Families and Wellbeing Officer
Tammy has stopped her weekly postings, but you can still read her stories here ...
Tammy Waine has worked for Adur & Worthing Councils for 12 years and is currently Families and Wellbeing Officer. Tammy's role is to work with children and families to get them eating healthier and to become more active. This is done through a variety of exciting and fun programmes such as the Active Grub Club and the Happy Hearts programme.
Outside of work Tammy is a semi professional footballer, who has played at the highest level in England and in USA, as well as a qualified personal trainer and a keen runner.
You can read Tammy's archived 2017 blog posts on this page below:
Back in July when I was asked to write a weekly blog I had no idea how it would go and how it would be received, but I'm happy to say the journey has been a really positive one. But unfortunately all good things have to come to an end, and today is my last blog (for now ...)
Before I actually sign off I wanted to share an amazing piece of Happy Hearts feedback I have received from a parent from my recent programme at Hawthorns School.
The child's mum said:
“I will start by saying 'Thank you'. My child's attitude towards fruit and vegetables has changed dramatically for the good! It's gone from bribing him to eat just a small variety of different foods to now eating and even choosing his own healthy snacks or what veg we should have with our dinner!”
“He often talks about how many spoons of sugar is in certain sweets and has made the really grown up decision to spend his pocket money on toys instead of sweet treats which we're super proud about!”
“So again, thank you so much for working miracles with our now not so fussy eater.”
It's comments like this that make my job so rewarding and why it's essential to try and gain additional funding to keep the Happy Hearts programme running. It's never too early to educate children on the importance and living a healthy lifestyle.
So on that amazing piece of feedback, it's time for me to sign off. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs and hearing about me and my work. Hopefully I will get another opportunity to write again in the future, but until then, thanks for reading and Happy Christmas!
Photo: Tammy talking to two pupils from the Hawthorns School
Photo: Tammy with pupils from the Hawthorns School
Hi, I'm Jacqui, Head of Wellbeing at Adur & Worthing Councils. As part of my role I'm involved in Safeguarding both our staff and also those in our local communities.
Here at Adur & Worthing Councils we're committed to Safeguarding and for those that are unsure, Safeguarding means protecting the rights of children, young people and adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
It's Safeguarding Week this week and as part of this we aim to raise awareness of different forms of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, financial or neglect) and the part everyone can play in helping to spot abuse.
In our everyday life we may hear about something concerning from someone telling us what is happening to them, we may see signs of abuse or neglect, a parent/carer may tell us they're struggling to cope and someone else may tell us about something they've seen or heard. We are not expected to judge but it's the responsibility of all of us to report our concerns.
If you believe that a child, young person or adult is in IMMEDIATE danger, phone the Police on 999. If a child, young person or adult is not in an emergency situation but you are worried they are being abused or neglected, remember the worst thing you can do is nothing. Please see the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board's website for details of how to report your concerns.
Remember it's not for you to judge, if you're concerned please report it.
This week I'm handing my blog spot over to my new colleague Tyler Slade, a Wellbeing Advisor who joined the team in August this year. Over to you Tyler ...
Becoming a Wellbeing Advisor was a complete 360 career move for me having spent the best part of the last decade in the private sector in marketing roles in one form or another.
I can confidently and happily say it's the best move I've ever made! I love working in the community, meeting new people and above all helping people make positive health changes.
From this blog you will already be aware of the hard work Tammy does and equally the rest of my colleagues are so supportive and encouraging of me and each other. After all we have the same passion for our jobs and a mutual objective; to help people.
So what does a Wellbeing Advisor do?
I see clients on a one to one basis, helping them set their own health and wellbeing goals for things they'd like to change in their lives. This can be anything from weight management and healthy eating, to stopping smoking and reducing alcohol consumption ... or even their general wellbeing. I carry out Wellbeing MOTs using our fancy Tanita bodyweight scales. These can measure fat and muscle percentages, hydration levels and BMI.
I also attend various events in the area, helping with awareness and informing people of our service.
One of the things that has surprised me the most in my new role is how much support, help and guidance there is in our local community for people. So please get in contact with us!
If anyone is interested or would like to know more about us and what we can offer, please feel free to visit our Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website or give us a call on 01903 221450.
