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Pods provide peace and quiet for St Helier Hospital staff

Hardworking staff at Epsom and St Helier can now make the most of their breaks or find a moment of relaxation after a busy shift, thanks to a generous loan of two sleep pods.

The two space-age looking pods are designed specifically for twenty-minute power naps, and come complete with a hooded privacy visor and the option to play pre-programmed music or a relaxation guide. This means valued NHS staff are able to rejuvenate their minds and body in the break of a busy shift, or before heading home after clocking off for the day.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “Team ESTH always work hard to provide the best care to our patients, but the effort and determination they have shown through COVID-19 has been phenomenal. If anyone deserves to put their feet up for 20 minutes and make the most of a lunch break, it’s our staff!

“Evidence shows that for most people, a short 15 to 20-minute nap can help to reduce the impact of tiredness on people’s ability to function and can improve performance. But more importantly than that, being able to take a moment to relax and recuperate will be a real boost for the health and wellbeing of our staff, which in turn, has a positive effect on patient care and experience”.

Dr Shakil Rahman, Lead Respiratory Consultant at the Trust, has been at the very forefront of the Trust’s response to COVID-19, leading the team who cared for some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. He said: ‘I’ve tried the sleep pod and I can’t believe – even for a poor sleeper like me – how refreshed I feel. I will definitely be using it again and encouraging everyone to try some power naps, especially the junior doctors who work and study incredibly hard. I’ve been so proud of how the respiratory team and all my ESTH colleagues have faced the immense challenges of this pandemic, and I truly think their health and wellbeing has never been so important.”

The sleep pods have kindly been loaned to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity by the company Restworks for a free two-month trial but – if the feedback from staff continues to be positive the charity could look to purchase them on a long-term basis. The Charity always welcome support from local people and businesses – if you would like to make a donation to this or any other project, please contact the team by email at or call 01372 735262.

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Sutton New Town Community Festival autumn photo competition is now on

2020 Autumn Photography Competition

The Sutton New Town Community Festival Autumn Photography competition is open to everyone.

Your photography of Sutton New Town and its neighbourhood has the power to inspire, excite and amaze. Great images of our neighbourhood can transform the way people look at our community, challenge opinion and stimulate debate.

We welcome all ages to take part, using either sheet and any technique you’d like.  Pictures can be colour or black and white, taken on a camera or phone, showing any aspect of Sutton New Town in Autumn.

Note:  Please photographs should not include faces of children under the age of 18.

The competition will be judged in 3 age categories

• Primary School

• Secondary School

• Adult

Our favourite entry in each category will win a £15 gift voucher.  Entries must be made by UK residents over 18 years of age, but of course, you can enter on behalf of younger artists.

Take a photo and save the image as a jpg or png file.  Email the photo/image to We won’t pass your address on to anyone else.

See website for terms and conditions

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Sutton Council transfer local committee meetings online



Local Committee meetings will be held online for the first time this autumn. This format is being used as Sutton Council follows government advice to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“You’ll be able to watch a live stream of meetings; links to these will be available when the agenda for your Local Committee is published. This is a great opportunity to hear about issues affecting your local area. Local Committee Chairs are currently developing the agendas for each meeting and will be published on the relevant meeting page the week before the meeting,” said a spokesperson”

“If you are interested in getting involved, please take a look at the ‘asking a question at Local Committee‘ page. As we trial this new meeting format you will need to submit your question in advance of the meeting.

“We are currently looking at how to improve Local Committees and will be sharing feedback forms during the meeting. We’d love to hear from you about what worked well and what you would like to see improved.

“Active links to our live stream will be available in due course here.

Cheam North and Worcester Park Local Committee – Thursday, 22nd October 2020 7.00pm

Carshalton and Clockhouse Local Committee – Tuesday, 3rd November 2020 7.00pm

Sutton Local Committee – Thursday, 12th November 2020 7.00pm

Sutton South, Cheam and Belmont – Thursday, 26th November 2020 7.00pm

Find out more

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Sutton Council issue statement after move to Tier 2 restrictions

Following the announcement that the London Borough of Sutton is now in Tier 2 Sutton Council has issued this statement:

Sutton, along with the rest of London, has now moved into Tier 2 (COVID alert level high), as announced yesterday.

While Sutton has one of the lower rates of infection in London, cases are rising rapidly, so it is important that we all follow Tier 2 guidelines (COVID alert level high) in order to stay safe, protect our loved ones and ensure that we can keep local schools and businesses open.

