Tammy Waine - blog posts archive
Families and Wellbeing Officer
Tammy has resumed her weekly postings, you can read her older archived blog posts below on this page or you can read her current stories here ...
Tammy Waine has worked for Adur & Worthing Councils for 12 years and is currently Families and Wellbeing Officer. Tammy's role is to work with children and families to get them eating healthier and to become more active. This is done through a variety of exciting and fun programmes such as the Active Grub Club and the Happy Hearts programme.
Outside of work Tammy is a semi professional footballer, who has played at the highest level in England and in USA, as well as a qualified personal trainer and a keen runner.
You can read Tammy's archived older archived blog posts on this page below:
Welcome to my last blog of 2018 and boy what a year it has been.
I'm not going to lie, this year has been the hardest year. It's been filled with house renovations, my car was vandalised, I had things stolen from my drive and more importantly I've lost one of my best friends and neighbour, three of my pet chickens and my gorgeous dog Rexy.
There isn't a day that's gone by since August 7th that I've not cried over Rexy. My heart literally broke when we had to have him put to sleep and I miss him dearly, especially at Christmas time.
Amongst all of that stress and heartache there have been some good times. I celebrated a big birthday surrounded by friends and family and I've continuously been amazed at how much work my brilliant team does, in quantity as well as quality! I'm also delighted to say that my projects have flourished again.
Coming into work everyday and entering an environment with so many lovely people both in the workplace and the community has got me through this year ... and long may it continue.
Whilst in London at the weekend my sister and I came across a homeless man and his dog, both were soaking wet and freezing.
My sister went out of her way to buy him some dry clothes and get the dog some food. It made me realise that as bad as my year has been, I'm still very lucky.
I'm hoping that 2019 will bring more happiness and I will continue to try and help people less fortunate just like my sister did.
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and see you all next year.
Photo: Tammy's Christmas Tree
It's at this time of year when we start to really think about what our service delivery will look like in the next financial year.
April seems like a long way off, but so much work goes into writing business plans, consulting with staff and different organisations and applying for funding that we actually have to start preparing for in these Winter months.
Everyone is fully aware that resources are being reduced all the time, so our job is to try and generate additional funding and to ensure that the funds we do have serve a local need and go as far as possible. It's not an easy task!
So over the past few weeks our team have been meeting with different people and organisations to discuss what we will be delivering, who we will be targeting this delivery at, where will it be taking place and unfortunately what we may not be able to carry on delivering.
It is always an unsettling time of year but once decisions are made, it can be an exciting time too.
Starting a fresh line of work and launching new projects means things stay fresh and that they continue to meet the demand in the community - that's the exciting bit! I do love thinking of new ideas and trying to make those ideas become a reality.
So some of my work this week will be trying to find evidence on why we should or shouldn't continue certain aspects of our service and put that into our business plan. If you are interested in statistics and evidence, have a look at: Active Lives Survey Sussex
It shows levels of inactivity across Sussex - are you living in an active area or inactive area?
If you are currently inactive but are interested in becoming more active, contact our Wellbeing Hubs via the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website.
There is some form of exercise out there for everyone to enjoy, so why not have a look at what's on offer. And who knows, maybe you can help your area become a more active and happier place to live?!
With Christmas coming, I must admit that I struggle to concentrate at this time of year. I'm like an excited child!
Luckily for me, a few pieces of my work have had a Christmas theme lately ...
Here at the Councils we have a scheme called Well@Work, which aims to improve staff wellbeing and decrease levels of stress. These are mainly lunchtime sessions and we run activities such as mindfulness, Pilates and singing.
This week I was asked to join to another department to give a presentation on the scheme followed by some taster sessions in mindfulness, singing and Christmas wreath making.
Even those members of staff who perhaps aren't quite ready for the festive feeling yet really enjoyed the session and found the updates regarding our wellbeing scheme really useful.
The rest of my week has comprised of supervisions with staff, various meetings regarding next years service delivery and booking in programmes for next year.
Improving staff wellbeing is really important and something that Adur & Worthing Councils are taking seriously.
Are you a lover of Christmas? Keep tuned to my blogs as I'll have many more festive themed blogs coming in the next few weeks!
Photos: Making the Christmas wreaths
The look of excitement on the faces of the children on my Happy Hearts programme when Artie Beat walks through the door is still a fantastic sight to see ... apart from the three children who started crying!
This week Artie Beat visited a Hawthorns Primary School, Durrington, reception class as part of our celebration assembly.
The children couldn't wait to tell Artie and the visiting parents what they had learnt over the past five weeks, and they didn't let me down!
They remembered where all their body parts are located, what happens to their heart when they start exercising and how many portions of fruit and vegetables they should eat everyday. Not forgetting the pupils of Hawthorns Primary remembering the amount of sugar in a pack of Haribo and what jobs certain foods do in the body. WOW!
Each child came up to collect their certificate, give Artie Beat a high five and collect a little prize! We all then had a lovely group photo with Artie.
It does amaze me how much information reception aged children do remember and it reiterates the saying “You are never too young to start learning”.
After Christmas I will be teaching more children how to keep their heart happy and healthy in Durrington and Heene primary schools and I can't wait to get started!
Photo: The Happy Hearts celebration event at Hawthorns Primary School
So what have I been up to this week?
On Thursday I delivered the penultimate Happy Hearts lesson with Hawthorns Primary School where we learnt about the different jobs foods do in the body.
Children at the Worthing school also found out that Artie Beat will be visiting them at next week's session. To say they are excited is an understatement!
Friday I attended a conference at Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Sompting, which provided key messages around a variety of safeguarding topics, including emotional wellbeing and mental health in children and adolescents.
It also provided a range of information around specific age groups as well as identifying support and contacts in the Adur and Worthing area.
Hearing about the great work going on in the area to protect our children and young people was really reassuring.
Unfortunately, it's something we all need to be aware of, and as professionals, it's something we are taught to look out for.
It would be nice to not have to worry about safeguarding one day, but until then, workshops like this are so important to keep people updated and aware with the current situation.
Finally, I'm going to mention a council campaign that I wrote about in my blog last week. 'Our Day'!
The Councils took part in 'Our Day' on Tuesday (20th November 2018), run by the Local Government Association (LGA), which dedicates itself to celebrating the diverse work carried out by councils up and down the UK.
I featured in a video made by our comms team which highlights our work as a council, and it was also nice to be recognised by the LGA's Twitter account for my work.
For those that didn't catch the video on Tuesday, see it below:
Photo: Tammy tweeting a selfie with school children on 'Our Day'
Next Tuesday, the Local Government Association is running 'Our Day' - a day for local government to come together and celebrate the diverse work carried out by the Councils, and recognise the people who keep our communities running.
Being a public facing member of staff, I was one of 11 who were asked to send in a video and a series of pictures some of the work I do.
My first stop was at Hawthorns Primary School in Durrington, a lovely school in which I am currently delivering our Happy Hearts programme to their reception class. It was here where I decided to film my selfie style video.
Every year I forget just how small the new reception class is and how they are just like sponges; absorbing all of the information given to them!