Photo: Tyler looking at our Tanita body scales as part of a Wellbeing MOT
7 Weeks after my injury, I am officially going stir crazy! As someone who walks my dog, cycles to work, plays football, runs, weight lifts, drives and generally can't sit still, it's been a nightmare! And I still have another 2-4 months of recovery ahead of me! Watch out world!!
As well as the physical benefits of exercising and being active what I'm noticing the most is the negative effect it has on my overall happiness and wellbeing. I am definitely not as energetic, happy and motivated without exercise in my life ... FACT!
Exercise is known to be one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood.
“Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication - but without the side-effects, of course. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.” Helpguide.org
We have lots of programmes running in Adur and Worthing and even the most gentle exercise can have a real positive impact on your overall mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing. If you are interested, click on the link below to see what we have on offer!
Fingers crossed I can start to resume my normal activity level soon ... Single leg rowing, seated boxing and upper body work is helping fill the physical void, but it is not providing me with the same sense of mental wellbeing as running and kicking a ball around!!
Photo: Tammy playing for Lewes FC
It's proving a busy time for my team and the rest of the council at the moment with lots of amazing projects and programmes running plus we're gearing up for some more big campaigns.
One such campaign you will all be familiar with is Children in Need. Last year Adur & Worthing Councils ran a staff fancy dress competition to raise funds for this amazing cause. Our topic was famous people/groups and staff went above and beyond and we managed to raise a brilliant £1,232 through fancy dress donations, cake sales and a raffle.
This year's theme is 'Heroes and Villains' so I'm sure it will produce some comical costumes!
I've never been one to turn down an opportunity to dress up, so I will again be aiming for comedy value in my costume this year - see the photo of my costume last year!
Everyone can get involved on 17th November 2017 and every penny raised will make a real difference - see BBC Children in Need.
The second campaign we will be working on is to support Safeguarding Week on 27th November to 1st December. The key purpose of the week is to increase the awareness of safeguarding and that it is everyone's responsibility.
More information will be shared by my guest blogger Jacqui Cooke in a few weeks time.
That's it from me this week, I'm off to finish lesson planning for my Happy Hearts programme tomorrow!
This weeks blog is about promoting a campaign that is very close to my heart. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month and 10 years ago this November I lost my amazing nanny to this horrible disease.
Did you know that pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers?
And that in nearly every country, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a single digit five year survival rate (2-9%) and that this year, 9600 people and their loved ones will face a pancreatic cancer diagnosis?
Worryingly, these numbers are set to increase.
Early diagnosis is vital to saving lives, so it's time to take urgent action by raising awareness of the disease and raising funds for research.
So what are the symptoms? Abdominal pain, weight loss, bloating, digestive problems, jaundice, diabetes and back pain. If you have some of the above it's always best to get them checked out by a professional just to make sure. The chances are it will be nothing but it's always best to get it checked.
What can you do? 16th November 2017 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and it's hoped that people will wear purple to help raise the awareness of this nasty disease so that early detection is possible.
By raising awareness and raising vital funds we can try to increase the survival rate until ultimately a cure is found. See the link below on how you can get involved.
- World Pancreatic Cancer Day website - take action
- Pancreatic Cancer Action website - UK Based Pancreatic Cancer Charity
Twenty amazing young people attended the club, all aged 7 to 13, and created an energy packed session. We made chicken goujons and potato wedges for our main course and then some spooktacular treats for dessert.
These scary faced cookies were not only fun to make but really easy. Click the link below if you want to have a go at making them at home.
Photo: Vampire Teeth Cookies
Due to the weather being a bit wet we couldn't go outside to do our planned activity session, so instead we stayed inside and Megan from Active for Kids delivered a kids yoga session to some relaxing music. Downward dogs, stork stands and boats were all popular poses on display!
Photo: Taking part in the yoga session - the stork stand
The session finished with the food being devoured at a rate of knots over some fantastic conversation!
Last week saw me attend Hawthorns Primary School to deliver the first Happy Hearts lesson to their new reception class! It also saw Adur & Worthing Councils communications team attend to take some video footage of the programme to use over the next few weeks via social media. It was just a shame I was nursing a fractured foot that I recently sustained during a football match so I couldn't be as energetic as I usually am.
