Monthly Archive 29th May 2020


Holding On Letting Go

Holding On Letting Go is a Kent-based charity that helps children to cope with the death of someone close to them.

Often the children we see have lost their mum, dad, grandparents, a sibling or a friend. Sometimes more than one person in their family has died or there are sudden and traumatic circumstances surrounding the death, such as suicide, a road accident or murder.

Since the adults around them are also grieving, these children often feel unable to express their feelings or talk about their loved one or their sadness.

Many adults don’t know how to support children through the grieving process, so we give support and guidance to parents and carers too.

Fro more information click here or download the referral form below and send to FREEPOST HOLDING ON LETTING GO or email


Couch to 5K

One You Couch to 5K is a 9 week running programme via smartphone app that can encourage even complete beginners to become more active, by making it easy and fun. Starting by running for just a minute at a time, the programme sets realistic expectations and makes the challenge feel achievable from the start. The app has also been updated to link to the latest advice on social distancing guidelines when exercising. To find out more click here


Dandelion Time

At Dandelion Time we have maintained telephone contact with all our families we have worked with since September 2019, to assess vulnerability and need. Where necessary we are supporting by phone and signposting to additional support services and liaising with other professionals involved in the family.
Other support we are providing includes;

Sending out activity packs to all the children which includes seeds to grow, recipes, craft material etc.

Delivering food parcels to families struggling financially.

Making application for Hardship grants for families where appropriate. We are delighted that a number of families have now benefitted from grants.

Directing families to our virtual Hub on website where there are recipes, craft activities and virtual visits to the animals.

Providing bespoke therapeutic sessions for individual families which involves visiting the garden, woods and animals in outdoor space after careful risk assessment.

We are seeing that some families are coping well but others are struggling particularly where there are parental mental health difficulties and where children are on the autistic spectrum.
  Some of the most vulnerable children who should be in school are not attending due to parental anxiety about covid but also schools not having capacity and prioritising the children of key workers. We are also seeing an increase in domestic abuse. We believe that once lockdown lifts we will start to see the real impact of social isolation on vulnerable families with increased educational disadvantage and emotional trauma.

We want to let everyone know that we are open and accepting referrals.

Dandelion Time has received funding from the Police Commissioner’s fund to support children and families who have been victims of domestic abuse. We are welcoming referrals for families, with past experience of domestic abuse, who are beginning to rebuild their lives. Our aim is to help families recover from their trauma, have the time and space to trust again and to build relationships through our unique, therapeutic programme in the natural environment. to find out more click here for more information.


Kent Sheds

The Kent Sheds project started in 2014 building on the international Men’s Sheds movement, in a bid to tackle issues such as loneliness, social isolation and mental health problems.

Now part of EU SBS Sheds, the project is a partnership of organisations from UK, Belgium, France and Holland. Kent County Council (KCC) receives EU funding and commissions Activmob to help create new sheds and develop existing ones.

Each Shed is unique to reflect local interest and skills. Very few are actual ‘sheds’ and most have engaging themes and venues such as fishing lakes, boats and allotments. Prior to lockdown in March 2020, there were 21 ‘real’ sheds and these have tried to continue in some fashion while another three new ‘virtual’ sheds have also been created.
67-year-old retired Programme Manager, Nigel, from the Staplehurst Shed said: “I helped get the shed up and running over two years ago and we have 33 members attend at least monthly when we are open.
“During current lockdown conditions, we’ve had weekly Zoom Calls with most members attending at some occasion. These calls cater for those who have the technology and those with just a telephone. We have members offering weekly quizzes and have also set-up a telephone communications tree where pockets of a few members keep in touch.
Activmob Director Caroline Hooper explained how they have been supporting the Sheds: “We saw how important it was to the Shed members to maintain connections, not only with their own Shed members but with other Sheds. We set up the Virtual Shed so members could continue to support each other.

“We have the Quiz Virtual Shed and the Activity Shed up and running, which bring people together in a common interest where they can talk and learn about things they may not have had an interest in before. Shed members have also said how important it is to have something to look forward to in the week, as all the days start to look the same.”
65-year-old John living in Maidstone has been a member of Cobtree Men’s Shed, Aylesford for nearly five years.
He said: “I have been a regular attendee of the weekly video conference meetings.
He added: “I would encourage others to join a Kent Shed so they can find out what others are doing and share information, problems, solutions, interests and skills.

For more information got to and see leaflet attached for more information. 


Coronavirus testing

An overview of the NHS test and trace service, including what happens if you test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive. Click here for more information

if you want to know if you are eligible for a test and how to get tested click here.


