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Golden Friends resumes

Fusion Maidstone are delighted to confirm our Golden Friends group will start again on Wednesday 9th September 2020 at Fusion Maidstone HLC 10.30am to 12.30pm. 

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The Rubin Clinic reopening

The Rubin sexual health clinic at Fusion is reopened and will operate every 1st and 3rd Wednesday starting from the 2nd September. Full details are on the poster below or got to the KCC website here

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Golding Home School job course

Golding homes has launched a new course for anyone who wishes to begin a new career in education. See the poster below or contact Penny Lowe on 07720 309 727 or email workwise@goldinghomes.org.uk for more information.

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Princess Project Update

Our Maidstone Hubs (Park Wood and town centre) are now open every week for families to access Totcycle, by appointment only. The Park Wood Hub is open Wednesdays 10-12, and town centre Hub (Fremlin Walk) is open Fridays 10-12. Families can phone/text/WhatsApp us on 07851 196770 for an appointment.

Totcycle is a baby and toddler goods bank, providing clothing, toiletries, toys and equipment such as highchairs, prams, car seats etc, to any family in need. It is important to emphasize that this service is for anyone, even those who would not normally be using services such as these, for example those who have been made redundant or whose income has decreased.

We also have a specific fund to allow us to buy formula and nappies, so we can supply specific stages/brands/sizes as needed. If families cannot get along to the Hubs, it is still possible for our team to deliver items if needed, or a support worker can come and collect. We are also more than happy for mums to make an appointment to come along for a chat even if they don’t need to access Totcycle.

We are no longer providing food parcels for families, but instead signposting to one of the several food banks operating across the town.

Our staff team is providing telephone befriending/support to many vulnerable mums and their families; we have also now restarted our face-to-face Mum2Mum befriending service for isolated mums aged 16-30, which matches mums in need of support with trained volunteers. Please see the attached Mum2Mum referral form for this service; the general referral form is for all other services (formula/nappies/Totcycle etc).

None of our groups are able to start up again yet due to ongoing social distancing restrictions, but we will restart these as soon as government regulations permit. If you have any queries about any of our services, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

07851 196770
www.princessproject.co.uk

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Redundancy Support Webinar

The National Careers Service will be hosting free Redundancy Support Webinars, with live questions and answers. If you’re currently unemployed, or facing redundancy, join our expert advisers for advice and support on taking your next steps.

During the event we’ll explore:

Introduction to the tools are available on the National Careers Service website

How to go about choosing a career in these challenging times

Online training opportunities

CV writing

Interview skills

Ways to build your resilience

When we’ll be running the webinar:

Monday 24th August (10:00am– 11:00am)

To join the event, please register your interest by emailing marketing@cxk.org and quoting ‘Redundancy Support Webinar’ in the subject line and stating which date you would like to attend.

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Blackthorn Trust Career Learning and Development Course

Our Career and Learning Development 10 week-course is aimed at people experiencing mental health difficulties who are not currently in work and is free to all participants.

It will be delivered through live virtual sessions and starts on the 3rd  of September. It includes group sessions and 121 telephone calls.

Please see the attached leaflet for more information. 

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Mid-Kent Bank holiday workshop

Mid-Kent Mind are pleased to announce that we are organising a free ‘Bank Holiday Wellbeing Workshop’ for young people between the ages of eight and seventeen – with a particular focus on young people who live in Maidstone and Swale.

The stream will take place on August the 31st, and it is hoped that the stream will be able to function as an interactive session which will both provide young people with an opportunity to try new and exciting activities, and also will function as an opportunity for young people to learn more about building emotional resilience. 

Mid-Kent Mind are working with partners to offer a range of pre-recorded sessions which will be streamed live on the day. These will include things like physical activity sessions facilitated by coaches, and also wellbeing sessions which will focus on equipping young people with the tools and knowledge to better manage their mental health as they return to school this September. 

It is safe to say that the return to a new normal is a daunting one for many young people – so we hope that this event will serve as a medium through which we can really help to alleviate the potential anxieties which may be bubbling away in young people under the surface – putting them in the best possible position for their return to school. 

