Latest News

Festival of Winter Walks

Festival of Winter Walks Add to Your Support

The Ramblers are holding a Festival of Winter Walks over the festive season (20 December – 4 January).  So why don’t you take a walk in a winter wonderland this festive season, the Ramblers Association have hundreds of freegroup walks to choose from. So whether you want a short stroll to burn off the Christmas dinner or a heartier ramble to kick-start your new year’s resolution, they have got something for you.

So get your friends or family together, wrap up warm, and take in Christmas markets and carol singers, tread through winter forests or roam over snow-covered hills. The Festival of Winter Walks is open to everyone. There are short fun walks that children will love; leisurely strolls for people new to walking; and longer walks for those that want a good leg-stretch over the Christmas break.

So put on your hat and scarf and join the Ramblers as they head out into the crisp, clear winter to enjoy the season.

Find your own winter walk

You can also find your own winter walk with Ramblers Routes – an online library of 2,000 walking routes. You can find everything from coastal meanders to more strenuous hill climbs, with printable, easy-to-read maps and simple route directions.



Dry January 2015

Dry January Add to Your Support

Are you going to take the Dry January challenge and give up alcohol for the 31 days in January? Dry January is all about being able to go to that party, captain the pub quiz team, head off on that long weekend…. But to be able to do it alcohol free!

‘Feel better. Save money. Make a difference’

When people ask why you aren’t drinking, you can bring them into the challenge as well! Many participants in the previous Dry January events expressed surprise at just how difficult the challenge is. Many have had the realisation that those casual drinks with friends and after-work pints are amounting to more than they had initially realised. But a month without alcohol gives you the chance to think about the way you drink and create some good habits to last you a lifetime.

Find out more, get involved and sign up at Dry January. Download your free guide to this year’s campaign along with fundraising ideas and posters here. You can also find out more on the Dry January Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/DryJanuary.

If having a dry January makes you think you are experiencing problems with alcohol go to our Live It Well Alcohol page to get some hints and tips for getting help.

For more about Dry January follow the links below:

Time to Talk Day 2015

Time to Talk Day 2015 Add to Your Support

Time to Change are holding their second Time to Talk Day on 5 February 2015. What happens on Time to Talk Day? well Time to Change are asking everyone to take 5 minutes to have a conversation about mental health.

There are lots of ways you can make your 5 minutes count, whether it be at work, at school, online, in the community or with friends and family. Time to Change have lots of suggestions and materials to support what you’re doing.  Tell them who you’ll be having your conversation with and order or download your pack. They will have an interactive counter where they will be counting all your 5 minutes towards the total on the day and they are aiming for at least 24 hours’ worth of conversations about mental health.

Having a mental health problem is hard enough, but sometimes the isolation and stigma can make it even worse.  But we can all help to break the silence. Talking about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult and can make a big difference.

Time to Change have information and free packs about Time to Talk Day for:

  • Friends and family
  • At work
  • In the community
  • At school or university
  • Online

If you are interested in getting involved in the Time to Talk day on February 5 and want to make your 5 minute conversation count you can preorder your Time to Talk Day pack which will be sent through to you in January by going to: www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday

For more information about Time to Change go to: www.time-to-change.org.uk

Christmas 2014

Prepare for Christmas 2014 Add to Your Support

Hints and Tips from Live It Well to help you have a happy, stress free Christmas.

We at Live It Well have put down some handy hints and tips to help you make the most out of Christmas and for it to be as stress free and happy as possible.


Leaving all your preparations for Christmas until the last minute can cause unnecessary stress, but planning ahead can save you time and money.

Making lists for jobs to do, presents to buy and groceries you’ll need helps to organise your thoughts, prevents you forgetting something (or someone) and makes it easier to stick to a budget.

If you start shopping early you can spread the cost of Christmas, and shopping online can save you even more money, as well as avoiding the stress and crowds of the Christmas shopping season. You can even order all the food for Christmas dinner to be delivered as late as 23 December from a number of supermarkets (although these delivery spots need booking many weeks in advance). If the expense of Christmas is causing you anxiety, you may find this advice from Money Saving Expert useful. If you are having problems with debt see our debt advice by clicking here.

To see our other Christmas tips carry on reading…

Read more »

Get Ready for Winter

Get Ready for Winter Add to Your Support

Its December and winter is here, there is still time to get ready for winter by preparing your home for when the cold really begins to bite. Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.
Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

How to stay warm

The government has published advice on getting ready for winter winter key tips include:

  • Keep your home warm. Your main living room should be between around 18-21C (65-70F) and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F). You can also use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.
  • Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.
  • Wrap up warm, inside and out. Layer your clothing to stay warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.
  • Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.

To read Kent County Council’s Winter Warmth advice follow the link.

