February 2020


WOODEN SPOON - CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF RUGBY.
Wooden Spoon fund life-changing projects across the UK and Ireland supporting children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage. Since our founding in 1983, we have distributed in excess of £26 million to more than 700 life-changing projects. Our rugby heritage gives us our core values of passion, integrity, teamwork and fun, and working closely with the wider rugby community, our values drive the ethos and spirit in everything we do.

In Surrey our dedicated volunteers have committed more than £800,000 to in excess of 40 projects supporting children with disabilities or facing disadvantage.

Our ability to award grants to deserving community initiatives is made possible by an annual fundraising calendar that includes a Sportsman’s Dinner for 200 guests during the Six Nations Tournament, a well-attended summer golf day and the ever-popular ‘sell-out’ event, the Rugby Clubs’ Curry Lunch held in November.

Getting involved is easy: 

  • Fundraise with your local Wooden Spoon volunteer group
  • Fundraise at work, school or with your local rugby club
  • Take part in an event or sporting challenge
  • Give a regular gift
  • Volunteer regularly, or help us on a specific project

Get in touch today to find out how you can help us change the lives of children and young people living in your area that need our help.  Local Group Website: woodenspoon.org.uk/region/surrey/. Follow us on Twitter: @surreyspoonNational Office Telephone: 01252 773720, Email: charity@woodenspoon.org.uk. Text: 07584 253524.

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NHS PARKING FEES CHANGES FROM APRIL 2020
First trailed in the Conservative manifesto, the policy to abolish NHS parking fees for disabled patients, visitors and staff working overnight from April 2020, was outlined by the health secretary, Matt Hancock in December 2019.

All hospital trusts in England will be expected to provide free parking for blue badge holders, patients who most regularly attend appointments for long-term conditions, the parents of sick children staying in hospital overnight and staff who are working night shifts.

A survey in December 2019 highlighted that one in three hospitals in England had put up the cost of parking with hospitals making more than £254 million from parking charges in 2018-19 – up 10 per cent on the previous year.

A Downing Street spokesman said extra money would be made available to offset the funds lost by hospital trusts as a result of the measures but was unable to put a figure on the total cost.

During the general election, Jeremy Corbyn had vowed to provide free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors by eradicating fees altogether.

Dr Moira Fraser-Pearce, a director at Macmillan Cancer Support, welcomed the announcement but called for other Tory promises to be implemented to see a “sorely needed” boost to the size of the NHS workforce.  “Cancer can be a huge burden on your finances and in England hospital car parking charges – especially for those undergoing regular treatment – can add significantly to this strain,” she added. This long-awaited announcement will be a game-changer for many, allowing them to attend appointments and focus on their health without the extra worry about their finances.”

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GIVE YOUR VIEWS ON POSSIBLE CHANGES TO NHS WALK-IN SERVICES IN NORTH WEST SURREY
NHS North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group, alongside our partner organisations that make up North West Surrey Integrated Care Partnership, have been reviewing out of hospital services as part of The Big Picture programme. This looks at how to address the pressure on healthcare services from a growing and aging population, the changing needs of people with long term conditions like diabetes and heart disease and the ever-increasing challenge of recruiting the right healthcare staff.

Recent improvements in out of hospital care in North West Surrey include: 

  • better support for people with mental health needs - extended appointments with mental health experts to connect them to support from a wide range of services including therapies, physical health checks, social care and third sector organisations
  • easier access to GP services with additional appointments in the evenings and at weekends, including video consultations via the LIVI app
  •  a redesigned NHS 111 service offering faster support from a wider range of healthcare professionals and direct appointments

Building on engagement with the local community last year, healthcare leaders now want to ask people for other ideas on how to reshape community-based services to offer the most appropriate care for their needs now and in the future.

In addition, a new set of national standards has been introduced for Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs - the new name for all walk-in centre type facilities). These centres will all offer the same level of service so patients know where to go for urgent care wherever they are in the country.  There are significant differences between existing walk-in facilities and the new specification and decisions need to be made on the best way to bridge this gap.

Following a period of public engagement last year, a shortlist of seven possible options has been developed working with local clinicians. It includes different configurations for UTCs across Woking, Weybridge and Ashford as well as how best to provide timely, high quality urgent care at St Peter’s hospital, working with our established Emergency Department

Shortlist of options

Number

St Peter’s

Weybridge

Ashford

Woking

1.

UTC

UTC

UTC

UTC

2.

UTC

No

UTC

UTC

3.

UTC

UTC

No

UTC

4.

UTC

UTC

UTC

No

5.

UTC

No

UTC

No

6.

UTC

No

No

UTC

7.

UTC

No

No

No

At this stage no decisions on these options have been made.