It's been a lovely programme and I'm already excited about the celebration assembly we'll be having next week, where hopefully Artie Beat will be visiting!
See Artie Beat and more in the Happy Hearts video below:
With the video ticked off the list, I headed over to Lime Tree Doctors Surgery in Findon with an aim of taking some selfies for the Our Day campaign (see photo below).
I met a fellow footballer in the gym one day and it turns out that she's a doctor at Lime Tree Surgery in Findon. This has culminated in a request for me to go in and remind staff of the great work our Wellbeing Hubs team carries out every day. Wellbeing MOTs, Pre Diabetes programme, the Weight Escape programme and our Get Active programme.
It's important to keep spreading the word of this valuable community resource as not only do we take self referrals, but also referrals from local professionals too.
I could have taken lots more selfies of myself in meetings, organising staff wellbeing activities and more, but they are not quite as exciting at the two mentioned above.
So look out for the finished video montage 'Our Day' coming on the Tuesday 20th November!
After losing my gorgeous dog Rexy back in August, we decided to rehome a three year old rescue dog called Buster.
To say it's been challenging is an understatement!
Buster has presented some behaviours that initially came across as disobedience, however some discussions with dog experts have revealed that his behaviour seems to be fear based.
This doesn't seem such a surprise when you consider what he could have been through...
Imagine, you are happy at the home you have been in for three years, then you go for a three hour car drive and get handed over to a stranger. The people you love drive away and you get put into a kennel on your own, surrounded by barking dogs.
You then go to another kennel a few days later where you meet a friend who walks you everyday but then someone else comes along, takes you for a walk and then puts you in their car!
You then arrive at this building full of different smells, different rooms, and nothing looks familiar to you at all.
These people seem lovely, so now you follow them everywhere, get upset when they leave because you don't know if they are coming back. Then the fireworks start which freaks you out even more.
One to one you feel safe and calm, but meeting other people and animals is scary ... you have no clue what is going on!
That's what Buster and other rescue dogs feel, and yet we expect them to settle in after a few days and almost get angry with them when they don't.
It got me thinking about how children feel when they go to school for the first time, or when they go to a sports club or first school trip away from home. It can be really scary and children will react in very different ways. Even those that appear fine and happy may have apprehensions inside. Those that are not happy need reassurance, help and time to adapt.
A scheme myself and other members of Wellbeing team have been working on with Worthing High School is OneGoodFriend - a council made programme ensuring all children have someone they can talk with and exploring how best to talk to your children in times of adversity and change.
Buster can not talk to me, but he can show me with his body language and behaviours how he is feeling, so I am getting help on how to help him, just like if he were my child.
Don't be afraid to ask for help, its a strength not a weakness.
Photo: Buster, the three year old rescue dog rehomed by Tammy
Within the Communities and Wellbeing team we have our wonderful wellbeing advisers, who carry out wellbeing MOTs on people wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes. This past week Tyler Slade, one of our advisers, carried out an MOT on Councillor Stephen Chipp.
Cllr Chipp is currently training for the next Brighton marathon and wanted to have a test to see if there were some changes he could make to help him with his training. Wellbeing MOTs can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of both a person's physical and mental state.
Tyler revealed the strengths and weaknesses of Cllr Chipp's physical and mental state and suggested some really good ideas to help get him in the best shape possible for his marathon.
Even Cllr Chipp, a 37 year old man who thought he was in reasonable condition, was surprised to hear his results. The hidden issues such as a person's visceral fat (the stuff in your blood vessels and around your organs) and their water percentage came as the most eye opening findings for him.
Photo: Councillor Stephen Chipp, Southwick Green Ward, reviewing his Wellbeing MOT
As part of our Wellbeing offer, we can also sign post people onto other programmes and activities to help with the suggested lifestyle changes. As Cllr Chipp enjoys running, we suggested he takes part in one of our park runs as part of his training regime.
I'm pleased to say that this past weekend he ran in the Lancing park run which sets off from the Perch cafe on a Saturday morning, completing the 5km run in just over 24 minutes. (Only another 37mk to build up to!)
Over the next few weeks I have challenged Cllr Chipp to visit some Adur based local sports clubs and take part in some of their training sessions.
If you are part of a club that wants to put him through his paces, let us know!
Cllr Chipp said:
“I contacted the Wellbeing team and I asked to have a health MOT and found the process exceptionally helpful.”
“It really was a welcome eye opener and I wholeheartedly urge any Adur and Worthing resident to get in touch with the team regardless of your age, fitness level etc as they really can help. Thanks to Tammy and Tyler for all of their help!”
To find more information on Wellbeing MOTs please visit the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website.
Photo: Councillor Stephen Chipp, Southwick Green Ward, pictured after completing the Lancing park run.
I am someone that enjoys training courses as I love learning new things.
A few days ago I attended a Food and Mood workshop, which was a great reminder on how important food is for not only our physical health but also our mental health.
For example, eating lots of seeds, walnuts and fish will increase your essential fats which are important for memory, good nails and hair and controlling PMT.
A course like this then is not only going to improve my personal health but it could also do the same for you, the residents of Adur and Worthing. Whether this be educating you via my blogs, wellbeing sessions or even a simple conversation.
The course trainer brought along lots of nuts and seeds for us to nibble on and in the tea break she gave us homemade cashew nut butter (which was gorgeous), homemade hummus and a variety of corn cakes and bean crisps.
All of which were healthy and delicious and made me think about how I have fallen into eating more shop bought snacks that may be titled healthy but are not as good for us as the homemade and natural substitutes.
I have promised myself to stock up on nuts, seeds and corn cakes on the next weekly shop.
In my own time I am also undertaking a counselling skills training course.
Lasting for a year so, it's a big commitment but its something I'm really enjoying!
It's been a weird feeling going back to college and being a student again, but my classmates and tutors are all lovely and the course is interesting and thought provoking.
I just wish the same could be said about the homework!
This week I'm shining a light on what we are doing as a council to make a happier, healthier, better connected and more prosperous community across Adur and Worthing.
Waves Ahead, a local partnership in Adur and Worthing, had their annual conference last week, which saw community leaders from all over the area gathering to attend the event being held in Worthing College's Exhibition Hall.
Active and Social Places was the title for this year's event, which saw Dr William Bird, a leading light in the world of wellbeing, kick-start a conversation about what we can do to make Adur and Worthing more energetic and communal areas.
The general aim of these meetings being to create a community that is active and social is happier, healthier, better connected and more prosperous.
When planning for this year's conference we were asked for our ideas. I suggested doing something a bit different and starting the conference with a warm up and ending it with a cool down. Not only was the idea embraced but I was put forward to deliver both sessions.
I quickly started to regret my suggestion, and the prospect of running a warm up for 70 delegates filled me with fear!
It took me two hours to even come up with a suitable song (a big thanks to my Communities colleague Jo Clarke for helping me). I had to make sure the language was appropriate and that the beat wasn't too fast or too slow ... and after two mini breakdowns I managed to plan my sessions!
I arrived at the venue in Worthing with plenty of time to set up and plan what I would say, and in typical Tammy style there was of course an element of humour!
As the delegates started to arrive the nerves kicked in again ...
