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Tammy Waine 
Families and Wellbeing Officer

Tammy has now resumed her weekly postings ...

About Tammy:

Tammy Waine, Active Communities Manager

Tammy Waine has worked for Adur & Worthing Councils for 12 years and is currently Families and Wellbeing Officer. Tammy's role is to work with children and families to get them eating healthier and to become more active. This is done through a variety of exciting and fun programmes such as the Active Grub Club and the Happy Hearts programme.

Outside of work Tammy is a semi professional footballer, who has played at the highest level in England and in USA, as well as a qualified personal trainer and a keen runner.

See also: Get Up & Active

You can read Tammy's current blog posts on this page below - or read her older archived blog posts ...

6th August 2020: It's just a chicken!

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.

2020-08-06 - Coco

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30th July 2020: Frustrated!

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

2020-07-30 - 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

2020-07-30 - Tammy and Ryan at Sussex County Women's Challenge Cup Final

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23rd July 2020: Making our communities stronger

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

2020-07-23 - Cycling on the South Downs Way

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16th July 2020: SuperHero Steve

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.

Read Russ's next blog (on 28th July 2020) to find out what he did with the food ...

2020-07-16 - Small puppy with a bone shaped dog biscuit in its mouth (Pixabay - 1502565)

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25th June 2020: Clearing barriers

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!

2020-06-25 - Tammy with Ryan in a borrowed a beach wheelchair and Buster their dog enjoying the beach and sea

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.

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18th June 2020: Men's Health Week

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.

For more info on the campaign, downloadable resources and advice, follow the Men's Health Forum on Facebook or Men's Health Forum on Twitter, or visit the Men's Health Forum website.

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:

2020-06-18 - Silhouetted runners (Pixabay - 635906)

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11th June 2020: My hopes past Covid ...

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

2020-06-11 - Two painted pebbles - one with the words Stay Safe and the other painted with a rainbow

Photo: Cycling on the South Downs Way

2020-06-11 - Cycling on the South Downs Way

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4th June 2020: National Volunteers' Week

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:

See also:

In case you missed it, here's a personal thank you from Tina Favier, Adur & Worthing Councils' Acting Director for Housing and Wellbeing:

2020-06-04 - Thank You (Pixabay - 944086)

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28th May 2020: Running is my remedy

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

2020-05-28 - Tammy's morning run view

Photo: Tammy's dog Buster

2020-05-28 - Tammy's dog Buster

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21st May 2020: 100 Not Out

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

2020-05-21 - 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.

2020-05-21 - Rexy, Tammy's dog who passed away

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!

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7th May 2020: Keeping fit at home

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!

2020-05-07 - Home workout  (Pexels - 221247)

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30th April 2020: Lockdown routines

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!

2020-04-30 - Cissbury Ring

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

2020-04-30 - Tammy with her dog Buster

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23rd April 2020: We're all in this together

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

2020-04-23 - Ryan on his new bike

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2nd April 2020: Bringing out the best in our communities

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

2020-04-02 - 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”.

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19th March 2020: Highs and Lows

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)

2020-03-19 - Worthing Women FC team photo (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.

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12th March 2020: Bothering with Othering

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

2020-03-12 - Someone walking on Worthing Beach at low tide

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5th March 2020: Heene's amazing display

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!

2020-03-05 - the amazing Happy Hearts display the children and teachers had pulled together

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!

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27th February 2020: Variety is the spice of life!

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)

2020-02-27 - Tammy playing football

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20th February 2020: Cycling for all

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

2020-02-20 - Tammy 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!

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13th February 2020: Lancing's recycling heroes

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!

Have a look at the Recycling in Lancing website to find out what can be recycled!

Photo: Tammy with Sue at the Recycling in Lancing project

2020-02-13 - Tammy with Sue at the Recycling in Lancing project

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6th February 2020: Ice pop addict

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!!

For more information on how sugar affects your diet, visit the British Heart Foundation website.

2020-02-06 - Ice lolly (Pixabay - 1429151)

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30th January 2020: Youth anti-social behaviour, child exploitation and county lines

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!

For more information on child exploitation, please see The Children's Society Website.

If you are concerned about a child, please contact our safer communities team.

2020-01-30 - Silhouette of a person with smoke behind them (Pexels - 1480689)

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23rd January 2020: Work, wildlife and the beautiful game

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.

2020-01-23 - Trees in Durrington Cemetery

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)

2020-01-23 - Tammy playing for Worthing FC Women (photo credit OneRebelsView)

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16th January 2020: Happy Hearts programme

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

2020-01-16 - Children taking part in the Happy Hearts programme

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9th January 2020: NHS Health Checks

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.

Alex said:

“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

2020-01-09 - Alex Bailey, Chief Executive at Adur & Worthing Councils, undertaking his NHS Health Check

2020-01-09 - NHS Health Check

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18th December 2019: Reviewing the year and looking ahead to the next

Every year everyone seems to say how quickly the year has gone, and this year is no different! It has flown by!

From a work point of view, my team continues to deliver some brilliant programmes designed to help the people in our community. We provide such a needed service and I am proud to be a part of it.

My highlight of the year was co-ordinating the Beat the Street programme. It was so lovely being out in the community, meeting people playing the game and hearing comments such as 'its raised community spirit' and 'its got people talking to each other'.

The project improved my contacts with local schools and organisations and enabled me to establish working relationships for future project work. Physically, I've never cycled as much! During the six week game I ran, walked and cycled over 700 miles ... my body has only just recovered!!!

