Hello Everyone – I had my Mum back for just a minute…
This week I have easily been triggered about my Dad’s passing, I have been very weepy and just felt low. I think it was going to a friends funeral last Friday and it was very emotional and difficult. Like everyone said he had gone to soon, he was decent and genuine man and this really was the first emotional event I have had to deal with since my Dad’s passing.
I know this sounds bizarre but when I spoke to my Mum last night, I had her back for a time, she knew just by my voice something was up and was so wonderful at making me feel better in the way she used to do, it made me feel lighter and understood. For, the first time in a while I felt safe and protected as this last year it has been the other way round.
I have felt orphaned, detached this last year with Mum having Dementia and Dad no longer here and it has been hard. It would of been Mum and Dad’s 60th Anniversary on Halloween and so I am anticipating supporting Mum a lot next Tuesday.
One thing I noticed when taking my little comfort dogs for a walk this morning is that the village church is having a remembrance service for those people have lost on Sunday and now I am going back to church regularly I am going to go.
So any carers who are experiencing bereavement or grief please come a long to our monthly peer support group and the next session is 7th November at 5pm
Disclaimer: The author is writing his personal thoughts on behalf of the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets and assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this blog. The information and thoughts contained in this blog is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness but is the intellectual property of the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets.
Your Voice Matters: Carers Annual Survey 2023
Your opinions, experiences, and feedback are at the heart of what we do, and we are eager to hear your thoughts on the services we provide. The Annual Survey is your platform to let us know how we can improve, what we are doing right, and where we can make positive changes. Your insights help shape the future of carer support in Tower Hamlets.
Carers Centre Team Supporting and highlighting Hate Crime for National Hate Crime Awareness Week
“Tower Hamlets Residents Insights Survey on Cost of Living.”
The purpose of this survey is to gather an extensive information on community insights on the impact of the cost of living. This is a joint initiative across health, and social care partners, all using the same system, ensuring that your feedback significantly informs decision-making processes.
You will receive a £20 ‘Love to Shop’ Digital Reward Code for your efforts sent to your email address. We will only be sending out the rewards to your email address we will not be giving out reward cards.
if you would like to take part please be aware when you undertake the survey The Love to shop people will send directly to your email, account, they will not send future promotional emails.
the link for the Carers Centre https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90570561/carerscentre
Day of the Dead on Columbia Road
Columbia Road Shops will be celebrating the London Day of the Dead Festival on 28th October 2023 from 12pm onwards.
Expect a procession, a beauty parlour and a mariachi band, and the colour walk people on Saturday, 28th October 2023.
The Day of the Dead is, despite its name, a joyful celebration honouring the passing of loved ones. On this day it is believed that the spirits of the ancestors return. They are honoured and remembered by their families and friends on Earth. Flowers are an intrinsic part of the festival.
Program of the Day:
11am London’s first Day of the Dead bike ride will leave at 11am from Arnold Circus. Returning to Columbia Road at 12.30pm. Attire skeletal, floral and bright. Book at the Beauty Parlour between 10am to 11pm here.
12pm Day of the Dead Beauty Parlour opens at Breathe 57 Columbia Rd – Get the look! – hair and make up.
12pm Mexican hot chocolate at Milagros.
12pm Mexican food and drink
12pm A shrine will be created
12.30pm Day of the Dead Yoga – rattle your bones – prompt start at 12.30pm at Ezra Street. Join us
2pm Procession with the Mariachi, Colour Walk People, and the chevy and coffin from The Bird Cage. Join us
3.00pm The Black Swan Border Morris dancers will dance summoning up the spirits with themes of rebirth & death.
In collaboration with local florists, Columbia Road shops will be decorated with flowers, Shopkeepers will be dressed in suitable attire – with expect face painting, artists creating shrines and ghostly figures from the past.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Carers Centre was delighted to be accepted as a supported charity by the Queen Mother Clothing Guild (QMCG), a lovely charity that has been donating clothing, bedding, creating handmade blankets, scarves, hats and scarves since 1882!
