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News in Harborough

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.


Read the full story


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

THURSDAY 7TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm

MONDAY 11TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE, 11am-pm

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE, 10am-12pm

WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE, 11am-2.30pm

WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE, 6.30pm-8.30pm

THURSDAY 14TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm

FRIDAY 15TH JUNE, 11am-2pm


WEDNESDAY 20TH JUNE, 12pm-1.30pm

THURSDAY 21ST JUNE, 2.30pm-4pm

MONDAY 25TH JUNE, 2.30pm-4pm

TUESDAY 26TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm

THURSDAY 28TH JUNE, 1.30pm-3pm

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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Harborough Lotto launches to support local good causes

Harborough Lotto is a weekly online lottery created to support local causes in Harborough District - including VASL, the charity behind the Support for Carers project! 

The first ever draw is on Saturday 5th May at 8pm so to be in with a chance of winning up to £25,000 plus one of five £50 Amazon vouchers, why not buy a ticket? Even if you don't win, you'll be helping to support local good causes including local carers. 

Following on from the first draw on 5th May, the draw will take place weekly. Tickets cost £1 per week with 60% going to local good causes. 

Find out more and good luck!

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Love knitting or keen to give it a go?

Love knitting or interested in getting started? The Knit and Natter Group is a drop-in social group for carers that meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 1.30pm to 3pm at The Angel Hotel, High Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AF. 

Knitters and non-knitters welcome! 

To find out more call Jackie from Support for Carers on 0845 689 9510.

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

Dementia Harborough has loads of great events coming up including a Dementia Cafe, Singing for Memories Group, Christmas Lunch and a Christmas Party. The charity supports people affected by dementia in Market Harborough and the surrounding areas, including their carers. 

Click here for a full list of activities coming up 

Click here to find out more about Dementia Harborough

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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

Do you care for someone with dementia and live in Lutterworth?

The Alzheimer's Society are running a series of workshops in Lutterworth to give carers information and support. 

The Carer Information and Support Programme is a series of workshops run over four sessions, for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidental environment about your experiences and the impact they're having on you.  

Workshop topics include: 

Course dates - Lutterworth: 

Venue: The Wycliffe Medical Practice (The Community Room), Gilmorton Road, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 4EB.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more 

Please call Sara Lovett on 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083 or email [email protected]

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Carers enjoy an afternoon out

27 carers enjoyed an afternoon of fun and scrumptious food at our Market Harborough Support for Carers trip to the Blitz Tearooms in Kettering in July, a wonderful 1940's themed tea rooms.

We left Market Harborough in two minibuses and soon got into the 1940's spirit by singing along to songs from the era, chatting and laughing at each other in our headscarves and tommy helmets!

On arrival at the Blitz Tearooms, we were greeted by their friendly staff and served with great big pots of tea and an abundance of beautiful homemade food.

The comments we received from carers throughout the day were all very positive, saying what a wonderful time they we're having, how much the treat was appreciated, and the difference it made to have an afternoon out.

We would like to say a big thank you to Market Harborough & The Bowdens Charity for their generous donation. 

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Urgent Appeal for Funding


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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FREE Carers Walk - every other Wednesday

Join Active Together Harborough every other Wednesday in Welland Park for a FREE walk aimed at Carers and Care Receivers. 

The walk is suitable for all ages and abilities, wheelchair friendly, and led by a qualified walk leader. Each walk will last around 30 minutes. 

Where and when?

Meet at Welland Park Cafe every other Wednesday at 11am. 

The next walks are on 2nd November, 16th November, 30th November and 14th December. 

To find out more: 

Call the Active Together Team on 01858 82 82 82
Email [email protected]

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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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Are you a dementia carer in Lutterworth?

The Lutterworth Share & Care Group (LSCG) are running lots of activities and events for people living with dementia and their carers this autumn including Memory Walks, Coffee Drop-ins, Share & Care trips, Christmas Dinner and the chance to see the Buddy Holly Story at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton. 

Click here for full details of events/activities coming soon 

The Share & Care Group is a social support group for people living with dementia, together with their carers, who live in Lutterworth and the surrounding villages. Meetings are run by professionals and volunteers who are trained to help those suffering from dementia cope better with their condition. 

To find out more call Sarah Taylor on 07741 417243.

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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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Do you care for someone with dementia?

The Alzheimer's Society is running The Carer Information and Support Programme at venues around Leicestershire, to give carers support and information on caring for someone with dementia.

The Programme includes a series of workshops run over four sessions - for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It will give you an oppotunity to talk about your experiences and the impact they're having on you, in a friendly and confidential environment.           

Topics will include: 

The workshops are run by Alzheimer's Society staff and volunteers. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you're unable to attend the dates/times below, please register your interest as future groups may be available.  

Hinckley Course Dates  

All sessions will run from 1.30pm-4pm 

Session 1 - Tuesday 7th June
Session 2 - Tuesday 14th June
Session 3 - Tuesday 21st June
Session 4 - Tuesday 28th June 

Venue: The Pathways Centre, Hinckley Baptist Church, Baptist Walk, Hinckley, LE10 1PR. 

Lutterworth Course Dates 

All sessions will run from 1.30pm-4pm 

Session 1 - Monday 4th July 
Session 2 - Monday 11th July 
Session 3 - Monday 18th July
Session 4 - Monday 25th July 

Venue: The Wycliffe Medical Practice, Lutterworth Medical Centre (The Community Room), Gilmorton Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4EB. 

Leicester City Course Dates

All sessions will run from 6pm-8.30pm. 

Session 1 - Thursday 7th July 
Session 2 - Thursday 14th July
Session 3 - Thursday 21st July
Session 4 - Thursday 28th July

Venue: Moat Community College (Joseph Merrick Building), Maidstone Road, Leicester, LE2 0TU. 

Melton Course Dates 

All sessions will run from 10am-12.30pm

Tuesday 2nd August - Understanding Dementia
Tuesday 9th August - Legal and Money Matters
Tuesday 16th August - Providing Support and Care
Tuesday 23rd August - Carers: Coping Day to Day

Venue: Melton Borough Council, Egerton Room 1 & 2, Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1GH.                      

To find out more and book your place: 

Call: 0116 231 1111
Email: [email protected]

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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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The Carers Centre - 25th Birthday Bash

Congratulations to The Carers Centre on your 25th Birthday Bash! 

Find out more

Read the full story

Feel Good Friday! 20th May

Join Active Together for Feel Good Friday! on 20th May in The Symington Building, Market Harborough and learn more about positive mental health. All activities are free.


Be introduced to Mindfulness and see how you can engage directly with an experience without the influence of thoughts and emotions.
Booking necessary 

Learn more about Dementia and the small ways that you can help, and become a Dementia Friend.
Booking necessary 

Mid Day Walk 

Join Active Together for a short walk. All abilities welcome.
Meet at 12.15pm outside the Symington Building.
No need to book. 

