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Tammy Waine
Families and Wellbeing Officer

Tammy has now resumed her weekly postings ...

About Tammy:

Tammy Waine, Active Communities Manager

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.

See also: Get Up & Active

You can read Tammy's current blog posts on this page below - or click here to read her archive of 2017 blog posts ...


10th January 2019: Recovering from Christmas

Happy New Year Everyone!

I'm sure like me, the Christmas period was filled with a bit too much cheese and chocolate and now you are thinking about shifting those added pounds!

After eating an entire round of Brie (not all in one sitting) I decided I would try an exercise class! My previous experience was of an aerobics class many years ago where I concluded I do not have natural rhythm and so it put me off ever going again!

So this year, I bit the bullet and tried a body pump class and a combat class and I have to say I really enjoyed it, so much so that I have actually now completed six classes! So my intention is to try and find the time to do a few more over the next couple of months.

If exercise classes and gyms are not for you, what about trying to do something outdoors every day? Red January is a community initiative that encourages you to support your mental health by doing something active every single day. To see how you can be involved, have a look at the Red January page on the Mind website.

Maybe your weakness wasn't cheese or chocolate, maybe it was Prosecco or mulled wine?! In that case, what about signing up for Dry January? (on the Alcohol Change website).

Can you give up your favourite tipple for a month???

Finally 14th January 2019 marks the start of Obesity awareness week #nationalobesityawareness so keep an eye out on the Councils' Twitter and Facebook pages for some great resources.

Whatever changes you want to make in your life, January is a great time to do it!

Have a look at the following website to see some of the programmes we run in the Wellbeing team that can help you achieve your health and fitness goals!

See also the : Adur and Worthing Wellbeing website.

2019-07-10 - Apple with a tape measure wrapped round it (Pexels - 262876)

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20th December 2018: Looking back on 2018 and forwards to 2019

Welcome to my last blog of 2018 and boy what a year it has been.

I'm not going to lie, this year has been the hardest year. It's been filled with house renovations, my car was vandalised, I had things stolen from my drive and more importantly I've lost one of my best friends and neighbour, three of my pet chickens and my gorgeous dog Rexy.

There isn't a day that's gone by since August 7th that I've not cried over Rexy. My heart literally broke when we had to have him put to sleep and I miss him dearly, especially at Christmas time.

Amongst all of that stress and heartache there have been some good times. I celebrated a big birthday surrounded by friends and family and I've continuously been amazed at how much work my brilliant team does, in quantity as well as quality! I'm also delighted to say that my projects have flourished again.

Coming into work everyday and entering an environment with so many lovely people both in the workplace and the community has got me through this year ... and long may it continue.

Whilst in London at the weekend my sister and I came across a homeless man and his dog, both were soaking wet and freezing.

My sister went out of her way to buy him some dry clothes and get the dog some food. It made me realise that as bad as my year has been, I'm still very lucky.

I'm hoping that 2019 will bring more happiness and I will continue to try and help people less fortunate just like my sister did.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and see you all next year.

Photo: Tammy's Christmas Tree

2018-12-20 - Tammy's Christmas Tree

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13th December 2018: Planning for the year ahead

It's at this time of year when we start to really think about what our service delivery will look like in the next financial year.

April seems like a long way off, but so much work goes into writing business plans, consulting with staff and different organisations and applying for funding that we actually have to start preparing for in these Winter months.

Everyone is fully aware that resources are being reduced all the time, so our job is to try and generate additional funding and to ensure that the funds we do have serve a local need and go as far as possible. It's not an easy task!

So over the past few weeks our team have been meeting with different people and organisations to discuss what we will be delivering, who we will be targeting this delivery at, where will it be taking place and unfortunately what we may not be able to carry on delivering.

It is always an unsettling time of year but once decisions are made, it can be an exciting time too.

Starting a fresh line of work and launching new projects means things stay fresh and that they continue to meet the demand in the community - that's the exciting bit! I do love thinking of new ideas and trying to make those ideas become a reality.

