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Young carers could be given a new lease of life with technology to put their minds at ease.

Many teenagers have dreams of going to university, however those who look after a loved one often feel that such ambitions are out reach.

Medway Council’s Telecare Service can take some of the worry out of leaving a person in need alone, and allows people to live independently.

An event held on Monday, 17 February gave some young carers living in Medway had a chance to see how the service could potential change their lives.

Young carers together with councillors and representatives from charity Carers First, took a look at the technology available such as sensors to detect falls, whether someone is in bed, whether someone has taken their medication and much more.

Every sensor is programmed to a small Telecare base unit that is linked to a telephone line, which is installed by in-house engineers.

In the event of activation, a trained operator from Medway Control Centre will talk to the client over the Telecare base unit in their home to assess the situation and put the most appropriate response in place, whether that be contacting a family member, neighbour, doctor, mobile warden or emergency services.

Rhiannon Johnson, 15 has been a carer for five years now, and was impressed with the technology.

She said: “This would really benefit me because I could be in my room or be with my friends leading a normal teenage life, and if mum had a fall I would be notified and I wouldn’t be worrying the whole time I was out.”

When an alert is sent to the control centre via sensors in the home, the individual’s primary carer is informed by the Telecare team.

16-year-old Charlotte Liddle has dreams of going to university but is unsure about leaving her mum.

She said: “This technology could help me feel more at ease going to university, knowing that there is a support system in place when I’m not there would be really helpful.

“Before I thought it would be really hard for me to go away and study, but now it seems as though it is possible and my mum will still be supported.”

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Services Cllr David Brake said: “These facilities are most useful and designed to help those in need of support. If young carers know their family members are being looked after and supported it enables them to have more time for themselves doing the things that lots of young people do and take as a matter of course.”

For more information about Telecare visit www.medway.gov.uk/telecare

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An open day to discover what exciting courses are available for adult learners takes place next month. More

Preventing the neglect and abuse of vulnerable adults will be top of the agenda in Medway next week as Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week takes place from 10 – 15 June.
This year’s event is aimed at making people aware of the huge impact adult abuse can have on individuals and the support that is available to help them take action. Vulnerable adults who are in need of care and protection can include people with learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health problems and those with a physical disability. More

A celebration of learning takes place at Eastgate Rochester on Saturday, 18 May as part of national Adult Learning Week (18-24 May).

Medway Community Learning is holding a free open day for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses between 12noon and 3pm at the Rochester Adult Education Centre.
The event will include information, demonstrations, displays of previous learners’ work, and activities for both adults and children.

There will be opportunity to speak with members of the adult learning team.
Free entry. Children welcome. Refreshments available.

A recent, three month pop-up art studio for adults with learning disabilities in Rochester High Street funded by the Arts Council, is now drawing to a close. Our finale will be an evening launch to show the work that has been made, entitled ‘Art About: Sharing the Love’ at 7pm on Friday the 12th of April (all welcome) followed by an open studio exhibition from the 13th-18th of April from 10-3pm each day.

The evening event on the 12th will also benefit from the neighbouring professional artists studios being open. The Coalshed Press and Printed Wonders spaces will enable visitors to see inside working artists spaces and purchase affordable art. Art About is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and is run by the lead artists Helen Morley and Wendy Daws. The purpose of this project is to provide excellent contemporary Fine Art opportunities to adults who are excluded from mainstream higher
education, for reasons of disability or disadvantage. The majority of our participants are adults with moderate to complex learning disabilities; however our focus is on developing the artist, their art and their abilities, rather than disability.

The studio and exhibition venue is at Boundary Wharf behind Café Moroc and is in the heart of a growing, grass roots arts scene in the area. Each day the artists have been exploring a diverse and demanding set of skills such as experimental printmaking and painting, plaster and sand casting, sculpture and conceptual construction, drawing and sensory workshops. The lead artists have worked with them in a collaborative and highly experimental way, supporting the individual to find their own expressive creative voice where a common question asked has been ‘what happens if….?’ The studio has achieved a very high standard in a short time as our ambitions were considerable. This has been a successful test as an experimental laboratory where people have been deeply challenged in a safe and fun place where all ideas are welcome. More

An adult education course designed to help people set up in business starts this month (April). Medway Community Learning’s Setting up in Business will focus on finding out about different aspects of running a small business from evaluating ideas through to writing a business plan. The course will help budding entrepreneurs increase their skills and knowledge to be able to effectively move forward with their business. The course starts on Tuesday, 16 April at Hundred of Hoo School, from 7pm to 9pm for eight weeks. It costs £65, concessions available.

Explore the world of Shakespeare with Medway Community Learning. The course looks at the culture of Shakespeare and his actors by studying his plays and the conditions of Elizabethan theatre. This course combines theory and practical and leads to a performance. The world of Shakespeare course starts on Monday, 29 April at 7pm at Eastgate House, Rochester. The full fee is £86, concessions available. To enrol contact Medway Community Learning at http://www.medway.gov.uk/adultlearning or phone 01634 338400.

People all over Medway will soon have the opportunity to learn how to communicate without words. In the coming weeks a selection of courses, some free, will be on offer to teach sign language and Makaton. The communication courses held by Medway Community Learning will be running throughout March and April. More

Yoga classes start next month with Medway Community Learning. Yoga for all (progression) starts Tuesday, 5 February at 1.30pm. Yoga for all starts on Tuesday, 12 February at 7.30pm. Both classes are at Rochester Adult Education Centre. To book and for more details phone 01634 338400.

More adult education classes in community settings will be offered to Medway learners from September. More

There is less than a month left for people to express their views on the Adult Social Care services Medway Council provides for residents. More

An open evening to find out about teaching qualifications will take place later this month. The informal event will take place on Tuesday, 17 January at the Rochester Adult Education Centre/Community Hub from 5pm to 7.30pm. More

A variety of different British sign language courses start this month, from learning the basics to studying for a qualification. More

A series of public meetings have been arranged as part of Medway Council’s consultation on the Adult Social Care services it provides for residents. More

Medway Council, Monday, 12 December 2011, starts consulting with members of the public on the Adult Social Care services it provides for residents. More

For the perfect Christmas gift, look no further than a gift voucher towards an adult education course that starts in the new year. More

As well as offering courses from beginners to advanced in French, Spanish, Italian and German. Medway Adult and Community Learning Service also has beginners courses available in Polish, Russian, Turkish, Arabic and Japanese.

Why not give one a try.

All courses take place at Gillingham Adult Learning Centre – except Russian, which is held at Rochester Eastgate – and they start from mid September.

To enrol phone 01634 338400 or visit http://www.medway.gov.uk/educationandlearning/adultlearning.aspx

Young people can step into a new career thanks to a new fitness instructor course starting in September. More

A summer gym instructing course starts on Monday, 22 August for three weeks.

The intensive course takes place at Medway Park, Monday to Fridays from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day.

The course will cover anatomy and physiology of exercise, programming personal training, nutrition, health safety and welfare, planning activities and how to support clients.

The course costs £583 (concessions available). Places are still available.

To enrol phone 01634 338400 or for more details about other adult education courses visit http://www.medway.gov.uk/learning

A teaching taster session could set learners on route to a new career thanks to Medway Adult and Community Learning Service. More

Preventing the neglect and abuse of vulnerable adults will be top of the agenda in Medway next week as Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week takes place from Monday, 13 to Friday, 17 June. More

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