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, says:

“I know that every new restriction will have an impact on our communities and will introduce new challenges in what has already been an incredibly challenging year.

“In Sutton, we have worked extremely hard since the start of the pandemic, with our partners in the NHS, the voluntary sector and our local residents to make sure that people who need support have it. And we stand ready to do the same over the coming months as we live with the new restrictions and challenges that this virus will pose to our city and our communities.

“The pandemic has affected us all in some way. Every Sutton resident has played their part in working to keep Sutton safe. I have no doubt that Sutton’s community will pull together once more.”

Throughout the pandemic, the response across Sutton has seen the community, voluntary and statutory organisations, residents and businesses working together to ensure that people were kept safe, services delivered, and that the spread of the virus was minimised as far as possible.

Whether disseminating public health guidelines, signposting people to the right place for support, or volunteering to provide support directly, each member of this partnership has been vital to our local response.

Councillor Dombey this week wrote to individuals within Sutton who were shielding at the start of the pandemic and those who received support through our community hub, reassuring them that support is still available from the Council and partners.

Cllr Dombey, with Council Chief Executive Helen Bailey and Director of Public Health Dr Imran Choudhury will host a Sutton COVID ‘summit’ in the coming days to discuss with local community leaders the impact on local communities and to support local preparations for the next phase of the Coronavirus pandemic.


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Great chance to recognise the borough’s unsung heroes – nominate now

Sutton Community Awards 2020: Now Open For Nominations

Celebrating Sutton’s unsung heroes in the face of challenge

Each year, Sutton’s Community Awards recognise remarkable individuals and groups in Sutton. This year takes on an even more special theme of celebration and commemoration in light of the challenges faced due to COVID-19.

For the second year running, Sutton’s Community Awards will be in partnership with Community Action Sutton, Sutton Housing Partnership, Volunteer Centre Sutton and Sutton Council, to celebrate the individuals, volunteers and community groups that have made an exceptional contribution to making Sutton a better place to live, work and raise a family.

More information on the award categories and how to nominate a volunteer or organisation can be found by clicking the button below.

Read more
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Cognus shareholders vote on new arrangements

Cognus shareholders (including Sutton schools) have voted for new arrangements to move ahead to bring the company into Council ownership.

The arrangements also give schools and families a greater voice in the direction of the company and support the delivery of the best possible education services in the borough. The vote was taken on 29 September 2020.

This is positive news for both the Cognus and the Council’s partnership. Cognus is central in delivering the Council’s ambitious plans for education in Sutton and provides 27 services to children, young people, families, schools and specialist education providers. The services include an autism and social communication service, educational psychology, occupational therapy, school admissions, speech and language therapy and a virtual school for Children Looked After. This partnership has received positive endorsements over the last year from Ofsted, the CQC and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP as well as positive feedback from other local partners – schools, education settings and some families.

The proposed changes will strengthen the partnership further, and enable Cognus to further focus on service delivery, while the Council will support the management of the company and continue to provide strategic oversight through the appointment of three Council officers to the Cognus Board. This outcome responds to recommendations made by the independent expert Sharon Scott, who reviewed Sutton’s education services practice and governance in 2019 and the Ofsted and CQC report, by including representatives from the special, primary and secondary education sectors. The proposed change in governance will also ensure that all schools and education settings have a greater voice in the direction of the company.

Ian Comfort, Chair of Cognus said:

“I welcome this move for closer alignment and the opportunity it brings for future working between the Council and Cognus. The quality of services that Cognus provides to Sutton and the surrounding areas has built solid foundations and grown over the years, which will only continue with this closer change. Cognus is committed to working closer with the Council, schools and settings and most importantly parents, children and young people to ensure an ever better service provision.”

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Sutton Council outlines how it is participating in national hate crime awareness week

Sutton Council is participating in National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against another person because of their disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.

It doesn’t always include physical violence and can be using offensive language or harassing someone because of who they are.

How can you get involved?

This year there will be an online event during the awareness week. There will also be information and new signage displayed at different locations across the Borough.

The second event will be held on Friday 16th October there will be an online discussion along with a series of short presentations focusing on the joint impact of COVID 19 and BLM on community cohesion using Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents as a barometer of that cohesion. Book your place here

Please feel free to attend our online events and share this information with friends, family and work colleagues.

Leader of the Council, Ruth Dombey said: “Sutton is a great place to live, work and raise a family. We are proud to be one of the safest boroughs in London.

