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News in Blaby

New Carers Information Videos now up!

Thanks to funding from Market Harborough and the Bowdens charity, we are delighted to present our new series of nine Carers Information Videos. Written in-house by one of the SFC team, they are concise, informative and friendly, and especially relevant to carers in Leicestershire. They are available to view on our YouTube channel now. Most of them last around 3 minutes and all are subtitled.

Benefits - Attendance Allowance, PIP, Carers Allowance, Carers Credit and Council Tax Reduction.

Care in the home. .

Carers Assessments.

Legal stuff - Power of Attorney, Wills, Living Wills and Advance Decisions.

Looking after me. Ways to safeguard your own health and wellbeing while caring.

Tech and Gadgets.

When Something Goes Wrong - Emergency planning, Message in a Bottle

Choosing residential care and coping with the end of your caring role.

Bereavement.

Read the full story


Carers Week Olympics

As part of our month-long celebration of Carers Week in Leicestershire, we held a Carers Olympics at the Pavilion Leisure Centre in Huncote this week, in partnership with Blaby District Council.

The theme of this year's Carers Week is Healthy and Connected so we wanted to give carers a fun morning, the chance to try out new ways of keeping active, whatever their ability, and the opportunity to meet up and socialise with each other.

As you can see from these fab photos taken by Mike Walter - a great time was had by all! Around 40 carers took part enjoying activites like Bocha, Arm Chair Volleyball, Indoor Curling, Bean Bag & Bucket, Singing & Armchair Exercises and the one they all got excited about - the Egg & Spoon Race! 

Thank you to Jackie from the Support for Carers team and Blaby District Council for all their hard work organising the event. 

Read the full story


CARERS WEEK 2018 EVENTS

It's Carers Week from 11th-17th June and this year's theme is Healthy and Connected. We're running events throughout the month to celebrate Carers Week and support the health and wellbeing of carers. Please see below for a full list of events or click here for a printable list (please note: the list will download as a Word document) 

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. Find out more

WEDNESDAY 6TH JUNE, 12pm-1.30pm
LEICESTER GENERAL HOSPITAL CARERS PROMOTION
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND

THURSDAY 7TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
COALVILLE CARERS GROUP
BODITRAX MACHINE

MONDAY 11TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
ASHBY CARERS GROUP
LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE, 11am-pm
BLABY CARERS GROUP
CARERS OLYMPICS

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE, 10am-12pm
CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP ASHBY
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND

WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE, 11am-2.30pm
SUPPORT FOR CARERS KEEPING HEALTHY AND CONNECTED EVENT IN SOUTH WIGSTON
INTERACTIVE AND INFORMATIVE EVENT

WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE, 6.30pm-8.30pm
HARBOROUGH MENTAL ILL HEALTH CARERS GROUP
WRITING FOR MINDFULNESS

THURSDAY 14TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
MELTON CARERS GROUP
FIRST AID TRAINING

FRIDAY 15TH JUNE, 11am-2pm
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION AT SAINSBURYS FOSSE PARK
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND AND BAG PACKING

TUESDAY 19TH JUNE
10.30am-12pm
HINCKLEY CARERS GROUP
BASIC FIRST AID TRAINING

WEDNESDAY 20TH JUNE, 12pm-1.30pm
GLENFIELD HOSPITAL CARERS PROMOTION
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND

THURSDAY 21ST JUNE, 2.30pm-4pm
OADBY & WIGSTON CARERS GROUP
SEATED EXERCISE

MONDAY 25TH JUNE, 2.30pm-4pm
LOUGHBOROUGH CARERS GROUP
SEATED EXERCISE

TUESDAY 26TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
BOTTESFORD CARERS GROUP
BASIC FIRST AID TRAINING

THURSDAY 28TH JUNE, 1.30pm-3pm
HARBOROUGH CARERS GROUP
FIRE SAFETY TALK

To find out more about any of the events above please call us on 01858 468 543 or email [email protected]

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Have you read our latest newsletter?

Take a look inside our latest newsletter for plenty of top tips for carers such as advice for dementia carers, details of 2 for 1 cinema and theatre tickets and all you need to know about Carers Assessments - as well as a round up of groups for carers around Leicestershire.

Read the full story


Balance & Mobility classes starting 1st November

Blaby District Council is launching a rejuvenating exercise programme called Strong and Steady on 1st November - designed to help develop strength and balance. The classes are designed for those over 65, who are concerned about balance and mobility, or feel unsteady on their feet. 

The sessions will be held weekly every Wednesday - from 1st November - at Parish Hall, Kings Drive, Leicester Forest East from 11.15am to 12.15pm. (£3 per session including refreshments). 

To find out more please contact Blaby District Council Health and Leisure Services on 0116 272 7703 or email [email protected] 

Download the poster for full details 

Read the full story


Could you save money off your energy bills?

Citizens Advice Leicestershire is running a series of Switch & Save Roadshows to help you save money off your energy bills. 

