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Anxiety sufferer talks about support from Sutton Uplift

Sutton Voice has been asked to upload this  anonymous “blog” to help further the discussion around mental health and the support offered by a service in the borough


Suffering from severe anxiety issues is so much more than just wondering if it is going to rain that day.

I suffer with the kind of anxiety which can lead to feelings of such deep dread that it can wake you in the middle of the night and in no time at all you’re sweating and concerned about all manner of issues that just 5 minutes before you had no idea we’re playing on your mind.

Such has been the depth and breadth of this anxiety that I have seen many counsellors over the years and it has spread when at its worst into OCD and depression. The diagnosis is of Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I have undertaken the recommended treatment of CBT.

All the while this anxiety hangs as a continuous backdrop against the development of my family, career, and life.

Recently while at a community workshop I became engaged with a speaker who was talking about breathing techniques and also an area that I had not considered before – that of self-compassion. Why would I? The nature of my anxiety manifests itself in the complete opposite “must try harder” “why did I do that so wrong?” – more self loathing than self compassion.

It came at a particularly relevant time as although anxiety is always there it feeds off of situations and the crosshairs of events was creating difficulties.

So I followed up with an email to the speaker to ask if there was a way I could share more of his thoughts because I believed they would be of the substantial help for me at that time. Here was someone seemingly gloriously at peace with himself – not having to cope with the pinball bouncing of an endless stream of thoughts.

It was from that encounter that I learnt about Sutton Uplift which is a service offering Talking Therapies to those who believe that they need them.

The benefit of Sutton Uplift to me was that I could self refer and after  a brief email exchange I received an online form which was very easy to complete which in itself became quite revealing.

A few days later I undertook a telephone consultation and that led to a 6 week block of therapy which I found extremely beneficial.

Even now as I look back on it I can relive the peace and the calm that came with those sessions. It is impossible for me to completely capture the quality and qualities of the therapist it has to be enough to record that that experience has lead me to this experience – the first time I have written publicly about my condition in almost 50 years.

I write this simply because a comprehensive list of mental health services available in the borough has been published and Sutton Uplift was part of that list and is probably not as well-known as it ought to be.

I hope that by me just giving a few details of my story it encourages at least one more person to try the service and to get the value that I got from it.



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Great range of borough’s buildings of interest available for one weekend to view

All Saints Church
High Street, Carshalton SM5 3AQ
Saturday 10:00-17:00 (last entry 16:15)
12th century south aisle and former chancel. Blomfield nave, chancel, baptistry. Kempe glass, Bodley reredos and screen, spectacular Comper decorations, monuments and brasses, award-winning lighting scheme, fine modern benches. A & R Blomfield, 1893.

Honeywood Museum
Honeywood Walk, Carshalton SM5 3NX
Saturday and Sunday 10:00-17:00 (last entry 16:45)
Chalk and flint house dating to 17th century with many later additions including major extensions of 1896 and 1903 when owned by John Pattinson Kirk, a London merchant. Rich in period detail and the interior restored and back stairs opened up with funding
from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Tours 45 mins Sat 11:00 and 14:30 / Sun 14:30 and 16:00
Throughout the weekend there will be special drawings of Honeywood to colour and the
Honeywood Window Trail for children.
Rail:Carshalton; 127, 157, 407, S3, X26

Carshalton Water Tower and Historic Gardens
West St, Carshalton SM5 2QG
Saturday and Sunday 13:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30)
Early 18th century Grade II listed building incorporating plunge bath with Delft tiles, orangery, saloon and pump chamber with part-restored water wheel. Hermitage and sham bridge in grounds.
Tours and tea and cake available.

