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Boys sprayed in face with unknown substance

9.05am - 15th April 2018

TWO teenagers have been sprayed in the face with an unknown substance during a disturbance in Harlow. 

Police say the victims were involved in a verbal argument with two men outside Essex Pizza in The Stow at about 7.30pm last night (Saturday). 

One of the men was then reported to have sprayed an unknown substance in their faces. 

The substance also affected a number of people who were in the area but not involved in the incident.

They were treated at the scene by paramedics and no-one was reported to be seriously injured.

Specialist trained fire officers and the fire service's Detection, Identification and Monitoring equipment used to help identify substances were called in along with fire crews from Harlow and Epping. 

An area of The Stow was cordoned off while a forensic examination of the area was carried out. A police spokesman said enquiries are ongoing to locate the suspects. 

One of the men was described as white, aged between about 35 and 45 and of stocky build. 

He had blond wavy hair, was about 5ft 8ins tall and was wearing a green jacket. 

Police want to speak to anyone who saw what happened or has any information that could assist with the investigation. 

Anyone with information should ring Harlow CID on 101, quoting incident number 1038 of April 14, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Autism charity highlighted in Parliament

9.01am - 9th April 2018

THE work of the Harlow-based autism charity PACT for Autism was highlighted by Harlow MP Robert Halfon during debate on autism in the House of Commons. 

To support Autism Awareness Week, Mr Halfon commended the work of the organisation which supports autistic children and adults across the country. 

Commenting on the debate, Mr Halfon said: "I was very pleased to be able to speak in the House of Commons debate on autism in my capacity as MP for Harlow and as Education Select Committee chairman. 

"I work closely with PACT for Autism and have seen first-hand the amazing work they do to support the families of autistic children and adults. 

"I was also able to raise a number of important issues that have be brought to my attention through the Education Select Committee's inquiry into alternative provision. 

"I am committed to helping all children and young people climb the educational ladder of opportunity. 

"All children should have the opportunity to learn in schools that meet their needs but it is vital that young people are also supported to move into the world of work."

Schools hold careers day

9.17am - 4th April 2018

STUDENTS at Burnt Mill Academy and BMAT STEM Academy in Harlow and Epping St John’s School came together for the first Burnt Mill Academy Trust careers day. 

The Build My Future event, at BMAT STEM Academy, saw 100 Year 9, 10 and 11 students complete a personality questionnaire to establish their strengths before looking at developing skills needed for the world of work. 

Careers advisor Hayley Lancaster, of All Together, works with the Trust to give students inspiration for their future career paths. 

She delivers careers programmes and gives one-to-one guidance to students, including completing college, apprenticeship and university applications. 

She said: "The students were amazing. We want them to take away from this the message that everyone can be a genius in their individual way. 

"They have discovered themselves and taken the opportunity to have conversations with real employers to seek advice and guidance." 

Students attended sessions on writing personal statements and CVs and learnt about apprenticeships before meeting local employers at a careers fair. 

Year 10 Epping St John's student Harper Kubaisi said: "It was really interesting. It has given us things to look at to help us to find a job which matches us. 

"I don’t yet know what I want to do but the day helped me to start thinking about it.” 

Her teacher Sonia Ahmed, lead practitioner in science, said: "I am so impressed with how the students have embraced this opportunity. 

"Mingling with students from other schools has helped to boost their confidence. I think they will go away from this thinking about the options open to them.” 

Employers taking part included Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Lloyds Bank, Bank of England, Raytheon, GlaxoSmithKline, Pearson, Anglia Ruskin University, HNE Media, Pure Structures Ltd, Construction Industry Training Board, Sporting Futures and Hertford Regional College. 

Burnt Mill assistant headteacher Shawki Bakkar, who took Year 9 and 10 students along, said: "Many students will have attended not knowing exactly what they want to do with their futures but hopefully the event gave them a push in the right direction. 

"It is a really positive thing and great to create links with local employers."

Volunteers wanted for 'Can Do' sessions

5.40pm - 3rd April 2018

THE volunteering programme 'Can Do', run by Leonard Cheshire Disability for disabled people in Harlow, is appealing for volunteers. 

It is open to young disabled people aged from ten to 35 who have a long-term health condition or disability, including physical, visual or hearing impairments, mental health conditions, autism and learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. 

'Can Do' is about feeling part of the local community, learning new skills, having fun, growing in confidence and making friends. 

Volunteers can work alone or as a group (school, social, activity group) and are welcome to attend volunteering sessions independently or with someone who supports them. 

Young people can volunteer for just one day or take part in the scheme's Building Communities programme over ten sessions with the opportunity to earn a recognised qualification. 

Among the projects to be undertaken will be a learning to bake session where a group will learn to bake with a cookery teacher with the results given to a local care home for the elderly as a Befriending Cream Tea. 

For more information visit www.facebook.com/CanDoVolunteers

Carnival date and route announced

5.38pm - 3rd April 2018

THE route for the Harlow Carnival on Sunday, August 26, has been announced. 

The carnival will set off from Bush Fair Shopping Centre at noon and arrive at the Town Park showground at about 2pm, in time for the Linkfest music event on the Showground and Bandstand. 

The street carnival, which was a regular popular event in the town in the past, returned last year as part of the 'Harlow is 70' celebrations with more than 600 people taking part and an estimated 5,000 people lining the streets. 

Harlow Council hopes to build on last year’s event this year with an extended route and the hope that more groups and organisations will take part. 

The procession will leave Bush Fair shopping centre and make its way down Tillwicks Road to Howard Way, past The Stow to First Avenue and turn into Fifth Avenue before making its way into the Town Park. A number of road closures will be in place during the carnival. 

Council leader Emma Toalsaid: "I was lucky to be part of the parade last year and I remember seeing so many families lining the streets and cheering on the parade. 

"The carnival created so many positive memories for all those who took part and it showed how much Harlow’s community spirit is still alive. 

"It was an easy decision to make to bring it back every year as part of the legacy of Harlow’s 70th birthday celebrations. 

"We want to give something back to local families and establish it once again as an annual event which all members of the family grow up remembering.” 

Residents, voluntary groups, social groups and commercial businesses are all invited to take part. Interest can be registered at www.harlow.gov.uk/carnival-form

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