Wednesday 13th September, 10am - 1pm
Braunstone Civic Centre, 209 Kingsway, LE3 2PP 

Wednesday 20th September, 10am - 1pm 
Blaby Civic Centre, 22-24 Leicester Road, LE8 4GQ

Wednesday 27th September, 10am - 1pm
Sapcote Library, Church Street, LE9 4FG 

Thursday 28th September, 10am - 1pm
Glenfield Parish Council, 35 Stamford Street, LE3 8DL 

If you go along to a roadshow, please take an energy bill or letter about your tariff to get an accurate comparison. 

Read the full story


FREE course for carers in Countesthorpe

A new support course for carers is starting in Countesthorpe today - run by The Carers Centre. The FREE course is called Caring with Confidence and it's open to anyone caring for a family member or friend, with any condition. 

The course runs over six weeks and you're welcome to go to as many sessions as you can - so don't worry if you've missed the first one today. Simply go along to meet other carers and to get advice and support on all aspects of caring. 

Click here for full details (please note: it will download as a Word document to your downloads folder).

Complimentary refreshments are provided.

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999.

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FREE course: Caring with Confidence

The Carers Centre is running a FREE course for carers in July called Caring with Confidence - for anyone caring for a family member or friend, with any condition. The course starts on Thursday 20th July from 10am-1pm at Countesthorpe Village Hall, Station Road, Countesthorpe, Leicestershire, LE8 5TB. 

Caring for a chronically ill or disabled loved one can have a huge impact on your own health and wellbeing and many carers say they feel isolated, experience feelings of being unable to cope, are unsure where to go for advice and support, are worried about the future or feel they are not being heard. Others say they would like the chance to meet others in a similar situation.

The Caring with Confidence programme can help with these problems and is held in a relaxed and friendly environment. The programme runs over six weeks so come to as many sessions as you can. Everyone welcome! Bring a friend or a family member if you think they could also benefit. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. Alternatively, please download the programme flyer (please note it will download as a Word document to your desktop or downloads folder). 

About the Programme 

Finding Your Way
Thursday 20th July   

An introductory session which welcomes you to the programme and explains more about each session and how it can help you in your caring role. It looks at the importance of your health and wellbeing and how to tackle your concerns constructively.

Caring and Coping
Thursday 27th July  

Gives you time and space to look at the emotions involved in looking after someone and how to recognise and deal with stress more effectively.

Managing Stress Effectively
Thursday 3rd August    

Relaxation and how not to avoid it!  Will reiterate the negative effect of stress on you, physically, mentally, how you feel and its impact on your behaviour. Learn simple relaxation techniques to incorporate in everyday life to help you combat the effects of stress. Explore ways to help you juggle your caring role and find valuable time for yourself!

Caring and Communication
Thursday 10th August   

Helps you get the best from communicating with professionals and service providers. Ideas to help with self-advocacy and find out more about local support available to you.

Caring Day-to-Day
Thursday 17th August   

The essentials of caring for someone every day from medication to emergencies. Discussions around equipment available to help keep someone safe in their own home and looking at the awareness of moving and handling.

Quote from carers who recently attended the programme:

"Feeling very lost and alone, carers need these sessions for their own wellbeing and development. These sessions have been a voyage of personal discovery, hopefully leading to my own restoration, both mentally and physically." Karen

"I can certainly recommend this course, as it helped me understand where we are, how important we are and take time out for ourselves. The sessions where carried out in a friendly atmosphere." John

"I am able to keep calm and feel more confident about making decisions etc. Thank you so much for this. It has made me feel more positive and confident. This has been the best help I could have wished for, better than any therapy. If only I had found this sooner, I may not have been so down." Debbie

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. 

Read the full story


Blaby District Council Community Volunteer Week 12th - 16th June

Originally set up to coincide with national Volunteers’ Week, Community Volunteer Week is an opportunity for staff from Blaby District Council, local businesses and partner organisations to give their time and make a positive difference to the local community.

What could they do for your organisation?

Blaby District Council are looking for a range of different volunteer opportunities—big or small—that staff could take part in during Community Volunteer Week. Whether you need one volunteer for a few hours or a team of 30 volunteers over two days, they want to hear from you.

For example, do you need...

Help to run your lunch club or day centre?

Help to clear up your community venue?

Help to answer the telephones or with admin?

Help to tidy up a community garden?

Help at a community event?

Help to run an after school or lunch club?

Help for children with reading in a school?

Help to develop a plan or policy?

Help with marketing or promotional activities?

Help with fundraising activities?

All suggestions welcome!

Blaby District Council want to hear from not-for-profit organisations or groups that help residents of Blaby District.

If your organisation could benefit from some extra volunteers during Community Volunteer Week, please submit your proposal on the form provided to the Partnerships & Community Development Team at Blaby District Council by Friday 28th April 2017 by email to [email protected] or by post to Blaby District Council, Desford Road, Narborough LE19 2EP.  

Call 0116 2727566 to find out more or download the flyer. 

Read the full story


Urgent Appeal for Funding

URGENT APPEAL FOR FUNDING: CARERS HEALTH AND WELLBEING SERVICE 

Following the announcement that the Leicestershire Better Care Together Fund are unable to extend funding for the Carers Health and Wellbeing Service, it is with great sadness and deep regret that we must confirm the service will cease to operate with effect from 30 April 2017, unless alternative funds are identified.

