Local news

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing joins King Harold Day celebrations

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing joined the celebrations to remember King Harold in Waltham Abbey on Saturday.

Flowers were placed at the King Harold Memorial Stone in the Abbey Church churchyard as part of the traditional King Harold Day event.

The flower-laying ceremony was held after costumed participants and civic dignitaries took part in a procession from the Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street, through Market Square and down Church Street to the Abbey Church.

The day commemorates Harold Godwinsson, King Harold II, who was Lord of the Manor of Waltham when he was Earl of Essex and East Anglia, owned much land and property in the area, and whose family home with his handfast wife, Edith Swan-Neck, was at Nazeing.

Harold founded the Minster Church which eventually became the Great Abbey, and legend has it that his body was brought back to the Abbey after his death at the Battle of Senlac Hill (Hastings) in 1066.

The Abbey Gardens hosted stalls, sideshows and other attractions throughout the day.

Mrs Laing said: “It was great to see so many people celebrating King Harold Day and important to remember the connection between our historic town and the Battle of Hastings.

“I congratulate Tricia Gurnett and everyone who works so hard to make this annual event such a success.

“We are all looking forward to next year's very special 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings - and the death of King Harold.”

The Dream Factory launches updated website

The Dream Factory charity's website has a new look, with details about its recent news and 'dream-making' success and its forthcoming events.

The website is managed by Petrina Penn, of Hungry Sheep Website Design.

She said: "I am delighted to support Avril (Avril Mills, the charity's founder) in her wonderful work.

"The charity continues to grow so I thought it would be an ideal time to update and upgrade its ever expanding website.

"The newly-launched website is user and mobile friendly. It has information about all recent and upcoming events, includes the facility to allow people to donate online and also features the charity's regularly updated Twitter feed."

Petrina added: "I hope the new website will help The Dream Factory to even greater success in the future.

Miss Mills said: "We are extremely grateful to Petrina who has saved us so much money, and this enables us to put more money into making dreams come true  The new-look website looks fabulous."

To visit the website go to

The Dream Factory has now granted some 348 dreams to children and young adults with life-limiting conditions.

Essex bodybuilder taking internet by storm with new fitness website

Essex based Kelly Sephton, owner of a new diet, nutrition and work out advice website  Blueberry Sports is taking the internet by storm gaining hundred of the new followers weekly.  Kelly Sephton from Chelmsford set up the business from scratch and now has over 4 million subscribers to the website helping guide people of all ages across the world on how to live a healthy life.

Kelly was motivated to set up the online website from her past experiences during her teens where she suffered eating disorders and body image issues, she wanted to help people make the right choices.  Kelly transformed her life with hard work and dedication and was crowned one of the worlds best female body builders. 

"I did it all myself," she said. "I spent ages online researching diets and training and then I met my husband, who is a personal trainer, in the gym."

A determined Kelly then set about training for two hours a day, six days a week, and eating a strict, high-protein diet of lean meat, fresh fish and raw eggs before competing in her first competition, the National Amateur Bodybuilders' Association's Miss NABBA South East Toned Figure contest in April 2012.

For more information on how to improve your body's health,visit 


GreenAcres Woodland Burials supporting families affected by the loss of a precious young life


GreenAcres Woodland Burials – Epping Forest will be holding a special Service of Remembrance on Sunday 11th October for anyone who has been affected by the loss of a precious young life. This service will be held in support of the UK-wide Baby Loss Awareness Campaign from 9th to 15th October.

The Baby Loss Awareness Campaign recognises how alone and alienated bereaved parents often feel.  This is why they are encouraging people to try and understand pregnancy and the depth of the devastation experienced.  Baby Loss Awareness Week was set up to coincide with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on 15 October.


Throughout this week bereaved parents can commemorate their babies’ all-too-brief lives, knowing that thousands of parents elsewhere in the world will be doing the same. The week also provides a crucial opportunity for people to talk openly about the subject of stillbirth and neonatal death and raise awareness of an issue that needs more attention.

There are many people whose lives have been affected by the loss of a baby before or just after birth and understandably, it can be heart breaking to deal with such a loss. It is hoped that families may be brought some comfort by the prayers and readings offered during this special service.

Here at Greenacres – Epping Forest we invite you to join us in our beautiful Woodland Hall from 1.00-2.00pm to take time to reflect and remember the life of the baby you have lost.

Please join us if you feel this service could support you or your friends and family in remembering your loved one. Visit our website for more information

For more information about Baby Loss Awareness Week please visit

St Clare shop thanks customers for support following double break-in

St Clare Hospice has thanked the people of Saffron Walden for their generous support following last month’s double break-in at the charity’s shop in the town.

The Hospice shop in Mercers Row was targeted twice in as many days back in August. While only a small amount of money was taken and damage caused during the first break-in, the impact of the second was much greater as the thieves this time stole the safe containing a cash float and that day’s takings. The culprits also damaged a brand new, empty cash till, which was due to replace the existing till.

In total, the Hastingwood-based charity estimated the cost of both incidents to be around £2,500, an amount that could have otherwise paid for its Hospice at Home service for two days. However, since the break-ins, St Clare has received almost £1,500 in donations from customers and supporters.

Saffron Walden shop manager Janice Fox said: “We were all devastated that the shop had been targeted, especially when the staff and volunteers work so hard to raise the vital funds St Clare needs to raise each and every year to fund our skilled and compassionate specialist care for local people and their families. To think that anyone would steal from any charity is just so upsetting.

“But, the way in which our supporters have responded in the wake of the thefts has restored our faith. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have come forward to make donations towards the money lost and the cost of installing extra security measures to prevent this sort of thing happening again.

“St Clare’s purpose is to care for the people of Saffron Walden, and we are touched that the people of Saffron Walden care for us too.”