A chance to share what we know about mental health & wellbeing in K & M.
Welcome to the first K & M Mental Health & Wellbeing E Bulletin. In partnership with our colleagues in Public Health we want to share with you each month information, education & links affecting everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. We hope you enjoy and feed back any suggestions or information of your own you would like to share.
Not in the same boat, but we are in the same ocean!
You might have heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. For some, lockdown is a chore to be endured. For others, this is a time of desperate financial & family crisis.
For some that live alone, they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others, it is peace, rest & time with family.
Everyone faces the current Covid-19 pandemic in their own way.
Interested, click below to access the full bulletin. Please note,
Kincardine and Deeside Befriending is closely following advice provided by the NHS and the UK government regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.
From Monday 16 March, all face to face befriending visits will temporarily stop until further notice.
The health and wellbeing of befrienders and befriendees continues to remain the priority throughout this unprecedented situation.
They continue to follow government guidelines closely and will advise when visits can re-commence. We appreciate this is a difficult time and we thank everyone for their co-operation and understanding. The information in the bulletin relates to non-Covid operations.
This bulletin continues to focus on what is currently happening or in place locally as a result of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
This includes sections which will signpost you to official guidance, changes in service provision, local health and wellbeing providers, community resilience, support and advice.
*Please check each section for new and updated information*
Do you know a local business that could offer services to carers?
Aberdeenshire Council’s and Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s approach to supporting carers is being boosted by local hospitality providers.
A pilot ‘Respitality’ project which began in central Aberdeenshire towards the end of last year sees local businesses asked if they would like to support the wellbeing of both young people and adults who have a caring role by offering short breaks, spa treatments, leisure passes, dining experiences and a range of other offerings either free of charge or at a discounted rate.
Similar projects elsewhere in Scotland have proven to be very successful and a new respitality project worker commissioned by the Council and employed by leading social care charity Quarriers been charged with making links with local businesses keen to participate.
Having secured four three-month gym memberships as the first donation for the project, respitality support worker Ann Brodie explained: “I recently approached Energie Fitness in Inverurie to see if they would like to be the first gifter for the project. They were really open to the idea of respitality and how a donation from their business could help to improve a carer’s health and wellbeing. Their gym promotes a friendly, warm atmosphere and their knowledgeable staff support people to achieve their personal goals so it’s just a perfect fit. They’re delighted to be giving back to the community at the same time as promoting health and fitness and I hope it will encourage other businesses to consider taking part too.”
The Scottish Government recognises the need for all those who have a caring role to benefit from regular opportunities for respite to support their own wellbeing, and in turn the wellbeing of those they are caring for. As such, national targets have been set for increasing the number of opportunities available in different local areas, and additional funding has been provided.
Quarriers are already commissioned by the Council to provide support services to carers, and this has brought about an expansion of their existing contract. While this project will see them being able to look into respite options, their family wellbeing workers can also assess carers’ needs and provide information, advice and signposting; offer 1:1 and group support for carers; deliver training on topics such as moving and handling or epilepsy awareness; and run events. They can also help with accessing self-directed support budgets so carers get what they need to make caring easier.
Chair of the Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen commented: “We recognise that any carer needs breathing space and our approach is about enabling that, particularly when we’re talking about young carers’ who also have their education and personal and social development to think about. Support comes in many forms and we hope that this respitality project will inspire local businesses to lend a hand in offering some much needed VIP treatment.”
Vice Chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Changing the perception of what it means to be a carer is also very important to us. Not all carers are looking after those with a physical disability, for example, and their circumstances are very wide ranging. Quarriers focus on understanding your caring role and then working with you to find out how we can support you to continue that important role.”
Aberdeenshire Council has responsibility for providing social care services to young people (up to 18 years of age) while Aberdeenshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership coordinates provision for adults.
A Young Carer Strategy was introduced by the Council in 2018 in line with the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and set out a number of ambitious plans to make a difference, including the Respitality project. A Young Carers Statement is now provided to all young carers who request one detailing any need for additional support in helping to ensure their wellbeing.
The overall number of young carers receiving support in Aberdeenshire has increased since the strategy was implemented, and Quarriers are typically supporting around 200 young people at any one time. As part of the wider strategy, council officers have also been involving young carers directly in developing a suite of information to support others in similar circumstances.
Adult carers are supported with an Adult Carers Support Plan. For further information and advice, any carer (regardless of their age) can contact Quarriers. They are commissioned to deliver support in this area and will begin by asking if you wish to register with the service.
Give the gift of health, wellbeing and fun this Christmas – “Gie it a Go” package offers range of sports and cultural activities
A fantastic suite of offers encouraging people in Aberdeenshire to “Gie it a Go” has been launched in time for Christmas.
Know someone who would like to learn to swim, but doesn’t know where to start? Or perhaps try indoor rock climbing for the first time in a safe environment?
Maybe the special someone in your life would prefer the chance to research their family history, learn about 3D printing or try spin or bootcamp exercise classes?
These experiences and a large range of other sporting and cultural activities can be packaged together for one great price with “Gie it a Go”.
As the name suggests, it’s designed to let people try a wide range of activities in local communities provided by Live Life Aberdeenshire.
Maybe you want to try the experiences yourself – you don’t have to let someone else have all the fun! For £20 you or the person you gift to can pick three activities from a menu which is growing all the time.
Other activities include the chance for four people to record their favourite karaoke track in one of our recording studios or an introduction to cross country skiing.
You could even choose a drawing/painting taster session or get an in-depth tour of Macduff Marine Aquarium.