We acknowledge that difficult decisions have had to be made by the Better Care Together Board and, even though the service was highly credited and very much needed, there were other services that had to be prioritised over the Carers Health and Wellbeing Service.

Such has been the tremendous success of the Carers Health & Wellbeing Service, VASL is appealing direct to you, the GP practices (either independently or within Federations), for assistance in identifying any potential funding opportunities to support continuation of this highly effective and efficient resource.

We are in the process of producing costings for the service which will provide the opportunity to tailor services to your needs. It is acknowledged that Carers can cope longer within their caring role in the community as long as they have the right support in place.

Nationally our carers save the economy £119 BILLION a year. The Carers Health and Wellbeing Service cost £165,000 per annum providing support to carers across Leicestershire. We have identified and supported 1,200 carers during the 21 months we have been in operation. Our small team has made great partnerships with GP practices across Leicestershire.

We know how important it is that we are able to give our Carers time and support in a confidential environment. As part of this, we are running 24 Carers Clinics across the county, and an additional 8 surgeries were hoping to offer this facility in their own practices. Our Carers Clinics operating in GP Practices offer carers one-to-one support with hour long appointments. Feedback has evidenced that valuable GP time is protected by Carers Clinics and advice being offered at the right time - as we know, sadly, many carers can become depressed and/or experience numerous other health related ailments that are triggered by their caring role.

If you would like to contact me directly regarding any opportunities for the funding service or have any questions, I would be very happy to hear from you. We would like to personally thank you for all your support and would be very grateful if you could circulate this article to all clinical staff in your Practice.

Thank you in anticipation.  

Kind regards. 

Maureen O'Malley
VASL Senior Manager
01858 439267
[email protected] 

*Carers in this article are defined as non-professional carers who selflessly and regularly look after a family member, friend or neighbour. 

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Meet our two new team members!

We've recently been joined by two new members of the team...

Natasha Mack, Delivery Officer

Natasha has lived in Leicester for three years after moving from Brighton where she studied for a degree in Outdoor Education. Originally from London, Tash has a varied background from volunteering in Lesotho, Africa; to studying social work; and working with young people in a variety of settings. These experiences have allowed Tash to develop a range of interests including social care, volunteering and adventurous activities.

Adele, Delivery Officer 

Over the last 15 years, Adele has worked within statutory and voluntary sector agencies in a variety of roles. Adele says: “My roles have provided me with a vast insight into the everyday difficulties carers and the cared for experience and, the importance of personalised support to meet the needs of everyone holistically."

Meet the rest of the team and find out more about us 

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Are you a young carer aged 11-19? Have your say!

Leicestershire County Council wants to hear from young people aged 11-19 who either care for a parent or another family member.

Your feedback will be used to improve the support and advice available from schools, GPs, councils and others organisations, and to gain a more comprehensive picture of the number of young carers across the county.

Find out more 

Complete the survey

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Please look after yourself - get the flu jab this winter

Please take the time to look after yourself and get protected with the flu jab this winter. As a carer for someone else, it can be easy to overlook your own health. Flu can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a couple of weeks, making it impossible for a carer to look after the person in their care.

This is why the NHS offers you a free flu vaccination as a registered carer. It’s not just about protecting you as a carer from getting flu, but also preventing you from passing the virus onto the vulnerable person you care for.

Flu is a highly infectious disease which is easily spread from one person to another. Getting flu when you already have a long-term condition can lead to serious complications, and it can even be a killer. There are a lot of myths about flu that have circulated over the years. Many people worry that the vaccine can give you the flu. Please be assured that this isn’t possible as there is no live influenza virus in the vaccine. Unlike other medication for long term conditions, the flu jab is an annual one-off vaccine. The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe.

Find out more and watch a short video on why you should get the flu jab this winter 

Find out more about staying well this winter 

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We’re moving!

Just to let you all know, VASL and the Support for Carers team are moving on 10th October to 1st Floor, Torch House, Torch Way, Northampton Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9HL. 

All of our email addresses and phone numbers will thankfully stay the same - so our move won't change our service to you in any way. 

If you'd like to pop in and see us head for the Leisure Centre off Northampton Road, turn left as if going to Two Shires Surgery, and you'll find Torch House a little further down the road. 

Torch House is an ideal new home for us and the rest of the VASL team, as it's close to the town centre and other well known organisations and large enough for us to hold events here.

Many thanks, 

The Support for Carers Team 

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Our autumn newsletter is out!

Why not put your feet up for five minutes and take a look at our latest newsletter, packed full of news and information for carers, including a round up of all our Carers' Support Groups, top tips to help you look after your mental health and a wonderfully inspiring story from one of our carers on her plans for a carers' community garden...

Click here to read our newsletter in full 

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Carers’ Month - What’s On Guide

June is Carers' Month in Leicestershire and there are all kinds of events coming up for you to enjoy. To find out more about any of the events below please call 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates) or email [email protected]

Leicestershire Carers Month coincides with national Carers Week, which runs from 6th-12th June. 

