Category Archive News

BySue Maidens

Healthwatch Recognition Awards 2024

Fusion were Healthwatch Recognition Award winner in the Empowered Communities category for our work on the Hypertension Heroes project.  On the evening of Wednesday 20th March 2024 Fusion’s hypertension heroes and our CEO attended the glittering awards ceremony at The Ashford International Hotel hosted by Healthwatch and EK360.  This was a truly magical evening and a real treat for everyone.  For more information on the awards please visit

What is the Hypertension Heroes Project?

Hypertension Heroes is an NHS initiative which allows members of the community to have their blood pressure taken by trained volunteers.  They will also be taught how to take and manage this themselves in their own home.  This alleviates the need to visit their GP surgery and also gives early warning signs of any conditions that may require medical intervention.  In essence, this project is a prevention step which could prove lifesaving.  If we look further afield, there is a cost saving to this NHS if health conditions are identified and treated early. 

Hypertension Heroes is also empowering to the community as it educates them to take ownership of part of their health care.  Delivered by fully trained volunteers and project coordinators, this is a true community initiative.

Fusion’s hypertension heroes deliver the project at our centre in Park Wood as well as outreach locations such as The Park Wood Larder and Morrisons on Sutton Road.

If you would like any further information on hypertension heroes, please contact 01622 691177 and speak to one of our friendly team or email

National Lottery Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund

BySue Maidens

A Warm & Hearty Park Wood Welcome this winter

In December 2023 Fusion successfully secured funding from the National Lottery Cost of Living Fund and launched our:

A Warm & Hearty Park Wood
Welcome this winter

project in early January 2024. 

This project was developed in response to our 2023 client survey where 61% of the local people surveyed said they were concerned about the cost-of-living crisis, food and fuel poverty. 

Based on figures collected from November 2022 to March 2023 demand for our different community services at Fusion is at its highest.  As part of the project development, and to address the concerns highlighted in the survey results Fusion implemented a combination of existing services and introduced some exciting new initiatives.

This funding allowed us to:

  • Provide a total of 2880 nutritious takeaway meals for vulnerable local residents
  • Register Fusion as a Warm Welcome Space
  • Offer free tea/coffee, free Wi-Fi and free access to public computers
  • Run two additional Slow Cookery Courses
  • Increase delivery of our Family Therapeutic/IAG service
  • Recruit a part-time outreach worker to engage with target groups in the local community who are most likely to be struggling with the cost of living crisis
  • Open longer hours and open for some weekend so support could be accessed 7 days a week

A total of 23 volunteers assisted in the mobilisation of this project dedicating 612 hours of their time.  We also recruited 2 session workers to assist with the preparation, cooking and distribution of the meals.  Fusion also formed a partnership with Hungry Hearts for the Homeless providing meals for their clients on a weekly basis. 


“My allergies mean that I can’t get cheap ready-made allergen meals, so having this option has been really helpful. I can’t make things like mash due to my disabilities so having a meal made for me was really nice, and not having to worry about my allergies as well made this so good. My daughter has been off ill from school, so if I hadn’t had these meals I would have really struggled to afford to feed us both as she normally receives free school meals.”

“I’ll go back to having a sandwich or microwave meal instead. I think the meals have been brilliant, I would definitely take part again.”

“I am housebound and have poor mobility. The meals have been a great help to me and my husband as he is my main career. They have taken the pressure off us.”

“I don’t know what I would have done without it, I definitely wouldn’t have been having hot food. My wife is ill so I have to cook for myself. It’s been really good.”

“It’s really easy to access, I’ve been skipping meals or eating really unhealthy food before this.”

“I would have had to purchase extra food and spend more money. This has made a big difference for my children and not having to use gas when cooking. It’s been brilliant, really has helped my family and helped with the living cost. Thank you all so much.”

66% of participants are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

45% of participants had gone without a meal before the project.

Because of the project 84% have not gone without a meal.

Sue Maidens CEO of Fusion said “I am immensely proud of the Fusion team for the delivery and coordination of this project.  To prepare, cook and serve 2880 meals to the community is just amazing.  All the staff became involved at some level and to receive such positive feedback makes all the hard work even more worthwhile.  Thank you to the National Lottery for making the delivery of this project to the Park Wood Community possible”.

National Lottery Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund


Park Wood Connects Project

Fusion have successfully secured three years of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund

The Park Wood Connects Project is a three year engagement and support initiative co-designed with the local community to support people struggling with the combined effects of the cost-of-living crisis, the mental health crisis, and high levels of social isolation/loneliness in one of the South East’s most deprived communities.

To address the growing numbers of vulnerable local residents we propose to do two things through the Park Wood Connects project:

  • Reach out better across the community to make more people aware that we and our partners are here to help
  • Make more services available locally by encouraging more people and organisations begin delivering support locally

As part of this funding we will have both job and volunteer opportunities available as well as new exciting projects.


A Message from our Chairman

Covid-19 is all over

No it isn’t, it’s coming back in a new variant, and striking all ages.

If you are entitled to a booster jab, don’t be foolish and think you have had enough already, take it. Most surgeries are offering to give Flu and Covid-19 jabs at the same time. Check with your surgery, or on something like Patient Access for the details. Having the jab may not stop you having Covid-19, but it is likely that you will get a much milder attack.




A Message from our Chairman

It is with great sadness that I have to advise you all that the KCC has confirmed that our Adult Social Care Grant of £29,000 will be reduced to £14,500
for the first 6 months of this year and then permanently cancelled.


