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World AIDS Day 2015

World AIDS Day 2015 Add to Your Support

World AIDS Day 2015 is being held on 1 December. World AIDS Day 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 them you can raise awareness of HIV and AIDS by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends and networks 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 and share your stories and support using the hashtag #PutARibbonOnIt

Get Ready for Winter

Get Ready for Winter Add to Your Support

It is already feeling like winter is here, so maybe it is 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.




Buy Nothing Day Add to Your Support

Why not challenge yourself and your family and friends to take part in Buy Nothing Day on 27 November. Buy Nothing Day is asking us all to think about our spending and to take a day from buying anything in a response to the chaos of Black Friday.  Why not take part in Buy Nothing Day and give yourself a chance to switch off from spending for a day?

On Buy Nothing Day why not set yourself a challenge and put your purse or wallet away just for a day! Ask yourself do you need to get sucked into buying unnecessary items on Black Friday or can you resist the pull of the big retailers? Black Friday is also bad for local small businesses who cannot compete with the bigger retailers, so if you really do need to shop on Buy Nothing Day why not support your local smaller independent shops instead?

So how can you take part? Well it’s simple stay at home and don’t shop online, or go out and explore Kent rather than exploring the shops, read a book or play a game with your family. Or why not treat you and your family to some quality time together sit down and share a meal there is so much you can do if you put your mind to it.

Why not share your ideas using the #buynothingday and let the world know what you are doing.

For more ideas or to find out about Buy Nothing Day go to: www.buynothingday.co.uk



Carers RIghts Day 2015

Carers Rights Day Add to Your Support

It is Carers Rights day on 20 November. A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or a friend who could not manage without this help. This could mean caring or someone who is ill or has mental health needs. Many people do not class themselves as carers: they are mums and dads, husbands, wives, partners, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours.

If you are a caring for someone having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference when you are looking after someone. Every year Carers Rights Day highlights the vital work that carers provide in our communities and aims to ensure they know their rights and how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

Carers Rights Day aims to make sure carers know of the help and support that is available to them & to raise awareness of the needs of carers.

How can you get involved?

Why not hold an event to support Carers Rights Day? You can raise awareness of the vital support that carers give or hold an information session.  If you sign up Carers Rights Day will send you everything you need to hold an event.

If you are caring for someone Carers UK has some helpful tips and advice to help support you, follow the link to find out more.

Anti Bullying Week 2015

Anti Bullying Week 2015 Add to Your Support

Anti Bullying Week 2015 is running from the 16  – 20 November. This year’s Anti Bullying Week theme is “Make a Noise about Bullying”.  Anti Bullying week raises awareness of the impact on bullying on children’s lives. Anti Bullying Week is a great opportunity to stop bullying and change lives. We know that wherever there are people – we find bullying. The best schools are not the ones that say ‘We have no bullying here’ but the schools that acknowledge it happens and are not afraid to do something about it. Anti-Bullying Alliance website has a wealth of resources related to all forms of bullying to help you plan activities for Anti Bullying Week.

Are you interested in raising awareness or holding an event over Anti Bullying week? By raising awareness of Anti Bullying week you are standing up to Bullying and you can make a difference to someone’s life by saying No to bullying!

The Anti Bullying Alliance website has lesson plans and campaign pack to help you get started in holding an event. In their campaign pack you will also find key messages about bullying and a copy of the Anti Bullying Week 2015 poster that you can print out and put up wherever there are children so they know who to talk to if they are worried about bullying.

Get your Anti Bullying Campaign pack here: anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/antibullying-week

The Anti Bullying Alliance also has free online training available if  you want to learn more about bullying and how to prevent it. It is 100% FREE to access and is CPD approved. It counts towards your Continuing Professional Development. So far well over 2,500 people have signed up. You can complete it today at: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/onlinetraining

To find out more about Anti Bullying week and how you can make a difference go to the links below:

Too Much Alcohol Report Resize

Alcohol Awareness Week Add to Your Support

Alcohol Awareness Week is running from 16 – 22 November. Alcohol Awareness Week gives us a time to think about how much we do drink. Most people who have alcohol-related health problems aren’t alcoholics. They’re simply people who have regularly drunk more than the recommended levels for some years. Regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits risks damaging your health.

There’s no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink less than the recommended daily limits, the risks of harming your health are low. In alcohol awareness week why not take time to think about your drinking and take some steps to cut down on your intake.

  • men are not meant to drink more than 3-4 alcohol units a day
  • women should not drink more than 2-3 units.

A lot of people don’t know what units actually mean in terms of what they drink – and therefore don’t know when they’re drinking too much! Why don’t you test how much alcohol you are consuming by using the online ‘Know Your Score’ tool or alternatively you could try using the alcohol demotivator – you may be very surprised at the results!