So some of my work this week will be trying to find evidence on why we should or shouldn't continue certain aspects of our service and put that into our business plan. If you are interested in statistics and evidence, have a look at: Active Lives Survey Sussex

It shows levels of inactivity across Sussex - are you living in an active area or inactive area?

If you are currently inactive but are interested in becoming more active, contact our Wellbeing Hubs via the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website.

There is some form of exercise out there for everyone to enjoy, so why not have a look at what's on offer. And who knows, maybe you can help your area become a more active and happier place to live?!

2018-12-13 - Writing in a book (Pexels - 1043514)

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6th December 2018: Christmas is coming

With Christmas coming, I must admit that I struggle to concentrate at this time of year. I'm like an excited child!

Luckily for me, a few pieces of my work have had a Christmas theme lately ...

Here at the Councils we have a scheme called Well@Work, which aims to improve staff wellbeing and decrease levels of stress. These are mainly lunchtime sessions and we run activities such as mindfulness, Pilates and singing.

This week I was asked to join to another department to give a presentation on the scheme followed by some taster sessions in mindfulness, singing and Christmas wreath making.

Even those members of staff who perhaps aren't quite ready for the festive feeling yet really enjoyed the session and found the updates regarding our wellbeing scheme really useful.

The rest of my week has comprised of supervisions with staff, various meetings regarding next years service delivery and booking in programmes for next year.

Improving staff wellbeing is really important and something that Adur & Worthing Councils are taking seriously.

Are you a lover of Christmas? Keep tuned to my blogs as I'll have many more festive themed blogs coming in the next few weeks!

Photos: Making the Christmas wreaths

2018-12-06 - Making Christmas wreaths

2018-12-06 - One of the Christmas wreaths

2018-12-06 - The completed Christmas wreaths

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29th November 2018: Time to celebrate

The look of excitement on the faces of the children on my Happy Hearts programme when Artie Beat walks through the door is still a fantastic sight to see ... apart from the three children who started crying!

This week Artie Beat visited a Hawthorns Primary School, Durrington, reception class as part of our celebration assembly.

The children couldn't wait to tell Artie and the visiting parents what they had learnt over the past five weeks, and they didn't let me down!

They remembered where all their body parts are located, what happens to their heart when they start exercising and how many portions of fruit and vegetables they should eat everyday. Not forgetting the pupils of Hawthorns Primary remembering the amount of sugar in a pack of Haribo and what jobs certain foods do in the body. WOW!

Each child came up to collect their certificate, give Artie Beat a high five and collect a little prize! We all then had a lovely group photo with Artie.

It does amaze me how much information reception aged children do remember and it reiterates the saying “You are never too young to start learning”.

After Christmas I will be teaching more children how to keep their heart happy and healthy in Durrington and Heene primary schools and I can't wait to get started!

Photo: The Happy Hearts celebration event at Hawthorns Primary School

2018-11-29 - The Happy Hearts celebration event at Hawthorns Primary School

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22nd November 2018: Learning about foods, conferences and 'Our Day'

So what have I been up to this week?

On Thursday I delivered the penultimate Happy Hearts lesson with Hawthorns Primary School where we learnt about the different jobs foods do in the body.

2018-11-22 - Learning about the body

Children at the Worthing school also found out that Artie Beat will be visiting them at next week's session. To say they are excited is an understatement!

Friday I attended a conference at Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Sompting, which provided key messages around a variety of safeguarding topics, including emotional wellbeing and mental health in children and adolescents.

It also provided a range of information around specific age groups as well as identifying support and contacts in the Adur and Worthing area.

Hearing about the great work going on in the area to protect our children and young people was really reassuring.

Unfortunately, it's something we all need to be aware of, and as professionals, it's something we are taught to look out for.

It would be nice to not have to worry about safeguarding one day, but until then, workshops like this are so important to keep people updated and aware with the current situation.

