Local news

Car boot sale will support Accuro's Under-19 Project

A car boot sale is being held to raise money for the Accuro charity's Udner-19 Project.

Money raised will benefit the youth group for children and young people with disabilities aged from 11 to 19 years who are from Saffron Walden and the surrounding Uttlesford area.

The sale is at Saffron Walden Common on Sunday, August 30 (set up from 7am; customers from 8am until 1pm).

Pitches cost £10.

The proceeds from the pitches will help Accuro continue to provide valuable support to children, young people and their families.

Anyone having a pitch can also raise money for themselves.

Accuro will be running a stall selling donated goods to help boost the total raised on the day.

Any items which can be sold would be much appreciated.

For more information and to pre-book pitches ring Gemma Rich on 01279 433667 or email

To find out more about the services offered by Accuro and ways to support the vibrant and valuable local charity visit, email or ring 01279 433667.

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing to chair business forum


A business forum covering any local business issue is being held by Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce at the Metropolitan Police Chigwell Sports Club, High Road, Chigwell, on Thursday, September 24.

The forum will be chaired by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing.

Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce chairman John Price said: “This promises to be a great evening with business representatives able to network both before and after the forum, and also raise any issues with the forum panel and our MP.

“This could be anything from business rates and parking to workplace pensions, banking and finance.”

The forum starts at 7pm, with a reception from 6.30pm.

Free tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.

Anyone planning to attend should register by emailing or ringing 01992 652682.

Davenant Foundation School "proud" of A-Level results


Students at Davenant Foundation School, Loughton, produced an excellent set of A-Level results that, once again, will place the Sixth Form as one of the most successful in Essex.

Of all the subjects taken by the 179 students, 99.2 per cent were awarded pass grades A*-E, 55 per cent were awarded grades A*-B and 26 per cent were graded A*-A.

Outstanding performances were recorded by Daniel Riches (four A*s), Harriet David, Leah Hembury, Christian Fayolle, Amber Fernandes, Megan Finan and Aidan O’Donoghue (three A*s) and Alice Maynes and Aaran Noble (two A*s).

The majority of students gained their preferred places at universities with others moving directly to high quality employment opportunities.

With the results attained, Daniel Riches, Leah Hembury, Claire Lovell and Alice Maynes) achieved the results required to take places at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Headteacher Chris Seward congratulated the work of staff and students.

He said: “High quality A-Level results depend on the experience and commitment of teachers as well as the immense hard work of students.

“This year’s results are closely in line with those of recent years and I am delighted by the efforts of everyone when there is such great pressure to maintain standards through a time of considerable change.

“Everyone at Davenant is proud of what our students achieve and we wish them well as they move on to the next stage of their education and working life.”

Record A-Level results at West Hatch High School


West Hatch High School is "delighted" with record A-Level results achieved by students this year.

Eighty-one per cent of all grades were A* to C with 53 per cent at A*, A and B grades - both figures up significantly on last year.

The overall A-Level pass rate was 100 per cent with vocational courses excelling - Travel and Tourism, ICT Fashion and Sport all achieving 100 per cent A*-A.

This has meant many West Hatch students have gained access to their first choice universities.

Top performers were Anna Clark (two A*s and one A), Eleanor Meakin (two A*s and one A), Harry Klein (three As), Aaron Sharma (A*, A and B), James Mahoney (two As and one B), Adil Sait (two As and one B) and Catrina Silva (two As and one B).

Headteacher Frances Howarth said: "The school is delighted with these results.  

“Students' hard work coupled with excellent teaching from our experienced staff enable West Hatch to continue to provide a very high quality Sixth Form education.  

“We wish our students well as many of them now go off to prestigious universities across the county or take on top jobs and apprenticeships in London.”

A number of top performing students heard their results via text as they are trekking with the school undertaking voluntary work in Kenya.

For more information on West Hatch High School visit or email the school office at   


Enrolment for West Hatch High School's Sixth Form is on Thursday, August 20.

Stortford dad takes on 14 challenges for St Clare

A Bishop’s Stortford man who set about transforming his health after hitting a mid-life slump is about to undertake his 12th endurance challenge in less than a year for St Clare Hospice.

Sales manager Richard Funnell will embark upon the gruelling London to Cambridge 100km Ultra Challenge on August 29 having already completed 10 other challenges, ranging from 10km runs to obstacle courses, since September last year in aid of the Hastingwood-based charity.

With two more challenges to come later this year, by November he will have completed a total of 14 events in a bid to raise £2,000 to support people living with a terminal or life-limiting illness and their loved ones.

Richard, 57, was inspired to begin his health and fitness kick after tipping the scales at 18 stone. “Being overweight didn’t come as any great surprise,” he said. “I didn’t have a suit that fitted, a pair of trousers that weren’t tight, and even my best friend had my number saved in his mobile phone under ‘fatty’. The surprise was just how fat I had let myself become.

“In the preceding few years I had had gym memberships, worked with personal trainers and been on some pretty depressing diets. But all this does not come cheap and true to form, I eventually gave up going. But it was clear I had to make some serious changes and I needed to do something I could focus on which would be motivational and life changing. Taking a good, hard look in the mirror and the person smiling back at me, it dawned that I was a prime candidate for hospital. The wake-up call had arrived and, if I hit the snooze button again, it was likely I would die.”

He signed up with Regiment Fitness after stumbling across one of their boot camps while walking the family dog, Archie, in Southern Park, near Thorley, and soon the weight was falling off.

With my fitness up and my weight under control, it was time to add more purpose and dimension to my training,” said the dad-of-two. “So I decided to take part in a sponsored walk in support of a local charity, and one which helps people in my community. Two years ago, my wife was the victim of breast cancer and although it was caught very early and she remains in full remission, it was, and remains, a life-changing experience for her, our family and friends.

“Through our own personal experience with cancer, we knew a lot of money quite rightly goes into funding research. However, we knew nothing about what happens when the second and third chance runs out. So we started looking into hospice care and discovered it helps people to live as actively as possible, from the point at which their illness is diagnosed as incurable to the end of their lives, however long that may be. And it carries on caring for families, carers and friends beyond the death of the person they love. It was at this point I discovered St Clare and, when I asked around, I was amazed at how many people we knew who had been touched, either personally or remotely, by this fantastic organisation. I now had my purpose.”

Since then Richard has completed the St Clare Hospice 10km Run, Trekfest: The Beacons, Nuclear Fall Out and Hatfield Broad Oak 10km Run among others.

He said: “These events would not be possible if I didn’t train and, whatever you think, I have had to work hard to get where I am today. I am the oldest in our region at Regiment Fitness, but I am able to compete with the youngest. My nickname at training is ‘Dad’ and the younger members are happy to partner me. I don’t see my training or any of the challenges I have taken on as a cost – I view them as an investment in my future, supported by some amazing people.”

You can help Richard reach his £2,000 fundraising target by visiting his sponsorship page You can read his blog here

And if you have been inspired to take up a challenge for St Clare, then see