Families and Wellbeing Officer
Tammy has now resumed her weekly postings ...
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 ...
Wow, what an amazing achievement in such a short space of time. It fills me with pride as I cycle around Adur and Worthing seeing people tapping Beat Boxes, especially when I hear comments such as:
“We wouldn't normally be out walking on a Sunday evening”
“This has really motivated me to walk more and lose weight, it's really helping my mental health”
To have 14,000 people playing the game is brilliant and what makes that so special is its people of all ages, from all sorts of backgrounds who are playing the game for different reasons.
As part of Beat the Street, last Saturday we ran some willow weaving workshops in Buckingham Park in Shoreham and Victoria Park in Worthing. People got the chance to make willow 'wish' stars, willow dreamcatchers and willow bird feeders to take home with them, plus they helped make a large willow dragonfly and dreamcatcher which will now be placed up in the trees to form part of a tree trail/scavenger hunt. I will post photos once they are in place!
As well as this, we're also running some nature walks in partnership with TCV Growing Communities which you can all get involved in for free. See the graphic below (or click on the PDF link below the graphic) for more information:
It's Go Travel Week until Tuesday 9th July 2019 which means there are double points on offer from all boxes from 7:30am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm to try and encourage people to ditch their cars and walk, run, cycle to school and work. Beat the Street has had a real positive impact on me, so far I have cycled over 210 miles in two weeks, all for a few points!
My nephew Ryan is loving it though, we have been out on our bike after school tapping boxes! He loves the noise the box makes. It's not too late to get involved, collect a card and map from the leisure centres and libraries now!
“Its raised Community Spirit”
This has been one of the hundreds of positive comments I have received about Beat the Street, and what a powerful comment it was.
This was a grandmother walking with her granddaughter and her dog around Durrington. She stated this project has been great at motivating her to go out for longer, plus it has raised community spirit as people are now talking to each other.
From what I have witnessed, I would totally agree. I've seen queues at Beat Boxes, families out on bike and scooter rides, friends walking and talking together and people even saying their GP told them to be more active, so they were using this scheme to do just that.
The buzz has just been incredible and I'm constantly getting children come up to me and sharing how many boxes they have tapped ... it really has motivated the community to get outside and earn points for their chosen team!
As I'm writing this blog we have 11,837 people playing the game across Adur, Worthing and Arun; and as of Tuesday afternoon, a total of 32,311.5 miles have been walked, run, scooted or cycled! We are only on day seven of the programme!
As part of Go Explore Week on Saturday, we are running some willow making workshops in Buckingham Park in Shoreham and in Victoria Park in Worthing, plus also a selfie competition in Worthing Museum.
Look on social media and in your newsletter (if you have registered) for further details on these events.
It's not too late to join the fun, you can join an existing team, set up your own team, or just play on your own, just remember to register your card so that you are in with a chance of winning one of the hundreds of prizes on offer!
- Facebook - Beat the Street Coastal West Sussex
- Twitter - @BTSWSussexCoast
- Instagram - @btscoastalwestsussex
- Website - Beat the Street, Coastal West Sussex
Photo: Eastbrook Primary Academy navigating nearby Beat Boxes
Photo: Tammy (right) playing Beat the Street in Worthing with fellow members of the Wellbeing Team
So for the past week my life has been Beat the Street! I have been delivering lots of school assemblies, providing maps, cards and encouraging people to play the game.
Then it was launch day! I was awake at 4:30am thinking about the launch events, so I decided to get up and make a start on my emails and event planning... then my phone went off with a photo of my friend out tapping boxes with her nine year old son at 5:45am!
Unfortunately but fortunately, we discovered some of the boxes were not working but by finding out at such an early time, I was able to contact the tech team who quickly sent a team down to fix the boxes! I know it wasn't ideal and a few people were left frustrated, but hopefully they will all be fixed by day two.
What did become apparent was just how excited everyone was for the game, over 3,000 locals had tapped boxes before 4pm came!
The two launch events went really well, children from Eastbrook Primary Academy and Orchards Junior School took part in the photos, along with key partners and of course the Chairman and Mayor of the districts.