Here is their website address to find out more www.qmcg.org.uk
We collected our donated items for carers and their cared for from St James Palace this week, and the items will be available at the Carers Centre from Tuesday 17th October. QMCG have kindly donated handmade knitted blankets, hats, gloves, scarves, fiddle muffs, knitted head bands and some gorgeous handmade bags.
The creations are handmade with love by the many QMCG volunteers up and down the country who lend their time, skills, and wool to wrap some comfort and warmth around people they’ve never met! A big shout out to the volunteers and the organising team at QMCG, thankyou from all of us at the Carers Centre, your creations are beautiful!
Carers will be required to take one item so that we can distribute to as many carers
Next Week’s Activities – check out https://ccth.org.uk/calendar/
Design a Christmas card competition 2023
With Christmas just around the corner, we are looking for talented primary school children in Tower Hamlets to help design the borough’s annual corporate Christmas cards.
Young artists are invited to spread some festive cheer by entering this year’s competition to design an exclusive Christmas card cover which may feature on cards sent out by the Mayor and Chief Executive.
Designs should be submitted by email by 2pm on Tuesday 7 November.
State of Caring 2023 – Finance Report
Carers UK has today released new research which finds that thousands of unpaid carers continue to struggle financially and are being forced into poverty because of the cost of living crisis and a benefit system that is unfit for purpose.
Our research, based on findings from our State of Caring 2023 survey, highlights how carers, particularly those receiving Carer’s Allowance, are extremely vulnerable to high costs due to their limited ability to earn an income and because of the additional caring costs that they face.
We found that 75% of unpaid carers receiving Carer’s Allowance are now struggling with cost-of-living pressures, almost half (46%) are cutting back on essentials including food and heating, while 45% said they were struggling to make ends meet; a rise of 6% compared with 39% last year.
The research also showed that, of carers receiving Carer’s Allowance:
A carer from Manchester, who gave up her career as a speech and language therapist to care for her husband when he was diagnosed with MS and receives Carer’s Allowance, is amongst those carers who have had to make desperate choices. She told us: “I am regularly skipping meals. We have skipped lunch for the last 9 months. Now I sometimes cook just for my husband, and I skip dinner. Sometimes I have cereal for dinner. Sometimes I have a jar of baby food. It is 95p and often reduced further. I can eat baby food for dinner to save money.”
As a result of the intolerable financial pressures carers are facing, Carers UK is calling on the Government to urgently overhaul Carer’s Allowance and increase the earnings threshold for claiming the benefit so that carers can continue to earn alongside their caring responsibilities. At only £76.75 a week for providing a minimum of 35 hours of care, Carer’s Allowance remains the lowest benefit of its kind – equivalent to £2.19 per hour of care provided.
More immediately, unpaid carers urgently need a financial boost this winter to ensure they can survive the winter months. That’s why we are also calling on the Government to provide carers with additional and targeted financial support now, to prevent even more unpaid carers falling into poverty at the harshest time of year.
We would be grateful if you could share this report within your own network and on your social media, in order to bring greater attention to this issue. Please also share it with your local MP to bring their attention to this report and the issues brought to light by it.
For a template letter to send to your MP, or if you would like any further information about this report, please contact us at email@example.com.
Exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives
‘Unforgotten Lives’ presents the stories of Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous heritage who lived and worked in the city between 1560 and 1860 and are recorded in London’s archives. Exploring a range of experiences, these multi-layered stories speak of love, enterprise, wealth and family life; discrimination, hardship, resilience and resistance.
Informed by an ongoing research project which aims to reveal London’s complex and long-standing diversity and developed in partnership with Northeastern University London, the exhibition presents evidence of presence and community in documents created nearly 500 years ago. It celebrates well known figures from London’s past and introduces some of the thousands of names discovered in the archives.
check out the link below to find out more
Activities – October 2023
Chair Disco & Exercise
This new activity is part of our volunteer/accredited Carer Health Champions programme and Tracey will be facilitating two sessions a month where you will have the opportunity to sit or stand and do an exercise and disco session, learn to use your body, stretch, raise your heartbeat, and have some disco fun.
