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medway growsFamilies are being encouraged to take up the good life and take part in free workshops to learn how to grow their own food.

Medway Grows workshops are being run across the area from March to July and will be a fun way for all the family to learn something new – and cut down on household bills by growing their own grub.

Medway Grows is about healthy fresh produce , digging, planting, weeding, watering, landscaping and much more.

The workshops will encourage people of all ages to learn about a wide variety of projects from growing your own food, how to start planting and how best to get going at home.
And there’ll be lots of games and activities for children while mum and dad pick up top tips on how to grow the greens.

Councillor David Brake, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services, said; “These free workshops are a great way to get all the family involved in planting and growing.

“Not only will they teach the basics and give everyone a good idea of how to grow, but also they’ll encourage families to get healthy and, hopefully, save money by growing their own produce.”

Workshops will take place across Medway, at weekends and after school and booking is essential.

The first workshop dates include March 15 and May 28, Medway Park; March 20, Luton Library, Chatham, April 5, Bishop of Rochester Academy; April 8 and May 28, Burnt Oak Primary, Gillingham.

To find out more information visit http://www.abettermedway.co.uk/healthyeating/medwaygrows.aspx” target=”_blank”>our website or call 016344 334309 to book your place.

smokefree drop inSmokers keen to kick the habit will have an added incentive if they make the change in March.

National No Smoking Day is on 12 March and Medway residents who quit with the council’s stop smoking service during this month will be in with a chance of winning prizes donated by local businesses.

Every year more than a million smokers use No Smoking Day as their motivation to quit and it is hoped people in Medway are no exception.

Anyone who signs up to the scheme in March and reaches week five of the seven week treatment programme, will get a free day pass to a local gym.

Those who go on to quit as a result, will be in with a chance of winning a prize.

Prizes range from cinema tickets, to hair cuts, lunches for two and a signed Gillingham FC football.

To pledge to quit visit the stop smoking team in Chatham High Street on 1 or 12 March, or call 01634 334800.

Those who successfully shake the habit with the help of weekly support sessions and carbon monoxide monitoring, will be entered into a prize draw and invited to a prize giving even at Gillingham Football Club on 8 May.

Director of Public Health Alison Barnett said: “Many people like to use the national no smoking awareness day as a starting point for their journey to become smoke free.

“I think it is really good that there is now the added incentive of winning a prize for those who achieve their goal. We want to help people who want to quit as much as we can and this makes it a bit of fun and gives people a small reward.

“I would like to thank all the local businesses that have donated prizes.”

For more information about the stop smoking service visit www.abettermedway.co.uk

Big Ride picThey’re off! Cyclists in Medway have hit the road to Rio – host city for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

Over the next four months, everyone is being invited to take part in a community challenge to cycle the distance equal to the journey from Medway to Rio – about 7,500 miles.
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Between now and 17 May the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow will be on tour to help Medway cyclists clock up miles on static bikes mounted on turbo trainers.

The initiative is part of the build up to Medway Sport’s new mass participation cycling event – The Big Ride – which takes place on Saturday, 17 May.

The roadshow was launched at Medway Park at the weekend during the Medway Big Splash. It will be visiting locations across Medway including sports centres, libraries, shopping centres, schools and businesses such as Questor Insurance, sponsors of the Medway Sporting Academy.

Cycle computers will calculate individual people’s mileage, as well as logging the cumulative total across Medway. So you can cycle one mile or a hundred! Everyone taking part will be invited to take part in the mass participation event at the Big Ride, where they will receive a free souvenir t-shirt and the chance to win one of the bikes.

The main Big Ride event at Medway Park in May will feature lots of free cycling activities including a family treasure trail ride organised by the Better Medway team, an interactive mountain bike skills track, karting, Go-Ride races and training, have-a-go arenas and exhibitions. Something for everyone regardless of their ability.

Additional events linked to the Big Ride event will be Sportive rides for more experienced cyclists and a mountain bike competition at Capstone Park country park, both organised by British Cycling.

You can register for the Medway Big Ride mass mile online at www.medway.gov.uk/bigride. You will also find more information online about the Big Ride event and when the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow will be visiting your neighbourhood.

If your organisation or venue is interested in hosting the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow, it’s not too late. Call 01634 338255 or email medwaysport@medway.gov.uk.