If you are over 65 Age UK have published a guide called Winter Wrapped Up which is full of handy hints and tips for preparing as well as dealing with winter click here to see this guide. To see more go to the Age UK website by clicking on the following link: www.ageuk.org.uk

NHS Choices also has a lot of information about staying well and preparing for the winter, click here to go to the NHS Choices winter health information.



World AIDS Day 2014

World AIDS Day 2014 Add to Your Support

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action There is also an online quiz: Are you HIV aware?  where you can test your knowledge and awareness and raise awareness of HIV and AIDS by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today – you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding.

You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.

In Kent and Medway there is a local campaign called Are you at Risk which is encouraging people to know their HIV status and get tested.  There is a series of events happening with the ‘blue bus’ (only in November) but there are always clinics where you get tested and know your HIV Status. Find out more at the links below:

To go to the local Kent and Medway Are you at Risk website follow the link: www.areyouatrisk.clinic

To learn more facts about HIV and AIDs go to: www.areyouatrisk.clinic/facts.php

To look for your local clinic where you can be tested for HIV go to: www.areyouatrisk.clinic/yourclinic.php

For more information about World AIDS day go to:  http://www.worldaidsday.org/

Turn 2 Us Benefits Checker

Turn 2 Us – Free Benefits Calculator Add to Your Support

Turn2us has developed a great free and easy-to-use Benefits Calculator.

See what benefits you are entitled to.

In the face of rising living costs and reduced incomes, increasing numbers of people are struggling to make ends meet. Turn2us has a wealth of expertise in helping people who are in financial hardship.

Go to the Turn 2 Us website by click here.

To go to the Turn 2 Us benefits calculator click here.



Kent Sheds

Kent Sheds Add to Your Support

Kent Sheds is a project that is looking to establish a number of Shed projects across Kent. Kent Sheds provides the opportunities for people to participate in practical group activities such as engineering projects, woodworking or gardening. Kent Shed’s projects enable people to share and learn new skills, and by working together ‘shoulder to shoulder’ support one another.

Kent Sheds is interesting in hearing from groups and organisations who would like to establish a ‘Shed’ to affiliate to the Kent Sheds programme. By joining the programme we will help your group develop and establish your Shed idea, ensuring it meets the ethos of Kent Sheds and provides a safe and welcoming facility for people to meet and work.

The programme also offers financial assistance to help you establish your Shed, purchase materials and equipment, promote the project and support running costs.

Kent Sheds are particularly interested to hear from organisations who would like to establish Sheds specifically for ex-service men and women.

So if you think you could set up a Kent Shed find out more by following the link below:



Carers Rights Day 2014

Carers Rights Day 2014 Add to Your Support

Carers Rights Day 2014 is the opportunity to come together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to. Having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference when you are looking after someone.

This year’s theme is ‘Looking after someone? Know your rights’ and will focus on:

  • Making carers aware of their rights
  • Letting carers know where to get help and support
  • Raising awareness of the needs of carers

How can you get involved?

From a coffee morning to a benefits drop-in session or an information stand, there are loads of ways that your group can get involved and help us get information and advice to carers. And if you’re not part of a carers’ group or organisation, you can still take part – how about spreading the word on social media, or getting your workplace to promote working carers’ rights through your staff newsletter?

When you sign up you will be sent everything you need to get involved, and keep you up to date with the latest news, event ideas and resources through our Carers Rights Day email updates.

Find out more at: http://www.carersuk.org/

Sign up for carers rights day by following the link: www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/carers-rights-day#signup

Are you caring for someone in Kent and Medway why not look at our local support information and help for you go to:



Anti Bullying Week 2014

Anti Bullying Week 2014 Add to Your Support

Anti Bullying Week 2014 is running from the 17 – 21 November.  The aim on Anti-Bullying week is to get people talking about bullying and the ways that it can be stopped in schools and communities.

Anti-Bullying Week wants to:

  • Stop the bullying of disabled children and those with special educational needs by equipping schools, colleges and youth service leaders with resources to develop youth led anti-bullying initiatives and encourage inclusive attitudes amongst children and young people;
  • educate those who support and work with children to recognise children and young people who may be particularly vulnerable to bullying – encouraging an inclusive approach within all anti-bullying education; and
  • ensure the school and wider community understand that the use of any discriminatory language is wrong and will not be tolerated and that this includes challenging disablist language.

For more information or how to get involved in Anti Bullying week go to the Anti-Bullying Alliance website here: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk

If you are suffering from bullying and need help and support please contact Childline on 0800 1111 or go to their website here: www.childline.org.uk.

Childline have some specific information about bullying which you can find them by clicking here.

Anti bullying Alliance information sheet for young people and a campaign pack if you want to get involved and support the campaign.

