Upcoming events:


An Evening with Ely Gin

7:00pm - 9:30pm |
The George Hotel, 116 High Street, Colchester CO1 1TD 
This evening will be a tour of the gin world; hopefully a bit of education, hopefully a bit of fun! Topics will include a discussion on what gin actually is, a look at botanicals, a look at distilling, and a healthy dose of tasting. The evening will be hosted by James Clark, the founder of The Ely Gin Company. As well as tasting at least five different gins through the course of the evening, all attendees will receive a "goodie bag" to the value of £7.50.
Tye Barn, Great Bentley, Colchester 
Come along to this mini retreat and reconnect with the earth, the sun and the beautiful bounty that is created during this magical time of year. This mini retreat is for those of us who need a 'pause' and need some time to reconnect to the light and peace inside ourselves.

Summer Solstice is a time of celebration, of honoring the light, our connection to the Sun and the Earth.

* As we watch the ripening and flowering and fruiting all around us, we can’t help but be moved by and grateful for the generosity of the Earth Mother, who gives says what we need.

* Summer is a perfect time to discover our earth connection; by receiving her gifts with respect, taking only what we need, and doing what we can to minimize our impact on the delicate balance of the planet, we strengthen and nourish the bond we were given a birth with the great parent who sustains us all.

 We will be melting into restorative yoga sequences, with long breaths and deep pauses. We will be using guided meditation to reconnect to our divine selves and a practice of yoga nidra to completely let go and relax.

* You will leave this 3 hour reconnection class feeling restored, renewed and relaxed. ♥

Let 2018 be the year where you feel amazing! 

Exchange: £44, including tea and plant-based snacks. 
Date: Sunday 24th June / 1 - 4 pm
Location: The Tye Barn in Great Bentley - a warm, bright and light-filled home designed for the perfect yoga retreat.

To book: https://www.sunrise-health.co.uk/summersolsticeyoga

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A collaboration between live-looping Medieval minstrel Lizzie Gutteridge and story teller Clare Goodall.

Music from the 14th century provides the backdrop to the tale of the Great Revolt and radical preacher John Ball. Born near Colchester (maybe?), Ball preached in English (shocking!) and claimed that everyone was created equal (scandalous!!). He was excommunicated and would have languished in jail had he not been released by the Rebels as they took London, burnt the Savoy, and went on to parley with the King. The future hung in the balance...

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Blues & Rock in the Garden 2018

4:00pm - 11:30pm |
Maitlands, Distillery Lane, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8EZ 
It's our 20th year and we're back and ready for a party! Entry limited to 500 so buy your tickets quick! Where else can you buy an 8 pint watering can of beer, eat delicious food and listen to an eclectic mix of some of the finest music acts around (whilst also helping a good cause)?

5 great bands

Delicious BBQ and vegetarian food
Fully Licensed Bar (including beer by the watering can!)
"Beautiful setting"
"The atmosphere is incredible"
"We loved it!"

All money raised is for charity. Building Malawi (http://www.buildingmalawi.com/) and St Helena Hospice

Gates open: 4.00pm - 11.30pm

Tickets: £10 single £20 family (2 adults and kids under 16).

Venue: Maitlands, Distillery Lane, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8EZ

No picnics please.

1) Please purchase your tickets via this page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bluesandrock2018 (It's easy and all forms of payment are accepted)
2) Leave your name in the comment. e.g. Tom Bowden - 1 x Single Ticket £10
3) Your wristbands will be available for collection at the gate.

We will announce all bands in due course

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Rough Sleepers Art Festival

11:00am - 4:00pm |
GO4 Cafe at the Rec
Recreation Ground
Roughsleepersart is a new and innovating concept to raise awareness, develop real relations and monetarily support homeless persons.

Announcing The ‘Rough Sleepers Art & Games Festival’ 

The Recreation Ground, Old Heath Road Colchester CO1 2ER
Saturday 4th August 2018 – 11am to 4pm

'Rejection is at the root and is the continuance of homelessness. Relationships combat rejection and Art of every genre is a medium to redefine relationships and deconstruct myths'.

Roughsleepersart is a new and innovating concept to raise awareness, develop real relations and monetarily support homeless persons. The project will have a flexible life span and it is hoped an ongoing application. It will be piloted in this region for a period of time, up to 4th August, when a cumulative festival will be available to participants.