Photo: Tammy with pupils from Eastbrook Primary Academy, Southwick

2019-12-17 - Tammy with pupils from Eastbrook Primary Academy, Southwick

I would love the opportunity to run the programme again as it positively impacted so many people. Take a look at one of the case studies from the game below (click the image for a larger version):

2019-12-17 - Beat the Street case study

Personally this year has been a bit challenging, I still miss my dog Rexy - it's now been 15 months and not a day goes by that I don't think of him or cry! My current dog is up and down like a yo-yo ... he should have been called Marmite! Hopefully next year he will calm down a bit and learn he doesn't need to bark at everything!

Caring for Ryan naturally has its highs and lows. His communication is developing so well and his personality really shines through now... at times he has us in fits of laughter! But alongside that it is still very hard work.

Finally, the two ex-battery chickens I rehomed two months ago are doing really well. They arrived with very few feathers and their combs (bits on top of their head) and wattles (dangling bits below their face) were pale white in colour when they should be a vibrant red ... you would not believe the change in them, all it takes is a bit of love and free ranging! They are now friends with their other three sisters and happily laying me gorgeous eggs to say thank you for saving their lives!

Photo: Tammy's chicken Nel, one of her rehomed ex-battery chickens - before and after

2019-12-17 - Tammy's chicken Nel, one of her rehomed ex-battery chickens - before and after

My aim for 2020 is to laugh a bit more and to tick a few things off my bucket list ... skiing in the mountains, visiting a festive Christmas market and taking Ryan camping are top of my list!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and see you in 2020.

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12th December 2019:Catching up with colleagues

I am part of a very large team at work, which is lovely, however at does it does feel like we are ships passing in the night!

We rarely get to see everyone together due to working patterns, hot desking, lone-working etc. So every quarter we have a team away morning where we meet up for a half day to receive corporate updates, learn about what we are all doing but just as importantly, to network with each other.

St John Ambulance

On Monday we spent the morning at St John Ambulance building in Worthing for our festive catch up.

As well as hearing about what the wider Councils are up to, we all got involved in a festive team building challenge, whereby we all decorated cakes whilst and talked about our current projects. We also got to meet our newest members of staff who have joined the fabulous Going Local Project!

Holly and Ellie have only been with us a week, but have fitted right in already! They are new Social Prescribers on Going Local and will soon be helping our residents across Adur and Worthing.

Social prescribing enables GPs to refer their patients to a range of local, non-clinical services that will help people's health and wellbeing. It might be solving the root cause of the clinical issue (like chest infections caused by poor housing or anxiety because of spiralling debt) or helping them deal with a long-term health condition by connecting them with great support groups.

They have a busy induction period, getting up to speed with the work of the wider team and Councils as well as the amazing local groups, charities and services that we have in Adur and Worthing - so they know where to refer on to!

You can find out more about Going Local.

Thanks for reading, and here's to another great year with my colleagues in the wonderful Wellbeing team!

Photo: Tom Visconti, Going Local Social Prescriber, with Carol Hilton

2019-12-12 - Tom Visconti, Going Local Social Prescriber, with Carol Hilton

Going Local - two people talking

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5th December 2019: The power of the beautiful game

One of the things I enjoy most about my role here at the Councils is seeing the lasting impact of the projects I deliver.

Regularly I get stopped by children and families whilst out and about, wanting to remind me where I taught them, or the things they have learnt from the programmes ... and last week at my football match was no different!

Worthing FC Women have done a few free ticket promotions in local schools to try and get more people through the turnstiles. A few weeks ago we had 310 people turnout and this past Sunday we had about 170!

As well as the game, a few of the staff / injured players ran a half time skills session and penalty competition for the kids. We were expecting 10/20 kids to take up the offer, but to our surprise, when we walked out ready for the second half, the whole pitch was covered in little people, all having a great time running around the pitch playing the beautiful game!

There must have been 50 kids!! A few of my colleagues brought their daughters along and they told me what a great time they had!

We rose to the occasion that day, and beat Ashford 5-0 scoring some great goals along the way! After the game, we took the time to talk to the kids, sign a few autographs etc which is always lovely and it was here I had so many of them tell me about how they recognised me from delivering Beat the Street assemblies, or teaching them Happy Hearts. Hopefully seeing me and my teammates play will inspire the next generation of footballers.

Having a hobby is so important for young people, and unlike when I was growing up, girls have a real opportunity to make a living out of the sport if they are good enough. Lots of local opportunities to get involved!

If you are interested in coming to a game, Worthing are at home for the next two Sundays!

Fancy finding a team to play for?

Photo: Tammy (heading the ball) playing for Worthing FC Women against Littlehampton FC - She scored from this header! (photo © credit OneRebelsView)

2019-12-05 - Tammy (heading the ball) playing for Worthing FC Women against Littlehampton FC (credit OneRebelsView)

Photo: Goalposts at sunrise

2019-12-05 - Goalposts at sunrise (Pexels - 149356)

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28th November 2019: Award winner!!!

This week I wanted to share a good news story about a local Worthing resident who also happens to be my friend!

Marie Pickering works at The Rowans Centre and runs their gym and exercise programme. The Rowans is a centre that specialises in treating people with brain injuries, but also takes clients who have been referred by their GP.

When Marie started there, the gym was not utilised by many and they did not have a class programme there. Now however, it is thriving! They offer an extensive exercise programme plus the gym has expanded and contains lots of new equipment. She really has gone above and beyond in her role. All her clients love her and her passion really comes across in her work!

Marie was also part of Epic Training who won the Community team competition in Beat The Street. Epic training smashed the record for the most miles travelled in 6 weeks and won £600 as a result! Now Marie could have kept that money and split it with her team, but they all agreed to donate their winnings to the Rowans Gym to buy additional equipment!