Cllr Howard Doe, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Cycling is becoming even more popular following the success of British riders at the Olympics and the Tour de France.
“As part of our sporting legacy, mass participation events like the Road to Rio roadshow and the Big Ride will give Medway cyclists plenty of opportunities to join in with serious riding as well as fun activities.”

Cycle the Road to Rio Roadshow locations are below. Timings 10am-4pm.

DATE VENUE
18-26 January Medway Park Sports Centre, Mill Road, Gillingham
30 January – 1 February Tesco, Cuxton Road, Strood
5– 7 February Medway Council offices, Gun Wharf, Chatham
8-9 February Hundred of Hoo Sports Centre, Main Road, Hoo
10 – 12 February Questor Insurance, Station Road, Rainham
Fri 14 – Mon 17 Strood Sports Centre, Watling Street, Strood
Half term week 17– 21 February Public Health Write and Play activity sessions. Venues to be confirmed.
28 February – 2 March Kings Rochester Sports Centre, Maidstone Road, Rochester
5 March Mini Youth Games Table Tennis, The Howard School, Rainham
6 – 10 March Splashes Leisure Pool, Bloors Lane, Rainham
10- 12 March Mid Kent College Campus, Medway Road, Gillingham
13 – 16 March Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham
16 March Families On Your Marks Day at Medway Park
21 March Deangate Ridge Golf Complex, Dux Court Road, Hoo
27 March Mini Youth Games Netball, Rainham Netball Centre
4 –7 April Diggerland, Medway Valley Leisure Park, Strood
10 – 12 April Rainham Library, Birling Avenue
17 – 19 April Community Hub, High Street, Gillingham
24 – 26 April Community Hub, Dock Road, Chatham
1 – 3 May Community Hub, Eastgate, High Street, Rochester
17 May Medway Big Ride, Medway Park, Gillingham
24 May British Cycling Mountain Biking Competition, Capstone Park

health checks

Is your heart healthy? Do you need a Health Check to find out?

As part of National Heart Month, Salveo Healthcare are delivering NHS Health Checks in their pharmacies in the weeks commencing 10th March. These health checks identify those at risk of heart disease and also stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia. You are eligible for a free health check if you are aged between the ages of 40 and 74 and have not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions. It’s important that you find out if you’re at risk, the earlier the better and then we can help support you to stay healthier for longer!

National Heart Month is taking place during February. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the single biggest killer in the UK and there are about 2.3 million of us living with this disease. Every single one of us has a heart which means every one of us is at potential risk.

Your local Salveo Pharmacy is working to help you find out whether you are at risk of heart disease, but also other conditions such as stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia. As part of the NHS Health Checks service we are asking everyone between the ages of 40 and 74, who has not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions or have certain risk factors to come and see us. We will perform a check to assess your risk of one of these conditions and then we will give you support and advice to help you reduce or manage that risk.

We will be performing these NHS Health Checks in your local Salveo Pharmacy* in the weeks commencing 10th March. Come and see us, there’s no need to make an appointment – it’s quick and easy for you.

It’s important that you get a check sooner rather than later – the earlier the better! Once you know whether there’s a health problem then we can work with you to identify self-care tips and to signpost you to other health and social care support in the community.

Dr Bora, a local GP says, ‘Pharmacists have a huge role to play in today’s healthcare. Unfortunately to date, this has remained an underutilised resource. As a part of the joint working I would like to see the Pharmacist play a much bigger part. The delivering of NHS Health Checks is a major step in this direction. As a GP and the Chairman of the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG I am looking forward to working together for better outcomes for our patients’

Salveo pharmacies can be found at:www.salveohealth.co.uk

adultstepandlearnWelcome to Step & Learn Adult Activity Centre. Our Adult Activity Centre meets at the following days / times:
Days From To
Tuesday 10am 4pm
Wednesday 10am 4pm
Thursday 10am 4pm

Our Aim
1) To enhance the students full potential, in a parent-involving, community-based charity group.
2) To provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment.
3) To work within a framework, which ensures equality of opportunity.

We Offer
1) Long, medium and short term weekly planning.
2) Individual care and attention from our trained and experienced staff and volunteers.
3) Fun and friendship with other students.
4) The support of a team member who will observe the student and keep their files updated daily.
5) Promoting social interaction with their peers.
6) Opportunities for you to be directly involved, in the activities of the group: fundraising, raffles and cake making for coffee mornings and open days.