2nd June:
First Aid course and cakes at Coalville Carers Support Group

6th June
Information Stand at Barwell Medical Centre 

7th June
Information Stand at Hollycroft Medical Centre 

8th June: 
Cakes at Harborough Carers Mental Health Support Group 

9th June
Stand outside Sainsbury's Market Harborough with Bollywood dancing from 11am
First Aid course and cakes at Melton Carers Support Group
Self-care/looking after yourself and cakes at Oadby & Wigston Carers Support Group 
Information Stand at Barwell Medical Centre 

10th June
Carers' stand at LGBT Conference at County Hall 
Information Stand at Thurmaston Health Centre, Hollycroft Medical Centre and Market Harborough Medical Centre 

11th June
Market Harborough Carnival 

12th June
Carers' Choir singing at Lutterworth Picnic in the Park from 5.30pm  

14th June
Blaby District Carers Group (now in Whetstone) summer garden party (indoors!) with cream teas, mini manicures, hand massages and relaxing summer music

16th June
Day at Wycliffe/Masharani 

21st June
Self-care/looking after yourself and cakes at Hinckley Carers Support Group

23rd June
Self-care/looking after yourself with music and cakes at Market Harborough Carers Support Group 

27th June
Alternative therapies and cakes at Loughborough Carers Support Group 

28th June
Cakes, hand massages and plant exchange at Bottesford Carers Support Group

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JOB OPPORTUNITY: DIGITAL INCLUSION OFFICER, SUPPORT FOR CARERS

Would you like to help carers become more confident with technology - so they can get support, find information, get things done and socialise online more easily? 

We're looking for a self-employed, sessional worker for a new project supporting carers throughout Leicestershire. 

As our Digital Inclusion Officer, you'll help carers get online and also recruit and train a team of around 25 volunteers to help carers. 

You must have experience of working with carers and volunteers and knowledge of providing computer based training. Ideally, you'll be accredited by Learn My Way

Hours and salary are flexible and negotiable. 

To find out more please email [email protected] by 13th April.

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Take a sneak peek at our autumn newsletter

Why not put your feet up for a few moments and enjoy reading our latest newsletter - full of useful news and information for carers, including top tips to keep you fit and healthy as the weather gets colder, a guide to Carer's Credit and details of a new Carers Emergency Plan designed by carers. 

Click here to read

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‘Feel Alive from 65’

Sport and physical activity is an important part of all our lives, especially as we get older. Last year, Leicestershire and Rutland Sport's (LRS) annual active ageing campaign saw over 1,500 older adults participate in sport and physical activity taster sessions across the county. This year's campaign week 'Feel Alive from 65' will run from 28th September to 4th October - giving you an amazing opportunity to take part in a programme of physical activity across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, including over 150 taster sessions featuring kurling, tai chi, walking, bowls, seated exercise and many more.

Take a look at the programme to find sessions near you 

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New Dementia Action Alliance to launch in Blaby District during national Dementia Awareness Week

Join Blaby District Council Health & Leisure Team to celebrate the launch of the Blaby District Dementia Action Alliance on Tuesday 19th May between 1pm-3pm at The Council Chamber, Blaby District Council Offices, Desford Road, Narborough, LE19 2EP and help them make Blaby District a dementia-friendly community.

Come along to find out how the Alliance plans to help improve quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. The event will also include a range of dementia friendly activities including afternoon tea, shared reading, singing for the brain, laughter workshop, books on prescription, information and advice from Support for Carers, the Alzheimer's Society and Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland and a Dementia Friends Information Session from 2pm to 3pm. 

The Alliance is made up of a group of organisations who have come together with the aim of making Blaby District a better place to live for people with dementia and their carers.

The number of people living with dementia in Blaby District is expected to almost double by 2030.

Parking is available in the local area – please use the Pay & Display Weavers Car Park adjacent to the Council offices.

RSVP by Friday 8th May to Blaby District Council Health & Leisure Team:

Call: 0116 2727703

Email: [email protected]

Download the flyer to find out more 

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Events for Dementia Awareness Week 2014

The Alzheimer's Society is running two local events for Dementia Awareness Week 2014

Monday 19th May from 10.30am to 3.30pm at Coalville Library, High Street, Coalville, LE67 3EA 
Click here to view the event poster for more details

Thursday 22nd May from 10.30am to 3.30pm at Blaby Hotel, Enderby Road, Blaby, LE8 4GD
Click here to view the event poster for more details

The aim of both events is to raise awareness of dementia and how the Alzheimer's Society supports people affected by dementia.

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Police warning over phone calls from ‘Microsoft’

Blaby police are warning people to be careful if they receive a telephone call from an Asian sounding male stating he is from the Microsoft Technical Support team.

The male goes on to say your computer is at risk and he needs you to give him information.

If you have any concerns please call Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, on 0300 123 2040 or visit actionfraud.police.uk to find out more.

Remember, never give out your personal information if you're not sure who you're talking to.

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Will the launch of 4G mobile broadband services affect Freeview?

From Summer 2013, mobile phone operators are rolling out new fourth-generation (4G) networks to provide customers with high speed wireless broadband.