Photo: pupils from Southwick Eastbrook Primary Academy
Photo: pupils from Worthing Orchards Junior School
Photo: Tammy (right) with pupils from Eastbrook Primary Academy and the Chairman of Adur, Cllr George Barton
Whilst talking after the launch we saw a gentleman in a suit, with his work lanyard on, tapping the boxes in his lunch break, followed by a younger mum and baby also tapping boxes, really showing that this is a great game for everyone!
The competition is hotting up! Families were seen out last night and I've been sent the league table by a very excited community team!
It's not too late to register a team, or start playing, visit:
- Facebook - Beat the Street Coastal West Sussex
- Twitter - @BTSWSussexCoast
- Instagram - @btscoastalwestsussex
- Website - Beat the Street, Coastal West Sussex
Let's get tapping!
The excitement is building in Adur, Worthing and Arun as we near the start of our Beat the Street programme!
Registrations are now open and it's only seven days until the beat boxes go live and we can all start playing!
Our community will turn into one big game for the next six weeks.
How many boxes can you find and tap? How many miles can you walk, run, cycle or wheel? Can you win one of the hundreds of prizes on offer? And can your school or community team finish in the top three and win prizes for your team?!
I have been delivering lots of school assemblies in the last week to explain the game and get pupils and staff excited to take part. One of the questions I received was:
“Is this just a game for children?”
... Well, the answer is NO! This is a game for everyone, children, parents, grandparents ... and even the family dog could take part! Anyone can register and anyone can form their own community team.
Visit the Beat the Street Coastal West Sussex website to register. Remember that by registering you can then win one of the many prizes on offer, if you don't register, we won't know who you are and who to give the prizes to.
Last week I also arranged a local photo shoot with some children and staff from Hawthorns Primary School, and with a community group called The Scribe Tribe... I also managed to rope in Cllr Dan Humphreys, the Leader of Worthing Borough Council, who was walking past! He may now be regretting that visit Worthing Library or wish that he had avoided my eye contact!!! These photos will now be appearing in the social media posts which will be appearing throughout the game. A couple of the photos are below...
Photo: Tammy (back right) with Hawthorns First School
Photo: Cllr Daniel Humphreys (left) with the Worthing Scribe Tribe Reading Group
So please get involved in this game and make it the best one yet! You can keep updated on the game by clicking on the following social media links:
- Facebook - Beat the Street Coastal West Sussex
- Twitter - @BTSWSussexCoast
- Instagram - @btscoastalwestsussex
- Website - Beat the Street, Coastal West Sussex
I am not sure I have ever been this busy at work before ... it's a good job I typically thrive under pressure!
Last week I announced that Beat the Street was coming to West Sussex and I have been working really hard since then in trying to promote the game as much as I can.
I have been doing assemblies in participating schools to tell the children and staff all about the game and its meeting distribution points such as libraries and leisure centres - these will have the playing fobs, cards and maps with details on how to play.
Distribution points will also share how to set up a community team, or play solo, and use the game to get out into the community and meet activity providers, local concessions and cafes in order to get prizes and community input. We want this game to benefit the whole community.
As busy as I have been, it's been lovely going back out into the community and talking to people about this fantastic project and seeing how we can all link in, I can not wait for June 19th when the game goes live!
So, how can you take part?
Participating schools will all get fobs, cards and maps for every child. So register and get tapping those beat boxes to gain points for your child's school.
Set up a community team. This could be friends, family, work colleagues etc. You can then compete against other community teams across Adur and Worthing to win prizes.
Register as individual players and see how many boxes you can tap / miles you can walk.
If you register and start playing, you will be in with a chance of winning one of the many spot prizes that will be given out throughout the game. Additionally, keep an eye out for all the Beat the Street activities that will be happening during the game. It really is going to be a brilliant six weeks!
For more information please visit and like / share / follow these pages:
- Facebook - Beat the Street Coastal West Sussex
- Twitter - @BTSWSussexCoast
- Instagram - @btscoastalwestsussex
- Website - Beat the Street, Coastal West Sussex
Over the past few weeks, I have been working on a very exciting project which I can now tell you all about!
The new project is called Beat the Street and it will be running across Adur, Worthing and Arun from June 19th to July 31st.