Stay Alert Stay Safe


Coping with Life courses

Coping with Life courses at Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind will no longer be delivered as face-to-face support groups, due to current government guidance which is available surrounding the current COVID-19 outbreak. This means that timetabled dates and times for Coping with Life courses are subject to change – although we are making every effort to continue to offer this support digitally.

To access a course, you must be registered with Live Well Kent. This can be done by completing an easy online referral form. 

How will this affect me if I am already booked onto one of your Coping with Life courses?

If you are already booked onto one of our Coping with Life courses, then your course will still go ahead. The dates and times of the delivery for this programme may change, however, and the programme will be delivered digitally as opposed to in a face-to-face format. This means that you will be able to access the course from the comfort of your own home – but you will need to have a device with internet connectivity in order to ensure that you can access the course sessions.

You will also need to have our digital conferencing tool – ZOOM – installed, in order to be able to take part in the conference call. You can install this when first attempting to join your session, but if you would like to install the programme ahead of time, you can do so by clicking here, instead. 

What if I want to access services during this period but am not already registered with your service?

We will be continuing to offer New-To-Mind appointments during this period, but they will take place via the telephone or through a digital medium like ZOOM. In order to get in touch and book a New-To-Mind appointment, you can do so by calling one of the two main contact numbers found on this webpage, or by e-mailing


Become Mental Health Aware – online.

MHFA England have launched an online version of the Adult Half Day training course.  Led by an approved instructor, the session on Thursday 28 May will cover:

  • What is mental health and the mental health continuum
  • Stress and stress management
  • Spotting signs of distress
  • Mental health conditions
  • My mental health toolkit

For more information or to book your place, please visit our website.


Mental Health Awareness Week

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme this year is kindness. through out the week different organizations will be running various courses. Click on the mental health awareness week on the menu above to see what is being offered this week. you can also go to the mental health awareness week website here for more information and resources as well to find out how to get involved yourself throgh setting up online quizzes, tea and talk etc. you can also look at the free supporter pack which you cna dowbload below.


Remote Access To Community Activity Groups

Due to the closure of their buidling Maidstone Mind will be conducting their activity groups online via zoom.

Weekly sessions will change to accommodate sessions which we are able to deliver remotely. Gardening, Singing and Walking groups will be suspended. This means that there will be no community support groups on Monday or Friday, with Wellbeing Calls being offered instead. These ten minute phone calls will provide you with an opportunity to check in with a Wellbeing Worker and have a conversation – something which we feel is crucial in tackling the isolation and loneliness which can become prevalent at times like this.

Please see the website here for more information

Virtual Peer Support Group

Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind (MMKM) have been commissioned by Live Well Kent to run a monthly group that gets people into a virtual room to share experiences around their mental health, and to support each other with coping strategies that may have worked. It also provides opportunity to share insight into services which may have been good, poor or indifferent.

This service is  seen as a “Step On” from the regular Community Groups offered by MMKM, where the emphasis is on wellbeing maintenance and will be looking at people that want to have a more serious conversation with their peers.

This group is aimed for people who may be holding down regular life commitments (I.E. Jobs, Education, etc.) but who will benefit from a weekly boost from those around them who understand what they are experiencing. The group may also be beneficial for people in the process of recovering from crisis points or from particularly low episodes, who feel as though additional help from people with similar experiences may be beneficial.

This service is operated as an open forum for people to talk about how their week is going, share with others how they are feeling, and ask others for advice on how they may deal with similar feelings.

Because this service is funded by Live Well Kent it is available free of charge. Individuals interested in attending must be registered with Live Well Kent ahead of their attendance.

More details on how to register to attend this group can be found here.


Digital Maidstone Youth Wellbeing Cafe

Our Wednesday evening Maidstone Youth Wellbeing Cafe will be suspended due to current guidance around the COVID-19 outbreak.

We are working on developing a Digital Chatroom which will be accessible for young people during this period, providing them with access to a moderated safe space where they can seek peer support.

As of June, or Youth Wellbeing Cafe will take the format of a ZOOM room where young people can take part in a Quiz and other online activities facilitated by our Wellbeing Workers. Click here for more information.


At a loss

GriefChat was created by bereavement experts. By visiting the At a Loss website, you can chat live to a specially trained bereavement counsellor. GriefChat is a completely free service and is available Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm.
See the At a Loss website for more information. 


Bounce back

MMK Mind are offering FREE spaces on our Virtual emotional resilience course, Bounce Back, thanks to generous funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Bounce Back is a 6 week, youth emotional resilience course for ages 11-18.