I was then introduced and I kicked off with a question. “Who thinks physical activity is important?” I asked.
Luckily for me, all of their hands went up which allowed me to follow it up by saying “I'm glad you think that as it's now time for us to increase those heart rates”.
The next four minutes were a blur!
Everyone seemed to enjoy the session, especially Alex Bailey, Adur & Worthing Councils' Chief Executive, he put in a monumental effort!
The rest of the evening involved some brilliant conversations around getting people active and before I knew it it was cool down time.
For this I decided to do some deep breathing, mindfulness and reflection. This is where serious Tammy made an appearance which is out of my comfort zone!
After a few minutes the mindful moment with Tammy was over.
I cycled home buzzing about how well the session had gone and thinking about all the positive feedback I received.
What a great evening!
Photos: Tammy getting the audience physical at the Active and Social Places Waves Ahead annual conference
Most of us make a conscious effort to look after our physical health, but how many of us look after our mental health? If we feel our mental health deteriorating, can we recognise it and do something to change it?
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and there were many things happening in the community to raise the awareness of Mental Health.
Within the Councils, we also realise how important maintaining positive mental health is and we have put a few things in place to help staff.
Our staff development programme named ‘The Common Room’ meets once a month to discuss a variety of topics which will benefit us in some way shape or form.
Yesterday's was based around mental health and stress. Staff discussed a lot of different self help tools and strategies they have used to stop stress turning into dis-stress.
We have also started some 'Well at Work' mindfulness sessions that staff can do in their lunchtime.
Again, the aim of the sessions are to give staff the tools to relax and look after their own mental health.
There are so many tools and services out there to help you if you feel your mental health is poor, so don't feel you're alone!
Photo: Don't hide your mental health, do something to change it
Below are some links to websites and videos that can help you through your mental illness:
Back in January one of my colleagues who delivers our Pre-Diabetes programme was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer. It resulted in her being off work and having multiple operations. For many people this experience would have proven too much to cope with, but she remained positive and determined to beat it and return to a job she loved.
I am pleased to say that last week she delivered her first Pre-Diabetes programme since returning to work. For those who are not aware of this service, we run a 2.5 hour workshop for people who have been told they are Pre-Diabetic but not yet diabetic. The programme is designed to educate people on how they can reduce their risk of becoming diabetic in the future.
According to the Health Survey for England, one in three adults in England 'on the cusp' of diabetes. Pre-diabetes is where blood sugar levels are abnormally high, but lower than the threshold for diagnosing diabetes. It is estimated that around 5-10% of people with pre-diabetes will go on to progress to 'full-blown' type 2 diabetes in any given years.
Our Pre-Diabetes adviser has spent a lot of time writing a fantastic programme which hundreds of people have benefited from over the past few years.
If you have been told you are Pre-Diabetic, come along to one of our brilliant and informative programmes delivered by a very inspirational person.
- What is type 2 diabetes? - on the NHS website
- Pre-diabetes programme - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
Photo: A healthy diet and keeping active will help you manage your blood sugar level. It will also help you to control your weight and generally feel better
This week has been one where I have had to push myself out of my comfort zone - something that no-one particularly likes doing, but which we can all agree benefits us in the long-term!
At work we have a scheme called 'the common room'. This is a non-hierarchical learning space, we discuss different topics and share experiences with a view to develop ourselves, both personally and professionally.
A few of us 'host' the sessions - which basically means we facilitate or guide the discussion, and last week I put myself forward! At the time this seemed like a great idea, but the closer it got I wondered why I had volunteered! The session was based around emotional intelligence ... I introduced the topic by joking that I was emotional and my co-host was intelligent so we should make the perfect team! It actually went really well and we received some positive feedback from our co-workers. The common room really does provide a great opportunity to learn from each other.
I'm not sure what thoughts the word 'Presentation' triggers in your mind, but for me it triggers nerves and fear. I was recently asked to deliver a presentation to 60 NHS professionals around our service. My manager Janice agreed to deliver it with me and we opted for a quiz followed by a mini presentation. Thankfully it went well and most people went away learning something new about the Wellbeing Hubs and the services we offer.
Before both of these sessions I was nervous, a bit anxious, and fearful of what might go wrong. However, with careful planning and a few jokes thrown in, on reflection both went really well.
So, if you're worried about doing something new, my advice would be to push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and again!
Don't forget - if you want to make any health related lifestyle changes you can contact the West Sussex Wellbeing hubs.
It's always nice to get positive feedback about the work we do, especially when it's from people within the local community ...
Last week was one of those occasions when I got an email from a teacher praising the Happy Hearts programme which I run.
The Happy Hearts programme is probably the project not only that I am most proud of but also the one I am most passionate about. With the increasing rates of childhood obesity and childhood diabetes it's never been more important to educate our children on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.
Worryingly, over the last four years, Type 2 diabetes in kids has gone up by 40% and one in three children in year 6 are overweight or obese.
Why is this? Lack of physical activity?? Poor nutrition??? Its actually a combination of both and in the Happy Hearts programme we teach the children in a fun and interactive way why these areas are so important.
For example, did you know that children should do 60 minutes of physical activity everyday? Or that children aged four to six should have a maximum of five teaspoons of sugar each day, yet a bag of Haribo has 25 teaspoons of sugar in it?? These are some of the amazing things we cover in the programme.
But don't take my word for it, here's those kind words from a local primary school teacher ...
“I am writing to say how grateful I am to Tammy Waine for her continued help and support with our work to improve the lifestyle and activity levels of the children at my school and for her excellent delivery of the wonderful Happy Hearts Programme.”
“Every member of staff she has worked with has been very complimentary of her and the children love the programme. At a time of increasing childhood obesity and decreasing activity levels this programme is not only well delivered and fun but very important to these children. Parents have said how it has had an impact on what they eat at home and what they do in their spare time.”
If you are involved in a school and want to know more about the Happy Hearts programme then I'd love to hear from you. Contact me at email@example.com
Photo: Tammy with some of the children at Hawthorns Primary School in Durrington
For many of you the 6 week school holiday challenges are now over and you are getting back into some sort of routine!
Some have said it flew by, some have been counting down the days since they broke up from school!
The summer is always a busy time for me as I run our Active Grub Clubs and this summer was no different.
I ran four sessions in Fishersgate at the Lighthouse Community Church and six sessions in East Worthing at the Community House.
The sessions are for young people aged seven to 13 and they combine healthy eating, cookery skills and physical activity plus meet a holiday hunger need in some cases.
This summer at the Fishersgate sessions we did some activity with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).
The kids got to saw and chop logs to make a fabulous bug hotel, plus make their own wooden mallets (photo right). It was great seeing them learn a new skill and do something brand new!
We also avoided any serious injuries which is also a bonus!!
The club based at the East Worthing Community House was also really successful.
All the attendees learnt some new skills and had a brilliant time. These sessions were funded by the Community Chest and will be continuing for the rest of the year.
Keeping these sessions going is never easy so one of my jobs is seeking funding to keep them going, especially the one in Fishersgate.