Where these services are broadcast on certain airwaves (the 800MHz band), they may interfere with Freeview reception. A new company, at800, has been set up by the mobile operators to provide filters and other assistance to households where TV reception may be affected.

To find out more you can call at800 on 0808 13 13 800 free from your landline between 7am and 10pm on weekdays or between 9am and 5pm at weekends and bank holidays or visit their website.

Age UK are also raising awareness of the issue. If you'd like to talk to them please email [email protected] and she will get back to you.

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How Blaby South are helping the vulnerable in their community

If you live in Blaby South you may be interested in taking part in a discussion looking at how residents in the area are helping those at risk in the local community, what services and support are provided locally, and how can service providers such as Leicestershire County Council work together with local residents to continue to support the vulnerable in the light of public sector spending cuts?

The Blaby South Community Forum is on the 18 September from 6.30pm at Thurlaston Village Hall, Desford Road, Thurlaston, Leicestershire, LE9 7TE and anyone is welcome to go along and join in the debate. 

Prior to the meeting, you may find it useful to give some thought to who in your community is at risk and how local residents may help one another. For example:

Clearing an elderly neighbour's drive of snow
Collecting library books for an unwell friend
Shopping once a week for someone
Running a monthly breakfast club for the recently bereaved or for single parents, or 
Just generally keeping an eye out for those that may need support

To find out more please call Sabrina Malik on 0116 3055951, email [email protected] or visit www.leicestershireforums.org

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New service: Free Mental Health Education Programme for carers

We’ve recently launched an education programme for mental health carers in Leicestershire and Rutland. The programme is free and confidential and aims to help carers look after their own health and wellbeing whilst understanding more about mental illness and the support services available both locally and nationally. In addition, the programme is a chance for carers to get together and share experiences and help one another. Overall, we hope the programme will help carers to feel more confident and empowered and able to make positive changes in their caring role.

The programme runs for 8 weeks, with each session lasting two and a half hours. We’re planning to run the programme in the daytime and evening, so as many carers as possible can attend. Sessions include understanding more about recovery and relapse and how to manage it, how to cope with challenging behaviour and crisis and the impact mental illness can have on carers and families.

Anyone who is supporting someone with a mental illness, or whose life is affected by it, is welcome to come along to the sessions, including partners, family members and friends.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year, with mental illness also having a huge impact on carers and families. We’re already supporting hundreds of mental health carers in Leicestershire, so you’re definitely not alone.

We’re currently running our first programme in Broughton Astley, on a Tuesday evening, and this will be followed very quickly by another one, somewhere else in Leicestershire. We’ll let you know more details very soon, as soon as we’ve confirmed the date, time and venue.

If you’re interested in coming along or you’d like to find out more, please call Nicky Daly on 07847 228737 or email [email protected]

Download our Mental Health Education Programme leaflet for more details

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Help for older people in Leicestershire - have your say

Communities in Partnership is currently working with Leicestershire County Council Adults and Communities Department to deliver two consultations which could affect you or those around you:

Assistive Technology and Housing Related Residential Support Services

Residents of Leicestershire are being asked for their views on plans for a ‘fairer and more flexible approach’ towards helping older people stay in their homes.

Assistive Technology uses lifelines and a range of additional sensors, such as fall detectors, to support people to live independently. At present, Assistive Technology is only available to people who live in their own home, and the County Council is considering extending the service to include those who live in sheltered or social housing.

The other proposal which forms part of the three-month consultation concerns Housing Related Support for older people. This would enable people who own or rent their homes to have the same access to services as those who live in social housing – if it would help them. Historically, the support is usually given by housing wardens or scheme managers.

Click here to find out more

Click here to complete the online survey

Paper copies are available, please call 0116 305 0004 to find out more. The consultation runs until February 2013.

Have Your Say

Communities in Partnership is also looking for members of the public to participate in focus groups throughout January and February 2013, with one focus group being held in each Leicestershire district.

If you would like to attend a focus group and have your say in transforming services then please contact Liz on 0116 233 4243 to find out more.

Oadby Asda, Oadby and Wigston District - Wednesday 16th Jan 10.30am to 12.30pm - call Alison Cooper on 2718341 to find out more. 

Blaby Scout HQ, Winchester Road, Blaby District - Tuesday 22nd Jan 2pm to 4pm - call 2778998 to find out more. 

St Marys Court, Hugglescote, North West Leicestersire District - Tuesday 29th Jan 11am to 1pm - call Kaizad Johnston on 01530 454640 to find out more.

John Storer House, Charnwood District - Tuesday 15th Jan 10am to 12pm - call Ann Standing on 01509 631750 to find out more.

Atkins Building, Hinckley and Bosworth District, Thursday 24th Jan 10.30am to 12.30pm - call Robert Warwick on 01455 247070 to find out more.

Lubenham Village Hall, Harborough District -  Wednesday 6th Feb 2pm to 4pm - call Len Bale on 01858 462440 to find out more. 

