Author Archives: Ray Whitehouse

You are invited to ‘Carols at the Queens Theatre’

Carols at the Queens Flyer

The festive season is finally here and Pinney Talfourd Solicitors has once again teamed up with Queens Theatre Hornchurch to host ‘Carols at the Queens’ on Friday 13 December; 11am – 1pm.

This free carol service will be held at the Queens Theatre in aid of Saint Francis Hospice and Queens Theatre charitable trust with all proceeds being split equally.

Now in it’s third year, this event has attracted a full house each time when held in the theatre foyer. Due to it’s popularity it will now be held the main auditorium – meaning that even more residents and local businesses can join the fun!

Traditionally opened by the Mayor of Havering, the Dawn Chorus and Saint Francis Hospice choir will then lead the crowd in singing some upbeat Christmas songs as well as more traditional carols.

Havering Chamber of Commerce are also delighted to give this event their backing and will be encouraging local businesses to back the event by donating some fabulous prizes again this year for a raffle. Finally, everyone can retire to the bar area for a well-earned cup of tea and a mince pie courtesy of Pinney Talfourd.

Booking is now open and so call the Queens Theatre Box Office on 01708 443333 to reserve your space early or visit for more details.

Computer and Tablet help and courses in Havering Libraries

One-to-one help – available at most libraries with one of our experienced volunteers. Ask at your local library, need to book in advance, maybe waiting lists but we are recruiting more volunteers at present. There are long waiting lists at Collier Row and central Library so try a different library.

Shorter beginners courses run by library volunteers for about 4/5 weeks at some libraries. Ask at your local library.

Courses taught by Havering College – these run over a longer time frame of about 18 weeks at Hornchurch and Upminster. Ask any Havering Library and they will tell you how to book with Havering College

Get help from The Self Directed Support User Group

The Self Directed Support User Group is a user led group for people who are in receipt of Direct Payments and Personal Budgets or are considering their options to arrange and manage their own support to live independently. The group can offer support, advice and also provide feedback from service users to the council. The Group meets at Yew Tree Resource Centre, Romford every six weeks.

HAD is working in partnership with the group to inform, support and assist people who are purchasing their care by personal budgets and direct payments or are considering this option

The aims and objectives of the group:

  • To represent persons on self-directed support
  • A chance for people to have a say on issues they feel important to them
  • An opportunity to share information, experiences and learn from like – minded persons
  • Confidence building on the use of direct payments and personal budgets
  • SDS User  Group members  can offer advice to help shape how council staff organise services
  • Increase membership
  • SDS User Group Is  working in Partnership with H.A.D

(Havering Association for people with Disabilities) and supported by Havering council

 If you would like informal advice, support and assistance with your direct payments/ personal budgets, please call for an appointment.

The SDS USER GROUP is looking for members to form a committee.  We would like to hear from people who are in receipt of direct payments / personal budgets or are interested in doing so. For details please contact SDS User Group Coordinator Maddie on 01708 476554, Email:

Havering GPs opening at weekend to help busy A&Es

Havering GPs are to open their doors at weekends to help relieve the pressure on local hospital A&E departments. A new scheme, which starts this weekend, aims to offer patients who are ill or injured and need urgent care, but are not a medical emergency, a weekend GP appointment in place of a long wait at A&E.

The scheme is designed to ease the pressure on local A&E departments this winter with Havering GPs reminding the public that A&E is only for people with a life-threatening medical emergency.

Here’s how it works. Starting this weekend, the local NHS 111 service can book an urgent weekend GP appointment for you, if needed, at a nearby surgery.

If the problem can wait until Monday, you will be given a ‘passport slip’ that will ensure your own GP contacts you. This will also help reduce the pressure on GP surgeries at the start of the week as patients will not have to wait until Monday to phone for an appointment.

Patients access the new service by calling 111 to ensure they get the right care. Some services, such as x-rays, stitches and medical certificates are not available through the new scheme.

Local hospitals can also re-direct patients to a weekend GP surgery if it is the right place for them to be seen.

A&E attendances at Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) increased by 18 per cent between 2003 and 2011, with the biggest increases coming at the weekend. Winter is the busiest time for the NHS so local GPs want to make sure that, if people need urgent care, alternatives are in place so only those with a life-threatening emergency use A&E and can be seen more quickly.

