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Dementia activities and support in West Northumberland

Activities and support for older people and those affected by dementia

The latest edition of ‘Activities and Support in West Northumberland’ for older people and those affected by dementia is out now. This is a comprehensive guide to support groups, classes, film screenings and cafes, singing classes, advice services, physical and sporting activities and lots more including virtual events, telephone friendship, music and radio programmes.

Although some of the activity and support groups listed in this booklet are not able to meet face-to-face at the moment due to the pandemic, several are continuing to provide ongoing support either online, over the phone or through the post. Please contact individual activity providers for up-to-date information.

View and download the digital booklet.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10-16 May and this year’s theme is ‘Nature’.

There are two main aims of this week. Firstly, to inspire more people to connect with nature, noticing the impact that this connection can have on our mental health. Secondly, to convince decision makers at all levels that access to and quality of nature is a mental health and social justice issue as well as an environmental one.

Read more about Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

If you would like some inspiration of where you can enjoy nature in Northumberland take a look at the links below:

Northumberland Country Parks and Visitor Centres

Northumberland National Park

If you are looking for support with your mental health we have a dedicated page on our website to point you in the right direction of local mental health services, useful information, self-help leaflets and apps – find mental health support.

Kooth Q&A

Providing information about local health and care services is part of the core work of Healthwatch Northumberland, and mental health services for children and young people is one of our key priorities.

In June 2020 NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissioned Kooth, a free online mental health support service for young people aged 11-25 years.

Watch this video to find out more.

We were therefore delighted to host an online seminar on 10 March 2021 with Malcolm Connelly, Engagement Lead at Kooth who told us about how the service works and how parents, carers and professionals can signpost young people to it.

Below are the questions from the audience and Malcolm’s answers which include links to the Kooth site and how to contact Malcolm for more information.

If you or a young person you know have used Kooth, we would like to hear about your experience. Share your feedback with us.

Q&A

How can parents check the suitability of Kooth?

There are demos available to see what the site looks like from a user’s perspective however the content will look different depending on the age of the child. A demo can be arranged by emailing Malcolm Connelly (mconnelly@kooth.com). There is also information on the Kooth website and Malcolm has put together a parents’ information letter.

Kooth follows strict safeguarding guidelines and young people will only speak to trained counsellors when using the platform. Any discussion is via pre-moderated threads.

How can I get resources to share to promote Kooth?

If you work for an organisation which supports children and young people, get in touch with Malcolm to add your details to his database of contacts. There are also A4 posters and wallet size cards available. Visit the Kooth Promotion Hub to find resources to promote Kooth.

Do you promote Kooth to schools and youth groups?

Yes, Malcolm does presentations in schools and for youth groups although it is more difficult at the moment with restrictions. Malcolm is currently only able to offer virtual presentations but is hoping to get back into schools later in the year.

What does Kooth mean?

During initial discussions about what to call the platform, a group of young people took the word ‘uncouth’ and flipped it to the more positive ‘Kooth’.

What is the adult equivalent of Kooth?

Qwell. This is currently only available to teachers and support staff in Northumberland.

Is there any data to show the positive impact that Kooth is having on young people and what are the recurring themes?

Monthly and quarterly reports are sent to the CCG which commissions Kooth, however these have to be requested and authorised for anyone else who would like to see them.

Is there any reason for Kooth starting at 11 years old?

This age was agreed with the CCG and is relevant as it is the start of secondary school. Around the age of 11 or 12 children are old enough to understand more and benefit from the support service. Gillick competency is assessed (more details here).

Is Kooth safe for autistic people?

Kooth is a safe space but we understand some young people may struggle with the text-based service and are constantly working to make Kooth fully accessible for all.

You mentioned face-to-face interventions. How does that work?

This is not currently available in the North East.

Are you getting into schools at the moment with the current restrictions?

Yes, but not as much as usual. Malcolm is hoping to get back into schools regularly by September.

 

Find out more about the support available for children and young people in Northumberland.

Online event – mental wellbeing support for young people

Are you a parent, carer or someone who is looking for initial support for a child or young person’s mental wellbeing? Perhaps you work with young people and want ideas about what mental health support is available in Northumberland? Come along to our online event on Wednesday 10 March from 10.30am to 11.30am and find out more about Kooth, an online counselling and support service available to all young people aged 11-25 across Northumberland.

Kooth is a safe, confidential and anonymous way for young people to access wellbeing and mental health support through self-help resources and articles, peer support and discussion, and access to fully trained and qualified counsellors until 10pm each night, 365 days per year.