Finally, I'm going to mention a council campaign that I wrote about in my blog last week. 'Our Day'!

The Councils took part in 'Our Day' on Tuesday (20th November 2018), run by the Local Government Association (LGA), which dedicates itself to celebrating the diverse work carried out by councils up and down the UK.

I featured in a video made by our comms team which highlights our work as a council, and it was also nice to be recognised by the LGA's Twitter account for my work.

For those that didn't catch the video on Tuesday, see it below:

Photo: Tammy tweeting a selfie with school children on 'Our Day'

2018-11-22 - Tammy tweeting a selfie with school children on 'Our Day'

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15th November 2018: Preparing for 'Our Day'

Next Tuesday, the Local Government Association is running 'Our Day' - a day for local government to come together and celebrate the diverse work carried out by the Councils, and recognise the people who keep our communities running.

Being a public facing member of staff, I was one of 11 who were asked to send in a video and a series of pictures some of the work I do.

My first stop was at Hawthorns Primary School in Durrington, a lovely school in which I am currently delivering our Happy Hearts programme to their reception class. It was here where I decided to film my selfie style video.

Every year I forget just how small the new reception class is and how they are just like sponges; absorbing all of the information given to them!

It's been a lovely programme and I'm already excited about the celebration assembly we'll be having next week, where hopefully Artie Beat will be visiting!

See Artie Beat and more in the Happy Hearts video below:

With the video ticked off the list, I headed over to Lime Tree Doctors Surgery in Findon with an aim of taking some selfies for the Our Day campaign (see photo below).

2018-11-15 - Tammy taking a selfie with kids in the background

I met a fellow footballer in the gym one day and it turns out that she's a doctor at Lime Tree Surgery in Findon. This has culminated in a request for me to go in and remind staff of the great work our Wellbeing Hubs team carries out every day. Wellbeing MOTs, Pre Diabetes programme, the Weight Escape programme and our Get Active programme.

It's important to keep spreading the word of this valuable community resource as not only do we take self referrals, but also referrals from local professionals too.

I could have taken lots more selfies of myself in meetings, organising staff wellbeing activities and more, but they are not quite as exciting at the two mentioned above.

So look out for the finished video montage 'Our Day' coming on the Tuesday 20th November!

See also:

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8th November 2018: Don't be afraid to ask for help

After losing my gorgeous dog Rexy back in August, we decided to rehome a three year old rescue dog called Buster.

To say it's been challenging is an understatement!

Buster has presented some behaviours that initially came across as disobedience, however some discussions with dog experts have revealed that his behaviour seems to be fear based.

This doesn't seem such a surprise when you consider what he could have been through...

Imagine, you are happy at the home you have been in for three years, then you go for a three hour car drive and get handed over to a stranger. The people you love drive away and you get put into a kennel on your own, surrounded by barking dogs.

You then go to another kennel a few days later where you meet a friend who walks you everyday but then someone else comes along, takes you for a walk and then puts you in their car!

You then arrive at this building full of different smells, different rooms, and nothing looks familiar to you at all.

These people seem lovely, so now you follow them everywhere, get upset when they leave because you don't know if they are coming back. Then the fireworks start which freaks you out even more.

One to one you feel safe and calm, but meeting other people and animals is scary ... you have no clue what is going on!

That's what Buster and other rescue dogs feel, and yet we expect them to settle in after a few days and almost get angry with them when they don't.

It got me thinking about how children feel when they go to school for the first time, or when they go to a sports club or first school trip away from home. It can be really scary and children will react in very different ways. Even those that appear fine and happy may have apprehensions inside. Those that are not happy need reassurance, help and time to adapt.

A scheme myself and other members of Wellbeing team have been working on with Worthing High School is OneGoodFriend - a council made programme ensuring all children have someone they can talk with and exploring how best to talk to your children in times of adversity and change.

Buster can not talk to me, but he can show me with his body language and behaviours how he is feeling, so I am getting help on how to help him, just like if he were my child.