I decided to nominate Marie for an Active Sussex Sports Award for her work. She was actually shortlisted to the final three for the awards night last Friday, so she got all dressed up and went along to the Brighton Metropole Hotel for dinner, drinks and a disco ... as well as the awards of course.

The evening was hosted by Kriss Akabusi so was filled with lots of laughter!

To Marie's surprise she won the Southern Combination Football League's Coach of the Year! What a fantastic achievement! Below is a photo of Marie receiving her award ...

Photo: Marie Pickering with Steve Nealgrove and Peter Coleman from the Southern Combination Football League (Photo credit: Steve Lawrence)

2019-11-28 - Marie Pickering with Steve Nealgrove & Peter Coleman, Southern Combination FL (Credit Steve Lawrence)

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21st November 2019: Support for Carers

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. As he has gotten older, some elements of his care have become easier whereas some have become much harder!

2019-11-21 - Ryan on a train

Most 10 year olds are moving into more independence, they may dress themselves, put themselves to bed etc, whereas with Ryan he is unable to do these things.

As you can imagine, the physical strain on us as carers can be challenging at times! He has become my human barbell! My weight lifting personal best is 1 x 10 year old child!

At work, Carers Support offered to come in to talk with people who may provide a caring role in some capacity and from that I was invited to register with them.

I was unaware of the amount of services they offer. Counselling, a help line, an equipment lending library, a programme of workshops that are delivered across West Sussex - things such as First Aid, help with Wills and Power of Attorney; plus they offer carers things such as therapeutic vouchers and the chance to apply to their Wellbeing fund.

I have not explored all areas of Carers Support yet, but my experiences of them so far have been brilliant. Everyone I have spoken with has been friendly, helpful and has taken the time to understand me and my caring role.

Being a carer is not easy at times, so it's nice having someone impartial to listen, help and advise!

2019-11-21 - Ryan and Tammy

If you care for someone, or know someone who is an unpaid carer, get them to look at the Carers Support website.

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14th November 2019: Everyday’s a school day

What a difference six weeks makes!

In September I started a Happy Hearts programme in Hawthorns School, working with their reception class. What I hadn’t realised was that usually I wait half a term to deliver it as the reception children are still getting used to what school is, routine, structure etc I quickly remembered!

After the first lesson, where according to their class teacher, they were late because it took them 30 minutes to take their jumpers off, I realised I would have to adapt the programme!

Over the next six lessons you could actually see the children developing, gaining in confidence, improving their social skills and turning into little school children. You wouldn’t think it was possible for children to change so much in just a short space of time. It was so lovely to see, even if it was hard work at times!

2019-11-14 - Happy Hearts

The children really enjoyed the programme and got the opportunity to try lots of different fruit and vegetables, they listened to their heart and understood that when they ran around their heart beats quicker, plus they learnt where some of their body parts are located. Topics that normally wouldn't be delivered to 4-5 year olds!!!

Reflecting on the programme, it was a great opportunity for me to adapt the programme and challenge myself to come up with simpler ways to get messages across. A great learning opportunity again!

Photo: A previous group of Hawthorns Primary School students celebrating the Happy Hearts programme with Artie Beat

2019-11-14 - Happy Hearts Group

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7th November 2019: Life can be cruel!

Sometimes something happens in your life that makes you stop, think and puts some things into perspective.

This season I am playing and coaching at Worthing FC Women and two weeks ago one of my teammates had a tooth out which led to her being diagnosed with acute leukemia and was rushed to hospital for immediate treatment.

She was fighting for her life for over a week, ventilator, dialysis, chemo and loss of vision to mention a few things.

Obviously we were all shell shocked! A fit and healthy 24 year old then suddenly life changes!

Thankfully she is making positive steps but her fight is nowhere near over yet. Her brother is going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Leukaemia UK and has set up a JustGiving page, which you can find below ...

We never know what is around the corner ...

I was talking to a colleague yesterday. Every time she goes away, she always looks up lovely restaurants and says she will treat herself, but every time she comes back she has never done it! So we had a discussion about not knowing what the future will bring, and she said she will book her treat for her upcoming trip.

So as Benjamin Franklin said:

“Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Ash is in our thoughts and we will fight this with her every step of the way!

2019-11-07 - A football lying on a football pitch (Pexels - 39562)

Photo: Tammy playing for Chichester City LFC last season (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

2019-04-25 + 2019-11-07 - Tammy playing for Chichester City LFC last season (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

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31st October 2019: Reading in the park

2019-10-31 - Beat the Street banner

Over the past few days I have been busy running two half term events as part of the Beat the Street project.

I've mentioned before that Beat the Street connected people together, not only members of the community, but it also allowed me to connect with community groups, schools and members of the public.

A result of these connections led me to meet a lady called Sam, who initiated Look for a Book Sussex. This scheme encourages children to go into their local community and 'hide' books they no longer read / want for someone else to find and enjoy. They may also be lucky enough to find one themselves!

I met with Sam and we decided to pool resources and run some half term sessions! So on Tuesday we hid lots of books in Longcroft Park, invited TCV Growing Communities to run some park activities, Activ8 for Kids to run some fruit tasting and activities, as well as two local authors coming along to read extracts of their books.

Attending were SC Cunningham, who has written the Ginormous Jo series, and Carol Thomas who has written Finding a friend.

On Wednesday we were at Southwick Recreation Ground with the only difference being we had local author Jo Baxter, who wrote 'Viola Pumpernickel and the Emerald Lady'. Both events were also attended by the Worthing Youth Mayor complete with their sparkling chain!

All three authors were brilliant and the children loved being read too! Thank you to all three authors for giving up their time to inspire the local community! I also need to say a big thank you to Impulse Leisure and South Downs Leisure for donating activity vouchers which we gave away in some books and as prizes.

