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World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Get Involved in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning Add to Your Support

Get involved in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan on 25 September to help raise funds for people facing cancer.  Macmillan are asking people to host their own coffee mornings to raise funds.  If you want to host your own coffee morning sign up at the link below and Macmillan will send you a kit packed with everything you will need.

There are now 2.5 million people in the UK living with cancer. By 2030, it will be 4 million people, and we want to be there for them all.

One in three of us will get cancer, and it will be one of the toughest things we’ll ever have to face. Macmillan’s goal is to make sure no one faces cancer alone. They provide medical, emotional, practical and financial support, as well as campaigning for better cancer care. And because cancer affects more than just those facing it, they are there for friends and family too.

For more about the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning go to: coffee.macmillan.org.uk

To find a coffee morning near you go to: coffee.macmillan.org.uk/about/search

Or to register for your free Coffee Morning kit go to: my.macmillan.org.uk/WBCM/Register



Heritage Open Day

Heritage Open Days 2015 Add to Your Support

Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival. Heritage Open Days celebrates the fantastic history, architecture and culture around us and gives everyone a chance to explore something new. Between the 10 – 13 September there is the chance to explore hidden or forgotten historical gems on our doorsteps and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

Heritage Open Days are free of charge and right on people’s doorstep, and there are events for everyone, whatever their background, age or ability. From castles to city halls, tunnels to tower tops, police cells to private homes, workshops to woodland walks, the variety of places and ways to discover them are endless.

Heritage Open Days celebrates what makes local communities and neighbourhoods special. By stimulating curiosity and discovery, the event connects people with their local places and helps foster a sense of belonging and pride.

Heritage Open Days offer people the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.

To find out more about Heritage Open Days go to: www.heritageopendays.org.uk

To search for a local Heritage Open Day event go to: www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/advanced-search

Organic September

Organic September Add to Your Support

Organic September is a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of organic produce. As part of Organic September the Soil Association are encouraging people to make one small change to your shopping habits in order to make a big difference to sustainable food, animal welfare and the environment. Some of the small changes people could make include switching to organic milk, eggs, apples, choosing an organic moisturiser or even buying an organic cotton t-shirt.

Organic food and products are produced using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods.

Do you want to get involved and need some inspiration to get started? We have 10 easy suggestions to help you start to be more organic:

  1. Eat at least one piece of organic fruit each day
  2. Switch one beauty product such as shampoo
  3. Sign up for an organic veg box
  4. Shop at your local farmers market
  5. Have an organic cake bake off at work
  6. Buy organic tea & coffee
  7. Plant organic bee-friendly seeds
  8. Take part in #organicbeauty weekend
  9. Buy an organic pair of jeans
  10. Throw an organic dinner party

Being more organic is one of the ways we can Care for the Planet one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing. If you want to see some other ways you can live ‘greener’ go to our Care for the Planet page.

To follow the campaign and to sign up for the 30 Organic tips go to the Soil Assocations website here: www.soilassociation.org

Or to follow the campaign on twitter go to: #organicseptember

Cycle to Work Day

Cycle to Work Day Add to Your Support

Cycle to Work Day is a national event held on 3 September 2015. It aims to encourage everyone to take to two wheels and cycle to work for at least one day. You can get involved as an individual or an organisation.

Why not take part in Cycle to Work Day?  There are some really great benefits to cycling which include:

  • Money Saving: It’s cheaper in the long term to get you’re your bike rather than drive
  • It’s Healthy: By cycling we are exercising, exercise can help people avoid heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Cycling and exercise is also good for mental health and wellbeing.
  • Cycling is a low impact exercise and it a lot easier going on your ankles, knees and joints.

Get involved and Sign up to Cycle to Work Day for a chance to win prizes: www.cycletoworkday.org

If pledge to ride on September 3 you could win some great prizes, for more see the page here.

There are some other ways to get you on your bike in Kent:

  • Sky Rides: Sky Rides are running a series of free cycling events for all the family at all levels. Find your local Sky Rides here. www.goskyride.com
  • Explore Kent: Explore Kent has some great ideas and tips as well as cucling routes all over Kent for you to be inspired explorekent.org
  • Not into cycling? There are lots of other ways to Be Active in Kent.
  • NHS Choices have listed some of the benefits of cycling to inspire you even more.


Free Wellbeing Podcasts

Free audio podcasts to help you relax and improve your wellbeing Add to Your Support

There are some great free audio podcasts available to help you relax and to help your wellbeing and help boost your mood.   Live It Well have pulled together a selection of the most NHS Choices free podcasts for you. You can pick and choose which of these mental wellbeing audio guides you want to listen to, or you can listen to them all. Each audio guide takes on a different aspect of your mental wellbeing and gives you some simple, common sense advice on what you might do to boost your mood.

NHS Choices Moodzone have even more free podcasts available, you can get these free audio guides by following the link.

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.



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.   