Public feedback will be used to shape the clinical model for urgent care services and to reach a preferred option or options. If that leads to a substantial change to any services that are currently provided, a full public consultation would take place before any final decisions are made.

This shortlist has been reached following a detailed process involving clinicians, health and social care organisations, voluntary and community sector organisations and members of the public.

Community workshops 2020
We are inviting local people to participate in a range of activities and discussions. Please register in advance so we know how many people to expect.

Wednesday 5 February
10am – 12pm  Hythe Centre, 36 Thorpe Road, Staines, TW18 3HD

The NHS is seeking views from all members of the community including minority groups whose voices are often not heard.

If you cannot attend an event but want to share your views – get in touch using the details above. If you would like us to attend a local meeting of an individual group or association, please also contact us using the details above. Telephone 01372 232450.  
Email: nwsccg.bigpictureprogramme@nhs.net

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SIMPLE ENERGY ADVICE - HELP WITH HEATING YOUR HOME
You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

Use the government’s Simple Energy Advice website www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/ for information on how to reduce your bills and make your home more energy efficient or telephone their helpline 0800 444 202.

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SIGN UP FOR NHS ENGLAND – LEARNING DISABILITY AND AUTISM FORUM TWEETS
NHS England has a Twitter account @NHSAbility, where you can sign up for and receive informative, interesting and timely tweets including:

  • Easy read guidance on keeping an eye on sugar
  • Easy read guidance on looking after your teeth
  • How to involve people with a learning disability

You can also find their latest newsletter on the NHS Easy Read newsletters section of their website. www.england.nhs.uk/learning-disabilities/about/get-involved/newsletters/

CORNERHOUSE CLOSURE ANNOUNCED BUT SERVICES CONTINUE
CornerHouse, which offered emotional and wellbeing support in Woking, Runnymede and Spelthorne, has closed. However, their services will continue but are now being managed by their partner charity, Woking Mind.

All CornerHouse staff will join Woking Mind wokingmind.org.uk/news/category/monthly-activities/ to ensure none of the programmes are disrupted which will continue at the same time and place by the same person.

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READING WELL SCHEMES FROM SURREY LIBRARIES
Surrey Libraries, in conjunction with the Reading Agency, offer the following Reading Well schemes:

  • Reading Well for Mental Health
  • Books on Prescription: Dementia
  • Shelf Help
  • Reading Well for Long Term Conditions

The reading lists help people to understand and manage their health and wellbeing using self-help reading.

Find more information on Surrey Libraries website, www.surreycc.gov.uk/libraries/health-and-well-being-how-libraries-can-help/reading-well as well as a list of books for each scheme.

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HELP FOR THOSE IN NEED AND CRISIS SUPPORT FROM THE DIOCESE OF GUILDFORD  
The Diocese of Guildford has compiled a leaflet of useful contacts for helping those in need including contacts for debt advice, counselling, homelessness contacts, foodbank and emergency contact information. www.cofeguildford.org.uk/docs/default-source/default-document-library/crisis-support-foodbanks-homelessnessa10a5b4c90046456ad78ff0000437928.pdf?sfvrsn=0

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ACTIVE PROSPECTS AGREE INVESTMENT TO OFFER HOMES TO 18 PEOPLE WITH COMPLEX NEEDS
Active Prospects has agreed investment to offer homes to people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health needs, acquired brain injury and more complex needs. Find out more about the investment on Active Prospects website. https://activeprospects.org.uk/news/active-prospects-agree-substantial-investment-offer-homes-people-learning-disabilities/

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NEW SUPPORT/SOCIAL GROUP FOR AUTISTIC ADULTS IN NORTH CAMP  
The National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Surrey professional service has started a new group for adults with autism on the Surrey/Hampshire border, meeting in North Camp once a month on a Monday evening.

The group is for adults of all ages who wish to discuss issues relating to autism, share experiences and meet other adults with similar experiences. To be eligible to attend the group, you need to live within Surrey or the North East Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group area (which includes Aldershot, Fleet, Farnborough and Farnham).

The group is not a drop-in, so you need to have made contact with the NAS before attending, although you do not need to be referred to the group by someone else. For more information, email: apsire.groups@nas.org.uk

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SHOUT – 24/7 CRISIS TEXT LINE INFORMATION
The national 24/7 crisis text line Shout is now available, text 85258. It is a safe space for anyone experiencing an emotional crisis where you are listened to by a trained Crisis Volunteer.  The 24/7 text service offers:

Support to take you from a hot moment to a calmer place
A service based on a tried and tested model of crisis support
An anonymous, free conversation that will not show on your phone bill
Professional support to create a simple plan of action to manage your crisis

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‘STROKE OF GENIUS’ PROJECT FOR STROKE AND BRAIN INJURY SURVIVORS
‘Stroke of Genius’ project www.thetherapygarden.org/get-involved/stroke-genius/ at The Therapy Garden in Normandy, Guildford offers social and therapeutic horticulture to stroke and brain injury survivors and their Carers and provides them with gentle exercise and physical activity whilst they learn about gardening.

