Monthly Archive 29th June 2020

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KCC Loneliness Survey

It is estimated that loneliness affects over 30,000 older people in Kent, but we know that it is not just an issue for the elderly.  Loneliness is a highly personal experience that can have a significant impact on someone’s physical and mental health.

The current Covid-19 crisis has highlighted loneliness as an experience that anyone can have and raised awareness of this issue across the country. Many people who would not have considered themselves lonely have felt so as a result of implementing social distancing measures, becoming disconnected from friends, family and their communities.

We are asking people to complete our Loneliness survey to help us understand not only how many people in Kent are or have experienced loneliness, but also what has helped them during this time.
We would like to ask for your help in promoting the survey with any people that you think would be interested in completing it so we can get their feedback.  We would also like to hear from you as well.    
This is an opportunity for people to give their honest, confidential views on their lived experience over the past two months. 

It should take about 10 minutes to complete the survey.  We’ve made it as quick and easy as possible with tick box statements, as well as a number of free text boxes.  

Click on Loneliness Survey to go to the survey as we do want to hear from you and other people in your community.

Our survey will close on Friday, 24 July 2020.

All views and feedback that we receive from the survey will be analysed and reported on in due course.

Together we can address loneliness, helping people to feel connected and valued, by working together as a community.

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KCC Residents Choir

We would like to invite you to join our virtual community choir, which runs on a Saturday afternoon from 2.30pm, for around three quarters of an hour. We will try to do several songs each week for which we will send out lyric sheets in advance if you register to attend, so that everyone can sing the same words!

We will be running this via the online video streaming platform ‘Zoom’. Whilst people joining will only be able to hear the person running the choir (to avoid sound delay issues) they will be able to see everyone else who has joined signing along with them.

There are limited places so, please specify how many devices you would be looking to connect up to if more than one, and please ensure that anyone else you know who wishes to join also completes the form. If demand exceeds capacity, we will look at whether we can run additional sessions. Cut off time for signing up via the form for each week’s choir is 5pm on the Thursday afternoon of that week’s choir.

The link and lyrics will be sent the day after (Friday). We’ll assume you want to continue attending each week as per your sign up details unless you tell us otherwise.

Please complete this form and we will send you an email with how to use Zoom and the link to join. For more details contact Chris Wimhurst on 03000 410966 or email christopher.wimhurst@kent.gov.uk

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Muslim Women’s Network UK Helpline

In this time of uncertainty and self-isolation, I am writing to let you know that the Muslim Women’s Network UK (MWNUK) is still open and we are currently working from home. Calls are being diverted to mobile phones, also emails and web chat are fully functional. Referrals can still be made to those who seek help and advice. The MWN Helpline is open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm.
The helpline has a dedicated team of awesome women both paid staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds, and offer support and advice in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Mirpuri, Putwari, Hindko, Bengali and Zulu. They have undergone extensive training and deliver a professional and compassionate service. We work within the principles of confidentiality and General Data Protection Regulation. Go to https://www.mwnhelpline.co.uk/ for more information.

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Healing Voices Virtual Choir

Why not come and join us at Healing Voices? No singing or musical experience is needed and everyone is welcome. There’s no charge – although donations are always welcome.

Our singing groups are continuing virtually, via Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic. To take part, please email Kathryn at healingvoiceskent@gmail.com and make sure you have downloaded the Zoom app. 

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Choices Domestic Abuse Service

iCan is a free programme for young boys in need of therapeutic support in Tonbridge and Malling and Maidstone. iCan, was designed for one-to-one work with adolescent boys aged 14-16, affected by domestic abuse through their family or intimate relationships. They may be isolated with a limited support network and are presenting with behaviours linked to trauma such as anxiety, low mood, disengagement, risk taking behaviour or difficulty building relationships.

The programme can help them deal with trauma and help teach them coping strategies as well as appropriate ways of communication. 

iCan is a client-led intervention program which is designed to tackle to needs of the individual, as such topics can range from healthy relationships, drugs, sexual health, alcohol, gang culture and mental health etc.

If you know of anyone who might benefit from this service, please contact Isabella Thorp at isabella.thorp@choicesdaservice.org.uk 

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Maidstone MIND boxing lessons

Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind are delighted to share that we have received funding from Kent Sport to deliver free virtual boxing lessons for young people, in conjunction with the team from Olympia Boxing CIC.
 
The sessions are being made available through MMK Mind’s YouTube channel, and will provide young people with a once-weekly lesson between thirty and forty-five minutes in length, for twelve weeks.
 
It is hoped that these sessions will encourage young people to embrace and learn new activities, whilst also underpinning the real values that physical activity can have on our overall mental health and wellbeing. Both organisations would like to continue to develop the programme in the future – further exploring the intrinsic relationship between mental and physical health.
 
For full details on the programme, and how young people can get involved, please visit the following webpage. 

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National Careers Service


The National Careers Service is adapting the way it delivers its offering to ensure it can continue to provide an uninterrupted service to thousands of citizens across the South East.

The National Careers Service provides free, professional and impartial advice on getting a new job, changing careers, training, education and the labour market; support which is available to anyone aged 13+ and living in England. Whilst the face-to-face service is currently unavailable, individuals can now access that support using a multitude of alternative channels, including webchat, over the telephone, via video call, and through social media.

Debbie Lloyd, Assistant Director of National Careers Service South East, said; “Whether someone is needing support to find a short-term job, looking for a new career, or looking to build confidence and assess their skills, we have qualified advisers here to support them.

“At this time, there is also a great deal of opportunity to explore online learning. Our advisers are best placed to help individuals identify the right learning opportunity and have access to thousands of courses and training providers.”
Our free service can support individuals to:

Build confidence

Complete a skills assessment

Review/ update their CV

Develop online interview skills

Identify online training opportunities

Get new qualifications

Plan the next steps of their career

The national careers service also provides:

Careers Advice and Guidance  – delivering 121 sessions over the phone, webinars covering subjects such as CV, Interview Skills, Job Search etc.