The charities to benefit will include the CENS (Colchester Emergency Night Shelter), Beacon House the Day Centre for homeless, and the latest project the ‘Homeless Bus’. All recognised outreaches will be considered at the discretion of the organisers. Funds raised will be paid directly to the charities by the fund raisers themselves and not the organisers.

The Bus is the latest project and has been purchased thanks to an anonymous £25,000 donation. The bus will provide accommodation for 10 homeless people and includes it’s own shower and toilet facility. It will be staffed every night by volunteers, offering shelter and comfort and food for those most in need.

Tony Francis and Richard Shakespeare, are the organisers of the Roughsleepersart project, both have very real experiences of the homeless and their direct needs and are experienced in project management. We can be contacted directly at roughsleepersart@gmail.com

We have recruited some homeless artists to provide 3D artwork, both individually and through the charities we are working with. The aim is for the work to be auctioned on Ebay, or selling pages or sold on 4th August at the event. The art work can be anything from sculptures, drawings, painting, pottery, knitted figures, songs, poetry etc, there are no limits.

Workshops will be arranged with homeless and formerly homeless people working alongside the domicile public. A particular project, is to create board and other games to represent the various experiences of becoming and remaining homeless, its causes and the routes out of the desperation. 

We are contacting local schools and community groups to produce art and other merchandise and to raise awareness of plight of the homeless. Where an existing charity would like to take part, they merely register on the Facebook page, create and sell their work and register a 50/50% split of the proceeds, half to their charity and half to a nominated homeless outreach charity. No money is paid to roughsleepersart, we are solely the facilitators of this concept and the organisers of the cumulative event on 4th August. 

At our Face Book page, ‘Rough Sleepers Art’, you can register with us your interest in the festival, either as a charity or a business or as an individual offering services on the day and registering your donations (over 18’s only). You can donate anonymously, should you so wish. Existing homeless outreach charities may retain all proceeds. A pitch hire fee will apply on the day. Local musicians are welcome to contact us to plan a schedule for the day. 

The GO4 Café on the Rec, a non-profit making organisation, will be open all day providing food including sandwiches, drinks, cakes and a BBQ. A Bouncy Castle and other attractions will also be available.
We already have a very talented song writer, Suzy Cramer, who has produced a promotional song ‘Reason for the Day’ for our corporate, marketing and advertising purposes. 

We are encouraged by local press coverage and hoping to grasp the attention of National / Local TV etc. a recent press release is attached.

Thank you for your valued support.

Tony Francis (07753 2253810) – Richard Shakespeare (079225 18215)

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Colchester Has Pride

11:00am - 10:00pm |
Lewis Gardens
Colchester's 2nd Pride event. Come along, all people are welcome. Enjoy food and drink, entertainment, education, shopping and socialising at this day of education and celebration.
Promenade Way, Brightlingsea, Colchester CO7 0HH 
Brightlingsea Food & Drink Festival returns for 2018! Once again we'll be showcasing the best local food and drink suppliers, alongside a great range of international street food, arts, crafts and gifts.

There will be a real ale marquee featuring beers from local breweries, and a Prosecco bar too if fizz is more your thing?

Come and browse the market for some quality produce or relax with a picnic and listen to the music.

With free entry for kids, bouncy castles & ice cream, it will be a feast of fun for all the family!

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Invasion Colchester

10:00am - 4:00pm |
Across the Town Centre 
Building on the huge success in 2017, Invasion Colchester returns to Colchester town centre on 1st September 2018, raising money for Colchester Hospitals Charity and St Helena Hospice. Come along and meet your heroes, including characters from Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Superhero Movies, Videogames and more! Get dressed up, join in the fun and help us support some amazing local causes!

From the blog:

Arts Preview - Get Therapy, by Danielle Imara, Wednesday 29th November at the Arts Centre

The indomitable Anthony Roberts worked to bring this true story of addiction, eating disorders and depression told through a mixture of dance, song and dialogue to the Arts Centre, and although we hate to admit it, his taste IS impeccable - searingly honest, refreshingly upbeat, we're looking forward to this one! (And as it's a Wonderful Wednesday event, it's pay-what-you-can-afford. Marvellous!)
Photo of Jade Fothergill
Jade Fothergill
27 November 2017