This weeks session went very well and many carers came and enjoyed themselves as well as helping to improve their physical and emotional wellbeing. I hope to see more of you and a big thank you to the wonderful Tracey.
Creative Writing for Carers
30th October @ 12.30pm to 2pm
We are introducing a twice monthly creative writing group led by another carer champion the wonderful Anita. You will have the opportunity to remain in a creative bubble as these sessions are directly after our Shared Reading Group. Think how you are transported to another world with the reading group and how you can use your imagination to write your own short story, poem and use this time for yourself to think about you.
Ramble for better Health
This activity is facilitated by Sharron one of our volunteer/accredited Carer Health Champions and this activity is for carers who wish to get healthier, maintain good health, reduce the risk of Diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure and have fun trying.
Good Vibe Afternoon & Picnic – @ The Docklands Museum (New Exhibition)
This new Carer Champion activity facilitated by Hilary is where carers will be able to attend a local, free, or low-cost day trip, bring a picnic and Watch out for news of each month’s trip.
Don’t forget that the activities we run are aimed at giving carers a chance for emotional respite, enabling connection with others so you do not feel alone and giving carers the chance to have fun, relax and be in the moment.
The Open University announces new national health campaign empowering the UK to Age Well
- The Open University is launching a new UK-wide month-long pledge aimed at people over 50 called – Take Five to Age Well.
- Launching on 1 September, the Take Five to Age Well pledge will build a UK-wide movement of people committed to ageing well behaviours, with a lasting impact on their health and wellbeing.
- TV presenter Kaye Adams, leading healthcare expert Sir Muir Gray, and leading expert on ageing Professor Rose Anne Kenny are all supporting Take Five to Age Well, alongside parts of the NHS.
- By taking part in the pledge people will sign up to a month of healthy habits shaped by leading experts from The Open University that will boost their health and well-being.
- Research shows that 70-80% of your ageing rate is largely determined by environmental factors (non-genetic) and many of these are within our gift; by making small changes in lifestyle we can live longer, healthier lives.
Similar to the tried and tested Dry January and Stoptober models, The Open University’s Take Five to Age Well campaign is encouraging people over 50 to sign up to a month of healthy habits designed by experts from the University.
With an ever-increasing demand on adult social care services and the NHS across the UK, The Open University will help people take proactive care across the month of September in five key areas of their lives.
Take Five to Age Well builds upon the Five Pillars of Ageing Well, devised by Dr. Jitka Vseteckova and is one of The Open University’s Open Societal Challenges which looks to use the power of the University’s research to address complex issues affecting society.
Top tips from Take Five to Age Well include:
- Stand on one leg whilst brushing your teeth – this is great for balance that become more and more important to avoid falls.
- Drink a glass of water before every snack and meal – this will help you stay hydrated (our hirst response weakens with age due to cognitive changes and so you need to proactively drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty).
- Choose a new vegetable you wouldn’t normally buy from the supermarket and look up a recipe that uses it.
- Spend 5 minutes doing something creative: draw a picture, play an instrument, do an origami online tutorial.
- Offer to walk someone’s dog – spending time with animals is calming and walking in nature is good for the body and brain.
- Laugh and have fun – the dose of dopamine from laughing stimulates the synthesis of new proteins in the brain, it also reduces stress and boosts mood. The average four year old laughs 300 times a day, whereas the average 40 year old laughs only four times.
The Carers Centre is a partner of this project and has helped develop it.
We have a programme of exciting, free events lined up, which you can book now online. Details below! All events take place in person here at the archives unless otherwise mentioned, and you can book your free place on our Eventbrite.
East End History Club: Voices in the archive!
Re-sounding the East End
Thursday 16 November, 6.30-8pm
Join us for a discussion with curators and historians Nadia Valman, Tamsin Bookey, Rehana Ahmed and Alan Dein responding to the three sound art installations that form Everything is different, nothing has changed in the context of the East End’s social and public history. This event is part of the Being Human Festival.
