Nicky Smith Wellbeing Alcohol Advisor

About Nicky:

Nicky Smith, Wellbeing Advisor (Alcohol)

Nicky Smith has worked for Adur & Worthing Councils since October 2020 and is currently an Alcohol Wellbeing Advisor.

Nicky's role is to work with adults 18+, who live, work and study in Adur & Worthing, who do not already have a dependency with alcohol. Supporting people to reduce their alcohol use and better understand their relationship with alcohol, whilst making small but positive changes to improve their overall wellbeing.

The alcohol prevention service is delivered via a blended approach of 1:1 extended brief interventions via video, telephone, walk and talk sessions and face to face.

Outside work Nicky enjoys being creative and has a degree in fine art. Her creativity also connects her with nature and the environment, growing flowers and veggies and she is actively involved in community gardening projects.

You can read Nicky's current blog posts on this page below:

See also: Alcohol wellbeing on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website

21st July 2022: Annual fun day pulls in the crowds

“The most popular topic of the day was losing weight.”

On Saturday, 16th July 2022, at the Maybridge Keystone Centre in Goring, Worthing Homes put on their annual fun day for residents of all ages, which proved to be very popular.

There were a range of activities to keep the kids happy, from bouncy castles, face painting and nail painting. There was adult entertainment provided, from yoga to belly dancing lessons, plus a make your own smoothie cycle and an official photographer - my good friend, Mr Stephen Millar, who took amazing photos of the whole day which will be uploaded to the Worthing Homes website.

There were freshly made pizzas in the woodland garden, food trucks in the sports field and a range of cakes, teas and coffees all provided free from all the amazing staff at Worthing Homes, who I would like to thank for inviting us and also who made the event so successful.

Sarah also attended from the Wellbeing Hub and we had a stall with all our props, leaflets - all and everything about wellbeing. I must say, the pound of fat prop, was a real conversation starter as the kids were fascinated by it and it did start great conversations around weight and how body fat is lost and what it looks like.

2022-07-21 - The pound of fat prop

We had wellbeing freebies, such as hand sanitisers, stress balls, trolley key tokens, pens and pedometers, which all went down really well with the kids. The afternoon flew by and it was really lovely to see all the families and residents coming together and enjoying themselves after two years of the event being cancelled due to Covid.

2022-07-21 - Wellbeing freebies (hand sanitisers, stress balls, trolley key tokens, pens & pedometers)

Sarah and I offered 15-minute wellbeing sessions throughout the day, where I took people's height measurement and inputted the details on the weight Tanita scales, which does a bespoke health printout. Sarah was then able to spend time with each person, interpreting the information and offering helpful advice and next steps and links to our Wellbeing Services.

The most popular topic of the day was losing weight. I feel that most people (in theory) know if they are overweight and also (in theory) know how to lose weight, 'eat less, drink water, move more'. But it isn't always that easy on your own, and sometimes you need support. If you are struggling around healthy eating then the Wellbeing team is here for you.

2022-07-21 - Our wellbeing stall at the event

We have a range of wellbeing interventions that can help you to get you back on track, including one-to-one appointments with our Wellbeing Advisors. These sessions can kick-start and motivate you on your healthy eating journey. If you need a more structured programme, our 12-week weight management course helps you to navigate your healthy eating journey and goal setting, plus we have our get-active programmes, which offer access to gym memberships, a range of outdoor programs and table tennis to help you and your family get active throughout the local borough.

And lastly, our new UpBeat Workshop, which is proving very popular, is an interactive workshop that provides information and advice around preventing Cardiovascular diseases including diabetes.

We have a programme for everyone where you can find out more about our free Wellbeing Services! For details see the:

In the meantime, stay cool, stay hydrated and stay well!

Bye for now, Nicky :)

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14th July 2022: Enjoy a sober summer

“The mindful and sober market is really shaking things up ...”

Nicky Smith is Adur & Worthing Councils' Alcohol Wellbeing Advisor. Check out her blog below on enjoying a sober summer.

Club Soda hosted a jammed packed event last weekend at Brighton Open Market, full of all things low or alcohol free to promote mindful drinking.

2022-07-14 - Laura from Club Soda at the Brighton Open Market

It was such a great event with lots on offer, including guest panels/speakers and mocktail making sessions, as well as a variety of vendors all offering their latest low or no-alcohol alternatives.