Planning for your future – thinking about what things might help you as you get older

Residents of Leicestershire are being asked for their views on planning for the future, thinking about what their needs might be. Communities in Partnership would like to find out how older people can be encouraged to plan for the future, what barriers may be faced in doing so, and how to support older people in the community for as long as possible.

Get Involved

They will be visiting various groups and meetings throughout December and January. If you would like them to come to your group or would just like to be involved, please contact Harvey on 0116 229 3019.

To keep informed of all future engagement activity affecting you and those around you, join the Communities in Partnership Engagement Network now by calling 0116 234 1577 or email [email protected]

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Winter Newsletter - hot off the press!

The winter edition of our newsletter should be with you very soon, whether you receive it via email or in the post. 

In the meantime, you can read it right here online - including top tips for keeping warm this winter, a guide to Carers' Support Groups in the county and lots of news and events. 

Feel free to let us know if you've got any comments about the newsletter or you'd like to contribute to it - we're always looking for articles, photos, poems, recipes or anything else you've got in mind. 

We hope you enjoy reading this month's issue. 

Click here to take a look

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Blaby District Older People’s Forum

The next Blaby District Older People's Forum will be meeting on Monday 3rd December from 2pm to 4pm at the Council Chamber, Desford Road, Narborough, LE19 2EP.

This quarter, being the Christmas meeting, there will be Carols and festive songs from the Student’s Choir at Brockington College, Enderby.

The guest speaker will be Tom Allison from the NHS Falls Prevention Team speaking on the education and prevention of falls and the support system available.

If you are 50 or over and live in Blaby District, you are more than welcome to come along.

This event is free and refreshments will be provided. If you would like to come but struggle with transport, please call 0116 272 7669 for help.

To find out more, please call Jenny Bown at Community Action Partnership on 0116 272 7669 or email [email protected]

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Deadline extended for long term ill health survey

East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group has extended a survey asking patients with long-term health conditions about their experience of receiving advice and healthcare until 15th November.

Your answers will help shape improvements to health and care services in the area including Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough, Blaby, Lutterworth, Oadby, Wigston and Rutland. 

The online survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Longtermconditions - please feel free to take part and leave your views.

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Live in East Leicestershire? Your chance to help improve healthcare in the area

East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning group is keen to hear from patients with complex, chronic and long-term health conditions - and their carers - so they can improve the services you currently receive.

They're keen to know what you think of the support and information you've received in relation to your healthcare. 

You can complete the survey online or request a paper copy by calling Penny Harris on  0116 295 7571. 

The survey closes on 23rd September and is open to patients and carers living in the East Leicestershire and Rutland area including Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough, Blaby, Lutterworth, Oadby, Wigston and Rutland. Your answers will be treated in confidence and you won't have to give your name or address.

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Do you use the Northfield Medical Centre in Blaby?

As you may be aware, there is new government NHS legislation which will affect how GP practices like Northfield are funded. 

These changes are important, not only to the Centre, but to patients as well. 

The Northfield Medical Practice Patient Participation Group (PPG) gives patients the chance to air their views on issues such as the appointment system and telephone access. 

The Centre is very keen to work in partnership with patients - especially at this time of change. 

If you'd like to get involved by joining the group or to have your say please contact the Chair of the group, Mick McNeill by emailing [email protected]

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New walking/photography group for adults with learning disabilities starting 26th April

A new group for adults with learning disabilities is starting on Thursday 26th April in Huncote.

The group is called Snap and Stroll and it will go on fortnightly walks to give people the chance to photograph various locations around the districts of Blaby and Oadby and Wigston. Carers are welcome too. 

Walks will last around an hour, are wheelchair friendly, free to attend and suitable for all abilities. You don't need any experience of photography to join in, beginners are welcome. 

To find out more go along to the group's first meeting on Thursday 26th April at 11am at The Pavilion in Huncote (where the first walk will start from) or email Eleanor Blackwell/Sporting Change Team on 0116 272 7670 or email [email protected].

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‘Never too old to learn’ - event for older people interested in adult learning

To celebrate Adult Learners' Week 2012 - Leicestershire's Older People's Engagement Network (OPEN) and NIACE, a national organisation promoting adult learning, are holding a special event called 'Never too old to learn!'

Anyone who is interested in adult learning is welcome to go along to find out more and to hear the experiences of older learners - who will be talking about topics including Storytelling Skills, Family History, Seated Exercise and what is it that older learners want? Plus they'll be plenty of information and free refreshments provided. 

The event is on Monday 30th April from 10.30am to 3.30pm at St Bartholomew's Church Hall, Main Street, Kirby Muxloe, LE9 2AL. 

To book your place at the event please call Liz McGregor on 0116 233 4243or email [email protected]

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Planned changes to Ashcroft Hostel - what do you think?

Leicestershire County Council is consulting the public about the Mental Health Residential Service provided at Ashcroft Hostel in Narborough - and you can have your say now until the 24th December 2011. 

The Council is proposing to close Ashcroft Hostel by June 2012 and replace it with mental health residential services based on a supported living model.

The Council says it will also continue to provide respite care for people with mental health needs but in different ways. 

What do you think? 

The consultation is open to anyone who'd like to give their view. 