Starting at our Activity Centre

It is important for parents / guardians and the team to work together to help the student to feel confident and secure in the group. In order to feel free to explore & experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is best that students wear clothes that are easily washable, or you may wish to provide a change of clothing.(Aprons are provided).
Please note that you may require a ‘one to one’ personal assistant, to help you achieve the best from our Activity Centre, especially if you have a manual wheelchair and need help with feeding. Funding for personal assistants may be obtained from Direct Payments via your Care Manager, Social Services.

Health

If a student has diarrhoea and/or vomiting they should not attend for 2 days after the last bout of illness. Also if a student has an infection i.e. upper respiratory tract infection (chest / throat) and are on antibiotics, they should not attend for 3 days after the start of antibiotics.

Management & Administration

Step & Learn is a registered charity and all major decision making is in the hands of the Chairperson & Trustees, who are also responsible for reviewing policy / practice and for the employment and appraisal of team members. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact: Rod Black, (Chairman) or Janice Maunick, who will be pleased to be of assistance.

Fees

Fees are: £25.00 per session and are payable monthly. This covers costs of materials / art / crafts / cookery / staffing and hire of the hall. There will be a daily charge of £2.00 for lunch and refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits, etc.) Fees continue to be payable if a student is absent with or without notice or for a short period of time. Each student’s attendance at the group is conditional upon continued payment of any necessary fees. We hope that your son’s/daughter’s time in our ‘Activity Centre’ will be a happy & productive one. If you have any queries, or if you can be of any help, please contact the staff / trustees at any time.

Holidays

We close for holidays at Christmas, New Year and Bank Holidays, for which there is no charge. You can also take a further 2 weeks unpaid leave for holidays, by completing a holiday form.

Policies

Our policy statements are available for you to examine. All our policies are designed to offer the best possible experience for the students and their families in the group. Our policies are reviewed on a regular basis and comments and suggestions from parents are always welcome.

We look forward to meeting you.
Many thanks
Rod, Janice & Marji
Step & Learn Adult Activity Centre

Statement from NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group

The Care Quality Commission today issued the report of an unannounced inspection into maternity services at Medway Maritime Hospital. While noting examples of good practice and that the staff were dedicated and caring, the inspection found that actions were needed to improve care in all six of the areas inspected. The CQC has issued three warning notices under section 29 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

The inspection comes at a time when Medway NHS Foundation Trust continues to be in ‘special measures’ as a result of the findings of the review led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s team, a review that was triggered by poor mortality rates. NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group welcome the arrival of the trust’s new Medical Director and new Chief Nurse.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust is regulated by the Care Quality Commission and by Monitor, the two national regulators of foundation trusts. They are the organisations that can impose warnings or undertakings on the trust, as the CQC has done here, to require change.

The CCGs’ role is to commission healthcare that is safe and meets the needs of our population, and to work with providers of healthcare to assure the public on the quality of services. In our response to the Keogh review, we made it clear that it is the responsibility of the trust’s board to ensure that services are safe, that the necessary monitoring is in place to provide that assurance and that any necessary rectification plans are implemented.

We will continue to work with Medway NHS Foundation Trust to improve the quality of care patients receive. NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group plans and buys healthcare for the people of Medway.

Young Epilepsy has honoured a former war-time student, who left £100,000 to the charity in her Will, by unveiling a commemorative plaque telling her story.

Former student, Mabel White from Sussex, lived on the Young Epilepsy campus between 1940 and 1943, during the Second World War. Mabel had epilepsy due to a childhood head injury and bequeathed the legacy because she felt that the care and education provided by Young Epilepsy St Piers had transformed her life. Read More

NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is holding it’s next governing body meeting on Wednesday 23 October. The meeting is at the CCG offices at 50 Pembroke Court, Chatham Maritime between 1pm and 5pm and is open to the public.

The agenda and papers will be available on the CCG website (www.medwayccg.nhs.uk) this Friday (18 October) and any questions should be tabled in advance where possible although they will also be taken on the day.

Visitors’ parking is available in the CCG overflow car park at Dickens World. Permits should be obtained in advance. To table a question or request a parking permit, contact Sharon Davies by email sharon.davies6@nhs.net, by phone 01634 335177 or in writing to Executive Support and Governance Assistant, NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, 50 Pembroke Court, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4EL.

