Monthly Archive 01/29/2021


Free Virtual Boxing Sessions For Ages 10 – 17 – Starting This February

Mid Kent Mind are pleased to be partnering up with Olympia Boxing CIC to deliver six-weeks’ worth of FREE virtual boxing sessions for young people who are looking to try something new from the comfort of their own homes.
This programme has been designed to encourage young people to think about the mental health benefits that physical activity can have. There are lots of studies which show that enhanced physical activity can bring benefits for our wellbeing, so we hope that this programme will encourage young people to explore those benefits and maybe even adopt physical activity as a healthy coping strategy for when they feel distressed.
These sessions will be facilitated by one of Olympia Boxing CIC’s trained coaches, and will last for an hour – taking place from 5pm – 6pm. As mentioned, the course will last for six weeks – with the first session taking place on Wednesday the 24th of February.
For more details, and to book a space for a young person, please visit our website.


Fusion donation to Oak academy

Offering a little help to children home schooling during this difficult time 

As schools remain closed and families continue to struggle to support their children with home online learning, Charities are stepping in to help schools by donating resources. 

Fusion Maidstone (a local charity) in Park Wood, is pleased to donate 10 brand new Fire 7 tablets to Tree Tops Primary Academy thanks to funding from KCC Councillor Gary Cooke.  Tracey Elmore, Fusion’s Chief Officer said “We are committed to working in partnership with our local schools and county council to support families struggling at this time. Supporting children with education is key and an important foundation for success, we are very happy to help during this difficult time”. 

Tree Tops Primary Academy provides a broad and balanced curriculum and all students are given every opportunity to develop to their full potential, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.  Tanya Shaw, Pastoral and Learning Support Manager said “This is fantastic, we are looking at supporting our families with children in year 2 and this will help tremendously.  Once schools are back to normal, the tablets will be used in our reference library.” 

Every year Kent County Council help community projects across Kent by using members grants to fund them, Gary Cooke said “Supporting local schools in the South East of Maidstone has always been and will always be a key priority of mine as the County Councillor, so I was delighted to be able to fund the purchase of these tablets for the use of pupils at Tree Tops in Park Wood.  At a very difficult time for schools and their pupils – tablets such as these will provide much needed assistance to the pupils in their learning.”  

C:\Users\Tracey\Pictures\Tablet Donation - KCC and Treetops 1.jpg
Text Box
C:\Users\Tracey\Pictures\Tablet donation - photo Fusion and Treetops.jpg
Text Box

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 


Change4Life Healthy year calenders

Change4lifess Healthy Year Calendars, for Reception and KS1 and KS2, that supports young people to build healthier habits this year.

  • Calendars are interactive and link to the PSHE, PE and Relationships and Health Education curricula
  • Includes supporting curriculum-linked activity sheets

Urgent appeal for assistants to staff symptom-free Covid-19 testing centres across Kent.

From the Kent Messenger: A recruitment drive is under way for urgently needed staff to assist at symptom-free Covid-19 test centres.

Assistants are being sought by Kent Council Council (KCC) to help administer testing at 24 locations across Kent which are open daily from 9am to 7pm.

A symptom-free Covid-19 testing site at Kemsley Village Hall near Sittingbourne
A symptom-free Covid-19 testing site at Kemsley Village Hall near Sittingbourne

The full-time positions are to be filled right away, and the staff earning £10 per hour will be expected to carry out a range of duties, including registering members of the public, ordering supplies and overseeing the swab testing process.

Successful applicants will need to show they have experience of working with members of the public, excellent organisational skills and the ability to communicate clearly and sensitively with people attending the test centres.

KCC is urging everyone without symptoms to get tested every two weeks, especially if you are leaving the house for essential trips such as going to work or food shopping.

It is believed around one in three people with Covid-19 display no symptoms, so it is hoped regular testing will identify those who may have otherwise unknowingly spread the virus to others.