It's so lovely to see these tiny little people still adjusting to school life enjoying my lesson! This weeks lesson was about their bodies. We learnt about some key body parts; where the are in the body, what they look like, what job they do in the body and then we turned all of that into a fun relay game! I think it is safe to say we all had a lot of fun!
This weeks lesson will see us learn about the heart in more detail. We will even listen to our hearts with doctors stethoscopes so that we can understand that running around makes our heart beat hard and fast and that is a good thing! Remember, we can not buy a new heart from a supermarket, so we need to look after it!
I have been delivering the happy Hearts programme to children at Hawthorns School for 3 years now and every programme has been brilliant. It's such a lovely school with really caring teachers. Fingers crossed the next 5 weeks go the same way!!!
Daniel Fairman, from the Communications Team, said:
“The lesson at Hawthorns was great fun to attend! All the children were so engaged with the lesson and were delighted to hear that they have more to come from the scheme!”
Photo: Children at Hawthorns Primary School enjoying Tammy's Happy Hearts lesson
Photo: Tammy (right) leading the Hawthorns Happy Hearts session
I've always liked art, but I have to admit that in a lot of cases I've never really 'got it'! But what I'm starting to understand is that art is all about how the viewer interprets it.
Take this photo, in a normal situation, I may have looked at it and just thought it was a slightly scary image with no real meaning. But when I viewed it in a training course about Cultivating Compassion it triggered feelings of people suffering, feeling helpless, having their hands tied or being controlled by someone else - wow, all that from one photo as someone stated?!
Compassion is defined as “The sensitivity to suffering in self and others, with a commitment to try and alleviate and prevent it”.
The key word in that quote for me is “self” because its an area most of us neglect.
We can be compassionate to others; we can help them, can be kind, can be sympathetic and have empathy but we very rarely show ourselves the same amount of kindness.
How many times do we give advice and help to others, yet we ignore this advice when it comes to ourselves - I know I do it all the time!
In the workplace people often feel burnt out or develop emotional fatigue and this often stems from us 'suffering' but not trying to alleviate it because it can be so challenging.
So the question I would ask you is: “what's something you could do right now that would be helpful for you and be most supportive of your own well-being?”.
This could be going for a walk, doing some mindfulness meditation, talking to someone about how you are feeling or writing down your thoughts. Remember to show yourself the same compassion you show others!
Dr Stan Steindl and Kendelle Bond were not only kind and compassionate in their training but also inspirational.
- Training courses - on the National Centre for Behaviour Change website
- How to look after your mental health using mindfulness - on the Mental Health Foundation website
- The Compassion Initiative website
This week I have invited a colleague to write a guest blog as I'm sure you are fed up of me by now!!! Welcome to the blogging world Julie Tuppen!
Hi, I'm Julie and this week I am taking the blogging slot from Tammy while she has a well earned rest (literally as her foot is still bruised and elevated!). Like Tammy, I work in the Communities and Wellbeing Team as the Wellbeing Hubs Team leader.
This leads me onto my guest appearance - This month is Stoptober, Public Health England's national campaign to support smokers to quit for good.
“Stoptober has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke free for good.”
- Public health England 2017
My smoking journey started in my teens when you could still buy a single cigarette from the newsagents and I confess I have made many attempts over a 30 plus year span to quit with varying levels of success, once I even managed a whole year.
I tried every method going from self help books and hypnotism to sprays and patches - though I would take the patch off and have a cigarette, then put the patch back on. I finally succeeded by substituting my cigarette for an e-cig and it has now been over 6 years since I last smoked a cigarette, an achievement that I am very proud of.
Though I worried constantly about the harm that the cigarette was doing to my health, about accidental fires and smelling of stale smoke I couldn't kick the habit. In fact the more I worried, the more I smoked to relieve the stress - If you can understand this logic then you are a smoker!
Though e-cigs are possibly not without harm and research continues to explore this subject, it is recognised now that they are far safer than smoking cigarettes and increasing amounts of people find them an effective route to quitting smoking. This is also the first time Public Health England have included e-cigs in their Stoptober campaign.
