Weekly news from Caroline Ansell
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Welcome to my E-newsletter!

Good morning all, and welcome to my E-newsletter. 

Having made to move from Old Town to the seafront, the prom is now the street where we live. It’s wonderful to be able to step out, generally of an evening, and last night we caught this on camera. The sun rises and the sun sets and this season of self-isolation will also pass.

Meantime, I’m pleased the CCG has made the decision to suspend the consultation on the Station Health Centre this week; it was the only and right thing to do. That said, it has not - at this point - abandoned its proposal to close the Centre. Once we are safely through the pandemic, I will be looking for a response to my challenge on the availability of alternative town centre GP places which was part of the rationale for closure. 

Also this week, cancelling the Tennis was again the only thing to do - I am reluctantly forced to say. That this is a blow for our town is a serious understatement. That this government is giving unprecedented support for jobs and homes at this time, is likewise the truth of it. Understanding that, and also that every village, town and city will have their own ‘Tennis’ case, I will nonetheless be going in to bat with the Treasury for Eastbourne on this. 

My new working life is now characterised by conference calls.

This week I’ve spoken with MPs across the country, the Police, Hospital leaders and Council officers. It’s not the same, I love being with people, but responsibilities and decisions can be discharged in this way and we can continue to move forward. It’s not always easy, and although I recognised all of these comic moments, it’s mercifully not like the brilliant clip below!

Emails in Real Life
From House to Home  

During this crisis much humour has been shared on the Internet about the present lockdown, as well as all the all-important information we need to keep safe and beat Coronavirus. 

The great British sense of humour is very much alive and lots has been made of everyone having to be at home ‘doing nothing’ to help the country. I’ve laughed out loud and shared a few memes myself. It’s undeniably good therapy. 

However, for many people at risk or who are victims of domestic abuse being at home is not the sanctuary or a light hearted sacrifice for the national good, but a dangerous place.

It doesn’t need a great deal of imagination to understand that being forced to live at close quarters, in such a pressured time as this, without much chance of keeping a distance is a recipe for much heartache and worse.

The government has recognised this and there is advice available online to help victims, information for those who are worried someone might be a victim of domestic abuse and links to organisations that can help.

Ministers have also been clear; the police must continue to support victims of domestic abuse at this challenging time. Charities are still available to help and, crucially, victims can leave their home to seek help and refuge, if necessary.

This is so not perfect but it is what we have in this present crisis.  Everyone needs to be aware and neighbours and families need to be vigilant and supportive if problems arise.

Also, an important piece of advice is this: if you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999, and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

Local Landlady still serving the community. Cheers to you, Karen & Team!  
The Wheatsheaf Inn in Willingdon has gone from being a Village pub to a community hub delivering food to the people of Eastbourne and Willingdon.
Landlady and lifelong Eastbourne resident Karen Clapton has rounded up a team of volunteers and now spends her days picking and packing orders for the town's residents. 
'When we were told we must close we knew we still had to do something,' said Karen. 'We know of so many older and vulnerable people and the pub seemed the perfect place to operate a shopping and food service from'.
Karen and her team collect goods from larger outlets and then bring them back to the pub to be sorted ready for deliver or collection the next day. 'We have well over 100 people that we deliver to all across Eastbourne and every day we get more requests,' said Karen.
What makes this even more remarkable is that this is a non-profit arrangement with the goods being charged only at cost price. Even delivery is free. As well as this vital shopping service The Wheatsheaf  Inn are also offering a hot food delivery service. 'One elderly lady told us she hadn't had a hot meal for three days, she simply can't cook on her own and her carers couldn't make their regular visits.'
Karen and her team can by reached by phone on 01323 502069, through Facebook at The Wheatsheaf Inn or email

The picture was taken from last Summer's Beer Festival when days were more carefree. Hold tight- those days will come round again!
Latest Government Measures to Protect the NHS and Save Lives
A huge thank you to everyone involved in creating the Nightingale Hospital. Offering extra care to 4000 Coronavirus patients in the south of England, this feat of engineering, pulled together in just two weeks, shows exactly what we can do when we all come together at times like these. 

Read more here:

Need Help? Help is at hand

If you’re feeling isolated, anxious or unwell at home and don’t have anyone that can help you, the Eastbourne community hub may be able to help. 

📞 For Eastbourne, dial: 01323 679722

Can Help? The NHS Still Needs Volunteers

A huge thank you to everyone who has signed up so far! 

▶️ If you want to volunteer to help the NHS, click here

▶️ 3VA is coordinating volunteer groups in Eastbourne. You can find out 5 ways to help your community during the coronavirus outbreak by visiting their website

And finally...

As I type, I’m looking wistfully at my diary. In another world, I was moving in to my new offices at the Town Hall on Wednesday (at least the paint will be dry by close of lockdown!). 

I would have been at Bistro Pierre to celebrate 80 years service and to fundraise for the Citizens Advice Bureau on Thursday. Yesterday, I was to meet staff and clients at the Job Centre, drop in to a new charity bingo club in Sovereign Harbour and tonight, I would have been supporting our local schools in a charity Concert at All Saints Chapel... 

Instead, I’ve been generally going from the lounge to the kitchen and back again! 

We’re asking a great deal of the British public to simply stay at home but the reason couldn’t be more compelling. It is simply life-saving. On that, can I say a huge THANK YOU to Sussex Police officers and operatives whose role in this is vital. We’re still ‘in the foothills’ of the virus, as it was put to me on a conference call this week, peak pandemic is believed to be mid to late April. We need to hold tight.

Take good care, keep in touch and with my very best,


Copyright © 2020 *Caroline Ansell*, All rights reserved.