February 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Archive

Leo Cheng, Histon resident and surgeon, recently returned from Benin on board the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship – the Africa Mercy. There he performed life-saving operations to some of the poorest people of Africa.  He will be speaking at the Histon Methodist Church ‘Big Issues’ series of meetings on 25 February at 7:30 PM at the church hall.

Leo Cheng, a Consultant Oral and Facial Reconstructive Surgeon in Cambridge and London spent two weeks in Benin, West Africa and has previously volunteered with the international charity Mercy Ships which has operated hospital ships since 1978. Last year, he also went with his daughter, Kat who volunteered as an eye clinic assistant in war-torn Liberia. Two years ago, his wife, Hilary, a Methodist Minister in Histon also volunteered as a chaplain for patients and carers both on board the Africa Mercy and on land-based community projects and clinics.

Leo said: “Publicity in the UK often focuses on a few desperate patients being flown into UK for reconstructive facial surgery but with Mercy Ships, we provide western quality treatment for patients in the poorest countries of the world, on their door step. We know that 90 of the world’s biggest cities are port cities, offering easy access to the ship for people without health care.”

His five previous trips were in Benin, Liberia (3 trips) and Ghana where he offered his skills and time, along with other surgeons and nurses, to provide corrective and reconstructive surgery to people suffering from large tumours, cleft lips and war wounds.
In many parts of Africa, people who suffer from deforming diseases are shunned because it is believed they are possessed of evil spirits.  So not only do they suffer physically, they also suffer tremendous emotional pain as close family and friends desert them. 
The woman in the photograph with the enormous benign tumor in her neck is a perfect example. Leo told the HI Courier: “This woman was around 45 years who came to the Africa Mercy reluctantly because she thought that her growing neck lump was going to stay with her for life.
“She had a large thyroid or goitre which had been growing for 6-7 years. She tried to ignore it until her children asked her grandchildren not to come near her. It was because her children, other members of her family and friends all thought that she possessed evil spirit in her neck. She was isolated and not allowed to join various social events in her own village. She also started to developing choking sensation and difficulty in swallowing.

“During surgery, my team and I removed a 3 part goitre – one was obvious under her neck skin, one pushed below her collar bone towards her heart, and another one pushed towards her windpipe (trachea) and food passage (oesophagus). It weighted approx 1kg. (Normal human thyroid gland weights around 40-60g)

“After her operation, she was looking forward to hold her grandchildren and sit them on her knees, and socialise with her families and friends.”

Another of Leo’s patients was a 41 year old man with a benign tumour growing from his parotid gland for more than 8-9 years. The ‘paratoid’ is largest pair of salivary glands and lies just behind the angle of the jaw, below and in front of the ears. Leo said: “It had grown so large that skin over the tip of the mass broke down and it started to bleed. He was isolated by his friends and families and he lived in a back room. When he came to the Africa Mercy, he was anaemic due to slow dripping of blood from his tumour. The mass also pressed on his facial nerve making his facial muscles weak (like a stroke patient without the function of facial expression). His families stuck dressings on the tip of his parotid mass to reduce bleeding. When he came to the ward, he had a dark shirt covering his head and face. I thought he was a woman when I first saw him!”
“His operation took me and another surgeon and our teams 9 hours to remove the tumour without disturbing the facial nerve. His extensive facial and neck defect after removal of this ruby-sized mass was repaired with various skin flaps from neck and scalp. Hence he was bandaged after the operation.

“He could not believe that the tumour had gone after surgery as he looked at the mirror because the tumour had been with him for so long. It is very sad to me to see such an extensive tumour in desperate patients like him. What he needed was basic surgery from specialist Maxillofacial Surgeon to remove the tumour when it was small but such basic surgical procedure does not exist in the developing world like those countries in West Africa. Here in UK, small tumours of the parotid gland are removed by Maxillofacial Surgeons with a few hours with good preservation of facial function.”

The impact on the lives of his patients can not be over emphasised.  To them, Leo is a true miracle worker and friend for life.  You can see why Leo and his family go back again and again.
Every crew member of the Africa Mercy, including the captain, surgeons, nurses, dentists, hygienists, chef, engineers, electricians and cleaning staff are volunteers who pay for their own accommodation on board and transport to the ship. In addition to the dramatic transforming surgery on board the Mercy ship, medical and dental teams establish land-based field clinics carrying out free vaccination programmes, dental care, minor operations and medical screening, as well as supporting the training of local doctors and nurses. They also run education programmes in hygiene, nutrition, basic health care (including AIDS prevention) and micro-enterprises to generate income for the poor.
To meet Leo Cheng and hear more about the work of the Africa Mercy, come to the Histon Methodist ‘Big Issues’ meeting on 25th February at 7:30 PM in the church hall on High Street.