There are many ways to quit and there is more support than ever available. Stoptober could be the kick-start that's needed to change this behaviour and improve health. Good Luck, it could be the best thing you or your loved one, colleague or friend, have ever done.
Dealing with set backs is something I've had to overcome throughout my whole football career. These set backs have usually been caused by injuries, and boy I have had a few! Four knee surgeries, numerous strains and sprains, chipped bones and bruises! I'm actually writing this with my foot in a bucket of iced water after a kick to my foot!
We all face challenges in our life, some bigger than others, but it is how we deal with and hopefully overcome them that makes us the people we are today. They teach us resilience and an ability to grow mentally stronger, hard work, desire but also a greater appreciation of things when we do overcome them.
Trying to stay positive throughout these tough times can be hard and at times we may need help to get through them, but there are many services and people out there who can help. Mental Health problems come in many different shapes and forms and can affect anyone. Depression, anxiety and stress are some of the common mental health problems and are things most of us can relate to.
10th October 2017 is World Mental Health Day and there will be lots of events and opportunities to find out more and to hopefully break the stigma surrounding Mental Health. This year's theme is workplace wellbeing.
As a team we use many strategies at work to try and build people's resilience, drinking water, eating healthily, talking to someone if we have a problem, go for a walk, do some mindfulness breathing exercises plus many more. There are things out there to help, it is just finding the ones that work for us.
Here's a video with some breathing exercises ...
Have a look at the following links for more information:
- World Mental Health Day - on the Mental Health website
- Coastal West Sussex Mind website
- Corner House website
Last week I was allowed out of the office for good behaviour to attend the Active Sussex Conference which this year focused on 'Collaborate - Share - Learn' and was held at the Amex Stadium. It was an opportunity to network with other professionals, hold some great thought provoking discussions and hear presentations from some key note speakers. Questions were asked such as “Should it be the daily mile or the daily 10 minutes?” “Can we be creative and innovative when trying to get the inactive, active eg, golf with your dog?” They were all really good, but one which grabbed my heart strings and took me back down memory lane was one from Martin Perry - Brighton & Hove Albion Football Clubs Executive Director.
He spoke about the battles, challenges and barriers that they have faced over the past 20 years in order to get where they are today and how they never stopped believing. He showed a video montage going back to their last game at the Goldstone, playing at Gillingham and Withdean Stadium and then finally moving to their brand new stadium! It gave me goosebumps and took me back to my games at the Goldstone and Withdean and training at the Amex stadium when I played for Brighton's women's team. He also mentioned their fantastic Albion in the Community programme which I was also lucky to be involved in when it first started. I was a coach at the Seagulls specials (a football programme for children with additional needs) which it was then known as. Great memories!
Here at Adur and Worthing Councils we have lots of links with Brighton Football Club; the club training ground is in Lancing and has a community pitch which local groups and clubs can hire. We also have some Albion in the Community projects running in the area such as the Friday Night Football project in Lancing for teenagers, and numerous programmes for anyone with additional needs (such as wheelchair football, visually impaired etc). Our Wellbeing Hubs also support staff from Albion in the Community in various talks such as Hormone Information Seminars.
An interesting day filled with thought provoking questions, good food and great memories!
- Disability - on the Albion in the Community website
- Football - on the Albion in the Community website
- Collaborate - Share - Learn - on the Active Sussex website
Photos: Active Sussex Conference - at the Amex Stadium
This week I would like to introduce you to Fleur, Gerti, Ethel and Mabel ... my four chickens! Whilst gardening the other day I started to observe their behaviour, group dynamics and, excuse the pun, the 'pecking order' and it made me realise that it's no different to what we face throughout our life:
Fleur is the confident dominant leader and at times the bully. She likes everyone to know she is in charge.
Gerti gets along with everyone but keeps Fleur on her side to protect her, but is more than happy socialising with everyone.
Ethel wants to desperately be in the top group and at times she feels she has made it, but at times gets a peck to bring her back down to earth and then there is Mabel.
Mabel is bottom of the pecking order, gets picked on by everyone so ends up being on the periphery, on the outside, withdrawn and appears lonely.
I'm sure we can all relate to these roles and remember how it made us feel, especially if you were Mabel. With the children going back to school it's important to make sure that we help the Mabels of this world. There is no place for bullying in any way shape or form and it's something that should be taken seriously.
