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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 info@space2beme.org.uk.

Booking is essential via Eventbrite.

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space2beme zoom meetings

Space 2 Be Me will be continuing to offer our Space 2 Talk sessions for parents/carers of children with additional needs this term. These are a great opportunity to talk to one of our Family Support Officers and to meet other parents. We are able to offer a range of practical advice about any aspect of additional needs and provide emotional support. Families do not need to be members to access this service and no formal diagnosis is required.

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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 https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/the-mason-mile/id1542989072

Family activity ideas on YouTube via this link https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2dMoGVHDsDmTRs32AVsrL2wCSXRWBq0m

Workouts on YouTube https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2dMoGVHDsDnDNhY-UOtvtBP6Hi5y1PqC

And finally our Facebook: www.Facebook.com/thefamilymile

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Porchlight Aspriations

We know just how much of an impact the lockdowns and unemployment uncertainty of 2020 has had on people’s mental health. We’re determined to start 2021 on a positive at Aspirations, so we’ve put together a completely free 7 week wellbeing programme for people in Kent and Medway.

All activities included in the programme will be hosted online and each activity has been curated to help people build their confidence and improve self-esteem. We’re encouraging anyone eligible to come along, meet others, and feel more positive. 

The Full Schedule

Who can join the programme?

Anyone who is currently unemployed and over 25 is encouraged to get involved. The activities are all completely free and people do not have to take part in a specific number of activities. They can choose which ones work best for them. 

How to join

If you are interested please get in touch. You can refer through our online form or by calling us on 0333 880 2730. 

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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.

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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 www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test 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 www.kent.gov.uk/symptomfreetest 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 www.kent.gov.uk/symptomfreetest

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 www.kent.gov.uk/symptomfreetest

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 https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-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.

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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.

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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 www.fusionhlc.org.uk

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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

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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 https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit 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 – https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim

            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
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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 MoodSpark.org.uk
For more information on how to promote this to young people in your area please contact Sarah and Zoe using the following email: talkaboutMH@kent.gov.uk

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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 www.kent.gov.uk/kycc

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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.

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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.

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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 team@lifecafeproject.com

www.lifecafeproject.com

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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.

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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.

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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 https://zoom.us/download.   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 https://zoom.us/test.
  2. Purchase your bingo tickets by clicking on this link https://py.pl/7HztttKgElF
  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 !!!!

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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.

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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 https://surveys.kent.gov.uk/s/DomAbuseMenSurvey  

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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 mindhelp@mmkmind.org.uk

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Covid-19 symptomatic testing centre in Shepway, Maidstone. Pre-booked appointments only, book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus 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 nhs.uk/coronavirus 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 nhs.uk/coronavirus. Those unable to access the internet can call 119 in England, to book a test.

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FREE Dates For Parental Resilience Courses

Mid Kent Mind are pleased to share that, as part of our Reaching Communities Programme (funded by The National Lottery Community Fund), we are pleased to share that we are offering a new programme of Parental Resilience Courses designed to help parents build their resilience to better cope with the situations encountered in day to day life.
 
This three week course aims to support parents as they develop resilience and learn how to deal constructively with setbacks experienced in everyday life, such as:

  • Self-respect and respect to others.
  • Dealing with transition.
  • Becoming aware of others and how to empathise with them.
  • Facing problems and setbacks and learning from them.

These spaces are available for FREE, with both dates taking place in January of 2021. For more details, and to book your space, click here.

Byadmin

Royal Mail scams

As Christmas is fast approaching please see the latest information from Royal Mail regarding what email / text / Facebook message scams you should I be aware of?  These messages are fraudulent or phishing scams! go here to find out more.

Byadmin

Abdominal cancer signs

If you’ve been suffering from tummy troubles such as diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort for three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer. It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable and can save lives Speak to your GP and your NHS is here to see you, safely

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Space 2 Be Me parent workshop

We are very pleased to announce that the Space 2 Be Me Team are hosting a parent workshop led by Autism and Behaviour specialist Lou Elliott. Lou is a highly specialised speech and language therapist (or SLT) in Autism and a behaviour specialist.

This is our second workshop and the session will take place on 17th November 2020 via Zoom and is free and open to members and non-members of families in Maidstone of children with an interest and need.

Priority is given to Space 2 Be Me members in Maidstone (as it is funded specifically for Maidstone) but is open to non-members too in the local area. If you have any members who you think might be interested please share.

We are inviting parents in West Kent not in Maidstone to email support@space2beme.org.uk if they would like to register an interest for a similar event or would like to join a mailing list to hear about our other workshops coming up this year.

Places for these sessions are free but as spaces are limited we are taking reservations by Eventbrite – please click here  

Once your place is confirmed we will send out a private link before the event.

Parents can contact us for support at other times by emailing support@space2beme.org.uk and we are continuing to update our COVID-19 related useful information and links on our website.