The sessions went really well and it was lovely to see so many children excitedly running around trying to find a book. Getting children excited to read can only be a good thing!

Fresh air, physical activity, finding a present and reading it ... amazing!

2019-10-31 - Reading books together in the park

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24th October 2019: Look for a Book Sussex

I can't actually believe that it's half term next week, this year has flown by and as much as I love Christmas, I am not ready for it to be here yet!

It was a fantastic summer weather wise and I've loved being outdoors - so much so, that I have teamed up with 'Look for a Book Sussex' to run some half term sessions in two of our local parks. We have decided to embrace the weather no matter what, so the sessions will be going ahead!!!

What are the sessions I hear you ask?! Well, let me tell you!

On Tuesday 29th October 2019 we will be in Longcroft Park, in Durrington, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

If you have a children's book that you no longer want, put it in a clear bag with a congratulations note (template found in the files section on the Facebook page link shown below) and bring it along to the park and hide it. Whilst you are walking around, can you find another book?

Once you have found a book, you can either keep it, or hide it again. There will be extra books on the day, so don't worry if you don't have one to hide.

Not only that, but we will be visited by guest authors SC Cunningham who wrote the 'Ginormous Jo' series, and Carol Thomas who wrote 'Finding a Friend'. They will be reading extracts of their books and joining in with our activities!

On Wednesday 30th, we will be doing the same again in Southwick Recreation Ground with author Jo Baxter who wrote 'Viola Pumpernickel and the Emerald Lady'.

At both venues The Conservation Volunteers and Activ8 for Kids will be running some additional activities and the Worthing Youth Mayor will be attending!

These sessions are free to attend as part of the ongoing Beat the Street project, so come along!

See also: Look for a Book Sussex - Facebook

2019-10-24 - Two schoolboys holding up posters

2019-10-24 - An open book lying on the grass (Pexels - 415061)

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10th October 2019: Thought Beat the Street was finished for the year? Think again!

Beat the Street logo (200)

Now there are no beat boxes around, you are probably thinking that the project has finished ... well that isn't the case!

We are now in the sustain phase of the programme where we try and encourage those people who enjoyed the game to keep active! As a result we have set up the following opportunities.

Firstly, hopefully you still have your Beat the Street fob or card ... well rather than it being used as a coaster or another pointless keyring, you can now put it to use!

Impulse Leisure, in Shoreham, are offering the following discounts for those people who show their fob or card:

South Downs Leisure, in Worthing, are also offering a 10% discount on swimming bookings when you book a session at Splashpoint Leisure Centre.

PR19-133 - Swimming at Wadurs Swimming Pool, Shoreham (photo courtesy of Impulse Leisure)

Plus, Beat the Street has linked up with 'Look for a Book Sussex' to run two events over the October half term! Can you bring a book??? Hide a book??? Find a book???

Also, we will be joined by the authors of the Ginormous Jo series, Finding a Friend, Viola Pumpernickel and the Emerald Lady! AND the Worthing Youth Mayor will also be coming along!

We will be doing lots of fun activities and The Conservation Volunteers will be also be things such as Park Bingo!

This event is free to attend, so bring a book along to hide and join in with the fun!!!

Click on the image below for a larger image - use your back button to return to this page

2019-10-10 - Look for a book poster

2019-10-10 - Books (Pixabay - 1204029)

Swimming photo: Swimming at Wadurs Swimming Pool, Shoreham (photo courtesy of Impulse Leisure)

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3rd October 2019: Going green in Adur and Worthing

I'm sure like most people at this moment in time, I am worried about the environment.

Not a day goes by that I don't see posts on Facebook about animals dying from plastic, or the poor animal welfare during meat production or deforestation etc so I am trying to make some changes at home.

Avoiding buying fruit and veg that are wrapped in plastic where possible, taking my reusable coffee cup when I go out for a hot drink and cycling as much as I can to avoid using my car!

Here at Adur & Worthing Councils, we encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work by having secure storage containers for our bikes - offering a bike purchasing scheme and having access to the Donkey Bikes.

2019-10-03 - Donkey Bikes

However, there is still a car park - well, that will be changing. In the near future we will no longer have a car park for our staff to park in, so this week we held an Active Travel event to help people with this transition!

We had West Sussex County Council showing different types of bikes, the police security marked our bikes in case of theft, there were details on purchasing options for bikes, plus details on the fab Donkey Bike and easit scheme. Finally, the Durrington Community Bike Project came along to talk about the services they offer. If you have a bike that needs repairing, go along and visit them. Ian and his team are fab!!!

If we all do a little bit more we can make a difference.

As Gretta Thunburg stated:

“Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. The moment we decide to fulfil something, we can do anything. And I'm sure the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses."

2019-10-03 - Cycling on Worthing seafront cyclepath

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26th September 2019: Get your vitamin sea!

Having worked at Adur & Worthing Councils for about 15 years now (I know, I don't look old enough!) you wouldn't think that I would be surprised or shocked by what I get told, but unfortunately this isn't the case!

This week I was delivering a school assembly and afterwards I was given a tour and naturally we got discussing the school community. The teacher stated that they had pupils at the school who have never seen the beach?! Discovered when they went out on a school trip and some of the kids were looking out of the window in awe and saying ‘wow’ upon seeing the sea.

I not only found this hard to understand, but also very sad. We live in such an amazing area and have such wonderful natural resources in the downs and sea that I can not imagine anyone not experiencing them.

Photo: Worthing seafront and the WOW from the downs

2019-09-26 - WOW

As I have mentioned before, I care for my nephew who is disabled and the effort it takes to get him down to the sea or into a playground is exhausting, but it is worth every ounce of energy to see his face when I support him whilst he paddles, or goes high in the swing.

