Monday, 20 May 2013
A GREEN scheme set up to help mental health patients is thriving.
The Growing 2gether initiative, at Hayden Road allotments, St Paul's, helps people to be active in a natural environment.
The project is run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and enjoyed by their users and those from other agencies.
Alicia Talbot, an exercise and health practitioner with the trust, co-ordinates the sessions, with support from 2gether staff and community health trainers
She said the people who take part and dig in – most of whom have a severe and enduring mental illness – are benefiting hugely from the exercise, fresh air, sense of satisfaction and social opportunities.
"Green exercise has proven mental and physical health benefits, and has emerged as a simple, low-cost, therapeutic activity, for individuals experiencing mental health problems," she said.
"Through the allotment, our clients can work together to plan, prepare and grow produce, take the produce home to cook healthy meals and also learn life skills.
"It's also about getting out and meeting other people, providing routine and structure, improving communication skills and gaining a sense of achievement from what they are doing.
"Gardening is something that appeals to many people, and our sessions are regularly attended, even in the depths of winter."
2gether transformed the original unloved overgrown site into a viable growing area, with a shed, path and seating area, compost bins, tools, a bench, water butt and fencing.
The plot was funded by Cheltenham Partnership's NHS Reducing Health Inequalities Olympic Legacy fund and supported by Cheltenham Borough Council's Healthy Lifestyles and environment charity Vision 21
Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Green-scheme-breath-fresh-air-mental-health/story-19013247-detail/story.html#ixzz2Tp0cYH5v
Thursday, 16 May 2013
Taking care of you
am a carer for my husband who was injured whilst in the army. I also run a
company Vanilla Moon which specialises in holistic relaxation complementary and
beauty treatments from which I offer free treatments for service personal who
have been injured and their carers, by a company I started called
I know how hard it can be being a carer and often not a role that was a life
choice rather than one that we are often thrown into, I have shared some
thoughts using my professional back ground knowledge about taking care of
yourself when you are a carer.
Caring for yourself is often the first thing put on the back
burner when you are caring for someone else. Whether you are a busy mum, or
caring for an elderly or ill relative, don’t forget to take some time out for
yourself to care for you!
We know that busy carers won’t be able to take the time out
to spend days away at a spa resort, but we’ve got lots of ideas to keep you
feeling like you with a tiny bit of pamper time with Vanilla Moon.
Rushing around combined with the stresses of work and worry
can mean that you leave yourself running on empty, grabbing take away food and
using caffeine as a means to boost your concentration and stave off tiredness.
Make sure you get your five a day; swap morning toast or skipping breakfast for
wholegrain cereal with two pieces of fresh fruit with some fresh juice. Try to
keep caffeinated drinks to before 3pm, drinking tea or coffee later than this
may affect your sleep. Swap for decaff or fruit and herbal teas. Camomile is
great for helping relaxation in the evenings and is naturally caffeine free.
Get yourself a
Wherever possible, try to plan out your day, getting up and
getting to bed at the same time. This improves your ability to wake and also
programmes your body to sleep at bed time. Making a list of tasks for the next
day and keeping a diary can help you to stay organised with minimum fuss,
freeing up more time for yourself.
Take a time out!
Set aside at least two hours of your week for yourself.
Arrange for a friend or relative to have your children or keep an eye on your
relative for a couple of hours. With another friend, you can easily arrange to
swap responsibilities for a couple of hours so you can both get some ‘you’
time. Book a massage or manicure, visit the gym or just go for a walk, paint
your nails or take a long relaxing bath with a book. Use this time wisely to
de-stress, boost your self-esteem and feel good inside and out. Make this time
non-negotiable, switch off your mobile and the TV and concentrate on you.
A problem shared…
Is a problem halved, so the saying goes. Invite friends for a
cup of tea and share your burdens. Get in touch with carers groups in your
area; talking to people in the same situation as you will unlock tons of useful
tips and information and will give you and your family a great boost of
support. Even when you are tired and feel worn out, remember that a few kind
words can make all the difference, so share them around with your friends and
family and look for the positives in your life instead of dwelling on any
This article is written by Vanilla Moon and is
for guidance only, and not meant to replace medical advice you may have been
given, if you are feeling continually worn out or have a continued low mood or
are worried about any aspect of your wellbeing and health please speak to your
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Telecare service calls for more people to test out GPS devices as part of
The county’s Telecare service is calling for more people to test out GPS (Global Positioning System) devices as part of a six-month trial aimed at improving support in the community for people with memory loss or learning disabilities.
