A guide to community events going on in Bushey, Watford, Three Rivers and the Langleys.

WATFORD:

Registration is now open for Peace Hospice Care’s weight loss challenge, Pounds for Pounds. Starting in January 2017 – the Hospice’s 12-week programme will help you lose those excess lbs, get fitter and healthier - all while raising vital funds for your local charity. During the 12 weeks, you will receive free gym access, personal training sessions, nutrition and dietary advice, and be provided with all the motivation you need to get to the weight and shape you want to be. At the end of the programme, you get to strut your stuff at our Pounds for Pounds Grand Finale Party - where one person will be crowned the Pounds for Pounds Champion 2017. Last year’s participants lost a total of 21.5 stones, that’s the equivalent of two pandas! So it really is the perfect way to ease the guilt after all those Christmas dinners and to start off the New Year with a new you. The first group session is on Thursday, January 5 at 7pm with sessions then every week until the Grand Finale party on Friday, April 7. Each group session takes place at 7pm at Peace Hospice Care, Watford. Every year, Peace Hospice Care needs £5 million to run and deliver its free specialist services. By converting your lbs into £s, you’ll be helping raise vital funds for the Hospice. Places are limited and will be available on a first-come first-served basis. To reserve your place, visit www.peacehospicecare.org.uk or email events@peacehospicecare.org.uk or call 01923 335371.

Regiment Fitness in Watford is offering free boot camps until January 1. Run by an enthusiastic and motivated personal trainer, the sessions are tough but are set at varying levels so are accessible for all, with the emphasis on taking part and good technique more than anything else. Sessions take place at the following locations: Leavesden Country Park, Abbots Langley, Monday 6.15-7am, Tuesday 9.30-10.30am, Wednesday 6.30-7.30pm, Friday 9.30-10.30am, Saturday 8.30-9.30am, Sunday 10-11am; King George Recreation Ground, Bushey, Monday 6.30-7.30pm, Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm, Wednesday 9.30-10.30am, Thursday 6.30-7.30pm.

Local businesses looking to train staff or take on new employees will find everything they need via Skilmmakers, a new free-to-use service. Skillmakers has been developed in partnership with local employers who approached West Herts College and Watford Borough Council asking for a simpler, easier way to get quick advice on training and recruitment, including apprenticeships. The Skillmakers service is free to use thanks to the backing of West Herts College in partnership with Watford Borough Council, Oaklands College and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Any local businesses looking to find out more about Skillmakers, should contact Richard on 01923 812192 / 07703 755517.

Feeling lucky this holiday season? Want to help Reason Coffee Shop and Bookstore on The Parade to raise money for their Pay It Forward scheme, in which customers can pay for a hot drink for a homeless person to collect at a later date? Why not enter their Christmas Raffle to be in with a chance of winning a piece of classic gaming history from 1986, a Nintendo Game and Watch Crystal Climber worth more than £400 pounds. You can buy a ticket in the shop by the pond in the town centre or online at https://reasoncoffeeshop.com/raffle/ and every ticket bought buys a hot drink for a homeless person.

St Mary’s Church in the centre of Watford is again holding its popular Christmas Tree Festival from December 9 to 11, giving local schools, charities, organisations and businesses the opportunity to raise their profile and to raise money for good causes. The festival, in its third year, will display over 40 trees across the three-day festival. It will also host a festival café in the church centre serving hot and cold drinks, light refreshments and lunches, with an opportunity to guess the weight of the festive cake. Tours up the historic church tower will be available on Saturday afternoon, following which the bell-ringers will ring a rarely heard “quarter peal” to mark the special occasion. The festival will close with the Christingle service at 4pm on Sunday, a delightful event supporting The Children’s Society. Schools represented include St Mary’s Pre-School, St John’s Church of England Primary School and Watford Grammar School for Girls, where each year group will be decorating a tree dedicated to a different charity.

THREE RIVERS:

On December 18 there will be a winter wonderland at The Great Barn in Sarratt Road, Rickmansworth. There will be live entertainment, carol singing, arts and crafts, reindeer and a sleigh. The event will run from 12pm to 4.30pm with the main event, the Baby Rave, starting at 3pm to 4pm. Tickets cost £10 per adult and child with £2 of each ticket given to the chosen charities.

There will be a Christingle service for all members of All Saints’ Church in Croxley Green this Sunday. All family members are welcome to join. The service will begin at 5pm followed by mulled wine and mince pies. The service helps raise funds for The Children’s Society.

On December 15 there will be a seniors’ tea and mothers union at the Church Hall, at All Saints’ Church, Croxley Green. The event starts at 2.30pm and will include mince pies and Christmas memories.

BUSHEY:

There will be a Christmas fair on December 10 at Merry Hill School, in Bushey. The event will run from 2pm to 5pm and will have face painting, a raffle, crafts and many more to enjoy during the day.

On December 18 there will be a carols on the green event at Millbrook Open Space in Bushey. The carol service will start at 4pm. Organised by the Bushey Parish, there will be free mince pies, mulled wine, a live band and fire pits.

Between 10.15am to 12.15pm on December 14 there will be an event held at The King Stag in Bushey for mothers and their children. There will be a Christmas baby photo session, a mum and baby Christmas survival kit and tea, coffee and cakes.

A school welcomed the grandson of a former Prime Minister to their school during Parliament Week. Earl John Attlee, grandson of former Prime Minister Clement Attlee, attended St Hilda’s School, in Bushey, for a talk explaining his role in the House of Lords. The Attlee family has a long history with the school as his aunt used to teach at St Hilda’s. After the assembly it was time for the launch of the new play boat and the girls discovered the name of the boat was HMS Happy Hilda’s. Years 5 and 6 returned to the hall for a question and answer session with Earl Attlee, who praised the girls for their participation and interest. Earl Attlee was presented with a cake . He said: “As a member of the House of Lords, I have to keep a lot of state secrets and I thought I had managed to keep the state secret that I love chocolate cake.”

There will be a baby and toddler table top sale at Bushey Arena today. The event will run from 10am to 11.30am. There will be second hand baby and toddler equipment to buy as well as clothes and toys. Entry is £1 per adult.

THE LANGLEY'S:

A belated Christmas party will be held this January 25 for elderly and vulnerable people who couldn’t celebrate it on the day. Hillside Residents’ Association is putting on a three course Christmas meal at Leavesden Green Community Centre in Abbots Langley for 40-50 people. There will also be karaoke, indoor bowling and a handout of gift bags containing useful items like fleece blankets and scarfs, provided by Hertfordshire Charity Small Acts of Kindness. The event is being funded by a £500 grant from Watford Community Trust, who fund the Residents’ Association, with the money equally split between the Christmas meal and gift vouchers for those invited. Watford and Three Rivers Trust will organise who is coming to the meal, and provide transport for them to the Community Centre. Six volunteers will be helped on the day by three members of staff from Watford Community Housing Trust and Watford and Three Rivers Trust each.

The Friends of Little Cassiobury Art and Craft Sale is on 10th December 11 until 1pm at the Henderson Memorial Hall in Abbots Langley in the High Street.

On December 18 there will be a Santa dash along Hempstead Road, Kings Langley. The run will start at 10am.The run is for the Dale Butler memorial fund with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). The run is 1km and anyone is able to take part.