Gift cards can be printed off to be included in a Christmas card or stocking and redeemed online.
For those who may not feel confident trying some of the activities, the great thing is that they will usually be joining others in the same situation as them.
To explore the activities on offer and buy in time for Christmas in our easy-to-use online portal, see: http://bit.ly/GieItAGo
Home to over half of the planet’s population, urban areas are responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions.
What is green infrastructure and why is it important?
Green infrastructure is defined as a “planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services”. This term incorporates a huge variety of different ecosystems from parks, playing fields and woodlands to community gardens, green roofs and street planters. These spaces facilitate physical activity, relaxation and can be a refuge from the noisy city. Green spaces help to foster biodiversity and provide safe routes for people walking and cycling through the city thus contributing positively to population health. In fact, estimates show that physical inactivity, linked to poor walkability and lack of access to recreational areas, accounts for 3.3% of global deaths.
There is robust evidence to support the claim that green space has a positive impact on people’s wellbeing with features such as parks, rivers and trees creating more liveable and pleasing urban environments. Research has shown that having access to green space can reduce health inequalities, improve well-being and aid in the treatment of mental illness.
Importantly, green spaces also help to regulate the impacts of harmful emissions in the city. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and help to filter out harmful pollution while urban waterways such as lakes, rivers or even fountains moderate temperature and together with vegetation, play a vital role in cooling cities. In some areas, it has been estimated that evapotranspiration (the process of converting water in leaves to water vapor which is then transpired through the trees) can reduce peak summer temperatures by 5°C. Additionally, green spaces provide areas where runoff interception can occur, thus reducing the likelihood of flooding, an issue particularly pertinent to Scotland where winter rainfall is expected to increase between 10-35% in some areas.
Supporting the development of green infrastructure is becoming an even more prominent part of urban policymaking across the world. From street planters to citizen gardening, the following section describes a couple of examples in which local authorities in Scotland are helping to create healthier, greener cities. Read the rest of this entry »
Preserving dignity looks like it is being built into the design Scotland’s new social security system. It’s also the phrase that was at the heart of work undertaken by the Poverty Truth Commission and Nourish Scotland on the community provision of food. Consideration of how something might impact on a person’s dignity, could really transform the way we think about the delivery of public services. Here’s a great example of a community project in Aberdeen which tackles food poverty but always with a keen eye on preserving the dignity of those they serve.
A basket full of high-quality food for £2.50 may seem too good to be true – but that’s now the reality for shoppers at Scotland’s first food pantry.
The Woodside Pantry in Aberdeen provides people living in one of the city’s most disadvantaged areas a way to shop for a lot less.
It is an innovative, community-run project. The aim is to combat food poverty, and it has been hailed as a sustainable alternative to food bank use.
“I can get some really good healthy food at a very reasonable price”
For a small weekly charge, members get access to food donated by supermarkets and a local charity. Clare Whyte, one of the workers at the community centre where the pantry is based, told BBC Scotland’s The Nine: “Food banks are not a long-term solution. It’s an emergency food service, really.
“This could be a way to reduce food waste which is massive and a huge issue as we know and also tackle food poverty at the same time.
Food parcels from food banks are often only available to people who have been referred by frontline professionals like GPs or advice agencies. But membership of the Woodside Pantry was initially open to anyone living in the immediate area around the Fersands and Fountain Community Centre, where the project is based. It proved so popular that the catchment area has now been widened and the membership cap extended. Almost half of the people using the service receive benefits or Jobseeker’s Allowance. A quarter of the users are single parents. There are now 83 households with membership to the pantry, and more than 200 local residents – including children – are directly benefitting.
“I can get some very good, healthy food at a very reasonable price,” said Margaret Aisbitt, who was one of the first to sign up. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Dementia? Do you support someone who is currently living with Dementia? If so then we need to hear from you!
The Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) is currently in the early stages of developing an Aberdeenshire wide Dementia Strategy and is looking to hear from people affected by Dementia.
To support people with lived experience to tell us about their Dementia journey, we have developed a series of ‘Village Storytelling’ events. Developed in partnership with The Village Storytelling Centre and delivered by colleagues across the health and social care partnership and third sector, sessions will allow those taking part tell their story in a safe and supported environment.
Chair of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) Rhona Atkinson, said, “This strategy will set out how the Partnership supports those living with Dementia and their families over the next 5 years. It is such an important area for us, so it is vital that we understand what support people need, when they need it, what is working well and not so well, now.
“The team working on the strategy have set out a great way to support those who are already living with dementia to participate through the Storytelling sessions and I would urge anyone who is able to come along and join in”
Vice Chair of the IJB, Cllr Anne Stirling, said, “We need to hear from everyone, people with a diagnosis, Unpaid Carers, Volunteers, Third Sector Organisations, family members, professionals; everyone! Whether you do this through the storytelling sessions or through the online survey the team will support you to participate in a way that works for you”
Dementia Storytelling session (Peterhead) – 3rd July 2019, tickets can be booked via – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-peterhead-tickets-63109065915
Dementia Storytelling session (Inverurie) – 4th July 2019, – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-inverurie-tickets-63107832225
Dementia Storytelling session (Stonehaven) – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-stonehaven-tickets-63109373836
In addition to the public events any groups or care settings who would wish to hold their own storytelling session are invited to request one via firstname.lastname@example.org
The feedback gathered from the ‘Village Storytelling’ sessions and the survey will be used to develop and inform a draft strategy which will be widely consulted on prior to being finally agreed by the IJB.