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February 2021 In this issue Averting a housing crisis

Finding a new purpose in life

Helping people find employment

A WOMAN’S BEST FRIEND Striving to keep the homeless and their pets together

Produced by Adur & Worthing Councils to promote the work underway to improve health and wellbeing across our communities


INTRODUCTION

By Dr Catherine Howe Director for Communities Welcome to the latest issue of ThriveAW magazine where you’ll find stories about how the Councils and our partner organisations are working to support communities across Adur and Worthing to flourish and prosper. I joined Adur & Worthing Councils as Director for Communities last summer, at a time of ever-changing circumstances due to the COVID pandemic. Despite the challenges, I’ve been impressed with how Councils’ teams, local organisations and mutual aid groups have continued to serve the local community with an incredible energy and passion. Through our Thrive agenda, we seek to enable our communities to be

resilient, creative and well connected. We want to help communities be adaptive to changing circumstances and able to support each other something that we’ve seen happen to a huge extent through the pandemic. We’ve seen how people’s lives have been turned upside down; many have been unable to work and have faced financial hardship, and the numbers of people who found themselves homeless in Adur and Worthing rose sharply during the first national lockdown in 2020. But there have been successes, for example with the help of government funding and support from our partner organisations we were able to offer

accommodation to everyone.We also know of hundreds of families who have been supported via the community response and mutual aid groups.We’re not yet out of the woods with the fallout from the pandemic; so our focus for 2021 is on prevention. Our lead story on pages 6-9 is about our work to help those who are vulnerable to being made homeless. I hope you enjoy this issue, which includes lots of great stories about inspiring individuals (read about Mark and how he has turned his life around on pages 14-15) and the many local organisations that are doing amazing work to support our communities.

CONTENTS

12 JOB BOOST FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

20 DISHING UP FESTIVE DELIGHTS

13 RUNNING FOR GOOD

21 BEATING THE BOOZE

14 TURNING THE TIDE: HOW MARK HAS FOUND A NEW PURPOSE IN LIFE

22 TAKE A BREAK: NEW LUNCH & LEARN HELPS TACKLE STRESS

16 HEADS UP TO YOUTH SAFETY

23 ONLINE CLASSES FOR HEALTHY LIVING

3 WELCOME 4 AVERTING A HOUSING CRISIS: FINDING HOMES FOR EVERYONE 10 THE ONE-STOP WAY TO GET BACK TO WORK 11 DINNER FOR TWO: OVERCOMING LONELINESS

17 GETTING BACK ON YOUR FEET 18 WORKING TO END DIGITAL POVERTY

24 DIRECTORY: GETTING SUPPORT IN ADUR & WORTHING

19 GAME ON FOR PING PONG!

Front cover Sam Bashall and her dog, Blakey. Read their story on page 9. Produced by Adur & Worthing Councils to promote the work underway to improve health and wellbeing across our communities. 2  |  ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021


WELCOME A welcome from Cllr Kevin Boram Adur’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing

A welcome from Cllr Dr Heather Mercer Worthing’s Executive Member for Customer Services

“This time last year, before the COVID pandemic reached UK shores, none of us could have imagined how our lives would change. And here we are, as we begin a new year, in the grip of yet another national lockdown. Thankfully we are much better prepared this time.With established support networks in place we’ve been able to adapt our services to respond to the needs of our communities over the coming months. It’s more important than ever that we take care of ourselves right now. As the stories in this magazine highlight, there’s a range of wellbeing

support services in Adur and Worthing to help you to look after your health during these challenging times. After the festive period, many of us think about making lifestyle changes.This month, we’ve launched an Alcohol Wellbeing Service, so if you would like to make changes to your drinking behaviour, please get in touch - you can find out more about this service on page 21, and then turn to page 23 to learn about the other wellbeing services available to you in Adur and Worthing to help you to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

“As the stories in this issue of ThriveAW show, homelessness is not just a housing problem.There are many reasons why a person may find themselves living on the streets and in need of help. As you will read on pages 7-8, it can be a series of events, including job loss, the break-up of a relationship or domestic abuse. In Sam’s case (pictured on our cover with her dog Blakey), she has struggled to find accommodation because she has a dog.Turn to page 9 to read about what we’re doing - in

partnership with local organisations such as Turning Tides - to help people like Sam to find a permanent home. You can also read about our work to improve the safety of young people in Adur and Worthing.The use of social media by young people has been linked to greater exposure to the risk of harm from violence, sexual abuse and exploition.Turn to page 16 to learn about a new initiative we’re launching to help parents and peers to spot the signs and know what to do if a young person is at risk.”

