find much more at www.bexley. gov.uk/ageing-well-virtualevent-2020

Age UK Bexley A local charity that wants everyone in Bexley to love later life. At www.ageuk.org. uk/bexley you can join their Befriending Cafes, use their day centres, or bring your skills to their Men’s Shed to meet new people. They also offer respite and community-based outreach support and have a specialist dementia pathway. “It has been great to be part of ‘The Ageing Well

Event’ every year. It was with delight that the event took place virtually this year. The opportunity to showcase our day care services at such a time, was great, as so many people told us that they were lonely and isolated. Please keep the event going.” Anne Bygrave, Care Services Manager and Safeguarding Lead www.ageuk.org.uk/bexley

Walxinbexley staying active Provides a weekly timetable of online bookable exercise, which includes virtual home circuits and virtual Chair Chi Ball. Sessions cost £3 a person. The exercises are gentle and suitable for everyone, with seated and standing options designed for cardiac rehabilitation. Book now at https://walxinbexley.co.uk/ Emily from Blackfen said: “My mum has suffered from arthritis for many years and this gentle approach to exercise has helped her mobility enormously. We helped mum get online during lockdown and she has been following the routines using an iPad. This has helped her keep in touch socially. I have also joined the classes now and it fits in well with my work-from-home routine.”

Keep warm and well Here are some top tips to help older and more vulnerable people stay warm and well.

X keep draughts at bay with draught Winter Fuel Payment excluders Most people born before 5 October X wear layered clothing

1954 are entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment to help with heating X move around X have regular hot drinks and hot costs. Call the Winter Fuel Payment food, such as porridge, soups and helpline on 0800 731 0214 or visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment stews  Visit www.ageuk.org.uk/winter X use a hot water bottle or heat bag for more tips and advice. X stock up on medicines for colds X heat the main room in your home and sore throats to at least 18C

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wellbeing

2020 event

Mind in Bexley Mind in Bexley run a Wellbeing line. This is Sally’s experience of it in her own words: “I had been feeling really worried about everything. I saw the wellbeing line number on the Mind in Bexley website and I called it. I spoke to a lovely lady on the phone who was kind, she listened to me and I felt supported. We spoke for a while about how I could manage my worry and we thought of going for walks, speaking to friends over the phone and accessing the Recovery College online workshops. This is not something I would have signed up to previously, but she said there was a craft

workshop, creative writing and courses which help with worry, which I thought would be good for me.” Laura Burke, fundraiser at Bexley Mind said: “It is fantastic that the Ageing Well 2020 event was still able to continue on an online platform. We are really happy to be a part of such an important event that not only supports our elderly population within Bexley, but supports services in Bexley to promote their vital role in improving a person’s wellbeing.” www.mindinbexley.org.uk  Call the Wellbeing line on 0808 196 3896

Isolation Help Bexley This is a group of over 800 residents who volunteered and came together in response to COVID-19. They support the elderly and vulnerable in Bexley, particularly those with no digital footprint, by carrying out tasks such as collecting prescriptions, buying a newspaper or walking a dog. If you need support or if you want to volunteer go to www.isolationbexley.com or call 0333 050 9227. David Paul said: “Isolation Help Bexley were hugely privileged to be part of this year’s Ageing Well event. COVID-19 has highlighted that far too

many of Bexley’s more senior citizens do not always have immediate access to that ‘shoulder to lean on’ when needed most. Ageing Well has provided a valuable platform for us to promote our services and we are incredibly grateful for that. This is particularly important as IHB are a very new group”. www.isolationhelpbexley.com,  help@isolationhelpbexley.com, 0333 050 9227

Carers’ Support We all need to look after ourselves at the moment. This is particularly important if you are a carer and looking after someone who depends on you because of illness, disability or frailty. Did you know that carers save the country millions of pounds every year by caring for their loved ones? You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Caring takes its toll on the carer. Carers can feel stressed, isolated, and lonely, and suffer from all kinds of negative emotions like guilt. Carers may have financial worries too, especially if they have given up work to care. If any of this sounds like you there is help available.

Carers’ Support (Bexley) is a local charity that provides non-judgemental emotional support for carers, including someone to talk to, professional counselling, welfare benefits advice and help with making a claim and information about other services. They can also provide support at home for the person you care for, so that you can have a break. Call Carers’ Support (Bexley) on 020 8302 8011 or email info@carerssupport.org

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Caring for our carers We know that there are thousands of Bexley residents who are caring for loved ones with a wide range of different needs. They include parents caring for children with disabilities, to spouses caring for a partner with dementia, from adults caring for frail parents, to older people caring for grown-up children with learning disabilities.

Whatever the nature of your caring situation, the Council aims to support you in this essential and often very demanding role, with advice and information, often provided by our voluntary sector partners, and with practical help such as respite and access to clubs and groups. We have seen many wonderful examples of innovative ways to provide support virtually. Local communities have also reached out to vulnerable people, and our voluntary organisations and day services have worked hard on a safe and secure return to normal provision. We recognise however that there are some carers who are feeling isolated and unsupported and, in some cases, exhausted and burnt out. We are enormously grateful to all our carers and we recognise that these difficult times are even more challenging for people in this role. We are striving to find more and better ways to communicate and provide the advice and support you need. We appreciate that not everyone is able to access online communications and events and we are working with our NHS and other colleagues to achieve greater ‘digital inclusion’. Our new Virtual Well-being Workshops started in November. Please email june.knowles@bexley.gov.uk for details of when the next workshops will take place.  Information and advice for carers is available at https://careservices.bexley.gov.uk and or www.bexley.gov.uk/ageing-well-virtual-event-2020  You can also sign up to our carers enewsletter at www.bexley.gov.uk/newsupdates

Dreaming of a green Christmas Most of us recycle lots before and after Christmas but how do we know what can definitely be recycled? Cards Most cards and envelopes can be recycled. Please remove any decorations such as ribbons or glitter because they cannot be recycled. Wrapping paper

Could you help to keep ‘In Touch’ Carers’ Support (Bexley) are regularly looking for volunteers to join “In Touch” their support service offering emotional support and friendship to carers and ex-carers. If you are interested or would like further information please contact Joanne Flitton on 020 8302 8011 or email: joanne@carerssupport.org

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Before recycling, please remove any sticky tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows. Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the ‘scrunch test’. Simple paper wrap can be recycled, but foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot and needs to go in your general waste bin. Remember - scrunch up the wrapping paper. If it doesn’t spring back, it is non-foil and can be recycled. Use the @Home app for more recycling information. Download the free app at App Store or Google Play


Black History Month The winners and runners-up of Bexley’s Black History Month school competition were announced earlier this Winner month. The judging panel, made up of members of Sydney-Rose Bexley’s BAME community network, the Council’s Samuelson BAME staff group and Cabinet Member for Year 7, Harris Communities, Cllr Alex Sawyer, were impressed Garrard Academy with the standard of the entries. Cllr Sawyer said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to enter our Black History Month competition. We had a really tough time deciding on our winners. In the end it came down to the impact that they had on us. The pictures were so full of colour and the meaning of the work was immediate. The poem was well thought out and succinct.” Black History Month is chance to celebrate and promote black history, culture and heritage. It is also a chance to share information about the positive black contributions to British history. The competition asked for a story, a poem, a blog or a photo that shows what the month means to them.

