Welcome to our November 2017 eBulletin
Welcome to the November eBulletin full of Seasonal News and Festive Events from around the County; there's something for everyone to enjoy somewhere. 

Thank you to all our contributors and readers.
East Herts Village Halls & Community Buildings Conference 5 December at Little Hadham Village Hall 9am to 2pm

This year's event will be packed full of interesting presentations and information as well as the usual Market Place of essential services.

CLICK HERE to book your place on Eventbrite or contact for information.


The annual Hertford Christmas Gala

will take place on Friday 24th November from 3.30pm - 8pm, followed by the Think Christmas Think Hertford event on Saturday 25th November.

Both events are organised by Hertford Town Council, and sponsored by Specsavers Hertford and Go Move. The festivities take place in Hertford town centre where residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the county town, shop locally and get into the Christmas spirit.

CLICK HERE for more information

Dacorum BC is telling everyone to get into the Christmas Spirit!

Grab your reindeer antlers and mistletoe and head down to Marlowes on Sunday 26 November for our fabulously festive Christmas Live @ Hemel Hempstead event. The action starts at midday with a host of adventure activities for all the family, plus entertainment on the Rainbow Stage, including performances from the winners of our Hemel Hears You! music competition. Santa will be dropping by prior to the big Christmas lights switch-on at 5.30pm, with a spectacular fireworks display rounding things off. 

CLICK HERE to find out more 

Buntingford Film Club Presents -
The Muppet Christmas Carol

2.30pm at Benson Hall, London Road, BUNTINGFORD -  Tickets: £5
From: Chris Dellar Properties, 58A High Street, BUNTINGFORD and online at:

CLICK HERE for more information

Will you brave a night in the cold to help the homeless?
Join Herts Young Homeless for the St Albans Sleepout at Oaklands College, Smallford, on December 1 and help us raise awareness of homelessness in Hertfordshire.
All ages are welcome to sleep out. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian although over 11s can be part of an adult-led group    

hyh helps over 2,000 vulnerable people across the county each year who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. With your support and sponsorship, we can continue our vital work.
So wrap up warm, grab some friends and help make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people across Hertfordshire this winter.

CLICK HERE  For more information about the St Albans Sleepout or to register your interest for HYH
Advent and Christmas Highlights at St Michael's church, St Albans
6.30pm Advent Carols and Readings; 
SUNDAY 17TH DECEMBER 6.30pm Community Carols; 
SUNDAY 24TH DECEMBER CHRISTMAS EVE    4pm Crib Service; Simple and fun! Ideal for children – please come as a character from the story – shepherd, angel, donkey, star...
11.30pm Midnight Mass; 
MONDAY 25TH DECEMBER CHRISTMAS DAY 9.30am Communion and Carols

CLICK HERE to read more
Local Charities Day 15 December 2017

This Government  initiative aims to highlight the work of small charities that are making remarkable differences in their communities.

NACVA wants to hear from you so they can share your ideas and inspire other charities to get involved. Tweet @NAVCA or email

CLICK HERE for more information from the Dept for Culture Media & Sport website

Visit Bishop's Stortford for their spectacular Christmas Fayre! On December 2 from 9:30am-4:00pm, there are activities for all the family e.g. live music, a fun fair, reindeer over 130 festive stalls to explore!

for more East Herts Council Festive News
Northaw & Cuffley Parish Council Christmas Lighting Ceremony

Christmas Lighting Ceremony on Friday 1st December 2017 at Maynard Place. The lights will be switched on at 5:00pm by Derek Parr (local journalist) Come along at 4.30pm to the start of the Festive Season with Carols sung by Cuffley School Choir followed by Tea & Mince Pies.
Annual Community Party For our Senior Citizens on Friday December 15th from 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. The event will be held at Cuffley Hall, Maynard Place, Cuffley, EN6 4JA Parking is available. 

CLICK HERE for more N&C Parish News

Watford Mencap 
Has recently opened a community café in Watford Central Library. As well as selling delicious locally sourced food and great coffee it raises money for people with learning disabilities in Herts and has a unique remit of taking on staff with learning disabilities to enable them to gain work experience and employment. The café formally opens on 4 December and has had backing from corporate and private supporters.  The Café in the Library is located at Watford Central Library, Hempstead Road, Watford WD17 3EU. For more information on the café contact Clare Perera  

CLICK HERE to read more

CDA Herts Prison Play Area Appeal For Volunteers

Have you ever considered the plight of children who have a close family member in prison? They are frightened, ashamed, confused, outcast, lonely, vulnerable...the list goes on. 
Do you have the skills to potentially turn these young lives around? Are you patient, non-judgmental, calm, honest, reliable?
You really can make a difference by volunteering just a few hours per month. Full training given.

For more details please email Viv Wakeman, Play Area Manager at HMP The Mount, Bovingdon

From 22 January 2018

CDA Herts will be promoting this national week of celebration to promote the work of Village Halls in Hertfordshire.
ACRE has set up Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts using
#VillageHallsWeek in order to publicise your work nationally so please send us your news about events during the week. We will be promoting this at our Village Halls Conference on 5 December so come along and join in and give us your ideas.

