NHS TRANSPORT: The High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made the decision to end the NHS Transport for the Havens service provided by CTLA Community Transport, the last working day will be Friday September 28. The partnership pilot scheme was started in February 2015 and has run successfully for three and a half years transporting patients to practices and clinics in Newhaven, Peacehaven and Telscombe and to the Lewes Victoria Hospital. The service improved access to healthcare for anyone who may otherwise have struggled to reach local health services. Within its first two months of operation the pilot scheme signed up over 400 members and has grown to over 1500 registered potential beneficiaries delivering nearly 7,000 passenger journeys per annum. In a letter sent to service users from Keith Hoare, Community Services Manager for the CCG, he stated: ‘The reason for this decision is because the NHS, both locally and nationally, is currently facing a significant challenge to try to meet a rising demand on services within restricted finances and resources. This has meant that the local NHS can no longer afford all the services that it currently pays for…

…this decision does not reflect the quality of the service and it is not one we take lightly as we recognise there are benefits other than clinical that it provided.’

CTLA Community Transport is the last accessible transport charity of its kind, covering the Lewes District, and would welcome donations to help those affected by these cuts to still reach local health practitioners on their other services. You can make one off donations or a monthly gift by visiting:

YOGA: With Natalie Heath every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm in the Civic Centre. Contact Natalie Heath email: phone: 07738538094.

LIVING LIGHT PILATES: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning in the Civic Centre. £6.50 per class or class pass for £44 (eight classes plus one free session). Contact Nicola Murray-Smith email: phone: 07776 457752.

FITNESS PILATES: Every Monday morning and Thursday evening in the Civic Centre. Get fit, tone up, prevent back pain, improve flexibility and posture. Equipment provided, just bring some water. Only £6 per class or £40 for eight weeks. Contact Jennie Palmer email: phone: 07825 702775.

YOGA: Every Monday from 7.15pm to 8.15pm in the Civic Centre. Contact Jane email: phone: 07703 167895.

DANCE CLASS: Little Stars Pre-School Dance Class for pre-school children aged 2 to 4 years, every Tuesday 9am to 9.30am at the Civic Centre. £3.50 per session. Contact Anneli Smith 07930 490058.

STROKE ASSOCIATION: Support Group meet on the first and third Thusday of each moth from 2pm to 3.30pm in the Civic Centre. Come along to your local stroke group and meet other people who have been affected by stroke. Website: Helpline: 303 303 3100.

NHS HEALTH CHECKS: We have free NHS Health Checks taking place at the Telscombe Civic Centre on Wednesday and Thursday, August 22 and 23, between 9.30am and 4pm. The checks typically take 30 minutes and includes blood pressure test, blood glucose, cholesterol assessment, lifestyle assessments, BMI calculation, medical history, pulse check and calculation of 10 year, Cardiovascular risk store, Stroke and Heart Disease. These free health checks are for those aged between 40 to 75 years and you must not have had an NHS Health Check within the last five years. Please call on 01273 589777 to book a time slot.

FOOTNOTES: The end of the current dry period was announced to me by the slamming of the cat flap, followed by the thump of a large body landing on the sofa. I turned to see Chaplin licking furiously at himself. ‘Oh dear, got caught in the rain did we?’ I asked mildly. He glared back at me. He had of late taken to sleeping on a bench in the shade of one of the cottage walls. Cool and sheltered it is an ideal refuge from the heat of the sun. However, it does not provide cover against the rain, resulting in Chaplin getting a soaking in the sudden downpour. I stood at the back door over looking the garden, watching welcome rain pour from the heavens, refreshing and cooling. After a short while Chaplin joined me and we stood watching small puddles form on the path. I love to stand and revel in the wonderful scents that fresh rain on grass and earth creates. In order to appreciate it more, I grabbed my umbrella and stood amidst the warm rain soaking the ground and breathing in the glorious smells of grass, plants and earth that it had released, whilst it pattered down on my umbrella. Chaplin followed me and we must have made an odd couple, both of us sheltering under an umbrella in the middle of the deluge. I couldn’t have cared less. In a world that is full of anger, bloodshed and political insanity, I was revelling in the peace, beauty and scents of an English garden, the birds were singing in the trees and Nature was reminding me, as it has always done, that whatever else happens in the world, some things are eternal and never change. Enjoy your week and go safely.