CVS Tendring volunteer goes into business

Volunteering can be a useful alternative to donations for giving back to the community or supporting a charity. It can also be good for improving your work prospects, and with the help of Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST) one participant has gone into business for himself.

Andrew Coupe-Harris originally started at CVST as a volunteer for their weekly IT clubs, which are funded by the Big Lottery as part of CVST’s Healthier Independent Longer Lives(HILL) project. Along with other volunteers he makes his time available to help those with no previous experience get started with using email, social media, the Internet and more.

He is also behind Technewbies, a personal one-to-one IT tuition service. With the help of CVST and other local enterprise schemes he was inspired by his volunteering experience to work for himself.

“Volunteering at CVST was an education for me. Before doing this I never even considered working as a tutor, let alone running my own business. To begin with I felt like a fish out of water, but as I got more involved with visitors and helped them with their requests and problems I gained confidence. Just through listening to conversation I learned more about common issues with computers, and the general attitude toward technology. I came to realise that some people need more help than a volunteer could give.”

CVST is dedicated to creating and sharing knowledge to address local needs, and as a part of this they maintain strong links with the local business community.

CVST host a monthly networking event called the Self-Employment Pathway, where start-ups and people considering going into business can come along to talk with successful local business owners.

“I went along to the networking event with no real plan in mind. I just saw it as a chance to run my idea past people in the know. I was able to talk about my idea in detail, and got a lot of great feedback along with further advice and recommendations. I will continue to volunteer at CVST. I feel we both want to achieve the same goal, to encourage more independent living. And I also think it is important keep this link with the community.”

To enquire about further volunteer opportunities or about the Self-Employment Pathway you can call CVST on (01255) 425692 or visit for more information.

If you would like to get in touch with Andrew for more information about how Technewbies could help you call him on (01255) 420952 or visit the website at



PICTURED: Volunteer turned business-man Andrew Coupe-Harris with 89 year old Silver Surfer George Piggott.


Jaywick 60 plus club receives grant from money raised by HealthStrength.

Jaywick 60 plus picture 1A Jaywick group that has been running activities for people over the age of 60 for over 50 years has received a £12,050 grant from money raised by HealthStrength through The Health Lottery.

The funding will enable the Jaywick 60 plus club to continue to run its weekly sessions which have a membership of over 80 people. The club also organises day trips, events and other activities to prevent older people living in Jaywick from becoming lonely and isolated.

The club meets every Monday between 2 and 4pm and is open to any local resident over the age of 60. Trips and other activities take place throughout the year.

Club Chairman, Lyn Hutchins said: “This grant will help us expand our work in the community with local people. So many older people are living on their own and our club gives them the opportunity to meet other people, make new friends and most of all to have fun!”

The club were contacted by Community Voluntary Services Tendring who provide funding support to local groups and who informed Jaywick 60 plus about the grant programme.

Lyn said “We are really grateful to our local CVS for sharing information about this grant with our group and would recommend other groups looking for any kind of support to contact them”

The club has also used some of the funding from the grant to purchase a new music system.

Quote from Donald Macrae, Director of HealthStrength “This project brings real value to the health and well being of the local community and we are delighted to be supporting it.”

For more information about the project contact Lyn on 01255 420641

For more information about HealthStrength contact or call 0203 384 8309 or visit

Litter Is No Longer a Problem!

A community litter pick which took place recently by Clacton town centre residents was hailed as a ‘A good deed and well done’ by all concerned.

Residents from The Grove and Hayes Road, Clacton on Sea, collected four bags of rubbish with resources supplied by Tendring District Council. “Litter is always a problem in our road. People don’t think before they drop it, then it blows off into someone’s garden and they just walk off.” Stated Douglas Neil who was one of the residents participating.

The residents are all part of Good Neighbours, a local group who hold their monthly coffee mornings on the last Saturday of every month in Clacton town centre. Residents get together, make friends, and if there are issues of concern, they talk about how best to resolve it. They do this by either working together such as the litter pick or in other ways for example, by contacting other agencies to help.

“The day went really well” said Emma Hazleton, HILL Community Development Officer at CVST. She went on to say “It was great to be working with the local community on a project that makes a direct difference not only to the people who took part, but to neighbours and to the immediate environment. The area look so much better and the residents had a real sense of achievement which they talked about over coffee and biscuits after the litter pick. A few minor issues were reported to Tendring District Council who thanked the group and there were some different ideas agreed for future activities and for fundraising.

We’re looking forward to supporting local people with more events like this. Anyone can come along to the coffee mornings to meet other Clacton residents and share ideas – the group are moving forward!” she said.


Contact Emma Hazelton, Community Development Officer for further details on 01255 425692. The Good Neighbours group is part of the Lottery funded project Healthier, Independent, Longer Lives (HILL) run by CVST.


