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Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians to get training to spot signs of domestic abuse

Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians are set to get training to spot the signs of domestic abuse as part of a campaign in Sutton backed by the head of a newly created national watchdog.

They will be offered the coaching as part of a new drive in the borough to tackle domestic abuse – called Transform, Sutton – as people often share personal information with stylists and hairdressers that they might not discuss with family or friends.

The training being developed will help people know what to do if customers talk about domestic abuse or shows signs of physical, emotional or financial abuse and how to refer people for help as well as giving valuable information on local services available.

It comes after local hairdressers, beauticians and students attended an event to find out more about the scheme and sign up for training, alongside the new Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales Nicole Jacobs.

The event was organised by the NHS locally and the Local Authority, with support from the area’s domestic abuse transformation board made up of a host of local organisations.

These include Sutton Council, NHS Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group, Epsom Hospital and St Helier Hospital, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, Sutton Community Action and secondary schools.

Once the training has been finalised following input from salon staff it will be provided through the board’s Transform, Sutton initiative, which is led by charity Cranstoun.

Sutton Council has invested £1.25 million over three years, working alongside local schools, residents, volunteers, and organisations to deliver a comprehensive plan and public campaign – Not Alone in Sutton.

The new Transform service will provide support for victims of domestic abuse as well as offer help to perpetrators who want to change their behaviour.

In 2017, domestic violence accounted for 38% of all incidents of violence with injury in Sutton – 467 out of 1,242. The number of reported domestic violence and abuse cases rose from 1,451 to 1,573 between 2017 and 2018.

Ms Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, said: “Going for a haircut gives many people an opportunity to open up to somebody outside their social circle – somebody who they know, trust and is used to listening.

“That means hairdressers, barbers and beauty professionals are in a unique position. They may well be able to spot signs of abuse that others might not see and direct people to the services that can make a real difference and, in some cases, save lives.”

Frank Di Lusso, owner of Frank Di Lusso Hair in Carshalton, said: “Being a hairdresser is like being a therapist. Awareness is everything and if people in the industry know how to approach the situation after the client divulges the information, I think that’s invaluable.”

Lisa, of Annie’s Hair Salon said: “I’ve found the event extremely useful, lots of helpful information I didn’t know. Three of us who attended are definitely signing up to become Domestic Abuse Champions. We feel this has been invaluable as we hear clients talking about problems like this all the time, but none of us knew what to do.”

Leader of Sutton Council, Councillor Ruth Dombey, said “Sutton Council is determined to significantly reduce the levels of domestic abuse in our borough. We recognise that the best way to do this is by working closely with our partners from NHS organisations,  the police, fire brigade, and local voluntary groups.

We welcome this new approach with Transform, including the training with salon staff, which builds on the good work already being done. Sutton is a great place to live, work and raise a family and keeping everybody safe is our top priority.”

Dr Jeff Croucher, lead GP in Sutton said “There is huge benefit to the NHS by coming together with partners to prevent domestic abuse occurring or to tackle it early on. We can help to reduce the number of people coming to GPs and A&E with serious injuries, as well preventing and reducing mental health issues for victims and their families”

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More than 850 arrests of capital’s most dangerous and wanted offenders

As part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s continued drive to tackle violent crime in the capital, officers have targeted some of the most dangerous and wanted offenders resulted in over 850 arrests in just under four months.

The Met-wide approach to arresting the individuals involved the efforts local officers across all London boroughs combined with specialist teams such as Violence Suppression Units; the Violent Crime Taskforce; Operation Venice and Roads and Transport Policing. Together they have amplified their ongoing activity to identify and pursue these offenders.

Between 1 July and 26 October, 873 high harm offenders were arrested across the MPS and efforts continue throughout the Autumn Nights campaign to bear down on violence.

The suspects are classed as high harm as they are either wanted in connection with violent offences such as robbery and GBH, or they are wanted for other offences but they are known to have a violent background.

Wanted people are individuals who are being actively sought and suspected of committing or being involved in crime.