People booking tests should be advised that if possible, they will need a QR code app reader or the NHS app already installed on their mobile phone. Assistance is available at the sites for registration if needed.

Kent's director of public health Andrew Scott-Clark undergoes a Covid test in Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Kent’s director of public health Andrew Scott-Clark undergoes a Covid test in Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden

Assistants recruited to join the testing effort must be prepared to work on a rota basis, working shifts which will include evenings and may include weekends as required.

Anyone interested in applying should email a CV to for more information.


Free Emotional Resilience Course For Young People Between The Ages of 9-18 Starting This February

Mid Kent Mind are also offering new dates on our Emotional Resilience course, Bounce Back, to young people in the local area. This course is available free-of-charge thanks to funding from both Kent County Council’s Early Help Programme, and The National Lottery’s Community Fund.
Over the course of six-weeks, young people will have the opportunity to learn more about how they can combat stress, deal with emotions, and reduce anxiety – equipping them with the tools and the knowledge to ‘bounce back’ from the challenges which they may face in life.
All spaces are available free of charge – with a limited number of spaces available on each course. Our first course kicks off on the 1st of February – so book now to avoid disappointment.
For more details on the course, and to book a space for a young person, please visit our website.


Brand New Youth Wellbeing Café Drop-In Service Aimed At People In Higher-Education

Mid Kent Mind are pleased to be offering a brand-new service for young people who may be in Higher Education – a Youth Wellbeing Café drop-in service which will run every Friday night from 5:30pm till 6:30pm from the 12th of February 2021.

We understand that young people who are in higher education are facing incredible stress during this pandemic – with extensive disruption to their education, and long hours spent isolated in student accommodation. Our goal with this group is simple – to provide a safe and welcoming space where young people can come along, socialise and benefit from peer-to-peer support.
The Café will be free for young people to access, and will be available for anyone between the ages of 16 & 21. Whilst the service is intended as a drop-in service, we also welcome people notifying us of attendance in advance – as this ensures access if numbers exceed the capacity we are able to facilitate.
For more details, please visit our website


PATH survey

Are you an expectant parent or did you become a mum or dad last year?We would like to invite you to take part in an online survey about your mental health and wellbeing around the timeof the birth of your child.For more information and to take part in this study, please scan the QR code or use the url-link below.


Space2beme PDA workshop

This workshop will provide information about PDA and challenging behaviour and explore strategies for all the family.

This will take place on Thursday 11th February 7pm-9pm via Zoom. This event is free. You can register your interest by emailing

Booking is essential via Eventbrite.


Family Mile home exercises

Family mile have a host of family workouts available via their app, Facebook and YouTube channels

The App is downloadable via this link for apple phones or by searching Mason Mile on other devices

Family activity ideas on YouTube via this link

Workouts on YouTube

And finally our Facebook:


Mid-Kent Mind Low Cost Counselling Service

Mid Kent Mind are pleased to share that our Low Cost Counselling Service is continuing to operate on a remote basis currently – providing people with access to over-the-phone or video-call counselling sessions at the flat rate of just £15 per session.

Our Low Cost Counselling service aims to:

Give you a safe time and place to talk to someone who won’t judge you.

Help you make sense of things and understand yourself better.

Help you to resolve complicated feelings, or find ways to live with them.

Help you to recognise unhelpful patterns in the way you think or act, and find ways to change them (if you want to).

A large number of our Counsellors are trainees that are BACP registered and are undertaking a BACP recognised counselling qualification. As part of their training they have all been assessed and have proved capable of practice within a counselling service.

With ongoing training and supervision the trainee counsellors must usually practice 100 hours of counselling in order to become qualified. It is within these hours that your counselling sessions will take place if you are counselled by a trainee counsellor.

Because the majority of our counsellors are trainees we are able to offer this affordable `Low Cost’ Counselling service to people with lower level mental health problems such as mild to moderate depression or anxiety.