At a recent meeting of the Tendring Older People’s Forum, members discussed the alarming rise in incidents of fraud.  Jean Allen from Home Instead who was guest speaker at the Forum, illustrated how older people were particularly vulnerable to scams and in many cases are facing a daily onslaught. People are under constant attack  through the post, telephone, email and door to door callers.  “Fraudsters play on our weaknesses” she stated and went on to describe the ways in which salesman can persuade people to give them money.  She said “They are very good at their job and target us according to our weak points such as those who may have early onset dementia, those who are lonely or those in need of extra income.  They either play on people’s emotions or are aware that many are too busy to read the small print”.  Jean described the “suckers list” which is a list of vulnerable people’s contact details which is being passed around companies in order to take money from vulnerable people.

Fraudsters adopt many kinds of ways to attract people. For example through competitions and ‘free prize draws’ where people are asked to send money to get to the next stage of the competition.  Everyone was asked to ‘think Jessica’.  This woman’s plight was reported in the national press as she was found to have received 30,000 letters over 2 years and ended up paying out £3,000 per month.  People who have been defrauded lose their confidence dramatically. Another scam is where an email is sent appealing for help for a relative or friend who is stuck in another country and need help and this should be ignored.  Or it could be that a missed telephone call prompts the householder to use the call back service and are then charged £50 on their telephone bill. There are swindlers who target an older persons house by offering to fix a broken gate or mow the lawn and build up the relationship so they become ‘friends’ only to cheat on the person later on. There have been many examples of theft through fraud in the press and people should use this as an example of how it could happen to any one of us.  Jean Allen said individuals must ensure they protect themselves and this can be achieved in a number of ways.  Through caller identification on the phone or use a screen/block calls service. “Don’t answer calls that you don’t recognise” she said. It is essential that people increase their IT skills as most services now are automated and computerised.

The Forum members discussed the problems facing local people and agreed that there needs to be constant awareness raising and all organisations should be sharing this information with their clients and members.

There will be two opportunities to learn more about how to spot fraud and how to build up protection at the following FREE events:

2.00pm on Tuesday 28 April  2015 in Sam’s Hall, 22 Rosemary Road, Clacton on Sea or

2.00pm on Wednesday 29 April 2015 at Soken House, the Triangle, Frinton on Sea.

Contact Jean Allen, Home Instead to book a place by calling 01255 672269 or email

The Tendring Older People’s Forum exists to bring together representatives from local organisations who provide support services for older people.  The aim is to share information, network, raise issues of concern and make recommendations for service delivery. To continually seek the views of older people and to promote older people being treated with respect and dignity.  To raise awareness of the conditions which most affect older people and to promote active lifestyles.

Older People Forum March 2015Further information about the forum can be found at  or by contacting  Tel: 01255 425692.  Wally Bensilum is the Chairman of the Forum and CVST provide the administration and secretarial service.

Local Twitter Hours – the hashtags you need!


@GNColchester regularly takes part in Twitter hours that cover the CO postcode area.

A Twitter hour is an event set up on Twitter that allows users to contribute by using a # (hashtag) to a conversation that is held at a specific date and time. During these Twitter hours users promote their businesses and services as well as socially interacting with others.

Hours local to us are:

  • #colchesterhour       Tuesday 4-5pm
  • #merseahour           Tuesday 4-5pm
  • #tendringhour          Tuesday 4-5pm
  • #halsteadhour          Tuesday 7-8pm
  • #Essexhour                    Tuesday & Friday 4-5pm
  • #sudburyhour           Thursday 8-9pm

About Us


What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘grandparent’? If it’s a little old lady knitting in a rocking chair, then you might want to think again. These days you’re as likely to see an octogenarian tweeting from her iPad as casting off her purl stitch.

Gransnet, the social networking site for the over 50s (don’t let the name fool you – all older people male or female, grandparent, parent or not are welcome to join us!), launched in 2011 and is now the largest social networking site for older people in the country. New members have been joining every day for the past 2 years, to talk about everything from politics to memories, books to relationships, snorkelling to, OK, yes, knitting. In 2013 came the launch of Gransnet Local, a network of sites across the country run by people aged 50-plus, offering listings of activities and events; a directory of services, from health centres to plumbers; forums for discussion of local issues; and the possibility of meeting up.

One of the joys of the internet is that no one has to know what you look like. The great thing about the web is that prejudices – about someone who has a disability, or is over 50 and living alone – don’t have to get in the way of who you are. Gransnetters value this anonymity. Even so, it quickly became apparent that many of them do want to meet offline, particularly once they’ve made friends. Members have taken it upon themselves to organise lunches and visit each other, including in hospital; some have even holidayed together.

Gransnet Local Colchester is the local site covering the whole CO postcode area and is thriving with new groups, businesses and events being added each day. Discussions have started on the local forums and a monthly newsletter is being sent out. Gransnet Local Colchester also has Facebook and Twitter pages for those wishing to take social networking for the over 50s one step further.

It is free to join and free to add to the local website listings, whether it’s to tell everyone about your fantastic hairdresser or inviting us all to your jumble sale. There is also the opportunity for local businesses to advertise to their target market or to offer promotions or competitions.

We want to hear from you if you have something to add to our local Gransnet community.