New support for those bereaved by suicide

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Suffolk’s suicide prevention steering group has today announced it will be launching a new service to support individuals, families and others bereaved by suicide.

The 12-month pilot service will be joint funded by Suffolk County Council (SCC) Public Health and Ipswich & East Suffolk and West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The total funding for the service is £30,000, with Suffolk County Council providing £22,000 and CCGs funding £8,000.

The service will be operated by Listening Ear, who already run the AMPARO service in the Merseyside and Cheshire area.

The service will work in close partnership with the police, coroner service and other partners to offer support following notification of a suspected suicide, including 1-2-1 individual support, practical help and signposting to local services that can help.

When the new service launches, it will be widely advertised in Suffolk with options for self-referral and referral by professionals.

Suffolk’s suicide prevention strategy was launched in October 2016 with the aim of reducing the number of suicides in Suffolk by 10% by 2021 which, in Suffolk, would equate to six deaths a year. Since then, more than 400 people in Suffolk have been trained to prevent suicide and 150 have become “Suffolk Life Savers” as part of a far-reaching campaign to reduce the number of people in the county who take their own lives. The suicide prevention partnership comprises health and wellbeing partners including Suffolk County Council Public Health, police, coroner, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Samaritans, Suffolk Mind, Healthwatch Suffolk and others.

Cllr James Reeder, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Suicide has far-reaching effects on family, friends and entire communities. No-one should feel they are alone, or that this is the only option. It’s great that through our partnership work in Suffolk’s Suicide Prevention strategy we have seen many people sign up as Suffolk Life Savers, but there is more to be done.

“More than 60 people die by suicide each year in Suffolk and people bereaved by the sudden death of a loved one are 65% more likely to attempt suicide if they died by suicide than if they died by natural causes.

“This is why it is so important for people to know that help is at hand. In Suffolk we have some outstanding support services who are ready to listen and offer advice and the new service operated by Listening Ear will provide additional support and collaborate with these organisations to making a real difference to people in Suffolk.”

Richard Brown, CEO of Listening Ear, said: “Listening Ear are pleased to be able to bring our experience in running AMPARO to Suffolk. We know that the service makes a real difference to people who are bereaved by suicide and we will be working with locally-based Suicide Liaison Workers to deliver support to those affected by suicide in Suffolk.”

Dr John Hague, Mental Health Clinical Lead for Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said: “We all know that we are going to have to cope with bereavement at some stage of our lives. But until it happens we are not ready for the profound effect this will have on us.

“When someone is bereaved by suicide the sea of conflicting emotions is magnified. Family and friends find it hard too. This can leave a bereaved person feeling very alone and not knowing where to turn.

“The new suicide liaison service offers a skilled worker who is available very soon after the event. They will help guide the bereaved, and those close by them, both practically and emotionally through what will be one of the most difficult times of their lives.”

Liz Howlett, Suicide Reduction Plan Implementation Lead with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), which is part of the partnership, said: “Suicide has a devastating impact on families and communities, which is why services like this are so important. We wholeheartedly welcome the introduction of Listening Ear, which will make it as easier for people to access the right help and support at a time when they may be at their most vulnerable.”

20mph Zone latest


After the long awaited 20mph zone was given approval on 11 June, Cllr Lee Reynolds and I have been told that the final designs are currently being worked on before being implemented. We expect to see the scheme in operation early next year, after all the bureaucracy has been negotiated.

It’s a bit frustrating that the process has to be gone through, but at least we know it has been signed off and is going to happen – albeit after a few years of waiting!
Since the scheme was given the go ahead in June, Lee and I have received many calls from residents expressing approval at the news.

Anglesea Road 20MPH Zone

I am pleased to confirm to residents of Anglesea Road and the surrounding roads, the proposed 20 MPH Zone has been signed off by the Suffolk Highways department.
During my election campaign it became clear that this scheme had the passionate support of residents. I am pleased that it has now been given the green light and I am sure local residents will welcome the news.
I would like to thank Cllr Lockington and other councillors from all parties who have all worked hard on the issue since it was initially discussed.

Following concerns raised by residents in the Anglesea Road area, the proposed 20 mph speed limit would apply to the roads as seen in this plan.

A celebration of Percy

It was an absolute pleasure to help such a wonderful organisation called Lofty Heights last year. My wife had seen a fundraising appeal on Facebook and recommended I meet with them to see if I could help them with fundraising for a new van. During my initial meeting with Olive, the founder of Lofty Heights, it soon became obvious that this was a great organisation and one I was more than happy to support.

They were in desperate need for a new van in order to continue to help people in our communities. Lofty Heights provides more than a cleaning service to vulnerable people in the community, they provide employment, support, skills and aspiration to young people who want to learn but have struggled for various reasons. Congratulations to everyone at Lofty Heights, I am so pleased I was able to help and was able attend your celebration to welcome ‘Percy’ the van to Lofty Heights.

Donation to Friends of Christchurch Park

Yesterday (12th April, 2018) I was pleased to present the Friends of Christchurch Park group with a cheque for £2,000 from my locality budget towards their Water Fountain Project.

The Friends’ project to install a fountain in the middle of the park’s large pond to help restore the pond to it’s former glory, help keep the pond clear of algae and to make it easier for staff to clear the pond of any litter.

We are very lucky to have the number of parks and open spaces that we currently have and Christchurch Park is a wonderful place to visit and spend time with family and friends.

The Friends Group is comprised of dedicated individuals who work so hard to make it a great place to come and visit but also an area where the environment and wildlife can thrive.

Jubilee Park Roadshow

Today I attended the Jubilee Park Roadshow, an event that I was able to help fund from my locality budget. This was an event aimed at bringing the community out to enjoy food, music and fun workshops.

The Roadshow was organised by Ipswich Community Media and featured 22 organisations, including charities and voluntary groups offering advice and information.

Hundreds of visitors enjoyed graffiti workshops, skipping, beat-boxing, sports, the Freedom Sound System and more.

 

Upper Orwell Crossing locations revealed

The alignment of where the Upper Orwell Crossing Bridges will land have been revealed.
The main bridge will link onto Wherstead Road / Rapier Street roundabout from west of the river to a new junction north of Cliff Lane on Holywells Road.
The second road crossing will link Felaw Street to the Wet Dock Island site and the third bridge, at the lock, refurbished for pedestrians.

Infrastructure funding boost for Ipswich Garden Suburb

Great to see the Conservative government has provided £9.8m of funding to build much need infrastructure for the planned Ipswich Garden Suburb development. Ipswich Borough Council forced this development through and disregarded local opposition from affected home owners and Ipswich Conservatives with reservations regarding lack of infrastructure and an already busy road network around the town.