Cake & Colour 

Pop in for a cuppa, some cake and enjoy some colouring in. Colouring isn’t just for kids you know!
11:30am - 3:30pm
No need to book. 


Beginners yoga taster session.
Booking necessary 

For more info and to book, please call Active Together on 01858 82 82 82 or email [email protected]

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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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Step by Step - three new groups for former carers

We're pleased to announce we're launching three new groups for carers whose caring role has come to an end, thanks to funding through Leicestershire County Council. 

We understand that when a carer's caring role comes to an end there is often a huge gap left, because the carer has devoted so much of their time and life to caring for their loved one or friend. 

The evidence shows this is the crisis time; your role has changed, all the help and support stops and you can become isolated, which can lead to anxiety and depression.                                                  

Our Step by Step groups will support former carers to help you: 

The Step by Step groups will be held monthly on a Wednesday in Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Hinckley. The groups will be social as well as informative, and an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation and make new friends over a cup of tea/coffee and biscuits. 

Lutterworth Step by Step Group

Meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 2.30pm-4pm starting on Wednesday 14th October at Lutterworth Town Hall, High Street, Lutterworth, LE17 4AT. 

Hinckley Step by Step Group

Meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 2.30pm-4pm starting on Wednesday 21st October at Hinckley Baptist Church, Pathway Centre, Baptist Walk, Hinckley, LE10 1PR.

Market Harborough Step by Step Group

Meets every 4th Wednesday of the month from 1.30pm-3pm starting on Wednesday 28th October at the Methodist Church (opposite the Market Hall), Northampton Road, Market Harborough LE16 9HE.

If you would be interested in coming along to the group or know of someone who would be, please call Gurjit or Jackie on 0845 6899510.

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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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Do you care for someone with dementia?

Just to let you know, the Dementia Cafe in Market Harborough has recently updated it's details on our website.

The cafe now meets on the third Thursday of the month from 2pm to 4pm at Jubilee Hall, Congregational Church, Bowden Lane, Market Harborough, LE16 7AF. It is open to anyone affected by dementia, including carers. Sessions include regular guest speakers and fun activities. The cafe also runs a Singing for Memories session on the first Tuesday of the month from 2pm to 3.30pm. 

To find out more call Peter Raybould (Chair) on 07837 763316 or visit the group's website.

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Free gym access for carers in Leicestershire

Northamptonshire Carers are working with Carers Trust East Midlands to offer carers sessions at local gyms free of charge in Charnwood, Harborough, Melton and Oadby. So if you're a carer and you feel that attending a gym would help you relax or maintain your own health then please take a look at the links below to find sessions near you. 


To find out more please call 0330 119 2142.

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

The Alzheimer's Society is running a series of workshops run over four sessions for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia - known as the Carer Information and Support Programme. The sessions will provide an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidential environment, about your experiences and the impact they're having on you. They will also aim to provide you with information and support. To find out more and book your place call 0116 231 1111 or email [email protected]

Topics will include:

What is dementia?
How can you support and care for someone with dementia
The support services that are available
Planning for the future

Course dates in Hinckley 

Session 1 - Monday 16th February 2015

Session 2 - Monday 23rd February 2015

Session 3 - Monday 2nd March 2015

Session 4 - Monday 9th March 2015

All sessions will run between 6pm - 8:30pm

Venue: Green Towers Hinckley Club, Richmond Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 0DZ

Course dates in Lutterworth:           

Session 1 - Monday 9th March 2015

Session 2 - Monday 16th March 2015

Session 3 - Monday 23rd March 2015

Session 4 - Monday 30th March 2015

All sessions will run between 2pm - 4:30pm

Venue: One Stop Shop at Wycliffe House, Gilmorton Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4DY  

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.


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Do you care for someone with dementia?

If you care for someone with dementia, why not go along to the Share & Care Group coffee morning on the 2nd Friday of every month from 10am to 12 noon at The Porch, Lutterworth Methodist Church (opposite Morrisons).

The Share & Care Group is a social group run by and for people living with dementia, their partners, carers and family. It's supported by Age UK Leicestershire, Age Concern Lutterworth, Lutterworth Methodist Church, St Mary's Church, Lutterworth and Crossroads. 

Enjoy a mouth-watering array of coffee, tea and cakes, as well as the chance to chat and laugh! 

All are welcome, whether you come as a person with dementia or a carer/family member. 

To find out more please call Jackie Parkes on 07748 647 192.

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Free monthly event for over 65s

Check out this great monthly event for over 65s, including a monthly tea dance, bingo and refreshments. 

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New Carers Support Group starting in Lutterworth on 12th November

Do you care for a child or adult with a physical or learning disability, a behavioural problem, a long-term illness, a mental health problem, who is elderly or frail or has an addiction? 

If so, please come along to a NEW very informal Support Group/Coffee Morning at the: 

One Stop Shop
Wycliffe House
Gilmorton Road
LE17 4DY

From 10.30am to 12.30pm on the 2nd Wednesday of every month starting on Wednesday 12th November.

Make new friends and discover information on services, time to offload and share concerns, social actitives, signposting to helpful organisations and being listened to and understood. 

To find out more please call Sarah or Gwyn on 01933 677837.

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Active Ageing Week in Harborough - Monday 29th September - Sunday 5th October 2014

There's still time to enjoy Harborough’s Active Ageing Week, which includes a packed programme of activities for people to try including line dancing, kurling, carpet bowels, Nordic walking and table tennis!

Active Together promotes lifelong physical activity but being physically active in later life is particularly important because older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health, social and wellbeing benefits such as:

- improved muscle strength
- improved balance and co-ordination
- reduced risk of falls
- social benefits: meet new people, take up a new hobby, do activities with your friends and family
- wellbeing benefits: improve your mood, improve your confidence, reduce stress, gain more self esteem

Older adults (aged 65+) should aim to be active daily. A minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity (in bouts of ten minutes or more) each week is recommended by the Department of Health. One way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week. Muscle-strengthening activities should be included on at least two days of the week.

Active Together's full programme of activities are aimed at adults aged 60+, although, if you are younger and would like to participate in any Active Ageing Week activities, please feel free to attend.

To find out more about Active Ageing Week activities in Harborough, please call the Active Together team on 01858 828282 or email [email protected]

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Thank you Sainsbury’s for your support

Many thanks to Sainsbury's in Market Harborough for letting us promote Support for Carers in the store! 

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Free training for carers

The Carers Centre Leicestershire and Rutland and Sayi Training & Consultancy are offering carers free training, to help you in your caring role.

You’re welcome to book any or all of the sessions below:

2nd June, 10am to 1pm
The Angel Hotel, 37 High Street, Market Harborough
Dealing with Stress – Learn how to identify and manage the stress in your life!