Runner up Temiloluwa Oyekan Year 7, St Catherine’s RC School for Girls

Winner Tanem Seyman Year 1, Birkbeck Primary School

Runner up Zachary Mansaray Aged 41/2 years old Willow Bank Primary School

Black history means Zachary is proud. He loves Jollof rice and chicken. He is Sierra Leone and Jamaican, he has drawn a picture of himself as he is handsome and proud to be black and the skin that he’s in with his hand print.

Black History Month, What is it? A time to remember all those black heroes, Who helped paved a way for blacks for me, Who went through pain and suffering all for equality.

The lady who refused to go to the back of the bus, Labelled as the ‘Mother of Freedom Movement’, Just like King, she was from Montgomery, And helped him fight for basic human rights.

In Africa, There was Mandela, And he was like no other, Who helped fight against a thing called apartheid.

I know there is a lot of other black heroes, Unfortunately I do not have the time to write about all of them, But I hope you enjoyed this simple rhyme, Thank you and I hope you enjoy this Black History Month.

Martin Luther King, A baptist from Montgomery, He helped change civic rights, And was also the one with the dream. Rosa Parks,

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A day in the life

Spotting the signs of child neglect

Taku Zvauya, Practice Development Lead for Bexley Children’s Social Care. Neglect can start with small but cumulative signs. Examples include clothing that is inappropriate for the weather, or changes in behaviour. Or it could be poor hygiene or attachment difficulties. Taku explains: “Some children may have normalised the neglect and would be unable to identify it during direct work - whilst other children will express directly that they are ‘feeling different’, ‘wanting home to be clean’ or ‘mummy/daddy to look after me’, or ‘to eat proper food’.” As neglect can also occur alongside other forms of harm, Taku says it is important to use chronologies and processes such as

case-mapping to get a sense of the full picture. Multi-agency working is vital because it contributes to the full understanding of the child’s lived experience. A multi-agency network can identify and map patterns of developmental delay, missed health appointments, minimal engagement from parents, poor school attendance and poor home conditions. Taku is passionate about his work. Since taking up his role in Bexley, his involvement has been significant in promoting good practice standards. He is guided by years of experience in assessment, child protection, and

looked after children teams – giving him the experience and knowledge required to encourage and develop the learning of other social workers. He sees his role as ‘giving back’ to the job he loves and he is genuinely delighted to support others to flourish. With neglect investigations, it is very important to capture the voice of the child to evidence the impact on them. If you are concerned about a child, please contact Bexley’s MultiAgency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 3045 5440.

If you would like to find out more about Social Care work in Bexley visit www.bexley.gov.uk/jobs

Helping our young care leavers

A new regional adoption agency - Adoption Partnership South East - has launched with a focus on recruiting more new adopters and speeding up processes. “We are extremely proud of our adoption services in Bexley,” says Councilllor Philip Read, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Philip Read. “Working in partnership with Kent and Medway councils will set us on a path of joint cooperation that will benefit local children and

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potential adopters, reducing the timeliness of adoption journeys and improving efficiency and effectiveness.” To find out more about Adoption Partnership South East, or if you are thinking of adopting a child visit https://www.adoption partnershipsoutheast.org.uk

We know that many families are experiencing greater hardship and isolation due to Coronavirus. This can feel even more pronounced for young care leavers who live alone. Please help support our goal of providing extra support this Christmas time to a young adult in need. A donation to our Just Giving page will help us to run a variety of activities to support care leavers this Christmas. If you would like to donate Christmas gifts or non-perishable food items, or find out other ways of helping, please email PositiveJourneys@bexley.gov.uk or call 020 3045 4141 or 020 3045 5968  www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ caring4christmas


The go-between

Fiona is one of Bexley’s Care Home Trusted Assessors – and she loves her work.

When a Bexley borough care home resident goes into hospital it can be very stressful for them, their family and for those responsible for their day to day care. Just as stressful can be the discharge itself. There are often a wide range of concerns to navigate,

ranging from whether the patient can be safely discharged back to the same care home or needs a different care setting. It is vital that full understanding exists between all involved. But information is not always easily shared, or may not represent a true reflection of the patients’ current condition. That is where Fiona comes in. As the official ‘go-between’, Fiona is responsible for accessing full and accurate information. Then she will liaise and negotiate between the care home and hospital. It is a diplomatic role at times, but is rewarding to achieve a win-win outcome. Fiona says: “Tensions can exist. The hospital might say the patient is ready for discharge from a medical perspective, but the care home might question if their needs

have changed and, if so, are they able to manage those needs. “I access hospital records and gather in-depth evidence from staff directly involved in the patient’s care. I am fully trusted, and decisions are made on the facts and information I gather. The key is to keep all sides informed, using the right tone, language and attitude.” Fiona is a qualified senior social worker who has supported the Council by helping other adult social workers return to work after a long career break. “They might have been away from social work for 10 years or more. After shadowing me, they leave with eagerness and confidence that makes them want to return to such a rewarding profession”. See opposite page for the Bexley social care jobs website. ADVERT

AGE UK BEXLEY

DELIVERING DAY CARE AT HOME WHEN YOU NEED IT The Covid-19 crisis has not been kind to older people. With exposure not only more dangerous, older people are also likely to face additional challenges of loneliness, social isolation and poorer emotional wellbeing. At Age UK Bexley we have recognised the impact that the crisis is having on traditional circles of emotional and physical support. We have kept our services open, changing the way they work and introducing new areas of support to meet developing demand. For carers and their loved ones for example our Day Care Service now offers options for respite support at home or at our day centres. Our At Home Service can offer you and your carer short packages of one-to-one support. With our skilled specialists giving each of you a break, and

help rebuilding confidence in skills and emotional wellbeing. For information and advice, call us 020 8300 0883 or go to www.ageuk.org.uk/bexley/services/