Contact us with your ideas Email 


Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust remind us that as the days grow darker and colder you should think about increasing the amount of food that you put out for the birds.
Natural foods are quickly depleting and our native birds are in hot competition with the influx of winter migrants such as fieldfare and redwing. 
Sunflower hearts are a favourite year-round and have a great fat content. In the winter they are particularly beneficial as birds can get straight to the fat and not use precious strength taking the black husk off.  Suet is also very high in fat and can give your local birds the energy boost they need at this time. Look out for noisy mixed flocks of tits grouping together for safety and the nuthatch, a small bird with a distinctive black eyestripe that feeds upside down (see the pic)
The bird to look out for this winter is the hawfinch – there has been an irruption into the country of what is now a rare bird in Hertfordshire. Hawfinch is the UK’s largest finch, beautifully coloured in contrasting rust-red, black and white and with a massive bill.

CLICK HERE to visit the HMWT website

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Hawfinch
ACRE Promotes 'Crossing The Threshold'

A new, updated and extended version of ‘Crossing the Threshold: a step-by-step guide to developing your place of worship for wider community use and managing a successful building project’ toolkit has been launched. The toolkit offers guidance for parishes as they start to consider any changes they would like to make to their buildings and who have a vision for it to be opened up for wider usage whilst maintaining it as an active and welcoming place of worship. 

CLICK HERE to read more and download the Toolkit

HCC Launches Community First Strategy

The strategy sets out an ambitious blueprint for preventing, reducing and or delaying statutory intervention through community involvement which includes families, friends and community support groups to aid the most vulnerable in our society.  Together with its partners, NHS, Public Health and Children’s commissioning have set about strategic plans to address the key challenges across the health and social care sector by targeting our focus on people and families to stay well and independent.

Click Here to read and download the Strategy

Transition St Albans News
Thermal Imaging Camera

A thermal imaging camera enables you to see heat leaking from your house or cold air coming into your house by taking colour-coded pictures highlighting temperature differences. Insufficient loft insulation, gaps in floorboards, draughty windows and badly fitted loft hatches can all allow precious warmth to escape from your house.

CLICK HERE to read more about how to apply to borrow the Camera

New Community Grants Programme goes live!

The new Community Grants programme wants to support voluntary sector groups who are working to improve the quality of life for people and families in Hertfordshire. Designed to complement HCC’s Community First approach, the grants aim to develop the resilience and capacity of our communities, helping them to help themselves and reduce the demand on statutory services. With a clear focus on prevention, we’re looking for projects that support people to take positive actions to reduce the difficulties they experience and the need for more intensive intervention.

CLICK HERE to read more, deadline 22 December.

NHS Stay Well This Winter Campaign

Cold weather can be seriously bad for your health. That's why it's important to look after yourself, especially during the winter. If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or a cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist.

You are eligible for the free flu vaccine if you are pregnant, are aged 65 years or over, have a long term health condition*, or are a carer. Children aged 2 or 3 years are also eligible.

CLICK HERE for further information

The Rural Services Network Reports that a decline in services threatens rural life

Rural life is in decline because countryside pubs, schools and post offices are closing, says a report. Building just a few affordable homes for young families could enhance England’s towns and villages, according to the National Housing Federation study. The Rural Life Monitor tracks the rate at which key services – including schools, post offices and pubs – are closing across rural England because of ageing and dwindling populations. A lack of new affordable housing is driving young families and working-age people out of rural areas, says the federation. In 2016, the cheapest homes in rural areas were 8.3 times the income of typical first-time buyers, considerably higher than in urban areas.

CLICK HERE to read the Key Findings and download the Report.

Public Consultation on a new draft Local Transport Plan for Hertfordshire
This plan sets out how transport can help deliver a positive future vision of Hertfordshire. As well as providing for safe and efficient travel, transport has a major input into wider policies such as economic  growth, meeting housing needs, improving public health and reducing environmental damage. The plan covers the period up to 2031, which is the timescale for most of the housing proposals being set out in the ten district Local Plans. However, it also considers how future planning decisions and emerging technology might affect the way that transport needs to be provided in the longer term. Hertfordshire County Council would like to hear your views on the new draft Local Transport Plan. To assist you in consulting on the draft Local Transport Plan, and giving your feedback on it, we have set up a consultation page accompanied by a small number of questions.

CLICK HERE to access the full Strategy and the online Survey
The consultation is open until 23rd January 2018

Hertford Civic Society Autumn Newsletter

Hertford is facing many changes that will affect its long term future as different levels of the planning process proceed, and in this edition we have tried to elucidate the technical issues as well as the big picture. Central and local government and communities all have a part to play in this process. In addition, there are always proposals from business, which can range from supermarkets to quarrying to the care of a country park. The challenge will be to make a coherent and constructive set of plans to meet the challenges our town will encounter when facing what will inevitably be conflicting interests of housing needs, commercial development and caring for the environment.

CLICK HERE to read the full Autumn Newsletter
Hinxworth Hedgehog Beds Down in Wastebin

Hinxworth residents Pat and Tony Lloyd thought the contents of their kitchen caddy were being strewn outside their back door by a cat or fox. Imagine their surprise when they found the culprit. A hedgehog had not only eaten most of the contents but had then curled up inside it for a sleep. Tony said: “We haven’t seen a hedgehog in our garden for years so it was a lovely surprise. The hedgehog had gone walkabout from the garden of Graham White who had adopted it from a rescue centre. It has been reunited with its owner and carer.

For Wildlife caring tips this Winter visit the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust HERE

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CDA Herts Services available to all communities in Hertfordshire

Community Garden St Albans - Plots available
Village Halls Advisory Service - part of the ACRE network
Rural Issues Network
Rural Affordable Housing Needs Assessments and Surveys
HMP The Mount Play Area
Community Energy Network
Management Health Checks
Health & Safety Training, Audit and Risk Assessment
Health & Wellbeing advocacy
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