4th June, 10am to 1pm
The Marlene Reid Centre, 85 Belvoir Road, Coalville, LE67 3PH
Dealing with Stress – Learn how to identify and manage the stress in your life!

9th June, 10am to 1pm
The Angel Hotel, 37 High Street, Market Harborough
Getting Help – identify the help you need, find out who to contact and what to ask for!

11th June, 10am to 1pm
Snibston Discovery Centre, Ashby Road, Coalville, LE67 3LN
Getting Help – identify the help you need, find out who to contact and what to ask for!

16th June, 10am to 1pm
The Angel Hotel, 37 High Street, Market Harborough
Understanding Personalisation – find out how the social care system can work for you, and the choices that are available to you

18th June, 10am to 4pm
Salvation Army, Ladysmith Road, Leicester, LE18 4UZ
Safe Handling of Medication/Safer Moving and Handling – find out about the risks and responsibilities of handling medication, and protecting yourself from injuries.

18th June, 10am to 1pm
Snibston Discovery Centre, Ashby Road, Coalville, LE67 3LN
Understanding Personalisation – find out how the social care system can work for you, and the choices that are available to you

2nd July, 10am to 1pm
Gorse Covert Community Centre, Maxwell Drive, Loughborough, LE11 4RZ
Dealing with Stress – Learn how to identify and manage the stress in your life!

9th July, 10am to 1pm
Gorse Covert Community Centre, Maxwell Drive, Loughborough, LE11 4RZ
Getting Help – identify the help you need, find out who to contact and what to ask for!

16th July, 10am to 1pm
Gorse Covert Community Centre, Maxwell Drive, Loughborough, LE11 4RZ
Understanding Personalisation – find out how the social care system can work for you, and the choices that are available to you

16th July, 6pm to 9pm
Salvation Army, Ladysmith Road, Leicester, LE18 4UZ
Dealing with Stress – Learn how to identify and manage the stress in your life!

23rd July, 6pm to 9pm
Salvation Army, Ladysmith Road, Leicester, LE18 4UZ
Getting Help – identify the help you need, find out who to contact and what to ask for!

30th July, 6pm to 9pm
Salvation Army, Ladysmith Road, Leicester, LE18 4UZ
Understanding Personalisation – find out how the social care system can work for you, and the choices that are available to you

To find out more call Debbie on 0116 251 0999 or email [email protected]

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Dementia Awareness Event - 11 December

Dementia Friends are holding a free Dementia Awareness Event on Wednesday 11 December from 2pm to 4pm in the Youth Wing of the Methodist Church on Northampton Road in Market Harborough, LE16 9HE.

Anyone is welcome to go along to the event which will include Laughter Yoga and an introduction to the Memory Lane reminiscence project, run by the charity behind Support for Carers, Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL).

Dementia Friends is an initiative by the Alzheimer’s Society. Dementia Friends Champions run information sessions to help you understand what it’s like to live with dementia and the actions you can take. Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend and you don’t need any previous experience or knowledge of dementia.

To find out more and to book your free place at the event  please get in touch with Rachel Burley (Memory Advisor) on 0116 231 6921 or Alison Chaplin (Volunteering Officer) on 0116 231 6922 or visit the Dementia Friends website

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Name change and new activities for Dementia cafe in Harborough

In October, the independent dementia charity, Dementia cafe Market Harborough, changed its name to Dementia Harborough and agreed a new and substantial sponsorship deal with Midlands Co-Operative Society and Co-operative Funeralcare for 2013/14.

Now run by 13 locally-based Trustees, the charity's old name no longer reflected the wide range of services provided to those with dementia and their carers and families, including: 

A close working relationship with NHS Community Mental Health Service means that expert dementia advice and signposting is also available at almost all of the charity's activities.

Dementia Harborough has also been approached to help with the support and establishment of new independent, community-based, community managed dementia services in the county with a new dementia café starting in Thurmaston and on-going discussions with groups in Rushden, Uppingham and Oakham.

Chair of Trustees Steve Kendall said:

“We've spent time this summer organising and developing the services we offer to those with dementia, their carers and families in Harborough District.  We are now on a strong footing and have the vision for developing a long term plan to ensure that Dementia Harborough and its services continue for a long time to come.”

You can find out more on the charity's website or by calling Steve or Jean Kendall on 01858 463754.

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Befriending Week Coffee Morning - 5th November

Come along to our coffee morning on Tuesday 5th November at the Methodist Church Youth Wing, Northampton Road, Market Harborough  from 9.30am to 12 noon and help us celebrate national Befriending Week, which runs from 2 to 9 November. 

We'll be promoting the good work that our volunteer Befrienders do for isolated people in the area and talking about our Befriending schemes. 

We'll also be selling our booklet 'Bake for Befriending' which includes some favourite cake recipes sent in by our Befriending volunteers and the people they visit. 

We hope to see you there! 

More about Befriending Week 

Befriending Week has two aims: 

To raise awareness of the issue of loneliness in our society 

To promote the great work of befriending services across the UK 

Around the UK, thousands of volunteer befrienders support a huge range of people who, for one reason or another, are isolated and need somebody in their life just for themselves. Volunteer befrienders provide a listening ear, companionship, and encouragement to try new activities. For many, they mitigate the effect of loneliness, giving their 'befriendee' something to look forward to, and a new purpose to their life.

How our Befrienders are making a difference 

"I look forward to him coming. We speak a lot, he's perfect. We really enjoy each other's company. I think the service is great and my Befriender is great. Thank you for picking him for me."

"I feel as though I have known my Befriender for years.  Her calls always lift my spirits, she remembers the smallest details about my family life."

If you're interested in volunteering as a Befriender or you'd like to refer someone to our schemes please call Hilary Dunsmore on 01858 439269 or Diane Claridge on 0845 689 9510. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or [email protected]

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VASL event - 27th September

Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL), the charity who runs Support for Carers, is holding an event on 27th September and carers and cared for are very welcome to come along.

The event will include the chance to find out more about VASL's projects as well as the charity's Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

All the details are below. Alternatively, click to download a PDF version of the invite and a Microsoft Word version of the AGM Notice

We look forward to seeing you there! 

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Have your say!

The Improved Access to Psychological Therapies Service (IAPT) is a service for people over 16 years of age living in Leicestershire County and Rutland, who are feeling troubled, stressed, anxious or depressed.

It offers patients a trained therapist to talk to, who can also direct them to other support and services that are available.

The IAPT service in Leicestershire County and Rutland was set up in 2009. However, the currently commissioned service comes to a natural end on the 31st March 2014.

East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group will be re-procuring the service. This will mean putting the current service provision out to tender, to enable many different service providers to submit their proposals to be considered as prospective deliverers of the service.