day-centres

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Hosts with the most Host and Support providers offer young people aged 16-24 accommodation when they are leaving their family home, foster or residential care. We spoke to Derek, a Bexley Host and Support provider of 15 years. “Every young person I work with has always been different. The level of support that I give changes. Derek Baffoe I could be helping them learn how to budget, cook or clean. “It’s more than just teaching key life skills as I also befriend the young person who lives with me, and I try to build their confidence and make sure they are okay. “When I’m at home, I always think of their emotional wellbeing. If I notice that their mood has changed or dipped, I will ask how they are, and if they indicate they’re not too good, I will ask if they want to talk ‘What I provide as a Host and Support provider about their issues and normally they do. is a stable place to live, I make sure their welfare “I feel it’s important that the young person is always able to engage meaningfully with me as well as being able to confide in me if they need to. “I feel a great sense of satisfaction when I know that I have done something that will make a positive impact on their life, and that’s all I want. “If you have a spare room and can offer a bit of support by spending some quality time teaching young people how to maximise their independent living and life skills, then I would urge you to consider it as there is always a fantastic team to support you.” If you can provide a young person with a bedroom of their own in a safe and stable home, with some support to help them build their confidence to live independently, please consider becoming a Host and Support provider. You will be allocated a supervising social worker and given generous payment, training opportunities, networking support and more. This is a flexible role that you can do alongside your job. To find out more about the Host and Support Scheme and to apply call 020 3045 4400 or visit www.bexley.gov.uk/hostandsupport

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needs are being met, and they feel confident to function on their own.’

Follow Bexley Fostering on social media: @BexleyFostering

@BexleyFostering

Home for Good Bexley has partnered with Home for Good, a charity dedicated to finding a home for every child who needs one. Home for Good work to inspire, equip and resource individuals, families and churches to play their part in caring for vulnerable children. There is so much you can do to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children, whether that’s fostering or adoption, offering support, or standing with Home for Good in giving, campaigning, praying or fundraising. Visit www.homeforgood.org.uk/bexley to find out more about Home for Good to learn more, or email billyjo.oleary@homeforgood.org.uk


The Mayor’s first six months Since his virtual election in May, Cllr James Hunt has made his mark on our Borough. Whether it’s been visiting businesses and shopping areas across the Borough to support our local traders, or signing more than 2,000 #BexleyHeroes Commendation Awards the Mayor and his small team have been doing all they can to support our Borough, during one of the worst periods of our history. “When I became Mayor I pledged to do all I could to support our residents, to support our local traders and to keep our Borough going during these terrible times. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a terrible effect on us all, but I’ll try all that I can to keep the Borough going.’’ Since May, the Mayor has held over 50 virtual zoom meetings with local groups. Ranging from speaking to the transport user group at Mind to discuss transport, to the BVSC Forum, he has even read bedtime stories to Beaver Scouts during a virtual campout.

He has been working out of his temporary parlour - his garage office to meet as many people as he can. He has also been out to meet real people. During the summer he had the chance to meet local companies who had supported the Council’s food parcel deliveries, and got to do some himself. He has opened a newly developed park in Lamorbey and a new micro pub in Welling. In July and September he was especially proud to hold events to commemorate the end of World Ward 2 and VJ Day in Danson Park, followed in September by a special event to mark the 80th Battle of Britain Day. The Mayor’s ‘team’ of Mayoress, Deputy Mayor and Escort, plus his Chaplain, have all been out doing their bit. The Mayoress recently visited the new Covid Testing Centre in Bexleyheath and the Deputy Mayor presented awards at a local nursery. After the first lockdown, the Mayor managed to launch his charity appeal

to support our local Looked After Children, Crossroads Care South East London, and Bexley Carers Support. “This Christmas is going to be unlike many we have experienced before, but my family and I wish you all a safe and Happy Christmas. Together we will come through this, and hopefully 2021 will be better.”

During these tough times, all donations are very welcome www.gofundme.com/ thebexleyappeal. If you or your group would like a virtual or real meeting with the Mayor, please contact his office. This Christmas the Mayor has his #LightUpBexley competition to support his charity appeal, with amazing prizes on offer for the best decorated houses and shops.  Register by emailing mayorsoffice@bexley.gov.uk with your address including postcode and phone number. On 18, 19, 20 December the Mayor will tour the Borough and pick the best. Post your pictures on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #LightUpBexley

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Community

Bexley together Are you active in your community? Will you help us ensure that our residents have the information they need to help us as we enter the next stage of the pandemic? We have created a network of more than 300 Community Champions to help us keep people safe, reassured and supported in these uncertain times. If you want to help Keep Bexley Safe and join the existing Community Champions who #doitforbexley please go to www.bexley.gov.uk/community-champions

Why we became Community Champions Tanyel Kazim, Erith I am passionate about community outreach work and about providing access to education. So it was an easy decision for me to become a Community Champion for Erith. Champions play a vital role to ensure that others stay up to date with

the latest Coronavirus information and any lockdown measures. This pandemic has seen many of us struggle and experience loss in some way, myself included. I believe it’s crucial to foster a sense of cohesion in these uncertain times, as well as remind vulnerable and isolated groups in that they are not alone in this.

Kamla Thumbanaik, Bexleyheath I’ve lived here for 38 years. Councillor O’Neill is a neighbour and I’ve known her for a long time. When I retired I had more time on my hands so I would see her and we would chat. She asked if I would like to get involved as a volunteer. Initally I joined up as a secondary carer, but when the opportunity to become a Community Champion came up I signed up straight away. Since Covid hit this is the best thing that’s happened, filtering information down

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to a local level. I find the role very informative – it’s good to see information coming down to us – we can manage things locally if we work together. I delivered leaflets in my road and met a lot of elderly residents. Everyone needs information and education to be more responsible. The messages stop people feeling so confused.

Emily Bennett, Bexleyheath During the Covid-19 lockdown, from March to June, I volunteered for the BVSC and picked up and dropped off prescriptions to people living nearby. While the purpose of these visits was for medical reasons, it served as a reminder to those I visited that they were not alone. I am now a Bexley Community Champion: a role which involves sharing the latest local public health information. The virus has taken its toll on many people’s mental health and it’s important to me to try to reduce the spread of misinformation and to foster a strong sense of community support within Bexley.


