International Mental Health Day in Grays Town Centre

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and Reach Out for Mental Health was in Grays Shopping Centre offering somewhere comfy to sit and chat.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

I would like to thank Simon and Ben from the shopping centre, The Break Bar and TRUP for the loan of the furniture, a number of Local Area Coordinators and everyone who stopped for a chat!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting

Litter Pickers in action October 2019

I think autumn has arrived!

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoorFollowing the storm last week, on Sunday 33 pickers collected over 1,031 plastic bottles in 58 sacks. Thanks to all who turned up on what threatened to be a very wet morning.

Having reviewed the foreshore at the RSPB Rainham it’s been decided we need a good litter pick from the small car park in Coldharbour Lane on Tuesday morning at 10:30 to 13:00. (Pass the Riverside Carpark and continue driving past with the landfill on your right hand side). This is an area outside of the RSPB area. Once again there wImage may contain: plant and outdoorill be lots of bottles to count, look forward to seeing you there.

Future dates for your diary
Tuesday 15th October – meeting at small carpark at end of Coldharbour Lane, Rainham RM13 3BJ from 10:30 to 13:00. Alternatively, park in the RSPB centre in Purfleet and walk west towards Rainham. Nearest train station Purfleet and follow signs to RSPB.
Wednesday 23rd October – meeting at old St Clements Church RM20 4AL from 10:30 to 13:00. This will be a “walk and pick” event that will include 4 miles w

Sunday 3rd November – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF from 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older.
Steve catchpole
Waterway Clean Up Facilitator
07922 480 528

Thurrock Nepalese Community

We were invited to attend two great events over the weekend here in Thurrock
Firstly an event on Friday night at the Civic hall from the Thurrock Nepalese Gurkha Community (TNGC) to join their Dashain-Tihar Celebration Party, together with Thurrock Mayor Terry Piccolo and TLS Ceo Neil Woodbridge & Board Director Sundeep Saini,
…and to top the weekend off, an invitation from the Thurrock Nepalese Women’s Community to their Charity Evening at Chadwell Village Hall.
At both events, we enjoyed fantastic food, great company and excellent entertainment.
I would like to thank these organisations for their wonderful hospitality and kindness.
Thank you

Mental Health Awareness Day and Reach Out for Mental Health

A very quick post to let you all know that to mark World Mental Health Awareness Day on Thursday 10th October Reach Out for Mental Health are hosting a pop-up living room in the heart of Grays town centre, in the mall.



Living Rooms are a relaxed and informal place for ANYONE to come and have a sit down, a chat, a sing song, play some games or just to sit quietly with a group of people.

The idea comes from Camerados- please check out the link for all the information you need on this fabulous concept.

Reach Out for Mental Health would love to see your friendly and familiar faces there, tell your colleagues, customers, friends- tell everyone! Don’t eat at your desk on Thursday, come down and see us.

Hope to see you all there.

Kirsty Eaton of Reach Out for Mental Health

Soup Oct 2019

hurrock Soup last week-A fantastic event with over 40 people and 6 pitchers with some great ideas to make Grays even better!
Claire Prosho-Claire’s Trans Talks was the runaway winner and will be receiving £250 including £100 sponsorship from Enterprise Training Academy!

Beachcombers October

Sunday 6th October – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF from 09:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the café. This is the Grays Beachcombers regular monthly pick. This is a family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6 years and older. – updated timing for this month’s event.

Many of you may realise over the last couple of days we have had very high tides, a lot of rain and strong winds. The result of these three has resulted in another heavy deposit of plastic along the northern Thames foreshore. Below is a picture taken this morning in Grays.

Because of the quantity of plastics that need to be removed from the high-tide line asap I will be at the Yacht Club at 09:30 for the Beachcombers regular monthly event.

As usual we will meet outside the Yacht Club in Thames Road. In case when you arrive nobody is there, we will be working downstream/east/left of the yacht club.

Given the quantity of plastic to pick this event will suit younger pickers – especially given I have 6 raptor dino-pickers that are “biting at the bit” to consume some plastic!

Please wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy boots, all other equipment will be provided.

Look forward to seeing as many young and less young as possible on Sunday morning.


Steve Catchpole

Beachcombers – cleaning up our riverside.

