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Wear It Beat It 2015

Wear It Beat It for British Heart Foundation Add to Your Support

Why not get involved in Wear It Beat It day on 6 February by showing your support and wearing red and hosting an event to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

One in four people are affected by Heart Disease and it can affect all ages from babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure.

So whoever you are doing it for, and whatever you decide to wear, you can get involved in your workplace, school or with friends and family.

The British Heart Foundation have loads of ideas to help get you started.

So why not wear red and organise an event on 6 February and join the British Heart Foundation’s fight against heart and circulatory disease.

When you sign up we will be able to download our fundraising kit full of fun ideas to hold a successful event and raise money towards our fight.

Find out more about the Wear It Beat It campaign here.

See the Wear It Beat It fundraising ideas here.

To find out more about the British Heart Foundation follow the link.

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

Share Aware NSPCC

Share Aware NSPCC Add to Your Support

The NSPCC have launched their Share Aware campaign to help parents talk to their children about how to stay safe on social networks.  Keeping Children safe online can be a big concern for parents but the Share Aware guide provides straightforward no nonsense advice for parents of 8 – 12 year old children.

The Share Aware website has information on Online Safety as well as a guide of what to do if a child is being abused online which is often called cyberbullying and other forms of abuse.

The information covers lots of topics which include:

  • The risks and dangers of being online
  • Inappropriate content, including pornography
  • Ignoring age restrictions
  • Friending or communicating with people they don’t know
  • Grooming and sexual abuse
  • Sharing personal information
  • How to talk to your children about online safety

So why don’t you go to Share Aware and learn how to make the internet safer for your family: www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/share-aware/

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

Kent Countryside Partnerships

Kent Countryside Partnerships – Improving your Wellbeing Add to Your Support

Kent Countryside Partnerships are running some amazing projects across Kent and Medway to help people make the most out of their wellbeing.  Getting involved in a Countryside Partnerships project is a great way of getting all of your Six Ways to Wellbeing in one go, find out more about how Kent Countryside Partnerships can help you with the Six Ways to Wellbeing below:

  • Be Active: Countryside Partnerships projects can involve getting out and physically helping to help the countryside – your muscles may ache afterwards but you will know it’s for a good cause!  If you’re not that physically able, there are other projects available to suit your level of mobility.
  • Keep Learning: Learn about the local countryside and why the work that the Countryside Partnerships do is important to our local eco systems. Learn about seasonal foods and how to prepare them, learn a new skill – the list just goes on and on!
  • Give: The Countryside Partnerships projects can involve you volunteering to help Kent. Giving your time for a worthwhile cause and making a different should be able to give you a warm inner glow!
  • Connect: By getting involved in a Countryside Partnerships project you will be connecting with like minded people who want to make a difference to the environment. So why not give it a go and widen your social circle.
  • Take Notice: How could you not take notice of the wonderful natural surroundings when getting involved in a Countryside Partnerships project.
  • Care for the Planet: Helping the environment of Kent is key to the Countryside Partnerships projects, it could be that you have cleared an area ready for new growth or even if you make your food footprint smaller by learning how to eat seasonal and local food.

To find out more about the great work Kent Countryside Partnerships do see the film below:

What a great way of getting all of your Six Ways to Wellbeing in one go, why not get involved and help the Kent eco system too!



Free Debt Help and Advice

Free Debt Help and Advice Add to Your Support

We all want the best Christmas possible but sometimes the costs involved mean that you can stretch your finances too far.  If you are experiencing money problems and are worried about what happens when the bills arrive in January maybe it’s time to get some professional debt help and advice.

Debt can be a big problem, and it is normal to feel worried and anxious about debt and financial issues. Remember though that NO debt problem no matter how big is unsolvable. When debt builds up so does stress and anxiety levels, so Live It Well have information on free and impartial help and advice that is available to help you get out of debt. There is no need to pay for debt advice.

All of the debt help and advice listed on Live It Well is free.

You can find your local free debt help by using our database (at the top of the column on the right) called: Search for Local Support and Help.

Under the Help With What? section choose the Money and Debt box and then under the Where Are you? Section choose the area of Kent or Medway that you live it. All of the debt help listed on Live It Well is free.

There is free debt help and advice out there, please ask for support and take control of your debts in 2015.

Live It Well has a more information on Money and Debt and you can see this by following the link.