The number of outstanding high harm offenders changes on a daily basis as a result of enforcement activity, and as people enter and exit the criminal justice system.

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Charlotte’s story is a first class example for National Care Leavers’ Week

Sutton Council is marking National Care Leavers’ Week (26 October – 1 November) by sharing the story of care leaver, Charlotte Crane who recently graduated with a first-class degree.

Life is taking a new direction for Charlotte, a former Care Leaver in Sutton as she begins studying for an MSC at Bournemouth University

Sutton Council is marking National Care Leavers’ Week (26 October – 1 November) by sharing the story of care leaver, Charlotte Crane who recently graduated with a first-class degree in Ecology and Wildlife from Bournemouth University and began studying for her MSC this September.

In Sutton, there are approximately 348 care leavers aged 16 to 25 for whom the Council acts as Corporate Parent. Care leavers face particular challenges as they enter adult life. Each year, National Care Leavers Week is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the successes of care leavers like Charlotte from across the borough and help inspire others to achieve their full potential.

Charlotte explained how she began her University career: “I got kicked out of high school due to attendance issues and ended up in a Pupil Referral Unit and I found that education was a real struggle for me. When I turned 18 I travelled to India, when I returned to the UK I had a great support network around me. I took time to work on my mental health which helped me to refocus on my education and give me purpose and direction.” 

And she wanted to share a message for other young Care Leavers thinking about their next steps: “Say yes to new and cool opportunities! The path that feels the most scary is always the path you learn from the most.”

Councillor Marian James, Chair of the People Committee at Sutton Council, said: “It is important we celebrate National Care Leavers week to acknowledge the success of our children and young people. As a Council and Corporate Parent we are extremely proud of all our young care leavers in higher education and would particularly like to congratulate Charlotte for all her hard work, completing a degree and going on to further study is a huge achievement, particularly during the current circumstances.”

For more information, please visit – www.suttonlocalofferforcareleavers.org.uk

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Share your life and help with care and support needs – it is a great way to help

Encompass Shared Lives scheme, funded by Sutton Council invites residents of the borough to open up their lives to adults with care and support needs and become Shared Lives carers.

The Sutton Shared Lives Service recruits and supports paid carers to work with adults with learning disabilities, mental health needs and older people. Shared Lives carers offer their homes and family life to provide a safe place for vulnerable adults to live, have a short break or engage in day activities.

Currently there are 31 vulnerable people in Sutton living with another family as part of the Shared Lives Scheme.

Naazina Sinclair’s parents were Shared Lives carers with two adults living in their family home for almost 10 years. Naazina assisted both vulnerable adults taking them to activities they enjoy such as bowling, going to the gym, taking them to the cinema or a day trip out somewhere. Naazina found it very rewarding supporting both adults and decided to become their long-term Shared Lives carer when her parents moved away.

Naazina’s family embraced the idea from the very beginning and her children really enjoyed having them come to live with them. They enjoyed playing basketball together and chatting about football as well as sharing family meals together.

Naazina has found the experience very rewarding for herself and her family. She said: “Shared Lives allow people to come into your home and share your life. It’s shown me different qualities about myself that I didn’t know I had. I learned how to sign as one of the adults has a hearing impairment and is non-verbal. I have also learned to use my teaching skills to assist with their learning.

Shared Lives can fill that void in both family and client’s life. If you are caring and are happy to give your time to support, assist and care for others, being a Shared Lives Carer may be something to consider. The changes that have happened within my family has made us appreciate and acknowledge the needs of others and how we can best support, guide and assist them to help fulfil their goals and choices in life. Our cared for adults are very much a part of our family.”

Peter, a Shared Lives service user in the borough says; “Shared Lives has been great. The family I have has always been there for me and always helps me out.”

Councillor Marian James, Chair of the People Committee, commented on the service;  “We are looking for people who are able to offer adults with care or support needs a place in their home with their family on a short or long term basis. You need to live in the borough, have a spare bedroom and a willingness to share your home.

You will be supported with a careful matching process, ongoing training and regular visits as well as a weekly allowance. 