Alcohol Awareness Week 2014

Alcohol Awareness Week 2014 Add to Your Support

Alcohol Awareness Week 2014 is running from 17 – 23 November. This years theme is ‘Facing our Alcohol Problem: Taking Back our Health and High Streets’. Alcohol Awareness week is a great opportunity to get talking about alcohol and how much we are consuming and how this affects us as individuals, families, communities and a society.

If you think your drinking is becoming a problem why not get help and support to take control? Local NHS Talking Therapy providers can help with addictive behaviour. They are free to use and you can refer yourself into their help and you can find all of their information on our Free NHS Talking Therapy pages at the link.

Live It Well has some advice and information about alcohol that includes:

  • What are the Recommended Alcohol Limits?
  • Are you drinking too much – self assessment test
  • Steps to Cutting Down Alcohol Consumption
  • Alcohol Services in Kent and Medway

To see this information go to our Live It Well Alcohol information link.

To find out more about Alcohol Awareness Week go to the Alcohol Concern website by going to the following link www.alcoholconcern.org.uk.

Alcohol Concern also want to encourage people to sign up for Dry January – why don’t you sign up either as a team or an individual to give up drinking for a month. Find out more by going to the Dry January website at the following link: www.dryjanuary.org.uk.

National Stress Awareness Day 2014

National Stress Awareness Day Add to Your Support

National Stress Awareness Day on the 5 November and it’s an opportunity to raise awareness of stress and remind everybody of the Free NHS Talking Therapies available in Kent and Medway to help you if you are suffering the effects of stress. This year’s Stress Awareness Day theme is Stress the Balancing Act, reminding us to try to get the balance right in our lives.

So what is stress?

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else. Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do.

Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. You may feel anxious, irritable or low in self esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably. You may also experience headaches, muscle tension or pain, or dizziness.

So if you recognise any of these symptoms and think that you are suffering from the effects of stress why not refer yourself into the Free NHS Talking Therapy services available in Kent and Medway.

For more information go to the links below:


Wheel to Wellbeing Seminar

Six Ways to Wellbeing Seminar Add to Your Support

Why not find out how to use the Six Ways to Wellbeing to introduce wellbeing to the people you work with or people in your wider community.  We have a range of resources that might help you including a free half day seminar which will introduce you to the theory behind the Six Ways to Wellbeing and show you some practical ways in which you can apply the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

We have launched the Six Ways to Wellbeing campaign to improve wellbeing amongst the people of Kent, and we invite you to join in by coming along to a free event and learning what you can do to help. The half day seminar will share with you what the Six Ways to Wellbeing are, as well as giving you the tools you need to spread the Six Ways message to the people you work with and your communities.

Our next Six Ways to Wellbeing seminar is being held on the 4 December in Maidstone. This is the sixth seminar in this series that will help you explore how best to use the Six Ways to Wellbeing in your own work and will be a fun and interactive session. To book your place on this seminar go to our Six Ways to Wellbeing Seminar information here.

Live It Well also has a range of free resources and tools that might help you to see what we have available go to our resources page here.



Movember 2014

It’s Movember! Add to Your Support

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world. With their “Mo’s” men raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. As an independent global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.

How it Works

Movember challenges men to grow a moustache for the 30-days of November, thereby changing their appearance and the face of men’s health.

On the 1st of Movember, men with a clean-shaven face, start their Mo growing journey. Then for the entire month, these selfless and generous men known as Mo Bros, effectively become walking, talking billboards for 30 days. Through their growing efforts they raise awareness for the often ignored issues of men’s health, by prompting conversations wherever they go.

Movember is raising awareness of:

Click on the above links to find out more or go to the Movember website to find out how you can get involved, click here or follow the link: uk.movember.com

Why You Should Register for Movember (feat. Samuel L. Jackson!)

Elefriends Online Support

Elefriends online support for you. Add to Your Support

Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself.  We all know what it’s like to struggle sometimes, and this is a safe place to listen, share and be heard. Whether you’re feeling good right now, or really low, it’s a safe place to share experiences and listen to others. Shared experiences and perspectives are valuable and powerful. In this way Elefriends don’t just get help, they give help too. In the good times and the bad.

  • Post on the wall to say hello. New friends are always welcomed into the herd
  • If you don’t feel up to writing something just now then that’s ok too – just take a look at what other people are saying and show your support by clicking one of the buttons to say, ‘I like this’, ‘I’m thinking of you’ or ‘I hear you’
  • Perhaps there’s something you’re struggling with at the moment? With lots of supportive ele friends, you’re likely to get a fresh perspective on your situation
  • Don’t forget to share good news – the Elephant wants to hear what you’re proud of too, even if it feels like a small thing. And pictures and videos always brighten up his day too

Click here to go to the Elefriends website or follow the link: www.elefriends.org.uk

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More