Mental health crisis support 24/7 via telephone 0800 073 0003 (all ages).
The Together Café for adults in Tower Hamlets who are at risk of developing a mental health crisis can drop into this service out of hours for professional support and group activities. Located at Osmani Trust, Osmani Centre 58 Underwood Road E1 5AW. Open Monday to Friday 5pm-9pm and Saturday to Sunday 12pm-9pm.
Safe Connections Hub: For people aged 18+ who are having thoughts of suicide. Self-referral by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 09:30-16:30 0300 561 0115. Flyer attached, which includes information about
EMERGENCY CARERS SERVICE
Getting the right and timely 1:1 support for the person you look after should you experience an emergency and / or you need urgent time out from your caring role is very important.
You may be eligible for emergency care for the person you care for – this service is called the Emergency Carers Service.
Carers Centre, Tower Hamlets is pleased to be working in partnership with Excelcare Homecare, the company that delivers this valuable emergency service for carers, in Tower Hamlets.
The purpose of the Emergency Carers Service is to enable carers to attend appointments knowing that the person they care for is safe; to support carers who are experiencing a crisis.
The agreed criteria for self-referrals is as below:
- To allow a carer to attend medical appointments such as GP/Hospital.
- In the case that a carer has been admitted to hospital without notice.
- Sudden death of a carer.
- Carer experiencing a breakdown in mental health.
- There is a risk of harm to the carer/cared for person or a risk of domestic violence.
- Breakdown in relationship between the carer/cared for person, including that the carer feels unable to fulfil their responsibilities in their carer role.
- Carer experiencing an emotional breakdown.
- Potential safeguarding risks/concerns.
- Carer entering the criminal justice system.
- The service can only be provided in the case that the carer/cared for is not already in receipt of services through Adult Social Care. However, carers who are in receipt of a carers relief service and are at risk of significant crisis, can be provided with an additional 12 hours of flexible carers relief as a top up.
Support the Emergency Carers Service can offer
- The Emergency Carers Service is able to provide up to a maximum of 24 hours of support within a 12-week period. Where there is a longer-term need, or additional support is required within this period, this will be managed through a Carers Assessment and commissioned package of care. Excelcare Homecare and Carers Centre Tower Hamlets can you help if you need longer term care and support for the person you care for.
If a carer wants to self-refer to the Emergency Carers Service
- Staff at the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets are here to help you if you need this service, do call us if you need assistance. However, all carers can call and self-refer too, over the phone, by calling 020 7780 9484 or by emailing email@example.com
- If you are making an urgent self-referral, to start on the same day, or outside of Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5pm, please ensure that you call and speak with a Care Coordinator at Excelcare Homecare, using the number above.
- For emergency self-referrals, a minimum of 2 hours-notice is required. Emergency self-referrals can be made 7 days per week, please aim to contact our service by 7pm if required to start that evening. If there is a very urgent self-referral that requires immediate start after 7pm, still refer this onto Excelcare Homecare for discussion and assistance.
- For non-urgent self-referrals, please provide 24 hours’ notice where possible.
All Excelcare Homecare team members have a good level of spoken and written English and undergo a nationally recognised Care Certificate that includes important areas such as First Aid, Medication, Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults and Children, the Mental Capacity Act, Health and Safety, Fire Safety, and Infection Control. They also take part in a thorough induction which covers our policies, procedures, expectations, and period of shadowing an experienced carer.
To make sure a loved one is in good hands, Excelcare Homecare draws on a large number of care and support team members from different cultural backgrounds and then strives to match them appropriately with the people we care for. We also endeavour to keep carers as consistent as possible for families. We have a number of care workers who speak Bengali and are able to offer culturally appropriate care.
Excelcare Homecare understand how important it is that their team members have the right skills, personality, and attitude – giving you peace of mind that your loved one is cared for as if they were a member of our own family.