As part of this process one of the elements that the CCGs are being asked to consider is how the service currently works with patients and other groups. They want to seek views from service users, the public and voluntary organisations, about what they would like to be taken into consideration when their new IAPT service is being developed. As such, there will be a number of questions that they would like your comments and feedback on as part of the session.

They are holding two events to discuss the current Improved Access to Psychological Therapies Service. These events will take place on:

Friday 16th August 2013

From 10am – 12pm at The Ramada Jarvis, Loughborough (click here for directions) and from 3pm – 5pm at the Innovation Centre, Market Harborough (click here for directions)

If you would like to attend either of these events please contact [email protected] stating which venue you would prefer to attend.

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Giving young carers a break

To celebrate Carers Week in Leicestershire, our Young Carers Activity Group held a 'BBQ and Bouncy Castle' evening at The Satellite Centre on Wednesday 12th June and we thought you'd like to see some pictures. 

The BBQ was kindly sponsored by Sainsbury’s in Market Harborough and a bouncy castle (and 'Gladiators' style inflatable pugil) was funded through Harborough District Council’s Positive Activities for Young People money.

In spite of a drenching downpour halfway through the evening, a constant supply of burgers, sausages and chicken barbecued by our willing volunteer Filipa kept our spirits up.

The bouncy castle was incredibly popular although the adults found it much more exhausting than they remembered from childhood!

Hannah, our Young Carers Project Worker, said:

"Although we try to give our young carers a fun evening once a fortnight anyway, it's refreshing to be able to do something out of the ordinary once in a while. Carer's Week was the perfect excuse to celebrate everything these young people do for their families."

Feedback afterwards was incredibly positive - one young carer told us:

"I loved it last night - it was ggggrreat!"

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What’s it like volunteering with us?

We couldn't run our Support for Carers project without the help of our wonderful volunteers. Below, you can read what two of our office volunteers, Tracy and Alison, like about volunteering with us. 

"I absolutely LOVE being a volunteer at VASL, all the members of staff are fantastic. The work that Support for Carers and Social Transport do at VASL is vital to the Leicestershire area and it's great being part of the team.  I look forward to my Friday’s every week.  Thank you VASL for letting me be part of the team!"

"I used to work for VASL's Social Transport project but left last year to study full time. Once my studies had finished I realised how much I missed working in the voluntary sector and especially missed the caring environment as well as the staff and other volunteers.  I decided to volunteer one day per week to help in the Support for Carers office. This area of VASL is very close to my heart as my Mum was terminally ill last year and my sister gave up her job to care for her in the last few months of her life.  I saw first-hand the impact caring had upon my sister and her commitment and realised how important supporting carers was.  Since volunteering in the Support for Carers office I have really enjoyed not only working with a great bunch of people but also the contact I have with various carers around Leicestershire, which makes me feel like I am doing a worthwhile job." 

If you'd like to find out more about volunteering with us, please feel free to give us a call on 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates) or email [email protected]

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Harborough & District Mind - new website

If you experience mental health problems or you care for someone who does, you may like to know that Harborough & District Mind have launched a new website featuring the activities they run in the area.

We hope you find it useful.

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Community Energy Champions needed in Harborough

The Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland) and Papworth Trust are looking for people to become community energy champions in Harborough, to help spread the word about grants and services that can help those in fuel poverty.

They’re holding an energy advice session on June 4th from 2pm to 4pm at the Papworth Trust, Kibworth Business Park, 10 Nursery Court, Kibworth, LE8 0EX. Anyone is welcome to go along, especially people who work, volunteer or come into contact with those at risk of fuel poverty including carers.

Diana Cook from the Rural Community Council explains:

“Energy prices have risen sharply and are likely to rise still further. This is having an effect on the most vulnerable in our society who are also often the people who do not ask for help. By spreading information widely among those who come across vulnerable people we hope to be able to ensure that more people have access to help and support that they need so that they can take advantage of the initiatives available.”

The session will cover fuel poverty, fuel costs, energy efficiency and advice, reducing heat loss, heating and domestic water controls, controls and appliances and where to go for further assistance and advice. Places are limited so please call or email to book your place.

Call: Diana Cook on (0116) 2689706

Email: [email protected]

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Volunteers needed for charity Christmas lunch

Margaret and Mike Bowers from the Salvation Army in Market Harborough are looking for volunteers to help them provide Christmas lunch for people who would otherwise be alone at Christmas.

Volunteers are needed to help with all kinds of tasks, from vegetable preparation to cooking, transport and serving at the table. The event will run from first thing Christmas Day morning through to around tea-time at the Methodist Church.

Margaret and Mike are keen to hear from people who can help during the day, for a few hours in the morning or afternoon, or with the planning leading up to the event. If you’d like to get involved, you can go along to the first planning meeting for the event on 5th June from 7.30pm at the Methodist Church, to see what’s being planned, without having to commit yourself.

To find out more:

Call: John Stride on 01858 468 136
Email: [email protected]

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Dementia awareness events

Organisations including the Alzheimer's Society, Dementia Action Alliance, Leicestershire Constabulary, Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council have come together to hold dementia awareness events around the county throughout May. 

The events will promote the Alzheimer's Society 'Dementia Friendly Communities' and 'Dementia Friends' initiatives, as well as safety in the community and local services supporting people with dementia and their carers. Dementia Friends information sessions will also be available at each event, you can find out more and register at 

Market Harborough - Thursday 23 May, 10.30am to 1.30pm, The Three Swans Hotel, Main St, Market Harborough, LE16 7NJ

Hinckley - Tuesday 21 May, 10.30am to 1.30pm, The Atkins Building, Lower Bond St, Hinckley, LE10 1QU

Leicester City - Wednesday 22 May, 4pm to 7pm, Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Leicester, LE1 9BG

To find out more, please call the Leicestershire and Rutland branch of the Alzheimer's Society on 0116 231 1111.

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Pampering sessions for carers - book now!

We're very pleased to say we've been given funding to continue our pampering sessions for carers - offering complementary therapies like massage (back, neck and shoulders), Reflexology, Indian head massage and Reiki. 

Funding for the project has come from several sources including The Market Harborough and the Bowdens Charity, Leicestershire County Council (Shire Grant) and Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation (Meggitt Trust Fund), together with donations from carers themselves. 

Treatments are free, but we ask carers for a voluntary donation of £5 to £10 - to show funders that we're also raising our own funds for the project. 

Sessions will be held at the St John's Ambulance Headquarters, Abbey Street, Market Harborough on 14th May, 11th June, 9th July, 13th August and 10th September, run by professionally qualified therapists. 