Don't be afraid to ask for help, its a strength not a weakness.

Photo: Buster, the three year old rescue dog rehomed by Tammy

2018-11-08 - Buster, the three year old rescue dog rehomed by Tammy

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1st November 2018: How healthy do you think you are?

Within the Communities and Wellbeing team we have our wonderful wellbeing advisers, who carry out wellbeing MOTs on people wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes. This past week Tyler Slade, one of our advisers, carried out an MOT on Councillor Stephen Chipp.

Cllr Chipp is currently training for the next Brighton marathon and wanted to have a test to see if there were some changes he could make to help him with his training. Wellbeing MOTs can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of both a person's physical and mental state.

Tyler revealed the strengths and weaknesses of Cllr Chipp's physical and mental state and suggested some really good ideas to help get him in the best shape possible for his marathon.

Even Cllr Chipp, a 37 year old man who thought he was in reasonable condition, was surprised to hear his results. The hidden issues such as a person's visceral fat (the stuff in your blood vessels and around your organs) and their water percentage came as the most eye opening findings for him.

Photo: Councillor Stephen Chipp, Southwick Green Ward, reviewing his Wellbeing MOT

As part of our Wellbeing offer, we can also sign post people onto other programmes and activities to help with the suggested lifestyle changes. As Cllr Chipp enjoys running, we suggested he takes part in one of our park runs as part of his training regime.

I'm pleased to say that this past weekend he ran in the Lancing park run which sets off from the Perch cafe on a Saturday morning, completing the 5km run in just over 24 minutes. (Only another 37mk to build up to!)

Over the next few weeks I have challenged Cllr Chipp to visit some Adur based local sports clubs and take part in some of their training sessions.

If you are part of a club that wants to put him through his paces, let us know!

Cllr Chipp said:

“I contacted the Wellbeing team and I asked to have a health MOT and found the process exceptionally helpful.”

“It really was a welcome eye opener and I wholeheartedly urge any Adur and Worthing resident to get in touch with the team regardless of your age, fitness level etc as they really can help. Thanks to Tammy and Tyler for all of their help!”

To find more information on Wellbeing MOTs please visit the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website.

Photo: Councillor Stephen Chipp, Southwick Green Ward, pictured after completing the Lancing park run.

2018-11-01 - Cllr Stephen Chipp run

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25th October 2018: Going back to school

I am someone that enjoys training courses as I love learning new things.

A few days ago I attended a Food and Mood workshop, which was a great reminder on how important food is for not only our physical health but also our mental health.

For example, eating lots of seeds, walnuts and fish will increase your essential fats which are important for memory, good nails and hair and controlling PMT.

2018-10-25 - Seeds (Pexels 971078) and Fish (Pexels 229789)

A course like this then is not only going to improve my personal health but it could also do the same for you, the residents of Adur and Worthing. Whether this be educating you via my blogs, wellbeing sessions or even a simple conversation.

The course trainer brought along lots of nuts and seeds for us to nibble on and in the tea break she gave us homemade cashew nut butter (which was gorgeous), homemade hummus and a variety of corn cakes and bean crisps.

All of which were healthy and delicious and made me think about how I have fallen into eating more shop bought snacks that may be titled healthy but are not as good for us as the homemade and natural substitutes.

I have promised myself to stock up on nuts, seeds and corn cakes on the next weekly shop.

In my own time I am also undertaking a counselling skills training course.

Lasting for a year so, it's a big commitment but its something I'm really enjoying!

It's been a weird feeling going back to college and being a student again, but my classmates and tutors are all lovely and the course is interesting and thought provoking.

I just wish the same could be said about the homework!

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18th October 2018: Let's get physical

This week I'm shining a light on what we are doing as a council to make a happier, healthier, better connected and more prosperous community across Adur and Worthing.