Community

Neighbourhood Watch is on the lookout! Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association (BBNWA) is on the lookout for more local residents who will consider becoming co-ordinators for their roads. Working in liaison with local police to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour is a rewarding and satisfying way to contribute to your local community, Those who sign up to become coordinators receive weekly crime reports and Neighbourhood Watch signage will be added to their roads. BBNWA also provide ongoing support. The busy group has recently launched a blog at https://bexleywatch.blogspot.com

to promote safety news and events, together with security updates. The blog will also include appeals for locations where co-ordinators are needed. As well as its online activities, BBNWA plans to hold a ‘meet the public’ event in Bexleyheath to talk to members of the public, give out information on Neighbourhood Watch, and supply hints and tips on both personal and home security. The meeting, for which a date has still to be fixed, will follow social

Watch out for Green Grants scams

The government’s Green Homes Grant offers vouchers towards energy-efficient home improvements. Applications must meet specific criteria. Sadly, scam texts, calls and emails have been sent to people telling them that they are eligible for these grants. Scammers cold-calling at the door might also try to offer deals. If you have fallen for a scam, please report this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.  For advice call the Citizens Advice Helpline on 0808 223 1133. To access the grant safely please complete an online application on  www.gov.uk, get a quote from a listed certified installer and have the quote approved. Work must be completed by 31 March 2021.  Visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-forthe-green-homes-grant-scheme.

distancing and safety regulations. For further information visit the BBNWA website at http://www.bexleywatch.org.uk

Share your crime and disorder concerns The Bexley Crime Survey is a chance to highlight the local crime and disorder issues that concern you most– and help Bexley Community Safety Partnership decide its priorities for 2021/22. The survey, which runs until 31 December, is online at www.bexley.gov.uk/crimesurvey. Paper copies can be requested from the Community Safety Team on 020 8303 7777, or by writing to: Community Safety Team, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT. One lucky participant will win a £50 Morrisons gift voucher in a prize draw.

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Celebrating Christmas 2020 We all know that this Christmas is going to be very different for all of us. We have put together some festive ideas that we hope will add a bit more ‘ho ho ho’.

Feel the Winter magic and share your photos It’s important that we do all we can to keep fit and healthy. Taking regular walks can help us to keep our weight down and feel good at the same time. Take a festive family walk and see what you can find in your neighbourhood or local park. Here are some seasonal finds you can spot. Take some Christmassy photos of these and share on our social media @LBofBexley using #christmasinbexley X Ice patterns left by Jack Frost X Dragon’s breath in the cold air X Autumn leaves left on the trees X Especially bright festive lights and decorations

Keep in contact Send out some real Christmas cards to friends, family and neighbours we have not seen as much of this year because of Covid. Think about neighbours who may be on their own at this time. Drop in a small present to someone who lives alone to brighten their day.

Help a local charity Many of our local and national charities have had a hard time this year, because they have been unable to raise fund in their usual way. You could consider a donation in someone’s name as a Christmas gift, or ask someone to make a donation instead of giving you a present.

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Track Santa’s visit to Bexley online Google’s Santa Tracker lets families explore Santa’s Village together to find fun, educational and interactive activities for every age. You can learn to code, play games, watch videos, draw, paint, build and create with all your favourite characters, and lots more beside. Plus, on 24 December, Santa’s Village transforms into a tracking experience where you can follow Santa and his reindeer as they deliver presents to kids around the world. Visit santatracker.google.com for all the festive fun!

Send your letter to Santa The Royal Mail knows that you want to make sure your letter to Santa Claus gets to him in time. Get your letter posted by Friday 11 December and Santa will try to reply to as many of you as possible. Please send your letters to: Santa/Father Christmas Santa’s Grotto Reindeerland XM4 5HQ

Check out some traditional festive tales for wintry evenings – or daytimes You can access lots of library services at any time from the comfort of your own home - including books, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers! All you need is your library card and PIN, an email address and an internet enabled device, such as a PC, tablet or smartphone. Visit www.bexley.gov.uk/libraries-in-bexley to sign up for a library membership.


all our yesterdays

Fruity old Bexley As we reluctantly leave autumn - the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – and wander into winter, Bexley Archives & Local Studies staff have been rummaging through some of their photographic collection to reflect the passing seasons and passing year. Here is your five-a-day from bygone days - plus some hot soup for that cold winter weather. Not that long ago, Bexley and surrounding districts were noted as prime market gardening and fruit growing areas. Here we deliver, fresh today, five old fruity photos – the pick of our crop. 1. Furner Bros vineyard nursery at Slade Green. Furners were brickmakers, but often the land was double-used for market gardening. 2. The famous ‘Strawberry Train’ c1905 at Bexley Station - which delivered fresh local produce to London markets 3. Cooks Orchard, Bostall Woods c1903 4. A Sidcup vegetable barrow from around 1977 5. Rixsons Fruiterers, Crayford - alongside the old Town Hall

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Winter warmers An image to remind us just how hard our winters were back in Edwardian times – and how hardy our school children and teachers must have been – here’s a lovely picture simply captioned “Sidcup Baptist Church children bring their jugs in the snow for soup from the kitchen”…Brrrrrr! Ask the Archives The Bexley Archives and Local studies Centre is open for enquiries by email and social media. The team are able to help with requests for information or answer questions concerning family and local history and Bexley’s heritage.

Email - archives@bexley.gov.uk www.facebook.com/BexleyArchives https://twitter.com/BexleyArchives

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ways to help your neighbours during the pandemic The coronavirus outbreak has made this a difficult time for many, whether they have symptoms or not. People of all ages can find themselves stuck at home, unable to go to work or having to self-isolate. Many are nervous about venturing out due to physical or mental health issues. Below are some suggestions on how to help. Please always follow government rules on wearing face masks, hand sanitising, self-distancing and interaction between different households.

Community groups

Shopping

If you are off to the shops, why not ask your neighbour if they need anything while you are out and about? Even if they don’t need groceries, they might take the opportunity to ask you to post a letter for them, or collect medications.

Young families Is there a young family nearby? Are they managing to get out as often as they need to in order to get supplies such as nappies, baby food and medicine? Some parents have grouped together to help each other on school runs – sharing the load when walking children to or from school. Such support can be invaluable, especially for parents who need to work from home too.

Dog walking Do you have a neighbour who would welcome a hand with dog walking? It would be a weight off their mind to have someone to help out, especially now the colder weather and shorter daylight hours are here. Their four-legged friend will appreciate it too!

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Since the start of the pandemic many new support groups have popped up on popular platforms such as WhatsApp. The Nextdoor online community has also been growing in numbers. These groups have helped pull communities together in a variety of ways. Examples include requesting/offering help with day-to-day tasks, sharing supplies, generally looking out for each other – or just good old social interaction. Perhaps you are in such a group and know of someone who might benefit from being added? Ask them if they’d be interested.

Keeping in touch Not everyone has access to the internet but they often have a phone. Take time out to phone people, to see how they are doing or have a general chat. You might be the only person they have spoken to for a while. In some communities children (with parental guidance) have taken time to create cards and write supportive messages to pop through the letterboxes of people who are lonely or self-isolating. It’s great way to brighten someone’s day!