On Sunday I sat in on the panel 'How to summer sober' (see the Club Soda website) and the conversation was really lively, with different levels of drinks, lots of advice on favourite non-alcoholic drinks and their own personal strategies to navigate the summer months with “bring your own” being a key theme.

2022-07-14 - Guest Speakers at the event

The sober market is definitely building momentum, but let's face it, there is still a long way to go in getting quality alcohol-free options stocked and available as standard. The guest panel discussed how there are often little or no alcohol-free options at music festivals, gigs, special occasions, such as parties, weddings, pubs/clubs etc.

But the mindful and sober market is really shaking things up as the race is on to produce a non-alcohol alternative or product that isn't high in calories but still has all the flavours without the added sugar.

One of the questions I get asked a lot as an alcohol advisor is “what can I swap or replace wine with?” So it was my mission to find out what non-alcoholic drinks are up and coming in the market, where they are stocked while obviously having to try to taste them too!!

Here are my non-alcoholic favourite flavours of the day!

I was really keen to try Kombucha Tea, this is a fermented tea that is an alternative to sparkling wine/champagne. I wasn't disappointed, I tried a brand called REAL, my favourite being Royal Flush, which is stocked in Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Ocado.

I sampled low-alcohol wine alternatives from binary botanical, really nice flavours, which do alcohol versions (Binary1) and non-alcohol (Binary0) and are brewed in West Sussex and are stocked on Amazon and via their own website.

I tried most of the alcohol-free 'Clausthaler' products, the grapefruit, the dry hopped and the original. They were all great, the original was my favourite tasting lager and I wouldn't have known it was alcohol free or low in sugar. They are currently stocked in Waitrose and Ocado.

Another sample I tried was from Only with Love. They mainly stock at independent bars and restaurants but have developed a 'Big Issue' branded drink where £1.50 goes towards supporting people finding employment.

2022-07-14 - Alcohol-free Clausthaler products and the Only with Love stall

There were also a range of spirit-flavoured drinks via Anon & Fluere provided by Wise Bartender, with my favourites being the rum-flavoured drinks Spiced Cane and Dark and Spicy, which were all very smooth.

The English Garden, which came ready-mixed in a can, was a great alternative to Pimms and was really refreshing!

There was also a product from Sentia, which claims to be the world's first GABA spirit, developed to activate the GABA neurotransmitters. It's like alcohol, yet contains no alcohol. It is unique to the market and unique in flavour. This is stocked in Better Foods, Amazon and via their own website.

And lastly, I visited the Heineken stall and tried the non-alcohol Berries and Cherries Old Mout Cider and also Birra Moretti Zero, both again were great no-alcohol alternatives.

Remember that like everything, one size doesn't fit all. It's important to try to test what alcohol-free products are available and keep trying. There are so many products available now that I am convinced there is now an alternative for most people.

If you are looking to reduce or cut out alcohol from your life then support is available. Contact Adur & Worthing Alcohol Wellbeing on 01903 221 450 or use our online secured referral link on the Adur & Worthing wellbeing website.

Enjoy your summer, drink mindfully and live well!

N :)

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9th June 2022: Men's Health Week

13th to 19th June 2022 is Men's Health Week, so we are encouraging men, of all ages to prioritise accessing their Wellbeing Assessment, Men's Health Forum's campaign “it's time for your MOT”.

This highlights the need to access GP appointments now Covid restrictions are lifted and book in a yearly Wellbeing Assessment.

Personally, I would love it if every man woke up tomorrow and just said “yeah okay” and booked one. No stress, no drama, just a routine and normal part of your overall health care routine.

It's no secret that men are often reluctant to seek help or discuss their health concerns with anyone, usually dealing with something once it's serious, which is often too late and could have been prevented.

Tyler (A&W Wellbeing Advisor) kindly invited me to attend a Dad'La'Soul session in Worthing at the end of May and introduced me to Dan Flanagan, the founder of the activity club.

2022-06-09 - Men's Health Week - Dad La Soul

Dan explained how Dad'La'Soul is supporting dads from across the whole of Sussex with sessions open for all Dads and their young children. The activity club takes an alternative approach to tackling social isolation that many men face.

The group is peer-led, relaxed, modern and informal, offering alternative childcare activities through art/tech/music mediums, whilst being able to meet up with other dads.

Dad'La'Soul encourages men to take care of their health & wellbeing. Accessing support and help doesn't have to feel all that daunting with links to services which can help to prevent and address current health concerns.