Little Holland House
40 Beeches Avenue, Carshalton SM5 3LW
Sunday 23 11:00-17:00 (last entry 16:45)
The former home of Frank R. Dickinson (1874-1961), artist, designer and craftsman, who built his house between 1902-04 in the English Arts and Crafts style, following the teachings and philosophies of William Morris and John Ruskin. Inside the Grade II listed
interior are his hand made furniture, paintings, interior decoration, carvings and metalwork, which still inspire visitors today.
With very limited financial resources Dickinson built the house and made its furniture himself.
Rail: Carshalton Beeches; 154

Carew Manor and Dovecote tours
Church Road, Beddington SM6 7NN
Saturday – Tour times 10:00, 12:00 and 13:00
Meeting point by the Dovecote
FREE Pre-booking required – call 020 8770 6060 or email Sarah Price to book A chance to see the Grade I listed great hall with its timber hammer beam roof built for Richard Carew about 1510. 18th century and Victorian alterations. Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James I visited. Site of important Elizabethan garden created by Sir Francis Carew.
Bus: 407, 410, 463

St Mary’s Church
Church Road, Beddington SM6 7NN
Sunday 14:00-17:00
A church on this site was recorded as far back as the time of the Domesday survey. The current Grade II* listed building dates from the 14th century, with extensive restoration and additions undertaken during the Victorian period. The church contains fine Arts and
Crafts decoration including an organ screen by William Morris & Co. The Carew Chapel contains tombs and memorials to the Carew family dating from 1520 onwards. The Chancel has 15th century misericord choir stalls and 15th century brasses in the chancel
floor. In the main aisle there is a 12th century Purbeck marble font. A reredos on the west wall is a copy of the ‘doom’ painting of French or German origin, which shows the pains of hell. Beneath the painting, in a wooden case, is a Roman coffin.

24 Helios Road, Wallington SM6 7BZ
Saturday 10:00-13:00, hourly tours (45 mins)
UK’s first large-scale, mixed use eco-village and sustainable community. Completed in 2002, BedZED is an inspiration for low carbon neighbourhoods promoting One Planet Living. Developed in partnership with Peabody, ZEDfactory, Bioregional. Bill Dunster
Zedfactory Architects, 2002

Subsea 7
40 Brighton Road, Sutton SM2 5BN
Sunday 10:00-12:30 tours every 75 mins (max 15)
Pre-book only: email Sally Halsey
A BREEAM ‘Excellent’ high quality, contemporary and flexible office building with central atrium, exhibition space, restaurant, café, gym and terraces providing a dynamic and exciting workplace environment for staff and visitors. ESA, 2016

Sutton Police Station
6 Carshalton Road, Sutton SM1 4RF
Sunday 12:00-16:00 (access to front office area)
Control room and custody. Half-hourly tours. Last entry 15:15
A Grade II listed building built in 1908, this is an unusually elaborate example of a Metropolitan Police station built in a suburban area where a more domestic composition could be adopted. A modern extension was added in 2003. John Dixon Butler, 1908

Sutton Central Library
St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA
Saturday 09:00-17:00 – Library tours at 11:00 and 15:00
Largest public library in the borough of Sutton. Sutton Borough Architects’ Dept, 1978

St Nicholas Church
St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1ST
Saturday and Sunday 10:00-17:00
Extraordinary Women exhibition. Last entry 16:15
Built in the Gothic style with dressed flint and stone dressings. There are monuments to Joseph Glover (1628), to Lady Dorothy Brownlow (1699), to William Earl Talbot (1782) & to Isaac Littlebury (1740). The churchyard has 5 Grade II tombs. Edwin Nash, 1864

25 Worcester Road, Sutton SM2 6PR
Sunday 10:00-13:00
(max 20, downstairs and garden no access to 1st floor). Last entry 12:15
A double-fronted red brick upper-middle class house, and one of a few Victorian villas to survive in Sutton. The well-preserved interior includes an entrance hall with a mosaic tiled floor and an oak galleried staircase. Frederick Wheeler, 1899