This event is an opportunity to hear more about Kooth from Northumberland’s Kooth Engagement Lead Malcolm Connelly who will give a short presentation and introduction to the service, what it involves, how to access it and what you can expect. There will be a Q&A session following the presentation.

Find out more about Kooth here.

Children’s Mental Health Week took place this year from 1 to 7 February, an opportunity to shine a spotlight on children and young people’s mental health. We supported this campaign and are currently running a survey to get feedback from young people about their experiences of mental health services. However, we understand that the work does not stop with the end of this campaign and many young people will continue to need mental health support during these difficult times and beyond.

Preliminary results from our survey show that many young people do not seek formal support for their mental wellbeing and will instead rely on family and friends, but it is important that people are aware that there are local services available that can provide support and that they know how to access them.

If you would like to come along to the event please contact Helen Brown at: helenb@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468 to register.

We would also like to hear from young people who are using or have used children’s mental health services in Northumberland so we can understand what is working well and what could be improved. You can share your views here.

Parents, carers and relatives of young people who have used services can also share feedback on our website.

 

 

Escape Family Support online workshops

Due to the current lockdown, Escape Family Support has temporarily moved their support sessions online. The situation will be continually reviewed until it is safe to return to face-to-face support.

The sessions will run via Microsoft Teams every Friday from 10am to 12pm. Anyone who is affected by a loved one’s drug and/or alcohol addiction is welcome to join in. Call: 01670 544055 or email: sarah.tannock@escapefamilysupport.org.uk to find out more.

The following workshops are coming up:

22 January 2021 – All About Me Workshop 

Understand the importance of taking care of yourself, learn how to set future goals and learn to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts.

29 January 2021 – Drug and Alcohol Awareness

Gain an understanding of the different categories of drugs and understand the short and long-term effects of drug and alcohol misuse.

5 February 2021 – CRAFT Maintenance Group

CRAFT is an evidence-based programme for families affected by substance misuse. This group allows you to practice the skills you have learned during CRAFT.

12 February 2021 – Anger Awareness Workshop 

Gain an understanding of anger and learn strategies to use when dealing with anger.

Ask for ANI – domestic abuse support

The Government has launched a new code word scheme, where if you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help, you can ask for ‘ANI’ in any participating pharmacy.

ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately but is pronounced ‘Annie’. If a pharmacy has the ‘Ask for ANI’ logo on display, it means they are ready to help you.

The pharmacy will offer you a private space, provide you with a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.

If you need support for domestic abuse you can contact Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services (NDAS) on 01434 608 030 Monday to Friday.

New Service for Young Carers

A new service to support young carers has been commissioned by Northumberland County Council. Carers Northumberland, the local support service for adult carers will be leading on the project.

Anne-Marie Johnstone has been appointed as the Young Carers Support Worker for Northumberland and will be working with other youth and young people’s services across the county to provide individual tailored support for young carers.

The aims of the project are to ensure that children and young people have the support they need to learn, develop, and thrive, to enjoy positive childhoods and to achieve their full potential.

The service uses a whole family approach, which ensures that both children and parents are able to get the support they need, at the right time, by supporting families to access integrated, co-ordinated, multi-agency, solution focused support. By identifying problems early, different services can work more closely together to help prevent a family’s needs escalating and requiring a more intensive intervention at a later date.

All young carers will have an assessment of their needs which identifies the level of caring and how this is impacting on their life.  A Plan will then be developed  with the young carer and their family to  help support them and reduce the negative impact of caring on their lives which will enable the young carer to access the same life opportunities as their peers.

Young carers referred to the project will also be able to access to a Young Carers Active Northumberland card for use in the county’s leisure centres, and a small grants scheme which will offer financial support to young carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

Anyone who is working with a family or young person, who feels that there is someone in that dynamic with a caring role can make a referral into the project.

Carers Northumberland logo

New service for young carers

A new service to support young carers has been commissioned by Northumberland County Council. Carers Northumberland, the local support service for adult carers will be leading on the project.

Anne-Marie Johnstone has been appointed as the Young Carers Support Worker for Northumberland and will be working with other youth and young people’s services across the county to provide individual tailored support for young carers.

The aims of the project are to ensure that children and young people have the support they need to learn, develop, and thrive, to enjoy positive childhoods and to achieve their full potential.

The service uses a whole family approach, which ensures that both children and parents are able to get the support they need, at the right time. By identifying problems early, different services can work more closely together to help prevent a family’s needs escalating and requiring further intervention at a later date.

All young carers will have an assessment of their needs which identifies the level of caring and how this is impacting on their life. A plan will then be developed with the young carer and their family to help support them and enable the young carer to access the same life opportunities as their peers.