We hope to be able to offer many more adults with support needs the happiness, comfort and safety of living in a family home. We hear from our Shared Lives carers what a rewarding and positive experience it provides for both parties.”

Prospective carers do not need any qualifications, just time to spare and room in their home.

They will receive regular support from the scheme and receive all necessary training. All costs associated with the scheme are covered by the Council.

Details on who can be a carer, what carers receive and what those needing carers receive can be found at www.encompass-latc.co.uk/about/shared-lives.html

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Phenomenal phlebotomy at St Helier’s brand new blood test unit

Patients who need a blood test at St Helier Hospital will now be seen in a light, bright, and welcoming Phlebotomy Department thanks to a £500,000 relocation and refurbishment.

With up to 450 people coming to the department for a blood test every day, it’s vital that the unit can cater for hundreds of people in a safe and social distanced way, and that our expert phlebotomists (the people who perform the blood test) have a modern space to work in.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles helped to declare the new unit officially open recently at a small ribbon cutting ceremony. He said: “Blood tests are part and parcel of modern health care – they are routine for many of our patients and because of that, their importance might sometimes be taken for granted, but the fact is that blood tests build the foundation of our patients’ care. They can evaluate how well essential organs are working, can help our staff to quickly diagnose certain diseases and conditions such as cancer, HIV, diabetes and anaemia, and can be used to determine whether a patient has risk factors for heart disease. It’s right that this vital service has an environment worthy of seeing up to 450 patients a day, and so I am delighted to see the new unit open and serving patients.”

Helen Johnstone, Interim Clinical Director for Pathology, Clinical Services and Therapies, said: “The team and I are delighted about the move. The new department has given us a much needed refresh and upgrade from our old facilities. It’s much bigger than our previous facility, with an extra testing bay (taking us to a total of seven), a large reception and waiting area and a staff room that the team are really pleased with! It also has some modern touches, such as air cooling to help keep our patients and staff comfortable.

“We have had great feedback from the patients we have seen so far. Visitors have praised the new look of the department and have been comforted by the fact they are visiting a state-of-the-art facility. The booking process has also been streamlined with the introduction of Swiftqueue, an online system that patients can use to book a blood test – even on the same day – and avoid any waiting when they arrive at the department. Patients have found Swiftqueue easy to use and it has greatly decreased waiting times in comparison to walk-in clinics. The technology has also helped management of the department, as we can plan for the day a lot more effectively now we can visualise how many patients we will be seeing and can organise the required staffing to accommodate this.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen – from our brilliant Estates Team to our dedicated phlebotomists who stayed after hours on the evening of the move to ensure it was a success. With such an amazing team, the future for St Helier’s Phlebotomy Department is bright.”

If you need health care, whether as an emergency in A&E or are due to have a planned appointment with us, please do not delay accessing our services. Epsom and St Helier is here to help you. To find out more about our Phlebotomy Department, please visit the page on our website (www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/blood-tests) or to book a blood test, please visit the Swiftqueue website (swiftqueue.co.uk/esh.php).

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Sutton South Hello community group’s “art projects by post” developed to sustain wellbeing

The Sutton South  Hello project has been working tirelessly during the Covid pandemic to ensure the community can sustain its wellbeing. One such project was organised with  local artist Adrienne Roberts who gave her services free of charge  during Lockdown to provide members with projects by post.
Such was the success of these projects that the Sutton Heritage department  invited Hello to exhibit at Honeywood  with other local artists and has now moved the Hello art to Whitehall, in Cheam, with a video of these activities.
To view the video click on the link  https://fb.watch/1mSF5y51jj/
Many have said that these activities have ” kept me sane”, said Heather Honour Chair of Sutton South Hello. “We are now seeking funding so that we can continue these projects over the next five months”.
 
Sutton South Hello was set up eight years ago by local councillors, resident groups and voluntary organisations to address isolation and loneliness in an area of the borough where there is a high proportion of older people living alone.
 
