Hello Everyone – Happy New Year and let’s hope it’s a good one …

Hello lovely people, I really hope you had a restful festive holiday and that you managed to have some fun?

I surprised myself and was sociable for once and feel all the better for it.  I usually shut up shop and stay home and interact with the least amount of people I can, so adopting what I promote here, I connected with neighbours, friends and of course family and it was good, I had a laugh, I have Christmas weight due to some great food (my husband makes a mean mince pie and guess what I ate all the pies) and yes connecting with others does work, it is great for your emotional wellbeing and feeling connected made me feel part of my village and happier.

So, this year expect more of me discussing connection and as I know from observing and working alongside you, it works for you as carers and great connections have been made over the last couple of years.

Quick update and Mum had her first Christmas in the nursing home, we did our best Christmas Eve with a little party in her room and eight of us there and my wonderful Sister cooked lunch for Dad and the boys Christmas Day in between being on call.  Mum insisted she did not have a dinner from the home until she described what she had eaten and I said Mum, that’s a Christmas dinner and I have a beautiful photo, I have taken of my Mum in my Santa hat (future memory me thinks).

I hope your loved ones are well and keep doing what you do best – care and love them.

So a little reminder check further down this blog for some new activities taking place and get your names down because being serious now I am in the process of reviewing what works and what does not, attendance and value for money so if you value and want activities, turn up and vote with your feet.

 


Don’t forget that if anything happens, use the numbers below and if it is an emergency dial 999.

 

 

 

Important Numbers:

Domestic Violence Duty Line:  020 7364 4986 between 9am – 5pm.Victim Support:  020 7364 2448/7957

Tower Hamlets Connect/Adult Social Care : 0300 303 6070

Keep well in winter.

There are little things we can all do to take care of ourselves over the colder months. Here’s some information and advice on how to stay well, heat our homes better, minimise costs as well as access support as needed.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a vulnerable or elderly person who may not be coping during this cold weather, please call Tower Hamlets Connect on 0300 303 6070. 

If you are concerned about a homeless person during the winter months, please check our tips on ways you can help and use the StreetLink website.

https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/advice_and_benefits/Keep_well_in_winter.aspx 


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.


 

What’s New For 2023, New Year and New You …..

As you may have seen at the Carers Rights Day, the African Dance Class and the carers who took part in 2022 put on an amazing display of fun and movement.  So, by popular demand we have five new sessions taking place in January, February and March so if you want to join then get your name down fast as places are limited…  First session is 18th January 1.30 to 3.30pm so come and dance, drum, exercise and of course laugh and have fun.

New weekly Women Only Swimming Group for Carers and this starts Friday 20th January at the Tiller Leisure Centre, places are limited and you need to add your name to the list, you cannot just turn up and get a free swim, you can turn up but you will have to pay the entry fee, make sure you sign up.  I have just secured free DLR travel from Shadwell Station to Crossharbour Station for each session.

January 10th the weekly Carers Drop In at the Buddhist Centre is now being funded by the Carers Centre so, every Tuesday 11am to 1pm come along and drop in.  We want you to feedback on how this wonderful group impacts and improves your wellbeing and as always have fun.

There is also a Day Retreat on the 24th January 10am to 4pm, you will need to put your name on the list as this is not a drop-in so, you know what to do and get a place.

We are having the Wallace Collection join us on the 19th January, as part of the Arts, Crafts & Conversation and the week after on the 26th January we are combining all day the Art Group and WeConnect for The Great Winter Get Together – 11am to 3.30pm as part of the Jo Cox Foundation.

And finally, we have …

Do you struggle to find time to exercise let alone do the things you want? Do you feel that if you had a bit more specialist support (just for you) that you could get and feel healthier? Well for a limited time only, Carers Centre Tower Hamlets (CCTH) are working with Don’t Tone Alone CIC to provide you with access to their wellbeing platform. In this platform, you will be able to access a personal coach, online resources such as recipes and tutorials, an interactive community, and monthly competitions. With access to this platform the only motivation needed is that to log in.

Terms: Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and are limited to only ten unpaid carers. If licences are not used or used in contradiction to Don’t Tone Alone CIC’s (DTA) terms & conditions, they have the right to suspend or delete licences. Once registered a DTA member of staff will reach out and provide a welcome tour of the platform and provide a 1-to-1 introductory session.

https://donttonealone.my.salesforce-sites.com/r/ccth_wbz_jan23

 

Next Week’s Activities and don’t forget check out the Monthly Calendar – https://ccth.org.uk/new/calendar/


Beating the winter blues

It’s thought the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across northern Europe. It can affect people of any age, including children.

Symptoms of SAD

Key symptoms of SAD include:

  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • lethargy
  • overeating
  • irritability
  • feeling down and unsociable

Managing SAD

According to Sue Pavlovich of the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA), these 10 tips could help those affected by SAD.

“Everyone’s affected differently by SAD, so what works for one person won’t for another,” she says. “But there’s usually something that will help, so don’t give up if the first remedy you try doesn’t work. Just keep trying.”

1. Keep active

Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues.

Read more about walking to get fit.