Whitehall Historic House
1 Malden Road, Cheam, Surrey SM3 8QD
Saturday and Sunday 10:00-17:00 (last entry 16:45)
An important survivor, Whitehall is a timber framed building dating to c.1500. Recently restored with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. All new interpretation brings to life the history of the house and life in the local area.
New extensions by Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture include staircase and lift.
Saturday Tours start 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00
No pre-booking required
Brass rubbing for children throughout weekend.
Rail: Cheam; 213, 151, 470, X26

Nonsuch Gallery and Service Wing at Nonsuch Mansion
Nonsuch Park, Ewell Road, Cheam SM3 8AP
Sunday 14:00–17:00 Service Wing Museum and Gallery only (last entry 16:30)
Gothic style Georgian mansion built for Samuel Farmer. Restored Service Wing includes dairy, kitchen, scullery, larders and laundries. Gallery has a model of Henry VIII’s Nonsuch Palace, 1959 archaeological dig artefacts and mansion stained glass. Jeffrey
Wyatt, 1806.

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Strategy could still leave dangerous products in our homes

London Fire Brigade has  welcomed the Government’s new strategy for product safety, but it believes there could still be dangerous products in homes across the UK unless design loopholes are closed up for good.

The first strategy for the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), published today, covers key areas the Brigade has spent years lobbying for as part of its Total Recalls campaign.

While consumers will find it much easier to find out if they have a dangerous appliance in their home thanks to the revamped product recall database, there is still a need to implement a ban on a well known dangerous design flaw which allows fridges and freezers to have a flammable backing. This gaping hole leaves the highly flammable insulation inside exposed at the back of the appliance. A similar design flaw also exists in many fridge freezer capacitors which are prone to sparking close to flammable materials.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Charlie Pugsley said:

“This is a big step in the right direction but while it’s essential that consumers can check their appliance is safe, it’s also important to put pressure on manufacturers to produce the safest possible products in the first place.

“Fridge freezers contain highly flammable liquids so it makes sense to encase them in metal not flammable materials. Put simply, a kitchen chip pan fire could result in an explosion if it spread to the backing section of the fridge, whereas a non-combustible back would minimise that risk.

“We also want to ensure that the Government sticks to its timetable with many deadlines at the end of the year. When it comes to white goods safety, every day counts because there is around one white goods fire in London every day. By Christmas, a further 150 homes could have experienced a fire caused by a key household appliances.”

The Brigade has been calling for a single Government backed register for UK product recalls, an obligation for trading standards to be informed about fires caused by faulty appliances and for better regulation around second hand white goods.

While the strategy is a step in the right direction and will bring in many of the changes the Brigade has been calling for, the Brigade is warning that time is of the essence and a robust timetable needs to be adhered to.

As part of the Total Recalls campaign, the Brigade has been calling for:

  • A single Government backed product recall database
  • Recalls notices to be better publicised to reduce confusion
  • Greater regulation of second-hand appliances
  • Changes to the way that fridges and freezers are manufactured
  • The inclusion of sleeping as a factor in risk assessments

Despite lots of positive Total Recalls campaign victories, there are still a number of key areas which require immediate attention, such as the manufacturing standards for white goods.

The new strategy has been announced around the time of the two year anniversary of a large blaze in west London which was caused by a faulty tumble dryer.

The fire at Shepherds Court, near Shepherds Bush Green, on August 19, 2016, started in a condenser tumble dryer and five properties were destroyed as a result of the fire. It is estimated that there are still one million of these appliances in homes in the UK.

In the two years since the fire, London firefighters have been called to a total of 670 fires caused by white goods, with 189 of these caused by tumble dryers.

Total Recalls Campaign by numbers

In two years of campaigning there have been:

  • 11: Changes to product recalls and manufacturing standards the Brigade has been calling for to prevent further white goods fires
  • 60: The average number of seconds it takes for a fire to take hold in a fridge freezer made with a flammable backing
  • 189: The number of fires in London since the Shepherds Court fire which were also caused by tumble dryers
  • 670: Fires in London caused by white goods since the Shepherds Court fire
  • 2016: The year London Fire Brigade launched its Total Recalls campaign

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Night Tube customer numbers continue to grow

New research released , to mark the second anniversary of the Night Tube starting in the capital, has shown that the service continues to contribute millions more to the economy of London than initially projected.