This year anti bullying week runs on 13th to 17th November 2017 and will promote difference and equality in schools and has the tagline 'All different, all equal' The idea is to help children and young people celebrate what makes them and others unique and help them understand why it's important that every child feels included in school and are able to be themselves without fear of bullying. See: Anti-bullying week website.
It is also important to understand that bullying does not just exist in schools and affect young people. Bullying can happen in the workplace, at clubs and in neighbourhoods. It can take many different forms and may not be apparent from the outside, but it's how it makes that person feel.
When I work in schools, clubs and group settings I always try to look out for any Mabels and make an extra effort to include them. I know how it feels and it's not a nice feeling. So my challenge to you all is to look out for any Mabels and make it your goal to include them, but to also talk with the Fleurs and understand what is making them act in that way. Sometimes the bullied becomes the bully.
For any young people experiencing issues around bullying contact:
- Safer Internet website
- Kooth website
- National Bullying Helpline website
- Bullying on the Your Space website (WSCC)
Photo: (left to right) Fleur, Gerti, Ethel and Mabel - Tammy's chickens
When I first started playing football, many many years ago I was the only girl in my primary school who enjoyed the beautiful game!
This meant I had to play on the boys' team, change in separate changing rooms and get used to comments from parents and children laughing about my team having a girl on it!
This progressed into my coaching career where when going on courses usually meant I was the only female participant.
I am now lucky enough to play for Lewes Football club who has recently made national and international news launching its equality statement. It has become the first club to have the same playing budget for both its men's and women's sections. Both are treated equally by playing on the same pitch, having the same training facilities and the same amount of money!
Being a minority in my earlier playing career was quite an experience for me and taught me many lessons, but luckily times have changed now.
There are many groups and organisations like Adur and Worthing Councils that work hard to put on opportunities for targeted groups that may not normally get the chance. Groups such as women and girls, the elderly, those from different ethnic backgrounds, those from lower income families and those who have disabilities.
The latter is something I'm very passionate about as I provide weekly care for my eight-year-old nephew who has various disabilities. Finding activities for him to do is a constant challenge. He may be in a wheelchair and have delayed development, but he wants to do the same things as most children his age ... be active and experience adrenaline rushes. We go cycling on his adapted bike, kayaking in my inflatable kayak and have even tried skiing and Go-Karting. But all of these things require my muscles and energy, travelling and lots of research and planning! It is a constant battle!
Photo: Tammy with her nephew
Within my day job, my team has a plan of work which highlights specific groups that may need extra help in certain areas with the aim being to reduce inequalities and increase the opportunities available to them.
Everyone should have an equal opportunity to do things regardless of gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability, age and sexual orientation.
Below are some links which demonstrate the range of work we are involved in that try to reduce inequalities:
- Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
- Find a park in Adur and Worthing
- Get Up and Active - activities for young people
- IT Junction
Read more about Lewes FC and their equality mission!
Photo: Tammy playing for Lewes FC
This week I thought I would give you a little insight into what a typical recent day looked like for me!
Being a bit of a planner I arrived bright and early at 7:30am thinking I had the day mapped out in my head, however things can change quite quickly in my role.
I sat down to an email requesting me to attend a Youth Council task meeting later that day with our communications team to present my Happy Hearts programme. So after a bit of re-jiggling I rearranged my diary so I could attend.
However, before that, I had two supervisions to do with two members of my brilliant team, Sarah Thomas who delivers our Weight Management Programme, and James Newton who delivers our Get Active Programme.
It's always great to hear how their projects are going and to try and help them implement any possible changes to improve the project. See:
- The Weight Escape weight loss challenge - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
- Get Active - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
I then had my own supervision with my manager Janice Hoiles where we discussed my current work, what's going well and what could be better and just about had time to feed my rumbling tummy before rushing off the meet the Youth Council.
What an interesting, intelligent and fabulous group of young people! Initially I did feel like I was sitting in front of a big interview panel but they quickly made me feel at home! (photo: Tammy at the Youth Council meeting)
They were very keen to help me try to promote and find finding to keep my Happy Hearts programme running and offered some great suggestions.