You can find more information about Excelcare Homecare here: www.excelcareholdings.com
Domestic Abuse & Violence Numbers
Refuge: 24 hours, 7 days a week – Tel: 0808 2000 247
Help for Households Gives clear information about the exceptional payments, energy support and existing support schemes available, so the public know what is available and where they can find help. The homepage brings together over 40 support schemes that the public may be able to access depending on eligibility. Additionally, a range of online tools will help citizens quickly and efficiently check the support they might be eligible for and how to access it.
This is the link to find local councillors. You put you postcode in to find local councillor. They can deal with any housing issue if the carer/cared for is council tenant. They can also help if the carer lives in privately rented property and issue is disrepair.
Food Banks Information
What you need to know
With the cost of living crisis affecting communities nationwide, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have shared information on accessing your local FOOD Stores and tips on managing your food bills.
Tower Hamlets FOOD Stores
A number of FOOD stores have been set up across the borough, supporting those who are finding it difficult to afford enough food for themselves or their families.
At these FOOD stores, you are able to pick up food valued at £25-£35 in exchange for a £3.50 membership fee. At the same time, support is provided in other areas that you might need help with. This includes help with issues around
- benefits access
- employment and more.
To find out more or to become a member email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, postcode, date of birth and contact number.
There are a number of food aid organisations available to help you in Tower Hamlets if you are struggling to get food for yourself or your family. Scroll down to see where your closest branch is located. Different food aid services will offer different support.
- Open Access – A food bank that anyone can go to for food.
- Limited Access/referral only – A Food bank that needs someone to refer you into the service. Please contact the organisation for more details.
- School food provision – A food bank or food aid service that specifically works with students and parents who attend the school.
- Hot meals service/Hostel – Provides hot meals or pre-made goods to residents.
Underwood Road Foodbank – (Open Access)
Opening times: Thursday and Friday, 9am – 3pm
St Anne’s Catholic Church, E1 5AW
Contact: 020 7247 7833 or email email@example.com from Tuesday to Friday (9am – 3pm)
Ensign Youth Club – (Open Access)
Opening times: Friday 10am – 1pm
Wellclose Sq, E1 8HY
Hague Primary School
Opening times: Monday – Friday 8.40am – 3.40pm
Hague primary school, E2 0BP and E1 5RE
For more information please ask at the school office.
Stewart Headlam Primary School
Opening times: Monday – Friday 8.40am – 3.40pm
Tapp St, London, E1 5RE
For more information please ask at the school office.
Wellington Primary School – Food bank (limited access/by referral only)
School food provision (Pupils and families only)
Opening times: Tuesday 2 – 3pm
Wellington Way, Bow, E3 4NE
St Elizabeth Pop Up Kitchen – School food provision (pupils and families only)
Opening times: 3.40 – 5pm
St Elizabeth Primary School, entrance on Waterloo Gardens, E2 9JY
For more information please visit St Elizabeth School website / Caritas Twitter page.
Bygrove School – School food provision (pupils and families only)
Opening times: Monday – Friday (Term Time Only)
Bygrove street, E14 6DN
For more information please visit the Bygrove School website.
Langdon Park School – School food provision (pupils and families only)
Opening times: Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm
Bright Street, London, E14 0RZ
For more information please ask at the school office.
Dorset Community Food Hub – (Open Access – Hot meals service)
Opening times: Thursday
Ground floor, former Dorset library, E2 8QX
For more information please visit the Dorset Community website.
Olga Primary School Foodbank – School food provision (pupils and families only)
Opening times: Friday 3.20 – 3.45pm
Olga Primary School, E3 5DN
Contact: 020 8981 7127
Edward Gibbons House – (Hostel)
Opening times: 24 hours
1 Parmiter St, E2 9NG
Globe Primary School – (Open Access)
Opening times: Friday 12 – 3.15pm
Globe Primary School, E2 0JH
For more information please visit Globe Primary School website.
Food for Aldgate – (Limited access/by referral only)
Opening times: Friday 1 – 3pm
Tonybee Hall, 28 Commercial Street, London, E1 6AB
Contact: Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @FoodForAldgate.
