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FREE water refills now available at Three Bridges Station as retailers join campaign

33 retailers at Govia Thameslink Railway stations have committed to a campaign to reduce single-use plastic bottle by offering free tap water refills for passengers.

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It’s National Refill Day today (Wednesday 19 June) which is a public awareness day to mark the campaign, designed to reduce single-use plastic bottles by encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle and refill on the go.

Part of the campaign is highlighting where members of the public can find free drinking water through the Refill app, with GTR’s Environment team signing up 33 retailers across the rail operator’s stations to support the project.

GTR’s Environment team has been working with staff members that serve as Area Champions for the Environment (ACEs) to encourage tenants at stations to join the campaign.

On the Southern network, Runaway Café in Lewes and the N+1 Bike Centre and Café at Brighton have signed up to the scheme.

On the Thameslink route, AMT Coffee at St Albans has joined; Caffe Kimbo and La Baguette Parisienne, both at Luton station, have also signed up.

Samantha Lear, Environment Manager for Govia Thameslink Railway, said:

“GTR is supporting Refill to help reduce plastic waste, an important issue which needs action on a personal as well as national level. We are so pleased to see so many of our retailers sign up as refill points with our teams of ACEs and hope that many more will follow soon.”

With the campaign research showing that 71% of people feel uncomfortable asking for free tap water when not making a purchase, Refill log all participating retailers on their app so that consumers can find the closest shop, cafe or restaurant taking part in the scheme.

According to Refill, if 1 in 10 people in Britain refilled a bottle rather than buying a single use plastic bottle just once a week, around 340 million plastic bottles would be saved each year.

Natalie Fee, Founder at City to Sea, said:

“We’re really pleased that GTR are part of the Refill Revolution this National Refill Day! Their support makes it even easier for everyone to find free drinking water when travelling – meaning we can all save money and save the planet from plastic pollution in one go! People from all walks of life are carrying a reusable bottle now and with GTR making it easier for people to Refill, we’re rapidly doing away with the need to buy planet-polluting plastic bottled water!”

The campaign is a partnership between Refill and Water UK run by City to Sea with additional support from the English water companies, Chilly’s Bottles, Robeco and the Mayor of London.

Refill estimates that the project will save more than 100 million single-use bottles from entering the waste stream by the end of 2019.

Retailers at the following Govia Thameslink Railway stations have signed up to the scheme:

Epsom

Luton

Luton Airport Parkway

Bedford

St Albans

Brighton

Lewes

Blackfriars

Three Bridges

East Croydon

Letchworth Garden City

Seaford

Berwick

Peterborough

St Neots

Littlehampton

West Hampstead Thameslink

Elephant & Castle

City Thameslink

New Cross Gate

Flitwick

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com

Health & Wellbeing

‘I’m not ok and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that’ says Crawley Councillor as he opens up about mental health

As part of Mental Health day a Crawley councillor has opened up about his own mental health issues to show local people that it is ok to open up and talk about the issue.

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Liam Ascough is a councillor for Gossops Green in Crawley

Gossops Green Councillor Liam Ascough has written an open letter to his colleagues at the council to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Addressing directly the Council Leader and the Chief Executive, Liam writes:

“Dear Peter and Natalie,

After watching the ‘Every mind Matters’ TV advert, supported by the Duke and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex, I felt that I had write this open letter of apology but also to help continue the conversation on mental health issues. 

I want to apologise to the both of you, members of staff, fellow members of the council but most importantly to the residents of Gossops Green and North East Broadfield because it’s ok not to be ok and I should have said something a long time ago. 

I have suffered bouts of depression since 2015 but I put that all on hold when my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2017. This happened in the same week I was unceremoniously let go as a Conservative Parliamentary candidate, finished with the partner I thought I’d married and buried a great friend of mine who had died of cancer. October 2017 wasn’t my best month!! 

When I stood as a Parliamentary candidate in 2015, I was on top of the world. I was doing what I’d wanted to do since I was 14 (yes I know, I’m a geek). It was such a full on campaign and I felt I was at the centre of it. After that though, it felt like I’d been dropped like a hot potato. Like I’d been on X Factor one minute and then you were nobody. The Party wasn’t interested in you anymore and suddenly you go from being a somebody to be a nobody again. 

I carried on as if nothing was wrong, although inside I felt deeply depressed and used. Then October 2017 happened and it all got a lot worse. 

Sadly I lost my best friend in my mother on January 4th this year after a monumental battle with cancer. She put up such a great fight but not a day will go by that I don’t miss my mother. Watching her in so much pain, was beyond heartbreaking. 

I put a brave face on, as I always do and tried to get on with things. Sometimes not so well though, as I remember a very kind family in Gossops Green took me into their house whilst canvassing, after I started to cry. I should have known at that point that I wasn’t really coping. 

It wasn’t until my birthday in July that it finally all hit me. Again, I tried to put a brave face on and project the image that everything was ok. The thing is, I’M NOT OK!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that either. I should have said it a long time ago! 

I am sorry for the meetings that I’ve missed and the emails that I haven’t replied to!! I should have said something before. I just couldn’t admit it to myself let alone anyone else! 

The thing is, now that I’ve admitted that I’m not ok, I can finally start to get help and to get back on track.

That’s why I wanted to write this open letter. To say sorry for letting people down. To explain what’s been going on and to be honest about it. Probably most importantly, to let others know that’s it’s ok, to not be ok. I needed to be honest with myself.

The help I received from St Catherine’s Hospice has been invaluable! I am also incredibly blessed to have an amazing network or friends who are my family. 

I am getting through this and I will recover.

Some will think I’m just feeling sorry for myself and that I should ‘man up’. To be fair that’s something I would have said before. Regardless I still think it is ok to say that I’m not ok. I encourage anyone who isn’t feeling ok, to talk about it.

You are not alone and don’t have to ‘man up’ so to speak.”

If you would like more information and help on any issues to do with mental health you can find out more at:

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

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