Change 4 Life Sugar Swaps 2015

Change 4 Life Sugar Swaps Add to Your Support

Why not make your New Years Resolution for you and your family to eat less sugar by taking part in the Change 4 Life Sugar Swaps campaign.  The Sugar Swaps campaign is about making small changes to the way that we eat that can reduce the sugar that families eat.

It’s surprising how much sugar there is in some of the things we give our children throughout the day, from the cereal they have for breakfast, to the snacks they have after school, the drinks they have during the day and the puddings after a meal. Many people have no idea how much sugar they and their family really consume because it’s in so many things. We could all do with cutting a little sugar out of our diets and helping our kids to do the same.

Change 4 Life recommends 4 simple sugar swaps for families to choose from, tackling different ‘sugar occasions’ in the day:

  1. The breakfast swap: sugary cereal for plain cereal, like a wholewheat biscuit cereal
  2. The drink swap: from sugary drinks to sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks
  3. The after school swap: for example from muffin to fruited teacake
  4. The pudding swap: for example from ice cream to low-fat lower-sugar yoghurt

Eating and drinking too much sugar means extra calories, which causes fat to build up inside the body. This can lead to heart disease, some cancers or type 2 diabetes later in life. So why not get involved in Sugar Swaps and make some small changes that can have very beneficial effects on your family’s health.

If you register for the campaign you get a FREE sugar swaps pack which is filled with hints, tips and recipe suggestions designed to help parents cut down the sugary foods and drinks consumed by their children, plus money-off vouchers, swap cards and stickers. To sign up, families just need to click on the links below.

For more healthy eating advice go to the Live It Well Healthy Eating pages.


Workplace Challenge 2015

Sign up for the Workplace Challenge 2015 Add to Your Support

Why not sign up you and your colleagues for the 2015 Workplace Challenge!

Is your new years resolution’s to get fitter, lose weight or just be more active? If it is why not enlist the help your work colleagues or team as you are invited to take part in the ‘Workplace Challenge’. The aim of the programme is get Kent’s workplaces moving and get them healthy!

How who should get involved?

Get together a group of colleagues and sign up for you all to become more active in the workplace. It doesn’t matter what level of activity you can achieve at the moment everyone in the workplace is welcome.

So what do you do have to do?

Sign up for FREE at workplacechallenge.org.uk/kent

sign up you have to log your activity and sport levels. It could be a 15 minute walk, a 30 minute run at lunchtime, a bike ride or exercise class in the evening, through to netball or football training with friends – whatever you are doing to get moving – the more active the better!

The more activity you log the more points your team will earn and these points can mean prizes!

Fine out more and sign up your team at:

Good luck and get moving in 2015!



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:

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 »

Happy Christmas 2014

Happy Christmas from Live It Well Add to Your Support

Live It Well hope you have a safe and happy Christmas but just in case you’re finding it difficult to cope with the festive season we are reminding you that Mental Health Matters is a free helpline offering confidential emotional support and guidance for people in Kent and Medway. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 0800 107 0160 and staff are trained in counselling skills, so can offer support over the phone. They also have details of local and national services if people want more support.

The Samaritans are also there providing confidential emotional support, for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious. Volunteers can be contacted 24 hours a day by phone on 08457 90 90 90, or you can email jo@samaritans.org or you can arrange for a face to face visit through their website, click here to find out about the details of your local branch.

Another great way of keeping well is the Six Ways to Wellbeing, little things that everyone can do to help them cope with difficult times and get more out of life at Christmas and all year round, click here to see more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

If you want some free therapy you can refer yourself into the free NHS Talking Therapy services in Kent and Medway.  You can find information about the Free Counselling and Therapy Services here.


Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015! Add to Your Support

Live It Well want to wish you a happy new year 2015!

Have you decided on your new year resolution?  Why not take something up rather than give something up for the new year?  Live It Well is promoting the Six Ways to Wellbeing Campaign which is encouraging everyone to make small changes that can make a difference to your wellbeing. It could be something small like saying hello, giving way to another driver or pausing to look out of the window or it could be something longer term such as starting a hobby, recycling regularly or going for a walk every day. Research shows that these ways – connect, give, take noticekeep learningbe active and care for the planet – can improve your mood, strengthen your relationships and help you to cope when life doesn’t go to plan. Follow the link to find out more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

If you are thinking of traditional new years resolutions then Live It Well can help to get you started:

  • If you’re thinking of stopping smoking find out how to get started by clicking here
  • If you want to eat healthier click here
  • If you want to cut down on your alcohol click here

What are you planning on doing for the new year?  Get in touch on our facebook page and tell us what your are planning!


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.



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/

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