From the Q&A session, they have produced a piece of work which is linked below, see:
It was then back to the office to answer emails, contact all the Active Grub Club attendees to remind them about the sessions that week and have some blog banter with my colleague Jo Clarke over some healthy ... ish cakes I bought as it was my birthday the next day!
It was then time for a cycle ride home followed by a recovery gym session! What a busy day!!
Photos: The Adur & Worthing Youth Council in session
“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success” - Henry Ford
With all the budget and human resource reductions that seem to be constantly taking place, it has never been more important to work in partnership with other organisations and groups. My Active Grub Club project is one of those projects that has benefited from partnership working and could not take place without it.
When setting up the project, I first needed to find local, cost-effective community venues:
- with a kitchen area for our cookery work
- near a green space for the activity session
- in our target areas
Luckily for me, I've found two fabulous venues in the Lighthouse Community Church, Fishersgate, and The Community House in East Worthing. Both venues are so accommodating and provide us with a clean, safe space in which to run the clubs.
The next challenge was finding a qualified chef who had the right personality to work with groups of enthusiastic young people. Sussex Clubs for Young People passed on details for Georgi, who worked out of the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, and she has been amazing. She's organised, creative and money-conscious but, more importantly, gets along so well with all the young people.
Unfortunately for us, Georgi will be re-locating, so I'm currently trying to find someone equally as brilliant to continue her great work. If anyone is interested, let me know!
I then booked an activity instructor from Activ8 for Kids to deliver the fun and games. Megan always arrives with a big smile on her face and delivers lots of energy-burning games, plus she always stays for lunch!
Hopefully you'll have read the blogs of my brilliant colleague Jo Clarke and about her work involving volunteering. Good volunteers are so valuable to the success of any club and we're lucky to have Mandi. She helps Georgi with the cooking, does the washing up and even facilitates indoor games when needed. Two Adur & Worthing Councils employees have also used their staff volunteering days to support the project.
Lastly, the pressure on budgets has never been greater, and those who know me know that I like to save money where I can. So we're currently working with FareShare Sussex, which redistributes surplus food from supermarkets to local groups. This involves us receiving a delivery of a variety of food which we then use in our Active Grub Clubs, saving money and utilising food that would normally be thrown away.
So, one amazing project and five different examples of partnership working - Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM).
Photo: Active Grub Club chef Georgi with some of the children who attend the club
This week's blog was supposed to be a week in the life of a Families and Wellbeing Officer, but as I started to write, it got me thinking about how important time management is for me, especially during the summer when things get a bit crazy!
Time is one of those things we sometimes wish we could stop, fast forward or rewind, depending on the situation. I think colleagues would agree that finding the time to fit everything in can be a real challenge at the moment.
I lead a very busy life outside work, so planning my working week efficiently is really important to maximise what I can get done. This is especially true at the moment because I am out delivering my Active Grub Club projects for two days of the week. This leaves three working days to get everything else done, such as project admin, training courses, staff supervision, report writing, emails and meetings.
I've mentioned before how my football career has taught me lots of life lessons. One that will stay with me forever is thanks to Karen Hoppa, my Auburn soccer coach from USA in 1999. She had a team rule: 10 minutes early is on time. So, if a meeting is at 10am, arrive at 9:50am to be on time, relaxed and prepared. If you arrived at 10am, you were classed as late. This often resulted in some extra fitness work for the team, which of course we all loved (not)!
This is something I've applied to everyday life, and I pride myself on my time-keeping. It’s also something I try to instil in the people I supervise and work with, just without the fitness punishment, though maybe I'll introduce this at a later date!
In my last blog, I mentioned attending a training course called Effective Case Management and this provided me with some great tools to help me with my planning and time management when working with families and clients.
These tools will ensure that the contact I have with participants and clients is maximised and valuable for both of us, which is a win-win. The National Centre for Behaviour Change says:
“To end client interventions properly, we must begin properly.”
We can’t create more time, so using it effectively and efficiently is a must, especially in a world where the workload continues to increase.
See also: Active Grub Club
Change is defined as 'make or become different' and that's definitely a word I've become used to here at Adur & Worthing Councils. Whether it's changing job roles and titles, changing offices, changing programmes to meet ever changing criteria, or changing the way in which I work, change is guaranteed, so finding ways to try to embrace it is important.