NHS Choices also have apps and advice to help you cut down on your alcohol intake find out more here: www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/sneaky-drinks.aspx



Movember 2015

Movember Add to Your Support

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world. Movember is asking Mo Bros and Mo Sistas across the nation to get involved to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Movember is raising funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer, mental health as well as physical inactivity by encouraging us to MOVE this Movember.

This years Movember campaign wants men to Live Happier, Healthier and Longer lives.

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

How it Works

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:

This year Movember is encouraging everyone to MOVE in Movember.  MOVE is a new initiative encouraging Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to get physically active and make a commitment to improve their health while raising funds.

The challenge is to MOVE every day of Movember – 30 MOVEs in 30 days. How you MOVE each day is up to you. Whether it’s a workout one day, walking 30 minutes to work the next, a game of ping pong or an epic bike ride, no MOVE is too big or small. To sign up for MOVE go to: uk.movember.com/get-involved/move

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

NHS Therapy Kent

Free NHS Counselling Get back on Track Add to Your Support

Are you feeling stressed or depressed or anxious? Or struggling with a phobia, eating disorder or addiction? Or if you are looking for someone to help you through a difficult time in life, maybe a friend or relative has died or you’re struggling with fertility of if you have lost your job?

If you answered yes to any of the above why not refer yourself into see a free NHS funded therapist?  There are a range of free NHS funded talking therapists based across Kent and Medway.

Talking therapies, sometimes known as counselling can help all sorts of people in many different situations. Talking therapy, or counselling is for anyone who’s going through a bad time or who has emotional problems they are struggling to sort out on their own.

Why talking therapy or counselling may help

Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than to relatives or friends. During talking therapy, a trained therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to problems, without judging you. The therapist will give you time to talk, cry, shout or just think. It’s an opportunity to look at your problems in a different way with someone who’ll respect and encourage your opinions and the decisions you make.

To find your local free NHS funded talking therapy service go to our NHS Counselling and Therapy page and look up the information in your local area.

NHS Talking Therapies provide counselling and support for common mental health problems; anxiety, low mood, low self-esteem, stress, trauma, phobias and anger, as well as problems with regards to relationships, work or debt.   


National Stress Awareness Day

Stress Awareness Day 2015 Add to Your Support

Stress Awareness Day is on the 4 November. This year’s theme for National Stress Awareness Day is employee wellbeing.  1 in 6 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year.  This will be having a significant effect on your workplace and employees, but it can be improved. With the right knowledge and skills you can support your employees to stay well; saving you money and maintaining your productivity.

It makes sense to support employees who are struggling with mental health problems. Research shows that if supported, they will become more loyal, engaged and motivated, which can only be good for business.

To find out more and get your workplace involved in the Time to Change employment support campaign see the links below:

Time to Change are also running the #smallthings campaign asking all workplaces to make small changes to make work more mental health friendly.  To find out more about #smallthings follow the link.

If you are struggling with stress there is free NHS Counselling available in Kent and Medway, go to the following link and find a listing for your local area: www.liveitwell.org.uk/support-help/nhs-counselling-therapy-kent-medway . All the therapy listed here is free and there should be no waiting list.

We are also running the Six Ways to Wellbeing campaign encouraging people to take care of their mental health, to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved go to:  www.liveitwell.org.uk/ways-to-wellbeing/six-ways-to-wellbeing

To find out more about National Stress Awareness Day 2015 go to the ISMA website here.

Sky ride Cycling Kent

Sky Rides Free Cycling events in Kent Add to Your Support

Sky Rides are big, fun events which take over a town or city centre so lots of cyclists of all ages and abilities can ride safely together on a traffic-free route. They’re a great day out for families, with loads to do both on and off a bike. You’re sure to find the one that’s right for you. What’s more, registration and taking part are entirely free.

Kent is a great place to cycle, and now there are even more opportunities to get out and about on your bike in the area. Each event is packed with activities for you both on and off your bike. And there’s no need to worry about diesel fumes and boy racers to spoil the enjoyment. On the day, the only engines allowed are your heart and lungs enjoying a day out in the fresh air.  Cycling is a great way to Be Active one one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

So, evict the spiders from your old rusty Raleigh. Rinse out your Rapha Team Sky replica kit.  Get involved with Sky Ride. Wherever you are, it’s fun for you, your family and even your whole community.

Find out more about Sky Rides in Kent here: http://www.goskyride.com/kent

Find out more about cycling in Kent here:  www.explorekent.org.uk

Find out more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing here.



smallthings Time to Change Campaign

#smallthings to support mental health Add to Your Support

Time to Change have launched their #smallthings campaign to encourage people to talk about mental health in the workplace. #smallthings can make a big difference to how someone is feeling. The #smallthings campaign gives all workplaces the opportunity to talk about mental health. Time to Change want to get as many employers and individuals involved in their #smallthings campaign.  The #smallthings campaign and encourage employees to share the small things that make a big difference for them to stay well at work or support a colleague.