First we have to load up the car, next park and find drop down curbs, then we have to drag his wheelchair across the shingles - normally I give up halfway and hoist him onto my shoulder and carry him down (yes, this breaks every health and safety procedure in the book!) but he deserves to experience the sea, to experience the adrenaline of a swing etc.

It’s so hard to imagine that there are some children who live so close to the sea and have never seen it before. It would be lovely to think that in 15 years, if I was to go back to the school, they would state that every child has been to the beach, walked up the downs and been to a park! We can only hope!

Photo: Shoreham beach

2019-09-26 - Shoreham Beach

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19th September 2019: Celebrating success

Over the past two weeks we have been celebrating the success of Beat the Street by running a celebration event in Adur and Worthing!

On 7th September we held an event in Victoria Park, Worthing, immediately after the monthly Kids Run Free event. It was lovely seeing so many children and parents running with a smile on their face. Our event ran alongside the amazing Ping project who have been sharing their love of table tennis over the summer season!

It's always lovely running an event that involves the local community and this was definitely the case.

We had activities delivered by South Downs Leisure, Activ8 for Kids, TCV Growing Communities, The Rowans Gym, Adur & Worthing Councils' Wellbeing Team and Hubs and Worthing Football Club Women. Over 120 people came along to take part and share their thoughts on Beat the Street plus eat some fruit which was kindly donated by Tesco.

On the 14th we ran a similar event in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, which was attended by Adur Chairman, Cllr George Barton, The Adur Healthy Walks project, Impulse Leisure, Activ8 for Kids, TCV and the Councils' Communities and Wellbeing Team. Park Bingo proved very popular and one attendee even found a book which was hidden as part of the Look for a Book Sussex scheme!

Both events demonstrated how much there is to do in our local community and also how many amazing activity groups are out there! I can't wait to set up more Beat the Street events linking in with all of those amazing projects!

Watch this space for an exciting Look for a Book project which will run in the October half term. If you want to know more, search for 'Look for a Book Sussex' on Facebook.

Photo: Adur and Worthing Wellbeing Hubs

2019-09-19 - Adur and Worthing Wellbeing Hubs

Photo: Community spirit

2019-09-19 - Community spirit

Photo: Raffle Winners - Dom and Penny O'Brien with Jojo and Regina

2019-09-19 - Raffle Winners - Dom and Penny OBrien with Jojo and Regina

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12th September 2019: Beat the Street winners - Epic Training

Beat the Street logo (200)

This week I had the pleasure of presenting Epic Training with their trophy and certificate for winning on the Beat the Street leader-boards for both overall and average points.

The brilliant thing about Epic Training is that the team leaders, Marie and Bella, are both personal trainers for The Rowans Centre based in Worthing.

The Rowans Centre is a specialist service for people with a physical, sensory or memory impairment, and people with an acquired brain injury. With a GP referral, people can also join the gym, and there are also lots of different classes for people to take part in.

Next week from Monday to Friday (16th to 20th September 2019) The Rowans Centre will be holding an open week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the gym. There'll be a range of tours and activities throughout the week. If you are interested in attending, pop along to the centre at Steeple View off Pelham Road in Tarring, and see what they have to offer.

For winning Beat the Streets, Epic Training were presented with £600 of vouchers which they have donated to The Rowans Centre to buy some new equipment!

Below are some photos of the Epic Training team receiving their trophy and certificate and also the gym in The Rowans Centre.

2019-09-12 - The Epic Training team receiving their trophy and certificate

2019-09-12 - The Epic Training gym in The Rowans Centre

2019-09-12 - The Epic Training gym at The Rowans Centre

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5th September 2019: Get fit for free

If you have been reading my blogs you will know how much I love to be active and stay fit!

This can be football training, going down the gym, swimming, cycling, running, paddle boarding ... I enjoy most sports! This was probably the main reason why I was chosen to deliver the Beat the Street game which had been running over the summer.

Now the game has finished, I have been looking at ways for people to keep being active and one of those is to promote our outdoor gyms that are dotted in parks and green spaces throughout Adur and Worthing. So work is taking place to map all the gyms and to show people what they can do on the equipment.

The benefits to the outdoor gyms are that they are free to use, open 24 hours a day and people can get some sunshine and fresh air whilst working out.

Did you know that many of the pieces of outdoor gym equipment can be adjusted to make the resistance easier/harder???

I hadn't realised until I tried to use one and couldn't lift the handles ... I thought it must be jammed!! But no, I found the resistance knob and hey presto, suddenly I could work it lol!

So, coming soon the map will be launched with lots of information on each outdoor gym - watch this space.

The other way to find some fitness is through our Get Active £10 challenge programme. This gives inactive people the chance to try different activities and if you attend 6/8 sessions, you get your £10 back. It's not often you get something for free, but with a bit of commitment, you can!

Have a look at the Get Active page on the Adur and Worthing Wellbeing website for more information!

Finally, don't forget our Beat the Street celebration events which are just around the corner - see the posters for more details:

Photo: Outdoor fitness gym equipment

2019-09-05 - Outdoor fitness gym equipment (Pixabay - 3766214)

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29th August 2019: Points mean prizes

Hopefully you have all been enjoying the amazing weather over the bank holiday weekend? I managed to take my paddleboard out on Monday - wow, it was stunning! Not a wave in sight ... not sure I have ever seen the water so flat!

Workwise, last week I got the fun job of meeting our two Beat the Street Leisure Centre membership prize winners!

In Adur a family won a platinum family membership worth over £1,000, which was kindly donated by Impulse Leisure.

2019-08-29 - In Adur a family won a platinum family membership worth over £1000, donated by Impulse Leisure

And in Worthing a lady won 2 x 3 month memberships, donated by South Downs Leisure.