One of the ways to do that and stay current in what I'm delivering is through training. Over the years I've attended many training courses, some good, some bad and some indifferent. But recently I've been lucky enough to attend some fantastic training from Zest Consultancy (soon to be National Centre for Behaviour Change) on topics such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Effective Case Management.
These courses have changed (there's that word again!) the way in which I supervise staff, talk to clients and deliver workshops - and hopefully for the better.
Watching experts such as Kendelle, from Zest, talking about something they are so passionate about makes me want to be better at what I do. Being an effective deliverer really is an art form - the ability to engage and motivate an audience is a powerful tool and one I'm always trying to master.
I'm constantly trying to better myself so that the projects I deliver are better. I would love people to leave my programmes and workshops feeling the same way as I have after my training - motivated, enthused and eager to put into practice what they've learnt. I can say this is definitely true of the children I worked with last year on the Happy Hearts programmes in Worthing because we have the feedback and evaluation to prove it.
Evaluation has shown that 85.7 per cent of parents noticed a positive change in their child's attitude or behaviour towards healthy living, and 100 per cent of the children have gone home and actively spoken about what they have learnt, so I must be doing something right!
The key is to build on that enthusiasm, practice lots and to keep reinforcing the messages so that it becomes second nature. Children are like sponges - let them absorb lots and lots of positive messages so that they live a healthy, confident and positive life. And, remember, we are never too old to learn.
Photo: Tammy and others at the training session
This time of year is really busy for me for many reasons. Firstly, pre-season has started, so at various times of the week I'll be found limping around the office with delayed onset muscle soreness! Secondly, I'm planning and delivering my summer Active Grub Club sessions, which I wrote about last week. Lastly, I'm trying to prepare my Happy Hearts programme schedule for when the schools go back (not long now parents, just five weeks to go, you can do it!)
The Happy Hearts programme is hopefully one many of you will be aware of because it's been delivered in Adur and Worthing schools over the last five years. It was originally funded through the British Heart Foundation in 2013. This programme is the piece of work I'm most proud of because it's had such a positive impact on the schools, teachers, families and children who have taken part in it.
Happy Hearts is a six-week programme delivered during school time that teaches children how to keep their hearts happy and healthy. They take part in a variety of interactive and informative lessons over the six weeks and if they've been super special, Artie Beat will present them with their graduation certificates.
Children are never too young to start learning about how to be healthy. By teaching heart health messages in Reception and Year 1 using simple memorable language, the aim is to influence them before unhealthy habits creep in. This hopefully means that, in the long term, we'll see less childhood and adult obesity and fewer obesity-related illnesses.
Since it started, we've delivered the Happy Hearts programme to more than 5,000 children across Adur and Worthing, so that's more than 5,000 children who now have a greater understanding of why eating healthily and exercising is so good for them, and that has to be a good thing.
Quote from the Happy Hearts programme:
“As a parent and teacher, I feel that the programme made on real impact on my daughter in a positive way, particularly with her trying new foods. The fact that she could recall those lessons nearly 2.5 years on shows how good the programme is, and catching children young is vital.”
Photo: Work from Happy Hearts programme
- Get Up & Active - Hearty Lives
- British Heart Foundation website
- Follow British Heart Foundation on Twitter
This week has largely been spent getting my summer Active Grub Clubs organised. These clubs combine healthy eating with physical activity (not at the same time though, our health and safety officer wouldn't like it!) and are run in some of our target areas.
However, unlike other grub clubs where the meals are given to the young people, at my club the young people prepare and make the meals themselves. We teach them to peel, chop, weigh, mix and grate a variety of healthy meals using lots of colourful, fresh ingredients, although there may be one or two less healthy desserts throughout the year, especially at Easter and Christmas!
Then, after they've done an hour of fun and games, the young people sit together to eat and socialise - after we've cleaned up the mess!
As well as the practical skills of cooking and exercise, we also teach them to work as part of a team, which is one of the transferable skills I'm passionate about. I'm sure you've heard the saying: “There is no I in TEAM?” Well, this is very true in all aspects of my life and something that's very important for young people to learn.
