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Warning over false representative selling raffle tickets

Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice has issued a warning after receiving reports of a false female representative selling Winter Wonderland Raffle tickets on the charity's behalf. She had no identification, and when asked for ID, drove away.

A member of the public contacted Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice to ask about the tickets they had been offered to buy in the Abbey Terrace area.

The hospice has now issued an alert about the scam, stating its volunteers do not conduct door-to-door fundraising methods.

Lucy Howe, Lottery Assistant, said: "We are issuing a warning to let people know that we do not sign people up for our raffle or fundraise through door-knocking representatives.

"People can only buy our raffle tickets from the hospice shops and from hospice reception.

"We do have one Lottery Sales Assistant, David Millen, who promotes and sells our lottery tickets three times a week in the local Co-operative and Asda shops, but never door-to-door.

"I urge people to be even more vigilant, and under no circumstance hand over cash or bank details without checking with the charity first."

If you have been a victim of the door-to-door scam in the Abbey Wood area, or have more information, contact Lucy Howe on 020 8319 9230.

Families move into new homes for Christmas

Families in Bexley have had their Christmas wishes come true after moving into their new homes at Erith Park in time for the festive season.

Thirty-three families are among the first residents to move into new homes completed as part of the £120 million regeneration project of the former Larner Road estate.

The first phase of the scheme will see 66 homes built for sale, 82 for shared ownership and 195 for rent in a bid to create a mixed community. The 343 properties in this phase are set for completion by October 2015.

One family, who has lived in Erith for ten years, are Jeanette Marsand and her children Kelly, aged two, and Kelsie, aged 12. The Marsands moved into a new home at Erith Park on December 11.

Jeanette explained that when the regeneration started she decided to stay in the area because of the community spirit and convenience for her work at St Anne's Pre-School, which will move to new premises in the second phase of the Erith Park development.

Jeanette said: "Of all the places I've lived, this part of Erith has always been where I've felt most at home. I had the opportunity to move to a new house elsewhere but I realised I really wanted to stay here. People are friendly and look out for each other and it's such a convenient location.

"My new home is all I ever wanted and more. This neighbourhood is going to be a fabulous place to live and I'm really excited and proud to be a part of the new community at Erith Park. I'm looking forward to meeting my new neighbours and welcoming newcomers to the area."

The transformation of Erith Park is a partnership between the local community, Wates Living Space, London Borough of Bexley and Orbit South Housing Association. It is funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA). The architects are BroadwayMalyan.

Executive Director for Orbit South, Vivien Knibbs, said: "Seeing people moving into the first homes at Erith Park really is a real high-point in the journey to transform this area. Our vision for Erith Park has never been just to build homes but to build a community and now we can see that coming to life.

"We're delighted that many people will be enjoying Christmas in their new homes."

Overall Erith Park will feature 550 new homes for 3,000 residents.

Anyone interested in one of the shared ownership or private sale new homes at Erith Park is invited to drop by the marketing suite, which is open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm and is located at Waterhead Close, Erith, DA8 3RD. They can also can contact the marketing team on 0845 463 3545, email Homes@orbit.org.uk or visit www.erithpark.co.uk.

A planning application for phase two has been submitted to the London Borough of Bexley. The £60million proposal will include 244 brand new homes for local people, a community centre and a new home for the community nursery. A decision on planning is expected in early 2015 and start on site is Spring 2015.

'Together for Short Lives' Christmas fundraiser at Crook Log Leisure Centre

On Tuesday 16 December, Crook Log Leisure Centre hosted a very successful fundraising event for Parkwood Leisure's nominated charity, 'Together for Short Lives'.

'Together for Short Lives' is the leading UK charity for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions, working to ensure that children can get the best possible care, wherever and whenever they need it.

Members of Centre staff wore their 'best' Christmas jumpers to work in exchange for making donations to the Charity. Over £50 was raised on the day from staff plus customers were encouraged to make a donation when they visited reception or the cafe. The final amount will be revealed at the end of December, when all of the collection boxes will be emptied and counted!

Supporting bereaved people

Almost half of Britons (47%) say they would feel uncomfortable talking to someone who has been recently bereaved according to a new study released by the Dying Matters Coalition this week.

The research has been released to coincide with the launch of 'Being There', a new Dying Matters campaign to support people with what to say and do after someone has been bereaved, including over the Christmas period.

The report has been backed by Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice in Abbey Wood, who offer a variety of services to support people who have been bereaved whilst their friend or relative was under the care of the hospice, including individual counselling, group counselling and telephone support.

The hospice's telephone bereavement support service, which helps people who are struggling with bereavement to access the support they need, has helped nearly 2,500 people since it started, four years ago.

Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice also provides additional support for carers and families through its bi-monthly drop in service, Stepping Stones, where bereaved people can socialise with others in a similar situation and access advice, support and relaxation therapies.

Kate Heaps, Chief Executive of Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice said:

"We hope that the hospice can really help people through what is very often a lonely and dark time; being there to talk, listen and provide support can make a real difference, particularly at this time of year, people often feel the impact of their bereavement, so if you know of a friend or neighbour who may have lost someone close to them, please do say 'hello' or ask how they are doing."

Information on Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice's Support and Counselling services can be found at www.communityhospice.org.uk/support-and-counselling.

Dying Matters has produced a new leaflet based on bereaved people's own experiences. It is available to download for free at www.dyingmatters.org.

Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice is looking for volunteers to join its telephone bereavement service. To find out more call 020 8320 5812, email vanessahill@gbch.org.uk or visit

Annual volunteer recognition evening for Bexley Youth Offending Team

The Bexley Youth Offending Team (YOT) held its annual Volunteer Recognition Evening, at Bexley Civic Offices on 11 December. The event highlights the work of all its volunteers, who provide valuable services to young people through both one-to-one support and through their involvement as panel members.

Volunteer Learning Mentors provide individual support to young people involved with the YOT, who have educational or learning needs. Panel Member volunteers work with young people on court orders, by supporting them through a panel process, which allows for the implementation of a contract designed to facilitate positive growth and change.

The recognition event was also attended by YOT staff members who shared in the recognition/holiday celebration and paid tribute to the dedication and commitment of the volunteers.

The Youth Offending Team wishes to thank all of its hard working volunteers for the time and effort they have given to supporting young people throughout the year.

See the following link for further information about Bexley YOT. Youth crime and prevention

The Sidcup Christmas Festival

Sidcup High Street came alive on Saturday 13 December, when 'The Sidcup Christmas Festival' took place. There were numerous activities at various sites along the high street which included Santa's Grotto provided by the Rotary Club of Sidcup, real reindeer, a barn owl, a stilt walker, a recycled Christmas decoration competition, music, free children's activities and craft stalls offering a variety of products. There was also a free mince pie and mulled wine for the adults, available in partnership with Waitrose.

A food bank was located near Waitrose; anyone who donated an item of food was entered into a raffle to win one of seven Waitrose hampers. The festival was organised by the Sidcup Town Team.

Return to this week's Bexley Bulletin.

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