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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

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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

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

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

Kate Browning volunteer Wisdom HospiceTo mark National Volunteers’ Week (1 to 7 June 2013) health teams at Medway Community Healthcare are celebrating the vital support local volunteers give every day.

In Medway and Swale, 280 community volunteers support 47 teams by giving more than 4,000 hours of their own time each month. Their roles are varied and include offering complementary therapy at the Wisdom Hospice; supporting new mothers with breastfeeding; helping at exercise rehabilitation groups and assisting with administrative tasks.

Kate Browning is one of the longest-serving volunteers at Medway Community Healthcare, having been at the Wisdom Hospice, Rochester in a variety of roles spanning twenty years. Kate, who is 74, began volunteering at the hospice in 1993, inspired by the ‘wonderful care’ the team gave to her mother-in-law.

Kate explained: “I started out as a volunteer driver, helping people living in Medway and Swale to get to the Day Hospice once a week. The conversations you have during each journey are very important, people feel comfortable with you and safe. It’s about giving them the most pleasant journey you can.”

Having been a driver for many years, Kate decided to volunteer within the Day Hospice.

Kate continued: “I saw how much the day of relaxation and support helped people and I wanted to be part of it. I made tea, helped people at lunchtime and was on hand for anything that people needed allowing staff time to concentrate on nursing and running the activities.

“I now work on the hospice ward as a spiritual care volunteer, talking to and comforting very ill patients and their families. The days are varied, I even recently helped a husband to bring his pet spaniel to visit his wife; I enjoy bringing a smile to people’s faces.

“I admire the wonderful care the hospice team provide, they are exceptional at what they do. To be connected with them even by putting in a small bit is a huge privilege.”

Natalie Taylor, voluntary services manager, explained: “Our volunteers, aged from 17 to 83, volunteer with us for a number of reasons. Some wish to remain active after retirement, others are healthcare students looking to gain experience and we also have some of our former patients volunteering as their way of giving something back.

“Medway Community Healthcare would like to say a huge thank you to our many inspiring volunteers for the support you give to staff, patients and their families during National Volunteers’ Week and beyond.”

If you would like to become a volunteer with Medway Community Healthcare please call 01634 830456 and ask to speak to a voluntary services manager or visit http://www.medwaycommunityhealthcare.co.uk/volunteer

You could save a life by simply checking a pulse. That’s the message from NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as it launches the PACT campaign to encourage people to check their pulse once a year. As well as checking your own pulse, think about checking that of loved ones as well, says GP Dr Peter Green, NHS Medway CCG’s Chief Clinical Officer. A good tip is to pick a month – perhaps the month before a birthday – and check it every year during that month. By checking your pulse you may be able to pick up heart rhythm disorders that can cause strokes. More

Tai Chi Classes are now available at Cross Park Allhallows every Thursday at 2pm and also in Hoo at the Village Institute on Tuesdays at 11am. With a Qualified Tutor classes are suitable for people with arthritis, osteoporosis and other movement limiting conditions, but please discuss your circumstances with the instructor first so she can help you get the maximum benefit from the exercise 07734 258095.

Two intensive summer fitness courses will run during August.
Active IQ Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Level 2) runs from Monday, 5 August to Friday, 23 August from 9.30am to 4.30pm at Medway Park.
For more details or to sign up contact Dan Mace at dan.mace@medway.gov.uk or 01634 338412.
The course costs £523. Concessions apply. May be fully funded if you are a job-seeker.

The Ramblers will be hosting Great Britain’s biggest ever short walks festival from 4 – 11 May in a drive to get more people discovering the wonder of walking in 2013. This festival is supporting Britain on Foot, a campaign to encourage more people in Britain to get active in the great outdoors. More

Around 30,000 men and women aged between 17 and 25 will be invited to take part in the Medway Chlamydia Screening Programme next month. During February, young men and women will receive a letter telling them how to order a self-test kit to screen for Chlamydia.

Chlamydia is still the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK and for that reason Medway’s Sexual Health Improvement Programme is providing young people with the opportunity to say yes to the test. It is more likely to affect sexually active young people, under the age of 25, with approximately one in 10 being affected. With Chlamydia often showing no signs of symptoms it is even more important to get screened. If left untreated, Chlamydia can cause longer-term health problems, including infertility.

Using condoms is an effective way to reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and preventing unplanned pregnancies. Free condoms and sexual health services are available across Medway, for details of local services visit www.medwaysexualhealth.co.uk If you are sexually active and under 25 you should be tested for Chlamydia annually. The test for Chlamydia is simple – just one quick and painless test that you do yourself. You do not need to be examined. Order a kit by going on at www.medwaysexualhealth.co.uk, texting 07949147136 with your name, gender, house number and postcode or phone 07949 147136 (leave a message out of office hours with your name, house number and postcode).

Sickly Brits will suffer from an astonishing 6,284 common ailments during their lifetime. More

We have all been told by our Mothers and Grand Mothers over the years that eating carrots will help us see in the dark and as children we almost certainly dismissed it More

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