Greener Business Travel Challenge

The Greener Business Travel Challenge – are you Ready? Add to Your Support

Are you are running a business and are thinking about making changes which will help your staff travel to work in a greener and more sustainable way? If you answered yes you could be eligible for a grant of up to £5,000 to help you make greener and more sustainable travel changes.

To apply for a the £5000 grant, you will need to register on the jambusters website and complete a short travel review outlining your business’ travel patterns, a short staff survey and an action plan for the coming year. You will also need to detail what you want to achieve from the grant and how it will enable you to deliver your travel targets.

Once your business has registered you will be given a login to view and update your targets and surveys so that you will gradually build up an ongoing picture of changes and where things are going well or where input is needed. Being registered on the site also means that you will automatically be notified if any further grants become available.

Active and/or Sustainable Travel has been shown to save money, improve productivity, reduce sick leave and boost morale in the workplace. In addition, it can also improve your business’ carbon footprint, reduce congestion and the number of car parking spaces required on site.

The deadline for grant applications is Wednesday 30th September 2015. All applications will then be assessed and grants will be allocated by Wednesday 21st October 2015. Work will need to be completed and invoiced to Kent County Council by Monday 29th February 2016.

Register your details now for further information by visiting: jambusterstpms.co.uk/workreg

Should you have any queries or require assistance with registering please contact Nola Cooper at businesstravelplan@kent.gov.uk

Jambusters greener and sustainable travel grants are being run by Kent County Council’s Transport Innovations Team.

Secondhand smoke

Is it time to quit smoking? Add to Your Support

Now is a great time to quit smoking. Did you know that there is a band coming into effect in England on the 1 October 2015 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?

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:

National Marine Week 2015

National Marine Week 2015 Add to Your Support

National Marine Week is running from 25 July – 9 August. The Wildlife Trust are holding a series of events to support National Marine Week and to get us out to learn about seaside wildlife and its habitats; let’s think about marine conservation; above all, let’s fall giddily in love with lobsters, limpets and sea lettuce.

All around our coasts, Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers will be sharing their knowledge, so whether you want to find out more about minke whales or molluscs, velvet swimming crabs or strawberry anemones, breadcrumb sponges or butterfish, and seals or sea birds, you can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the sea and learn more about its riches.

A shoal of marine events are spread over 16 days so that individual Wildlife Trusts can incorporate a low tide, ranging from rockpool rambles and seaside strolls along the strandline (the high water mark where shells, sea creatures and flotsam are left by the tide). Find an event near you here.

So why not see the sea and this summer let’s keep marine wildlife, though out of sight perhaps, firmly in our minds.

Love Parks Week

Love Parks Week Add to Your Support

Love Parks Week is running from the 24 July to – 2 August to encourage you to visit, enjoy and take pride in your local parks and green spaces, because parks and green spaces are essential to healthy, happy and strong communities. Kent has more than 200 parks and open spaces, from lazy riverbanks to action packed play areas, find a corner of greenery near you. Most of the Love Parks week events are free so it’s a great start to the school holidays for families.

Want to find out more about your local park go to:  explorekent.org

Parks and open spaces supports our Six Ways to Wellbeing Campaign by: Being Active, Keep Learning (about the park and wildlife), Connecting (with others), Taking Notice and by supporting the park and environment Care for the planet so you will have it hit six of your five a day!

Here are Ten Park Facts…

  1. 91% of people believe that public parks and open spaces improve their quality of life.
  2. A brisk walk every day, in your local park, can reduce the risk of heart attacks by 50%, strokes by 50%, diabetes by 50%, fracture of the femur by 30%, colon cancer by 30%, breast cancer by 30% and Alzheimer’s by 25%.
  3. Air quality, air temperature, water and flood management, are all kept within manageable limits because of parks and green spaces.
  4. The more often a person visits urban open green spaces, the less often he or she will report stress-related illnesses.
  5. Outdoor play and adventure can increase levels of physical activity and fitness, activate higher cognitive processes and healthy brain development.
  6. Elderly people who have close access to a place where they can relax and enjoy nature, show significantly greater satisfaction with where they live.
  7. The number one ranked issue for good parks and public spaces is that they give a sense of community.
  8. Owners of small companies rank recreation, parks and open spaces as the highest priority in choosing a new location for their business.
  9. Over 10% of the population choose to use their local green spaces daily.
  10. Over 50% of us visit a park at least once a week, to improve physical – and mental – health, to enhance our closest relationships, to chill out, to interact with our communities and to have a good time.
Change 4 Life Shake Ups 2015

10 Minute Shake Up’s for Summer Add to Your Support

Change 4 Life are running the 10 Minute Shake Up challenge again this summer.  Summer Shake Up’s are quick and easy activities to get your kids moving and active this summer.  Change 4 Life have teamed up with Disney and created some fantastic ways to help your kids get the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity they need every day. Being active helps your kids maintain a healthy weight and helps their heart and bones stay healthy. Plus, playing together can also help them develop social skills and gain confidence. There’ll be loads of games to choose from.