The Wave, Saturday, 5th December

November 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The Wave

The Wave, on Saturday 5 December, will be a carnival style procession through the streets of London to call for international action on climate change. It is being organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, which has been organising peaceful climate change marches since 2006 to keep the pressure on government for definite action on climate change.

details of the day

  • Meeting from 12pm, Grovesner Square, central London
  • Starts at approximately 1pm
  • The route will flow from Grosvenor Square, via Piccadilly and Whitehall, to finally encircle the Houses of Parliament on both sides of the Thames.
  • A stunning finale will take place at 3pm as The Wave encircles the Houses of Parliament

Members of  TheCo-operative and Oxfam supporters can book up to 6 tickets with their membership number/Oxfam code. Travel to The Wave costs from as little as £5 per person for coaches, £15 per person for trains and free for under-16s. For further details of the day and to book subsidised transport visit Co-operative site

Quite a number from HICCA are already booked on the coach leaving at 8:30 from Queens Rd, Cambridge.  So book a ride for just £5 and join us on the march. Look out for the brand new HICCA banner!

Village Energy Show Sat Oct 24th, 2-6 pm

October 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

  • Get advice and a chance to chat about cutting your household energy bills and carbon footprint
  • See technologies that can help and talk to installers
  • Meet local people with local experience
  • Find out about energy-saving support for your local community
  • Bring the family and friends – it’s about all of us

Venue:  Impington Village College, New Road, Impington

Free entry

Organised by South Cambs Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership in collaboration with HICCA.

Greening Campaign Phase Two coming up

September 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Hundreds of households demonstrated support of the Greening Campaign by putting the card in their window.

Hundreds of households demonstrated support of the Greening Campaign by putting the card in their window.

Residents of Histon and Impington are invited to join HICCA at Impington Village College on Wednesday 23rd September to discuss how to build on the carbon cutting success of the Greening Campaign earlier in the year. 

The meeting, which will include a brief AGM, will be conducted on the lines of the initial Greening Campaign meeting, with plenty of opportunity for interaction and discussion. 

Doors will open at 7.15 and the meeting will begin at 7.30 pm.

Villagers Deliver!

July 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Archive


After almost a year of planning, in July the Histon & Impington Courier hit the streets for the first time. It is written, laid out, printed and delivered by volunteers from the two villages, and we hope you enjoy it and find it useful!

Producing the paper is one thing, but delivering it to more than 3,000 homes and businesses is also no mean feat. We divided and conquered by splitting the village into several zones, and teams responsible for each got the papers out (phew!). 

Hopefully everyone in Histon and Impington has had the opportunity to read the Courier. If you live in one of the two villages and didn’t receive a newspaper through your door, please contact us at distribution@hicourier.co.uk or call 07906 315926. Copies of the newspaper can be found at the library, Print Out, Histon Fryer, Bechecombers, the Coop, Hollyoak Vets, and Firs House Surgery. 
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank our advertisers, who paid for the printing of the paper, and also Impington Parish Council and the Histon Feast for their support.
The Histon & Impington Courier is a monthly publication. With your continued support, this community newspaper will go from strength to strength. If you have any skills to offer that you think would be useful, if you could deliver some papers, or if you’re interested in advertising in the Courier, please get in touch (contact details on page 2) or call 07906 315926.

URGENT! Help Needed!

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Archive

The Launch Edition of the Histon Impington Courier newspaper will be ready for distribution starting Friday JUly 3rd.  We still need help covering some of the streets and roads.   If you can help please contact distribution@hicourier.co.uk  or call 07906 315926.  Our goal is to have one or two people on each steet deliver newspapers once a month.  

Here are a list of those streets that still need volunteers to deliver the newspaper door to door.

