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Charities and community groups invited to apply for £1,000 community donation

CHARITIES and community groups in Sutton are being invited to apply for a £1,000 donation from the UK’s largest housebuilder. The Barratt London Community Fund, part of the new nationwide Barratt Homes and David Wilson Community Fund, has been set up to offer donations to both registered charities and community groups that are trying to make life better for local residents.

Barratt London will be giving £1,000 every month to a local organisation that is improving the quality of life for those living in the vicinity of one of its developments or offices, across the capital. “We are looking for charities and community groups that are really making a difference at a local level,” explains Karly Williams, Regional Sales Director at Barratt London. “It could be a conservation group that wants to improve the local public spaces and create habitats for wildlife, a plan for a new piece of play equipment in a community playground, or a lunch club for the elderly wanting to expand – every application will be very carefully considered by senior members of our team.”

Local groups and charities are encouraged to apply for the donation via Barratt London’s charity email address Applicants should make clear where their charity is based and what the £1,000 will be used for. One of Barratt London’s charity representatives will then be in touch if the application is successful. Barratt London is donating £1,000 every month so if applications aren’t successful first time round, charities are encouraged to reapply at a later date.

Karly Williams explained why Barratt Group was launching the Community Fund: “As the country’s largest housebuilder we are committed to creating a positive legacy. We want to lead the industry not just in the quality of the homes and developments we build but also in our work with charities and good causes throughout the UK. Last year £1.2 million was donated across the company but this year the goal is to raise that figure considerably, through such work as the new Barratt London Community Fund.”

The new fund, which will donate an additional £1 million to local good causes over three years, is in addition to the considerable amount of charitable work already being undertaken by the company. Karly Williams added: “Barratt Group recently announced our largest ever donation of £750,000 to Royal British Legion Industries to help them build a new residential village for veterans and their families. There are also existing corporate partnerships with a wide variety of organisations and charities including the RSPB, Whizz-Kidz, St John Ambulance and Mates in Mind.”

In addition to the Barratt London Community Fund, the company is also launching an Individual Charity Matching scheme for staff, to give employee fundraising and charity support a further boost. Staff who raise £1,000 for their favourite charity can have that figure matched, up to a total of £1 million across the Group each year.

Barratt London is currently building New Mill Quarter in Hackbridge Road, Wallington, SM6 7AX. The development is ideally located for those who work in central London as Hackbridge Station, in Zone 4, is just outside the development, providing regular services to London Victoria in just 27 minutes.

Overall, New Mill Quarter will feature a total of 805 new homes, including 440 private one, two and three-bedroom apartments and three and four-bedroom houses, and 119 affordable and assisted living units built by Barratt London. A further 246 homes are being built by David Wilson Homes, a division of the Barratt Group. The development will also include a medical centre, and it is adjacent to Hackbridge Primary School, rated as Good by Ofsted.

For more information about Barratt London and to find your nearest development or local office, visit

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Sutton library helps to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight

Sutton is Fairtrade borough – and is celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight from 25 February by promoting goods in its libraries.

The Sutton Fairtrade Community Group will host a stall at Sutton Central Library on Saturday 9 March from 9am-5pm. Members will be talking about the benefits of products.

They will hand out leaflets – and there will even be samples of Fairtrade products including chocolates and biscuits! Come along and enjoy the fun. There may also be a fun Quiz for youngsters.

Posters will also be on display in Sutton’s public libraries to help promote Fairtrade over the fortnight.

Anne Dodwell, Secretary of The Sutton Fairtrade Community Group, said: “We are very grateful to Sutton Council for all its support. Fairtrade helps farmers around the world to earn a living wage. They are entitled to a fair return on their products.

“By buying Fairtrade products people are helping local communities with extra classrooms or improving their water supplies. That’s why people are prepared to pay a bit more.”

To find out more visit Sutton Council’s Fairtrade Information Page.

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Borough’s libraries installing new system in March

Sutton Council is part of, and leads the London Library Consortium, which consists of 15 library authorities in London and Luton authority.  It is the country’s largest public library consortium, serving over 140 library branches and provides library customers with access to over 6 million items of stock across the consortium and all through one library card. Each year, over 250,000 users use the consortium to borrow stock  and access resources online, such as e-books, and online resources such as magazines and reference material. 

New library system installation, account update information and ‘My Library’ App download

From 7 March 2019, a brand new library system will be installed across this network of libraries allowing greater access to existing and new library stock including e-books,  e-resources and hard copy books.  
Between Saturday 2 March to Wednesday 6 March, installation works will take place so  customers will not be able to access several services, including the website and online services, such as renewals, online payments, online reservations. My Library account information and the Sutton Library Mobile App will also be unavailable during this time.   Public computers and free Wifi access will still be available.   Items borrowed will be issued for slightly longer than usual to cover this installation period. 
Library customers will need to update their account information with their email and mobile number details to continue to receive pre and overdue items reminders and reservations notifications as these will no longer be sent out by post.

Library customers who have the current library app, will also need to download the new London Library Consortium ‘My Library App’ which will be available in app stores from the 7th March. 