2019-08-29 - In Worthing a lady won 2 x 3 month memberships, donated by South Downs Leisure

As you can imagine, both winners were really happy with their prizes. Our Adur winner said:

“As a family we really enjoyed taking part in Beat the Streets and would definitely do it again. We're very excited to have won this amazing prize and are looking forward to our year of exercise! Thanks so much Impulse Leisure and Beat the Street”

One of the things I'm most pleased about with Beat the Street is the involvement of the local community. I managed to get prize donations by the leisure centres above, plus day passes donated by David Lloyd. Additionally, we had a Paddleboarding voucher donated by the Brighton Kitesurf and SUP Academy. Lush mobile Catering who operate by the Waterwise Playground donated some homemade biscuits and Worthing Theatres donated theatre tickets to some of their recent shows! This allowed me to run lots of lucky tap box giveaways during the six week game.

Chestnut Tree House logoNext week I get to visit the amazing Chestnut Tree House who won a charity prize. For those of you who don't know about the amazing work they do, please visit the:

Thanks for reading, and let's hope that there's more of that sunshine to come!

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22nd August 2019: Challenges of the summer holidays

The summer holidays are a challenging time for anyone that has children! Six weeks is a very long time to occupy them for, especially if they have additional needs.

We look after my 10 year old nephew Ryan, who's in a wheelchair and has Global Developmental Delay. This combination means that finding exciting activities for him to do is a full time job! He loves doing adrenaline activities but as he can't walk, it means there is either a physical strain on us or he is unable to do them, or we have to travel miles and pay a lot more for him to do them.

A few weeks ago we took him disability skiing up at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead which he loved but it was a long way to go, cost a lot of money and required my muscles to lift him on and off the adapted sledge. We also take him swimming which is a chance for him to be free - luckily a lot of the swimming pools now have adapted changing rooms and hoists, but the logistics of it all is like the conundrum of the chicken, corn and fox!

Through Beat the Street, we did discover Longcroft Park in Durrington that has a path around the perimeter which means walking with a wheelchair is a lot easier than navigating grass and uneven ground like in other green spaces. Homefield Park is also a great park to walk around and has a few pieces of equipment in the park that Ryan can use, albeit with our muscles to lift him on/off.

Photo: Tammy and her nephew Ryan having fun out on their bike after school tapping boxes on the Beat the Street route

2019-07-04 - Tammy and her nephew Ryan having fun out on their bike after school tapping boxes

Both South Downs Leisure and Impulse Leisure offer Rebound Therapy sessions which both have hoists and staff members to help. These sessions are great for an adrenaline rush and to help strengthen his legs! They also run other activity sessions funded via the Short Breaks and aiming high programmes, so please visit their websites for more info

Recently, Brooklands ran some adapted cycling sessions which we were unable to attend. The best thing we ever did for Ryan was to fundraise to get him an adapted Trike. He loves it and has progressed from only being able to do one rotation of the pedals to me now running alongside him trying to keep up!

He has now outgrown his trike, so we will be aiming to get him another one for next spring, once we raise enough money! The next CYCALL free adapted cycling sessions are on 31st August 2019 at Brooklands.

It's only through caring for my nephew that I've fully appreciated how challenging things can be. We would love to pack up a bag of food, some sports equipment and let the kids run free for hours on end in a local park or beach, but the reality is that just isn't possible for Ryan and many other children who have disabilities / additional needs.

There are more opportunities than what there used to be, and disability awareness is improving but there is still a way to go.

2019-07-04 - Yellow toy spade stuck in the sand on the beach (Pexels - 296357)

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15th August 2019: Sustaining the success of Beat the Street

Now the Beat the Street game phase has finished, my work has calmed down a little bit now, so its enabling me to catch up on things and to start working on the sustain phase of Beat the Street. This basically means developing new projects and activities, signposting people to existing activities and encouraging people to keep active.

So this week I have been visiting community sessions, talking to people about why they played Beat the Street and setting up meetings so I can write some case studies on the impact the outdoor activity game had on everyday people.

I went along to the Tarring Picnic in the Park, which was a really well run event. The outdoor bowls open session proved to be really popular and it gave everyone the chance to have a go at something they may not have tried before! After finding the target mat consistently I was handed a membership form ... one for when I retire from football maybe!

I also went along to South Downs Leisure's holiday scheme to talk to around 50 young people about what they enjoyed about the summer programme, going out on their bikes as a family was a common theme. It was also nice seeing such lovely healthy snacks in their lunch boxes!

The rest of my week has been organising the new Beat the Street celebration events which I am pleased to confirm below. Hopefully the weather will be nicer this time!

Photo: People of all ages came out for Tarring's Picnic in the Park and enjoyed a bowls taster session

2019-08-15 - People of all ages came out for Picnic in the Park (in Tarring) and enjoyed a bowls taster session

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8th August 2019: Life after Beat the Street ...

Beat the Street logo (200)

It's now been a week since Beat the Street's game phase ended, and I am not going to lie ... I have been feeling a bit lost! Going out for walks and not tapping the boxes has been very weird! I have lots of people saying they are missing it already!

On a positive note, the boxes may not be there anymore, but I am working really hard in developing schemes to ensure the sustainability of Beat the Streets is a success. I will also be out and about in the community doing various activity sessions, community walks etc.

Disappointingly, I had to make the decision to postpone the celebration events that were due to happen on Saturday 10th August 2019. The anticipated wind and rain would mean it could be unsafe to erect marquees and have display boards out, plus it may have put people off attending! So watch this place for a new date!