New skills, new hobbies

This year has seen a change to so many familiar things: the way we shop, travel and work and the way we learn. Some people have suffered job loss and for some people the pandemic has provided the impetus to make a career change or start a new business. Others have taken up new hobbies and discovered new skills. Whether you are looking to learn a new job skill, or if you are feeling creative, the Learning and Enterprise College Bexley (LECB) has a course for you. The College, recently rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, continues to run courses at its sites in Sidcup and Bexleyheath, as well as online. Both sites are compliant with Government Covid-19 guidelines. The LECB offer a range of courses at different levels to improve your English and maths skills. Each of the courses involves a brief initial assessment and short discussion to help establish which is the best course for you to enrol on. Be the first to know about our new courses. Sign up to our LECB enewsletter at www.bexley.gov.uk/newsupdates

Postal Votes Did you know that you can apply to vote by post for an election or referendum, for a set period of time, or for all future polls? If you have a postal vote you cast your vote by sending it back to the Council rather than visit a polling station. When it comes to cast your vote, if you change your mind and would prefer to vote in person, you can simply take your postal vote to your polling station on polling day. www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Natalia took the LECB Maths GCSE course Iast year. She received the great news that she had received a 7 grade in maths when she was at Moscow airport. She said: “It was a very rocky road, but I worked hard, even seeing those formulas in my dreams. I am extremely grateful to my teacher Judith, who selflessly invested so much of her time after lessons explaining quadratic formulas and expressions. “As a result of this hard work I was granted not just GCSE foundation, but a higher level. I am very happy and grateful that I exceeded my expectations. Thanks to my teachers, who helped me a lot.’

Edible gardening for Spring

This LECB course is for mixed ability adults who are interested in effective techniques for maintaining allotments and growing vegetables and flowers. Each gardener will have their own allocated yard to plant edible vegetables or flowers. This course combines theory and practice in topics such as garden planning, preparing planted areas, food and flower growing. Course reference - B03HAWGARDSP - Starts 5 January Look out for these and lots of other new courses - including a range of new digital and online skills courses – that we will be introducing from January. Visit our website at www.lecb.ac.uk. Contact us on social media @lecbexley or call 020 3045 5176 for more information.

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local information

Council meetings

All the meetings featured are held at the These meetings will be webcast and Civic Offices, Bexleyheath and take place available at 7.30pm. at www.bexley.public-i.tv.

A fullmeetings calendarwill ofbe meetings is These webcast and published on the Council’s website available at www.bexley.public-i.tv.

www.bexley.gov.uk/meetings Aatfull list of meetings is published Agendas, reports andatinformation on on the Council’s website www.bexley.gov.uk/meetings. each of the Committees, including

Free access to theare internet available online. Membership, also isavailable at all Bexley libraries.

Planning Committee -

11 April – Public Cabinet 3 December, 7pm 13 April – Planning Committee 26 April – Cabinet Council Public 24 - Annual Council 15May December, 7:30pm 25 May – Planning Committee

Planning Committee 21 January 2021, 7pm

LOCAL MPS Rt Hon James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup Surgeries are by appointment only and can be made by calling the MP’s office on 020 7219 8400. To contact James Brokenshire MP Write to: House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA Email: james.brokenshire. mp@parliament.uk Telephone: 020 7219 8400 Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford Surgeries are held on the first and third Friday of the month, except in August. These take place

at 17 Church Road, Bexleyheath DA7 4DD between 4pm and 6pm. No appointment is necessary, but please do ring 020 7219 8403 in advance to discuss your case when possible. To contact Sir David Evennett MP Write to: House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA Email: david.evennett.mp@ parliament.uk Telephone: 020 7219 8403 Fax: 020 7219 2163 www.davidevennett.com Twitter: @davidevennett Facebook: fb.com/DavidAEvennett

Public Cabinet - 25 January, 7:30pm

YOUR COUNCILLORS

Public Cabinet - 22 February, 7:30pm

The London Borough of Bexley is divided into 17 wards and has 45 councillors.

Planning Committee 25 February, 7pm Council - 3 March 2021, 7:30pm Planning Committee - 25 March 7pm Public Cabinet - 13 April, 7:30pm

Abena Oppong Asare, MP for Thamesmead and Erith To contact Abena Oppong Asare MP - Write to: House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, Email: abena.oppongasare. mp@parliament.uk Telephone - 020 7219 3000 London Assembly Member Gareth Bacon AM (Bexley & Bromley) To contact Gareth Bacon write to: Gareth Bacon AM, Greater London Authority, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA, call: 020 7983 6571, or E-mail: gareth.bacon@london.gov.uk

To find out which ward you live in, or for up-to-date details of how to contact your local Councillors or members of the Council’s Cabinet, please visit www.bexley.gov.uk or call 020 8303 7777 You can now search for the names of your local Ward Councillors on the Council’s website using your home post code. Visit http://democracy.bexley.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx

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what’s on!

15 December – 31 March

The coronavirus pandemic and recent national restrictions have impacted events across the borough. While the events listed were correct at time of printing, please check with the event venue before booking or travelling. Sign up to our ‘what’s on’ email e-newsletter at www.bexley.gov.uk/newsupdates

Online Fostering Information Sessions

Join our online information session and speak to a Bexley foster carer and a friendly member of our fostering team to find out what It’s like to foster a child with Bexley. To join, please email fostering@bexley.gov.uk or call 020 3045 4400

X 7 January, 5:30pm to 6:30pm X 21 January, midday to 1pm X 4 February, 5:30pm to 6:30pm X 18 February, midday to 1pm X 4 March, 5:30pm to 6:30pm X 18 March, midday to 1pm X 1 April, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Cycling 1-1 training

Date and location: Flexible to suit rider Free one -to-one cycling sessions available for adults of all levels and abilities. Sessions will help you learn to ride or improve your cycling and introduce you to road cycling or advance traffic management. www.bexley.gov.uk/cycling roadsafetyeducation@ bexley.gov.uk

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The Nutcracker Trail

Up until 29 December Free The Nutcrackers are visiting Sidcup! The Nutcrackers will be hidden in various locations throughout Sidcup High Street, Main Road and Station Road. Trails are available from the BID office located at 1 Elm Parade on a Tuesday Wednesday or Thursdays. They can also be downloaded from the Sidcup Partners website. For more information on the trail and prizes visit. www.sidcuppartners.co.uk

What’s on at Hall Place & Gardens Bourne Road, Bexley DA5 1PQ www.hallplace.org.uk 01322 526574

Farmers Market

Sunday 6 December, 19 December, 3 January 2021, 7 February 2021, 7 March 2021 10am to 2pm Outside event for everyone, please observe social distancing. Free entry, no need to book Meet the farmers and producers, try food samples and buy everything from homegrown fruit and vegetables, through to delicious cakes, breads and cheese.

