2013 RSPH Health and Wellbeing Awards presentation recognises organisations’ achievements to health improvement

Twelve organisations are to be presented with an RSPH Health & Wellbeing Award today in London. The presentations are made by Lord Patel of Bradford OBE.

The aim of the Awards is to recognise achievement in the development and implementation of health promotion and community wellbeing strategies and initiatives.

Regardless of their setting, nature or size, the award winners have all demonstrated a clear evidence of good practice in the commissioning, development and/or implementation of health improvement projects for the communities they serve.

The Awards are to be given to:

The RSPH Health & Wellbeing Awards showcase the contribution of health promotion to public health in the UK. The criteria has at its heart the principles of the Ottawa Charter and includes established commitment by organisations to health promotion, leadership at top level, robust strategies that tackle a wide array of health promotion issues – including health inequality – and the development of workforce both internally and externally.

Chief Executive of RSPH Shirley Cramer CBE said ‘I would like to congratulate our 2013 Health & Wellbeing Awards winners; for their achievements in improving the health of their communities. Their strong commitment to Public Health deserves commendation.

She adds: ‘The RSPH is proud to be supporting and encouraging good practice in health improvement through the national Health & Wellbeing Awards scheme. Our assessment process has been extremely rigorous and this accolade denotes that our winners are at the forefront of good health promotion practice. ‘

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Volunteer Spotlight- Sue Cartwright

Sue is a complementary therapist at Freshwinds and has also become a Community Health Champion volunteer to broaden her knowledge of health issues such as smoking and weight loss. She has enjoyed using this expertise to help a range of people understand how to improve their general health and wellbeing.

Sue Cartwright
Sue Cartwright

“I joined Freshwinds as a voluntary complementary therapist nearly a year ago, then heard about the Community Health Champions programme through attendance at a therapists meeting. I primarily joined to gain a recognised qualification to support the work I already undertake in the community at various health centres where I provide counselling and holistic therapy. However, I have gained far more by broadening my own knowledge regarding health aspects which I have been able to integrate and offer to others.

Through attendance at supervision meetings where guest speakers share their own experiences and specific information relating to a variety of health topics, I have been able to interact and recognise how I can deliver or signpost accordingly to new or integrated areas of health provision that I had not been aware of before.

As a holistic therapist in private practice I have incorporated aspects of achieving the Community Health Champion award by evidencing areas of support that I would already have offered as part of my role. In addition I have provided support and information in a variety of other ways at holistic events in the community, a chat with a fellow bus commuter, a person in my local library to name a few. The majority of health issues have been in relation to alcohol, drug or nicotine addiction and associated weight management and mental health problems.

I have currently completed six months with the programme to date and I am about to receive my achievement award. At times it has been challenging to complete the necessary paperwork to achieve this but I have learnt to be more flexible with my time, more aware of my abilities and give myself recognition of the wealth of experience and knowledge I already possessed but gratitude to the additional knowledge I have gained as a consequence.”

Sowing seeds at Martineau Gardens with Local Food Global Food

Clients and volunteers from Freshwinds enjoyed a fantastic sunny morning at Martineau Gardens to learn all about seed growing with Local Food Global Food.

They took a tour of the garden, sampling a few herbs and vegetables on the way round, and enjoyed learning about the variety of plants and wildlife. They also took part in a hands-on food growing workshop where they had a go at sowing seeds and replanting cuttings.

Everyone who attended had a brilliant time and found the sessions really interesting and educational.

The session was part of the ‘Local Food Global Food’ project which is aimed at exploring ways to engage the wider community with the local food growing sector.

Martineau Gardens is a beautiful community garden and a charity, located two miles from Birmingham City Centre. An oasis for wildlife, a haven of tranquility or simply a great destination for an outdoor adventure, there are two and a half acres of organically managed landscape to explore.

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Community Support Network Officially Launched

The Community Support Network was officially launched on 5th July 2013. It was created by Mohammed Al-Rahim, Freshwinds’ Founder, President and CEO, who is also the Chair.

The Community Support Network is a group of over 40 large and small organisations from the Third Sector and multi-faith groups which was set up in late autumn 2012 in response to the potential plight of our fellow Birmingham citizens who are being affected by the changes brought about by the Welfare Reform Act and its implementation in combination with the aftermath of the recession (high unemployment and the rising cost of living).

The aim of the Network is to formulate a coordinated response to the provision of all forms of crisis support that may be required such as food banks, clothing banks, hardship funds, advice giving or any other crisis support including access to temporary/emergency accommodation.

We aspire to be an effective and supportive network of organisations and groups working together to mutually support each other for the benefit of our fellow Birmingham citizens who are in need of both high and low level crisis support as well as those individuals and families who are experiencing low levels of income or are disadvantaged whether physically, socially or economically.

More information can be found on the Community Support Network website.

Prospect Hall receives garden makeover thanks to Lloyds Banking Group!

On 5th June, a hardworking team of 20 corporate volunteers from Lloyds Banking Group transformed the garden at the back of Prospect Hall. Coordinated by Helen from Employee Volunteering, the group carried out digging, weeding and clearing to completely revamp the area into somewhere to be enjoyed by clients and their families. The space had previously been neglected and allowed to get completely overgrown so the help they have given is invaluable. They even uncovered a paved area that none of our staff remembered existing!