Other than Beat the Street, I used one of my staff volunteering days to help out at Wadars Animal Rescue Charity on Monday. A group of us spent the day there helping with some cleaning and gardening whilst talking to some injured and abandoned seagull chicks!

They do some great work in rescuing, rehoming and releasing wildlife and domestic animals, so if you are looking for a new pet, why not rescue?

For more information see the Wadars website.

Photo: Tammy (centre) with other staff from Adur & Worthing Councils volunteering at Wadars Animal Rescue Charity

2019-08-08 - Tammy (centre) with other staff from Adur & Worthing Councils volunteering at Wadars Animal Rescue Charity

Finally, I will be attending the Tarring Picnic in the Park event today (Thursday 8th August 2019)!

It's a family fun day held in Tarring Recreation Ground and Church House Grounds.

There are various stalls and activities including circus training, fairground rides, face painting, story telling, arts and crafts and of course bowls. I have been and visited the bowls club and they are really keen for new people to have a go, so pop along for a taster session.

See their poster for further details:

I hope to see you there!

2019-08-08 - Tarring Picnic in the Park logo

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1st August 2019: Beat the Street: A final day to remember!

Beat the Street logo (200)

Yesterday saw the final day of Beat the Street come to a close ... wow, what a six weeks it has been!

An amazing 146,528 miles have been walked, jogged, cycled or scooted in those six weeks!

Community teams, charity teams and school teams were all out on the final day, every box was triple points, so there were lots of changes in league table positions! It was better than the final day of the Premier League LOL.

Epic Training were one community team who have been out from dusk to dawn every day and they managed to break the Beat the Street record for average points. I had heard people saying they must be cheating, but I know for a fact that they have had the determination and motivation to go out as a team day and night!

There have been some great stories - people getting back on their bikes, people discovering new parks and places to visit, families going out and exploring their local community and the best thing was that people of all ages were talking with each other on the streets.

From a personal point of view, I have learnt that I am truly competitive - I started off cycling, then it aggravated an old knee injury and I was told to put the bike away for a bit, so then I was running between boxes, sometimes twice a day, even when I was exhausted and my body was hurting! Some call it determination and motivation, others closer to me have called it insanity!

So what's next? The challenge is to now keep the community active!

So I will be working hard with other organisations and departments to see if we can set up various walking, fitness and tree trails, park bingo sessions and community walks and events. I will also be going into every participating school to do a celebration assembly and encourage things such as the daily mile.

Plus we still have the two celebration events on 10th August 2019 - see details below:

  • Buckingham Park event, Shoreham: 10th August 2019 - 10:30am to 12:30pm
    - sorry - event cancelled due to weather - new date: Saturday 14th September 2019 - 11am to 1pm
  • Victoria Park event, Worthing: 10th August 2019 - 2pm to 4pm
    - sorry - event cancelled due to weather - new date: Saturday 7th September 2019 - 10:30am to 12:30pm

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in Beat the Street over the past six weeks, it's been brilliant!

Photo: Beattie the Hedgehog out enjoying Beat the Street

2019-08-01 - Beattie the Hedgehog out enjoying Beat the Street

Photo: Beattie the Hedgehog down by the WOW (Worthing Observation Wheel)

2019-08-01 - Beattie the Hedgehog down by the WOW (Worthing Observation Wheel)

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25th July 2019: Beat the Street - a game for all the family!

2019-07-25 - You are invited to our prize presentation

Beat the Street logo (200)

So, a lot of people have said that yes, Beat the Street has got lots of people playing, but its just the fit ones doing it! That is so far from the truth! I have talked to all ages, all fitness abilities and people of all different shapes and sizes who have all been playing the game. It really has engaged everyone!

Talking to so many people about their reasons for playing and taking part has been one of my highlights of Beat the Street, everyone has been playing for different reasons. Some are doing it for fitness, some for losing weight, some to help their child's school or community team and some for the pure competition.

Speaking from a personal point of view, I am very competitive and even though I can't win any of the spot prizes, the incentive of getting points to help my team has been enough of a motivator for me to cycle more than 600 miles!

One particular family has completely embraced Beat the Street. All of them are playing, including the grandparents. Both grandparents started off walking from box to box to help their daughter's team. Then, the next time I saw them, their grandad was on a bike - the first time he had ridden a bike in 15 years, with the grandma still walking. The following week, the grandma was also on a bike. She bought the bike from the Durrington Community Bicycle project after 25 years of no cycling!

Since then I have biked to work at 7am ... and seen them out tapping, biked in the evening ... and seen them tapping and also at various other times of the day, still tapping. They are going out three times a day! This may be an extreme example but there are many other stories like this.

We will be celebrating everyone's engagement and successes on 10th August 2019 where I hope to hear more wonderful stories - the celebration events are free for anyone who has tapped a box, so please bring a picnic and come along. The event details are below:

In the meantime, there are just seven days left to tap those Beat Boxes, so get out there and get tapping! Plus don't forget to look out for some of the free events that will be taking place!

Photo: Pupils from Hawthorns First School playing Beat the Street

2019-07-25 - Pupils from Hawthorns First School playing Beat the Street

2019-07-25 - People running, walking and cycling

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18th July 2019: Pride at Pride

This week has seen Beat the Street go from strength to strength, we are up to nearly 15,000 people playing the game and over 108,139 miles have been walked, ran or biked. Not bad, not bad at all!

My body is acting like I have done all of these miles, to the point where it actually refused to cycle on Sunday!

Photo: Worthing Orchards Junior School playing Beat the Street

2019-07-18 - Worthing Orchards Junior School

From 10th July - 16th July Beat the Streets celebrated Go Wild. Basically, it encouraged people to visit our green and blue spaces (Parks and the Seafront) by offering double points on certain boxes!