In ” normal” times it meets  on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in Christ Church Hall SM2 5TN, with board games and other sociable activities on Wednesdays and arts and crafts on Thursdays.  These activities are now continuing in the church building itself, with members joining support groups permitted under Government guidelines. 
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Sutton South Hello group “art project by post” supports the community’s wellbeing

The Sutton South  Hello project has been working tirelessly during the Covid pandemic to ensure the community can sustain its wellbeing. One such project was organised with  local artist Adrienne Roberts who gave her services free of charge  during Lockdown to provide members with projects by post.
Such was the success of these projects that the Sutton Heritage department  invited Hello to exhibit at Honeywood  with other local artists and has now moved the Hello art to Whitehall, in Cheam, with a video of these activities.
To view the video click on the link  https://fb.watch/1mSF5y51jj/
Many have said that these activities have ” kept me sane”, said Heather Honour Chair of Sutton South Hello. “We are now seeking funding so that we can continue these projects over the next five months”.
 
Sutton South Hello was set up eight years ago by local councillors, resident groups and voluntary organisations to address isolation and loneliness in an area of the borough where there is a high proportion of older people living alone.
 
In ” normal” times it meets  on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in Christ Church Hall SM2 5TN, with board games and other sociable activities on Wednesdays and arts and crafts on Thursdays.  These activities are now continuing in the church building itself, with members joining support groups permitted under Government guidelines. 
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Detectives release images of suspected stolen paintings and a ring – do you own them?

Three paintings and a high value ring are in the care of detectives who believe they were stolen from a home or vehicle in London, specifically within the south west area.

The items were recovered on 15 October after a man, aged 37, was subject to a stop and search in Battersea, SW11.

He was later released under investigation.

The paintings are dated and signed by an artist based in London who died a number of years ago, while the ring, a platinum band, is believed to be set with diamonds.

There is also a name on the back of one of the paintings which the team investigating may be able to use to corroborate who the rightful owners are, should anyone come forward to claim them.

Trainee Detective Constable Ben White, investigating, said: “These items are distinctive and we really want to reunite them with their rightful owners.

“They are clearly portraits of loved ones commissioned by a family, and if you know who they belong to, please contact us without delay – we are keeping them safe.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101, quoting CAD582/15Oct or Crimestoppers, 100 per cent anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Beddington Farmlands habitat creation continues this autumn

Viridor’s restoration of the 120-hectare Beddington Farmlands in South London is continuing with the creation of the first phase of the wet grassland habitat, including the start of a seeding programme that has seen over 150kg of seed spread across this first phase ahead of further habitat management.

In the past decades the Farmlands, located in the London Borough of Sutton, has supported the safe disposal of the non-recyclable waste of one million Londoners. The landfill site has now closed. Viridor is restoring the Farmlands and creating a network of high-quality wildlife habitats and public access.

One of the key habitats to be created at the Beddington Farmlands is wet grassland, this replicates formerly common habitat found on river floodplains. Across the UK many wet grasslands were drained for agricultural purposes, such that over 90% have been lost. With the first phase of wet grassland now completed, seeded and managed, the site team’s attention will now turn to the second and third phases which may be created by the end of the year.

Marcus Kohler, director of MKA Ecology shared a perspective on the project: “The creation of wet grassland is a key restoration goal at Beddington that will create breeding habitat for target species, notably lapwing, a species on the red list of conservation concern. Lapwing have historically bred at Beddington on the sludge beds, created through the traditional management process of sewage management. Now that this process no longer takes place, the creation of the equivalent of 15 football pitches of wet grassland is fundamental to the sustainability of this unique urban population. With good management, it will also become a significant resource for migrating waders, and other target species such as Little ringed plover.”

Adrian Frost, Head of Project Delivery for Viridor, said: “We are pleased to deliver the first phase of the wet grassland at Beddington, we know that operations across the Beddington Farmlands is changing with the cessation of sewage sludge being spread across the site. To support the lapwing population at Beddington, we are continuing to manage the sludge drying beds to ensure that the lapwing continue to find suitable habitats onsite as the new wet grasslands establish. The community can also follow this journey with our restoration roadmap now updated for 2020 and will be installed in the bird hides accessible from the permissive footpath.  Viridor is also working with the newly appointed Farmlands warden and members of the Conservation and Access Management Committee to develop the first in a series of interpretation boards to be installed in the bird hides for members of the community to engage with the establishing wet grasslands.”

