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A day in the life of...

Felicity Clarke, Food Safety and Public Health Officer

Felicity Clarke

After studying Environmental Health at Cardiff Metropolitan University for 3 years I was lucky enough to secure a 3 month placement in the Environmental Health department at Colchester Borough Council. 4 Years on I'm a Food, Safety & Public Health Officer at CBC. Initially working in the Environmental protection team dealing with ASB, noise, air and water pollution and for the last 18 months I have been working within the Food and Licensing team, inspecting and rating Food Premises whilst helping further in the community within my Public Health role. My job, to say the least is varied, one morning I was dressed as a cigarette to promote smoke free areas and smoking zones and then that afternoon I'm inspecting a takeaway to ensure they are compliant and following all food hygiene and safety regulations. I've served over 20 Abatement notices, led on 3 successful prosecutions and worked over 100 hours helping keep noise complaints to a minimum at weekends on the out of hours noise team.

I have been involved in numerous Public Health projects through our Livewell Campaign including; Beat the Street, breastfeeding friendly premises, smoke-free areas, and most recently Colchester Communities Can through the One Colchester Partnership. This project has entailed helping open a pop-up shop in the town centre for Winter resilience inviting anyone in need to come along, whether it be just for a hot drink and a chat or signing them up to a befriending group or volunteering opportunities, helping save money with their energy bills or just to pick up a free winter pack. This project has been one of the most rewarding, working face to face with the community and most importantly being able to witness the end result of our day to day work. With hospital admissions on the rise and public sector funding under pressure we must look out for any opportunity to build a community network, ensuring those in need or suffering from isolation are reached and supported through our journey to get the community feeling safe, and supported. My ultimate goal is to build on and encourage more community-led approaches to help improve the health of the borough both mentally and physically. Whilst working in the shop I've been amazed at how much the public want to get involved, whether it be donating their unwanted clothes to the shop or giving up a few hours of their day to volunteer with us, the response has been incredible.

You can find out more about Colchester Communities Can here.