I work as part of a team every day in my job. Outside work, with my football hat on, I couldn't do what I do without my team. The young people learn that they can't always do the job they wanted or make their favourite foods every week, but that's part and parcel of being in a team.
The other key area of my Active Grub Club is trying new foods. All we ask of the young people is that they try the foods they are making and if they don't like them, so be it. We often find that after trying the food, they realise it's nicer than they initially thought.
Touching, smelling, seeing and tasting are so important when introducing a new food to a child, even if it looks scary and gross. We may have to try a new food 15 to 20 times before we like it because our taste buds change.
So if you're struggling to get a young person to try new foods, explore that food using all their senses.
Quote from a parent:
“The Grub Club is amazing! Helping kids learn how to eat and live healthier! It's easy these days to eat the wrong things, so it's important to show kids in a fun way that they can eat the right things and exercise and enjoy it.”
See also: Active Grub Club
Photo: Two schoolgirls enjoying the Active Grub Club
After the initial excitement and pride at being asked to write a blog had worn off, next followed anxiety, uncertainty, but most of all fear - fear of failing, fear of the dreaded 'what if'.
These feelings quickly filled my head with lots of negative thoughts but eventually I was then able to relate them to what I'm passionate about, namely sport, physical activity and being healthy.
Tammy the footballer is what I'm known as. I've had this title since I was about 12 and I think I'll have it until my dying day!
Fear is an emotion that I've learnt to embrace in football situations. It's spurred me on and made me the person and footballer I am today.
However, applying the ability to embrace fear and anxieties in work or unfamiliar situations is a different kettle of fish and I'm sure most people can relate to this.
In my role here at the Councils, the word fear is one I hear a lot when I talk to adults about trying to eat healthily or to start doing physical activity. There's fear of getting it wrong or not being able to do it, fear of not knowing anyone, or fear of being judged. Children, on the other hand, just dive right in and give it a go.
So if you are thinking of giving exercise a go or want to be healthier, embrace those fears and give it a go like we did when we were children.
We have some fantastic people and programmes in my team at the Councils and they can help you make those first scary steps really positive ones.
You can get an MOT from our fabulous wellbeing advisers, join the brilliant Weight Escape programme, Get Active with one of our fun beginners' exercise programmes and if you've been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, don't worry, we have a programme here to help. Don't be scared - my team is amazing!
Contact our wellbeing hubs for more information:
- Wellbeing Hubs information line - 01903 221450
- Follow us on Twitter @HealthyAW
- Get Active - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Hub website
- Pre-Diabetes - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Hub website
- Weight Escape - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Hub website
As former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Photo: Tammy Waine having an health MOT with Sarah Vine, one of our amazing Wellbeing Advisers
Hi, I'm Tammy Waine and welcome to my first blog about the work I do for Adur & Worthing Councils.
I'm a Families and Wellbeing Officer and have worked in this role for the past 12 years. Before that I worked part time for Lewes District Council as a sports development officer and for Brighton Football Club as a football coach.
So what is a Families and Wellbeing Officer? Well, in a nutshell, my role allows me to work with children, young people and families to try to provide them with the education to look after their bodies and ultimately be more healthy.
I link up with organisations, groups, schools, leisure centres and families to create and deliver new and exciting programmes that teach people the best ways to stay fit and healthy through physical activity and good nutrition.
Hopefully, you may have heard of some of these programmes, such as:
- Happy Hearts, fun and interactive sessions for children showing how healthy eating and exercise benefit the heart - see Hearty Lives
- Active Grub Club, physical activities for children and learning how to cook healthy food - see Active Grub Club
Over the next few weeks I'll explain these in more detail because they are projects I'm extremely proud of.
My other passion is football - both playing and coaching (I'm a Liverpool supporter, but please don't hold that against me!), so I'll also try to link my work to my experiences in football and sport.
I'm lucky to work with great people every day - both my colleagues and people living across Adur and Worthing. I also have a fabulous job and that's the main reason I've worked at the Councils for so long - that and the fact that Liverpool Football Club and Jurgen Klopp haven't asked me to be a part of their coaching team yet!
Photo: Tammy Waine being presented with her British Heart Foundation 'Heart Hero' award
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Worthing Town Hall,