For more details on our Low Cost Counselling Service, visit our website.


CORONAVIRUS: Asymptomatic testing centre at County Hall, Maidstone. KCC is urging everyone without symptoms to get tested every two weeks, especially if you are leaving the house for essential trips such as going to work or food shopping. Pre-booked appointments only, book a test at or by calling 119.

More Symptom-free Testing Sites Opening in Kent

Another five rapid-result coronavirus (COVID-19) testing sites for people who don’t have symptoms are opening in Kent, in addition to 14 centres already in operation. 

The testing will find people who don’t currently have symptoms, who may be unknowingly spreading the virus in the community and the sites are part of a rolling programme to help reduce the rates of transmission in Kent.

In addition to sites already running across the county, people can now book for tests from today (12 January) using the link at the following venues (sites opening within the next week):

  • Swanscombe Centre Craylands Ln, DA10 0LP (open from 15 Jan)
  • Bat and Ball Centre, Cramptons Road Sevenoaks TN14 5DN (open from 15 Jan)
  • The Dray, The Hop Farm, Maidstone Rd, Paddock Wood, Beltring, Tonbridge TN12 6PY (open from 16 Jan)
  • Hawkinge Community Centre CT18 7FP (open from 16 Jan)
  • Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ (open from 18 Jan).

All symptom free testing sites will be open daily from 9am to 7pm. Children aged five-years-old and over can also be booked to take the test but will need assistance at the site from a parent/carer. It is recommended that people are tested frequently, every two weeks if possible.

People booking tests should be advised that if possible, they will need a QR code app reader or the NHS app already installed on their mobile phone. Assistance is available at the sites for registration if needed.

Sites already operating include Halfway, Sheerness; Ramsgate Port; Northfleet Youth Club, Gravesend; Swanley Youth Club; Dover Discovery Centre; Folkestone Library; Eurogate Business Park, Ashford; Kent Show Ground, Detling; Kemsley Community Centre; The Centre, Birchington; Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury; Larkfied Library; Fairfield Leisure Centre, Dartford  and Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. The full list and addresses can be found at

Once all 19 are open, there will be capacity for over 17,000 tests across Kent per day. To date, 53,260 tests have been conducted so far with 526 positive cases identified – a positivity rate of 0.99 per cent – this means that these asymptomatic people now know to self-isolate which reduces the spread to others.

Speaking regarding the rollout, KCC Leader Roger Gough said: “I previously outlined four crucial actions that will help us get out of tier four restrictions – following the guidelines; symptom-free testing; contact tracing and enforcement. Rapid testing, combined with additional resources in contact tracing, gives us the opportunity to make significant strides in identifying and containing the virus across the county.”

He added: “The symptom-free testing sites are being set up using funding from central government to support local councils in tier 4 to help reduce rates of COVID-19 and we have also received support from the military. The opening of these sites has been a huge partnership effort between Kent County Council, central Government and the 12 district and borough councils. We are working together to do everything we can to help Kent out of this situation.”

Lt Col James Cackett said: “We are extremely pleased that the recruitment of a civilian workforce to support the fight against COVID-19 has received significant interest and allows our military personnel to establish further symptom-free testing which, in turn, increases the council’s ability to identify symptomless carriers and remove them from the contact chain.”

Kent County Council Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “Symptom-free testing sites will help people to come forward and book themselves regular tests so we can find those who may be unknowingly transmitting the virus either at home or at work. I would ask employers across the county to help with this by encouraging their staff to regularly attend for a test.

“Remember, up to 1 in 3 people may have COVID-19 without any symptoms at all and with this new strain that is more transmissible, we need to identify those people and encourage them to isolate so we break the chain of transmission. 

“The message to everyone across Kent is to keep following the restrictions and stay at home if possible. It’s important to self-isolate, not only after receiving a positive test result but also while you wait for the results.”