Bexley Butterfly House & Plant Centre

Open every day 10am to 3:30pm (last entry 3:15pm) Closed from 21 December Reopening 20 January 2021 Free-flying butterfly experience and unusual and exotic plants, winter bedding and vegetables for sale. Located inside Glasshouse within Hall Place & Gardens. One household/social bubble at any one time. Book in advance only, £10 deposit, remainder paid upon arrival. Tickets: Adults £4, children under 16 and over 60s £3, under 3s free, 2 x adults and 2 x children £12 www.bexley butterflyhouse. co.uk 01322 527389

Jambs Owls Experience

Open Friday to Sunday, 10:30am to 3:30pm Open February 2021 half-term Get up close and personal with a parliament of owls and hear about how they survive in the wild, what they like to eat and their nocturnal habits. Run by Jambs Owls who look after visitorfriendly barn owls, eagle owls and many other species. Located inside Glasshouse within Hall Place & Gardens. One household/social bubble at any one time Tickets: £4 adults, £3 children, pay on the day

Christmas Garden Trail

1 - 31 December, 10am to 4:30pm Look for Father Christmas’s cheeky elves outside in the gardens who have the recipe for some rather scrumptious elf fairy cakes for you to make at home. Can you find them all for the complete recipe? Pick up your trail sheet for £2.50 from the Stables Gallery. Suitable for

family groups with children aged 3 to 10 years. No need to book in advance. Pay on the day. Bring a pen or pencil with you or buy one from the shop.

Superhero February Garden Trail

1 - 31 February 2021, 10am to 4:30pm Have a super time out in the gardens assembling your own superhero. Pick up your trail sheet for £2.50 from the Stables Gallery. Suitable for family groups with children aged 3 to 10 years. No need to book in advance. Pay on the day. Bring a pen or pencil with you or buy one from the shop.

Auctioneers Valuation Day

7 February 2021, 10am to 2pm BBC and local antiques expert Catherine Southon will be available with her team to value your antiques and collectables in the Visitor Centre. Free event, no booking needed. Meet at the Visitor’s Centre, please social distance and remember your face covering.

Artists of Easel Virtue Exhibition

11 February to 17 March 2021, 10am to 5pm Open art exhibition of paintings located in the Stables Gallery, within the Visitor Centre. Free to enter, please social distance and wear a face covering.


What’s on Easter Garden Trail

20 March - 18 April 2021, 10am to 4:30pm Easter Bunny has eggs for all his friends, but can you match the right egg to the right friend? Join in the fun this Easter Trail. Pick up your trail sheet for £2.50 from the Stables Gallery. Suitable for family groups with children aged 3 to 10 years. No need to book in advance. Pay on the day. Bring a pen or pencil with you or buy one from the shop.

What’s on at libraries

To find out more about libraries including how to join your local library or Bexley’s digital library service visit www. bexley.gov.uk/bexleylibraries or sign up to the library enewsletter at www.bexley.gov.uk/

newsupdates

Using COBRA for your Business Research

Friday 11 December, 10am to 11am Looking for trusted information sources when starting, setting up or growing your business can be daunting. We can help! This webinar will explain the basics on how to access and make best use of Complete Business Reference Advisor. COBRA is a continually expanding business encyclopaedia covering all aspects of starting and running a business, remotely available to access and free to all Bexley library members. To book your place please visit www.bexley-cobrawebinar.eventbrite.co.uk

Online updates

One to one business information sessions

Your Digital Library is open 24/7

Are you thinking of becoming self-employed, starting a new business or have an early stage business you want to grow? You can now book a free one to one meeting with the Start-ups in London Libraries SME Champion in Bexley, Ioanna Lymperaki. The sessions can help you to identify your business information needs and discover what support is available, create an action plan to help you progress in your goal of starting your business, receive help in researching your business idea and more. These sessions require prior booking. Visit www.bexley-librarystartups-121sessions. eventbrite.co.uk

www.bexley.gov.uk/events

You can access lots of library services anytime from the comfort of your own home - including books, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers! All you need is your library card and PIN, an email address and an internet enabled device, such as a PC, tablet or smartphone. libraries@bexley.gov.uk

@whatsoninbexley

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www.bexley.gov.uk

Council news via email newsletters at www.bexley.gov.uk/newsupdates Register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Useful Council numbers

How do I?

Automated payments – 020 3045 5200

Contact the police when it is not an emergency on 101 or 0300 123 1212

Adoption and Fostering - 0800 783 7699 Bexley Local Offer - Special Educational Needs and Disability Support for 0-25 year olds - 020 3045 5677 Bexley Magazine - 020 8303 7777 and ask for Communications Births, deaths and marriages - 03000 415252 registerofficebexley@kent.gov.uk Council Tax & Housing Benefits – 0345 302 2317 Emergency Out of Hours Service - 020 8303 7777 / 020 8303 7171 Home Library Service – 020 3045 4565 Housing advice - 020 3045 3400 Temporary Accommodation – 020 3045 3155/ 020 3045 3156

Report a gas leak - 0800 111 999 Get health advice and reassurance -111 www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk Report a leak or burst pipe to Thames Water - 0800 714 614 (24 hour leakline) or #tweetaleak to @thameswater

Other useful contacts Domestic Violence – 0808 2000 247 Job centre plus – 0345 604 3719 Resources Plus - 020 3045 3800 Citizens Advice Bureaux – 01322 517150 Age UK information and advice – 0800 678 1174 For other enquires call 0800 169 8787

Parking Services - 020 3045 3000 Adults Social Services - Residential care – 020 3045 4900

100 + services online

Bexley Voluntary Service Council – 01322 524682 Bexley Foodbank - 07932 431350 For all other Council services please call our automated

Seven days a week + 24 hours a day l Apply - Pay – Find - Report

switchboard on 020 8303 7777 to request the department you require

Worried about a child? Call 020 8303 7777 and ask for Safeguarding Children’s Services. In an emergency always call 999.

save funeral costs OUT NOW A useful unique 1st edition book on how to save large funeral costs

www.savefuneralcosts.co.uk This useful guidebook is written from personal experience of the author having to organise various funerals. The book explains why many undertakers are so expensive and shows in easy to follow cost-saving steps from how to organise a dignified funeral with a low-cost undertaker or home burial, to personalising a funeral if you still wish to use a favoured undertaker. Have a fully dignified funeral with around 50% + savings compared to many undertakers. Contact details of low-cost undertakers and other services throughout the UK are all listed. Buy with confidence as Save Funeral Costs comes with a money back guarantee. Available at £8.47 for a digital download or £9.97 + postage for a paperback book. 15% DISCOUNT FOR BEXLEY MAGAZINE READERS QUOTE CODE BXLY15 AT CHECKOUT.