Keen to get involved, I was walking in the Pride parade with a mobile Beat Box which was offering double points in the early afternoon. Adur & Worthing Councils and Beat the Street are proud (no pun intended) to support Worthing Pride and it was lovely to see so many rainbow flags out and about the town! Thanks to everyone who came out and helped put on a great event on Saturday!

Photo: Tammy (right) at Worthing Pride with colleagues

2019-07-18 - Worthing Pride

I have also been doing my ‘other’ work and this has mainly been celebrating our end of quarter reports for the three programmes I oversee; Pre Diabetes, Get Active and The Weight Escape. All three programmes continue to deliver not only on numbers, but outcomes as well.

It is nice knowing we are helping our local community to become healthier and I am lucky enough to work with three amazing members of staff who work tirelessly to ensure the service they offer is the best it can possibly be. It makes my job easier when they do such a great job!

Enjoy the summer sunshine...

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4th July 2019: Two weeks in and 65,000 miles have been walked, jogged, scooted and cycled!

Beat the Street logo (200)

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!

2019-07-04 - Willow bird feeder made at a willow weaving workshop

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:

2019-07-04 - TCV Activities program

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!

2019-07-04 - Tammy and her nephew Ryan having fun out on their bike after school tapping boxes

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27th June 2019: Beat Boxes are buzzing with activity across Adur and Worthing!

Beat the Street logo (200)

“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!

Get tapping!

Photo: Eastbrook Primary Academy navigating nearby Beat Boxes

2019-06-27 - Eastbrook Primary Academy navigating nearby Beat Boxes

Photo: Tammy (right) playing Beat the Street in Worthing with fellow members of the Wellbeing Team

2019-06-27 - Tammy (right) playing Beat the Street in Worthing with fellow members of the Wellbeing Team

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20th June 2019: Beat the street is now live!

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

2019-06-20 - Southwick Eastbrook Primary Academy

Photo: pupils from Worthing Orchards Junior School

2019-06-20 - Worthing Orchards Junior School

Photo: Tammy (right) with pupils from Eastbrook Primary Academy and the Chairman of Adur, Cllr George Barton

2019-06-20 - Tammy 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:

Let's get tapping!

2019-05-30 - Beat the Street logo

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13th June 2019: Beat the Street Registrations are now OPEN!

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

2019-06-13 - Beat the Street - Tammy with Hawthorns First School

Photo: Cllr Daniel Humphreys (left) with the Worthing Scribe Tribe Reading Group

2019-06-13 - Beat the Street - Cllr Daniel Humphreys 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:

2019-05-30 - Beat the Street logo

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6th June 2019: Beat the Street update

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:

2019-06-06 - Beat the Street - hands holding cards against card reader on a street signpost

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30th May 2019: Beat the Street this summer!

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 2019.

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 leader-board.

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:

Please follow / like us on social media too!

2019-05-30 - Beat the Street logo

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9th May 2019: The Weight Escape!

Reflecting on the work we do is something we do all the time. After all, 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.”

2019-05-09 - Apple

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2nd May 2019: The return of Happy Hearts

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

2019-05-02 - Tammy teaching her Happy Hearts session at another Durrington school, Hawthorns Primary

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25th April 2019: Cup Final Time

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!

2019-04-25 + 2019-11-07 - Tammy playing for Chichester City LFC last season (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

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.

2019-04-25 - Celebrating (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

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!

2019-04-25 - Tammy and her nephew heading out onto the pitch (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

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:

2019-04-25 - Tammy about to kick the ball (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

2019-04-25 - Holding the cup (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

2019-04-25 - Tammy with the team (copyright Sheena Booker Photography)

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18th April 2019: Have you ever given bowls a try?

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!

2019-04-18 - Playing bowls - Tarring Priory Bowls Club

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11th April 2019: Ping!

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:

2019-04-11 - Table tennis bat and ball (Pixabay - 3097621)

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4th April 2019: The power of volunteering

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

2019-04-04 - Oak Grove College volunteers L-R Matt Marchant, Philippa Reece, Tammy Waine, James Newton & Jessica Charles

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28th March 2019: Small changes with big impacts

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:

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

#DiabetesPreventionWeek 2019

2019-03-27 - blood sugar test (Pixabay - 207381)

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21st March 2019: A creative return to Happy Hearts

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.

2019-03-21 - Eatwell guide - copyright GOV.UK

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!

2019-03-21 - Artie Beat picture

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!

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14th March 2019: What's in a name (or should I say a job title)?

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

2019-03-14 -  Tammy playing for Lewes FC

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7th March 2019: Powerful presentations and scrummy sandwiches...

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

2019-03-07 - Group Image

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28th February 2019: A thank you to our NHS

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!

2019-02-28 - Stethoscope (Pexels - 40568)

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21st February 2019: Love is in the air ...

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!

2019-02-21 - Female hands making a heart shape (Pexels - 356319)

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14th February 2019: Good news is the best news

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.”

2019-02-14 - Flowerpots with a seedling (Pixabay - 2253111)

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7th February 2019: Teamwork

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

2019-02-07 - Sarah, Tammy and Julia

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31st January 2019: Set backs ...

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.

2019-01-31 - Buster, our rescue dog, out in the cold and at home in the warm

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24th January 2019: Taster sessions

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.

Barnardos logo - Believe in Children

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

2019-01-24 - Fruit and veg (Pexels - 952476)

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17th January 2019: Looking on the positives!

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!

2019-01-17 - Anfield, Liverpool (Pixabay - 851936)

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!

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10th January 2019: Recovering from Christmas

Happy New Year Everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also the : Adur and Worthing Wellbeing website.

2019-01-10 - Apple with a tape measure wrapped round it (Pexels - 262876)

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