Monthly Archive 24th December 2020


Fusion Maidstone christmas statement

A little hope and kindness shared this Christmas goes a long way to help vulnerable families

Every Christmas should be full of excitement, warmth and laughter.  But for many children, this year will be very different as the Coronavirus has left a lot of families facing hardship. This Christmas children in our community need a secret Santa more than ever!   Fusion Maidstone (a local charity) helps support vulnerable families with Christmas presents every year and were delighted to be able to offer more this year in partnership with the Life Café project thanks to funding from Counsellor Gary Cooke and the KCC and present donations from Morrisons to make this Christmas very special to the children in our community.  “The thing about working together in the way we have is that we are able to achieve so much more and bring some joy and hope to many more homes than we could ever have done alone. It really does embody the spirit of Christmas that we certainly all need this year! So thank you to all who have made this possible.” Boden Dollie, Pastor of Celebration Church and the Life Cafe Project.

A huge thank you also goes out to Morrisons customers for their incredible kindness in taking part in the Christmas food bank donations during December, to enable Fusion to deliver a helping hand of basic food, toiletries and baby supplies to families in the Park Wood, Shepway and Tovil areas.

“I would like to share a big thank you to Morrisons and all their customers, Gary Cooke and the KCC, the Life Café project and all our volunteers who all helped bring excitement, warmth and happiness to our community this year”, said Tracey Elmore, Chief Officer Fusion.

Fusion Maidstone, a local charity based in the heart of Park Wood since 2003, provides various health and wellbeing services along with social support for the residents in the area and the wider community.  If you need support please contact Fusion on 01622 691177 and we will be happy to help you.  For more information about Fusion and what we do please visit our website


Tier 4 restrictions

Kent is currently in tier 4 (Stay at Home) to see what you can and can’t do please see the poster or click here to find out more


Claming Universal Credit after prison release

from 20 March

On release, you should make your claim online as soon as possible

  1. Input your claim online as soon as possible after release
  2. You will be contacted to arrange an interview over the phone
  3. Your personal details will be verified over the phone
  4. You will be supported with applying for an advance

If you don’t have access to or are not able to use a computer:

Call 0800 328 5644

(Welsh Language  0800 328 1744 or text-phone  0800 328 1344)

  • We will input your claim over the phone
  • Verify your personal details
  • Support you with applying for an advance

All personal details will be fully verified at a later date

If you do not have access to a computer or telephone you may still be able to get support in the Jobcentre when you leave prison            

If you have:

  • been confirmed as having Coronavirus
  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

You must stay at home, self-isolate and contact us by phone

If you are over pension age you may need to claim pension credit –

            For all new claims you will need:

  • A valid email address
  • Bank account details (If you don’t have your own account you may use a trusted friend or family member’s account as a one-off)
  • If you don’t have a bank account Jobcentre will support you to receive payment via our emergency ‘Payment Exception Service’. You will receive printed voucher or code to your mobile and you collect cash via a PayPoint shop
  • Details of your accommodation, including any housing costs

The Black and Asian Family Covid-19 Helpline

Barnardo’s has launched a vital new support service  which we believe will make apositive difference to the lives of many Black, Asian and minority ethnic children, young people and their families impacted by Covid-19. 

This is a UK-wide helpline which will focus on issues specifically affecting children, young people and families from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, who as we all know, have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The new service is a free telephone helpline and web chat facility for children, young people and families from these communities who are suffering the long-lasting and wide-ranging impact of Covid-19. Barnardo’s specialist advisors will aim to provide on-going support on a complex range of issues including mental health, bereavement, family break-down, neglect, back to school, parenting advice, counselling, family stress, discrimination, barriers to services and more. 