Redundancy work  – continuing as normal with support provided over the telephone. Also planning a redundancy virtual webinar – details to be released shortly.

Furloughed Workers – working with employees that have been put on furlough. Offering access to a  furlough enrichment programme which could include a 121 careers interview and attending webinars and virtual sessions on resilience, taking the opportunity to refresh a cv, looking at upskilling or professional development with distance learning,  If the furloughed jobs are made redundant to offer redundancy support.

Schools, colleges, universities,  Parents and Carers – reaching out to offer Covid response support for example looking at resources for school leavers, college leavers and graduates. Supporting parents and carers and their children.

Volunteering during Covid response – offering support through distance learning and a careers interview to support their volunteer placement and help the person in their self development.

The National Careers Service is completely free of charge, and accessible to anyone aged 13+ and living in England. Please visit the National Careers Service website or call 0800 100 900, or 01233 600 600 for existing customers.

The National Careers Service have created a number of webinars which cna be accessed below:

Effective Job searching – Lisa Nicolaides  https://youtu.be/ZegP5fCmDPA

Furlough enrichment webinar for employers – Angela Fisher https://youtu.be/v73_8DdjOmo

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One You Kent Digital

The One You team in West Kent have been very busy over the last few months, providing befriending and support services to those who have needed it during the lockdown period.

In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, we, like many services have had to change the way we interact with people. We have continued to support those who would like to lose weight, move more, drink less and quit smoking including running a successful trial of an online weight loss group.

Due to this success, following government guidelines, we are re-launching One You as a digital service until we can return to seeing clients face-to-face. This will include online weight loss groups, 1:1 video consultations and much more to help keep clients engaged and on track. To refer into our service, complete the online referral form. If you would like to contact us about anything, please send us an email to westkentoneyou@nhs.net or call 0300 020 0636

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Free Online Yoga Taster Session- 10th June

This free, online yoga session is a short introduction to some basic yoga, to prepare you for getting back into ‘normal life’. The skills we will learn include:

Breathing and relaxation techniques

Mobilisation to keep yourself active

Techniques to stretch out tight muscles

If you or anyone you may know would be interested in attending this online taster session, please see the attached poster for more information.

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Explore Kent

Explore Kent is striving to help everyone stay active and maintain their connection to the outdoors – both of which will be important to our physical and mental wellbeing during these stressful and uncertain times.

Please visit the Explore Kent website to see their suggestions about staying local for exercise and staying connected with nature.

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Crosslight Advice: Free Online Management Course

The Money Course is a simple budgeting course hosted live online, to help you to get on top of your finances. 

The Money Course will help you:

Learn how to create your own budget

Learn some simple tips for getting your budgets to balance

Think through issues of debt and the wise use of credit

Explore some principles around money that could improve your mental well-being

Discover practical tools to manage your money day by day

The course is run as a series of interactive sessions hosted live online. Each session includes space for practical exercises and the opportunity for discussion if you would like it. 
To sign up, please visit Crosslight Advice.

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Recalibrate Wellbeing Programme

Have you been taking time recently to reflect on your health? Are you looking to make long term changes to your health and lifestyle? Golding Homes and Wellbeing People are sponsoring 24 local residents to enrol in this life changing 12 week health coaching programme.

To apply for one of the *24 places all you need to do is complete this Expression of Interest form.

Sponsored places open to both men and women of all ages.

Attend a weekly 60 minute online, small group coaching session with 5 others via Zoom.

Focus on a different goal each week to implement small progressive changes.

Wellbeing topics covered include motivation, sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress, hydration and much more.

Self-reflection and “progress not perfection” is the motto throughout the course.

First courses begin mid June and there is no cost to participants with each place being sponsored.

*Preference will be given to Golding Homes tenants.

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Live Well Kent

Live Well Kent are continuing to support to people aged 17+ across Kent with their mental health and wellbeing while making some adaptions to follow the latest official advice and guidance.

Staff will support you over the phone and online instead of face-to-face. Some of the services are using online chat forums to deliver one-to-one and group support.

Live Well Kent are still accepting referrals so if you need support or need to refer someone you can call the referral line on 0800 567 7699, or email info@livewellkent.org.uk 

For up-to-date information and advice about the Coronavirus, please visit our dedicated Coronavirus page.

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Vitual jobs fair

On the 12th June between 11:00am-12:00pm, the National Careers Service is working to bring job seekers and employers closer together by advertising vacancies across social media.

People can search for #JobsHour to find these vacancies or follow National Careers Service social media channels to find out more and see vacancies during the week. The National Careers Service will also provide free personalised careers information, advice and guidance for anyone wanting advice on vacancies, next steps or finding a role that is right for them.

Noteworthy additions to the second fair are the inclusion of more localised hashtags to help people to identify opportunities relevant to them and on Wednesday 10th June a live Facebook ‘Employment Workshop’ will give people tips on writing CVs and preparing for interviews.

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The Life Café @ Fusion Maidstone Healthy Living Centre

Offering support to the vulnerable, elderly and self-isolating members of the community in the Park Wood area, includes delivering cooked meals and food parcels to families whose children are on the free school dinner’s register, to ensure they have enough to eat at this challenging time

Referrals can be made via Fusion Maidstone on 01622 691177, email via enquiries@fusionhlc.org.uk.

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Breastfeeding celebration week

Breastfeeding Celebration Week will take place on 1st – 7th June 2020. The theme will be ‘Promoting and supporting breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic’.

For more information and resources, please visit the Start4Life website, search for Start4Life and look and download the resources below.