Demand for the Night Tube grew in its second year, with 8.7 million customers using the service in 2017/18 compared to 7.8 million in 2016/17. According to a new report by London First and EY, the increase in demand has meant that Night Tube helped to generate an additional £190m for London’s economy last year, a contribution that has increased by almost £20m from its first year of operation.
The report states that the service is projected to contribute £1.54bn over the next 10 years to the wider London economy. That is double the initial projections made before the service launched in August 2016. It is also supporting over 3,900 jobs, up 8.5 per cent from last year.

The Night Tube has been a huge success, popular with Londoners and visitors to the capital alike. Passenger numbers have been higher than expected with almost 17 million journeys so far, well above the 14 million forecast. It has allowed millions of people to get home safely, quickly and affordably at night and has cut journey times by an average of 20 minutes and, in some cases, by much more.

Night services now also include the Night Overground, launched in December 2017. In future TfL will consider how best to introduce a similar service on the DLR when the next operating contract is let in 2021, while the massive upgrade of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines will facilitate a night service once the programme is fully complete in 2023. Other plans will be kept under review to see where there is demand for further night-time services.

Mark Wild, London Underground’s Managing Director, said: `The Night Tube has been a huge success and is now an essential part of London’s transport network. The increase in passenger numbers shows that the demand for the Night Tube remains strong, and that it is helping to transform London into a truly 24-hour city. It has provided a significant boost to London’s economy, supporting late night music venues, bars and restaurants, with all fares charged at off-peak to help make it an affordable way to travel. We look forward to building on this success in the coming years with new night time routes on the DLR and on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines once the massive upgrade of those lines is finished.’


All fares on the Night Tube and Night Overground are off-peak, with adult journeys through Zone 1 starting from just £2.40. With daily capping, customers won’t pay more than the cost of the equivalent Day Travelcard regardless of the number of trips made before 04.30

Night Tube runs on the following lines on Friday and Saturday nights and the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings:
o Central line – between Ealing Broadway and Loughton / Hainault
o Victoria line – entire line
o Jubilee line – entire line
o Northern line – from High Barnet and Edgware to Morden via the Charing Cross branch
o Piccadilly line – between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal five
o Night Overground – between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate

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Assembly looks at the “unflushable” truth

Across the UK, over 11 billion wet wipes, nearly 2.5 billion period products, nearly 4 billion nappies and over a billion incontinence products are purchased every year. These numbers are growing – wipes by over a quarter, and incontinence products by nearly half, compared with five years ago.  

There is no legal requirement for manufacturers to list materials on the packaging of products. Tampons contain 5 per cent plastic, period pads contain 90 per cent plastic and nappies contain an estimated 50 per cent plastic and similar materials. 

Wet wipes, tampons and period pads are often flushed down the toilet. Londoners are not aware that these items contain plastic and combined with fat and oil create fatbergs and sewage blockages.

The London Assembly Environment Committee report, ‘Single-use plastic: unflushables’ recommends:

  • The Mayor and Thames Water introduce a ‘block buster borough’ initiative, to get councils to pledge that unflushables don’t enter the sewage system and reusables are promoted where possible. ‘Bin it, don’t block it’ signage could be displayed on the backs of public toilets.
  • The Mayor’s London Healthy Schools initiative should ask schools to demonstrate that they are period positive, in order to reduce stigma and inform children about binning not flushing, and reusable period products as an alternative.
  • The Mayor should write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs requesting a statutory format to display proper disposal information and the presence of plastic in products.
  • The Greater London Authority (GLA) Group should provide bins in men’s toilets for incontinence and other unflushable single-use products, as currently bins are only in female toilets.