Waves Ahead, a local partnership in Adur and Worthing, had their annual conference last week, which saw community leaders from all over the area gathering to attend the event being held in Worthing College's Exhibition Hall.

Active and Social Places was the title for this year's event, which saw Dr William Bird, a leading light in the world of wellbeing, kick-start a conversation about what we can do to make Adur and Worthing more energetic and communal areas.

The general aim of these meetings being to create a community that is active and social is happier, healthier, better connected and more prosperous.

When planning for this year's conference we were asked for our ideas. I suggested doing something a bit different and starting the conference with a warm up and ending it with a cool down. Not only was the idea embraced but I was put forward to deliver both sessions.

I quickly started to regret my suggestion, and the prospect of running a warm up for 70 delegates filled me with fear!

It took me two hours to even come up with a suitable song (a big thanks to my Communities colleague Jo Clarke for helping me). I had to make sure the language was appropriate and that the beat wasn't too fast or too slow ... and after two mini breakdowns I managed to plan my sessions!

I arrived at the venue in Worthing with plenty of time to set up and plan what I would say, and in typical Tammy style there was of course an element of humour!

As the delegates started to arrive the nerves kicked in again ...

I was then introduced and I kicked off with a question. “Who thinks physical activity is important?” I asked.

Luckily for me, all of their hands went up which allowed me to follow it up by saying “I'm glad you think that as it's now time for us to increase those heart rates”.

The next four minutes were a blur!

Everyone seemed to enjoy the session, especially Alex Bailey, Adur & Worthing Councils' Chief Executive, he put in a monumental effort!

The rest of the evening involved some brilliant conversations around getting people active and before I knew it it was cool down time.

For this I decided to do some deep breathing, mindfulness and reflection. This is where serious Tammy made an appearance which is out of my comfort zone!

After a few minutes the mindful moment with Tammy was over.

I cycled home buzzing about how well the session had gone and thinking about all the positive feedback I received.

What a great evening!

Photos: Tammy getting the audience physical at the Active and Social Places Waves Ahead annual conference

2018-10-18 - Tammy getting the audience physical at the Active and Social Places Waves Ahead annual conference

2018-10-18 - The audience getting physical at the Active and Social Places Waves Ahead annual conference

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11th October 2018: Are you looking after your mental health?

Most of us make a conscious effort to look after our physical health, but how many of us look after our mental health? If we feel our mental health deteriorating, can we recognise it and do something to change it?

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and there were many things happening in the community to raise the awareness of Mental Health.

Within the Councils, we also realise how important maintaining positive mental health is and we have put a few things in place to help staff.

Our staff development programme named ‘The Common Room’ meets once a month to discuss a variety of topics which will benefit us in some way shape or form.

Yesterday's was based around mental health and stress. Staff discussed a lot of different self help tools and strategies they have used to stop stress turning into dis-stress.

We have also started some 'Well at Work' mindfulness sessions that staff can do in their lunchtime.

Again, the aim of the sessions are to give staff the tools to relax and look after their own mental health.

There are so many tools and services out there to help you if you feel your mental health is poor, so don't feel you're alone!

Photo: Don't hide your mental health, do something to change it

2018-10-11 - Faces

Below are some links to websites and videos that can help you through your mental illness:

YouTube Video by World Mental Health Organisation

Website - Mind

Website - Mindful: Getting Started with Mindfulness

Website - Sussex Community NHS

Website - Cornerhouse

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4th October 2018: Pre-Diabetes

Back in January one of my colleagues who delivers our Pre-Diabetes programme was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer. It resulted in her being off work and having multiple operations. For many people this experience would have proven too much to cope with, but she remained positive and determined to beat it and return to a job she loved.

I am pleased to say that last week she delivered her first Pre-Diabetes programme since returning to work. For those who are not aware of this service, we run a 2.5 hour workshop for people who have been told they are Pre-Diabetic but not yet diabetic. The programme is designed to educate people on how they can reduce their risk of becoming diabetic in the future.