To book a test and for more information go to

Residents attending this testing will undergo a lateral flow swab test and will receive their result within a couple of hours of attending the test by text or email. If they are positive, they will be told to self-isolate, follow the national guidance and they will be instructed to have a PCR test to confirm their positive result. If they are negative, they must still continue to observe social distancing guidelines, wear a mask in public and regularly wash hands.

These sites are in addition to the regional and local testing sites for people who have symptoms. If you have symptoms you should NOT attend one of our symptom-free testing sites but instead book a PCR test

Covid testing update
KCC councillor Gary Cooke shared the following update: as from 18 January county hall will be open to provide Asymptomatic testing in addition to the site at the Showground. It is recommended that people who continue to be active in the community through work etc should get regular Asymptomatic tests fortnightly.

Rapid-result coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for people who don’t have symptoms has started in Kent.

You can now book an appointment at one of the 14 sites across Kent and a further 10 sites will be opening over the coming weeks to help try to reduce the rates of COVID-19.

These sites are in addition to the regional and local testing sites for people who have symptoms. The symptom-free testing will find people who don’t currently have symptoms, who may be unknowingly spreading the virus in the community.

Symptom-free testing sites are being set up using funding from central government to support local councils and help reduce rates of COVID-19. if you like to book a test click here.


Fake Vaccine scam

Fraudsters are sending out bogus text messages about the coronavirus vaccine in an attempt to steal bank details.

The scam tells recipients they are “eligible to apply for your vaccine” with a link to a bogus NHS website, trading standards officers have warned.

That, in turn, asks for personal information and – crucially – bank details “for verification”.

The warning comes the same day as MPs heard that Covid is leading some people into the net of pension fraudsters.

The fake NHS message is one of a range of scams which have sought to take advantage of the pandemic and the isolation and legitimate worries of potential victims, according to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Others have included people travelling door-to-door selling counterfeit or useless protection equipment, or fraudsters claiming to be from the official test and trace service and demanding payments.

The latest scam is preying on those elderly or vulnerable people who are fully expecting to receive legitimate information about their vaccine.

Health authorities have stressed they would never ask for an individual’s banking details.

Fake text message

Katherine Hart, lead office at the CTSI, said: “I have been tracking and warning the public about Covid-related scams since the beginning of the pandemic, and at every stage of response, unscrupulous individuals have modified their campaigns to defraud the public.

“The vaccine brings great hope for an end to the pandemic and lockdowns, but some only wish to create even further misery by defrauding others. The NHS will never ask you for banking details, passwords, or PIN numbers and these should serve as instant red flags.”

She urged people to report the scams to Action Fraud or Police Scotland.

File picture of older people
image captionPensions have been stolen or put into high-risk schemes

The warning came as MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee heard how fraudsters were seizing on victims’ financial uncertainty during the pandemic to draw them into pension scams.

Rules allowing people to withdraw cash from their pension pot from the age of 55 have led some people to move money into investment schemes which look generous, but are simply vehicles to steal money.

“Household finances are stretched and so the temptations to use savings or to be tempted by offers of ‘free pension reviews’, for example, which we’ve warned about, are very real,” Mark Steward, from the Financial Conduct Authority told the committee.

“Of course, a ‘free pension review’ is hardly free. It is the first step on a process that will lead someone to investing in something that is too good to be true.”

Social media misuse

He said that fraudsters had used social media advertising to “industrialise” this kind of fraud.

Whereas previously, fraudsters had to produce sophisticated glossy brochures and office fronts, they could now operate in anonymity on social media, sending fake information to millions of people.

Millions of pounds have been lost to pension scams in recent years, but it is a crime considered to be widely under-reported by victims and pension companies.

Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Economic Crime Centre, told the committee that fraudsters were continuing to use new avenues to reach potential victims.

“What we’re looking to do next is to move on to fake comparison websites, which is this new gateway into investment frauds, to spot those and take them down at source,” he said.