The project offers an opportunity to socialise and connect with new people, whilst being inclusive of Carers.
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THRIVE – USING GARDENING TO CHANGE LIVES
Thrive use an approach called social and therapeutic horticulture www.thrive.org.uk/how-we-help/what-we-do/social-therapeutic-horticulture (STH), where our team of trained horticultural therapists work with plants and people to improve an individual’s physical and psychological health, communication and thinking skills.

For more information contact Thrive London. c/o Parks Office, Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, London. SW11 4NJ. Email: Battersea@thrive.org.uk  Telephone: 020 7720 2212.

YOU DON’T LOOK SICK: I’VE REALISED THAT LIVING WITH A DISABILITY IS NOT EMBARRASSING’ – Edited from metro.co.uk  
There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK – and many of them have an invisible illness. Metro.co.uk publishes weekly stories about living with an invisible illness or hidden disability.

Ellie Matthews, 21, from Lingfield, Surrey, has fibromyalgia – a pain syndrome that causes fatigue, headaches, tingling, stiffness, brain fog, affects temperature control and digestion. She was diagnosed with the condition in late 2018 after years of ongoing problems. She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It took a while for the doctors to recognise the possible link between my problems. I then got referred to a rheumatologist who put me through an assessment of my pain and pressure points across my whole body and discussed the other symptoms I was experiencing.

It took a while for me to process what fibromyalgia is and what my next steps were. I couldn’t quite believe that I finally had this actual reason for my troubles. I became worried that people wouldn’t believe me or would put labels on me. ‘I eventually came to the realisation that my disability was in no way embarrassing or unimportant. A diagnosis has opened up so many doors for me for my current life and future.’

After her diagnosis, Ellie had to give up her job as a support worker for disabled students but she is now working in an admin role at a doctor’s surgery. Ellie has some good days where she goes to work but still needs to have regular breaks. On bad days, however, Ellie is unable to get out of bed. ‘The pain is so bad I can barely move,’ she says. ‘This tends to trigger other symptoms such as migraines which then means I am being physically sick every few hours in between sleeping in a dark room. My temperature fluctuates between hot sweats and very cold hands, legs and feet that trigger cramps and extra joint pain. ‘I take lots of vitamins a day as well as my prescribed medication.

‘My parents and brothers support me massively at home, socially and professionally. ‘I found this hard at first letting people help me. ‘But now, I couldn’t get through without their help. My mum is very good at seeing my true feelings and recognising when I am not okay and reassuring me that I can stop and take a moment.

‘If people are meeting me for the first time they often say I look ‘healthy’ or ‘too young’ for my condition. ‘It used to upset me a lot because I was so frustrated that people didn’t understand and that they had already formed this opinion of me in their head, but nowadays I tend to shrug it off and sometimes counteract with ‘fibromyalgia doesn’t have a look’ or challenge them asking what they think I should look like, after all it is a varying condition.’

She has also struggled with comments from strangers when using a disabled bathroom. ‘I think there needs to be a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of invisible illnesses ‘We are a country that pride ourselves on being polite but we overlook so many people who may need that extra bit of help.
metro.co.uk/2019/12/22/dont-look-sick-ive-realised-living-disability-not-embarrassing-11935135/   ­

SHOPPERS INVITED TO HELP WITH SCAN’s BLUE BADGE PARKING BAY ABUSE SURVEY  
SCAN’s new project aims to assess the level of the abuse of Blue Badge parking spaces at local supermarkets that provide ‘off road’ parking for their customers.

We are aware of national concerns about the abuse of these spaces and we need to find out what the situation is at local stores so that we can take action. We don’t need you to make additional visits or visit other stores. The survey period will be a minimum of one week and you will only need to visit your usual store and answer a few questions for us.

Questions will include; 

  • How many Blue Badge spaces have been provided?
  • How many vehicles in the Blue Badge spaces are NOT displaying a badge?
  • Is there signage indicating that enforcement of the spaces takes place?

Please contact us if you have time to help with this survey and let us know the name and location of the Supermarket that you are most likely visit. 

Visit the forum on our web site to see the full list of questions and to add your responses at www.spelthorneaccess.org/forum/scan-blue-badge-parking-bay-abuse-survey.  Email info@spelthorneaccess.org.uk or text 07853