Steve Thomas, long-time member of the Beddington Farm Bird Group added: “Wet grassland habitat is one of the most rapidly declining habitats in Britain, so this is an important area of conservation work. At Beddington Farmlands, the newly created habitat may just be mud and water now, but as it develops it will form low vegetation with wet areas and become a very suitable stopover point for migratory wading birds, some of which will be undertaking huge journeys from the very North of Europe to the West of Africa. As a breeding species, lapwing in the UK is of great conservation concern, at the Beddington Farmlands they have previously bred on the north of the site, due to changing industrial uses of the site, historic sludge spreading has now stopped, these beds are now drying out and are unsuitable for breeding lapwing. Hence the importance of the new wet grassland area.”

Cllr Tim Foster, Independent councillor for Beddington North and Chair of the Conservation and Access Management Committee said: “I recently visited the site as the chair of the Conservation and Access Management Committee for the Beddington Farmlands, the site is still a working area but Viridor is turning former waste land into a nature reserve. This summer wet grassland habitat has been created to the north of the site with channels and islands with some of the birds already enjoying it. The Conservation and Access Management Committee is a partnership between Thames Water, Viridor, the London Borough of Sutton and most importantly the community – representatives form Hackbridge and Beddington. That is what this whole project is about, the community and restoring the Farmlands for their use.”

 

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Brigade asks Londoners to think twice before holding displays this Bonfire Night

With organised firework displays cancelled this year due to Covid-19, London Fire Brigade is calling on Londoners to think twice about holding a firework display or building a garden bonfire at all and to consider celebrating a different way with less risks.

The Brigade is preparing for a busier night than usual with a risk of people becoming injured at home or fires getting out of control.

Over 2000 incidents attended

Last year, we attended more than 2000 incidents over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period – 29 October to 12 November.

Over the last five years 45 percent of fires ignited by fireworks during the Bonfire Night period occurred at residential properties. There is a reason why firework displays and bonfires are normally organised by professionals in large spaces as they can get out of control very quickly.

With our warning in mind, we are calling on Londoners to follow our safety advice and Covid-19 guidelines.

The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Paul Jennings said: “As public firework displays are not taking place this year, we understand you may still want to celebrate. But we urge you to think twice about holding a firework display or building a bonfire in your garden.

“Think about your neighbours, particularly older people or those who are self isolating, pets and of course those of us in the emergency services.

“Despite our warning if you do choose to have your own display, never drink alcohol and set off fireworks, keep fireworks in a closed metal box and only ever buy ones with the British standard kite mark.

“Bonfires should be clear of buildings, sheds, fences and hedges. Bonfires in your back garden can especially be dangerous.

“This time of year is usually one of the busiest for firefighters and Control Officers and we also need to support our NHS colleagues, so please help us, by keeping yourself safe.”

Be considerate towards others

Inform your neighbours if you’re planning on letting off fireworks. Please be considerate when having a firework party and make sure the noise is over by 11pm. Remember, you can only meet family and friends in a group of six, in an outside space when having a display, depending on which tier you’re in. Fireworks can also cause a great deal of distress to animals. In a recent survey, 62 per cent of dog owners reported their pets showing signs of distress during fireworks season, with 54 per cent of cat owners experiencing the same.

We are supporting RSPCA’s ‘Bang Out Of Order’ campaign, encouraging the responsible use of fireworks and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.

Don’t take any unnecessary risks this year and make sure you are following the Covid-19 guidelines. There are many alternative ways to celebrate Bonfire Night at home, some ideas include: making your own Guy Fawkes and bonfire crafts, decorating the house, purchasing glow sticks for children and baking bonfire goodies.

Whilst most people enjoy fireworks responsibly, in the wrong hands they can cause real misery. Remember that fireworks are explosives, and as such should be treated with respect and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Firework Code.