Holly Newman, Telecare team manager for Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust which manages the service, said: “We’re working in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council to trial GPS for people who are still able to go out in their local community, but who may have difficulty finding their way home, or who are vulnerable when in certain areas.”
She added: “So far, we have ten people trying out the device, but we’re looking for another thirty people who are willing to be involved in a six-month trial.”
Betty and Leslie Smith from Staverton near Cheltenham have experienced first-hand the benefits of the GPS device.
Mrs Smith explained: “My husband Leslie has memory loss and occasionally he goes missing. At times, this has caused him great distress. We live in a rural area, and I am not able to drive so we rely on my daughter-in-law for help when this happens.”
“Having the device is a big relief – if my husband goes missing, I know we can find him really easily. I can call my daughter-in-law, who is able to see where Leslie is on her mobile phone and locate him immediately. It is less stressful for my daughter-in-law too as, instead of driving around looking for my husband, or having to report him as missing to the police, she can now go straight to where he is and bring him home.”
The devices being tested by the Telecare service in Gloucestershire are small and discreet as Holly Newman explained: “We are currently trialling two different devices – one that can be attached to a key ring or similar, and one that is the size of a small mobile phone to carry in a pocket or bag. GPS devices are not suitable for everyone, so we will make a careful assessment of a person’s needs before recommending they join our trial.”
The device will be available to the wearer free of charge and the Telecare team will be in regular contact with them and their family or carer to complete the evaluation during the trial period. Those taking part in the trial will need to have a family member or a friend who is willing to access their location as needed, via a website, monitoring centre or on a smart phone.
To find out more about the GPS trial on behalf of a friend or family member, please contact Gloucestershire County Council’s Adult Helpdesk: 01452 426868
Full story: http://www.glos-care.nhs.uk/news/135-county-s-telecare-service-calls-for-more-people-to-test-out-gps-devices-as-part-of-six-month-trial
Real caring in Gloucestershire is important
Friday, 10 May 2013
Importance of care for Gloucestershire’s 4,000 dementia
Remembering to eat or how to brush your teeth are some of
the more important things in life that dementia sufferers can forget.
There are 4,000 dementia sufferers in Gloucestershire,
needing social care at home.
Roy Bell, 92, and his wife, Peggy, of Bishop’s Cleeve, both
have mixed dementia to varying degrees. The couple, who live in Bishop’s
Cleeve, have each other – but rely on support from a vast network of family and
care workers to keep them healthy.
Carers Gloucestershire, Village Agents, Memory Managers,
GPs, occupational therapists and dental hygienists form a team of social care
for dementia patients.
Peggy and Roy have pull cords in their sheltered accommodation
and are checked up on by a warden daily.
“I get upset because I can’t do the things I once could,”
said Peggy, who used to run the Shakespeare Inn in Cheltenham with Roy in the
“I never want to lose my independence.”
Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/
Thursday, 09 May 2013
Five Ways to Well-being, towards positive mental health.
by the Gloucestershire Community Foundation Freemasons Fund, Artspace
ran an arts project with older people and their carers. As a result of
this and in partnership with New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, Artspace
applied to NHS
Gloucestershire for funding to publicise the 5 ways to well-being
message. Being successful with the funding, Artspace are delighted to
be publicising a message that represents the essence of their work.
Artspace’s General Manager,
Hannah Elton-Wall comments: “Many art organisations, like Artspace, already
recognise a clear link between creativity and well-being. The concept runs
through everything we do, particularly working with vulnerable or disadvantaged
groups who may be more at risk of developing mental health issues. It is great
to champion the 5 Ways To Well-being message, as it sits so comfortably with
our work and what we aim to achieve as an organisation.”
Views on Hospitals Wanted
Wednesday, 08 May 2013
Gloucestershire health watchdog seeks people's views on hospitals
launched last month to replace Gloucestershire Link and give people in
Gloucestershire a chance to help shape services
it hosted a stand at Morrisons in Tewkesbury to hear views and Chief Executive
Barbara Piranty said: "We had a lot of comments from people about services
at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal.
will be passed on to commissioners as it is our job to make sure the public
voice has influence.
only launched on April 1 so we also need to make people aware what Healthwatch
is and encourage them to join us as members .It's only with diverse membership
that we can really start to influence the way services are planned and
delivered in Gloucestershire."
be at Regent Arcade in Cheltenham on Friday, Stow Farmers Market on May 16,
Cirencester Charter Market on May 24, Asda in Gloucester on May 29 and Tesco in
Lydney on May 31. For more details, visit http://www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk
Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/New-Gloucestershire-health-watchdog-seeks-people/story-18922186-detail/story.html#ixzz2Sghwjsj1
Thursday, 02 May 2013
Carers Gloucestershire’s Walk a Mile event for Carers Week
on Saturday June 15th is attracting celebrity support.