I have also been working with Impulse Leisure to gain some funding to set up a Lancing-based Active Grub club and I'm pleased to say we were successful ... so now we have the funding, we will be working together to develop the programme and role it out in the October half term!
Finally I am also working with the Salvation Army in Worthing to gain funding and run some Active Grub Clubs in the future, so watch this space!
But don't take just my word for it that these turned out great; here's what a parent from the Fishersgate Active Grub Club had to say:
“We LOVE the grub club! It gives me a brilliant little bit of time with my youngest and its invaluable to my other two children. It has boosted their confidence and are much more open to new things now ... Cooking and trying new foods. Thank you Tammy, you are the best!”
Photo: Some of the fun food made at the active grub club
It's been a while since my last blog, but I'm here again! For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, I'll introduce myself, and for those of you who have met me virtually before, welcome back!!
I'm a Families and Wellbeing Officer and have worked in this role for the past 13 years. Before that I worked part time for Lewes District Council as a sports development officer and for Brighton Football Club as a football coach.
So what is a Families and Wellbeing Officer? Well, in a nutshell, my role allows me to work with children, young people and families to help them build the knowledge and skills to look after their bodies, and ultimately be more healthy.
I link up with organisations, local groups, schools, leisure centres and families to create and deliver new and exciting programmes that teach people the best ways to stay fit and healthy through physical activity and good nutrition.
Hopefully, you may have heard of some of these programmes. One is Happy Hearts, a fun and interactive session for children showing how healthy eating and exercise benefit the heart, and another is Active Grub Club which involves physical activity for children and includes learning how to cook healthy food.
A lot has changed in my life since I last blogged. Unfortunately I have lost three of the chickens that I've blogged about in the past (see my 14th September 2017 blog), and a few weeks ago my life was turned upside down when I had to say goodbye to my best friend, my gorgeous dog Rexy (photos below).
Losing any family member is such an emotional challenge and losing a much loved dog can be similar. My house feels empty, my routine has changed completely and my mental health has been poorer. I am not ashamed to say that this thing called grief is horrible! Luckily I have got some fantastic colleagues, friends and family around who I can talk to about it.
Talking about how you are feeling is really important and is also something I am getting involved with at work.
Next month I am working with the Find It Out Centre in Worthing which offers advice and support to young people aged 11-25 to run a 'Walk, Talk and Eat' session. At this session, supported by WSCC's Youth Emotional Support service, young people aged 11-17 can discuss any worries they are feeling, do some physical activity which can help relieve stress, plus eat a healthy supper. The session is by invitation only, but if anyone is interested in finding out more they can phone the Worthing Find It Out Centre on 01903 210315 or visit the Worthing find it out centre website.
If you don't have someone to talk to and need someone, look at the free talking therapy service that's available - details are on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website.
In terms of grief, a colleague shared the following quote by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross which resonates strongly with me:
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.”
Back in July when I was asked to write a weekly blog I had no idea how it would go and how it would be received, but I'm happy to say the journey has been a really positive one. But unfortunately all good things have to come to an end, and today is my last blog (for now ...)
Before I actually sign off I wanted to share an amazing piece of Happy Hearts feedback I have received from a parent from my recent programme at Hawthorns School.
The child's mum said:
“I will start by saying 'Thank you'. My child's attitude towards fruit and vegetables has changed dramatically for the good! It's gone from bribing him to eat just a small variety of different foods to now eating and even choosing his own healthy snacks or what veg we should have with our dinner!”
“He often talks about how many spoons of sugar is in certain sweets and has made the really grown up decision to spend his pocket money on toys instead of sweet treats which we're super proud about!”
“So again, thank you so much for working miracles with our now not so fussy eater.”
It's comments like this that make my job so rewarding and why it's essential to try and gain additional funding to keep the Happy Hearts programme running. It's never too early to educate children on the importance and living a healthy lifestyle.
So on that amazing piece of feedback, it's time for me to sign off. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs and hearing about me and my work. Hopefully I will get another opportunity to write again in the future, but until then, thanks for reading and Happy Christmas!
Photo: Tammy talking to two pupils from the Hawthorns School
Photo: Tammy with pupils from the Hawthorns School
Hi, I'm Jacqui, Head of Wellbeing at Adur & Worthing Councils. As part of my role I'm involved in Safeguarding both our staff and also those in our local communities.
Here at Adur & Worthing Councils we're committed to Safeguarding and for those that are unsure, Safeguarding means protecting the rights of children, young people and adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
It's Safeguarding Week this week and as part of this we aim to raise awareness of different forms of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, financial or neglect) and the part everyone can play in helping to spot abuse.
In our everyday life we may hear about something concerning from someone telling us what is happening to them, we may see signs of abuse or neglect, a parent/carer may tell us they're struggling to cope and someone else may tell us about something they've seen or heard. We are not expected to judge but it's the responsibility of all of us to report our concerns.
If you believe that a child, young person or adult is in IMMEDIATE danger, phone the Police on 999. If a child, young person or adult is not in an emergency situation but you are worried they are being abused or neglected, remember the worst thing you can do is nothing. Please see the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board's website for details of how to report your concerns.
Remember it's not for you to judge, if you're concerned please report it.
This week I'm handing my blog spot over to my new colleague Tyler Slade, a Wellbeing Advisor who joined the team in August this year. Over to you Tyler ...
Becoming a Wellbeing Advisor was a complete 360 career move for me having spent the best part of the last decade in the private sector in marketing roles in one form or another.
I can confidently and happily say it's the best move I've ever made! I love working in the community, meeting new people and above all helping people make positive health changes.
From this blog you will already be aware of the hard work Tammy does and equally the rest of my colleagues are so supportive and encouraging of me and each other. After all we have the same passion for our jobs and a mutual objective; to help people.
So what does a Wellbeing Advisor do?
I see clients on a one to one basis, helping them set their own health and wellbeing goals for things they'd like to change in their lives. This can be anything from weight management and healthy eating, to stopping smoking and reducing alcohol consumption ... or even their general wellbeing. I carry out Wellbeing MOTs using our fancy Tanita bodyweight scales. These can measure fat and muscle percentages, hydration levels and BMI.
I also attend various events in the area, helping with awareness and informing people of our service.
One of the things that has surprised me the most in my new role is how much support, help and guidance there is in our local community for people. So please get in contact with us!
If anyone is interested or would like to know more about us and what we can offer, please feel free to visit our Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website or give us a call on 01903 221450.
Photo: Tyler looking at our Tanita body scales as part of a Wellbeing MOT
7 Weeks after my injury, I am officially going stir crazy! As someone who walks my dog, cycles to work, plays football, runs, weight lifts, drives and generally can't sit still, it's been a nightmare! And I still have another 2-4 months of recovery ahead of me! Watch out world!!
As well as the physical benefits of exercising and being active what I'm noticing the most is the negative effect it has on my overall happiness and wellbeing. I am definitely not as energetic, happy and motivated without exercise in my life ... FACT!
Exercise is known to be one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood.
“Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication - but without the side-effects, of course. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.” Helpguide.org
We have lots of programmes running in Adur and Worthing and even the most gentle exercise can have a real positive impact on your overall mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing. If you are interested, click on the link below to see what we have on offer!