Young carers referred to the project will also have access to a Young Carers Active Northumberland card for use in the county’s leisure centres, and a small grants scheme which will offer financial support to young carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

Anyone who is working with a family or young person in a caring role who you think could benefit from this project can make a referral here.

If you are a young carer yourself you can find out about the support available here.

Events

online events

Choices4Growth Parents Forum

Join Choices4Growth for their first Parents Forum, an opportunity to take some time out, speak to other parents and find support in a friendly virtual group.

The forum will take place on Monday 10 May from 1.30pm to 2.30pm via Zoom.

For more information, please email Michael at: C4G@mconnaughton.co.uk

Mental health and wellbeing support for the farming community – webinar

An evening of talks about mental health and wellbeing support for the farming community.

Speakers from Campaign Against Living Miserable (CALM), Gay Farmer Helpline, an Accredited CBT Therapist, Market Chaplin, Farming Community Network (FCN) and Kingsbridge Young Farmers will share with you ways you can support your own mental health and wellbeing as well as that of your family and friends in the rural community.

In addition to the speakers there will be an opportunity to ask questions to the speakers as well as Trading Standards Officers. You will be able to join this event anonymously if you wish.

This event is being run by the Trading Standards Farming Partnership / Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service.

A link to the webinar will be sent out nearer the time. Book your place here.

Community Information Morning Hexham

Our umbrella organisation Adapt (NE) holds these quarterly Community Information Mornings for the benefit of the local community.

Anyone can pop in to this free event and pick up advice and information about health, wellbeing, transport, money and things going on in your area. A mix of organisations come along each time and this month you can find out more about Tynedale Hospice at HomeNorthumberland Cancer Support GroupAlzheimers Society and of course Healthwatch Northumberland, Macular Society plus help around Attendance Allowance from Northumbria Healthcare.

We will be asking about your experiences of NHS, health and social care experiences of 2019 for our Annual Survey which runs throughout February and March.By telling us what went well and what could be better, you can help us be more effective on your behalf and influence positive changes for people in Northumberland,

Join us for a cuppa and a piece of cake in the Resource Room – just through the door from Cafe @ Burn Lane, Hexham.

 

 

Coffee Thursday

Coffee Thursday is a free, monthly pop-in coffee morning, where you can take time out for a cuppa and a biscuit and have a chat, when you’re having a tough time. Health Trainer Donna will be there to meet you, listen and give support on lots of issues that can get us down – health, money, relationships – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

It can really help to say things out loud and get them off your chest if you’re feeling fed up, stressed, worried or overwhelmed.

If you feel it would help to talk to someone in a non-judgemental, safe space, then Coffee Thursday might be just what you need. You can stay for as long as you like.

Not sure it’s for you? Call in and see what you think. Everyone is welcome at this free monthly pop-in coffee morning.

 

Happening between 10.30am and 12.30pm Coffee Thursday dates for 2020 are:

Thursday 30 January

Thursday 20 February

Thursday 26 March

Thursday 23 April

Coffee Thursday

Coffee Thursday is a free, monthly pop-in coffee morning, where you can take time out for a cuppa and a biscuit and have a chat, when you’re having a tough time. Health Trainer Donna will be there to meet you, listen and give support on lots of issues that can get us down – health, money, relationships – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

It can really help to say things out loud and get them off your chest if you’re feeling fed up, stressed, worried or overwhelmed.

If you feel it would help to talk to someone in a non-judgemental, safe space, then Coffee Thursday might be just what you need. You can stay for as long as you like.

Not sure it’s for you? Call in and see what you think. Everyone is welcome at this free monthly pop-in coffee morning.

 

Happening between 10.30am and 12.30pm Coffee Thursday dates for 2020 are:

Thursday 30 January

Thursday 20 February

Thursday 26 March

Thursday 23 April

Cancer Patient Event: Rothbury

Cancer Information and Engagement Northumberland

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group would like to invite cancer patients and carers in Northumberland to share their experiences and ideas – what is working well in your area? What needs improving? There will also be a mix of organisations at the event offering advice and support.

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is made up of patients, carers, health professionals, voluntary group representatives and others affected by cancer. It’s objective is to improve cancer services and support throughout Northumberland and North Tyneside. The group is supported by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which consults with the group to gain opinions on new service developments, information leaflets and questionnaires.  The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is not a cancer support group, but it does have very good links with local support groups and can put you in touch with the right people.

 

This event starts at 10.00am with refreshments, and lunch will be available from 12.00pm.