Shoes have been donated from author JIlly Cooper, T.V.
personality Dr Dawn Harper (from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies), as well as rugby
boots from Jimmy Cowan, Gloucester scrum half and New Zealand international.
Everyone who registers for Walk a Mile will have the chance
to bid for the shoes, to walk the course in and to own forever!
Carers Gloucestershire will shortly unveil a special guest
booked to open the event in Gloucester Park and more celebrity shoes have been
pledged. In addition, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has donated a goody-box of
Walk a Mile is being well supported by the local media and
made a splash in both the Echo and Citizen newspapers this week
The Walk a Mile event will bring a week of activities by
Carers Groups and other organisation around the County to a close – you can get
more information from
Wednesday, 01 May 2013
Stroke 'emotional impact often overlooked'
The emotional impact of a stroke is too often overlooked and
should be given the same priority as physical rehabilitation, campaigners say.
A survey of more than 2,700 survivors and their carers in
the UK found many had experienced emotional suffering.
More than half of the stroke survivors surveyed said they
had felt depressed and two-thirds reported anxiety.
But 42% told the Stroke Association they felt they had been
abandoned after their physical needs had been seen to.
Of the carers who took part in the poll, eight in 10 had
experienced anxiety and frustration.
Strokes affect about 152,000 people in the UK every year.
The brain damage caused by the condition means it is the largest cause of adult
disability in the UK.
There are now more than a million stroke survivors in the UK
- a figure set to rise because of the ageing population.
Stroke Association chief executive Jon Barrick said:
"Stroke leaves survivors and families shocked, shaken and anxious as their
lives are often irreversibly changed in an instant.
"Better recognition by health and social care
professionals of the impact of stroke will help people to be properly assessed
and get the right support."
Full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22350809
Carers Need Practical Support
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Carers UK warns welfare and care cuts risk
turning the clock back on carer support - 1 in 3 caring full-time for loved ones
receive no practical support
A third of those caring full-time for older, disabled or
seriously ill loved ones receive no practical support, new research from Carers
The results of a survey of over 3,000 carers across the UK
show that many are struggling alone without advice or support and are seeing
caring taking a toll on their health, family finances and careers as a result.
The research is being published on the eve of the charity’s
landmark State of Caring 2013 Conference tomorrow (1st May 2013). The
conference will bring together policy-makers, frontline NHS and social care
workers, voluntary groups and carers to explore how to support increasing
numbers of carers in tough economic times.
The charity has warned that leaving many of the UK’s 6.5
million carers with little or no support risks pushing them to breaking point,
and that new cuts to benefits and services could undo decades of work to
improve carers’ lives.
The fight to win better support for carers was pioneered by
the Reverend Mary Webster in 1963, leading to the foundation of Carers UK in 1965.
Carers UK says the figures set out challenges for both
Government and wider society. Their State of Caring 2013 Conference will examine
how to deliver affordable, good quality care and support services; workplaces
which support families to juggle work and care and new ways of ensuring
families who take on caring responsibilities get early advice.
Almost a third (31%) of respondents to the Carers UK survey
who are full-time carers (for 35 hours or more per week) said they receive no
practical support with caring.
The survey also showed that over 4 in 10 (44%) of carers
were pushed into debt as a result of the extra costs of caring and giving up
work or reducing hours to care.
Read more at http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/3088-1-in-3-caring-full-time-for-loved-ones-receive-no-practical-support
Monday, 29 April 2013
Multiple sclerosis patients are missing out on drugs
Only 40% of people eligible for drugs to combat
multiple sclerosis in the UK are actually taking them, says a report from the
A survey of more than 10,000 adults with MS showed
that many were missing out on the seven licensed medicines approved for use.
The charity said a lack of information and access
to specialists was to blame.
It is calling for the government to provide a
personalised care plan to every person with MS.
The MS Society's survey
and accompanying report showed that there were differences in access
to disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) across the four nations of the UK.
These are medicines that can reduce the frequency
and severity of MS attacks, and in some cases can slow the progression of the
The charity's report said that being well informed
about the medicines available was crucial. Those who felt they had enough information about
medicines were 32% more likely to be taking a DMT, the survey found, and those
with access to a specialist MS nurse or neurologist were more than twice as
likely to be taking the appropriate drugs
The report concluded: "This could be due
to barriers to accessing medicines; because individuals make an informed
decision not to take them; or because they don't know what information is out
there that they could have access to, such as around new treatments or new
evidence of efficacy."
Full story - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22307916