Along with our partners including the police, fire brigade, schools and voluntary sector, Sutton Council does not tolerate any form of hate crime in our borough and we fully support National Hate Crime Awareness week.

Everyone should be able to live their lives without fear of discrimination or of becoming a victim of hate crime and we will do everything we can to challenge it in all its forms, raise awareness and encourage victims to report it when it occurs.”

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Mayor of London issues statement on new Covid restrictions from Saturday

Statement from Sadiq Khan Mayor of London.

Important Coronavirus update. It is clear that the virus is now spreading rapidly in every part of our city, and hospital and ICU admissions are steadily rising. Time and again it has been shown that it is better to act earlier than to act too late – which would cost more lives and damage more livelihoods. I am not willing to put Londoners’ lives at risk and we must do all we can to minimise economic damage.

“That is why, following discussions between me, ministers and our city’s senior health advisers and council leaders, the Government will move London into tier 2 restrictions – alert level high – from the start of Saturday. This will mean Londoners will not be able to mix between different households indoors – which includes in their homes and inside pubs and restaurants. Londoners should also aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

“There are no good options. I know these further restrictions will require Londoners to make yet more sacrifices, but the disastrous failure of the test, trace and isolate system leaves us with little choice. I am well aware that these restrictions will have a further significant impact on businesses in our city, which is why the Government must come forward with more financial support for affected businesses and local authorities immediately, as well as for vulnerable Londoners struggling to get by.

“I still believe that, as SAGE recommended to ministers, the immediate priority should now also be a short national circuit breaker. This would allow us to get the reinfection rate down to a manageable level and give the Government more time finally to get a grip on the failing test and trace system. But moving London to the next tier of restrictions from Saturday will, we hope, help slow the spread of the virus, take pressure off the NHS and help avert the possibility of a full lockdown lasting months – which would be the worst possible outcome for Londoners and our economy.”

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MP urges headteachers to mark Remembrance through new educational resources

Elliot Colburn MP has written to all headteachers in Carshalton and Wallington urging schools to mark Remembrance by taking advantage of new educational resources from The Royal British Legion.

 The teaching resources include book clubs, bitesize activities, and creative writing projects. The Royal British Legion, together with the National Literary Trust, has created a range of teaching resources for children in Key Stages 1-4, designed to help them explore their shared heritage of Remembrance and understand its relevance to today.

 In a year where the nation marked 75 years since Victory in Europe, Victory over Japan and 70 years since the beginning of the war in Korea, the Legion is also encouraging people to acknowledge the contribution of a new generation of Armed Forces who have responded alongside essential workers on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19.

 The Legion’s new resources are designed to help children draw parallels between these modern-day challenges and the Second World War generation, highlighting the significance of Remembrance in today’s world. The resources have been created to provide children with the right level of support and challenge.

As the national champions of Remembrance, the Legion is committed to ensuring that it is understood and available to every child and community in the UK.

 Elliot said:

 “To highlight the importance of Remembrance the Legion and the National Literary Trust have produced a range of educational resources for children to enjoy in the classroom and at home. In this unique and challenging year, the Legion wants to support children in understanding why we remember.

 “The Royal British Legion is committed to making sure the torch of Remembrance is passed on to the next generation, and these resources will play an important role in achieving that. I am encouraging schools in Carshalton and Wallington and across our country to use these helpful resources.”

 The resources are available to download now at:    

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Time Out project offers great range of summer activities for borough’s young people

Riverside Community Association’s Time Out project has not let the Covid pandemic slow down it’s activities over the summer.

“Following the opportunity to return to face to face work and working closely within the National Youth Agency Guidance, in early July, the Team delivered a number of weeks of activity,” said chief executive Dave Lunn.

“These included holiday club, skateboarding (Skoot), detached and outreach work (On The Street)and youth club.

“The programme enabled many families to engage with us, share in activities, take part in physical activity and enjoy something ‘normal’

“We had to work within social distancing and hygiene control measures, which led to creative thinking, however as you will see from the attached, engagement was high and something we are rightly proud of.

“Thank you to all of our supporters, in particular our funders and also the opportunity to provide a daily snack/meal, via the Sutton Libraries Service and their Holiday Hunger programme, as well as The Hilden Charitable Fund who provided some additional funding specifically for these summer activities.

“We are now busy working in preparation for half term and beyond, which will include some new work focusing on listening to young people about their lockdown experiences and working in partnership with Cognus and Community Action Sutton, with children and young people impacted by domestic violence.”