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local organisations Academy Photographic Group 07976 760488 Academy - United Judo Bexleyheath www.unitedjudo.com Active Horizons Youth 07833 477651/020 8310 5481 Adult Community Art Lessons @CleevePark www.sandiecamilleri.wixsite.com/artlab 07931 824110 Age UK Bexley - 020 8300 0883 Air Training Corps (Youth) Welling Sqdn - 020 8303 7379 Bexleyheath Sqdn - 01322 559056 Sidcup Sqdn - 020 8309 9926 Erith Sqdn - 01322 340749 Alzheimer’s Society Bexley Branch - 01322 524950/ 559308 Association of Bexley Charities ‘78 www.bexleych.wix.com/bexleycharities-78 Assyrian Community of Kent 01322 335479 Avante Community Support: Homecare 01322 344 980 107 (Bexleyheath) Army Cadet Force 07756 775294 Advocacy for All 0345 310 1812 Barnehurst Yoga Club 0771 222 6261 Barnehurst & Ivor Thomas Pool League davidleeds452@btinternet.com Belvedere Art Group 01322 556876 Belvedere Over 50s Keep Fit 0208 311 5550 Belvedere Social Bowls Club 01322 435 149 Bexley Borough Mummies 07572 473 272 Belvedere Community Forum and Centre 020 8311 5550 Bexley Accessible Transport Scheme 01322 311333 Bexley Active Retirement Club 020 8303 9675 Bexley African Caribbean Community Association (BACCA) 07946 497 731 Bexley Archaeological Group 020 8300 1752 Bexley Art Group 01322 430681 Bexley Arts Trust 020 8303 8177 Bexley Athletics Club 01322 342485 / info@bexleyac.org.uk www.bexleyac.org.uk Bexley Bards Story Tellers 0771 222 6261 Bexley visually impaired bowls club 020 8304 8409 Bexley Borough Pensioners Forum 01322 527097 Bexley Boys & Girls Hall 020 8858 5123 Bexley Centre for the Unemployed 020 8301 3187 Bexley Churches Housing Assoc. Ltd 020 3866 5999 Bexley Civic Society secretary@bexleycivicsociety.org.uk Bexley Coin Club 0208 303 0510 Bexley Community Library Art Club 01322 836303/07446 480619 Bexley Cricket Club steventhomas.crawley@openreach.co.uk Bexley Croquet Club 020 8300 3172 / 01322 525975 Bexley & District Cats Protection 07880 471333 Bexley & Sidcup Lions Club 07790 279683 Bexley Deaf Centre 01322 351122 Bexley Federation of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners (BFALG) 07470 468594

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Bexley Football Club 020 8858 5123 Bexley Natural Environment Forum 01322 521 259 Bexley Down’s Syndrome Group www.bexleydownssyndrome.co.uk Bexley Heritage Trust Hall Place - 01322 526574 Bexley Historical Society secretary@bexleyhistoricalsociety.org.uk Bexley Ladies Keep Fit Club Hurst Community Centre Bexley & Lewisham Sea Cadets 020 8304 9448 Bexley Masters Swimming Club 07957 447432 Bexley Marquetry Group 01689 851702 Bexley Mencap 020 8303 6336 Bexley ME Support Group 020 8303 8553 Bexley Moorings Project www.bexleymoorings.co.uk Bexley Music Society 020 8306 2152 Bexley Pain Group 020 8298 6287 Bexley Park Bowls Club selkent01@hotmail.com Bexley Philatelic Society (Bexley Stamp Club) 01322 559210 Bexley Photography Chatter Community www.BexleyPhotographyChatter.co.uk Bexley Rotary Club bexleyrotaryclub@gmail.com Bexley Rugby Football Club www.bexleyrugby.co.uk 07791 127331 Bexley School of Dance www.bexleyschoolofdance.com Bexley SNAP 01322 359 475 Bexley Stop Smoking Service 0800 7832514 Bexley Talking Newspaper 01322 445293 Bexley Tinnitus Support Group 01322 525115 Bexley Twofold 020 8303 7777/020 3045 4920 Bexley Turkish Elderly Day Centre 020 8306 6736 Bexley Voice 07512 409936 Bexley Volunteer Centre 01322 524682 Bexley Ukulele Group 07711 704033 Bexley WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) 020 8300 1845 Bexley Women’s Aid 020 8301 1536 Bexley Village Women’s Institute 01322 554544 Bexleyheath & District Club for Disabled 020 8303 4826 Bexleyheath & Barnehurst Bowls Club 01322 526932 or 0744 447 5417 Bexleyheath & Belvedere Hockey Club 07720 412547 Bexleyheath Photographic Society www.bexleyheathphotographicsociety. zenfolio.com Bexleyheath Morning Townswomens Guild 020 8310 4537 Bexleyheath Gaming Club (Pokémon/Yu-Gi-Oh!) www.facebook.com/BexleyGamingClub Bexleyheath & Crayford Waterside Women’s Institute 020 8303 5158 Bexrose Gardening Society 01322 527947 Bird College 020 8300 6004 Box Therapy www.boxtherapy.online

Brampton Art Group 020 8303 9132 The Boys’ Brigade & Girls Assoc 020 8304 9669 Bridge Club at VCD Crayford 01322 446625 / 07955 470762 Bridge Mental Health 020 8298 9677 Bridging the Gap South East 020 8300 5444 British Army Association 01322 449175 British Polio Fellowship (North West Kent Branch) 020 8304 1694 Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) 01727 867201 Cancer Research UK - local fund raising 020 8302 3964 Chislehurst & Sidcup Ballet Club 07746719258 Care Matters UK Ltd 01322 522440 Carers’ Support Bexley 020 8302 8011 Chislehurst & Sidcup Ballet Club 07746 719258 The Compassionate Friends Child Bereavement Support www.tcf.org.uk Connexions Prospects 020 3045 5555 Contact the Elderly 020 8303 4723 County Gate Lodge www.cgl7849.org Crayford & District Men’s Probus Club 020 8304 2802 Crayford Camera Club 01322 438808 Crayford Judo Club 01322 631108 Crayford Manor House Historical Society 01322 551279 Crayford Town Archive 07800 992931 Crayford Women’s Institute 01322 557229 The Crossness Engines Trust www.crossness.org.uk Crossroads Care South East London 01322 336086 Cruse Bereavment Care 020 8304 5245 Danson Park Bowls Club 07751068274 Danson Youth Trust 020 8303 6052 Darent Cray National Trust Association 01474 705402 Diabetes UK Bexley Support Group 07775 305110 Dimbleby Macmillian Cancer Support Guys at Queen Mary’s hospital 020 7188 0771 East Wickham Open Space Conservation Volunteers www.eastwickham.org.uk Erith & Belvedere Local History Society 01322 337893/01322 437925 Erith & District Swimming Club edsc@edsc.org.uk Erith & District Synchronised Swimming Squads synchro@edsc.org.uk Erith & Thamesmead CAP Debt Centre 07576 315994 Erith Model Railway Society www.erithmrs.ukmodelshops.co.uk Erith Nemesis Martial Arts Gym 01322 335076 Erith Veterans Club Singers 01322 553078 Evergreen Care Bexley www.evergreencarebexley.org Feel Good Co-Operative 07908 034081 Friends of Danson Park 07596 657763 Friends of the Earth - Bexley www.foe.co.uk/bexley Friends of Foots Cray Meadows www.footscraymeadows.org