Beat the Street is a fun, free walking and cycling game for the whole family. You can earn points for your school of community team, just by walking around your local area.
The scheme is open to absolutely everyone, from all ages and backgrounds, including targeted schools, community groups and businesses. It is completely free to take part and is being delivered with funding from Adur & Worthing Councils, Arun District Council, West Sussex County Council Public Health and The Conservation Volunteers.
“So, how does this work and what exactly is Beat the Street” I hear you say?!
Well, 'Beat Boxes' will be positioned throughout Adur, Worthing and Arun. Players receive a card which they tap on the Beat Boxes as they walk, cycle, or scoot around town, earning points for themselves and their school and community teams. The more boxes you tap, the more points you earn. Players can view their progress online and they can also see how their team is doing on the leaderboard.
Prizes are awarded for the top few teams plus there will be many spot prizes awarded throughout the six week game. Alongside the game, there will also be lots of different opportunities for people to try new things and visit new places.
So, if you want to find out more about this brilliant project, visit the Beat the Street, Coastal West Sussex website
Here you will also find details of how to register and how to set up your own community team! This could be work colleagues, family members and friends.
If you are a community group that would like to promote your activities or donate a spot prize:
- if you are in Adur or Worthing, please contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you are in Arun, please contact: email@example.com
Please follow / like us on social media too!
- Facebook - Beat the Street Coastal West Sussex
- Twitter - @BTSWSussexCoast
- Instagram - @btscoastalwestsussex
- Website - Beat the Street, Coastal West Sussex
Reflecting on the work we do is something we do all the time. Afterall, just because a project is working well does not mean that we stop trying to make it better.
Projects change all the time for many different reasons, sometimes it’s to do with the needs of the clients, sometimes it's down to a piece of evidence that shows we need to target a different area and sometimes it could be something that may bring additional value to the scheme.
One project that has been evolving over the past few years is our weight escape programme for adults whose BMI is above a healthy weight. This project has seen many changes and this year is no different.
Lasting for 12 weeks, The Weight Escape programme is a big commitment for anyone that participates, but post programme comments from people implied that they wish there was a bit more support for them once they reached the end of the programme. Taking this into consideration, we have developed four post programme motivational mail outs which get sent to all participants - these are designed to recap the key areas learnt and to motivate and encourage people to continue making positive lifestyle changes. We will then gather some feedback after the fourth one has been sent out to see what impact they have had and if there are any changes people think need to be made to them.
Listening to the community is something we pride ourselves on, obviously we can not make changes based on every single comment we receive, but if we feel it will make the programme better then we will definitely investigate whether it’s possible.
We still have a few spaces left on our next two Weight Escape programmes, so get in touch if its something you want to know more about!
Our Weight Management Officer had this to say:
“Work on the weight management project is extremely rewarding. It has been wonderful to see it develop and continue to expand, touching on topics that hopefully provide an insight beyond a product or a short term plan, ideal for implementing long term lifestyle change rather than a short term fix. Future projects that are in the pipeline will ideally provide a workshop, consisting of a couple of hours, to give an overview of key areas to change to help manage weight.”
It's a busy time in my working life at the moment, lots of exciting projects on the horizon which require lots of planning and thinking outside the physical activity box.
I can't wait to tell you all about one in particular because it's going to be an amazing project, but for now it's a 'watch this space' idea!
On Friday I started my Happy Hearts programme in Durrington Infant & Junior School, working with their year 1's. To my surprise the PE technician was someone I used to coach at the Brighton and Hove Centre of Excellence when she was an under 12 whom I also played alongside many years later ... small world huh?!
The three lessons went really well, lots of energy in the room and the kids were eager to find out more about their body parts. I think they enjoyed the lesson ... if the amount of “love you Tammy” comments I received were anything to go by then I'm sure the rest of the programme will go well!
Whilst in Durrington, it was lovely to see some year 3's who I worked with 2 years ago ... still remembering some of the key messages I taught them!
In the next week I will be going out into the community and meeting lots of different people regarding this new project to see if they would like to be involved ... it's all very exciting!
Photo: Tammy teaching her Happy Hearts session at another Durrington school, Hawthorns Primary
As you may already know, football is my passion. I'm not entirely sure where this obsession came from, but as a six year old I told my mum I wanted to play football at school.