To find out more please visit the the Leicestershire County Council website or call 0116 305 8187 or email [email protected]

If you'd like information in large print, Braille or an alternative language please feel free to call the number above and the Council will help you. 

The results of the consultation will be used by the Council to make its final decision about Ashcroft in February 2012. 

Whatever happens, the Council says that service users, carers and family members will be fully involved in the changes and that they'll be given advice about alternative services that are available. 

Please feel free to get in touch with Support for Carers if you'd like any help with taking part in the consultation. 

 

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A top tip for carers - from a local carer

We received a lovely email from carer Judy Tattersall recently. Judy is keen to let other carers know about a special deal for carers at Enderby Leisure Centre that she discovered recently.

Judy told us: 

"When I recently joined Enderby Leisure Centre, so I could start swimming again, I asked about membership and they said that if you claim Carers Allowance (which I do) I was entitled to half price on full membership.  This is £18.50 per month non-contractual normally £36 this means I can attend any class, use the gym and of course swim as much as I like, I can also use the membership at Hinckley Leisure centre because they belong to the same group ‘everyone Active’ their web site is www.everyoneactive.com where I can also book exercise sessions on line which is very useful. They have a lovely café where you can spend a few minutes afterwards to relax." 

Many thanks for the handy tip Judy! 

If you know of special deals for carers where you live why not get in touch with us to tell us more. You can call us on 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates) or email [email protected] 

 

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Update from our Carers’ Forum held on 27th Sept in Huncote

We held our first ever Carers' Forum in Huncote on 27th September and it was very well attended, with over 20 people coming along. Including carers and representatives from various organisations. 

Many people had travelled from other parts of the county to attend so thank you to everyone for making the journey!

The morning included a presentation from the Support for Carers team - explaining how the new service could support carers and an introduction to our new interactive website and online directory of local services. 

The event was also a great opportunity for representatives from other organisations to promote the valuable work they are currently doing.

Best of all the event gave carers the opportunity to ask questions and speak to organisations individually, including the Support for Carers team. 

We're happy to say the event was well received by all those who attended. 

We'll be planning similar events for carers in the near future so watch this space for more! 

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Do you care for someone who’s had a stroke?

Julie Monk, Chairperson of the 4Ward Strokes Leicester voluntary group (and a stroke survivor herself) very kindly wrote this article for us, to let carers know about the group and how it could help them and the people they care for. 

4Ward Strokes Leicester is a Stroke Association voluntary support group aimed at caring for and helping stroke survivors of working age, plus their families, carers, friends and anyone who knows them. 

We meet on a monthly basis and with the help of four volunteers, two of which have had strokes themselves, we provide a very friendly atmosphere in which our members get together.

We all participate in our Extend exercise session, which is good fun and is provided by our qualified tutor. 

Most importantly, we enjoy a friendly chat with a cup of tea or coffee where experiences can be shared and problems talked about and hopefully solved. We consider ourselves more of an extended family rather than just a group. 

We have been together for over three years and our group is slowly growing in members. We currently have 17 members, plus our volunteers. We are a very close group and enjoy participating in social events outside the monthly group meeting. Our favourite pastime to-date is ten-pin bowling, but we have also been on river cruises and have just recently enjoyed a day at the seaside. 

We are already planning many more social events such as an evening at the dogs and of course our Christmas party/dinner. 

Our 2012 diary is also being looked at and we have lots of ideas - our Social Secretary/Events Organiser is kept a busy man!

We meet at the Braunstone Civic Centre, Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester and we warmly welcome new members and their families/carers. All we ask is £2 (session fee) which includes tea / coffee.

For further information please contact Stella on 07530 907712.

 

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Want to learn how to use a computer or brush up your existing skills?

Being able to use a computer can really benefit carers - especially if it's difficult to get out and about. For example, you can pay your bills online, or do your weekly shopping online for delivery or even book hospital appointments online for the person you care for. 

If you'd like to learn how to use a computer or brush up your existing skills, why not go along to the free drop-in computer training sessions at the Community Computer Centre in Lutterworth.

You'll find the computer centre at the Lutterworth One Stop Shop, Wycliffe House, Gilmorton Road, Lutterworth. 

As well as being free, you don't need to book a session, you can just turn up at a time that suits you and stay for as long or as little as you like. 

There's also the option to arrange one-to-one or small group tuition if you want to. 

The drop-in sessions are on from Monday to Friday at 1.30pm to 4.30pm. 

Complete beginners are also welcome and the sessions are designed to be welcoming and friendly, so they're perfect for people who haven't tried this kind of activity before. 

For further details please contact Jane or Dee on 01455 555577.

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Carers’ Information Meeting in Blaby District

Support for Carers is holding a Carers' Information Meeting on Tuesday 27th September from 11am to 1pm at The Pavilion, Sportsfield Lane, Huncote, LE9 3BN.

The event will be an opportunity for carers to meet the Support for Carers team whilst finding out how we can help you. 

Similar events are being planned for other areas around Leicestershire in the near future. 

