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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

This Girl Can

This Girl Can – can you? Add to Your Support

Sport England is celebrating active women everywhere with the This Girl Can campaign!  The This Girl Can campaign proves whatever size, ability or previous experience, sport can be a fun and enjoyable part of our lives. So if one of your resolutions for 2015 was to get more active why not take inspiration from the This Girl Can ladies and get yourself moving in 2015. It doesn’t matter what ability you are there is an activity out there that is waiting for you.

If you want to think about other ways to Be Active why not go to our Six Ways to Wellbeing Be Active page.

Come on, if This Girl Can – can you too?

If you or your organisation would like to find out how to get involved, access marketing materials or learn more about the insight driving the campaign then please register at: www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/register

Armed Forces Day 2015

Armed Forces Day Add to Your Support

Armed Forces Day will be on Saturday, 27 June 2014. Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Secondly, it gives the nation an opportunity to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets.

Since 2009, Armed Forces Day has been marked annually with events large and small throughout the UK, and this year the celebrations will fall on Saturday 28 June, when a major national event will be held in the City of Stirling, Scotland.

Local Armed Forces Day events include:

To find out more about Armed Forces day go to their website here: www.armedforcesday.org.uk

To look for more events go to the Armed Forces Events Search by following the link. 

The Kent & Medway Civilian Military Partnership Board have launched the Kent Armed Forces Survey looking at the strengthens and needs of the Armed Forces and ex-services community. This research will help shape the delivery of outcomes for the Armed Forces community of Kent & Medway, and the results from this survey will form a suggested list of priorities to help decision making for the future in Kent & Medway. They are interested in hearing from any serving personnel, reservists, ex-service personnel and their families and wish to find out about their experiences living and working in Kent and Medway. We need better information about the experiences and issues faced and will be asking them about their time in the military and/or after in civilian life.

The survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete, and all responses are anonymous. Please click here for the Armed Forces Survey

The research is independently being carried out by KCC on behalf of the KCMP board and the survey questionnaire will close on 31 July 2015.

If you are service or ex service personnel or their family or friends and are concerned about mental wellbeing there are specific organisations operating in Kent and Medway that can help you. Some of these we have listed below.

If you need to speak to someone for free using NHS funded therapy go to our information and refer yourself into speak to someone local to you.


Bike Week 2015 Add to Your Support

Bike Week 2015 is taking place between the 13 – 21 June. Bike Week is a great opportunity to promote cycling and show how easy it is to make cycling an everyday part of your life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone‘. Bike Week highlights how cycling is good for your health, the environment and it can be fun!

The theme of Bike Week 2015 is cycling to work and there are lots of events to promote ‘buddy’ rides or the safest routes to your place of work. You can even sign up for a workplace challenge.

  • So to take part in Bike Week go to: bikeweek.org.uk
  • For cycling routes, free guided bike rides and inspiration to get on your bike go to Explore Kent: explorekent.org
  • Or for free guided cycle routes for all ages and all abilities go to GoSkyRide: www.goskyride.com/kent

Not interested in cycling but looking for other ways to Be Active go to our Six Ways to Wellbeing Be Active page and get inspired.



Mens Health Week 2015

Men’s Health Week 2015 Add to Your Support

Men’s Health Week 2015 is from the 15th to 21st June and will focus on healthy living for men. Men’s Health week is run and promoted by the Men’s Health Forum and they are highlighting some simple steps all men can do to improve their health and wellbeing by challenging men to:

Why these issues?

Men are less likely to lead a healthy lifestyle. They are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol to hazardous levels and be overweight or obese. These lifestyles can lead into serious diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and stokes, the risk of which can be reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle.

If you are feeling stressed there is free NHS Therapy and Counselling available in Kent and Medway, you can refer yourself into this therapy without having to go an see your GP – if you need it why not get some extra support.

Kent Sheds is a new project providing places for people to come together to pursue hobbies and interests, share their knowledge and skills and develop new friendships. To find out more about Kent Sheds and how you can get involved follow the link.

Anyone can take part in Men’s Health Week, especially local organisations, public health teams, NHS and employers. For more information about Men’s Health Week go to: www.menshealthforum.org.uk/mhw

Carers Week 2015

Carers Week 2015 Add to Your Support

Carers Week 2015 is running from the 8 – 14 June. Carers Week is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign. Its aim is to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for. Carers Week raises awareness of carers and there are plenty of opportunities and event in Kent and Medway to find out more about the caring and the support that you can receive.

One in eight of us are currently carers looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. The very nature of caring means very often people don’t at first, or sometimes ever, identify themselves as carers. Rather, they think of themselves simply as wife, husband, son, daughter, mum, dad or perhaps grandparent, niece or nephew helping a loved one.

Without the right help and support caring can have a devastating impact – carers can quickly become cut off with their physical and emotional health, work and, their finances all hit hard.

This Carers Week is focusing on building Carer Friendly Communities. Communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.

Carers Week is brought to life by the individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.

For more information and advice about caring go to Live It Well Carers page.


The Kent Smarter Travel Challenge 2015 Add to Your Support

The Kent Smarter Travel Challenge 2015 is open to all businesses in Kent and will is running from 1 June for four weeks. The Kent Smarter Travel Challenge gives businesses is to get as many people as possible to adopt more sustainable modes of travel for commuting and business travel. The idea is to encourage businesses to travel more sustainably for work reasons by switching to modes like walking, cycling, using public transport and electric vehicles and car-sharing.

To get involved Businesses can sign up, and will be able to enter miles saved by not travelling to meetings or going into the office every day. The aim is to encourage businesses to work smarter to help reduce congestion on Kent’s roads and cut down on CO2 emissions. For example, you could use video or tele-conferencing facilities and home working. Any business or organisation can take part, with separate categories for different sized businesses.

There are weekly prizes for individuals are also up for grabs. Businesses can compete with each other to win their category by logging the most sustainable miles and saving the most CO2. Winners of each category will receive a trophy and be invited to attend the Kent Healthy Business Awards ceremony on 23 July in Maidstone. There will also be an overall larger prize for the business achieving the greatest percentage of modeshift during the challenge.

Why should you get involved?

  • The aim of the Challenge is to share the benefits of traveling to and for work more sustainably.
  • You’ll save time and money, reduce congestion and pollution, boost your health and energy, and burn calories.
  • Sustainable travel to and for work includes walking, cycling, using public transport, car-sharing or even saving a journey to work by working from home or using a video conference instead of traveling to a meeting!
  • The Challenge is open to anyone working in Kent.
  • You can log your journeys individually or as part of your workplace team.
  • It’s great fun and we’ll be giving out prizes every week!


Volunteers Week 2015

Volunteers Week 2015 Add to Your Support

1 – 7 June is Volunteers Week 2015. Volunteers week is a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise the important role local volunteers make in our communities and challenge people to take part and volunteer.

Volunteers week is an opportunity to celebrate and say a big thank you to our volunteers in Kent and Medway. Just imagine a life without volunteers there would be no life-boats, Samaritans or hospices,  Magistrates, school governors, sports coaches, Guide and Scout leaders, National Trust wardens. There would be no campaigning, no advocacy, no food-banks, no credit unions, and no citizen advice bureau. In short, our communities would grind to a halt. So its time to say a big thank you for volunteers!

Volunteering is a great way to Give which is one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

Or to find out more about volunteers week and how you can celebrate your volunteers go to:  www.volunteersweek.org.uk

@NCVOvolunteers #volunteersweek