Please note: sessions are by appointment only and due to their popularity, we won't be able to take bookings more than two months in advance, to make sure everyone has the opportunity to receive a treatment. Sessions run from 9.50am to 12.30pm and appointments can be made within these times, with each treatment lasting around 30 to 40 minutes. 

Refreshments will also be available. 

To find out more or to book an appointment please call Diane Claridge from Support for Carers on 0845 689 9510 or email [email protected]


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New venue for revamped Alzheimer’s support group

There's a story in today's Harborough Mail which we thought it would be useful to pass on: 

A new venue and a relaunch has been announced for a carers’ support group in Harborough.

The Alzheimer’s Society group, for carers of people with dementia in Market Harborough, is relocating and is being re-launched by the charity.

The peer support group, which previously met at Harborough Congregational Church, will now meet at Harborough Methodist Church in Northampton Road on the first Friday of every month, from 10am to midday.

Group sessions provide an opportunity for carers to socialise and get much-needed face-to-face support. The relaunched group next meets this Friday (April 5) and will include a guest speaker from a local pharmacy.

In the next few months the group will hear from a variety of guest speakers, including health and social care professionals and representatives from the community about topics and services relevant to them.

Click here to read the article in full

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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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Would you like to volunteer and support young carers?

Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) is looking for a volunteer to help run its Young Carers Activity Group, based in Market Harborough. The Young Carers Activity Group is a sister project to Support for Carers. 

The role will involve supporting a fortnightly evening group for young carers aged from 12 to 17, helping to run activities like cooking and games.

You'll also help new members settle in and make friends and plan new activities and ideas for the group.

You'll be asked to attend a Steering Group around three times a year to help shape the future of the group and to help out on occasional outings such as trips to theme parks.

If you're interested in working with young carers and have the confidence and skill to deliver simple activities then this could be the role for you.

You'll need to provide references and agree to a CRB (police) check before starting. In return for your time, we offer free Safeguarding training and one to one support plus valuable, rewarding work experience and lots of fun.

The role is unpaid but reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

To find out more take a look at the Role Description or call Hannah Currington on 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates) or email [email protected]

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Memory Lane - new project for people with memory loss

An exciting new project aimed at supporting people with memory loss and their carers is due to come to the Harborough District thanks to innovation funding from Leicestershire County Council.

The Memory Lane scheme, run by Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL), in partnership with Seven Locks Housing, will provide weekly reminiscence sessions in pop-up pods designed to look like familiar rooms of yesteryear.

The reminiscence pods (RemPods) are portable ‘rooms’ that will be erected for activity sessions at three sheltered housing schemes in the Harborough District. Pod themes include a 1950s living room, an old pub and an old shop.

The 1950s living room features authentic furniture, wallpaper, a stock of period newspapers and a fully working record player, television and radio (all fitted with modern digital technology).

The pub has been created as a fun meeting place and to encourage people with memory loss to drink more fluids (non alcoholic). It features classic pub furniture, pub games including tabletop skittles, and period music.

The shop features an old-fashioned counter, working cash register and products from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Each pod will be set up in the community lounges of the following Seven Locks sheltered housing schemes:

• Huntingdon Gardens, Market Harborough
• Brookside Gardens, Fleckney
• Naseby Square, Market Harborough

The sessions will be open to anyone with memory loss and their carers – you don't need to be a resident at the Seven Locks sheltered housing venues.

A project co-ordinator from VASL will conduct weekly two-hour sessions in the reminiscence pods at each venue. Activities will include singing, arts and crafts, games, group discussions, memoir work and cooking.

Memory Lane Co-ordinator, Alex Reffell, is an experienced activities’ leader with specialist knowledge of working with people with memory loss and dementia.

To find out more about the Memory Lane project, which is due to start in March 2013, please contact Alex on 01858 433232 or email [email protected]

VASL is looking for volunteers to help run Memory Lane

VASL is keen to recruit a dedicated team of Memory Lane Volunteers to help run sessions and activities in the pop-up reminiscence rooms. You’ll be given training and support in reminiscence work, so this is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience, whilst helping to improve the lives of others.

To find out more please call 01858 433232.

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Important news from Harborough District Council - Welfare benefit changes

Do you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit from Harborough District Council?

As you may know, The Welfare Reform Bill became law in March 2012. Through this Bill, the government is introducing a range of reforms that will change the benefits and tax credits systems. 

Below, are some of the key changes being made to welfare benefits by Harborough District Council, as a result of the Bill. 

Housing Benefit

From 1st April, Housing Benefit will be reduced if a claimant of working age is considered to live in a home that has more bedrooms than they and/or their family need. The criteria for how many bedrooms a family requires is set by the Department of Work and Pensions. Under the new rules, ONE bedroom is needed for each single person (16 years+), couple, two children 10 years and under (regardless of sex) or two children up to 16 years (same sex). If a person or family has more bedrooms than needed, their Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14% if they have one extra bedroom or by 25% if they have two or more extra bedrooms. 

All claimants have been advised of the changes, as have landlords, and it's thought the change will affect around 260 households in Harborough District. 

Please note: Pensioners will be except from this change. 

Council Tax 

From 1st April, Council Tax Benefit is being replaced with a local Council Tax Support Scheme. Anyone of working age, who claims Council Tax Support, will have to contributute a minimum of 15% towards their Council Tax under this new scheme. This change is likely to affect around 1,650 people in Harborough District and you should have had an information leaflet from the Council explaining the scheme. 

Please note: Pensioners and War Widows will be protected from any changes. 

Other changes to Council Tax include: 

The Second Adult Rebate Scheme is being stopped so there is no discount if someone has a second adult on a low income or in receipt of benefits living in their home. 

Property owners will have reduced exemptions on buildings that are unoccupied or undergoing major structural repairs. These are currently known as Class A & C excemptions. If this change affects you, you should have had a letter from the Council explaining the new exemptions. 

To find out more about any of the changes above please visit the Council's website or call them on 01858 828 282. 

If you'd like to know more about Welfare Reform and how it may affect you, here's a useful guide from Carers UK


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Timebank to be launched in Lutterworth

A Timebank is being launched later this year in Lutterworth, but what exactly is a Timebank? 

Timebanking is based on the fact that everyone has something to offer - whether it's a skill such as gardening, baking or being a good listener or a little time to help someone else, with shopping or a lift for example. 

In return for sharing your skills or time, free of charge, you can earn 'credits', to spend on free help of your own. 

As you can imagine, it's a great way to 'pay' for things you may not be able to afford otherwise, whilst meeting new people, learning new things and feeling as if you're making a difference in your community. 

How does it work? 

Timebanking values all hours equally - 1 hour of time = 1 time credit. It doesn't matter what you do, every 'skill' is considered equal. For example, an older person may want some help with learning how to use their new television. They would ask a Timebank 'broker' who would in turn ask Timebank members if they could help. Let's say a young unemployed person with some spare time on their hands offers to help for an hour. In return, they would earn 1 time credit. The young person could then use their time credit to get help with writing their CV or interview techniques, from another member of the Timebank with relevant skills. And so on...