The team from Lloyds were a delight to have as visitors and throughout the day, we enjoyed showing them around Freshwinds and introducing them to members of staff and volunteers. We’ve heard nothing but positive comments about the garden and we’d like to offer our greatest thanks on behalf of all the clients, volunteers and staff at Freshwinds.

Since the makeover, several of our volunteers and clients have kindly donated plants and hanging baskets for the new garden and we’re keen to put in more plants and benches.

If anyone is interested in gardening and would like to get involved in planting and maintaining the new garden on a voluntary basis, please contact us on 0121 415 6670 or volunteer@freshwinds.org.uk

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Volunteer Spotlight – Keith Payton

Keith volunteers with FreshwindsIT as an IT trainer, supporting our learners to get online and discover the range of services available over the internet.

Keith Payton

“I am enjoying the work with the learners in the Freshwinds IT Training Room. The main reward has been in meeting new people and helping them to acquire new skills. People from a variety of age groups and backgrounds have attended and they all have an interesting tale to tell.

In addition to introducing them to computers a number have been looking for work or they want to use online facilities to pay bills or find information about public services. There are a variety of things that we can discuss or help them with and it is rewarding when they show their appreciation for the service they have received.

I have also enjoyed meeting a number of the staff and other volunteers who work for the organisation. I would recommend other people to volunteer for Freshwinds.”

‘Talk Speak Yell Health Event’ a huge success for Community Health Champions

Thank you to our Community Health Champions who attended the ‘Talk Speak Yell Health Event’ hosted by Ur Brum on the 30th May in Aston.

The event was a great success, and provided an opportunity for our CHCs to hand out free fruit to promote eating 5-a-day, as well as chat with young people about their general health and well-being.  It is really fantastic for the CHCs to be out in the community together, engaging with people and passing on health messages, and we are very grateful for the time and energy they put into such events.

The event was part of the Community Cohesion City wide Programme that is delivered by the Community Development Workers. Its funded and supported by Birmingham Mind, Common Unity, BVSC, Freshwinds, Public Health and the Joint Commissioning Team.

If you are interested in becoming a Community Health Champion or would like to attend similar events in future, please contact chc@freshwinds.org.uk.

CHC event
(Right to left) Community Health Champions Christine Nicholls, Hugo McPherson and Abade Ahmed

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IT Training available to help you find work

LMW-logged-out-logoAre you struggling to get online or need to use the new Universal Jobmatch? Our UKOnline centre has a planned structured path through Online Basics and Online Plus that’s perfect for learning to get online to find work. We thought we’d share it with you!

Start with the Using email and Using internet searches modules of Online Basics – this gives a you a great grounding in the skills you’ll need to find vacancies, contact friends and family and shop and research online. Follow this with the Job hunting online and Jobs and Interviews modules from Online Plus and you should have many of the skills needed to both find and apply for work online.

Our centres have also found that learners can underpin these employability skills with the Make money work course to help with financial literacy.

If you are interested please call us on 0121 415 6670 and ask for Dot Coomber or Elizabeth Brown.

Families get crafty for Children’s Hospice Week

At the end of April, we celebrated Children’s Hospice Week (26 April – 3 May), organised by national charity Together for Short Lives.  It is the UK’s only charity week for children with life-limiting conditions and the services that support them. The theme this year was ‘be a hero’ so to mark the week, we invited families from our Children’s Services to take part in a super hero themed craft morning.

We were helped out by a group of students from King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls who are taking part in a project for us with Envision. They created hero masks and butterfly paintings with the children and started work on an amazing canvas that will be displayed at Freshwinds once they have added some finishing touches.

While the children were busy getting messy with glitter glue and paint, the parents were given complementary therapy taster sessions by our volunteer therapists. This allowed them such much needed relaxation time and a chance to sample the variety of therapies we have on offer at Freshwinds.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to all the volunteers and staff who kindly gave their time on a Saturday morning to run this successful event. We look forward to holding more events in future hospice weeks.

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Community Health Champion Spotlight – Nadia Mahmoud

Nadia joined our Community Health Programme 6 months ago and has enjoyed taking an active role in promoting healthy lifestyle choices to people in her community. In February, she received a graduation certificate to recognise her dedication to the scheme.

nadia2I’m Nadia, a Community Health Champion. I have been volunteering for 6 months at Freshwinds and what an amazing experience it has been. I have attended several events and received an award for “Best Community Events Support” Acknowledgement of Participation in the Community Health Champions programme.

I’m delighted that I’m having such an important contribution to improving the health and lifestyle of my local community. Throughout this volunteering project the experience has made me a better person, the biggest personal benefit being the change to my lifestyle. I have started eating 5 a day as well as cutting out fast food. I have also become more active as I have introduced some exercise into my day simply by walking and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Now I feel healthier in a short space of time.

Volunteering is about giving but it is also about having a great time – an experience to remember all your life. I’m proud of the good work I’m doing and I’ll keep on doing it.

Why did I volunteer as a Community Health Champion?
• A desire to make a difference to the lives of others
• Getting to know the local community and help them
• Feeling valued
• Gaining confidence and self-esteem
• Gaining new experience
• Developing skills and knowledge
• Enhancing CV
• Meeting new people
• Making new friends
• A chance to socialise
• Having fun!
• have a positive attitude