Being the only girl didn't phase me and this 'phase' has now lasted 34 years!!! It has taken me to many different countries and to many different stadiums and has enabled me to make friends for life ... and probably the odd enemy too!
I am now facing the awful prospect of retirement ... and it's is a little bit daunting! It means at the moment I could be facing lots of 'lasts' - the last time playing certain teams, the last time up against certain centre forwards, and the last time playing in various competitions (I may yet play another season, but I may not!).
So last Thursday I played in what could be my last Sussex County Women's Challenge Cup Final! I think I worked out that I played in the first one in 1995 when the majority of the opposition and my teammates were not even born!!
Going into the game I obviously wanted to have a good one, but to also show that I can still compete and perform at this level against much younger opposition in front of a big crowd. Thankfully I managed to do so ... PHEW! I think I had a strong game and we managed to beat a talented Brighton & Hove Albion side that actually boasted a few players I have coached in the past.
What made it even more special is my nephew (who has varying disabilities) was one of the mascots for the game, so we got to walk out together. He high fived all the opposition and officials and had a lovely time ... well a lovely 45 minutes until he got bored!
It could have been my last cup final, but it was one that I will remember forever as I got to spend it with an amazing group of coaches, players and family. If it were my last, what a last one to play in!
See highlights of Tammy's cup final win below ...
Many thanks to Sheena Booker for allowing me to use her fantastic images throughout this blog. You can find her links below:
- Facebook @Tinybookerphotography
- Twitter @girltinyshooter
- (photos copyright Sheena Booker Photography)
A few weeks ago I was invited to Worthing Indoor Bowls Club to meet two lovely club representatives and discuss both Worthing Indoor Bowls club's and Tarring Priory Lawn Bowls club's goals and aspirations.
The first thing that surprised me was where the club actually was! I had driven to Field Place on many occasions but I had never noticed the building! Apparently I am not the first to say that which made me feel slightly better.
Upon entering the building I noticed how busy it was. From people actually playing the game to others having tea, coffee and lunch in cafe area. From what I saw, the food looked lovely - If only I had time to sample it!
Both club's goal is ultimately to get more people of all ages playing the sport. I'm sure most people associate bowls with a slightly older generation, but they do have younger members playing regularly too.
A few years ago my work colleagues had an away day at Adur Indoor Bowls Club in Southwick and during lunch we learnt to play. We all had a lovely time and discovered it was much harder than we thought!
Tarring Priory Bowls Club has an open day on Saturday 18th May 2019, from 10am to 3pm, which is free to attend, and they are encouraging people to pop along and have a go!
There are also 'Roll Up' drop in sessions on Wednesday mornings (10am to 1pm) and Friday evenings (6pm to 8:30pm) for people to turn up and have a go.
For details see:
This is yet another club run by passionate volunteers who just want the community to be able to experience the sport of bowls.
Slightly curious??? Then pop along!
There are a lot of exciting projects around physical activity in the pipeline at the moment, one of which will be announced in the coming weeks and the other is called Ping ...
Ping!, which is run by Table Tennis England, sees table tennis tables and equipment placed in popular public places so that anyone can pick up a paddle and give the game a go.
The aim is to remove barriers to sport and physical activity, giving people of all ages a chance to play one of the world's most popular activities.
To mark the 10th anniversary of Ping!, Table Tennis England has announced it's commitment to bring table tennis to Worthing, supported by local club Worthing Ping United and the Council. Full details of exact locations will be announced in the coming weeks, so watch this space!
Worthing Ping United is a table tennis Club which aims to get more people playing the game in the community, in both indoor and outdoor spaces. You may have seen some social media promotion around the club as it's causing quite a stir!
There are drop in sessions running at the Sidney Walter Centre on a Monday night and on a Saturday afternoon for people of all ages and abilities. I'm not sure there are many sports when an 18 year old is playing against a 70 year old, but its happening at Ping!
I met with David and Cedric from Worthing Ping United on Tuesday to get a project update and it was once again lovely to see people who are so passionate about their sport, but also passionate about helping their local community.
This is still relatively new but if you are interested in taking part, visit their Facebook page or find them on Twitter below:
I am really lucky to work for an organisation that allows its staff to volunteer in their local community for three days a year, and as someone that likes helping people, I always make sure I use those days! So on Friday myself and four other colleagues went to Oak Grove College in Worthing to help them with some manual labour in their wonderful gardens.
Oak Grove is a school for young people with additional needs and is a school my nephew will move onto, so it also allowed me to see the outdoors opportunities he can get involved in.
Our first task involved moving a load of wood and rubble to a skip and into recycling piles as well as filling up their sandbox. Whilst doing this it was lovely to see some of the students working outside doing some digging and planting too, making the most of the sunshine whilst learning some valuable life skills.
Then it was onto the nettle patch ... and these were no ordinary nettles. These nettles were so strong I think my hands are still stinging now! This was definitely a job for the adults! We managed to clear the patch whilst filling up three green bins.
Lunchtime allowed us to observe the students running around the grounds, playing games like manhunt and tag, and allowed us to get to know each other. All the staff were from different teams within the Councils and are paths don't often cross. However, through our discussions I think we all discovered ways we could link up and help each other in the future.
Our final task for the day was helping re-shape their willow tunnel. It had gotten a bit out of control and luckily for us our new Parks and Foreshore Manager, Pippa Reece was on hand to show us how it's done as in her previous roll not only did she make willow tunnels, but animals made out of willow!
Helping the community is such an amazing thing to do. Five of us completed work that would have taken the students weeks to complete. If only more people and more organisations would do it!
Photo: Volunteering at Oak Grove College - left to right: Matt Marchant, Philippa Reece, Tammy Waine, James Newton and Jessica Charles
Around 200,000 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk.
Making small changes to your lifestyle now can make a big impact on your future health. This means you can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and the risk of serious health complications that can come with it.
Next week between April 1st - 7th is Diabetes UK's Type 2 diabetes prevention week and here a Adur & Worthing Councils we will be promoting and supporting the national campaign.
If you are worried about developing Type 2 diabetes or want to find out more on the disease, here are a few options for you:
- Go to the Diabetes UK website and find out more about Type 2 diabetes Prevention Week. There is also a simple tool to know your risks!
- Book in for a blood test with your GP if you are worried about your health.
- If you have been told you have a raised glucose level in your blood, book onto one of our pre-diabetes programmes. They are free and allow those taking part to learn a bit more about the condition and how you can make some simple lifestyle changes to reduce your blood sugar levels. Sign up to the pre-diabetes programme on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing hub website:
You have all heard of the saying “Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today” - so contact us if you are concerned! Call one of our very friendly admin team on 01903 221450
For the past few weeks I have been back at Heene Primary School delivering my Happy Hearts programme to their year one classes.
This weeks lesson was on the Eatwell Guide and what jobs certain foods do in the body. Obviously, when working with year ones I have to be creative in my delivery, so today we mentioned how in their messy bedrooms we need to put all their clothes away into certain sections, and it's the same with all the foods they should be eating.
For full size image see Eatwell Guide PDF - on GOV.UK website
We can put them into five sections ... we then talk through them and using lots of interactive resources we play games which get them get used to putting these foods into the correct groups.
Their next challenge is to then look at their lunch and see if they can tell each other what jobs the foods they are eating do in their body.
Both lessons went really well - a result which is always nice when you tweak the lesson plan and try something new. One boy came up and gave me a drawing he had done for me - BLESS HIS COTTON SOCKS!! His very own picture of Artie Beat!
Next week is our last lesson of our programme with the Worthing school and it's one of my favourites - we learn about how much sugar is in some of the popular snack foods! It's eye opening for everyone involved, especially the teachers!
We then finish with a celebration assembly and a very special visit from Artie Beat!
A question came up the other day about my job and how I got into it, so here goes ...
I always knew I wanted a job in sport but I wasn't sure in what area, so when I won a football scholarship to Auburn University in the USA (yes, I was an alright player back in the day) I decided to choose a degree in Health and Human Performance.
Juggling studying for a degree and the full time soccer training was a challenge in itself, let alone being away from friends and family, but I can honestly say I loved every minute of it (well, except when I snapped my anterior cruciate ligament in my knee and needed two surgeries to fix it)!
After graduating, I made the decision to return back home to England and continue my football career as a player and as a coach; therefore next on the list was getting my coaching qualifications. Whilst doing these, I worked part time for a variety of organisations in a football coaching role working with mainstream children as well as those with additional needs.
By this point I'd decided I wanted to be a sports development officer, so I started volunteering with the then Sussex Sports Partnership to gain some experience. My hard work paid off and I was appointed the part time Sports Development Officer at Lewes District Council ... I had a title at last!!!
This role involved both office work and practical delivery in a variety of settings, including some evening and weekend work which meant I had to be super organised.
By this point I was now coaching for Brighton & Hove Albion and had gained my Level 3 coaching badge and my Level 3 Youth Coaching qualification and I was loving my very busy life!
I would have happily stayed in the Lewes role, but I wanted to try and get on the housing ladder and I needed a full time role which is when the Adur & Worthing Councils Sports Development Officer job came up ... 15 years ago! I applied and thankfully got the job!
The role has changed many many times, but lots of things have stayed the same. My passion for helping children, young people and their families stay fit and healthy is as strong as it ever was. My ability to balance many projects, line manage staff, deliver sessions in schools, work with adults, teenagers and children and represent the council in a professional manner is still the same as it was. In fact I am busier than I ever have been.
Things have got tougher financially as we now need to source external funding to deliver projects, but the rewards I get for achieving positive outcomes, making children smile and seeing the impact my work and my team's work has on the community - it's well worth the battle!
Ultimately I use this blog to highlight the positive work myself and my team do in the community, it is a challenge but we are all passionate about what we do and work very hard to make it happen.
Photo: Tammy playing for Lewes FC
Last Thursday I attended the Active Sussex Conference which was held at Buxted Park Hotel. For this I felt the need to dust off the blazer and make an effort!
After two hours of fighting rush hour traffic, I finally made it.
For those that have never been to Buxted Park Hotel, it is gorgeous! Amazing grounds a beautiful hotel and, of course, gorgeous food….hopefully!
The agenda for this conference sounded really interesting, especially Professor Jim McKenna’s slot on ‘Simplexity of Sport and Physical Activity’ with some of the things he spoke about not being rocket science but were yet so powerful.
He believes that there is no such thing as hard to reach people, you just need to know how to get to them. For example, an elderly person who may not see anyone from day to day but will probably visit a GP surgery. So can we empower the receptionists to talk to them about activities that may help with social isolation and health? That receptionist may be the only person they speak to for days so why not challenge them to signpost to other services? So simple, but so effective! It could really work!
As well as the powerful presentations, these type of events are always a great time to catch up with other district and borough staff that I just don't get to see anymore. It was a great chance to hear about their projects and work… and maybe even steal a few ideas!
Finally, I must mention the lunch... It was lovely! So nice to go somewhere and get nice vegetarian options on a buffet, rather than a token cheese sandwich! (Sorry to those that love a cheese sandwich!)
Thank you Buxted Park Hotel!
Photo: Can you spot Tammy? A group picture of all who attended this year's Active Sussex Conference
Here in the Wellbeing team, we work with lots of different organisations across many fields, some big, some small, some have a great reputation, some need improving...
However it's a huge one that at times has bad press, and it's this one that I would like to personally thank. In the past week, my family have had two separate experiences of using the NHS.
Firstly, someone within my family found a lump and within two weeks they had been seen by a GP, been seen by a specialist, had a mammogram screening and ultrasound and thankfully got the all clear!
Then last week my nine year old nephew, who has disabilities, became really poorly despite being on antibiotics for tonsillitis.
High temperature and sickness meant a trip to the GP, where he was then sent down to the hospital where a bed was waiting and nurses were on hand to give an IV etc. Thirty hours later he was discharged with the tonsillitis back under control!
We could not complain with either services we received and were impressed with the efficiency of both situations.
From April this year, we have been asked to deliver NHS Health checks and stop smoking support as part of our offer. The prevention work we do every day helps to reduce the pressure on the National Health Service by helping to keep people well and out of hospital!
I'm sitting here on February 14th, Valentine's Day, wondering what I can write my next blog on...
Everyone around me is chatting about what they are cooking for dinner tonight and what romantic gestures their loved ones have bought them. So, naturally it got me thinking on love, and in particular what I love about my job. So here goes:
I love my team (well most of them anyway!! lol): They are kind, caring and passionate about what they do which really comes across in their work. If anyone needs something, there is always a queue of people ready to step in and help. It isn't an essential part of the job description, but it's something that has made me want to stay in my role for so long.
Everyone is different and unique: This is what makes my role so interesting. I love meeting new people and hearing about their worlds and trying to work out how they can make positive lifestyle changes. Adults can sometimes be a challenge as they have preconceived ideas and ingrained habits, whereas children are like sponges, they just absorb the information you give them. They want to be fit and healthy and are so enthusiastic to make these changes and tell you about how well they have done!
Location, Location, Location! No, not the TV show! I love living and working in Sussex. We have everything here ... the beach, the Downs, good shopping stores, good restaurants and coffee shops! I get to cycle to work and avoid commuting long distances whilst taking in the lovely views that Worthing has to offer!
Variety: Finally, I mentioned earlier that my role is varied. Everyday is different and brings different challenges. I get to work with lots of different people across lots of different areas which means I never get bored! I love the variety!
Outside of work I love my friends and family, animals, Liverpool Football Club and all sport and exercise! Thinking about what we love is actually quite therapeutic, give it a go!
Everyone loves getting good news, and I am no different!
On Friday I was lucky enough to receive a good news email.
I have mentioned previously that we run a scheme at the Councils called 'Well@Work' for staff to boost wellbeing and decrease stress. These programmes are run during lunchtimes or after work.
Recently one member of staff had an idea of setting up a balcony garden project for some balcony areas in our main office which are currently not used.
A few members of staff have signed up to the project and have drawn up a plan to plant and grow a mixture of flowers, herbs and vegetables.
The group had drawn up a list of things they would need, items such as pots, soil, seeds and we had started trying to source them through staff donations and seed swaps ready for the project to start in the Spring.
So on Friday I opened up my inbox to an unexpected email from the company that clean our offices saying they would like to donate some garden centre vouchers to the project so we can purchase some supplies!
So a huge thank you to Monitor Services. Adam, who is the group business development manager, had this to say:
“Monitor Services are proud to have been working in partnership with the Council for just over a year. As well as providing employment for 12 local people, we are happy to help with local initiatives and projects. We look forward to seeing the balconies in full bloom soon.”
Teamwork plays a very important role in both my personal and professional life. In my personal life, being part of a football team requires everyone to work towards a common goal regardless of our differences, likes and dislikes - and this is the same in my work for the Councils.
When you think about it, at work a group of people from all sorts of backgrounds with all sorts of beliefs, morals and opinions come together and spend approximately 37 hours together each week. That's more time than most of us spend with friends and family! We are then expected to work together to achieve targets, meet objectives or deliver a service.
This past week, the word 'teamwork' has featured quite a lot …
One icy morning I had a phone call from a colleague saying she had had a fall on the way into work and she couldn't walk or move her shoulder. So myself and another colleague put on our superhero capes and drove over to where she had fallen and decided to take her down to A&E, as her shoulder and ankle were very sore. It turns out she had broken both her ankle and her shoulder! No sledging for her the next day!
On that same day, another colleague was rushing around trying to get everything prepared for a very important event and she was running out of time to sort the paperwork and refreshments out. Another superstar in my team came to her rescue. It's things like that that make me really appreciate my colleagues - the times when people go above and beyond just to help someone else out.
We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other
Photo: Sarah, Tammy and Julia
It's been a strange week personally for a few different reasons.
Firstly, we had a setback on our road to fostering children. Basically our new rescue dog is not ready to pass the behavioural assessment, so we have had to pause the process. It was either that or try and rehome Buster ... but that goes against my morals of a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.
It would be the same as fostering a child as, if there were challenges, we wouldn't give the child up at the first hurdle, so we definitely won't with our dog!
This has brought on a new experience for me ... we are working with a dog trainer! They are teaching us what we are doing right and, more often, what we are doing wrong. Talk about going back to school! Hopefully Buster will respond positively to the training and we can continue the fostering journey as one.
Another first for me was (now don't shout at me for this) but ... I had a roast dinner on a Saturday. I know, controversial! In all my years I don't think I have ever had a roast dinner on a day that wasn't Sunday (except Christmas of course!)
These firsts will continue into my working life as there will no doubt be some changes to my role over the next few months and it will challenge my ability to adapt and learn new skills.
When learning anything new there will be setbacks, and how I cope with these will determine if I succeed or not. So I need to fill my tool box with strategies and techniques to help me overcome these obstacles. Training courses, people to talk to and time to reflect will be some of the things I look to put in my tool box.
Applying these principles to my personal life would also be a smart choice. What's the saying? “A setback is an opportunity for a comeback!” Let's hope that is the case!
Photo: Buster, our rescue dog, out in the cold and at home in the warm.
One of the things I love about my job is the variety it brings!
I get to work in different places, with different organisations and with different people.
About six months ago I met with a lady who worked for Barnardo's and she told me about their amazing 'Moving Forward' project among many others.
'Moving Forward' is a project for young adults with additional needs aged 16 to 25, with the project aiming to develop their life skills in a wide range of areas, such as nutrition, hygiene, physical activity etc.
From this meeting I was then invited to deliver a healthy eating workshop at their January programme!
Unsurprisingly January came around very quickly, and this past Monday I arrived at Oak Grove College for the session.
I decided to deliver a fruit and vegetable tasting workshop, which encouraged the group to try all sorts of new things.
All but one of the group tried most things I put on their plate, with some trying things for the first time. One young man on the other hand had other ideas and only ate the raisins!
When working with a new group of people, you never quite know how the session will go or what ability level to pitch the session at, so one of the things I've had to learn is to be adaptable!
Thankfully the session went really well. I think I pitched it at the right learning level and hopefully they will continue trying new fruit and vegetables.
If you would like to find out more about Barnardo's and some of the brilliant work they do, please look at the following link:
Photo: Fruit and veg
This week has been one of those weeks where the time flies by and before you know it, its blog deadline day!
I have been deliberating on what to write about. Work has been very busy, deadlines to meet, reports to write, meetings to go to and next year to plan!
January is always a tough month for people, we are still trying to pay off Christmas, still eating our way through leftover chocolates and biscuits, people are trying to get back into the routine of school and work and its still very dark in the mornings and afternoons. So it can be a challenging month to get through, but the good news is we are over halfway through it! So I thought I would share a few positives with you.
Firstly, Liverpool are still top of the league which is a huge positive in my life! I'm trying to not get carried away and plan my road trip up to Anfield for the trophy parade, but deep down I am getting a little bit excited!
My work colleagues continue to amaze me with their hard work and dedication. We are seeing hundreds of people from the local community every month and trying to help them make some changes to their life to improve it.
From the wellbeing advisers carrying out wellbeing MOTs to the Councils' community referrers at Going Local, who can help signpost their clients to other services for support in a variety of areas. IT junction is helping people with CV writing and connecting to the internet and of course my own team are working on weight management, getting people active and trying to prevent diabetes ... Wow! And that's not even talking about the great work the outreach team do in trying to help the homeless community or the work the safer communities team do keep us all out of harm's way.
Finally, even though he is a Manchester United supporter, my brilliant colleague Tyler Slade has been doing a fab job in taking part in Dry January and he had this to say on how its going:
“It's going OK. I've not yet given in to the temptation of a cheeky Baileys on ice (I've had to hide this Christmas gift under the stairs, out of sight out of mind) and thankfully there hasn't been too many stressful days in which I'd normally soften with a Guinness or two.”
“Going without has given me some encouragement in other areas too as I've just signed up for West Worthing 10k in March. It's good to challenge yourself!”
Hopefully you are all managing to find some positives in your January!
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???
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.
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
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?!
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
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
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.
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'
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).
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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
Below are some links to websites and videos that can help you through your mental illness:
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.
- What is type 2 diabetes? - on the NHS website
- Pre-diabetes programme - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
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
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Tammy with some of the children at Hawthorns Primary School in Durrington
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).
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
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).
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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Worthing Town Hall,