The live stream will be available entirely free of charge, but will not be available for long after it has streamed, meaning that exclusive access will only be available on the day. Spaces are not limited – so as many young people as possible can benefit from this event. 

Nearer the time we will debut a timetable, and will also begin to announce our event partners to give a rough format for the day. 

For more details, please visit our website.

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Sudden breavement service

Hospitals and police forces are now able to refer people bereaved in sudden or shocking ways (including by COVID-19 and any sudden illness, incident, or suicide), from day one of bereavement, into a new, government-funded, England-wide, professional, free and specialist sudden bereavement service (set up as a pandemic response and for the long term).

The service, Sudden, is run by a well-established charity that is experienced in helping suddenly bereaved people through trained and named case workers, operating over the phone. Sudden provides free support and advocacy for up to 10 weeks, with a focus on safeguarding and wellbeing outcomes. The service is delivered in partnership with relevant community-based statutory and NGO agencies. (Please read the attachment for more information.) To note, the Sudden helpline number (0800 121 6510) is available to call now, but is due to change within the coming weeks – please visit www.sudden.org or email help@sudden.org for the latest.

Because it is an immediate intervention service, the Sudden service is designed to be reached through very early referrals from hospitals and police.

Please contact see the attached information for more details about this new service. 

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Clarion Apprenticeships

Clarion futures has a apprenticehip program to help anyone train or retrain into a new profession. If you like to know more see the poster below.

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Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Each suicide is a tragic event which has a devastating impact on the friends and family of the victim, and can be felt across the whole community. While the events and circumstances leading to each suicide will be different, there are a number of areas where action can be taken to help prevent loss of life.

The Kent and Medway Suicide Prevention Strategy (2015-2020) recommends that as many people as possible are trained in mental health and suicide prevention training.

Course outline:

introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences

understanding self-harm

suicide awareness

helpful strategies and support

The workshop is suitable for anyone interested in the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. This includes people who work or volunteer with children and young people, as well as individuals / parents who want to learn more about how to support children and young people in a personal capacity.

Key outcomes for this workshop include:

increased awareness of suicide prevention in children and young people

increased confidence to reduce suicide risk

increased awareness of support services (via pose-course information provided)

To see what dates are available and to book click here

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FREE Drop-In Virtual Wellbeing Café For Young People In The Maidstone & Mid-Kent Area

Mid-Kent Mind are offering two unique Virtual Wellbeing Café services which young people will be able to access for a little bit of additional support and guidance during this challenging period of time.
 
As a part of this drop-in support, we have developed a Digital Chatroom which will be accessible for young people through the format of a ZOOM room which will be facilitated by Mid-Kent Mind’s Wellbeing Workers.
 
As a part of these sessions, young people will have the opportunity to take part in Quizzes and other online activities, but will also have the opportunity to ask questions to our workers and offload any thoughts and feelings which the current situation may have effected.
 
The two sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm – 5pm, with 8-12 year olds able to access the Tuesday sessions, and 13-17 year olds able to access the Thursday sessions.
 
Full details can be found here on the Mid Kent Mind website.

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Hate crime digital surgeries

Kent police will be running a Hate Crime Surgery online via the Police Live-chat facility for residents of Maidstone and surrounding villages/wards, the first event being 29th July. Hate Crime is likely to go unreported to some extent and that victims will not always feel confident in speaking either in person or on the phone.  Whilst this is not a Crime reporting avenue, this is a new initiative and is an opportunity for victims of Hate Crime, whether reported or not, to have a real-time online conversation, seek support, guidance or any questions or concerns and also those who have questions who have not been a victim.   Hate crime comes in many forms – Disability, Sexuality, Gender, Age, Race, Religion. See the poster below for more details.

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Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind Are Changing to Mid Kent Mind

Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind are excited to share that, as an organisation, we are entering the next stage of our growth – with an upcoming rebrand to Mid Kent Mind designed to better reflect the areas where our support will be available.
 