Change 4 Life have teamed with Disney to get your kids to have more fun this summer so why not sign up for 10 minute shake up’s, its free, you will get:

  • A free pack with stopwatch, activity cards, Disney themed wall chart & stickers
  • Lots of games and activities in the 10 minute shake up zone

Go to Change 4 Life and sign up to shake up your summer now!

Change 4 Life 10 Minute Shake Ups

Want more ideas from Change for Life?

Healthy and Happier ideas for your family

Smart Food Swaps


Eat 4 Cheap NHS Choices

Eat 4 Cheap Add to Your Support

NHS Choices have launched Eat 4 Cheap and the Eat 4 Cheap Challenge so you can find out how you save money off of your food shopping bill and still eat a healthy diet. Eat4Cheap aims to show that healthy eating doesn’t have to cost the earth – in fact, with a few simple tips, you can save money. From cutting down on takeaways to choosing cheaper brands and reducing waste, households could save thousands of pounds a year on food.

The Eat4Cheap challenge

The Eat 4 Cheap challenge asks people to see how much they can save over a week and share how they did it on the NHS Choices Healthy Eating community. The Healthy Eating community is there for all things relating to healthy eating on a budget, including money-saving tips and healthy recipes.

So how can you save money and still eat better? 

  • Write a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Waste nothing, reuse leftovers.
  • Stop buying brand food
  • Have a meat free Monday
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat
  • Eat smaller portions

For more great ideas about saving money on food go to the NHS Choices eat well for less page.

To find out more about Eat 4 Cheap follow the link.

Live It Well have more information on healthy eating follow the link to find out more.



Sunsafe in Kent

Stay cool and covered in the sun this summer Add to Your Support

As summer is here and we are due to be hit by a heat wave make sure that you stay cool, stay covered and stay sun safe! Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, and too much sun can increase your risk. Exposure to sunlight can also affect your eyes.

In 2010, around 100,000 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK. More than 12,000 of these cancers were malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Each year, around 2,200 people die from skin cancer.
Skin cancers are caused by damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Protecting the skin from the sun can help prevent these cancers.

How does the sun damage skin?

UV rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage cells. These cells are then at risk of becoming cancerous. You can’t feel UV damaging your skin and it happens even when the sun doesn’t feel hot.
Getting sunburnt causes the top layers of skin to release chemicals that make blood vessels swell and leak fluids. Skin turns red and feels hot and painful, and severe sunburn can lead to swelling and blisters.

Who’s at risk?
Skin cancer can affect anyone, but people most at risk have:

  • fair skin that burns in strong sun
  • red or fair hair
  • a lot of moles or freckles
  • a personal or family history of skin cancer
  • already had sunburn, especially when young

People with naturally brown or black skin are less likely to get skin cancer as darker skin has some protection against UV rays. However, skin cancer can still occur.

Even if you cover up there are other ways that you can stay cool in the sun:

  • drink plenty of water
  • stay in the shade between 11am – 3pm
  • take rest breaks if you’re out and about
  • wear sunscreen above SPF15 and cover up in the sun.

To see Kent County Council’s advice on being cool in the sun go to: http://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/keeping-cool-in-hot-weather

NHS Choices has some great online advice about how to stay sun safe – click on the relevant link below:


Summer health video wall

Go to NHS Choices homepage

Couch to 5K Running Plan

Couch to 5K – free running plan Add to Your Support

Taking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape or unfit.
But, did you know that regular running can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost your mood and keep your weight under control?
The Couch to 5K plan is designed to get you off the couch and gradually work you up to running 5K or for half an hour, in just nine weeks.

What is Couch to 5K?

Couch to 5K is a running plan developed to help absolute beginners get into running. The beginners’ running plan was developed by a novice runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his fiftysomething mum get off the couch and start running too. The plan involves three runs per week, with a day of rest in between, with a different schedule for each of the nine weeks.

How does Couch to 5K work?

Probably the biggest challenge a novice runner faces is not knowing how or where to start. Often when trying to get into exercise, we can overdo it, feel defeated and give up when we’re just getting started. Couch to 5K works because it starts with a mix of running and walking, to gradually build up your fitness and stamina. Week One involves running for just a minute at a time, creating realistic expectations and making the challenge feel achievable right from the start.

Who is Couch to 5K for?

Couch to 5K is for everyone. Whether you’ve never run before, or if you want to get back into being more active, Couch to 5K is a free and easy way of getting fitter and more healthy. If you have any health concerns about beginning an exercise regime such as Couch to 5K, make an appointment to see your GP and discuss it with them first.

To read about the Couch to 5K plan on NHS Choices follow the link: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/get-running-with-couch-to-5k.aspx

To download the running plan: www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Couch-to-5K-running-plan.aspx

To donwload the free app at Change 4 Life: http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/pages/couch-to-5k.aspx