Fingers crossed I can start to resume my normal activity level soon ... Single leg rowing, seated boxing and upper body work is helping fill the physical void, but it is not providing me with the same sense of mental wellbeing as running and kicking a ball around!!
Photo: Tammy playing for Lewes FC
It's proving a busy time for my team and the rest of the council at the moment with lots of amazing projects and programmes running plus we're gearing up for some more big campaigns.
One such campaign you will all be familiar with is Children in Need. Last year Adur & Worthing Councils ran a staff fancy dress competition to raise funds for this amazing cause. Our topic was famous people/groups and staff went above and beyond and we managed to raise a brilliant £1,232 through fancy dress donations, cake sales and a raffle.
This year's theme is 'Heroes and Villains' so I'm sure it will produce some comical costumes!
I've never been one to turn down an opportunity to dress up, so I will again be aiming for comedy value in my costume this year - see the photo of my costume last year!
Everyone can get involved on 17th November 2017 and every penny raised will make a real difference - see BBC Children in Need.
The second campaign we will be working on is to support Safeguarding Week on 27th November to 1st December 2017. The key purpose of the week is to increase the awareness of safeguarding and that it is everyone's responsibility.
More information will be shared by my guest blogger Jacqui Cooke in a few weeks time.
That's it from me this week, I'm off to finish lesson planning for my Happy Hearts programme tomorrow!
This weeks blog is about promoting a campaign that is very close to my heart. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month and 10 years ago this November I lost my amazing nanny to this horrible disease.
Did you know that pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers?
And that in nearly every country, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a single digit five year survival rate (2-9%) and that this year, 9600 people and their loved ones will face a pancreatic cancer diagnosis?
Worryingly, these numbers are set to increase.
Early diagnosis is vital to saving lives, so it's time to take urgent action by raising awareness of the disease and raising funds for research.
So what are the symptoms? Abdominal pain, weight loss, bloating, digestive problems, jaundice, diabetes and back pain. If you have some of the above it's always best to get them checked out by a professional just to make sure. The chances are it will be nothing but it's always best to get it checked.
What can you do? 16th November 2017 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and it's hoped that people will wear purple to help raise the awareness of this nasty disease so that early detection is possible.
By raising awareness and raising vital funds we can try to increase the survival rate until ultimately a cure is found. See the link below on how you can get involved.
- World Pancreatic Cancer Day website - take action
- Pancreatic Cancer Action website - UK Based Pancreatic Cancer Charity
Twenty amazing young people attended the club, all aged 7 to 13, and created an energy packed session. We made chicken goujons and potato wedges for our main course and then some spooktacular treats for dessert.
These scary faced cookies were not only fun to make but really easy. Click the link below if you want to have a go at making them at home.
Photo: Vampire Teeth Cookies
Due to the weather being a bit wet we couldn't go outside to do our planned activity session, so instead we stayed inside and Megan from Active for Kids delivered a kids yoga session to some relaxing music. Downward dogs, stork stands and boats were all popular poses on display!
Photo: Taking part in the yoga session - the stork stand
The session finished with the food being devoured at a rate of knots over some fantastic conversation!
Last week saw me attend Hawthorns Primary School to deliver the first Happy Hearts lesson to their new reception class! It also saw Adur & Worthing Councils communications team attend to take some video footage of the programme to use over the next few weeks via social media. It was just a shame I was nursing a fractured foot that I recently sustained during a football match so I couldn't be as energetic as I usually am.
It's so lovely to see these tiny little people still adjusting to school life enjoying my lesson! This weeks lesson was about their bodies. We learnt about some key body parts; where the are in the body, what they look like, what job they do in the body and then we turned all of that into a fun relay game! I think it is safe to say we all had a lot of fun!
This weeks lesson will see us learn about the heart in more detail. We will even listen to our hearts with doctors stethoscopes so that we can understand that running around makes our heart beat hard and fast and that is a good thing! Remember, we can not buy a new heart from a supermarket, so we need to look after it!
I have been delivering the happy Hearts programme to children at Hawthorns School for 3 years now and every programme has been brilliant. It's such a lovely school with really caring teachers. Fingers crossed the next 5 weeks go the same way!!!
Daniel Fairman, from the Communications Team, said:
“The lesson at Hawthorns was great fun to attend! All the children were so engaged with the lesson and were delighted to hear that they have more to come from the scheme!”
Photo: Children at Hawthorns Primary School enjoying Tammy's Happy Hearts lesson
Photo: Tammy (right) leading the Hawthorns Happy Hearts session
I've always liked art, but I have to admit that in a lot of cases I've never really 'got it'! But what I'm starting to understand is that art is all about how the viewer interprets it.
Take this photo, in a normal situation, I may have looked at it and just thought it was a slightly scary image with no real meaning. But when I viewed it in a training course about Cultivating Compassion it triggered feelings of people suffering, feeling helpless, having their hands tied or being controlled by someone else - wow, all that from one photo as someone stated?!
Compassion is defined as “The sensitivity to suffering in self and others, with a commitment to try and alleviate and prevent it”.
The key word in that quote for me is “self” because its an area most of us neglect.
We can be compassionate to others; we can help them, can be kind, can be sympathetic and have empathy but we very rarely show ourselves the same amount of kindness.
How many times do we give advice and help to others, yet we ignore this advice when it comes to ourselves - I know I do it all the time!
In the workplace people often feel burnt out or develop emotional fatigue and this often stems from us 'suffering' but not trying to alleviate it because it can be so challenging.
So the question I would ask you is: “what's something you could do right now that would be helpful for you and be most supportive of your own well-being?”.
This could be going for a walk, doing some mindfulness meditation, talking to someone about how you are feeling or writing down your thoughts. Remember to show yourself the same compassion you show others!
Dr Stan Steindl and Kendelle Bond were not only kind and compassionate in their training but also inspirational.
- Training courses - on the National Centre for Behaviour Change website
- How to look after your mental health using mindfulness - on the Mental Health Foundation website
- The Compassion Initiative website
This week I have invited a colleague to write a guest blog as I'm sure you are fed up of me by now!!! Welcome to the blogging world Julie Tuppen!
Hi, I'm Julie and this week I am taking the blogging slot from Tammy while she has a well earned rest (literally as her foot is still bruised and elevated!). Like Tammy, I work in the Communities and Wellbeing Team as the Wellbeing Hubs Team leader.
This leads me onto my guest appearance - This month is Stoptober, Public Health England's national campaign to support smokers to quit for good.
“Stoptober has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke free for good.”
- Public health England 2017
My smoking journey started in my teens when you could still buy a single cigarette from the newsagents and I confess I have made many attempts over a 30 plus year span to quit with varying levels of success, once I even managed a whole year.
I tried every method going from self help books and hypnotism to sprays and patches - though I would take the patch off and have a cigarette, then put the patch back on. I finally succeeded by substituting my cigarette for an e-cig and it has now been over 6 years since I last smoked a cigarette, an achievement that I am very proud of.
Though I worried constantly about the harm that the cigarette was doing to my health, about accidental fires and smelling of stale smoke I couldn't kick the habit. In fact the more I worried, the more I smoked to relieve the stress - If you can understand this logic then you are a smoker!