A new library platform for the future
Kelly Saini Badwal, Sutton Council’s new Head of Cultural Services (formerly Libraries, Heritage and Arts),  said: “This is truly an exciting time for Sutton. We’re proud to lead the way for libraries across London and overseeing the implementation of a brand new library system that will not only improve the library experience for customers but ultimately lead to a fully engaged library community.”

Over the coming months, this new library system will help increase services, providing a virtual platform for customers to interact with one another and library staff as well as follow authors, join virtual reading groups and provide book reviews and rating services. Customers will also be able to find libraries and events through the ‘Find my nearest’ function and will be able to  opt in or out of receiving event information through email or text.

More information
For more information on how to join any library in Sutton or if you have any questions about services, please visit

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Beaufort Academy proposes to join Greenshaw Learning Trust

The Trustees of OUR Cooperative Academy Trust are proposing that Beaufort Academy should join the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

The Trustees, with the local governing body and the school’s leadership, have been carefully considering the school’s future and evaluating its options and have concluded that the best way forward for Beaufort is for the school to become part of the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

Peter Westall, Chair of OUR Cooperative Academy Trust, said: “The Greenshaw Learning Trust shares our values and commitment to provide the best education for the local community. Greenshaw has proven success improving schools and has the experience and capacity to provide the support Beaufort needs, whilst building on the strengths of the school for the benefit of all our pupils.”

Mike Cooper, Chair of the Greenshaw Learning Trust, said: “We are delighted that Beaufort wants to join our Trust. As part of the Greenshaw family, close collaboration with like-minded schools facing similar challenges, and quality cost-effective support services will help Beaufort be the local school of choice in which to work and learn.”

The Greenshaw Learning Trust is an established and successful multi academy trust with primary and secondary schools in South London, Berkshire and Gloucestershire.

As an academy in the Greenshaw Learning Trust, Beaufort will maintain its ethos and its place at the heart of its local community, whilst benefitting from quality support services and efficiencies that will ensure the school improves and provides the best start in life to all its students.

Subject to the necessary agreements being reached between OUR, the Greenshaw Learning Trust and the Department for Education, it is expected that Beaufort Academy will join the Greenshaw Learning Trust on 1 June 2019.

There is further information about the proposal here.

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Sutton Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert promises a Russian and Armenian extravaganza.

Sutton Symphony Orchestra is back at St Andrew’s URC, Northey Avenue Cheam on 30th March for its spring concert featuring a Russian favourite and some Armenian classics.

First up is Spartacus Suite No. 2 by Khachaturian. Taken from the longer ballet composed in 1954 the suite is based somewhat loosely on the well-known tale of Spartacus, underdog leader of the slave uprising against the repressive Romans in c70BC. Clearly a suitably socialist story and one which Khachaturian had great fun rewriting. There are 4 movements and something for everyone with a love theme, a pirate dance, some manic rhythms and tunes generally inspired by Armenian folk music. You might think you don’t know this piece at all but people of a certain age will recognise part of it as the theme to the Onedin Line.

Next up is Arutiunian’s trumpet concerto with local musician Mikey Ahearn as soloist. Mikey, currently studying music and in his final year at Oxford, is an alumnus of Wilson’s School and Sutton Music Service (SMS), and also won the SMS concerto competition in 2012. This concerto gives the soloist lots of opportunity to show off advanced instrumental techniques as it’s flashy, virtuosic but also lyrical and expressive with yet more Armenian folk influences – overall a real crowd pleaser.

All good symphonies have a “fate” motif and Tchaikovsky’s 4th (which forms the second half of the concert) is no exception.  Tchaikovsky said the opening fanfare signified fate or as he put it “the fatal power which prevents one from attaining the goal of happiness”. Clearly he wasn’t in a great place when he started composing this in 1877 following the end of his short-lived and fairly catastrophic marriage. Although the symphony has its intense and turbulent moments, Tchaikovsky also knew how to write a fabulously over the top tune and there are plenty of these in this piece to wreak havoc with your emotions – all in a good way obviously.

Tickets online from or on the door, £10 for adults, under 18’s free. 7.30pm start.

Sutton Symphony Orchestra (Conductor Philip Aslangul, Leader Annmarie McDade) rehearses on a Tuesday evening and provides an opportunity for local musicians to perform ambitious orchestral works. SSO performs 3 concerts per year. If you are interested in joining, get in touch:

Twitter: @SuttonSymph


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39 Steps to be staged by Sutton Amateur Dramatic Company in March

Sutton Amateur Dramatic Company is staging a production of the 39 steps at the Adrian Mann Theatre, March 20 – March 23.

Tickets £13
T: 07910 649208 from 5:00pm
On door (cash only) from 7.15pm
SADCshows @SADCnews

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Following the success of Not Dead Enough (2017), Dead Simple (2015) and The Perfect Murder (2014), multi-million selling author Peter James returns to Richmond Theatre with THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL from Mon 8 – Sat 13 Apr. This new adaptation stars Rita Simons and Joe McFadden in a nail-biting story based on the author’s own real-life experience in a haunted house. Local press are invited to review on Monday 8th March at 7.30pm. Production images and syndicated interviews can be found here.