This will obviously put enormous pressure on our budget, and it may well
be that we will have to discontinue some of the functions we hold.
Next year the pressure will be even more acute.


The situation could have been even worse if Clair Bell a Cabinet Member
and Gary Cooke our local KCC Member had not fought our corner.


This brings into focus just how much the local community must step up to the mark to help its local charities, or lose them.


Fusion Review of 2022

Fusion Review of 2022

This is an excerpt from the Fusion Review of 2022 booklet.  The entire four page booklet can be downloaded in .PDF format by simply clicking on this link HERE

To read a PDF file you will need a PDF reader.  The software is free and can be downloaded here
(Adobe reader)

BySue Maidens

New Reception Desk at Fusion

No need to wander around Fusion looking for Reception.  Its now right at the Front as you walk in the main doors.  There you can find out about what is going on at Fusion today.  Want WiFi?  Get the Code from Reception. 

BySue Maidens

Fusion move their Public Computers

The computers available for public use at Fusion have been moved!  They have been relocated to a more private area and are no longer in the very public area of the Coffee Shop.  It was decided that due to the modern requirement to use the Internet to do almost anything from buying shopping to claiming a benefit moving the computers to a more secluded part of Fusion was needed.

BySue Maidens

Fusion Win TWO Maidstone Compassionate Community Awards

On Tuesday the 1st of November 2022 the Fusion team attended the Compassionate Community Award ceremony hosted by Maidstone Borough Council  and Heart of Kent Hospice . A lovely evening was had by all!

Fusion would like to say a massive thank you to all that nominated us in the 2022 Compassionate Community Awards.

We are delighted to announce that Fusion won the Compassionate Workplace/Business award, which we are incredibly humbled by BUT our amazing, beautiful, fantastic Chloe Hubbard won the Compassionate Young Person award too! So, we’re double winners! See if you can spot Chloe in the photo above.

This means the world to us. Fusion isn’t just a workplace, it’s a family. We’re lucky enough to have a fantastic community to work with, so most days it doesn’t feel like work!

Congratulations to all the other winners – thoroughly well deserved.

Again, we just want to say a big thank you to everyone who nominated us

Sue Maidens accepting the Compassionate Workplace/Business award

Sue Maidens CEO of Fusion accepts
the first award for
Compassionate Workplace/Business
from the Mayor of Maidstone,
Cllr Derek Mortimer.

Compassionate Young Person award

Chloe Hubbard of Fusion Maidstone accepts
the second award for
Compassionate Young Person 
from the Mayor of Maidstone,
Cllr Derek Mortimer.


The priority services register

This service is available free through your Gas and Electricity supplier and your local Water Company such as South East Water. 

Check if you are eligible: 

You are eligible if you: 

  • Have reached your state pension age 
  • Are disabled or have a long-term medical condition. 
  • Are recovering from an injury. 
  • Have a hearing or sight condition. 
  • Have a mental health condition. 
  • Are pregnant or have young children. 
  • Have extra communication needs (such as you don’t speak or read English well). 

You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation isn’t listed. For example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital. 

You can apply by contacting your energy supplier or water supplier either through their website or by phoning them. Care if you have a different supplier for gas and electricity you will have to contact them both. If you switch supplier you will need to register again. 

During the past week, one of our Trustees had water delivered to his door and a phone call after an unscheduled power cut offering help if there were any problems. 

Just Google “The Priority Services Register” if you want more information, but if not then sign up. 


Free Lunch Friday

We are delighted to announce that from Friday 18th March 2022 we are introducing Free Lunch Friday!  In partnership with MBC we are offering a 3 course set meal and a drink to those in our community who meet the criteria.  If you or someone you know is in receipt of benefits such as universal credit, personal independence payments (PIP), job seekers allowance, employment support allowance or similar benefit, please contact us.  Spaces are limited to 20 people per Friday lunchtime so booking is essential.  Please call 01622 691177 and speak to one of our friendly team to book your space.


Mid Kent Mind Introduce ‘A Better You’ – FREE One-to-One Coaching Sessions

Mid Kent Mind are delighted to be offering our new Programme, known as ‘A Better You’, free-of-charge to people across Kent (excluding Medway).  
‘A Better You’ aims to provide people with a personalized plan which will help them to progress forwards and overcome any barriers which may be negatively impacting on their wellbeing. Our wellbeing workers will work with participants on an individual level to empower them to take proactive steps forward – boosting both an individual’s confidence, and also their emotional resilience – so that they are better equipped to overcome any other challenges which they may face in the future. 
A wide range of areas can be covered as a part of this programme. Every participant gets access to a schedule of six once-weekly sessions, and the participant has the freedom to determine what they would like to focus on in each session. 
For more details on this programme, and how you can book a space, please visit our website


Drop-In Youth Wellbeing Café

Did you know that Mid Kent Mind provide a safe, virtual drop-in space for young people between the ages of 9 and 18?
Our Youth Wellbeing Café takes place every week on a Tuesday, providing a drop-in session which young people can access between 4pm and 5pm. The Café aims to provide young people with a safe space where they can seek support from both our staff and their peers whilst also taking part in fun activities like quizzes, crafts and more.
There is no cost to attend our Wellbeing Café sessions – but notifying us that a young person may attend is useful in allowing us to prepare for additional numbers.
For more details, click here.


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.


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.


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.


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


Kent Sheds

Are you over 18 and looking to learn new skills and make new friendships? Kent County council is running a initiative called Kent sheds which is part of the international men’s shed movement. Activities may include anything related to a shed such as metalwork, woodwork and others. If you like to be involved read the poster below for more information.