Though e-cigs are possibly not without harm and research continues to explore this subject, it is recognised now that they are far safer than smoking cigarettes and increasing amounts of people find them an effective route to quitting smoking. This is also the first time Public Health England have included e-cigs in their Stoptober campaign.
There are many ways to quit and there is more support than ever available. Stoptober could be the kick-start that's needed to change this behaviour and improve health. Good Luck, it could be the best thing you or your loved one, colleague or friend, have ever done.
Dealing with set backs is something I've had to overcome throughout my whole football career. These set backs have usually been caused by injuries, and boy I have had a few! Four knee surgeries, numerous strains and sprains, chipped bones and bruises! I'm actually writing this with my foot in a bucket of iced water after a kick to my foot!
We all face challenges in our life, some bigger than others, but it is how we deal with and hopefully overcome them that makes us the people we are today. They teach us resilience and an ability to grow mentally stronger, hard work, desire but also a greater appreciation of things when we do overcome them.
Trying to stay positive throughout these tough times can be hard and at times we may need help to get through them, but there are many services and people out there who can help. Mental Health problems come in many different shapes and forms and can affect anyone. Depression, anxiety and stress are some of the common mental health problems and are things most of us can relate to.
10th October 2017 is World Mental Health Day and there will be lots of events and opportunities to find out more and to hopefully break the stigma surrounding Mental Health. This year's theme is workplace wellbeing.
As a team we use many strategies at work to try and build people's resilience, drinking water, eating healthily, talking to someone if we have a problem, go for a walk, do some mindfulness breathing exercises plus many more. There are things out there to help, it is just finding the ones that work for us.
Here's a video with some breathing exercises ...
Have a look at the following links for more information:
- World Mental Health Day - on the Mental Health website
- Coastal West Sussex Mind website
- Corner House website
Last week I was allowed out of the office for good behaviour to attend the Active Sussex Conference which this year focused on 'Collaborate - Share - Learn' and was held at the Amex Stadium. It was an opportunity to network with other professionals, hold some great thought provoking discussions and hear presentations from some key note speakers. Questions were asked such as “Should it be the daily mile or the daily 10 minutes?” “Can we be creative and innovative when trying to get the inactive, active eg, golf with your dog?” They were all really good, but one which grabbed my heart strings and took me back down memory lane was one from Martin Perry - Brighton & Hove Albion Football Clubs Executive Director.
He spoke about the battles, challenges and barriers that they have faced over the past 20 years in order to get where they are today and how they never stopped believing. He showed a video montage going back to their last game at the Goldstone, playing at Gillingham and Withdean Stadium and then finally moving to their brand new stadium! It gave me goosebumps and took me back to my games at the Goldstone and Withdean and training at the Amex stadium when I played for Brighton's women's team. He also mentioned their fantastic Albion in the Community programme which I was also lucky to be involved in when it first started. I was a coach at the Seagulls specials (a football programme for children with additional needs) which it was then known as. Great memories!
Here at Adur and Worthing Councils we have lots of links with Brighton Football Club; the club training ground is in Lancing and has a community pitch which local groups and clubs can hire. We also have some Albion in the Community projects running in the area such as the Friday Night Football project in Lancing for teenagers, and numerous programmes for anyone with additional needs (such as wheelchair football, visually impaired etc). Our Wellbeing Hubs also support staff from Albion in the Community in various talks such as Hormone Information Seminars.
An interesting day filled with thought provoking questions, good food and great memories!
- Disability - on the Albion in the Community website
- Football - on the Albion in the Community website
- Collaborate - Share - Learn - on the Active Sussex website
Photos: Active Sussex Conference - at the Amex Stadium
This week I would like to introduce you to Fleur, Gerti, Ethel and Mabel ... my four chickens! Whilst gardening the other day I started to observe their behaviour, group dynamics and, excuse the pun, the 'pecking order' and it made me realise that it's no different to what we face throughout our life:
Fleur is the confident dominant leader and at times the bully. She likes everyone to know she is in charge.
Gerti gets along with everyone but keeps Fleur on her side to protect her, but is more than happy socialising with everyone.
Ethel wants to desperately be in the top group and at times she feels she has made it, but at times gets a peck to bring her back down to earth and then there is Mabel.
Mabel is bottom of the pecking order, gets picked on by everyone so ends up being on the periphery, on the outside, withdrawn and appears lonely.
I'm sure we can all relate to these roles and remember how it made us feel, especially if you were Mabel. With the children going back to school it's important to make sure that we help the Mabels of this world. There is no place for bullying in any way shape or form and it's something that should be taken seriously.
This year anti bullying week runs on 13th to 17th November 2017 and will promote difference and equality in schools and has the tagline 'All different, all equal' The idea is to help children and young people celebrate what makes them and others unique and help them understand why it's important that every child feels included in school and are able to be themselves without fear of bullying. See: Anti-bullying week website.
It is also important to understand that bullying does not just exist in schools and affect young people. Bullying can happen in the workplace, at clubs and in neighbourhoods. It can take many different forms and may not be apparent from the outside, but it's how it makes that person feel.
When I work in schools, clubs and group settings I always try to look out for any Mabels and make an extra effort to include them. I know how it feels and it's not a nice feeling. So my challenge to you all is to look out for any Mabels and make it your goal to include them, but to also talk with the Fleurs and understand what is making them act in that way. Sometimes the bullied becomes the bully.
For any young people experiencing issues around bullying contact:
- Safer Internet website
- Kooth website
- National Bullying Helpline website
- Bullying on the Your Space website (WSCC)
Photo: (left to right) Fleur, Gerti, Ethel and Mabel - Tammy's chickens
When I first started playing football, many many years ago I was the only girl in my primary school who enjoyed the beautiful game!
This meant I had to play on the boys' team, change in separate changing rooms and get used to comments from parents and children laughing about my team having a girl on it!
This progressed into my coaching career where when going on courses usually meant I was the only female participant.
I am now lucky enough to play for Lewes Football club who has recently made national and international news launching its equality statement. It has become the first club to have the same playing budget for both its men's and women's sections. Both are treated equally by playing on the same pitch, having the same training facilities and the same amount of money!
Being a minority in my earlier playing career was quite an experience for me and taught me many lessons, but luckily times have changed now.
There are many groups and organisations like Adur and Worthing Councils that work hard to put on opportunities for targeted groups that may not normally get the chance. Groups such as women and girls, the elderly, those from different ethnic backgrounds, those from lower income families and those who have disabilities.
The latter is something I'm very passionate about as I provide weekly care for my eight-year-old nephew who has various disabilities. Finding activities for him to do is a constant challenge. He may be in a wheelchair and have delayed development, but he wants to do the same things as most children his age ... be active and experience adrenaline rushes. We go cycling on his adapted bike, kayaking in my inflatable kayak and have even tried skiing and Go-Karting. But all of these things require my muscles and energy, travelling and lots of research and planning! It is a constant battle!
Photo: Tammy with her nephew
Within my day job, my team has a plan of work which highlights specific groups that may need extra help in certain areas with the aim being to reduce inequalities and increase the opportunities available to them.