According to the Health Survey for England, one in three adults in England 'on the cusp' of diabetes. Pre-diabetes is where blood sugar levels are abnormally high, but lower than the threshold for diagnosing diabetes. It is estimated that around 5-10% of people with pre-diabetes will go on to progress to 'full-blown' type 2 diabetes in any given years.

Our Pre-Diabetes adviser has spent a lot of time writing a fantastic programme which hundreds of people have benefited from over the past few years.

If you have been told you are Pre-Diabetic, come along to one of our brilliant and informative programmes delivered by a very inspirational person.

See also:

Photo: A healthy diet and keeping active will help you manage your blood sugar level. It will also help you to control your weight and generally feel better

2018-10-04 - A healthy diet & keeping active will help you manage your blood sugar level - vegetables (Pixabay-1584999)

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27th September 2018: Getting out of my comfort zone

This week has been one where I have had to push myself out of my comfort zone - something that no-one particularly likes doing, but which we can all agree benefits us in the long-term!

the common room logo - med 150

At work we have a scheme called 'the common room'. This is a non-hierarchical learning space, we discuss different topics and share experiences with a view to develop ourselves, both personally and professionally.

A few of us 'host' the sessions - which basically means we facilitate or guide the discussion, and last week I put myself forward! At the time this seemed like a great idea, but the closer it got I wondered why I had volunteered! The session was based around emotional intelligence ... I introduced the topic by joking that I was emotional and my co-host was intelligent so we should make the perfect team! It actually went really well and we received some positive feedback from our co-workers. The common room really does provide a great opportunity to learn from each other.

I'm not sure what thoughts the word 'Presentation' triggers in your mind, but for me it triggers nerves and fear. I was recently asked to deliver a presentation to 60 NHS professionals around our service. My manager Janice agreed to deliver it with me and we opted for a quiz followed by a mini presentation. Thankfully it went well and most people went away learning something new about the Wellbeing Hubs and the services we offer.

Before both of these sessions I was nervous, a bit anxious, and fearful of what might go wrong. However, with careful planning and a few jokes thrown in, on reflection both went really well.

So, if you're worried about doing something new, my advice would be to push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and again!

Don't forget - if you want to make any health related lifestyle changes you can contact the West Sussex Wellbeing hubs.

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20th September 2018: Kind words and happy hearts

It's always nice to get positive feedback about the work we do, especially when it's from people within the local community ...

Last week was one of those occasions when I got an email from a teacher praising the Happy Hearts programme which I run.

The Happy Hearts programme is probably the project not only that I am most proud of but also the one I am most passionate about. With the increasing rates of childhood obesity and childhood diabetes it's never been more important to educate our children on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

Worryingly, over the last four years, Type 2 diabetes in kids has gone up by 40% and one in three children in year 6 are overweight or obese.

Why is this? Lack of physical activity?? Poor nutrition??? Its actually a combination of both and in the Happy Hearts programme we teach the children in a fun and interactive way why these areas are so important.

For example, did you know that children should do 60 minutes of physical activity everyday? Or that children aged four to six should have a maximum of five teaspoons of sugar each day, yet a bag of Haribo has 25 teaspoons of sugar in it?? These are some of the amazing things we cover in the programme.

But don't take my word for it, here's those kind words from a local primary school teacher ...

“I am writing to say how grateful I am to Tammy Waine for her continued help and support with our work to improve the lifestyle and activity levels of the children at my school and for her excellent delivery of the wonderful Happy Hearts Programme.”

“Every member of staff she has worked with has been very complimentary of her and the children love the programme. At a time of increasing childhood obesity and decreasing activity levels this programme is not only well delivered and fun but very important to these children. Parents have said how it has had an impact on what they eat at home and what they do in their spare time.”