Cooke Road
New Road west of B1049
Pepys Terrace
Pine Court
Chequers Road
Kay Hitch Way
Loves Close
Oak Tree Way
Poplar Road
School Lane

Bridge Road
The Dole
Davey Close
Henry Morris Road
Homefield Close
Parr Close
Burgoynes Farm Close
Hereward Close

Water Lane
Pease Way

Windmill Lane
Windmill Grange
Narrow Lane (south of constriction)
Bell Hill
Church Street
Winders Lane
St Andrews Park
Alstead Road
Cottenham Road (south of Prime Corner)
Croft Close
Primes Corner
Cottenham Road (north of Primes corner)
Allington Close
Burkett Way
Farmstead Close
Normanton Way
Oats Way
Muncey Walk
Narrow Close
Narrow Lane (north of constriction)
Ambrose Way
Drake Way
Mill Lane
Paddock Close
Spring Close
Glebe Way
Orchard Road
Garden Court/Walk
Youngman Close / Avenue


Ambrose Way
Drake Way
Mill Lane
Paddock Close
Spring Close
Glebe Way
Orchard Road
Garden Court/Walk
Youngman Close / Avenue


New Road/Impington Lane

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Archive

Signs have just gone up about a coming closure of New Road and Impington Lane on the 12th July.  read more ...

Premier Foods

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Archive

We've had an update from Louisa Cook, Environmental Manager for Premier Foods, Histon about their Environmental Permit Application for the factory in Histon which is causing them concern.  read more ...

Health Warning – Heatwave Alert at AMBER (Level 2)

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Archive

The Met Office and NHS Direct are advising that an Amber Level 2 ‘Heat-Health’ Alert has been issued for the next several days.  Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, Martin Young, added: “Temperatures are likely to build through the first part of this week, with a 60% chance of reaching 33 °C by midweek, before becoming less hot by the weekend”.

The NHS Direct website advises:

  • Avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm).
  • If you go outside, thickly apply sun cream with a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Children should use a higher SPF sun cream.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity, like sport, DIY, or gardening.
  • If you go outside, stay in the shade.
  • Wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton.
  • Close the curtains in rooms that get a lot of sun.
  • Take cool showers or baths, and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly your face and the back of your neck.
  • Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty – water and fruit juice are best.
  • Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol as they can cause dehydration.

NHS Choices Advises:

High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for:

  • the elderly, 
  • the very young, and 
  • people with chronic or long-term medical conditions.

In alert level two, you don’t need to take immediate action but if the level of alert is raised, more information will be issued. 

In the meantime, make sure you’re prepared in case the weather stays hot:

  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the TV or radio. If you’re planning to travel, check the forecast at your destination, too. 
  • Plan ahead. Stock up with supplies so you don’t need to go out during extreme heat. Think about what medicines, food and non-alcoholic drinks you’ll need.
  • Keep plenty of water to hand and stay in the shade whenever possible.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house.


  • Enjoy the weather but try to stay cool. Avoid going outside between 11am and 3pm as this is the hottest part of the day. Spend time in the shade and avoid strenuous activity. 
  • Help others. Check up on your neighbours, relatives and friends who may be less able to look after themselves (for example, if they have mobility problems). 
  • Drink water or fruit juice regularly. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol. If you do drink alcohol make sure you have lots of water or other non-alcoholic drinks as well. 
  • Keep rooms cool by using shade or reflective material external to the glass, or if not possible by closing pale coloured curtains. Metal blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter.
  • Keep the windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. If safe, open windows at night when the air is cooler.
  • People with heart problems, breathing difficulties or serious illnesses may find their symptoms become worse in hot weather. Make sure you have enough medicines in stock and take extra care to keep cool.

Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and if it isn’t treated it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and even fatal.

If you or any one else feels unwell, drink water and go somewhere cool to rest. If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, weakness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, seek medical help.

Care homes and hospitals
If you run a care home or hospital, during alert level two you should:

  • Monitor indoor temperatures four times a day.
  • Prepare cool areas.
  • Ensure you have enough staff to help keep residents and patients cool.
  • Identify high-risk residents/patients.
  • Make sure everyone has access to enough cold water and ice.


Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or NHS Direct (0845 4647) if you’re worried about your health during a heatwave, especially if you are taking medication, or have any unusual symptoms.

A14 Junction 37 (Newmarket) to Junction 31 (Girton): Westbound Repair Works

June 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Archive

The Parish Council has just received information regarding works on the A14 as follows, from CarillionWSP:  read more ...

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