This is just an example, you can ask the Timebank for help with all kinds of things, and offer all kinds of things in return. It may be as simple as going for coffee with someone who needs a little company, you don't necessarily have to have any particular skills. 

In short, you'll be able to get things done for yourself or in your home, whilst meeting new people and supporting others, all without money. 

All Timebank members will be vetted and CRB (police) checked and will include individuals, local businesses and organisations.

To find out more and to join the Timebank please call James O'Flynn on 0116 3059212 or email [email protected]

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Harborough District Voluntary Sector Support Forum

Carers' groups are welcome to attend the Harborough District Voluntary Sector Support Forum on Thursday 14th March from 9.30am to 12.30pm in the Youth Wing of the Methodist Church on Northampton Road in Market Harborough (run by VASL - Voluntary Action South Leicestershire). 

The forum is a chance for local community groups to get together and share experiences and discuss topics of interest. 

Nickie Philbin from VASL will be giving a talk called 'Heads up on Funding' and in addition you'll be able to find out more about the Billesdon Good Neighbour Scheme.

Voluntary Action Leicestershire (VAL) will also be there to tell you about some changes they're making to the services they provide. VAL has recently been re-awarded the contract for providing infrastructure support services to voluntary and community (VCS) groups in Leicestershire.  They would like to ask you what you think about some of their services including their online directory and training, together with VAL news and e-briefing. They would also like your feedback on the opportunities and barriers you experience when accessing their services. 

Please do try and attend if you can as this is your opportunity to influence future planning in your community!

To book a place or for more information please contact Joanne March on 01858 433232 or email [email protected]

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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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Harborough District Voluntary Sector Support Forum - 13th December

A forum for voluntary/community groups in Harborough District is taking place on Thursday 13th December from 9.30am to 12.30pm at the Youth Wing, Methodist Church, Northampton Road, Market Harborough. 

The forum will give local groups, including carers' groups, the chance to get together and share experiences and discuss topics of interest. 

The theme for this forum is Older People and guest speakers will include Simon Lawrence, Programme Director for the Community Budget at Leicestershire County Council who'll be talking about the 'Ageing Well Review'.

The forum will also be a chance to find out about local projects, including Voluntary Action Leicestershire's Older People's Project and Voluntary Action South Leicestershire's Older Person's Befriending Scheme. 

To find out more and to book a place please call Joanne March on 01858 433 232 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 - please feel free to take part and leave your views.

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Singing for Memories - group for people with memory problems & their carers

If you care for someone with memory problems why not go along to the Singing for Memories group in Market Harborough and enjoy an afternoon of singing and music? 

The group is run in partnership with the Dementia Cafe in Market Harborough and meets at St Dionysius Community Hall on Coventry Road, next to the Market Harborough Medical Centre, on the first Tuesday of every month from 2pm to 3.30pm. 

It offers an opportunity for people with memory problems and their carers and families to spend quality time together, whilst making new friends and sharing experiences. 

The group will meet next on 6th November, 4th December, 8th January and 5th February. 

To find out more please call Jean Kendall on 01858 463 754 or Christine Saint on 01858 433774 or email [email protected]

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Market Harborough Medical Centre Open Day - 10th Nov

Market Harborough Medical Centre is having an Open Day on Saturday 10th November from 10am to 2pm.

Anyone is welcome to go along to find out more about the Centre's services and services offered by other local organisations including Support for Carers, Acupuncture, Dieting, Physical Activity, Counselling, Home Care, Diabetes, Private Healthcare, Nursing Home Care, Nutrition, Dementia, Chiropractics, how to stay warm this winter and how you can have your say and help shape local health services.

Pop in anytime between 10am and 2pm - the Centre is at 67 Coventry Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9BX. 

Click here to download the event poster

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Carers’ Coffee Morning - 26th October

Come along to our Carers' Coffee Morning on Friday 26th October from 10am to 12 noon to help raise funds for Support for Carers - which will go towards helping carers in the county. 

It's at The Settling Rooms Coffee Lounge in Market Harborough (in Sainsbury's car park). 

The lovely ladies from our Knit and Natter group have been busy knitting items to sell at the coffee morning. Plus, there'll be home made cakes, books, quality bric-a-brac and a Tombola. 

If you're in the area please feel free to pop in for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat. 

If you're able to donate any items for our stalls (including cakes) please bring them along to The Settling Rooms on Wednesday 24th or Thursday 25th October. 

Many thanks for your help! 

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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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What local activities would you like for disabled children & young people?

Do you care for a child or young person with a disability and live in the Harborough District? 

Harborough District Council is keen to find out what sort of leisure activities children and young people with disabilities enjoy now, or what they would enjoy doing activity-wise if it was available. 

Children, young people and carers can have their say via the Council's online survey.

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Information Day for older people - keeping your independence

The Autumn Leaves Group is holding an Information Day at Roman Way Day Centre for Older People, 36 Roman Way, Market Harborough, LE16 7PQ on 20th September from 10am to 1.30pm.

The theme of the event is 'keeping your independence' and anyone is welcome to go along including carers. You'll be able to pick up information about things like how to prevent falls, home care, assistive technology and benefits, and talk to local organisations like Vista

To find out more please call Lesley Barker on 0116 305 3388. 

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A date for your diary - Carers’ Coffee Morning

We're holding a Carers' Coffee Morning on Friday 26th October in Market Harborough if you'd like to come along? 

It's from 10am to 12 noon at The Settling Rooms Coffee Lounge (in Sainsburys car park).

As well as being a chance to meet us and other carers, the lovely ladies from the Market Harborough Knit and Natter group have been busy knitting items to sell, to raise funds for our Carers' Pampering Sessions. The sessions aim to boost carers' health and wellbeing - if you live in Market Harborough District and you'd like to know more please call Diane from Support for Carers on 0845 689 9510. 

They'll also be delicious home-made cakes on sale, as well as Bric-a-Brac, books and a Tombola - with all money raised going to support our Carers' Pampering Sessions. 

If you have any items you'd like to donate - such as good quality Bric-a-Bac, books or prizes for the Tombola please give us a call on 0845 689 9510.

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‘Hats On’ for a weekend walk with a difference

Active Together Harborough is inviting carers and cared for to join them on a weekend walk on Saturday 23rd June, to show support for Harborough District Council's 'Embracing Difference' campaign. 

The campaign aims to celebrate our differences: 'we are all different and may come from a different race, religion or background or we may be able bodied or have a disability, but we should embrace these differences to get the best outcome for all.' 

You can find out more about the campaign on the Embracing Difference website. 