You can find out more about the new helpline here: 


The Resilience Awards

The Resilience Awards is a great way for the achievements of young people to be recognised. The past year hasn’t been easy, and we are still facing challenges now, but young people have still managed to be amazing, looking after themselves, those around them, and reaching out in the community. These awards are designed to acknowledge this achievement throughout the past year and beyond.
Designed with young people for young people, there are opportunities to achieve awards in 4 areas;
Mental Health Hero
Skill Superstar
Ready to Learn
Kindness Champion.
Young people are invited to share evidence and claim a limited edition badge and certificate for each award and will be featured in an online celebration of the resilience of young people in Kent.
To find out more information and to apply visit
For more information on how to promote this to young people in your area please contact Sarah and Zoe using the following email:


Kent Youth County Council

KYCC are currently recruiting for new members to get involved in campaigning on the issues important to young people across Kent. This year’s election process is a little different to previous years, we have extended the membership of all KYCC members from 2020 by 1 year, however, we do still have a number of available Member Seats across the county and recruiting to these. Sign up now to be included in our online elections in January 2021.
KYCC meetings are currently taking place virtually once a month on a Saturday.
KYCC is open to young people aged 11 – 18 years who live or go to school in Kent.
Currently, KYCC members are working on campaigns about Mental Health, Curriculum for Life and Environmental Awareness, as well as project groups on anti-bullying, public transport, Equality for all young people and Keeping Kent Safe.
To learn more about KYCC and to get involved please register your interest at


FREE Mindfulness Sessions For Adults & Young People

Mid Kent Mind are offering more dates for our FREE Mindfulness course, Mindfulness & Me, starting in January of 2021.
The course is designed to help people to understand how Mindfulness can be a beneficial tool when it comes to building emotional resilience – helping people to manage their mental health proactively so that they can prevent themselves from experiencing periods of mental ill health.
The hope is that the skills and techniques people take away from this programme will have a farther-reaching impact for their wellbeing in the future – meaning that although the course is only five weeks, the impact it has should be much longer-lasting.
For more details on the course, and to book your space, please click here.


FREE One-to-One Mental Health Support Available

Mid Kent Mind are pleased to share that we are continuing to offer FREE mental health support in the form of one-to-one Recovery Action Plans.
Over the course of six weekly sessions, participants work with a wellbeing worker to take steps to improve their wellbeing. With the support of the wellbeing worker, they will have the opportunity to set realistic and timely goals which they have identified in areas where they feel they could improve their wellbeing.
The RAP is designed to allow an individual to take a holistic look at their life – identifying areas where they may be able to further build their emotional resilience.
For more details, please click here.


Life Café Project: Christmas Dinner in a Box

The Life Café Project in Park Wood, Maidstone, is offering a three course Christmas Dinner delivery on 24th December. These meals are free of charge and available to people in the local community of Park Wood, Shepway and the surrounding area. These could be elderly or vulnerable adults, people leaving hospital, individuals spending Christmas alone, or those who are financially unable to afford the extra expense this year. 

The meals are all freshly cooked by a professional chef and will be delivered chilled in microwavable containers ready to heat up and enjoy on Christmas Day.For more information or to refer someone for one of these meals, please contact The Life Café Project on 01622 801337 or email


Christmas Covid-19 Bubble Rules

Now is a good time to plan ahead if you’re considering forming a Christmas bubble with friends and family from 23 to 27 December.
The Government has changed some of social contact restrictions for a short period of time over Christmas, allowing us to meet with up to three households indoors or out.

However, we are being advised to reduce any unnecessary contact with people we do not live in the two weeks before we form our Christmas bubbles.

When following these new rules, we must each continue to take personal responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones, particularly if they’re vulnerable.
View the Christmas bubble rules in full.


Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime. If you have been a victim of fraud you call report to the Action Fraud website here or call 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm. If you are calling from abroad please call +44 300 123 2040.


Virtual Bingo

Do you want something to look forward too, would you like to win some cash?  If the answer to either of these is ‘yes’ read on…

Following the successful launch of Fusion Virtual Bingo we are delighted to announce the next bingo night on Wednesday 30th December 2020.  The cost is £8 for 6 games, giving you the chance to win a cash prize for the equivalent of £1.40 per game! 