To add your organisation to this list, or to update your contact details please e-mail communications@bexley.gov.uk or telephone 020 8303 7777 and ask for Communications

Friends of the Red House 01322 865186 Friends of the Shuttle www.friendsoftheshuttle.org Family Action 020 8310 6570 Geddes Place Widows Group 01322 521754 Haven - Gay & Lesbian Social Group 01322 287356 / 07804 808581 Headway South East London/ North West Kent 020 8319 7148 Healthwatch Bexley 020 8304 9344 Helio Mirror Bowls Club www.russellparkbowls.co.uk/helio-mirror Hill Park Autistic Trust 01322 334318 Holy Trinity Lamorbey Social Club 07903 565502 Hurst Horticultural & Garden Society 020 8306 2202 Imago 07710 847812 www.imago.community Insight Bexley 07824 999581 Inspire Community Trust 020 3045 5100 Irish Community Services in Greenwich ,Bexley & Lewisham 020 8854 4466 Jlinks Physiotherapy 07951 025208 Kingfisher Bowls C lub 020 8302 8830 Lamorbey Park Archers www.lamorbeyparkarchers.club Lamorbey & Sidcup Local History Society 020 8302 0059 Lamorbey Park Cricket Club 07741 193133 Lesnes Abbey Woods Conservation Volunteers www.lacv.btik.com London Borough of Bexley Retired Employees Assoc 020 8300 5526/020 8303 0606 Macular Society Bexley Support Group 020 8856 8954 Manor House Bowls Club 020 8310 3648 07305 093876 Mayplace Art & Crafts Group 01322 529972 The Meeting Place Wed 9.30am - 1.30pm St John Fisher Church Hall Meridian Canoe Club 07801 549601 MIND In Bexley 020 8303 5816 MND Association 01322 228169 Multiple Sclerosis Society 020 8306 7050 New Sidcup / Eagles / Bexley Badminton Club www.eaglesandsidcup.com Norfolk Women’s Club (Sidcup) 07765 428569 North West Kent Family History Society www.nwkfhs.org.uk North Kent Scottish Association Wednesday evenings at Barnehurst Golf Club Old Bexley Floral Arrangement Society 020 8302 9984 Parkinson’s Disease Society 020 8306 5973 The Practical Photographic Group 020 8304 6561 Rainbows, Guide or Ranger Groups 020 8301 1200/01322 294516 Re-Instate Community Hub 01322 438155 The Rendevous Club for over 50’s 01322 287356/020 8859 2035 Red Robins Singing for Health 07900 205862 Royal Airforces Assoc 020 8303 5158

Royal Artillery Association Sidcup Branch 020 8306 1992 Royal Naval Association (Sidcup Branch) 07932 767105 Serenade Singers mcwhitford@gmail.com St John Ambulance Sidcup - 0844 770 4800 Erith - 07974 219471 St Michaels Ladies Club Welling 020 8306 1146 Samaritans 020 8301 1010 Shopmobility Scheme 020 8301 5237 Sidcup Art Club 020 8302 5390 Sidcup Bowls Club 07977 145039 Sidcup Chess Club www.sidcupchessclub.org.uk Sidcup Debt Advice 020 8269 8621 Sidcup & District Caledonian Association Scottish Country Dancing 020 8856 4522 Sidcup & District Motor Cycle Club 01634 201268 Sidcup and District University of the Third Age 020 8850 2046 Sidcup Jazz Club 01322 442442 Sidcup Jazz Record Club 01689 835805 Sidcup Literary & Scientific Society 020 8300 8647 Sidcup Musical Productions 020 8304 9150 / 020 8300 1392 Sidcup Philatelic Society 020 8300 9627 Sidcup Symphony Orchestra 01322 552710 Signpost Community - Drug & Alcohol Team 01322 357940 SmileyArk Kids Club 07956 263531 Smyth Lodge Care home (Sidcup) 03333 218599 The Scout Association 0845 094 6368 or 0845 300 1818 Speakability Sidcup 080 8808 9572 SSAFA - the Armed Forces Charity 020 8639 0495 Stillbirth & Neonatal Death 07951 454682 St John Ambulance Crayford Sidcup 0844 770 4800 St Mary’s (Welling)Players 020 8303 8933/ 07866 259302 Sunrise Frognal House Residental Care Home (Sidcup) 020 8302 2600 Trust Thamesmead 020 3828 4900 The Link Thamesmead 020 3828 4950 Sporting Club Thamesmead 020 3828 4920 Thames Innovation Centre 020 8320 1000 Thamesmead Running Club 07944 282611 Trefoil Guild - Invicta (Welling) 020 8304 8409 / 01689 811116 United Nations Assoc (Bexley) 01322 335 479 University of the Third Age Abbey Wood & Thamesmead 020 8311 4797 University of the Third Age Bexley 07946 377898 Veterans Club of Bexley 020 8304 2815 Victim Support (Bexley) 020 7277 1433/ 020 8698 4583 Volunteers Information Service (VIS) 01322 335 479 Welling Being Link 07895 143939 Welling University of the Third Age 020 8304 4130 Women’s Aid Helpline 020 8301 1536


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Over 5 million homes and businesses are at risk of flooding. Don’t assume it’s not you. Know how to Prepare. Act. Survive.

INSUR

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Give a child a better future 020 3045 4400 www.bexley.gov.uk/fostering

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Appliance Services Ltd 07766 607251 020 8301 1618 / 020 8303 6950

MEMORIES

Parkinsons

PHOT O ALBU M

See page 26 for ou upcomin r g onlin fostering e informat ion sessions

ACT Move things upstairs or to safety

SURVIVE Follow advice from emergency services

Repairs/Sales/Service Washing machines, Dishwashers, Cookers, Ovens, Tumble Dryers, Storage Heaters etc Fast Friendly Service Formerly of Lion Road, Bexleyheath

Visit flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/what-to-do-in-a-flood

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Bexley Magazine - Winter 2020  

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