Womens Inclusive Team – (Limited access/by referral only)
Opening times: Appointment provided after referral
Mayfield House 202 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LJ
Contact: 07415 372 664 or email email@example.com.
William Davis Food Bank – School food provision (pupils and families only)
Opening times: Friday 2 – 3pm
William Davis School, E2 6ET
Contact: 020 7739 1511
Bow Food Bank – (Open Access)
Opening times: Monday 8am – 12.30pm
Bromley by Bow Centre, St Leonard’s Street, E3 3BT
For more information please visit the Bow Food Bank website.
Bethnal Green Foodbank – (Open Access)
Opening times: Wednesday 2 – 7pm
Raines Foundations School, Approach road, E2 9LY
Bow Muslim Cultural Centre – (Open Access)
Opening times: Friday 11am – 3pm
246 Bow Road London, E3 3AP
SACC Food Bank – (Limited access/by referral only)
Opening times: Thursday and Friday 10am – 3pm
St Anne’s Catholic Church, E1 5AW
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7247 7833.
Referrals can be discussed by email or contact number.
|Launch of Somali National Helpline 0800 6102020
Better Safe Communities are pleased to inform you of the launch of the first historic Somali National Helpline, sponsored by the local businesses up and down the country and in regards to poor service provisions of UK public services for Somali communities nationally.
The Helpline was founded by Khadra Hersi, a student of London Met University. It is aimed at the Somali community, helping with language barriers, immigration, and mental health issues due to war in their country. The Somali National Helpline are a service that uses professionals to support people overcome issues they are facing. They exist to support individuals with language matters, mental health issues, and beneficiaries to solve their problems. They also provide translating and interpreting services. They are here to support and advocate for many problems faced within the Somali community such as young adults suffering from knife crime, and elderly people who feel isolated and lonely due to language barriers.
Why do you need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Does the person you look after making their own decisions but want help managing their money? Maybe they can make their own decisions now but want an arrangement in case they can’t in the future. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) your family may need to go to Court. This can cause lots of hassle, delay, and expense.
There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney; finances & property matters and decisions about health and care.
Why should you do it now?
- 1 in 3 of us will suffer dementia
- Many of us will retain mental capacity, but will physically struggle to manage our affairs at some point in our life
- Being married or asking your chosen person to act for you is not enough – you need to legally give them the power to help you
- If you leave making your Power of Attorney until you need it, it will be too late.
Carers Centre Partners
The Carers Centre Tower Hamlets is pleased to work in partnership with respected Law firms to provide carers with affordable support with LPA.
Jones Whyte are a Glasgow based multi award winning Solicitor firm and the reigning Law Firm of the Year 2021
- They prepare thousands of Powers of Attorney every year
- Have partnerships with many major national charities
- They offer competitive Power of Attorney fees £349 + vat
You can find our more about Jones Whyte here Power of Attorney – Solicitors Glasgow | Jones Whyte Law
Duncan Lewis Solicitors – “We believe in access to justice for the most vulnerable in society and do everything we can to ensure legal advice and support is available for those who need it most”.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors are a national firm with offices locally.
- They prepare thousands of Powers of Attorney every year
- They are available for face-to-face appointments at their local office (1 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Hackney, London, E8 2JS) or surgeries at the Carers Centre if requested
- They offer competitive Power of Attorney fees £350 + vat
Carers Centre staff can refer you, contact us on 0207 790 1765 or at email@example.com
You can find out more about Duncan Lewis here https://www.duncanlewis.co.uk
Most solicitor firms support with LPA and carers are under no obligation to use either firm listed above and are free to seek support from any firm they choose.
What is I do not want to pay for support with LPA?
We also provide workshops and information for those who want to set up an LPA themselves, many people set up LPA without legal support. You can check our Calendar or give us a call for updates on our latest workshops.
You can also see the information links below for information.
Call us on 0207 790 1765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about LPA.
A carers guide to home fire safety
A new video resource has been launched on the London Fire Brigade website to help carers learn how to keep people that receive care safe from fire.