The Harcourt family – Ollie, Caro and daughter Jade – move into the house of the dreams that has been empty for the last forty years. However, their dream home quickly turns into the stuff of nightmares, as they begin to sense that they aren’t the only residents at Cold Hill… THE HOUSE ON COLD HILLis a modern-day ghostly thriller that will send shivers down your spine and make you think twice about returning home to a dark, empty house after the show!

Rita Simons is best known for playing ‘Roxy Mitchel in BBC’s Eastenders, having won numerous awards for her role. Her other credits include Mile HighDream Team and Legally Blonde.  In Spring 2012, Rita was the subject of a major documentary film Rita Simons: My Daughter, Deafness and Me made by Leopard Films for primetime BBC1. Most recently Rita rave reviews for her performance as Lisa Prescott in the film The Krays: Dead Man Walking, an untold chapter from the notorious legend of the Kray Twins. In November 2018, Rita was a contestant on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Outta Here! Finishing in 8th place.

Simons says, “I am really thrilled to be starring in the House on Cold Hill alongside such great actors as Joe, Charlie, Persephone and the rest the cast. I could not put it down when I first read the script – it’s a brilliant and modern day supernatural thriller that had me totally gripped and occasionally jumping out of my seat! I can’t wait to see audiences hopefully have the same reaction to it, in theatres around the UK.”

BAFTA nominated actor Joe McFadden is perhaps best known for playing series regular Raf di Lucca in BBC1’s Holby City from 2014 – 2017, and as ‘P C Joe Mason’ in Heartbeat from 2010 – 2014. Other acclaimed TV roles include Sex, Chips and Rock n RollThe Crow Road (for which he received a BAFTA nomination), Cranford and Take The High Road. His extensive theatrical credits include working with John Tiffany and the National Theatre of Scotland on The Missing, touring the UK with Alan Ayckbourn’s Haunting Julia, Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Rent at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End and Rainbow Kiss at the Royal Court. Last year he partnered with Katya Jones in BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and captured the nation’s hearts, eventually winning the series to become the 2017 Strictly Champion.

McFadden says, “It’s a real honour to be entrusted with the character of Ollie and the words of skilled wordsmith, Peter James. He’s created a story that is both chilling and an interesting portrayal of modern family life and will definitely make you think twice about buying that sprawling dream pad in the country!”

They will be joined by Charlie Clements (EastEnders, Casualty, The Bill) and Persephone Swales-Dawson (Hollyoaks) with THE HOUSE ON COLD HILLmarking her professional stage debut.

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Still time to try and access mental health Trust’s strategic partner fund

South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust is launching a strategic partner fund where it will commission one community/voluntary organisation in each borough to run mental health promotional events throughout 2019-2020. The grant available is up to £2,000.

Please consider applying and please feel free to share with other colleagues.

The deadline for applications is the 1st March 2019.

Darren Fernandes, Strategic Co Production Lead, London Leadership Academy Associate Inclusion Advisor E:

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Mayor launches £23 million scrappage fund – with six weeks to go to new ultra low emission zone

With six weeks to go until the 24-hour, seven-days-a week Ultra Low Emission Zone begins in central London, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has opened his scrappage fund to help microbusinesses and charities scrap their older, more polluting vans and minibuses and switch to cleaner vehicles.

The £23 million scrappage fund is one of the Mayor’s hard-hitting measures to tackle toxic air pollution which leads to 40,000 premature deaths annually across the UK and increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia.

With polluting vehicles accounting for around 50 per cent of London’s toxic NOx air emissions, air pollutioncosts the UK economy £20 billion every year.

From today, microbusinesses and charities can choose from a range of ‘scrap for cash’ options and apply for the scheme online at

The Government already offer grants to cover the capital cost of electric vans. These grants reduce the cost of an electric van by up to 20 per cent or a maximum of £8,000. The Mayor’s scheme has been designed to be complementary to this support and aims to help microbusinesses – defined as those with 10 or fewer employees – and registered charities who have vans and minibuses that do not comply with the new ULEZ standards. Businesses and charities will have to be registered in London or have been frequently observed driving in the Congestion Charging Zone. 

Options include:

  • A payment of £6,000 to scrap a non-compliant van or minibus and help with running costs of a new electric vehicle
  • A payment of £3,500 to scrap a non-compliant van or minibus which can be used to:
    • purchase a newer ULEZ compliant Euro 6 vehicle;
    • access third party offers from rental and sharing services across London, including Zipcar, Northgate Hire, Enterprise and Europcar*;
    • support ongoing business operations*

The Mayor recently announced a further £25 million to support low-income Londoners scrapping older cars, with further details to be announced later this year. This brings the total funding the Mayor has made available for his scrappage fund to £48 million.

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Hundreds of vacancies at St Helier and Epsom hospitals – says chief executive

There are now 300 nursing vacancies in Epsom and St Helier hospitals.
The Chief Executive of the hospitals, Daniel Elkeles, told Sutton Council’s Scrutiny Committee at the beginning of February that the shortage is partly due to Brexit.

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake said:
“The toll that Brexit is taking on hospital staffing is unacceptable. St Helier has been my top priority for over 25 years. ”