Caroline Russell AM, Chair of the Environment Committee, said:

“Public awareness around single-use plastics, in terms of disposable water bottles and coffee cups is high, but what about other daily products, like wet wipes, nappies and period products? These products end up in our rivers and oceans, sit in landfills or are incinerated, inflicting irreparable damage on our environment.

“We urgently need to educate Londoners not to flush these items down the toilet and enlist the help of the Mayor to take some practical steps to help the situation.

“London has to learn to bin it and not flush it.” 

Stephen Pattenden, Waste Network Performance Manager, Thames Water said:

“Many people don’t realise how wipes that get flushed can cause blockages and fatbergs in the sewers. They contain plastic so don’t break down in the same way as toilet paper does, instead clinging to the insides of the pipes and combining with fat and grease to form the fatbergs, which have become so common across London. 

“It’s great to have the London Assembly’s help to spread our ‘bin it’ message across the capital.”

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Annual busking competition set for final “play off”

Talented young musicians will go head to head next month in the final of the Mayor of London’s annual busking competition, Gigs.

With the public vote for the last remaining finalists just days from closing, the annual contest is preparing for its biggest-ever Grand Final at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush.

On Sunday 2 September musicians will compete across three categories to win prizes worth £15,000, including studio time, paid gigs and musical equipment.

Since it launched a decade ago, Gigs, in association with Gibson, has been the Mayor’s flagship competition for emerging musical talent. For 10 years the competition has celebrated the wealth of musical talent from the capital and provided young Londoners with vital opportunities to perform, hone their skills and create connections.


As well as showcasing global artists at events such as International Busking Day, the Mayor’s Busk in London initiative has helped revive the capital’s street performance scene. The Gigs competition has opened the door to a variety of performance opportunities and given musicians the chance to perform in some of London’s most famous locations.

Continue reading Annual busking competition set for final “play off”

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Massive A level success for Sutton High School

After another set of fantastic A Level results for Sutton High School GDST, with 80% of allgrades at A*-B, girls will be realising their dreams by taking up places on prestigious coursesfrom Astrophysics to Zoology.
Students have secured places on an enormously diverse range of courses all the way from
 Astrophysics at Queen Mary University of London
 Business Management at King’s College London
 Computer Science at the University of Cambridge
 Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London
 Economics at the University of York
 French and History at the University of Exeter
 Right the way down to Zoology at the University of Bristol
Sutton High’s first ever A Level Computer Science results were 100% A*-A, and the majority ofgirls in the cohort will be going on to study the subject at university: Rebecca Tyson is attending the University of Cambridge, Jimin Park is going to Imperial College London and Madeleine Waller is taking up a place at King’s College London.
As well as Computer Science, there were also straight A*-A grades in Art, French and Religious Studies. In Mathematics, the most popular A Level taken at Sutton High, 69% ofgrades were A*-A.

Mrs Katharine Crouch, Headmistress, commented:
“I congratulate all our students and staff for their excellent A Level results.
“Our aim is for girls to learn with joy every day and attain the academic success needed to
pursue their dreams, whatever they might be. For example, one of our students, Shaye Emmett, will now be going on to train as a pilot, while Katie Heape has achieved straight As and is starting the most prestigious Costume and Performance Design course in the country.
“Our Head Girl, Danielle D’Mello, showed her commercial acumen in putting together our school charity week and is now off to read Business Management at King’s College London. We are proud of our consistently strong academic results, but we also make sure that girls leave Sixth Form fully prepared to take advantage of the exciting opportunities beyond school. That’s why we have an award-winning careers advice service that helps students to identify their passions and their talents, and then guides them every step of the way as thework to reach their goals.
“We can’t wait to see what our girls achieve next.”

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Public discussions on how to achieve quality care set for September

NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton Clinical Commissioning Groups are holding a series of public discussion events to talk with local communities about how to make sure the very best quality of care is available to our patients and communities, and that it is sustainable into the future from buildings which are fit for purpose.

