wellbeing

6 Ways to a Healthier Festive Period

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Thought it would be nice to share with you a great festive message we received from our colleagues in Public Health Kincardine & Mearns

1.      Go Easy on the Booze – With work Christmas parties and catching up with friends and family the alcohol units can really mount up.  Try to keep tabs on how much your drinking and intersperse alcoholic drinks with soft ones (you’ll feel better for it the next day).                                                                                                                                                      

2.      Don’t stuff yourself – with Christmas chocolate for breakfast and a 3 course lunch followed by more chocolate and alcohol the calories can add up to an unmentionable amount.  This not only contributes to weight gain but also heartburn, indigestion and feeling lethargic which reduces your chances of burning the calories off.  Try to keep your portion sizes small and include fruit and vegetables with each meal

3.      Keep Active – with the long dark days it’s hard to stay motivated and get out to do some exercise but you will feel much better for doing so.  It doesn’t need to be a 5K run it could simply be a nice walk with the family and an opportunity to try out new toys like bikes or scooters. 

4.      Take a Break – the Christmas Holidays are the perfect time to relax, take some time out from day to day life and reflect to put life into perspective

5.      Look After Others – Christmas time is the perfect time to reach out to family and friends whom you maybe don’t see so often.  Caring for others by giving your time is a precious gift at any time of the year.  You may also like to help out at a local Christmas event which is a fun way to help your community

6.      Don’t Overspend – Christmas has become a time of excess, which can lead to many people overspending and getting into debt.  Parents in particular feel they need to give children all the gifts they desire so that they feel loved and have the latest gadgets like their friends.  The 4 gift rule is a pledge to help reduce over giving and spending.  Choose one gift from each category: –

a.      Something they want                                
b.      Something they need

c.      Something to wear
d.      Something to read

Spending quality time together as a family is the gift everyone will remember in years to come (not the plastic toy that broke before January ended) 

………..finally, and most important of all, have a lovely Christmas and every best wish for 2020!

 

Best wishes from The Area Management Team Kincardine & Mearns.

“Gie it a Go”

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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

Island co-ops stay strong

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In this post digital age it’s difficult to lose any data thanks to the powerful algorithms that sit behind today’s search engines. But paper records are harder to track down and the history of social enterprise in Scotland becomes much more anecdotal the further back in time you travel. Some skilled work by the archivists at GCU is gradually piecing together the story of who did what, when, and where in order to lay the foundations for today’s social enterprises. Community cooperatives on Scotland’s islands were the early pioneers. In some ways, nothing much has changed.

Scotland’s islands have the highest proportion of co-operatives of any part of the UK thanks to a long tradition of self-reliance, a survey has found.

The study by Co-operatives UK, the sector’s development body, said its survey of co-ops by local authority area found the Western Isles and Orkney topped the table with 8.16 and 5.91 co-ops respectively per 10,000 people. Shetland came in third, with 5.63. Eden in Cumbria came in joint fourth, with 4.55, followed by nearby Allerdale with 3.6.

The Scottish sector’s businesses are generally small, often community shops which provide the only stores in scarcely populated island communities. There are also credit unions, community energy companies and fishing co-ops.

The findings have been published as part of Co-operatives UK’s annual economic survey. It put its total turnover UK-wide at £37.7bn for 2018-19, a little over 1% higher than last year’s figure of £37.6bn and 2.75% higher than the £36.3bn in 2016-17.

The study confirmed that the John Lewis Partnership, the employee-owned group which includes Waitrose food stores, was the UK’s largest co-op with a turnover of £10.3bn; the Co-op itself narrowly behind on £10.2bn. Arla, the Denmark-based diary co-op, came third with a turnover of £2.6bn.

Excluding turnover, the data shows a slight decline in the sector’s size overall. The UK had 7,215 co-ops employing more than 233,000 people in the last financial year, compared with 7,226 employing nearly 235,000 a year earlier.

The report highlighted the Papay Community Co-operative, which runs the only shop and hostel on Papa Westray. The Orkney island has a resident population of about 85 people but is popular with island-hoppers on holiday. The business is close to Papa Westray’s airport, famous as a departure point for the world’s shortest scheduled service, a two-minute, 1.7-mile (2.8km) flight to nearby Westray.

Tim Dodman, the co-op’s secretary, said the business had an annual turnover of about £250,000 and employed four people, with some part-time help during busy periods. It also runs the school bus and local tours.

It was founded in 1980 after the only shop closed and no one could be found to run a new one single-handed. “The co-op ethos is very important,” Dodman said. “This is a small island and pretty remote. It’s much better to work cooperatively than have one individual in control of a lifeline service.”

By Sev Carrell, The Guardian

 

Will you challenge poverty?

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The poverty that we see on our streets isn’t easy to reconcile with the knowledge that we are also one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Given the fact that every day we see people begging on the streets, queuing at foodbanks and experiencing homelessness, is there a risk we become inured to the extent of poverty? Each year, in an effort to shine a light on what’s happening on our streets, the Poverty Alliance coordinate a programme of activities during a week in October to Challenge Poverty.  Could your community help to challenge poverty?