The course teaches young people how they can combat stress, deal with emotions and reduce anxiety so they can ‘bounce back’ from the challenges they face in life.

The course includes:

An introduction to emotional resilience, get to know you games and activities

Identifying support networks and understanding the importance of having a support network

Understanding anxiety and how it can impact on you

Understanding stress and how to tackle it

The impact of relaxation on wellbeing & de-stress techniques

Understanding decision making and how to make emotionally intelligent decisions

For more details, you can e-mail

Alternatively, you can visit this webpage:


Youth Recovery Action Plans

MMK Mind have more spaces available for free one-to-one support which young people may benefit from. These sessions begin on the 3rd of June – and will be available without charge thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.
Youth Recovery Action Plans are designed to offer 1 To 1 Youth Support to young people who may benefit more from individual support instead of group-based activities.
The Recovery Action Plan (RAP) has been designed to allow individuals to take a holistic look at their life and identify areas where they can act to help their wellbeing.
RAPS are tailored specifically for people who may benefit from support in a more one-to-one environment. With the support of a Wellbeing Worker, young people can set realistic, timely goals in areas of need.
For more details, and to book a space for your young person, please visit


We are with you

We Are Here With You can support young people and families during the lockdown and beyond

Parent Partnership Programme

Parents and families Our Parent Partnership Programme has never been busier and we are supporting lots of families across Kent during this concerning time. Families can call for ‘drop in’ style support or refer for scheduled sessions on 01795 500881 We Are With You also have a webchat where YP or families can get help and advice online support instantly if they are worried about their own or someone else’s drinking or drug use or their mental health. This can be found at

Lockdown Projects

The Kent We Are With You team have collaborated with the UK harm reduction group ‘Drugs and me’ to produce this guide to withdrawal. This was made bearing in mind the

potential for involuntary withdrawal during the pandemic and has information which could be applicable for adolescents and adults so please read and distribute as appropriate. A guide found here.

COVID-19 Podcast

Covid-19 Mini-Podcast This podcast is approx 7 mins in length and we made it for adolescents and young adults who use substances and alcohol. It offers reflections on some of the harm reduction measures that must be taken to avoid the spread of the virus as well as practical elements of how drug and alcohol use is affected by lockdown. It has been shared widely nationally – Listen here


10 Tips for Looking after your Mental Health during Covid-19 from MMK Mind

In honour of Mental Health Awareness week (18-24 May) Maidstone and Mid Kent mind have put together 10 tips for looking after your Mental Health during Covid-19: 

  1. Take the time to appreciate outdoor spaces if you can
  2. Remember the benefits that home exercising can have
  3. Keep in touch with friends and family
  4. Look after your physical health
  5. Make sure to take time to relax
  6. Make sure you are getting enough sleep
  7. Try new activities to keep yourself occupied
  8. Try to reduce your exposure to triggering content
  9. Set an alarm for a sense of routine
  10. Think about the things that make you feel good

For more information about Mental health, what mental health problems are, what may cause them, and the many different kinds of help, treatment and support that are available, please visit the Mind website which also provides guidance on where to find more information, and tips for friends and family.


Funeral standards for Kent and Medway

The Kent and Medway Funeral Standards have been developed to provide to loved ones the assurance that the marking of life will take place with respect, dignity and compassion and to do so while minimising the risk of spread of infection. 

click on the link here which offers some resources around bereavement and finance.


Being parents first

At Relate, we are continuing to provide relationship support for parents. Things look a little different now, our counsellors are supporting parents through phone, live chat and video and our service continues. Now more than ever, families are under pressure. Our relate counsellors can work with service users who are parents, either post release, or support the co-parent in the community whilst awaiting release.

We work with parents together or apart, to help them improve their communication and work towards how they would like things to be.

If you would like to find out more please see the attached leaflet or contact us via phone 0300 003 0270 or email


Kooth Service

Free, Safe and Anonymous Online Support for Young People in Kent

A mental health and wellbeing online platform for young people has been extended for all young people across Kent.

As part of the Headstart Kent Programme, the Kooth digital mental health support service has already given one in five young people, aged 10 to16, easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors.

The service is free and can be accessed at It’s a place to get advice, information and support 24/7. You can chat to a friendly qualified counsellor Monday to Friday between 12pm and 10pm and Saturday and Sunday between 6pm and 10pm.

The service is funded by Headstart Kent on behalf of the National Lottery Community Fund, NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and Kent County Council’s Public Health Grant.