Death is a certainty that we all face and can be a time of distress for not only the person whose life is ending, but the loved ones they are leaving behind. When asked, most people express preferences about their end of life such as wanting to die at home. But few people currently have conversations about this. A short film hopes to change that, and encourage people to let loved ones and health professionals know their wishes. Read More

World Mental Health Day on October 10 will be marked in Medway with special information stands to provide people with help and guidance. Read More

All rights reserved by Gravesham Borough Council

All rights reserved by Gravesham Borough Council

NBC Ltd and NRG Gym who helped cover the cost of 5 new defibrillators for use in Gravesham were delighted to formally present the Defibrillators to Cllr Dhesi and David Hughes, Chief Executive from Gravesham Council . The total cost was £4,200 and following an appeal to local businesses Nick Sidhu of Nick Building Construction, NBC Air Conditioning and NBC Diamond Drilling in Northfleet offered to donate £2,000 and Shafiq Ahmed of NRG Gym, based at the former Gala Bingo Hall, Gravesend Town Centre donated £100. The Council covered the remaining £2,100 and are ensuring staff are trained in first aid and know how to use the defibrillator. Read More

Last 48 hrs to table your questions.

NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body will be holding its monthly meeting in public next week.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissions health services in Medway. The meeting will take place at the CCG offices at 50 Pembroke Court, Chatham Maritime on Wednesday 2 October from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and will include a slot at the end when the public can ask questions or make comments on the work of the CCG.

Further meetings are scheduled for Wednesday 23 October and Wednesday 27 November. Questions should be tabled in advance by contacting Sharon Davies by email (Sharon.davies6@nhs.net), by phone (01634 335177) The agenda and papers are available online on the Friday before each meeting at http://www.medwayccg.nhs.uk.

Medway Council’s Trading Standards team are urging local businesses and residents to be extra careful when buying food supplements that claim to burn fat.

Across the country a number of deaths have been connected with the consumption of supplements containing 2,4 Dinitrophenol, sometimes referred to as ‘DNP’. This is a product unfit for human consumption and should not be sold as food.

However, it is available online and has been found being sold under the counter at some gyms in other parts of the UK. Read More

Image credit Simon Kelsey

Image credit Simon Kelsey

Work has begun on the construction of a new community football pavilion in Medway. The decision to build an extension to the existing community hall follows extensive consultation with the Rochester and District Saturday League and the Medway Messenger Sunday Football League, Twydall Community Association, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holderfor Community Services Howard Doe and local ward members.

It will replace the existing changing pavillion, which will be demolished once the new one is in place. It will provide an all inclusive facility at Beechings Way.
The hall will continue to be run by Twydall Community Association and the football changing facilities by Medway Council.

The funding for this scheme has been provided as part of a developer contribution for formal sport.

Pictured are Medway Council Porfolio Holder for Community Services Howard Doe, with representatives of the two local football leagues and Twydall Community Association.

28 People that completed a Healthy Weight programme in June 2013, lost a collective 60kg and shaved 97cm of their waists.

The Gr@nd’s Healthy Weight team have been supporting adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28 or above on a 12 Week programme .Participants learned about nutrition and tried a variety of exercise taster sessions, which has helped them to make little changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. Read More

Cyclists are being asked to get pedalling around the world next week – or up to eight miles of it – to promote better mental health. The Active Medway Cycle Group will be meeting at Riverside Country Park in Lower Rainham from 6-7pm on Thursday, 12 September. Read More

Gr@nd staff encourage young people not to keep their feelings locked up, and talk about mental health. Workers from The Gr@nd Healthy Living Centre Gravesend, took their newly formed group of peer mentors to look around the Old Town Hall on Friday 16 August in preparation for the Young People’s conference they are planning at the historical venue on Thursday 10 October, for World Mental Health Day. Read More

Medway Council has pledged to continue the very important improvements it is bringing in to its services that look after children in care. The council has vowed to do this after Ofsted inspectors graded Medway’s Looked After Children Services as inadequate. Read More