We will be playing Bingo using Zoom – Zoom is a free app available for download using this link   The steps you need to take to join us are as follows:

  1. Download the Zoom app, install on your device and check this works by using the test meeting function
  2. Purchase your bingo tickets by clicking on this link
  3. During the day on the 30th December you will receive an email which contains:
  4. A link to access your bingo cards in readiness for the first bingo game at 7pm. 
  5. An invitation to the Zoom session including the Meeting ID and Password.
    This email will be sent to the email address of the PayPal account used to purchase the tickets.

PLEASE NOTE the cut-off time for purchasing your bingo tickets is 12pm (midday) on Wednesday 30th December 2020.  Any tickets purchased after the cut-off time will be rolled over to the next virtual bingo session in January.

Numbers are limited so please purchase early to avoid disappointment. 

We promise a fun filled evening where audience participation is very much encouraged !!!!


NHS mental Health crisis new number

The new Freephone number 0800 783 9111 is for anyone who needs urgent mental health support, advice and guidance but callers may be charged if calling from a mobile telephone number.


Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Partnership – Male victims of DA Survey

A short anonymous survey (15-20 minutes) is available which aims to understand the experiences and needs of males aged 16+ who are survivors of domestic abuse. The findings will inform the specialist support services provided to male survivors of domestic abuse across Kent. To complete the survey click here  


2021 Dates For Bounce Back – Youth Emotional Resilience Course

Mid Kent Mind are pleased to share that they are offering new dates in 2021 for their Bounce Back course – a course which has been designed to help young people with developing their emotional resilience.
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, including the dates in 2021 which are currently open for bookings, please click here.


Christmas Opening Hours At Mid Kent Mind

Mid Kent Mind services will be available as usual up until Wednesday the 23rd of December. After this point, services from Mid Kent Mind will be suspended until the 4th of January – providing our team with a break after a challenging year of virtual delivery.
We appreciate that mental health support is still vital over Christmas, so in lieu of our usual services, we will be aiming to highlight other support which is available over the festive period on our social media channels – including support offered by Release The Pressure and Samaritans.
If you have any questions about the availability of Mid Kent Mind services over the holiday period, please e-mail


Fusion Maidstone and the Sexual Health clinic remain closed until further notice. The NHS Diabetic Screening clinic is operating with reduced clinics please call 01233 880000 for details. For all coronavirus news please see the coronavirus section above.

In light of the current situation surrounding COVID-19 and the advice from central government we have made the decision to close the centre, including the Sexual Health clinic and computer/printer services until further notice as our target audience are social groups and the vulnerable members of our community. We appreciate the closure will have an impact on you and your family and we sincerely apologise for this and hope that you understand our need to adapt and be flexible to this rare and challenging situation. We will keep in contact via social media and our website with any updates as the situation develops. Please follow us on Facebook at Fusion Maidstone. All staff will be working from home and can still be contacted between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Please call 01622 691177 or email and we will support you to the best of our ability. If you feel ill and you would like to know what to do next please contact NHS 111. Please Note the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Clinic is operating reduced clinics. If you have an appointment please still attend or to rebook call 01233 880000. We wish you well in the present situation and thank you for your continued understanding. Fusion Maidstone

Fusion Maidstone


CORONAVIRUS: Testing centre opened on Shepway housing estate, Maidstone. PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENTS ONLY. Book a test at or by calling 119.

A COVID-19 testing centre has opened up in Maidstone PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENTS ONLY – NO WALK INS.

It is located at the Shepway Youth and Community Centre car park in Cumberland Avenue, Shepway.

It is only open to those showing symptoms, such as a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. 

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at or by calling 119. 

MP Helen Whately said: “Our focus now must be on bringing down the rates of infection in our community so we can lift more restrictions and get more parts of our lives back to some form of normality.

“Regular testing should help with this, so I’m pleased that NHS Test and Trace will be opening a Local Test Site at Shepway Youth Centre car park – making it easier for more people in Maidstone to get a test.”

Patients with possible symptoms should book or order a test at Those unable to access the internet can call 119 in England, to book a test.