You can also visit an event at these locations in Northumberland:

Monday 3 February: The Roundhouse, Ashington 

Wednesday 19 February: Seaton Delaval Community Centre

Wednesday 4 March: Morpeth Town Hall

Thursday 26 March: Hexham Mart

 

No booking required. For more information about the events or how to give your feedback if you can’t get to one of the events, email: info@ncpcg.org.

Cancer Patient Event: Morpeth

Cancer Information and Engagement Northumberland

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group would like to invite cancer patients and carers in Northumberland to share their experiences and ideas – what is working well in your area? What needs improving? There will also be a mix of organisations at the event offering advice and support.

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is made up of patients, carers, health professionals, voluntary group representatives and others affected by cancer. It’s objective is to improve cancer services and support throughout Northumberland and North Tyneside. The group is supported by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which consults with the group to gain opinions on new service developments, information leaflets and questionnaires.  The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is not a cancer support group, but it does have very good links with local support groups and can put you in touch with the right people.

 

This event starts at 10.00am with refreshments, and lunch will be available from 12.00pm.

You can also visit an event at these locations in Northumberland:

Monday 3 February: The Roundhouse, Ashington 

Wednesday 19 February: Seaton Delaval Community Centre

Wednesday 11 March: URC, Rothbury

Thursday 26 March: Hexham Mart

 

No booking required. For more information about the events or how to give your feedback if you can’t get to one of the events, email: info@ncpcg.org.

Cancer Patient Event: Seaton Delaval

Cancer Information and Engagement Northumberland

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group would like to invite cancer patients and carers in Northumberland to share their experiences and ideas – what is working well in your area? What needs improving? There will also be a mix of organisations at the event offering advice and support.

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is made up of patients, carers, health professionals, voluntary group representatives and others affected by cancer. It’s objective is to improve cancer services and support throughout Northumberland and North Tyneside. The group is supported by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which consults with the group to gain opinions on new service developments, information leaflets and questionnaires.  The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is not a cancer support group, but it does have very good links with local support groups and can put you in touch with the right people.

We will be there asking you about your care experiences from 2019 for our Annual Survey 2020. Your feedback will help us work more effectively on your behalf and can help make improvements for everyone.

This event starts at 10.00am with refreshments, and lunch will be available from 12.00pm.

You can also visit an event at these locations in Northumberland:

Monday 3 February: The Roundhouse, Ashington 

Wednesday 4 March: Morpeth Town Hall

Wednesday 11 March: URC, Rothbury

Thursday 26 March: Hexham Mart

 

No booking required. For more information about the events or how to give your feedback if you can’t get to one of the events, email: info@ncpcg.org.

Cancer Patient Event: Ashington

Cancer Information and Engagement Northumberland

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group would like to invite cancer patients and carers in Northumberland to share their experiences and ideas – what is working well in your area? What needs improving? There will also be a mix of organisations at the event offering advice and support.

The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is made up of patients, carers, health professionals, voluntary group representatives and others affected by cancer. It’s objective is to improve cancer services and support throughout Northumberland and North Tyneside. The group is supported by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which consults with the group to gain opinions on new service developments, information leaflets and questionnaires.  The Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group is not a cancer support group, but it does have very good links with local support groups and can put you in touch with the right people.

 

This event starts at 10.00am with refreshments, and lunch will be available from 12.00pm. The Healthwatch Northumberland team will be there with an information stand and will be inviting you to tell them about your care experiences over the last 12 months.

You can also visit an event at these locations in Northumberland:

Wednesday 19 February: Seaton Delaval Community Centre

Wednesday 4 March: Morpeth Town Hall

Wednesday 11 March: URC, Rothbury

Thursday 26 March: Hexham Mart

 

No booking required. For more information about the events or how to give your feedback if you can’t get to one of the events, email: info@ncpcg.org.

Coffee Cups

Coffee Thursday

Are you feeling fed up, stressed, worried or overwhelmed?

If you feel it would help to talk to someone in a non-judgemental, safe space, then Coffee Thursday might be just what you need. Coffee Thursday is a free, monthly pop-in coffee morning, where you can take time out for a cuppa and a biscuit and have a chat, when you’re having a tough time. Health Trainer Donna will be there to meet you at this pop in coffee morning, where you can stay for as long or as little time as you like.

It can really help to say things out loud and get them off your chest, and Donna will be there to listen and give support and information on lots of issues that can get us down – health, money, relationships – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

Not sure it’s for you? Call in and see what you think. Everyone is welcome at this free monthly pop-in coffee morning, taking place in the Resource Room, next to Cafe @ Burn Lane, Hexham.