John Getley with wife Katrina Getley and granddaughter Olivia aged 13Local man John Getley who has recently recovered from a stroke is encouraging other stoke survivors to attend a new support group which meets for the first time in Medway in September. More

edna – energise dance nourish art is a distinctive dance, arts, health and well being project especially designed for older adults aged 55+ years. It will pilot a creative dance/movement, arts and science research based activity that will happen in two community settings in Medway and Gravesham. More

A free 30-minute health check could change your life – that’s the message from Medway Council’s Public Health Team, which is promoting the NHS Health Check programme in Medway. More

sportactivExciting interactive play system SportACTIV was officially opened on 6 August in Ryetop Park, Rainham. The play equipment – the first to be installed in Kent – aims to help children and young people be more active. More than 25 children turned up at the park in Beacon Close, Rainham to try their hand at the games. More

Medway Council is expressing its concerns over planned changes to mental health inpatient services in the area.

Cllr Wendy Purdy (Con), lead Medway Councillor on the Joint Kent and Medway Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, fears it will place vulnerable people at risk. “Medway needs local in-patient services, and across Kent and Medway all the indications are that we need more not less beds. This is a matter of serious concern.” said Cllr Purdy. More

Summer months are a busy time for the NHS, with soaring temperatures leading to increased numbers of patients suffering heat exhaustion, sunburn and allergic reactions from insect bites. More

Medway Council tonight unveils its strategy for delivering a long-term sporting legacy for the people of Medway.

The launch of En Route to Rio: Delivering Medway’s Sporting Legacy 2013-2016 is being staged to coincide with Medway’s largest mass participation sporting event – the Medway Mile.

In addition, two new flagship events inspired by the success of the Medway Mile have also been announced. More

LEADING BEAUTY BRANDS LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE PINK RANGES FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Shop with a conscience and shop pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Beauty favourites, Avon and ghd, have joined forces with leading charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, to launch exclusive pink products which carry a minimum 10% donation to Breakthrough’s life-saving work.

Avon and ghd, along with many more leading retailers, will all be doing their bit to help the nation turn pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More women than ever before are being diagnosed with breast cancer so it’s crucial that everybody gets involved and helps raise vital funds to stop women dying from the disease.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to saving lives through improving early diagnosis, developing new treatments and preventing all types of breast cancer. With 1,000 women dying from the disease each month in the UK alone, every penny raised is vital in order to help us create a world freed from breast cancer. Do your bit, do it pink.

1. Avon Pro Viva Pink Nail Varnish, RRP £4, 25% donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, available from your local Independent Avon Representative or online at avonshop.co.uk
2. ghd pink styler and paddle brush gift set RRP £135, £10 donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, available in the finest salons and at http://www.ghdhair.com. ghd has been supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer for 10 years.

Thousands of people are expected in Rochester for the grand finale to the Medway Festival of Sport 2013.
Up to 3,000 runners and walkers of all ages are due to take part in the Medway Mile on Friday, 26 July in Rochester. More

The people in charge of planning and buying NHS healthcare services for Medway are due to meet on Wednesday 24 July, 1.30pm at Fifty Pembroke Court, Chatham, ME4 4EL.

Local people are invited to observe the monthly governing body meeting, to find out about decisions being made on NHS healthcare services in the NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area.

There will be an opportunity for people to ask questions at the end of the meeting. Anyone who would like to submit questions in advance is encouraged to contact the CCG executive support team by email: sharon.davies6@nhs.net or by calling 01634 335177.

For further information, and to view the agenda and meeting papers (published on Friday 19 July), visit the CCG website: http://www.medwayccg.nhs.uk.

(L-R) Lee Broadhurst, Pat Maltby, Sam PearceA woman from Chatham who suffered a heart attack at a phlebotomy (blood testing) clinic has returned to thank the phlebotomists who saved her life. On 2 May 2013, Pat Maltby, 70, who regularly attends the blood testing clinic at Lordswood Healthy Living Centre, suddenly collapsed. Pat explained: “I managed to walk to the lift to go up to the clinic but felt absolutely dreadful. My chest felt really tight and I couldn’t catch my breathe. More

Health teams in Medway are asking anyone who’s had a persistent cough for three weeks or more to see their GP, in support of a national campaign to raise awareness of lung cancer. The national lung cancer campaign which started on 2 July and runs until 11 August, is part of Public Health England’s Be Clear on Cancer campaign, which aims to raise public awareness of symptoms of cancer and encourage people with symptoms to see their GP earlier. More

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