Everyone should have an equal opportunity to do things regardless of gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability, age and sexual orientation.
Below are some links which demonstrate the range of work we are involved in that try to reduce inequalities:
- Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
- Find a park in Adur and Worthing
- Get Up and Active - activities for young people
- IT Junction
Read more about Lewes FC and their equality mission!
Photo: Tammy playing for Lewes FC
This week I thought I would give you a little insight into what a typical recent day looked like for me!
Being a bit of a planner I arrived bright and early at 7:30am thinking I had the day mapped out in my head, however things can change quite quickly in my role.
I sat down to an email requesting me to attend a Youth Council task meeting later that day with our communications team to present my Happy Hearts programme. So after a bit of re-jiggling I rearranged my diary so I could attend.
However, before that, I had two supervisions to do with two members of my brilliant team, Sarah Thomas who delivers our Weight Management Programme, and James Newton who delivers our Get Active Programme.
It's always great to hear how their projects are going and to try and help them implement any possible changes to improve the project. See:
- The Weight Escape weight loss challenge - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
- Get Active - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website
I then had my own supervision with my manager Janice Hoiles where we discussed my current work, what's going well and what could be better and just about had time to feed my rumbling tummy before rushing off the meet the Youth Council.
What an interesting, intelligent and fabulous group of young people! Initially I did feel like I was sitting in front of a big interview panel but they quickly made me feel at home! (photo: Tammy at the Youth Council meeting)
They were very keen to help me try to promote and find finding to keep my Happy Hearts programme running and offered some great suggestions.
It was then back to the office to answer emails, contact all the Active Grub Club attendees to remind them about the sessions that week and have some blog banter with my colleague Jo Clarke over some healthy ... ish cakes I bought as it was my birthday the next day!
It was then time for a cycle ride home followed by a recovery gym session! What a busy day!!
Photos: The Adur & Worthing Youth Council in session
“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success” - Henry Ford
With all the budget and human resource reductions that seem to be constantly taking place, it has never been more important to work in partnership with other organisations and groups. My Active Grub Club project is one of those projects that has benefited from partnership working and could not take place without it.
When setting up the project, I first needed to find local, cost-effective community venues:
- with a kitchen area for our cookery work
- near a green space for the activity session
- in our target areas
Luckily for me, I've found two fabulous venues in the Lighthouse Community Church, Fishersgate, and The Community House in East Worthing. Both venues are so accommodating and provide us with a clean, safe space in which to run the clubs.
The next challenge was finding a qualified chef who had the right personality to work with groups of enthusiastic young people. Sussex Clubs for Young People passed on details for Georgi, who worked out of the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, and she has been amazing. She's organised, creative and money-conscious but, more importantly, gets along so well with all the young people.
Unfortunately for us, Georgi will be re-locating, so I'm currently trying to find someone equally as brilliant to continue her great work. If anyone is interested, let me know!
I then booked an activity instructor from Activ8 for Kids to deliver the fun and games. Megan always arrives with a big smile on her face and delivers lots of energy-burning games, plus she always stays for lunch!
Hopefully you'll have read the blogs of my brilliant colleague Jo Clarke and about her work involving volunteering. Good volunteers are so valuable to the success of any club and we're lucky to have Mandi. She helps Georgi with the cooking, does the washing up and even facilitates indoor games when needed. Two Adur & Worthing Councils employees have also used their staff volunteering days to support the project.
Lastly, the pressure on budgets has never been greater, and those who know me know that I like to save money where I can. So we're currently working with FareShare Sussex, which redistributes surplus food from supermarkets to local groups. This involves us receiving a delivery of a variety of food which we then use in our Active Grub Clubs, saving money and utilising food that would normally be thrown away.
So, one amazing project and five different examples of partnership working - Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM).
Photo: Active Grub Club chef Georgi with some of the children who attend the club
This week's blog was supposed to be a week in the life of a Families and Wellbeing Officer, but as I started to write, it got me thinking about how important time management is for me, especially during the summer when things get a bit crazy!
Time is one of those things we sometimes wish we could stop, fast forward or rewind, depending on the situation. I think colleagues would agree that finding the time to fit everything in can be a real challenge at the moment.
I lead a very busy life outside work, so planning my working week efficiently is really important to maximise what I can get done. This is especially true at the moment because I am out delivering my Active Grub Club projects for two days of the week. This leaves three working days to get everything else done, such as project admin, training courses, staff supervision, report writing, emails and meetings.
I've mentioned before how my football career has taught me lots of life lessons. One that will stay with me forever is thanks to Karen Hoppa, my Auburn soccer coach from USA in 1999. She had a team rule: 10 minutes early is on time. So, if a meeting is at 10am, arrive at 9:50am to be on time, relaxed and prepared. If you arrived at 10am, you were classed as late. This often resulted in some extra fitness work for the team, which of course we all loved (not)!
This is something I've applied to everyday life, and I pride myself on my time-keeping. It’s also something I try to instil in the people I supervise and work with, just without the fitness punishment, though maybe I'll introduce this at a later date!
In my last blog, I mentioned attending a training course called Effective Case Management and this provided me with some great tools to help me with my planning and time management when working with families and clients.
These tools will ensure that the contact I have with participants and clients is maximised and valuable for both of us, which is a win-win. The National Centre for Behaviour Change says:
“To end client interventions properly, we must begin properly.”
We can’t create more time, so using it effectively and efficiently is a must, especially in a world where the workload continues to increase.
See also: Active Grub Club
Change is defined as 'make or become different' and that's definitely a word I've become used to here at Adur & Worthing Councils. Whether it's changing job roles and titles, changing offices, changing programmes to meet ever changing criteria, or changing the way in which I work, change is guaranteed, so finding ways to try to embrace it is important.
One of the ways to do that and stay current in what I'm delivering is through training. Over the years I've attended many training courses, some good, some bad and some indifferent. But recently I've been lucky enough to attend some fantastic training from Zest Consultancy (soon to be National Centre for Behaviour Change) on topics such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Effective Case Management.
These courses have changed (there's that word again!) the way in which I supervise staff, talk to clients and deliver workshops - and hopefully for the better.
Watching experts such as Kendelle, from Zest, talking about something they are so passionate about makes me want to be better at what I do. Being an effective deliverer really is an art form - the ability to engage and motivate an audience is a powerful tool and one I'm always trying to master.
I'm constantly trying to better myself so that the projects I deliver are better. I would love people to leave my programmes and workshops feeling the same way as I have after my training - motivated, enthused and eager to put into practice what they've learnt. I can say this is definitely true of the children I worked with last year on the Happy Hearts programmes in Worthing because we have the feedback and evaluation to prove it.
Evaluation has shown that 85.7 per cent of parents noticed a positive change in their child's attitude or behaviour towards healthy living, and 100 per cent of the children have gone home and actively spoken about what they have learnt, so I must be doing something right!
The key is to build on that enthusiasm, practice lots and to keep reinforcing the messages so that it becomes second nature. Children are like sponges - let them absorb lots and lots of positive messages so that they live a healthy, confident and positive life. And, remember, we are never too old to learn.
