Freedom to Be – supporting shielding patients with creativity


The Freedom to Be programme was rapidly co-designed and delivered by the Free Space Project in the summer of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, in response to an urgent request by two GPs to support “shielding” patients in Camden. These patients were defined at being at high risk of complications if they were to contract Coronavirus, and therefore extremely vulnerable and were required to shield and self-isolate. The Free Space Project are the in-house arts and community charity based within Kentish Town Health Centre in London. The charity came together with GPs across two of their supporting surgeries to creatively [...]

Freedom to Be – supporting shielding patients with creativity2021-07-13T12:57:02+01:00

Share and Care Homeshare – providing affordable companionship and help


Share and Care Homeshare was established in 2006 to address a growing need for affordable companionship and practical help. Below is what inspired Caroline Cooke to launch this very helpful initiative. When my father was diagnosed with dementia my mother was his primary carer, which left her feeling low, tired and isolated, despite the support of family and friends. Being his carer was a tiring role, particularly as his illness progressed. My mother did not want to leave him alone at home for more than brief periods. She became very restricted and had to rely on friends and [...]

Share and Care Homeshare – providing affordable companionship and help2021-02-23T10:23:53+00:00

Fostering ‘Response-ability’


Maintaining Resilience and Wellbeing in the face of a public health crisis: Fostering ‘Response-ability’ by remembering that we are capable of choosing our response to challenging situations. This is based on Epictetus’ understanding that ‘People are disturbed not by things but by the view they take of them.’ Hence, the key to emotional intelligence and wellbeing is not to avoid challenging situations; but rather to choose an effective attitude towards them. This insight is the basis of the A-B-C Model of Emotional Health: ‘A’ = the ‘Activating Event’ eg. Change in working patterns due to the corona virus [...]

Fostering ‘Response-ability’2021-02-15T11:00:32+00:00

Getting involved in my community turned my life around


About four years ago, I was sitting at home contemplating the fact that I had nothing to look forward to other than really waiting to die. I was a full-time carer to my very disabled husband and had significant health problems such as COPD, asthma and angina and had totally written myself off. I couldn’t be bothered to go out, to see anyone, to engage with anyone, and on reflection I think I was probably very very depressed. The only activity that I had which I enjoyed was taking my little dog, Pip, who was a registered pets [...]

Getting involved in my community turned my life around2021-06-01T12:22:43+01:00

Goldies Live – fun, free sing-a-longs from the sofa


The Goldies Charity are well known and loved for our daytime Sing&Smile sessions. These sessions, prior to the lockdown, numbered 220 groups across England and Wales, reaching 3500 people every month. These fun social sing-a-long sessions, alongside intergenerational activities, Age Awareness days, concerts and festive celebrations, aim to combat isolation with older isolated and often vulnerable people, building stronger communities and supportive friendships. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the temporary closure of all Sing&Smile sessions across England and Wales from March 2020. But we adapted quickly with the launch of our first ever digital service - GoldiesLive - [...]

Goldies Live – fun, free sing-a-longs from the sofa2021-07-13T12:37:25+01:00

Help Gardening4Health connect people to gardening


As a GP and both a keen gardener and a trainee in Garden Design I have long been aware of the benefits that come from gardening and horticulture for both myself and my own well-being, but more importantly for that of my patients. The COVID-19 pandemic and the UK lockdown in 2020 saw a rapid growth in the wider use of gardening to maintain mental and physical well-being for many people. Moreover, there has been a steady growth in recent years of organisations across the UK that provide social and therapeutic horticulture for service users. People living with [...]

Help Gardening4Health connect people to gardening2021-01-13T16:35:25+00:00

Integrated Plus: how the relationship between social prescribing, the voluntary sector and general practice is helping people in Dudley


Aiesha Turner is a locality link officer for Integrated Plus in Dudley and Netherton. Here she talks about the benefits of Primary Care Networks having social prescribing link workers based in the voluntary sector, and the impact they have been making during the coronavirus pandemic. Integrated Plus has been working with GP surgeries across Dudley for around six years. We have well established relationships with each surgery in our localities and with our CCG and local authority services. We are in the fortunate position of being employed by Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (DCVS), which means that we [...]

Integrated Plus: how the relationship between social prescribing, the voluntary sector and general practice is helping people in Dudley2021-06-08T09:00:18+01:00

Countrymen UK: Challenges and responses to COVID-19


Earlier in 2020, it wasn’t only the COVID19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown that came as shocks. It was also the speed at which it all seemed to arrive, almost unannounced. Due to this, there wasn’t a great deal of practical support for care providers in the voluntary and small charity sectors. Countrymen UK knew it had to do something quickly and effectively to avoid long-term damage to the services we had developed over many years. Before COVID19 Countrymen UK was established in 2011 as an alternative to traditional, indoor day care provision. It was aimed at men who [...]

Countrymen UK: Challenges and responses to COVID-192021-06-08T09:00:56+01:00
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