I found there was a real sense of community and friendship within the room, and in addition to these play sessions, there are alternative sessions and meet-up opportunities, such as sea dipping, sound bath/meditation and hot yoga sessions. There is also a new project on the horizon, Men v's Life. Follow their website for the most up-to-date information and events.

To try to understand men's reluctance around men accessing yearly health appointments/checks I took the opportunity and asked a few of the dads:

“Have they ever accessed a yearly Wellbeing Assessment?”

“And if not, why not?”

These were some of the themes that emerged:

  • Time issues, work commitments and juggling co-parenting schedules
  • Unable to prioritise own health needs
  • Stubbornness/not liking being told what to do, or fear of having to change lifestyle
  • Fear around health appointments being invasive
  • Shame, insecurities around body image
  • Guilt, admitting there might be something wrong health wise
  • Weakness, accepting that there might be something wrong health wise and feeling less manly
  • A preference to access alternative approaches to health. Feeling less inclined to access Western style approaches/medicines

Whilst these views do not represent all men, it does help to give some insight into the male perspective and some of the barriers men potentially face when accessing health services.

2022-06-09 - Men's Health Week

There is much work we can ALL do, around empowering and encouraging men to prioritise both their physical and mental, health & wellbeing and one way to help is by reading this blog and booking in for a Wellbeing Assessment! Ta dah!

At your Wellbeing Assessment you'll be asked some questions about your lifestyle and family history, measure your height and weight, and take your blood pressure. Helping to establish your health baseline, making it easier to make better-informed decisions around your health and can also reduce the risk of a minor condition developing into something more serious.

It's a no brainer, so if you are male and aged 18 or over and live or work in Adur & Worthing call 01903 221450 and book in for your 'free and confidential' Wellbeing Assessment today!

Stay well and bye for now, Nicky :)

Mental Health Support:

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2nd June 2022: Coastal Gardens Planting Day

So this year, the Wellbeing Team threw our hat into the ring to take part in the Coastal Gardens Planting competition. Myself, Sarah and Jen made up the dream team!

Planting day was 22nd of May and luckily the weather was really kind to us, having glorious sunshine all day!! I must confess that I was quite pleased waking up the next morning to see it had rained overnight, which hopefully will mean our plants are all comfy, watered and bedding in nicely!

This year's theme was all about the environmental impact of 'Ghost Gear' and trawler fishing, which refers to the fishing equipment that is often thrown into our oceans, such as fishing nets and hard plastics, which cause untold damage to the coastal environment, sea beds and the many different species who inhabit our vast oceans.

There was an array of gorgeous plants supplied by the Coastal Office team which were picked due to their ability to withstand our coastal weather and the staff were on hand to ask questions and were very supportive during the day.

2022-06-02 - Seafront planters - plants ready for planting

It was a great turn out and lots of passersby were really interested and asking questions, it was lovely to be a part of such an interesting community project. I hope you all get the chance to check out the planters as they bloom over the coming summer months.

It was lovely to see all the planters transform and how everyone interpreted the brief. All the planters looked gorgeous by the end of the day and were a huge improvement from what they were.

That is the beauty of gardening, you can spend a bit of time and effort and immediately transform an area, which is the most rewarding part!

Below are some before and after photos, which were kindly taken by Sarah of our Wellbeing Flower Bed plot 15! Incorporated into the design was a heart (top of picture) pruned by Jen and the wellbeing smile (near the bottom but will have to wait for the flowers to bloom until it will show).

Photos: Before and after

2022-06-02 - Seafront planter - before and after

If gardening is your thing, there are many wonderful community garden projects running across Adur and Worthing and both areas now having successfully installed a community composting scheme, so there are many opportunities to get involved and connect with nature. There is no greater feeling than having the earth between your fingers!

Check out some existing gardening/nature projects throughout Adur & Worthing that you can become involved in. Why don't you get those green fingers moving!!

Until next time, Nicky :)

Adur & Worthing Links

External websites:

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25th May 2022: A body in motion is a mind at ease

Did you know that May is national walking month? With the recent good weather reminding us that summer is finally on its way, it's time to dust off the ole hooves!!

May is the perfect time to get those legs moving after the sedentary months of winter! For healthy lives, we should be aiming for 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day and to increase these if (like me) you are still carrying some of those post-covid pounds and want to achieve a healthier weight.

Photo: These are my feet

2022-05-26 - My feet

A recent report, by Active Lives Sussex (MP4 video on the Active Lives Sussex website), has some fascinating West Sussex data which highlights that physical activity decreased during covid, notably amongst those of us who live in a town or less rural areas.