2. Get outside

Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.

3. Keep warm

If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your GP for medical help. Being cold makes you more depressed. It’s also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.

Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C (or 64F and 70F degrees).

4. Eat healthily

A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Read more about healthy eating.

5. See the light

Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box for up to 2 hours a day.

Light boxes give out very bright light at least 10 times stronger than ordinary home and office lighting. They’re not available on the NHS and cost around £100 or more.

“Some people find that using a dawn simulator [a bedside light, connected to an alarm clock, that mimics a sunrise and wakes you up gradually] as well as a light box can enhance the beneficial effect,” says Pavlovich.

6. Take up a new hobby

Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Pavlovich. “It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on,” she adds.

7. See your friends and family

It’s been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while.

8. Talk it through

Talking treatments such as counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you cope with symptoms. See your GP for information on what’s available locally on the NHS and privately, or read this article on how to access talking treatments.

9. Join a support group

Think about joining a support group. Sharing your experience with others who know what it’s like to have SAD is very therapeutic and can make your symptoms more bearable.

SADA is the UK’s only registered charity dedicated to SAD. It costs £20 (£10 for concessions) to join, and you’ll receive an information pack, regular newsletters, discounts on products such as light boxes, and contacts for telephone support.

10. Seek help

If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your GP for medical help.

Read more about how SAD is treated.


 


Planting in the Moat at the Tower of London – Tuesday 24 & Wednesday 25 January

The day will be from 10am – 4pm and it will take place outdoors at the Tower of London moat. We are able to provide light refreshments throughout the day such as tea, coffee and biscuits. You will be assisting the HRP Gardening Team to plant potted plants into the moat so there is an aspect of physical labour involved in the day. Volunteers are expected to have hard safety shoes and we will provide the gardening tools.

To learn more and to register your interest in volunteering, please email Jatinder.Kailey@hrp.org.uk by Wednesday 11 January with the date you would like to volunteer on.


Great Mental Health Day is taking place on Friday, 27 January 2023.

In a year that’s remained challenging for many of us, it has been our communities, friends and families which have played the most important role in in getting us through difficult times together.

That’s why Great Mental Health Day 2023 will celebrate the power of community kindness and tell the story of how we’ve come together for one another across London.

With plans already taking shape for what promises to be an action packed day, we’re asking you to think about how you’d like to get involved and celebrate Great Mental Health Day 2023.

Find out more

https://thriveldn.co.uk/communications/campaign/great-mental-health-day-2023/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Your+latest+update+from+Thrive+LDN&utm_campaign=Thrive+LDN+newsletter+-+22%2F12%2F22&vgo_ee=i41PwqF72s1%2FbsAHLRbGNA%3D%3D


Scarlet fever and invasive Group A strep

You may have seen in the news that there are a lot of cases of Group A strep this year than usual. This bacteria can cause infections, including scarlet fever and impetigo.

In rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep. While still uncommon, it’s important that parents are on the lookout for symptoms, such as difficulty breathing.

There are lots of viruses that cause sore throats, colds and coughs circulating, which should resolve without medical help. Talk to a health professional if your child is showing signs of deteriorating after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection.

More info >


Don’t Forget to Get your Jabs – it makes sense to protect yourself so you can protect the person/s you care for…… 

 


Could you host a Ukrainian refugee?

Tower Hamlets has a long history of welcoming and supporting newly arrived migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Through our Homes for Ukraine scheme, we are helping residents who volunteer to support a refugee fleeing the war in Ukraine, by:

  • Completing checks to make sure accommodation is suitable
  • Managing interim payments for guests – to cover costs until they are able to access further support
  • Providing education places
  • Referring to specific public health services where necessary
  • Supporting guests to access local employment opportunities
  • Administering the compensation payment to sponsors of Ukrainian guests.

Find out more >


Tower Hamlets Civic Awards nominations are now open

There are special people who live, work or study in Tower Hamlets who are dedicated to their community and improving the lives of others.

The Tower Hamlets Civic Awards are a great chance to thank the borough’s unsung heroes and heroines. If you know someone we should all be proud of, visit our website for more information and to make your nomination by Sunday 15 January 2023.

Nominate someone >



Six new FOOD Stores to tackle poverty 

Six new food pantries are being launched by Tower Hamlets Council to tackle poverty and support residents through the cost of living crisis.

In partnership with national charity Family Action, the FOOD Store project aims to provide affordable quality food.

Find out more >


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

Carers Centre staff can refer you, or you can contact them yourself on 0330 175 1234 or email appointments@joneswhyte.co.uk 

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 enquiries@ccth.org.uk 

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. 

Different ways to manage someone’s affairs  

Make, register or end LPA 

Call us on 0207 790 1765 or email enquiries@ccth.org.uk 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.

Watch the video >


 

 


 


 

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, carry a non-violent deterrent such as a whistle, mace, or pepper spray. 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.


 

 

Get in touch

The Carers Centre
21 Brayford Square
London, E1 0SG

020 7790 1765

enquiries@ccth.org.uk

Opening hours

Monday - Friday – 9.30am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday – Closed

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