Photo: Tammy and others at the training session
This time of year is really busy for me for many reasons. Firstly, pre-season has started, so at various times of the week I'll be found limping around the office with delayed onset muscle soreness! Secondly, I'm planning and delivering my summer Active Grub Club sessions, which I wrote about last week. Lastly, I'm trying to prepare my Happy Hearts programme schedule for when the schools go back (not long now parents, just five weeks to go, you can do it!)
The Happy Hearts programme is hopefully one many of you will be aware of because it's been delivered in Adur and Worthing schools over the last five years. It was originally funded through the British Heart Foundation in 2013. This programme is the piece of work I'm most proud of because it's had such a positive impact on the schools, teachers, families and children who have taken part in it.
Happy Hearts is a six-week programme delivered during school time that teaches children how to keep their hearts happy and healthy. They take part in a variety of interactive and informative lessons over the six weeks and if they've been super special, Artie Beat will present them with their graduation certificates.
Children are never too young to start learning about how to be healthy. By teaching heart health messages in Reception and Year 1 using simple memorable language, the aim is to influence them before unhealthy habits creep in. This hopefully means that, in the long term, we'll see less childhood and adult obesity and fewer obesity-related illnesses.
Since it started, we've delivered the Happy Hearts programme to more than 5,000 children across Adur and Worthing, so that's more than 5,000 children who now have a greater understanding of why eating healthily and exercising is so good for them, and that has to be a good thing.
Quote from the Happy Hearts programme:
“As a parent and teacher, I feel that the programme made on real impact on my daughter in a positive way, particularly with her trying new foods. The fact that she could recall those lessons nearly 2.5 years on shows how good the programme is, and catching children young is vital.”
Photo: Work from Happy Hearts programme
- Get Up & Active - Hearty Lives
- British Heart Foundation website
- Follow British Heart Foundation on Twitter
This week has largely been spent getting my summer Active Grub Clubs organised. These clubs combine healthy eating with physical activity (not at the same time though, our health and safety officer wouldn't like it!) and are run in some of our target areas.
However, unlike other grub clubs where the meals are given to the young people, at my club the young people prepare and make the meals themselves. We teach them to peel, chop, weigh, mix and grate a variety of healthy meals using lots of colourful, fresh ingredients, although there may be one or two less healthy desserts throughout the year, especially at Easter and Christmas!
Then, after they've done an hour of fun and games, the young people sit together to eat and socialise - after we've cleaned up the mess!
As well as the practical skills of cooking and exercise, we also teach them to work as part of a team, which is one of the transferable skills I'm passionate about. I'm sure you've heard the saying: “There is no I in TEAM?” Well, this is very true in all aspects of my life and something that's very important for young people to learn.
I work as part of a team every day in my job. Outside work, with my football hat on, I couldn't do what I do without my team. The young people learn that they can't always do the job they wanted or make their favourite foods every week, but that's part and parcel of being in a team.
The other key area of my Active Grub Club is trying new foods. All we ask of the young people is that they try the foods they are making and if they don't like them, so be it. We often find that after trying the food, they realise it's nicer than they initially thought.
Touching, smelling, seeing and tasting are so important when introducing a new food to a child, even if it looks scary and gross. We may have to try a new food 15 to 20 times before we like it because our taste buds change.
So if you're struggling to get a young person to try new foods, explore that food using all their senses.
Quote from a parent:
“The Grub Club is amazing! Helping kids learn how to eat and live healthier! It's easy these days to eat the wrong things, so it's important to show kids in a fun way that they can eat the right things and exercise and enjoy it.”
See also: Active Grub Club
Photo: Two schoolgirls enjoying the Active Grub Club
After the initial excitement and pride at being asked to write a blog had worn off, next followed anxiety, uncertainty, but most of all fear - fear of failing, fear of the dreaded 'what if'.
These feelings quickly filled my head with lots of negative thoughts but eventually I was then able to relate them to what I'm passionate about, namely sport, physical activity and being healthy.
Tammy the footballer is what I'm known as. I've had this title since I was about 12 and I think I'll have it until my dying day!
Fear is an emotion that I've learnt to embrace in football situations. It's spurred me on and made me the person and footballer I am today.
However, applying the ability to embrace fear and anxieties in work or unfamiliar situations is a different kettle of fish and I'm sure most people can relate to this.
In my role here at the Councils, the word fear is one I hear a lot when I talk to adults about trying to eat healthily or to start doing physical activity. There's fear of getting it wrong or not being able to do it, fear of not knowing anyone, or fear of being judged. Children, on the other hand, just dive right in and give it a go.
So if you are thinking of giving exercise a go or want to be healthier, embrace those fears and give it a go like we did when we were children.
We have some fantastic people and programmes in my team at the Councils and they can help you make those first scary steps really positive ones.
You can get an MOT from our fabulous wellbeing advisers, join the brilliant Weight Escape programme, Get Active with one of our fun beginners' exercise programmes and if you've been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, don't worry, we have a programme here to help. Don't be scared - my team is amazing!
Contact our wellbeing hubs for more information:
- Wellbeing Hubs information line - 01903 221450
- Follow us on Twitter @HealthyAW
- Get Active - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Hub website
- Pre-Diabetes - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Hub website
- Weight Escape - on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Hub website
As former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Photo: Tammy Waine having an health MOT with Sarah Vine, one of our amazing Wellbeing Advisers
Hi, I'm Tammy Waine and welcome to my first blog about the work I do for Adur & Worthing Councils.
I'm a Families and Wellbeing Officer and have worked in this role for the past 12 years. Before that I worked part time for Lewes District Council as a sports development officer and for Brighton Football Club as a football coach.
So what is a Families and Wellbeing Officer? Well, in a nutshell, my role allows me to work with children, young people and families to try to provide them with the education to look after their bodies and ultimately be more healthy.
I link up with organisations, groups, schools, leisure centres and families to create and deliver new and exciting programmes that teach people the best ways to stay fit and healthy through physical activity and good nutrition.
Hopefully, you may have heard of some of these programmes, such as:
- Happy Hearts, fun and interactive sessions for children showing how healthy eating and exercise benefit the heart - see Hearty Lives
- Active Grub Club, physical activities for children and learning how to cook healthy food - see Active Grub Club
Over the next few weeks I'll explain these in more detail because they are projects I'm extremely proud of.
My other passion is football - both playing and coaching (I'm a Liverpool supporter, but please don't hold that against me!), so I'll also try to link my work to my experiences in football and sport.
I'm lucky to work with great people every day - both my colleagues and people living across Adur and Worthing. I also have a fabulous job and that's the main reason I've worked at the Councils for so long - that and the fact that Liverpool Football Club and Jurgen Klopp haven't asked me to be a part of their coaching team yet!
Photo: Tammy Waine being presented with her British Heart Foundation 'Heart Hero' award
Contact Public Relations & Communications
If you have any enquires please contact:
- 07909 688 132 - Mike Gilson
- 07342 066 216 - Tim Ridgway
- 07795 504 983 - Talia French
Public Relations & Communications,
Adur & Worthing Councils,
Worthing Town Hall,