Challenge Poverty Week has been coordinated by the Poverty Alliance for the last seven years, and it is an opportunity to highlight what is being done to address poverty, showcase the solutions we can all get behind to solve it, and commit to more action in the future. The Week takes place from the 7th to the 13th October 2019.

Last year nearly 200 actions were delivered by 130 organisations, elected representatives and individuals as part of Challenge Poverty Week.

Why not take part? Read the rest of this entry »

The growth of the pop-up park

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A team of researchers in Australia are urging urban planners to embrace temporary green spaces

Had you been taking a stroll around downtown San Francisco in late September 2005 you might have noticed something unusual – an ordinary parking space turned into a tiny park featuring a tree, a patch of grass and a bench. This miniature patch of greenery was the brainchild of three urban designers and led to an unexpected global movement known as PARK(ing) Day. Held on the third Friday of September every year, PARK(ing) Day has seen thousands of otherwise grey spaces temporarily transformed, from a spot on London’s South Bank to a sidewalk in Alaska.

The PARK(ing) Day movement captured imaginations, but it’s not the only one of its kind. Pop-up parks (PUPs) are a growing phenomenon, one that a group of urban researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is taking seriously. They argue that PUPs (which they define simply as ‘temporary green spaces’) have the capacity to benefit both biodiversity and the people who live in cities. The group cites several studies that have demonstrated the importance of nature for human wellbeing, including a paper in the Annual of Public Health which concluded that: ‘Taken together, the research reviewed does indicate that contact with nature can promote health. The evidence for some benefits, such as short-term restorative effects, is already quite strong.’

A’Beckett Urban Square PUP on the City Campus of RMIT University in Melbourne, AustraliaA’Beckett Urban Square PUP on the City Campus of RMIT University in Melbourne [Image: J Gollings]

‘There’s a lot of underutilised space in cities, and it’s going to be increasingly key to bring nature back into cities and have it close to offices,’ says Luis Mata, lead author of the study. ‘Some PUPs might only last for a couple of hours, whereas others last for years and may even become a path to something permanent. Depending on their deign and their spatial and temporal scales some will provide more benefits for people, some for biodiversity and some for both.’

The study points to a number of PUPs already in motion. In particular, San Francisco’s ‘Pavement to Parks’ program – an initiative that seeks to transform underutilised street spaces into public plazas known as ‘parklets’. It also refers to the UK’s Design Council and its ‘Knee High Design Challenge’ funding scheme which saw a PUP project trialled in Lambeth and Southwark. The transformed spaces were designed to encourage play and were filled with games for young children.

the “Grasslands” PUP at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne“Grasslands” PUP at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne [Image: M Stanton]

To address the lack of research into such spaces, the researchers want to see future sites become ‘socioecological laboratories’ in which urban planners conduct experiments to inform future design. Leading the way, Mata and his colleagues carried out their own analysis on a PUP in their home-town of Melbourne. They found that the six-week project called ‘Grasslands’, installed at the State Library of Victoria, saw insect pollinator abundance increase by around 160 per cent while the PUP was present.

The human impact of these spaces is harder to evaluate precisely. Nevertheless, the researchers contend that in dense urban environments with plenty of small, underutilised spaces, PUPs can help people spend time in nature, as well as foster community and in particular, creativity. ‘Creative thinking is sometimes lacking in academia,’ says Mata. ‘This new movement of people with artistic minds thinking of putting nature into cities is really excellent and is something that PUPs are uniquely placed to take advantage of.’

Read the rest of this entry »

Growing up in Scotland: life at age 12

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This report presents some initial findings about the lives of 12-year-old children living in Scotland. It uses data collected from Birth Cohort 1 (BC1) of the Growing Up in Scotland study (GUS). GUS is an important longitudinal research project aimed at tracking the lives of Scottish children from birth, through their childhood, into adolescence and beyond. The study is funded by the Scottish Government and carried out by ScotCen Social Research.

BC1 is comprised of a nationally representative sample of 5217 children living in Scotland when they were 10 months old and who were born between June 2004 and May 2005. This report draws on data collected from 3419 families in 2017/18 when the children were aged 12 and most were in the second term of their first year at secondary school. Both data from interviews with parents and children themselves is used.

The report covers, in brief, several varied aspects of children’s lives including:

  • Experience of school and educational aspirations
  • Relationships with parents and peers
  • Social media and use of the internet
  • Involvement in risky behaviour
  • Healthy weight and perceptions of body weight
  • Life satisfaction

For each of these areas, the experiences of boys and girls are compared. Some comparisons are also made between children living in the most and least deprived areas in Scotland and also between children whose parents have different educational qualifications. Relationships between some of the types of experiences themselves are also explored. Only differences which were statistically significant at the 95% level are commented on in the text.

More information about the study is available on the Growing up in Scotland website.