If you are involved in a school and want to know more about the Happy Hearts programme then I'd love to hear from you. Contact me at tammy.waine@adur-worthing.gov.uk

Photo: Tammy with some of the children at Hawthorns Primary School in Durrington

2018-09-20 - Tammy with some of the children at Hawthorns Primary School in Durrington

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13th September 2018: Active Grub Clubbing

For many of you the 6 week school holiday challenges are now over and you are getting back into some sort of routine!

Some have said it flew by, some have been counting down the days since they broke up from school!

The summer is always a busy time for me as I run our Active Grub Clubs and this summer was no different.

I ran four sessions in Fishersgate at the Lighthouse Community Church and six sessions in East Worthing at the Community House.

The sessions are for young people aged seven to 13 and they combine healthy eating, cookery skills and physical activity plus meet a holiday hunger need in some cases.

This summer at the Fishersgate sessions we did some activity with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

2018-09-13 - Chopping logs with their wooden mallets the children had made

The kids got to saw and chop logs to make a fabulous bug hotel, plus make their own wooden mallets (photo right). It was great seeing them learn a new skill and do something brand new!

We also avoided any serious injuries which is also a bonus!!

The club based at the East Worthing Community House was also really successful.

All the attendees learnt some new skills and had a brilliant time. These sessions were funded by the Community Chest and will be continuing for the rest of the year.

Keeping these sessions going is never easy so one of my jobs is seeking funding to keep them going, especially the one in Fishersgate.

I have also been working with Impulse Leisure to gain some funding to set up a Lancing-based Active Grub club and I'm pleased to say we were successful ... so now we have the funding, we will be working together to develop the programme and role it out in the October half term!

Finally I am also working with the Salvation Army in Worthing to gain funding and run some Active Grub Clubs in the future, so watch this space!

But don't take just my word for it that these turned out great; here's what a parent from the Fishersgate Active Grub Club had to say:

“We LOVE the grub club! It gives me a brilliant little bit of time with my youngest and its invaluable to my other two children. It has boosted their confidence and are much more open to new things now ... Cooking and trying new foods. Thank you Tammy, you are the best!”

Photo: Some of the fun food made at the active grub club

2018-09-13 - Some of the fun food made at the active grub club

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6th September 2018: Tammy's return...

Hello again!

It's been a while since my last blog, but I'm here again! For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, I'll introduce myself, and for those of you who have met me virtually before, welcome back!!

I'm a Families and Wellbeing Officer and have worked in this role for the past 13 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 help them build the knowledge and skills to look after their bodies, and ultimately be more healthy.

I link up with organisations, local 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. One is Happy Hearts, a fun and interactive session for children showing how healthy eating and exercise benefit the heart, and another is Active Grub Club which involves physical activity for children and includes learning how to cook healthy food.

A lot has changed in my life since I last blogged. Unfortunately I have lost three of the chickens that I've blogged about in the past (see my 14th September 2017 blog), and a few weeks ago my life was turned upside down when I had to say goodbye to my best friend, my gorgeous dog Rexy (photos below).

2018-09-06 - Rexy, Tammy's dog

Losing any family member is such an emotional challenge and losing a much loved dog can be similar. My house feels empty, my routine has changed completely and my mental health has been poorer. I am not ashamed to say that this thing called grief is horrible! Luckily I have got some fantastic colleagues, friends and family around who I can talk to about it.

Talking about how you are feeling is really important and is also something I am getting involved with at work.

Next month I am working with the Find It Out Centre in Worthing which offers advice and support to young people aged 11-25 to run a 'Walk, Talk and Eat' session. At this session, supported by WSCC's Youth Emotional Support service, young people aged 11-17 can discuss any worries they are feeling, do some physical activity which can help relieve stress, plus eat a healthy supper. The session is by invitation only, but if anyone is interested in finding out more they can phone the Worthing Find It Out Centre on 01903 210315 or visit the Worthing find it out centre website.

If you don't have someone to talk to and need someone, look at the free talking therapy service that's available - details are on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website.

In terms of grief, a colleague shared the following quote by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross which resonates strongly with me:

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.”

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