Having relocated to West Sussex, I feel genuinely lucky and grateful to be surrounded by the rolling South Downs and the sea. Just having the space to breathe and walk is truly a privilege, after living many concrete years in various parts of London, I will always appreciate the feeling of space.

Photo: Devils Dyke, East Sussex

2022-05-26 - Devils Dyke, East Sussex

There are some amazing walks and stunning views, right on our doorstep. If the last two years have taught us anything, it's that life is precious and full of the unexpected, so don't waste it, make it count. Make a walking 'to do' list and go exploring. I have a couple on my 'to do' list, such as Lancing College Chapel and Bramber Castle, but mostly I like a spontaneous day trip and to see where it goes!

Photo: A couple of bags!

2022-05-26 - A couple of bags!

Walking for Wellbeing has many health benefits, such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight and losing body fat
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Increase energy levels

I wanted to also talk about the benefits walking can have on your mental health. As they say “A body in motion, is a mind at ease” and I've noticed that walking helps to quiet the mind rubble, dull the clattering and if you tend to wander into the over-thinker arena (like me) the respite a walk offers can be priceless!

There are many walking groups in and around West Sussex that you can join, check out A&W Health Walks. Walking is a great way to meet new people, get some exercise and connect with nature all at the same time. It's a win, win!

If you are looking for other ways as well as walking to stay healthy, the Wellbeing Team has got you covered in all areas, check out the links below…

Until next time, from me and my walking buddy Ernest

2022-05-26 - Me and my walking buddy Ernest

Nicky :)

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12th May 2022: Mental Health and the impact of loneliness

Mental Health Awareness Week: 9th to 15th May 2022

This year's mental health week is helping highlight how loneliness affects our mental health. Feeling lonely is something that all of us can experience at any point in our lives, which can have negative impacts on our health and wellbeing.

There are lots of simple actions that you can do to help others who may be feeling lonely this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, including:

  • Giving a friend or family member a call
  • Inviting someone for a walk
  • Reaching out to a friend for a cuppa

You might find that reaching out to someone else could help you to feel less lonely too.

Find out how you can help lift someone out of loneliness

2022-05-12 - Mental Health Awareness Week - 9th to 15th May 2022

I remember when I first relocated to West Sussex, I felt very out of my depth. I'd always had a very romanticised image of relocating to the seaside, none of which played out by the way. The reality was a far cry from the version I had always imagined.

There were definitely times during relocation that I experienced loneliness, doubt, panic and in those moments whether brief or extended, I remember just feeling very alone and overwhelmed, and of course, it impacted on my mental health.

When I really sit here and think of the impact of loneliness on mental health, it affects everyone at different ages and stages of their life, from childhood onwards and it's easier now to feel loneliness as it is more prevalent now partly due to more and more services going online.

Our mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act. Everybody has mental health and everybody's mental health fluctuates depending on their experiences and what they are going through. When elements of human connection and interaction are missing, loneliness can be difficult to manage.

Sometimes it can feel easier to reach out to someone else who may be feeling lonely. There are plenty of simple actions you can take to help lift someone out of loneliness and in doing so, it might help you to feel less lonely too.

Here is some practical advice and tips on how to help yourself or others if you or they are feeling lonely.

  • Keep in touch with those around you
  • Join a group
  • Do things you enjoy
  • Share your feelings – but do not compare
  • Help someone else feel connected

If you cannot reach out to friends or family, if you want to talk to someone in confidence, or if you know someone who may need some support, these National organisations are here to help.

At Adur & Worthing Communities and Wellbeing Team, we offer a range of support services, which can help you connect with your local community and join groups.

Plus we also offer a range of health prevention services that cover all aspects of physical and emotional wellbeing.

Nicky :)

Local Mental Health Support:

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5th May 2022: It's good to talk

Dying Matters Awareness Week is an opportunity to encourage communities to get talking about death, dying and bereavement in whatever way, shape or form works for them.

The COVID-19 pandemic meant many more people experienced the loss of a loved one, many at home and without access to the emotional and practical support they needed. Never before has opening up conversations about death and talking to friends, relatives and loved ones in advance been so important.

The theme of Dying Matters Awareness Week is the importance of being in a good place to die - physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and digitally and it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it.

Raising awareness of bereavement and loss, As part of the Compassionate Communities West Sussex approach, West Sussex County Council has produced two short videos to raise awareness of bereavement and loss and to support people in having conversations about bereavement and loss, and commissioned Citizens Advice to undertake engagement with ethnic minority communities about their experience of bereavement and loss.

Talking about bereavement and loss animation: Talking about bereavement and loss animation. A short introduction to a journey through bereavement and loss, highlighting how friends and people in the community can connect with someone who has been bereaved, and offer help and support.

Supporting someone who is grieving: Supporting someone who is grieving. Nicky Hitchcock from the As you Are Centre in Southwick talks about how people experience bereavement and loss, and provides some ideas of what you can say or do to support someone who is grieving.

Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North South East) have published their community engagement report Supporting communities through bereavement and loss - supporting communities through bereavement and loss, about the experience of bereavement and loss in ethnically diverse communities.

The report identifies five community-led recommendations to improve the experience of bereavement and support available to ethnic minority communities in West Sussex: developing an integrated approach to improve access to services; ensuring information resources are accessible, centrally available and widely promoted; sharing information amongst local trusted sources; increasing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training, and widely promoting a culture that supports talking about death more openly.

There will be local events and seminars taking place across West Sussex, and to mark this national awareness week, organisations in West Sussex are holding a range of events and seminars. Events are free to access and will help residents to develop knowledge, skills and understanding around death, dying, bereavement and loss.

For further information on events and seminars and online events, as well as useful resources you can download, please visit:

Local charity Dementia Support has been working in partnership with West Sussex County Council and The Selsey Community Forum to purchase 200 steel forget-me-nots from Chi-Africa. The aim is to help provide a space for communities to come together to share their grief in a meaningful way after lockdowns prevented them from doing so at the time, with many not getting the chance to say goodbye.

The installation will visit Crawley, Horsham, Burgess Hill, Worthing, and will end the week at Chichester Festival Theatre on Friday, May 13th. The forget-me-knots will then be distributed to the communities for permanent installation.

For more information, see the Sussex Local Magazine website.

Until next time, Nicky.

2022-05-05 - Dying matters Week

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21st April 2022: Public Health funding to help your wellbeing

“Wellbeing offers up to six sessions with a Wellbeing advisor, where you can discuss in confidence any health or emotional matters that you feel are currently holding you back.”

Spring has finally sprung and this is my first Wellbeing blog for what seems like an age, having recently taken some time off due to ill health, but I am back now and I wanted to give a brief update and refresh on A&W Wellbeing support services.

We were lucky to have secured grant funding from Public Health for the next five years which enables us to continue providing key prevention services for residents and workplaces, with a renewed focus post-Covid.

We really want to spread the word that all our services are completely free, private and confidential and accessible to all aged 18+ who live, work or study in Adur and Worthing.

The Wellbeing team is a preventative service focusing on key health issues such as stopping smoking and alcohol reduction, healthy eating and getting active, as well as improving both physical and mental health. As services are now beginning to open up again, I wanted to give a brief overview of some of the services that are currently operating under Wellbeing.

Wellbeing offers up to six sessions with a Wellbeing advisor, where you can discuss in confidence any health or emotional matters that you feel are currently holding you back. All our Wellbeing advisors are trained in using a variety of evidence-based techniques working with you on a one-to-one basis and recognise that it’s important to work with clients at the right time and at their own pace.

Wellbeing advisors work with you and support you to get back on track and can easily connect you to our Wellbeing specialised programmes, such as NHS Smoking Cessations, Weight Management, Get Active, Alcohol Wellbeing and Pre-Diabetes awareness workshops as well as NHS Health checks and other specialist services.

Our Wellbeing advisors are trained to deliver NHS health checks for adults aged 40 to 74. The NHS health check is primarily designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. However, within the appointment, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are checked, BMI and overall health and wellbeing is monitored. See:

Wellbeing will also continue to provide Workplace Health support for small local businesses throughout Adur and Worthing. The role is currently being redeveloped to offer a renewed focused local approach, to assist small businesses around Wellbeing for work, as we recognise that a healthy workforce makes for a stronger business. See:

For further information on any of Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Services, you can speak to a member of our team at the Wellbeing Hub on 01903 221 450 or check out the links below for free to access Wellbeing Services, helping you on the way to Wellbeing.

Until next time!

Nicky :)

2022-04-21 - Support - Scrabble letters (Pixabay - 2355701)

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Page last updated: 11 August 2022

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