Take a walk along any beach or riverside, anywhere, and you can’t help but notice the amount of plastic waste that has been washed up on the shore

Over eight million tonnes of plastic debris ends up in our seas every year, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches, and seas – that is, about, five shopping bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

Plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes.

The river Thames is no exception to this problem so once a month the Grays Beachcombers, led by Steve Catchpole, meet by Thurrock Yacht Club and spend a couple of hours collecting discarded plastic – mainly single use drinks bottles.

In the last six months of 2017 they collected 350 sacks of rubbish and, so far, this year they have collected over 150 sacks of rubbish including more than a thousand plastic drinks bottles.

If you want to help, the Beachcombers meet on the first Sunday of each month at 10.30 by Thurrock Yacht Club. We finish by 12 noon and have a well-deserved cup of coffee and bacon roll (vegetarian alternative available) courtesy of the Lightship Café.

YOUTHINK! event set to inspire Thurrock’s Young People

An inspirational event is being held at South Essex College’s Thurrock Campus for young people who have a new business idea.

Bringing together South Essex College, Riverside Community Big Local (a National Lottery funded organisation) and Thurrock Council, the YOUTHINK! event is taking place on 26th April at the College’s Thurrock Waves Restaurant from 5.30pm.

It aims to inspire Thurrock’s young people who have social enterprise and business ideas, with advice and support to start a new business and help to find funding.

The event is open to young people aged 16-24 with an inspirational idea who will have the opportunity to pitch their new business or social enterprise idea to the room.

Everyone who attends donates £5 and gets a bowl of tasty homemade soup and a roll (made by the students) as well as the chance to vote on their favourite idea. All of the £5s collected go into a pot and the winning idea receives the money, so the more people who attend, the bigger the pot!.

This event has been inspired by Thurrock Soup where previous winners have received up to £200 on the night as well as further funding to use towards setting up their business.

Teresa O’Keeffe from Riverside Community Big Local, said: “Many people have an idea tucked away, but they don’t know what to do with it. This is an opportunity for all of Thurrock’s young adults to turn their ideas into a business, with help, business support and access to funding. We hope that the local schools and colleges take up this challenge. It should be a great evening!”

Graeme Collie, Head of Commercial Catering at South Essex College, said it was a great opportunity for young people.
He said: “I’m delighted the College is hosting this event which will inspire our future generation. This event is the perfect opportunity for young people to realise their potential and achieve their dreams.”
Everyone is welcome to attend.

To book your place, Continue reading “YOUTHINK! event set to inspire Thurrock’s Young People”


Souping up your business plans

Thurrock Soup aims to help inspire social enterprise and business ideas from Thurrock residents and offer advice and support in starting a new business and in identifying funding.

These regular events offer local people an opportunity to pitch their ideas and win some start-up money if chosen as the best idea on the night.

To take part, participants are invited to treat themselves to a bowl of tasty soup and a roll for £5, all of which goes into a pot. The £5 also gives people the chance to vote for their preferred idea.

Previous Soup winners have received £100 to £200 to use towards setting up their business. In all, over £800 has been raised so far and ot all has been used to help new businesses start up!

One of these successes is “Smallzdeep”, a young musician who used his start-up fund to set-up a music studio here in Grays where he works with young people, sometimes from difficult backgrounds to help them to express themselves through music.

This is often helped by working with known artists and rising artists such as D’One. On Thursday 26 April there will be a special version of the Soup event – YOUTHINK! – aimed at young people aged 16 to 25 who have an inspirational idea.

This event will be held at Waves Restaurant, South Essex College in New Road Grays and will start at 5.30pm – everyone welcome!

Do you have a great idea? Would you like to start a business?

For more information and to book a place at an event or

Potential for a strong community

Potential for a strong community

I believe there is amazing potential in the people of the area. That’s why I became involved in Riverside Community – to work towards building a stronger community. We are a partnership of local residents and volunteers working together to run projects residents have told us they want to see -things such as Tribe by the Thames, a Bear Grylls-type youth club that meets at Grays Beach Park; the School of Social Entrepreneurs that provides focused support and training for new businesses that want to give something back to the community; or the Lightship Café which is run by volunteers and open all week long.

On these pages you will find information on these – and other – projects as well as details of how to get involved.

We’re all about delivering projects local people want to see, so I really want to hear your ideas for new projects to help improve the Riverside Community; anything from a celebratory summer street party to clearing up a neglected area; to an after school club.

You can get in touch by email at