“We have just confirmed the dates for the next set of Improving Healthcare Together 2020 – 2030 events in September and we would like to encourage you to attend and share the dates widely with your networks.

If you would like any further information about these events then please email “

Wednesday, 12 September7.00pm – 9.00pm Sutton Masonic Hall, 9 Grove Road, Sutton, SM1 1BB
Tuesday, 18 September7.00pm – 9.00pm Commonside Community Development Trust, South Lodge Avenue, Pollards Hill, Mitcham, London, CR4 1LT
Wednesday, 19 September10.00am – 12.00am The Thomas Wall Centre, 52 Benhill Avenue, Sutton, SM1 4DP
Wednesday, 19 September7.00pm – 9.00pm Bookham Baptist Church, Lower Road, Great Bookham, Leatherhead KT23 4DH
Thursday, 20 September2.00pm – 4.00pm Banstead Methodist Church, The Drive, Banstead, Surrey, SM7 1DA
Tuesday, 25 September7.00pm – 9.00pm Mitcham Parish Church, The Parish Centre, Church Path, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 3BP

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New service launched to help with those critical care choices

A new Sutton based service, Encompass Living, has launched to help people with care and support needs to maintain their independence, remain living at home and get the best out of life. The new service will also help those who are supporting relatives requiring care to create a rapidly responsive bespoke, flexible package with the ability to be amended and developed as care requirements change.

People with assets of more than £23,250 are often called ‘self-funders’ and may not be eligible for assistance from their local authority towards the cost of their care and support. Many people agonise over the challenge of obtaining information, guidance and practical support, and often don’t know where to turn for help in identifying their options and negotiating with service providers.

Lorraine Thomas, the Managing Director of Encompass Living said, “People want information they know comes from a trusted source when they are faced with making decisions about the support they need to live independent and meaningful lives.

“Living life to the full can seem impossible when you don’t know what your options are and how your support needs can be met in order to maintain your independence. We offer a free assessment and work with people every step of the way to identify cost effective options. We provide a fast, responsive and supportive service and one that puts our customer at the heart of the decision-making process. This is all about them, their needs and how they can live the life they want.

“Encompass Living is designed to take the worry away to give them information, care and guidance as simply as possible.”

Lorraine went on to say, “We help people who may be elderly, infirm or have a physical or mental disability make the right care choice. We do this by identifying individual support needs and providing options specifically designed for them.  Our Care Navigators are accredited support brokers, so customers can be assured of a professional service.

Our free assessment provides the individual with a free document outlining recommendations for their personal essential care and support. The individual can then engage Encompass Living to provide further support through a three-tier service offer. The first is to develop a support plan, researching options for the customer and helping them make the choices that are right for them.  The second tier is to source those services and negotiate the best available costs, and the third is a weekly management service which ensures everything runs smoothly and the services continue to meet their needs.”

Head of Service for Encompass Living, Justin Walker said, “Think of us as Care Navigators, guiding people when they are at their most vulnerable and needing care or support to maintain independence or get the most out of life. People’s support and care needs do not come neatly packaged into one issue. The task of finding an individual’s support or care plan can be time-consuming and stressful for all concerned. It is very much a bespoke service aimed at the individual and their requirements to make their life better”

The new service is available now. For those faced with having to make those next step decisions regarding care, Encompass Living can be contacted through their website,, or by calling 020 8770 5350.

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Pop in and find out the benefits of volunteering in the borough

Volunteer Centre Sutton has again teamed up with Sutton High Street coffee shop to Tazza run another coffee morning drop-in session on Monday 3rd September 10 to 12 noon

One of the members of staff, Claire will be at TaZza all morning and available to chat to any members of the public who are interested in volunteering in the borough. Volunteer Centre Sutton is the borough’s hub for volunteering and we work with hundreds of local organisations and charities helping them to find volunteers.

 Our channels: