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.
You can read Tammy's current blog posts on this page below - or read:
See also: Get Up & Active
This week I attended a virtual meeting about Find It Out+ - a drop in service for young people aged 11-25. Here young people can speak to someone in confidence or find out information and gain advice. The Worthing centre is currently based in Marine Place and the Adur centre is in Penhill Road, Lancing. Both centres are open 1.30-5.00 Mon, Tue, Thur, Friday.
Find It Out Plus in Worthing is delivered in partnership with YMCA and can support the young person with the following:
- Mental, physical or sexual health
- Family and peer relationships
- Education and employment
- Housing and homelessness
- Criminal or sexual exploitation
- Substance misuse
This can be through assessment and referral to a partner service, such as Youth Emotional Support, YMCA Dialogue, West Sussex MIND and others. Via bitesize support - a fortnightly phone or video session, or weekly online check-in - the service aims to support your emotional wellbeing.
It was great hearing about some of the work they are doing around LGBTQU+ and BAME groups as well as some of their plans for when they move into their new building next year.
As young people start to go back to school and work, some may need extra support to cope with the new normal. Things are very different now compared to what they used to be and some will struggle with this more than others. So if you know of a young person that might need someone to talk to, visit the following website:
For more information on FindItOut+, view the PDF below:
I have previously written about my brilliant team. I line manage James Newton who runs our Get Active programme, Sarah Thomas who runs our Weight Management programme and Therese Woodhams who runs our Pre-Diabetes programme. These programmes are designed to help people make positive lifestyle changes.
All of these programmes were previously run face to face, however COVID-19 has meant we have had to change the way we deliver our services. Sarah now runs a 12 week weight management programme online via Zoom and it's been going really well. She's about to start her second programme and will also look to run an evening programme in the near future.
Therese has also had to adapt her programme to an online format. Her programmes are short one hour interventions which run regularly, so again, if you have been told you have a high blood glucose reading, why not attend a programme to find out more?
The Get Active programme is now running a mixture of small, socially distanced face to face sessions - plus some online activity sessions for those that don't want face to face. The mixture of formats has proven really popular - in particular, the new restorative yoga sessions have been really well attended.
Like many organisations, we have had to adapt to government's recommendations and I am really proud of my team for how they have done this.
To find out more information about how we can help you see the:
Photo: Women doing yoga in a park
With everything going on in the world right now, sometimes it's hard to find things to smile about, so this week's blog will touch upon all the things that have made me smile and laugh on my week off last week!
The first one demonstrates my competitiveness! I took Ryan and one of his friends to an activity day over at Cobnor. We did kayaking, canoeing and some swimming. In the afternoon, we were out on the kayaks and Ryan's friend suggested a race to a pole ... so me being me, I took off like it was an olympic final. I was paddling like my life depended on it! I was almost at the pole, ready to raise my paddle in victory when I had to remind myself that I was up against a 10 year old!! I did have to chuckle to myself!
The next laugh out loud moment involved Ryan and his personality! We went to the peak district and stayed in a caravan which Ryan loved, but in order for him to release some energy, he would crawl around on the grass outside. After a minute unattended, there was a loud clanging noise ... Ryan had taken off down the verge and decided to ring the campsite fire alarm triangle! He looked very proud of himself and luckily no engines arrived.
Photo: Just before Ryan crawled off to ring the campsite fire alarm triangle
We are very lucky to live in such a lovely area and I really enjoy exploring! So when a friend suggested a mountain bike ride, I told her I had the perfect route up to Cissbury, along to Chanctonbury and then back, full of amazing views. So off we went! It was definitely a challenging route, but it would be worth it once we got to the top of Chanctonbury Ring! However, upon reaching the summit, we could not see more than 5 meters in front of us due to some extremely thick fog ... check out the photo below of the amazing views!!
Finally, we received a letter asking for nominations for the High Sheriff of West Sussex's Volunteer Awards, so I went back to my team to see if any of them would like to nominate a COVID-19 volunteer that has been supporting a local resident. Big mistake - I have been inundated with nominations! So many volunteers have gone above and beyond in their help and it's been lovely hearing all about their wonderful work.
Sometimes we miss these comical moments and focus on the negative things ... so each night I am going to try to remember those moments that have made me smile!
It's widely known that being physically active has numerous physical and mental health benefits, but for many people out there, COVID-19 negatively impacted their ability to get out and be active.
Gyms closed, classes stopped and people were told to stay at home and be alert. Fast forward a few months and people are now starting to feel more confident to leave their home and now want to be that bit more active.
This increase in demand has led our Activities Development Officer to launch a new programme of activities called ActivePark.
We are offering a range of 'free back to exercise courses' including; Restorative yoga sessions, C5k courses, and a progessive boot camp course. More information can be found on the ActivePark Facebook page listed below:
These activities will be in much smaller groups to comply with social distancing guidelines and are free to attend, so now is the chance to try something new. Book now before the places fill up!
If you need any further information, go to the Facebook page above or contact my colleague James via the following methods:
- Email - James.Newton@adur-worthing.gov.uk
- Phone - 01273 263064
As every pet owner knows, you feel helpless when they become poorly. Last Friday I started to notice that one of my ex-battery farm rescue hens from October last year, Coco, was looking a bit under the weather. Now, chickens try to cover up their illnesses to avoid being preyed upon, so when you do notice that they are unwell, a lot of the time it is too late.
After rehoming Coco, she quickly went from a skinny, featherless battery hen to a top of the roost free range and occasionally bullying hen. So to see her sitting around, not wanting to eat told me she was ill. I went through the normal checks - red mite, lice, worms, egg bound, sour crop, impacted crop but all appeared ok... (it's taken me a long time to know what all these things are!!!)
Feeling very worried, I boxed her up and took her to a local chicken guru just to check her over... nothing obvious. So I brought her home, expecting to find her motionless in her coop every morning.
I've had so many sleepless nights... unfortunately that's a side effect of caring too much! I have tried telling myself that if I hadn’t rescued her she would already be dead by now, but it doesn’t work, I do love them!
Four to five days of not really eating and trying to tempt her with her favorite treats, I took her back to Mr Chicken Guru, expecting to be told it's time for her to fly over the rainbow bridge. We had a conversation in the car where I told her I loved her, thanked her for my lovely eggs and said I hope you have had a nice free range life with me (whilst crying my eyes out)... but, she came home again! Talk about playing with my emotions!
Wednesday 9pm I went out to check on her, she came running out and ate! Breakthrough! Today (Thursday) she seems to have improved again, scratching at my flower beds and eating again. Lets hope she continues to improve as she deserves more than 10 months free.
Chickens are such lovely animals with great personalities who deserve to enjoy their life. I have decided to try and help them a bit more by volunteering with the British Hen Welfare Trust on some of their rehoming days - sending them off to start their free range life with people who love and care for them will be very rewarding.
Have a look on their website... you too could volunteer, or you could even give some lovely girls a new home.
I am actually typing this with a few tears rolling down my face.
It is Ryan's birthday next week, and we are trying to find something to do with him.
If you've seen some of my previous blogs, you'll know that I've previously mentioned that I care for my nephew Ryan.
Ryan is 10 and to simplify his condition, he was born with portions of his brain missing meaning he has various disabilities. Unfortunately he is unable to stand or walk unaided, so he uses a wheelchair.
Disability aside, he is an active, energetic boy who loves to do adrenaline activities. I have mentioned in previous blogs that we have taken him kayaking, sledging, cycling etc and he loves every minute of it. But, it is now getting harder, especially in the current social distancing world.
Photo Tammy's nephew Ryan on his trike
Ryan loves cars and had a go kart that we adapted so we could push it along the road, but he is now too big for it.
He keeps saying he wants to drive a car or motorbike, so I thought I would try and find somewhere to go quad biking.
However, all the places either do not accommodate disabled riders, or if they do, it would mean an employee riding with him, which is a no-no all the time the COVID restrictions are in place.
If Ryan were able bodied we could book somewhere easily.
Sometimes things are such a battle!
I want him to be able to do all the things that other children do, but the reality is our world is indirectly discriminatory!
It would be so nice if every activity centre had an adapted version or something to offer ... maybe one day!
So it's back to the drawing board for an adrenaline filled activity for a wheelchair user!
Photo: Tammy and Ryan at Sussex County Women's Challenge Cup Final
Following on from my blog last week, superhero Steve did it again! This time, a donation of doggie shampoo. This will come in really handy, as the chances are, if people are struggling to feed their dogs, they probably won't have doggie shampoo either.
This donation has once again been given to Russ The Dog Warden where he will share it with those who need it the most.
The rest of my week has been varied. We still have over 120 volunteers helping our local community as part of the COVID-19 community response work. I will be sharing a volunteer survey report in the next few weeks, which is based on our volunteers' experiences during this challenging time. Some of the comments are so humbling and inspiring!
On Monday I attended an online conference hosted by the Local Government Association titled 'Rethinking the Future of Physical Activity'. The key message was 'Moving makes us stronger' - what a simple but powerful message!
As individuals, if we move more, it strengthens our muscles! Easy! This is something our Wellbeing Hubs are encouraging the clients they work with.
For a lot of people, they have been at home for a number of months, and have reduced the amount they have been moving. We will need to try and help improve people's confidence to move more and venture into the local community as restrictions continue to ease. This will be something I'll be looking at in the next few weeks.
Enjoy the weekend!
Photo: Cycling on the South Downs Way
At the start of lockdown we heard from lots of people regarding their struggles for food. Not only to be able to collect food, but for many, a struggle to afford food.
Thankfully, with the help of our local food banks, food parcel initiatives and mutual aid groups, we were able to help. However, we did have a few requests for pet food which isn't usually something people donate, so this required trying to source it.
I am lucky that I wear a few different hats in my life and know quite a lot of people. The first time a request for pet food came in, I called up my fellow blogger, Russ the Dog Warden ... he doesn't actually have a last name, he is just Russ the Dog Warden!
Anyway, he managed to donate some of his own dog food after one of his dogs sadly passed away. Russ' donation solved the initial emergency but didn't give us more food for any other requests.
It was only when I was wearing my football hat (not literally) and I was chatting about my current work role, when someone mentioned to me that one of our football officials worked in a pet food distribution centre. So I thought I would pop a cheeky request in and see if they could help!
And along came SuperHero Steve! Steve works for Peticular Pet Supplies who are based in Hassocks and he kindly said he would raid the warehouse and see what they could find, and he did not disappoint! A few weeks later, I took delivery of a mixture of wet and dry dog and cat food which I gave to Russ the Dog Warden (hehe) where he will give it to those who need it the most.
So for the first time, I am writing a blog with my football team being Premier League Champions, and yes, I am wearing my Liverpool shirt as I do so!
Wow, what a season! It may not have been as we all imagined, but it still feels amazing and I can not wait to go up to Liverpool for the trophy parade when it is safe to do so! It's been a long time coming, so I will be enjoying this moment for a long time to come ...
In other news, it's been really hard finding things to occupy my nephew with during lockdown, especially in the heat. He loves nothing better than going for a walk with our dog Buster, but pushing a wheelchair means we are limited to where we can go.
The other day, Ryan was going along Worthing Promenade and saw a dog in the water and he said “Ryan and Buster walk on beach” - this was really hard to hear as it's just not possible to do that with a wheelchair.
Now, I have never been one to stop at a barrier, so we managed to borrow a beach wheelchair which has big inflatable wheels in order to maneuver the sand and shingle. So we all crammed in our mobility car and drove down to a quieter spot on the beach on Thursday evening and Ryan got his wish of walking buster in the water on the beach!
This is something that most families can do all the time, yet for us we have to try and source a chair in order to do so. How amazing would it be for beach wheelchairs to be located along the promenade to allow all wheelchair users and people with mobility issues to be able to experience and enjoy the sea.
On a side note, thank you to the kind gentleman who helped me push the wheelchair back up the shingle ... it was definitely easier going down it! And to the household who washed down the wheelchair wheels with their garden hose so that we didn't bring the entire content of Goring Beach back in our car!
Have a great weekend.
In build up to Father's Day, this week is Men's Health Week, so I thought my blog should be about this campaign. This year's focus is unsurprisingly about COVID-19.
Did you know that young or old, rich or poor, fit or unfit, men are twice as likely to die from Coronavirus than females? So it is really important that men maintain social distancing and wash their hands in order to lower their risk of catching the disease.
With lockdown rules loosening, the temptation to meet up with friends, go for a kick about or join a mate for a drink is really appealing, but men do need to be extra careful to stay safe.
Of course Men's Health Week is not just about COVID-19, it's about trying to be as healthy as possible. This could be getting fitter, reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, losing weight, improving mental health and reducing stress levels.
If you do want to talk to someone about improving your health, our Wellbeing Hubs team can help! The Wellbeing team have been adapting their service to the current climate and are offering support, information and advice over the phone and online.
We can support people with all of the above and are also supporting people who have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, providing them with intuitive thinking lifestyle courses and cookery/nutrition sessions for people to join in with.
For more information on how we can help you during these strange and challenging times, please contact us via one of the following methods:
- Phone - 01903 221450
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website - Adur & Worthing Wellbeing
So, we are now in week 12 of COVID-19 and lockdown measures are starting to be relaxed, however my work role has remained the same. This has meant it's been hard to come up with new topics to write about in my blog as most of my days follow a similar format! So I thought I would write about my hopes post covid!
I think we will all agree that it's been lovely seeing the roads so empty and quiet - how brilliant would it be if people continued to use their cars sparingly? I cycle to work normally but at times it is not enjoyable due to cars wanting to overtake me or beat me to a roundabout! I hope for a much quieter commute when I do eventually cycle into work. This may be helped by the plans to introduce pop-up cycle lanes in Adur and Worthing.
Linking to greener travel, I have been amazed at the number of people walking, cycling and running. These things are not only good for our physical health, but also our mental health, so fingers crossed these habits will remain! I hope for a fitter, healthier community.
Community spirit has also been boosted. Neighbours checking in on people and helping them with shopping, everyone clapping for the NHS and Key Workers, socially distancing street drinks and prioritising the elderly and disabled in queues. I hope some of these things remain and that we continue to live in communities that care and look after each other.
Finally, it's been inspiring seeing people upcycling and learning new skills to do, tasking themselves. For example, I learnt to erect fencing! I re-did my chicken run fencing and I must say I am really happy with it. I hope people continue to upcycle and fix things themselves rather than buying new products all the time, it would certainly mean less rubbish and waste.
I wonder how many of my hopes will happen ... only time will tell!
Photo: Two painted pebbles - one with the words Stay Safe and the other painted with a rainbow
Photo: Cycling on the South Downs Way
This week, as part of National Volunteers' Week, we have been celebrating our wonderful volunteers who have been helping our local community as part of the COVID-19 response.
We had over 700 local people offering to help which was not only amazing, it was very much needed as we have so far had 1,876 cases of people needing help!
Our volunteers have done people's food shopping, collected prescriptions, walked their dogs as well as talking and listening to people who have been lonely and isolated. We have received so many positive comments from both residents needing help and the volunteers helping - both grateful in their own ways.
As part of my current role I have been helping to coordinate the volunteer side of the programme, and I have been lucky enough to talk to many of the volunteers about what they have been doing.
Below are a couple of quotes from just some of our volunteers ...
Husband and wife Simon and Michelle Cannon didn't think twice to join our volunteers scheme:
“We signed up to help because we feel looking after vulnerable people at this worrying time is the least we can do.”
“We saw volunteering as an opportunity to support those who needed to isolate during these unsettling times but I was also moved by global stories of ordinary people coming together and in effect relaunching the notion of a community spirit.”
Jessica Christie was quick to sign up and support the community following lockdown:
“I believe that if you're able to help those in need, you should and following the cancellation of my A Level exams I decided to spend my lockdown doing something productive.”
We honestly could not have achieved so much without our volunteers' kindness, so we wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped.
If you would like to volunteer in the future, there are many organisations needing help. Contact Community Works for more information:
In case you missed it, here's a personal thank you from Tina Favier, Adur & Worthing Councils' Acting Director for Housing and Wellbeing:
Over the past week I have had some lovely comments regarding my 100 blogs, there was even a celebratory article in our staff newsletter at work which was lovely! It's nice to get positive feedback on something that is so personal, especially during this strange time!
I would class myself as a people person. I love meeting new people and talking with them about their journeys and experiences, but over the past few months, this has obviously not happened.
Work is a much more lonely experience and I realise that I actually need people for reassurance, for feedback on my work and for answering questions here and there.
Without it, I have found myself questioning my ability and seeing my confidence reduce. Don't get me wrong, I can work independently and at times I have actually enjoyed it, but I took for granted 'people' and those spontaneous questions and answers that take place throughout a work day.
So feeling a bit lower than normal, it was lovely to open an email today regarding my 100 blogs. This person had not only read my blogs, but actually could relate my chickens pecking order issues to her daughters' own struggles at school. She also said how wonderful my Rexy looked, and he was - boy do I miss him!
Through these weird feelings I have tried to challenge them and see if what I have been feeling is actually true, or is it my good old mind trying to cause some chaos!
When this process hasn't worked, I have just run! Running is good for my body and mind and it's been a great stress reliever since lockdown. Me and my new rescue dog Buster have now run 104 (very hilly) km in May! So I either love running or have been feeling a bit stressed lately! Lol
It's so important to have a 'thing' to de-stress, and running is my thing! What's yours?
Photo: Tammy's morning run view
Photo: Tammy's dog Buster
As I am writing this, I am holding my cricket bat and hat aloft - 100 blogs! Wow!
Apparently I wrote my first one on 13th July 2017 as one of the first group of council bloggers and, despite a mid season break, I am still going strong!
When I was first asked to start blogging, I thought after the agreed 10 blogs, I would have received an email, thanking me for my work but saying we are now going to move onto someone else. So either they did ask someone else and they couldn’t find anyone, or someone out there was in fact reading my blogs! (of course it's the latter lol)
Looking back at my stories, I have covered so many topics - work projects such as Beat the Street, Happy Hearts and the Active Grub clubs; but the ones I'm most proud of are where I have linked in personal life experiences and related it to my work.
Photo: Tammy and her nephew Ryan on a bike ride during Beat the Street
One of my favourite blogs was around bullying and I used my chickens as inspiration. Bless their cotton socks, none of those girls I wrote about are alive anymore. Click here to read this story.
I have also written about emotional issues such as mental health and disability awareness. My mental health was really low after losing my gorgeous, perfect best friend, Rexy. Nearly two years after saying goodbye, I still cry when thinking of him, I just miss him so much.
If you are a regular reader, you will have read about my caring role for my nephew and how doing even the most simple of things requires a big physical effort. Saying that, he is developing really well and is continuing to surpass all expectations.
Over the past few weeks we have actually had the most wonderful of experiences together. He has learnt to ride, steer and stop his 'Big Boy Blue' adapted trike without my control, so now, I scoot alongside him whilst he cycles independently and for that moment we forget about his disabilities and we are auntie and nephew on a bike ride together!
I guess the question is now, how long can I make my innings last for before I get retired!?
Lol ... but at the moment I am 100 not out!
One of the common things I have heard people say about lockdown is that they are missing their sports group, gym or class. Not only the social setting but the way we push our bodies when someone else is telling you what to do!
People have struggled with motivation when doing things on their own and also the idea of being creative with their exercise. Luckily there are lots of online ideas and sessions to help.
Adur and Worthing Wellbeing’s ‘get active’ programme has produced a number of online exercise tutorials to support your health and wellbeing throughout this period.
The fun sessions combine a mix of low impact aerobic and core strength exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Follow the link below to get started:
If you would like to create your own exercise programme or try an alternative gym focused workout, ‘Impulse Leisure’ and ‘The Gym Hub’ have created some online exercise portals; so everybody at home can move more!
For Impulse Leisure's lockdown fitness guides, visit:
For The Gym Hub’s lockdown fitness guides, visit:
As well as these offers, South Downs Leisure has partnered up with ‘Les Mills’ to provide a range of upbeat workouts to help you keep fit and well.
For South Downs Leisure’s lockdown fitness guides, visit:
For any table tennis fans out there who are struggling to keep active, Table Tennis England have set up a return to fitness program for 55+, to help players maintain fitness levels throughout this period.
For Table Tennis England’s lockdown fitness guide, visit:
Alongside this great workout Table Tennis England have launched a stay at home equipment give away! which includes the following prizes:
60 X Instant Table Tennis sets, including an extendable net, 2 bats, 3 balls and a games ideas booklet. The prize is funded by Table Tennis England. There will be 60 competition winners.
For the chance to win some of the prizes all you need to do is follow the link and enter the competition which closes on the 10/05/2020
So, keep Active! Stay safe and stay healthy!
If anyone has seen the film Groundhog Day, then you will know what I mean when I say life is a bit like this movie at the moment... and I’m ok with that!
I have got myself into a routine whereby I get up nice and early and, whilst still getting the sleep out from my eyes, I drag my poor dog out for a run. Our normal route is about 6km, but some mornings we go for a longer one and venture up to Cissbury Ring - this can be around 10km. It’s absolutely stunning in the morning, nice and quiet, birds singing, horses and cattle grazing and bunnies hopping everywhere!
I then get back and let my chickens out, feed them and get my own breakfast before work and childcare duties set in for the day.
Work is going well. We are managing to help hundreds of people with the assistance of all of the community volunteers that have kindly signed up. We are hearing so many lovely stories from our volunteers, I really hope we can continue this community spirit. How great would it be if something positive came from this awful pandemic. We can only hope!
The weekends are slightly different - I seem to have developed this desire to fill every waking minute with chores!!! This weekend I made a reclaimed scaffold board shoe rack and last weekend I made a new bird table. I do get a sense of accomplishment seeing a pile of scrap wood be transformed into something useful and pretty! I am self taught and am learning as I go but I am trying! I now need to plan this weekend's project?!
Photo: Tammy with her dog Buster
What a strange time it is at the moment across the world. I have friends in the USA and Switzerland who are all going through the same thing and feeling the same way. I am not sure that has been the case before as it's usually one country's problem.
I am getting used to this ‘new’ life after four weeks. Typically, I start my day with an early morning run with my dog and then it's a day of virtual meetings and doing my part for the COVID-19 community response in Adur and Worthing, mixed in with occupying Ryan as he is off school.
At the weekends I have been doing a mixture of work plus staying as busy as I can! So far I have painted the house and built a large bird table... who knows what I will do next weekend!
Within my work role, I am currently helping with the volunteer recruitment, and am leading a small team of staff to ensure that the geographical area we have been assigned has all the help it needs and that our most vulnerable members of the community have food and medicine. It's amazing what has been done in such a short space of time. At the time of writing this, we have supported 1124 people and have 431 volunteers in place. Not all the volunteers that have kindly signed up have been given a task yet, but their kindness has not gone unnoticed.
A few weeks ago I mentioned I was fundraising for my nephew's adapted trike, well I am pleased to say we raised enough money and Ryan is the proud owner of a ‘Big boy 10 blue bike’ as he calls it!
He absolutely loves it and is even learning to use the brake, granted this usage isn't always at the right time but luckily I have only had one minor injury so far! Seeing the joy on his face as he pedals as fast as his legs will let him is priceless... and for that moment he is free and experiencing the adrenaline rush that most children get to experience all the time.
I cannot wait to take him out for a lovely cycle ride along the flat prom when this is all over! (Where I live is gorgeous, but there is a huge hill on every route we take!!)
Stay safe and stay home!
Photo: Tammy's nephew Ryan on his new trike
Wow, what a whirlwind few weeks it has been. There isn't one person around who has not been affected by Covid-19.
People losing loved ones, losing jobs, businesses closing, schools shutting, usual support networks disappearing due to self isolation and people struggling with lack of food and help. It really is a testing time for everyone.
Within the past few weeks, my day to day role has completely changed. I've been out delivering food parcels to families who are struggling, been part of a wider team who are linking up those people that need help with some amazing local volunteers and helping to co-ordinate food donations for food banks.
Photo: Lights on Worthing Pier at sunset
In times like this, it is hard to find some positives but I have been amazed with my teams willingness to learn new skills, undertake completely different roles and go above and beyond to help our local community. Some staff have worked 18 straight days, for over 12 hours a day whilst also managing childcare!
For me it's been challenging! Trying to juggle work, my caring responsibility for my nephew, a crazy rescue dog (struggling with new routines!) and my mum being in hospital for 11 days has been hard to say the least! I've definitely appreciated my daily run! It’s helped me to de-stress and have a bit of 'me' time!
If you are reading this and want to help, or you are struggling please go to our Coronavirus page on the Councils' website.
Please remember to stay safe and as my nephew Ryan says... “STAY HOME”.
With everything going on in the world, it's hard to write about something that has not / is not impacted by the virus.
I have also struggled to know what to write about as some things at times like this seem quite insignificant.
However, I will start with something that is positive for myself and local female footballers. Last week my team, Worthing Women FC won our 14th league game in a row to win promotion to the league above with 4 games remaining!! Still unbeaten in the league and we have only conceded 4 league goals and scored a brilliant 62!! Not bad at all!
Photo: Worthing Women FC team photo - with Tammy at the left hand end of the middle row (photo credit - OneRebelsView)
What happens in the future, who knows, but it's been a great team to be a part of! Personally I am hoping we will get promoted and get to finish the league and that Liverpool get their hands on the Premier League Trophy as they have worked so hard for it!!
There have also been some positives within our community during this challenging week. People are coming together to help those who need it. Local Facebook pages have been set up for people wanting to offer help, but for those who need help. People are checking in with our elderly and vulnerable residents and running errands for them and we are seeing displays of compassion and empathy. So if you are on Facebook, look for local groups - already there are so many stories of people helping each other.
What can you do to help??
If you know of an elderly or vulnerable neighbour could you pop a note through their door saying to contact you if they are struggling?
Volunteer with a charity or food bank? Or just call someone for a chat?
Finally, if you see a tea towel hanging out of a letter box, it means someone needs something.
Obviously remember safe social distances and use antibacterial hand gel / wash hands if touching something / money etc.
This week I learnt a new term, 'othering'. It's one I had not heard of before but it has similarities to discrimination, a term we have all heard of!
Coincidentally, in my college course this week, we were discussing all forms of discrimination so it was fresh in my mind when I heard the description of this term.
'Othering' was mentioned at a learning event for staff, 'Leadership College' by one of our directors ... well, she is our director for the next few days until she moves West to her new role in Southampton! Anyway, she was giving a presentation about leadership and finding out about people's stories and how we need to try and eliminate the use of othering language.
So what is othering?? It is defined as:
“an undesirable objectification of another person or group. In these social processes, othering is a process of stigmatization that defines another in a negative manner.” (Thank you Google!)
This can be just as harmful as other forms of discrimination, as it is a form of labelling people or groups. For example, when talking about people who sleep on the streets, they are often called homeless or rough sleepers. This does not describe the person, only their circumstance. Other examples are clients, offenders and the disabled - terms categorising people into one box based on their situation or circumstance which is negative. I'm sure we use these terms more often than we realise!
As part of this, a blog was shared and my curiosity got the better of me, so I read it. Interesting and thought provoking stuff! People can be 'othered' in terms of race, nationality, religion, abilities ... hmmmm ... sounds the same as discrimination. So I guess we need to set an example ourselves and stop using othered language, we need to use positive inclusive terms and put the person first!
Since Ryan my nephew came along, my awareness to discrimination around disabilities has heightened and when describing him, I always put him first, then his disability. Food for thought huh???
If you want to read the blog mentioned, please go to:
Photo: Someone walking on Worthing Beach at low tide
I am lucky that I get to work with some amazing schools and some amazing teachers within my role, and last Friday was a great reminder of that!
Friday was the Happy Hearts lesson all the kids at Heene C of E Primary School had been waiting for, it was ARTIE BEAT time!
For those that don't know, Artie Beat is the Happy Hearts mascot that visits every programme I deliver. He loves hearing about what the children have learnt and awarding them with a certificate! Parents are invited into the celebration assembly to join in with the fun!
During this final lesson, I was invited into their classrooms to see the amazing display the teachers had pulled together ... and it did not disappoint!
It was stunning! Quotes about all the things the children had said, photos of each weekly lesson with key take home messages and photos of the children having fun. It was amazing!!! The teachers at Heene school excelled themselves and their enthusiasm has inspired their classes!
To me, that's what makes Happy Hearts so special, seeing the impact the programme has on everyone. Let's hope those messages continue to be reinforced so that our children grow into healthy adults!
This past week has been one that's been very varied and you know what they say, variety is the spice of life!
On Monday a group of amazingly passionate people from lots of different organisations all met up to discuss the draft of the Adur & Worthing Councils Physical Activity strategy. It was so lovely to spend time with people that all have a desire to get our community active.
The buzz and energy in the room was electric and some of the discussions that took place will shape the strategy moving forward. We are adamant that this strategy will not be one that sits on a shelf collecting dust, it will be a working document that inspires our work.
Then on Wednesday I attended some training on systems leadership, and one of the things we discussed was what makes a good leader? We then drew our own leadership journey… well, when I say drew, most of us attempted to draw our journey!
What became apparent to me was how much my football career has shaped my whole life. From PE teachers that encouraged the one girl in the school who liked football to play, no matter what others said, to football coaches who taught me how to work with people, but also how not to talk to people.
All of these ‘leaders’ have shaped my own leadership and made me the person and manager I am today!
It’s always good to remind ourselves of how we got somewhere and to remember the people that have played a pivotal role in our life.
I am very lucky that I have had some amazing people to model myself on. I’m definitely still a work in progress but I am trying very hard!! Lol
Photo: Tammy playing for Worthing FC Women (photo credit copyright © OneRebelsView)
If you have a mainstream child and you need to get them a bike, you either pop to a shop and buy one for about £100 or you can go to a few community bike projects and buy a second hand / refurbished one. But when you have a disabled child, doing something as simple as buying a bike is not simple... and it's not cheap.
Five years ago my nephew Ryan got to try an adapted bike at one of the We Cycle Too events and he loved it, so we set ourselves the challenge of getting him one!
So we got Tomcat trikes to come down and look at what adaptations he would need to then fit him on a trike. We opted for a trailer trike which could be a stand alone trike or could fit onto the back of my bike so I could tow him!
We subsequently fundraised and raised the £2700 to get him one. When he first got it, he could not even turn the pedals once, five years later I now have to run alongside him just to keep up! Unfortunately he has now outgrown it and so we have the mammoth task of raising a similar amount again!
Photo: Tammy enjoying a drink with her nephew Ryan
He can go to Brooklands and ride a trike as part of the CYCALL project, but it's not the same as having his own. For a child that can not walk unaided, a trike gives him not only a physical benefit but a sense of freedom. The laughter that comes from him as his auntie Tam-Tam runs alongside him trying to make sure he doesn't tip up is worth every penny! He loves it!
Cycling should be something that everyone can enjoy despite disabilities, it's just a shame adapted equipment costs so much money!! If I was spending £2400 on a bike for myself, it would be of a very high spec! Ryan’s doesn't even have gears!!!
Anyway, we will keep fundraising so he can get his ‘Blue Bike, not orange bike anymore!’
Video: Tammy's nephew Ryan on the blue tricycle
Have a look at CYCALL if you want to try some adapted cycling!
As an employee at Adur & Worthing Councils, we all get three days per year to volunteer in our local community and this is something I take up!
So far I have volunteered at Oak Grove College, Wadars Animal Rescue and Camelia Botnar. This past week I did something a bit different, I volunteered with Sue and John who run the Recycling in Lancing project.
I arrived at their house and got taken around to their shed where I was greeted with bags of unwanted rubbish - crisp bags, pens, biscuit wrappings, dog food pouches and even baby food (there were other categories of rubbish too).
Despite Adur & Worthing Councils doing a fantastic job on recycling in the area, there are some things that are not viable for us to recycle. Through an international company with a base in the UK, TerraCycle are able to recycle unusual household items that most people would not think twice about throwing in a bin.
TerraCycle currently engages with more than 35 million people in 23 countries to collect non-recyclable waste. TerraCycle then turns the collected waste into a wide variety of products and materials. The funds raised get donated to local charities and youth groups/organisations.
So I set about sorting all the bags of mixed rubbish into separate categories so it could be sent away! It was amazing how much the two of us got through in just a few hours! What's even more amazing is that these two lovely people do this everyday. They pick up the bags of rubbish from different collection points around Lancing and Worthing and then sort it all ... and they do it to help!
As of July 2019 the people of Lancing and parts of Worthing have helped to raise over £27,000 for local charities and kept a load out of landfill!
So PLEASE help us to keep simple household waste items out of the bin and raise money for important local charities and organisations!
If you can spare a few hours I am sure they would appreciate the help! I know I will be going back to help!
Photo: Tammy with Sue at the Recycling in Lancing project
My name is Tammy and I'm an ice pop addict!!
I love the coldness of them, the way they crumble in my mouth and the sweetness of them! It doesn't matter what the season is, I eat them, even in the heart of winter!!!
So with February being National Heart Month, I have taken on the challenge to not eat any refined sugar for the month ... so yes, no ice pops!!!
It is day six now and I have found it challenging - not only am I missing my ice pops, I am missing my two biscuits with my evening cup of tea. But ... I have done it so far!!!
This challenge coincides with our sometimes vs everyday foods lesson in Happy Hearts. It looks at how much sugar is in some of the most popular 'sometimes' foods, (chocolate, jelly sweets and fizzy drinks) and after this lesson I set all staff and kids the challenge to reduce the amount of sugar they are eating for the next seven days. If I can do 29, they can do seven!
So, I am challenging anyone who is reading this to reduce the amount of refined sugar you are eating ... have less sugar in your tea / coffee or only have chocolate on the weekend!
We are eating way too much sugar as a nation, so why not challenge yourself! Come on, you can do it!!
This week I have been learning more about youth anti-social behaviour, child exploitation and county lines. Really serious topics that are out there and could put our young people at risk. That said, its been really encouraging seeing so many influential people discussing the issues and sharing warning signs so that we can identify those at risk earlier.
On Wednesday I attended a training session regarding the above but a large portion of the day involved county lines ... so what are county lines??
'County Lines' is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs. These dealers will use dedicated mobile phone lines, known as 'deal lines', to take orders from drug users. Heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine are the most common drugs being supplied and ordered. In most instances, the users or customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment.
Attending the training were representatives from schools, Early Help, the Police and Local Authorities who all have a remit to ensure our young people are safe and can live in a safe community. So what are a few of the warning signs that a child could be getting exploited? Changes in behaviour, changes in friendship groups, suddenly having more money or wearing new clothes and shoes and truancy (there are many more)
From the training I learnt that it could happen to any child, so please don't think its only a certain type of child that would get caught up in it, it can happen gradually over a period of time, gradually gaining the trust of the child until they do what is wanted. Scary really ... children are so vulnerable!
If you are concerned about a child, please contact our safer communities team.
I have been wondering what to write about this week, lots going on, but nothing that stands out massively, so I have decided to touch on all of them ... almost my mind on a page!
So in Happy Hearts last week, I blew up balloons of different sizes and the children have to guess which one is the size of their heart! One is very small, one is very large and one is their heart size.
I then ask them to then think about what might have a heart as big as the big balloon. The usual answers I get are giants, whales and giraffes. However, one answer took me by surprise this week. One girl's answer was 'god'! It's hard to know what to say about that one, having never met him, I am not sure!
With January being a hard month and this past Monday being Blue Monday, I have been trying to go to bed thinking of the things I am grateful for. Last night's thought was where I live.
I was on a dog walk through Durrington Cemetery and saw the family of deer that reside there, then Mr Fox walked out and then a gorgeous Woodpecker (which someone close to me thought was a parrot when they first saw it!!) - it was like a scene from Watership Down!
I then took notice of some of the gorgeous trees that are in the cemetery, many of which are older than most of the graves! Worthing is a lovely place to live and we're so lucky to have so many wonderful green spaces.
My final thought was on how excited I am about Liverpool's league form! I am starting to believe that this could finally be the year we win the Premier League. I haven't quite booked my train ticket to Liverpool to watch the trophy parade yet, but I may have done some initial planning!
Worthing Women are also currently top of the league too … It may just be a great football season!
Photo: Tammy playing for Worthing FC Women (photo credit copyright © OneRebelsView)
Post Christmas work has been very full on - I am currently delivering five Happy Hearts programmes across Worthing, in Heene C of E Primary School and Durrington Infant & Junior School which is energy zapping!
Trying to maintain my own energy levels for every lesson, plus keep control of 30 energetic five and six year olds, is quite hard!
After the back to back lessons I must admit to wanting to find a quiet corner to sit in and not talk to anyone! Lol
For those that have not heard about the Happy Hearts programme, it's a programme I wrote in 2012 which was designed to educate children aged 4-6 on how to keep their hearts happy and healthy! It's a six week interactive programme which the children love, learning about their bodies and how to eat healthily!
As you may have seen, Adur & Worthing Councils has been shortlisted for Council of the Year, and as part of this a panel of judges will be coming down to hear about what we do.
Happy Hearts is a project that we will be talking about and hopefully we will have a teacher attending who will be telling the judges what a fab programme it is! Fingers crossed we do well!
Personally it's been a tough week, a family bereavement got me wondering why we allow people to suffer when if it were an animal, we would do the kindest thing to prevent suffering. The hospital staff were brilliant, but there is only so much they can do. Should people be given the choice?! That's a question for a much wider debate!
Photo: Children taking part in the Happy Hearts programme
Happy New Year Everyone!
From myself and the rest of the Wellbeing team, I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year.
January is always the month where everyone makes their new year's resolutions and these, more often than not, usually revolve around health and fitness!
Well, did you know that Adur and Worthing Wellbeing Hubs will soon be delivering NHS Health Checks?
NHS Health Check is a national programme in England for people between the ages of 40 and 74. It is a free 30 minute check to assess your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.
Everybody is at risk of developing these health problems, but having an NHS Health Check can help you to lower your chance of developing them.
We will be running these Health Checks across Adur and Worthing, so be sure to call our admin team on 01903 221450 to sign up for one!
Before Christmas, Alex Bailey, Adur & Worthing Councils' Chief Executive, undertook his NHS Health Check with one of our advisers and was impressed with the free, friendly and impartial service offered.
“I went through the NHS work based health check just before Christmas. I found it helpful, informative, genuinely focused on me and my lifestyle... and quite an eye opener for me in some of the results.”
“I can highly recommend it as an easy way to get good insights into your existing health and well being and what you can do to improve both.”
So what are you waiting for?! Come along for your free health check and start 2020 in the best and healthiest way possible!
Photo: Alex Bailey, Chief Executive at Adur & Worthing Councils, undertaking his NHS Health Check
Contact Public Relations & Communications
If you have any enquires please contact:
- 07909 688 132 - Mike Gilson
- 07342 066 216 - Tim Ridgway
- 07795 504 983 - Talia French
Public Relations & Communications,
Adur & Worthing Councils,
Worthing Town Hall,