As of next week we will begin to change our Social Media and online presence to reflect this next stage in growth for our organisation. Please rest assured that we are the same organisation, and will continue to offer the same level of support we always have – but we will just be doing this as a name which better encompasses all of the areas where we offer support.
 
We are excited to embark on this new stage in our organisation’s journey, and we look forward to continuing to work with our many partners, colleagues and supporters in the future.

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Mid-Kent Mind Suicide Prevention & Awareness

New Dates for Mid-Kent Mind’s Suicide Prevention & Awareness training are now available – funded generously by Kent County Council, Medway Council and Transforming Health and Social Care in Kent and Medway.
 
This 2 1/2 hour, interactive session will help people understand the mental health drivers that can cause suicidal thoughts and to recognise the signs that someone may be feeling suicidal early on.
 
The course also provides people the confidence to support other vulnerable people and reduce the risk of a suicide attempt being made.
 
We also provide information about what other suicide support services are available in Kent and Medway.
 
For full details on how you can access this FREE training, please visit our website

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Mental health awareness courses

Mid-Kent Mind are excited to share that, following the success of both our Tier One and Tier Two Mental Health Awareness courses, we have been able to develop a Tier Three training package to offer more in-depth mental health knowledge.

Our new Tier Three MHA sessions complement the existing Tier One and Tier Two sessions – building on some elements to give a much more comprehensive breakdown of certain subject matter.

This is a three hour training session which includes the following:

Self-Harm – Facts and awareness

Recognise signs and understand the causes

Introduce the self-harm cycle

Myth busting and harm minimisation/delay techniques

Eating disorders – Facts and awareness

Recognise signs of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating, OSFED

Understanding Body Dysmorphia and Muscle Dysmorphia (Bigorexia)

Understand cause and maintenance factors

Introduce the link between Autism and Anorexia Nervosa

Currently, all three Tiers of Mental Health Awareness training are available for free thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. For full details, please visit our website.

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Virtual afternoon tea

On Saturday 25th July, Mid-Kent Motor Neurone Association are holding a virtual afternoon tea for anyone interested including carers, friends and supporters.

If anyone is interested in joining us please phone Sheila 01634 723677  or Annette on 01622 820719 and we will send on the links that are required to join. 

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Heart of Kent Hospice

Living well programme

Our Living Well programme offers free, enjoyable activities and therapeutic sessions to enhance comfort, health and happiness among our patients and their loved ones. From arts and craft to exercise and relaxation, these short sessions are constantly reviewed and expanded to give you, your family and carers even more opportunity to live well.

Unfortunately because of coronavirus we are unable to run our full Living Well programme. However we are delighted to be able to bring you some sessions using the online platform, Zoom.  All the sessions can be booked by emailing the Living Well Co-ordinator, Kelly Moore on Kelly.moore@hokh.co.uk or by calling 01622 792200 ext 258.

We have also set up a peer-to-peer support group on Facebook which is open to all our patients and their carers.  This closed group will enable you to connect and support each other.  You can ask our Family Support Team for the details on 01622 792200 ext 260 or email fst@hokh.co.uk, or request to join the group on Facebook using  this link: shorturl.at/ips35

Summer Fun at Heart of Kent Hospice

From now until the 30th August, you can download a weekly pack of different activities to keep the whole family entertained! From exploring the great outdoors to the big family night in,the activities range from challenging yourself physically to helping in your local community.

Each Monday, you will receive a downloadable pack that will inspire you for the week ahead. Don’t worry if you have missed a challenge as you can catch up any time.

Once you have signed up you will receive a funky Summer of Fun lanyard and you will be able to collect a themed pop up badge for each challenge.

Registration is £8.00 for adults, £5.00 for under 16’s and £22.00 for a family of two adults and two under 16’s.

To sign up and for further information please visit www.hokh.org/events. All the money you rise will go directly to helping the vital work of Heart of Kent Hospice.

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Coronavirus advice for parents

Below is advice from KCC for parents for supporting children. You can download the leflet by clicking download or viewing the images below

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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.