Kooth is now available to all 10-16-year olds in every district of Kent. Young people can access text-based chats with a counsellor safely, anonymously and for free. There is also a range of self-help resources including a magazine, forums and an activity hub. There is a variety of content dedicated to helping young people with their return to school, especially around the transition to secondary and exam results. To create an account any young person can go to: and enter some basic information.


Porchlight Aspirations

Our Aspirations team is continuing to provide support while adapting the way we work to follow the latest official advice and guidance.

If you are currently being supported by Aspirations, we will be in touch with more information about how we can continue to support you. If you have any questions about our support or need to speak to someone about Aspirations you can call us on 0333 880 2730.

We are still accepting referrals so if you need support or need to refer someone you can call us on 0333 880 2730 or fill in our contact form.


Grandparents Plus Support and Resources

Our Advice Service helps kinship carers in crisis to make difficult decisions. Our experienced advisers help kinship carers with their questions on benefits, employment, housing, education, grant applications – and often a shoulder to cry on too.
Grandparents Plus connect carers together in their national community and network of local support groups, so they don’t have to face the fight alone. Click here for more information


Mid-Kent Mind virtual courses for young people

Managing Me Virtual Support for Young People

Managing Me is a 6-week course specifically designed for young people aged 11-18 to learn how to cope with life. The course focus on dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and self-image. Our current Managing Me Dates are funded through both The National Lottery and Children in Need – providing individuals with the chance to access these courses for free. Go here for more information.

Taming my temper

Mid-Kent Mindare pleased to share that the Peter Harrison Foundation have generously funded our next Taming My Temper course, meaning that this course will be available for free to young people who may benefit from this support.

Taming My Temper is a 6-week course dealing with anger management specifically designed for young people that may have issues controlling their emotions and want to reduce the levels of anger and hostility that they display.

This course, which starts on the 8th October, looks at the causation of negative emotional behaviour and the anger response displayed by people. It then looks at ways to minimise negative emotions and alternative ways to cope and remain calm.

Over the six-week programme, young people will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge, develop their coping mechanisms and increase their confidence – leading to increased wellbeing and resilience.

For full details, you can visit:

There is no pre-requisite for this course, so any young person who may benefit can be referred onto this programme.

HeadStart Kent Digital MHFA Training

HeadStart Kent have funded Youth Mental Health First Aid training and Online Training for any individuals who work with young people across Kent. The training is aimed to better empower those who work with young people with the tools and knowledge to make a positive difference to the mental health of the young people they work with.

Courses focus particularly on spotting the signs of potential ill mental health within a young person, and encourage a proactive response – in the similar way physical first aid would be applied proactively.

Utilising Cognitive Behavioural Coaching, peer interaction support, self-discovery exercises, relaxation techniques and task setting, the course enables participants to:

Explore anger in its broadest context and improve awareness.

Understand anger and how it can affect people, introducing theory around thoughts, feelings and behaviours, encouraging participants to explore their own emotions

Learn about different cognitive styles and how these can have an impact upon life

Learn different techniques to improve relaxation

Understand emotional responses and how these can be better managed

Understand stress and the role it plays in negative emotional responses

Explore life-long coping strategies to maintain wellbeing

Our next courses are available for FREE thanks to the generous funding of the Peter Harrison Foundation. You can find the available dates listed below.

This course is for young people between the ages of twelve and seventeen.

You can click here for more details


Involve Kent Volunteers


Involve Kent are currently looking to recruit volunteer drivers in Maidstone and Malling to help older people get to medical appointments, deliver shopping and support with other adhoc journeys.

If you have a full, clean drivers license and would like to help support your local community, please contact Shelley Rhodes – 03000 810005 (option 4) or

Wellbeing Volunteers

Involve are recruiting volunteers across West Kent to help support patients with accessing shopping and medication. As a wellbeing buddy volunteer you would be supporting patients from a local GP surgery on an adhoc basis.

For more information or to apply, please contact Lizzie Lowrey – 03000 810005 or

All volunteers will be required to complete a DBS check which will be safely organised via Involve. All volunteering is undertaken within the guidelines set out by the Government and is reviewed accordingly.


NHS Talking Therapy (IAPT)

Talking therapy services offer time-limited, evidence-based psychological therapies. All services offer treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), stress management and sometimes group work.Psychological therapies can help with anxiety, depression, Stress, trauma, Phobias and other related problems. All services are operating remotely via telephone and online appointments. Therapeutic appointments are available weekdays and evenings and some weekend appointments are available. Visit or for more information