If you'd like to join the walk, you can meet Active Together Harborough in the Square, Market Harborough at 10am on Saturday, for a choice of walks, either a leisurely stroll lasting around an hour, or a more challenging 3 mile walk. There will also be a wide variety of events held in the Square, with plenty to do for both adults and children. 

The theme of the walks is 'hats' on' - so come along on the day wearing a hat of your choice - top hats, cowboy hats, bobble hats, baseball caps...any type of hat is welcome. What will your hat say about you? 

To find out more please call the Active Together team on 01858 828282 or email [email protected]

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Free suicide awareness training - 20th April

Are you worried about someone who may be at risk of suicide or would you like to raise your awareness about it?

The Suicide Awareness Partnership Training (SAPT) project offers free training in suicide awareness throughout the East Midlands, including Leicestershire - with the aim of increasing awareness and helping to remove the stigma which can be a barrier for those in need of help. 

The next free training session for Leicestershire is on Friday 20th April from 9am to 12.45pm at Foxton Village Hall, Middle Street, Foxton, Leicestershire, LE16 7RE. 

Anyone is welcome to attend the event whether you're worried about someone who may be at risk of suicide and you'd like to know how you might be able to help, or you'd like to find out more about likely suicide risk factors and warning signs, or you just want to understand more and raise your own awareness. The training will also explore attitudes to suicide and the myths surrounding it. 

The event will include refreshments and a buffet lunch (at 12.45pm). 

Although the training is free places are likely to be limited so please book your place in advance by calling Mike Wilbur on 0116 268 9712 or email [email protected].

Alternatively, click here to download a booking form

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Your chance to have a say on local community hospitals - 1st May

The Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust is inviting carers and cared for to a public forum on 1st May to hear about its plans for community hospitals in the future. 

There are two opportunities to attend the event, which will include a presentation about the proposed future vision and 'brand' for the in-patient services provided by community hospitals in Leicestershire and Rutland. 

Some work has already taken place to review what the hospitals do and identify potential areas for improvment. The work has also looked at the image and reputation of the hospitals and how well their role in the care of older people is understood. 

The review has resulted in recommendations that the Trust would like to share with you, so that it can capture your thoughts and feedback on the proposed way forward.

The event will be held at 2.30pm on Tuesday 1st May at the Coalville Community Hospital (Training Room), Broom Leys Road, Coalville, LE67 4DE and at 6pm on Tuesday 1st May in the Coffee Bar at the Settling Rooms, St Mary's Place, Market Harborough. 

Refreshments will be provided and forms will be available should you wish to claim travelling expenses. 

To confirm a place at the event please contact Bernadette Somerset on 0116 295 7689 or email [email protected]

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From computers to exercise - discover more at the Bassett Centre

If you're keen to get online why not go along to an Internet Event being held at the Bassett Centre, Bassett Street, South Wigston, LE18 2PE on 25th April from 9.30am to 12 noon.

The event is for everyone including older people and you'll be able to learn about using the internet for keeping in touch, shopping, finding information, entertainment and new interests.

Plus you'll be able to have a go at using Skype, email and looking for bargains, researching holidays and family history.

You'll also be able to learn about trying different equipment such as desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, tablets and smart phones.

Simply come along on the day to find out more! 

The Bassett Centre also runs regular computer classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am to 12 noon at a cost of £3 per class which includes refreshments. Simply turn up or to find out more call Sue on 278 4230. 

The Bassett Centre offers a range of other activities too - such as gentle seated exercise on Mondays from 2pm to 2.45pm at a cost of £4 per session or 3 sessions for £10. Call Nicky on 07882284564 to find out more. 

Click here to visit the Bassett Centre website for a full list of activities on offer

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Group for disabled adults in Harborough

If you care for a physically or sensory disabled adult and live in Market Harborough why not encourage them to go along to the Alternative Choices group?

It meets on Thursdays from 10am to 2pm at the Evangelical Church on Bath Street and is very much guided by its members. For example, it has speakers, music and crafts and occasional outings.

The group has the benefit of two carers and some great volunteer helpers. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided, but lunch is not included in the cost. Transport may be available. 

To find out more email [email protected] or call Fiona on 01858 433232.

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Do you attend the Coping with Cancer group in Harborough? It’s moved!

Please note, the Coping with Cancer complementary therapy support group in Harborough now meets at Lubenham Village Hall, Laughton Road, Lubenham, Market Harborough on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 1.30pm to 4pm.

If you haven't been before, Coping with Cancer is a local charity offering practical and emotional support to cancer patients and their carers in Leicestershire and Rutland. The charity runs complementary therapy support groups in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, offering aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage and Reiki. Treatments and refreshments are free of charge.

To find out more call Lucy on 0116 223 0055 or visit the Coping with Cancer website

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Did you know there’s a free library home delivery service in Market Harborough?

If you or the person you care for enjoys reading or listening to books but can no longer get to the library, Market Harborough Library has the answer. 

They offer a well-established home delivery service for people living within Market Harborough, which is run by volunteers. 

You can have books and other library items delivered to you at home free of charge including books in both ordinary and large print, talking books on CD and now DVDs (for a one-off annual payment). 

There is no complicated joining procedure either! 

To find out more and to see if you're eligible for the scheme please call Gail or Amy at Market Harborough Library on 0116 305 3636. 

General Library Information  

Market Harborough Library
Adam & Eve Street
Market Harborough
LE16 7LT
Tel. 0116 305 3627
Fax: 01858 467875                

Opening Times

Monday  9.30am–8pm
Tuesday 9.30am–8pm
Wednesday 9.30am–5.30pm
Thursday 9.30am–8pm
Friday 9.30am–5.30 pm
Saturday 9.30am–5pm

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Event for carers and carers’ groups

As you may know, the Support for Carers service is run by Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL). 

VASL also runs the Harborough District Voluntary Sector Support Forum - which gives local voluntary groups the chance to get together and share experiences and discuss topics of interest.

On Thursday 12th January 2012 the Forum will be meeting to discuss 'how to engage with the new Health Structures'. 

For example, the event will look at how the NHS is moving towards GP-led groups commissioning healthcare services and what this means for voluntary groups, such as local carers' groups. 

Carers are very welcome to attend the event, especially if you run a carers' group or are thinking of setting one up. 

The event is on from 10.30am to 1pm at The Settling Rooms, St Mary's Place, Market Harborough and guest speakers will be on hand to answer your questions including: 

Ben Smith - Voluntary Action Leicestershire Health and Social Care Policy Team
Sarah Hill - Harborough District and County Councillor
A Representative from Market Harborough Medical Centre
Saima Khan - Policy Officer, Leicestershire Link and Healthwatch 

To book a place or for more information please contact:

Joanne March on 01858 433232 or email [email protected]


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Beginners badminton & other fun ways to keep fit!