Sadly, around one third of those here who die or are severely injured by fire are in receipt of some form of care or support. If you are a formal (domiciliary care worker, support worker or clinician) or informal carer (family member, friend or neighbour) and are caring for someone in their own home, this new resource will help you identify fire risks and show you what you can do to reduce them. There is also more information available on the website around fire safety and prevention.
WALKING ALONE? REMEMBER THESE 10 TIPS
1) Plan Your Route
Make sure you plan your route ahead of time. If you are walking in an area you are not familiar with, this can help keep you from getting lost. You will be able to walk with confidence. If you do get lost, don’t wander aimlessly, find a gas station, supermarket, or fast-food restaurant where you can ask for directions.
2) Make Sure Someone Else Knows Your Plans
Don’t go out when it is dark without telling someone, even if you are just taking the dogs out for a walk around your neighbourhood or walking home from a friend’s house nearby. It may seem paranoid, but in fact, knowing someone knows where you are can be reassuring and help you feel safe. If you fall and hurt yourself or run into trouble, and someone knows where you are, they can send help if you don’t arrive at your destination on time.
3) Always Carry Your Phone with You
Always carry your phone, but not for music or to make social calls as your walk. Your phone can be a lifeline if you see something suspicious or worse if something happens to you. Download a safety app on your phone, so you’ll be able to discreetly alert the authorities if you feel threatened or see something suspicious.
4) Avoid Suspicious People and Areas
Areas that are dark, deserted, or out-of-the-way, such as an alley or a parking lot, can be riskier than a well-lit area full of people. Stick to busy, lighted paths, to minimize the risks. Also, walk mainly in familiar places where you are known. That way, if you feel like a suspicious person is following you, you can always duck into a store you know or knock on a neighbour’s door. Avoid empty streets and pathways with thick shrubbery.
5) Keep Your Hands Free
Except for a flashlight and one of the items discussed below, keep your hands free. If you are carrying anything, put it all in one bag or backpack. This will make it easier for you to react if you notice someone following you. In a dangerous situation, carrying too many bags can keep you from moving as quickly as you can if your hands are free or if you only have one bag.
6) Carry a Non-Violent Deterrent
In addition to a flashlight, A whistle will help you alert others and call them to aid you if something is wrong. The loud noise may put off attackers, and they’ll move on to find someone else. Mace or pepper spray can give you enough time to evade a potential attacker, and in a pinch, a flashlight can be used as a weapon. Make sure you know how to use the mace or pepper spray to get its full effect.
7) Wear Reflective Clothing to Prevent Accidents
When it comes to personal safety, it’s not just about suspicious people. Areas with low visibility can be prone to accidents. Reflective clothing allows bikers and cars to see you as you walk along. A flashlight or headlight can also help drivers see you if there are dark stretches of road on your route.
8) Take a Self-Defence Class
When fighting off something as an assault, the element of surprise can work in your favour. If you regularly walk alone, take a self-defence class. You don’t have to become a black belt. In fact, it’s probably better to learn something like Krav Maga, which has been popular for self-defence. The idea is to disable your attacker enough for you to get to safety, and a class focused on self-defence will help give you those survival skills.
9) Remove Any Distractions
Keep your phone in your hand in case you need to hit the panic button on your safety app, but don’t let it distract you. When walking alone at night for exercise, music can be motivating and energizing but also distracting. You may not hear someone driving or walking up behind you. Avoid wearing headphones or talking on your phone as you walk.
10) Trust Your Gut
When walking alone at night, trust your gut. If you feel like an area or situation may be dangerous, don’t wait around to find out. Stop and scan your surroundings if you think someone is following you. If you are being followed, walk as quickly as you can to a well-lit public place. You can wait until you feel safe, or call a friend, a taxi, or an Uber to help you get safely get home at night.
Following these personal safety tips will help keep you stay safe when walking alone. Always be aware of where you are and alert to suspicious activity.
Monday - Friday – 9.30am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday – Closed