To find out more and to confirm your attendance please call Support for Carers on 0845 689 9510 or email [email protected]

 

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Have A Go Day - event for disabled people

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council is holding a 'Have A Go Day' with the aim of helping disabled people to find out more about staying healthy.

The event will give disabled people aged 16 and over and their carers and families the chance to try lots of new activities such as Zumba, kurling, football, yoga and chairobics for just £2 (carers free).

Plus information and advice on staying healthy. 

Simply go along to Parklands Leisure Centre, Washbrook Lane, Oadby, LE2 5QG on Thursday 15th September from 9.00am to 3.00pm. 

To find out more and to book your place please call 0116 257 2672. 

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Keep Safe Day - drop-in event for disabled people

Organisations in Blaby and Oadby and Wigston Districts have got together to organise a special 'Keep Safe Day' event for anyone with a disability plus carers and families.

The aim of the event is to help disabled people stay safe, both at home and when out and about.

Simply go along to Blaby District Social Centre on Leicester Road in Blaby, LE8 4GQ on Thursday 8th September from 9.30am to 4.00pm - you'll find lots of information on staying safe together with free equipment such as panic alarms and property marking pens plus keep safe quizzes, workshops and demonstrations.

In addition, you'll get chance to look around a police car and fire engine (2.00pm to 4.00pm).

Tea and coffee will also be available free of charge.

For more information please call Jane on 0116 305 7987. 

 

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A work out for body and mind in Blaby

Are you feeling depressed, lonely, anxious or stressed? Or do you have a specific mental health difficulty such as schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder? 

You're not alone, 1 in 4 people experience a mental health difficulty at some point in their life. 

Alternatively, perhaps you care for someone with mental health difficulties?

Physical activity including sport can be a great way to improve mental as well as physical health and now you can get involved in a range of different physical activities and sports in a supportive group atmosphere. 

Community Action Blaby District runs a project called Sporting Change, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and offers everything from weekly sports sessions and health walks to community gardening and confidence programmes for young adults - designed to boost their confidence and life skills. 

In addition, the organisation runs a range of friendly, informal, social 'drop-ins' around Leicestershire and a befriending scheme for people with mental health difficulties. 

Sports Groups 

Sports on offer include badminton, table tennis, gym sessions, body MOTs, fitness challenges and multisports - go along to the Parklands Leisure Centre on Washbrook Lane, Wigston Road in Oadby on Tuesdays from 1.30pm to 3.30pm or The Pavilion, Sportsfield Lane in Huncote on Wednesdays from 10.00am to 12.00 noon. 

Health Walks

Enjoy a fun, healthy walk including short walks lasting around 30 minutes and longer walks of up to an hour - meet at The Pavilion, Sportsfield Lane in Huncote on Wednesdays from 1.00pm to 2.30pm (approx). 

Find out more about Sporting Change

Find out more about Community Action Blaby District's other services 

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Do you care for someone with Alzheimer’s?

If you'd like to meet other people caring for someone with Alzheimer's then why not go along to the Alzheimer's Cafe?

The cafe meets regularly at the Pavilion, Huncote from 10.00am to 11.30am and it costs just £1 for a cup of tea and a buttie.

Regulars to the cafe include carers of people with memory problems including Alzheimer's, together with family members and loved ones so it's a great place to share experiences, raise concerns and generally take a break. 

To find out more about the cafe including details of meetings please call Laurie Woodruff from the Alzheimer's Society on 0116 231 1111.

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Tuesday Teapot Group looking for new members

If you're looking for a friendly group to join that fits around your commitments as a carer why not try the Tuesday Teapot Group? They meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at the Parish Hall, Kings Drive, Leicester Forest East between 2.00pm and 4.00pm. 

The group is open to carers and non-carers and members simply go along for a cup of tea, piece of cake and a chat. What could be better?!

To find out more please call Sue Jones on 0116 229 9277.

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Glen Parva Summer Gala - 6th August

Why not go along to the Glen Parva Summer Gala this Saturday 6th August from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm at the Dorothy Avenue Playing Field and Glen Parva War Memorial Hall.

There'll be a wealth of family entertainment, activities and refreshments including a licensed bar, hog roast, stalls, birds of prey, donkey rides, ferret racing, bouncy castles, children's fair rides and Punch and Judy. 

To find out more call Mrs J Small on 0116 277 1450. 

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Vista invites you for a ‘Coffee and Chat’

Vista, a local charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with sight loss in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, is holding a 'Coffee and Chat' event to celebrate Older Persons' Month in September. 

Anyone is welcome to attend the event which will take place on Monday 19th September from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the St John's Community Centre, Packhorse Drive, Enderby, Leicester. 

You'll be able to listen to live entertainment whilst enjoying a free coffee, chat and piece of cake.

Vista also hopes the event will give local people the opportunity to find out more about the services and activities it provides in the Blaby District. For instance, Vista runs social groups for older people to help them get out and about and make new friends. 

To find out more about Vista or the event please call Clare Harding on 0116 249 8858 or email [email protected] or visit the charity's website

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Support for Carers Leicestershire is funded by Leicestershire County Council. However, we rely on donations to enhance the services we provide for carers in the area. If you would like to support us please contact us.