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem and 9 in 10 say they have faced negative treatment from others as a result. By choosing to be open about mental health, we are all part of a movement that’s breaking down mental health stigma and discrimination.

Time to Change have created some posters and top tips cards for around the office, showing the small things you can do to support a colleague and also stay well at work.

For more information and ideas about #smallthings and to download or order their free resources go to:


To find out more about World Mental Health Day and where to get involved in Kent go to:


Wear It Pink 2015

Wear It Pink 23 October Add to Your Support

Wear it Pink this October to help raise funds and money for Breast Cancer.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month an annual campaign to highlight the impact of Breast Cancer and the importance of education and research.   Wear It Pink is aiming to get as many people as possible, at home, at work or in school’s to help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer.

So how can you get involved? Why not Wear It Pink on the 23 October, why not hold a pink dress down day at work, at school or home with everyone wearing pink making a donation to Breast Cancer Now.   There are other ways to help raise funds and awareness why not; hold a cake sale, have a raffle or sponsored chest wax (ouch!) or anything else you can think of doing to raise money for Breast Cancer research.

Why wear it pink? Breast cancer touches the lives of millions of us in the UK. For every woman or man who develops breast cancer, there are families, friends and loved ones who also feel the fear and uncertainty the disease brings.

To find out more about Wear It Pink Day go to: wearitpink.org

For ideas on how you can take part at home, school or work see the Wear It Pink take part page here:  wearitpink.org/take-part.

Secondhand smoke

Is it time to quit smoking? Add to Your Support

Now is a great time to quit smoking. From the 1 October 2015 there is a ban which will stop people from smoking in cars carrying children? The reason for this is because children are vulnerable to secondhand smoke so the best way to protect your and your family is to make your home and your car smokefree. So why don’t you take advantage of the range of free help and support available to help you stop smoking and be smokefree?

If you want to stop smoking why not take part in Stoptober which will give you lots of additional help and support.

Why is the ban coming in? 

  • Secondhand smoke is particularly harmful to children as they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways. Children being exposed to secondhand smoke results in more than 300,000 GP consultations and 9,500 hospital admissions every year.
  • The government estimates that three million children in England are exposed to secondhand smoke in their family car, which puts them at risk of serious conditions including, respiratory infections, meningitis and triggering asthma.
  • A survey by the British Lung Foundation found that 86% of children who are exposed to smoking in cars would like the smoker to stop; yet only 31% actually feel able to ask them to do so.

The law will come into force on 1 October 2015, and people failing to comply could face a £50 fixed penalty notice.

So come on, isn’t it time you stop smoking!  Theres lots of free help and advice out there to support you quitting the habit so why not take the first steps to a smokefree you.

Stop Smoking Advice: 

To find out more about the health implications about second-hand smoke and the reasons for the ban go to:

World Mental Health Day 2015

World Mental Health Day 2015 Add to Your Support

October 10 is World Mental Health Day.  World Mental Health Day is a global awareness day to raise awareness of mental health issues.  World Mental Health Day gives us all a great opportunity to get talking about mental health and wellbeing.

There are lots of events happening in Kent to support World Mental Health Day so why not get out, get involved and find out more about mental health and wellbeing and all of the great work happening around the county.

On World Mental Health Day 10 October if you cannot come to one of the events happening in Kent why not take the opportunity to think about the small things we can all do to make a difference to someone experiencing a mental health problem – like sending a text to a friend or having a cup of tea and chat.

To find out what is happening to celebrate World Mental Health Day in Kent go to our latest listings here. If you are an organisation who is holding an event and want it added to our list please email me at: info@liveitwell.org.uk.

Time to Change have some free resources and ideas for how to start a conversation about mental health why not order them: See the Time to Change Resources here.

The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging everyone to have a Tea and Talk for World Mental Health Day and they have free resources if you want to organise your own tea and talk day you can download these through the Mental Health Foundation here.

To find out more about World Mental Health Day follow the link.


Stoptober 2015

Stoptober Quit Smoking in October Add to Your Support

Are you taking part in Stoptober? During October, thousands of people across England are taking part in Stoptober – a 28 day challenge to stop smoking. Stoptober is a great way to quit smoking with lots of free support and encouragement to keep you motivated. The great news is that by stopping smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to stay smokefree!

So come on stub it out in Stoptober!

The Stoptober campaign has different ways to help you stop smoking which include:

  • An app to help you monitor your progress and stay on track during Stoptober for online or for a smartphone
  • A free Stoptober pack to get tools and tips on how to prepare for Stoptober, a 28 day calendar to track your progress, and a stress toy to help keep your hands busy!
  • Daily motivational texts to give you daily tips and reminders to help you stay smokefree throughout Stoptober

To sign up to Stoptober follow the link or for other ways of stopping smoking see our information on how to quit smoking and where to get local support go to our Stop Smoking information on Live It Well by following the link.


To find out what Kent County Council are doing to promote Stoptober see the press release at the link.