The scheme will be rolled out between now and December starting in those areas that have the highest numbers of patients using A&E. Participating practices will be open for appointments between 9.30am and 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Havering CCG chair and local GP Dr Atul Aggarwal said:

“We know our local hospital is likely to face serious pressures over the winter and, as local GPs, we must do our bit to help.

“Patients should only go to A&E if they have a life threatening emergency, but sometimes they simply don’t know where they should seek help. We need to provide alternative places for patients who don’t need to be in A&E at weekends but do need to be seen quickly. By calling 111, those patients who need an urgent weekend GP appointment will get one.

“Opening some GP surgeries at weekends this winter is a key part of our plans to make sure patients get the right care in the right place.”

The weekend opening scheme will initially run through the winter. GPs will then look at how effective the scheme has been in reducing A&E attendances before deciding whether to continue it on a longer term basis.

Opening Up To Archaeology-Unearthing Havering Museum Project 7 November – Update

The Museum of London and Havering Museum are running  a collaborative project planned for November/December 2013.

The “Opening Up To Archaeology-Unearthing Havering Project” project aims to encourage members of the community to take part in interactive workshops, engaging with archaeology excavated from the Borough of Havering and fostering involvement with the local community and its heritage.

The sessions are free and refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to book please contact Niamh Keating by email, or at 02075669316.

There is still have availability for the afternoon session on the 7th November from 2pm-3.30pm .  The maximum number of people we can accommodate is 16.

Archaeological Collections Manager (Inclusion)
Museum of London
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London N1 7ED
Tel: 020 7566 9316

Caring Neighbour Awards gets good write up in Romford recorder

There’s an excellent article the Recorder page 47, 14 column inches, 2 photographs, Caring Neighbour & Silver Sunday are both covered.

If you haven’t got a copy of the recorder you can read the e-edition at

Tickets selling fast for an afternoon of Music Hall fun and entertainment at the Queens Theatre, Jan 16 2014

Music Hall

‘ Music Hall’ matinee Queens Theatre Hornchuch. 2-30pm performance on JAN: 16th 2014.

The forum have purchased 59 seats. Complete Rows A,B,C, !. cost discount price of £10 each
( instead of £12-50)

Considering how we all laughed all the way through last years performance. Next Jan ,us being all together we shall probably lift the roof !

Please see Diane at the next forum on 12th Nov:2013 or contact her through the following form:

HOFF Cycling Club

Quite a few of us have expressed an interest in a mid-week cycling club, nothing too strenuous but something which we can do once a week.

Talking to people Thursday seems to be a good day, I would suggest meeting at 10:30 somewhere, cycling to a refreshment stop and then returning to the start.

To get it off the ground, so to speak, I suggest we meet at Rainham Railway Station this week at 10:30 for a ride to RSPB Rainham, stop for a cuppa and then back, about 8 miles. Let me know if you can make it. This Thursday should be dry.

Until people get more confidence then the rides will be off road, or on segregated cycleways along the road(normally on the pavement).

Can people who are interested please let me know at by email or fill in the following contact from.

Ray Whitehouse


Cycling – Only 3 more weeks of Skyrides

The normal Skyride season is coming to an end and the regular week-end rides end at the end of the month. There may well be rides throughout Winter but these tend to be for enthusiastic riders, but I guess lets wait and see. I am proposing to start a HOFF cycling club (see other post) so we can get together on rides over winter.

The remaining local rides are: (click on the ride name to register/get more info)

Romford ride through Raphael and Lodge Farm Parks – Easygoing – Sunday 13th October at 10.00am

Roding Valley Off-Road Tour – Steady
– Sunday 13th October at 10.00am

Havering Country Park and Beyond – Steady
– Sunday 13th October at 2.00pm

Tour of the Parks – Steady
– Saturday 19th October at 10.00am

Hainault Forest Family Ride – Easygoing
– Sunday 20th October at 10.00am

Historic Byeways and Greenways – Steady
– Sunday 20th October at 10.00am

Romford ride through Raphael and Lodge Farm Parks – Easygoing – Sunday 27th October at 10.00am