Active Together is a Leicestershire-wide initiative to provide adults aged 16+ with opportunities to get active and improve their health and well-being. 

For example, Active Together is offering 'No Strings' badminton sessions for all every Tuesday from 11am to 12 noon at Harborough Leisure Centre, Northampton Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9HF. 

You can come and learn to play badminton at your own pace and players of all ages and abilities are welcome - even if you've not picked up a racket before. Active Together can provide rackets and shuttlecocks if you need them. 

Each session costs just £1 per person. 

As well as badminton, Active Together also offers other fun, affordable activities such as dancing, walking and jogging. 

To find out more please call Sandra or Zoe (Physical Activity Development Officers) on 01858 828282 or email [email protected] 

You can also contact Sandra or Zoe to be put on the mailing list to receive an electronic copy of Active Together's 'Let's Get Moving' newsletter or search for 'Active Together Harborough' on Facebook. 

View or download more information about 'No Strings' badminton sessions

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New workshops from Mind in Harborough

Would you like help to keep your mind as well as your body healthy?

Or support to understand your mental health and wellbeing including depression, anxiety, panic attacks or why you reach for the biscuit tin when you're feeling stressed? 

Harborough & District Mind, a local branch of the UK's leading mental health charity, is holding workshops covering the following topics:  

Understanding your Mental Health

Overcoming Depression, Anxiety & Panic Attacks

Food & Mood

Anger Management & Emotional Wellbeing

Assertiveness & Learning How to Say No

Healthy Mind & Healthy Body

What Keeps Us Well & Coping Strategies

The workshops will run weekly for 8 weeks, starting on Tuesday 21st Feburary from 9.30am to 12.30pm during term time only at the Congregational Church Hall, Bowden Lane, Market Harborough. 

To find out more please call Debra Giulietti on 07788180490 or email [email protected]

View or download the poster as a Word document

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Relaxation classes to help carers in Harborough

According to many experts, relaxation is one of the most effective ways of preventing and coping with stress and anxiety whilst helping you to unwind from the day's events and fall asleep easily. 

To help you learn more about relaxation techniques including meditation why not go along to a special class for carers? 

It runs on the 4th Thursday of each month from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Evangelical Church on Bath Street in Market Harborough - in the 'Cozy Lounge' (Room 4).

To find out more about the class please call us on 0845 689 9510 or email [email protected]

To find out more about relaxation in general please visit the BBC Health website

If you know of other similar activities in your area please feel free to get in touch. 

Many thanks! 

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Older Persons’ Fayre - 20th September

In honour of Older Persons' Month, Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) is holding a free Older Persons' Fayre on Tuesday 20th September from 11am to 3pm at the Methodist Church on Northampton Road in Market Harborough.

You'll be able to meet Harborough's Active Together Team, who organise healthy walks and activities in the area; find out about small grants available to buy essential items such as washing machines; and learn more about the services available from your local library and our Handy Persons' Scheme.

Plus they'll be refreshments available throughout the day. Entry is free and you're welcome to come along anytime between 11am and 3pm. 

To find out more take a look at the Event Poster or call VASL on 01858 433232 or email [email protected]

If you live in Market Harborough and you'd like to pop in to find out more, VASL is based in The Settling Rooms, St Mary's Place (near Sainsbury's). 

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Walks on your doorstep - free guides available

Leicestershire County Council and Harborough District Council have teamed up to publish a guide featuring ten short walks in Market Harborough, Lubenham and Foxton. 

Each walk is between one and six miles and the guide features maps, directions and grades for each walk so you can choose which walk is suitable for you. The walks are open to walkers of all abilities, with four of the walks being pushchair/wheelchair friendly and three of the walks taking in a play area. They also focus on the history of Market Harborough and its surrounding villages. 

The guide is the latest in a series of guides called 'Strolls on your doorstep' - which cover Hinckley and Burbage, Loughborough, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, North of Leicester, Oadby and Wigston and West of Leicester. 

The idea of the guides is to help people walk in their local area - for fitness, health and fun. They cover everything from a ten minute stroll around a local park to rambles in the countryside. 

You can pick up the guides free from County and City libraries, Local Council Offices, Service Shops and Tourist Information Centres. 

Alternatively, please call 0116 305 0001 or email [email protected] or visit the Leicestershire County Council website

If you live in the Harborough District you can also find out more on the Harborough District Council website or call the Active Together team on 01858 828282. 

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Older Persons’ Month - Health Awareness Event in Harborough

September is Older Persons' Month in Leicestershire and there's a whole range of events coming up across the county - including leisure, sporting and health promotion days.

Diabetes and Sight Loss 

One of these events is an information event where you can find out more about diabetes and the various health problems which can arise from diabetes, if left untreated. Vista, a Leicestershire charity that helps people with sight loss, will be running a special session on the link between diabetes and sight loss. 

Anyone is welcome to attend the event, including older people and their carers. It's taking place on Tuesday 27th September from 1.00pm to 3.00pm at Market Harborough Baptist Church, 25 Coventry Road, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 8BX. 

To find out more and to book your place please call Kamini Patel on 0116 229 3029 or email [email protected]

Look out for more information on Older Persons' Month  in your local library, GP surgery or Age Concern or take a look at the Older Persons' Booklet 2011 - it's packed full of useful information for older people as well as details of events taking place throughout September.

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Lutterworth social club looking for new members

The Lutterworth Gateway Club is looking for new members.

The social club is part of Mencap and is for people with learning disabilities. The club meets at the Town Hall in Lutterworth - every other Friday from 7.00pm until 9.00pm.

It also runs activities and events for members throughout the year, including bowling, going to the cinema, eating out, canal boat trips, BBQs, walks and lots more. The club costs just £3 per session which includes a cup of tea or coffee or juice and biscuits. 

If you'd like to find out more please call Chris Gilbert on 07710 514243 or Tina Chidlow on 01858 880538. 

The club is also looking for volunteers to help out at meetings and with activities and events. 

If you'd like to find out more or help the club raise funds, why not go along to the club's fundraising coffee morning on Thursday 25th August from 9.30am to 12.00 noon at the Lutterworth Town Hall?

Do you know of more clubs like this one?

Please let us know by leaving details below or by calling us on 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates) or by emailing [email protected]

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Care home in Harborough under investigation

The Lutterworth Mail reports that an investigation has been launched by police and social services at the Beech House Care Home on Great Bowden Road in Harborough, which closed last week. 

The care home specialised in help for people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. 

It's thought that a member of staff at the care home raised concerns, which led to the investigation being launched. 

The matter is also being looked into by the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator for health and social care in the UK. 

Read the full story in the Lutterworth Mail 

If you have any concerns about this story or you've been affected in some way please feel free to get in touch and we'll do our best to help. 


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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.