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AVERTING A HOUSING CRISIS

FINDING HOMES FOR EVERYONE

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In Adur and Worthing: • More than 160 people presented as homeless - and were found accommodation - during the first lockdown in 2020 • Many had been living in insecure housing, either lodging or sofa surfing • This number is expected to rise in 2021 as the fall-out from the COVID pandemic becomes clearer • All rough sleepers have been offered accommodation over the winter months

By Justine Williams ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021  | 5


Averting a housing crisis: finding homes for everyone

Efforts to support local people at risk of homelessness have been ramped up across Adur and Worthing to avert a potential housing crisis resulting from the COVID pandemic

My life has been turned around. I no longer need to spend my time worrying about where to park, will I be left alone (not moved on or safe) or if near toilets. I have made some friends. I am seeing my family… former homeless person

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Adur & Worthing Councils are preparing for an increase in the numbers of people being made homeless in 2021 when the financial support packages that were put in place by the Government during the pandemic come to an end. In recent years, Adur and Worthing Councils have seen rising demand for assistance from families and individuals who are threatened with or become homeless. However, during the first national lockdown in 2020, the number of people presenting as homeless increased significantly.This was mainly among those who were living in insecure accommodation, such as lodgers or temporarily sleeping on someone’s sofa. It is anticipated that figures could be even higher as the fallout from the pandemic becomes clearer. With funding from the Government as part of its programme of support to tackle homelessness, the Councils’ Housing Outreach Team is working closely with Children’s Services, Job Centre Plus and the courts to identify tenants at risk of being made homeless to be able to step in and take action. They have also put in place a number of programmes to support local residents at risk of redundancy or who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Head of Housing for Adur & Worthing Councils, Akin Akinyebo, explains: “The furlough scheme, mortgage holidays and protection from eviction for social and private tenants has provided a much-needed safety net this year. However, we don’t know what’s round the corner and how

many people will be left vulnerable when the support ends. “By identifying early those people at risk of homelessness we can work with them - and landlords where possible - to maintain their tenancies or find alternative accommodation through Opening Doors.We will also be writing to local landlords to ask them to refer to us tenants who are in trouble rather than simply evicting them.” In the last year, the number of landlords who joined Opening Doors, the free lettings agency run by Adur & Worthing Councils, has more than doubled.The scheme offers landlords a comprehensive letting service including financial security, legal assistance and landlord support.

By identifying early those people at risk of homelessness we can work with them Akin Akinyebo


Q&A

Accommodation has been secured for rough sleepers in Adur and Worthing over the winter months, thanks to funding from the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme and the support of local organisations and volunteers

We spoke to Amanda Eremie, Housing Needs Manager for Adur & Worthing Councils about the work being carried out locally to support rough sleepers:

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What is the Next Steps Accomodation Programme? The Next Steps Accommodation Programme is a government initiative to help local authorities find longerterm housing for the homeless. It also includes funding to accommodate rough sleepers over winter months.

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How has the COVID pandemic impacted homelessness in Adur and Worthing? The number of single homeless people increased significantly during the national lockdown in 2020, with more than 160 presenting as

Q&A WITH AMANDA EREMIE homeless.We don’t yet know the full extent of the COVID pandemic and its impact on homelessness, but we’re putting in various measures to support those who need it. During the national lockdown, some rough sleepers and many newly homeless were housed at a large hotel in Worthing. Having everyone under one roof meant that the residents were able to access a range of support - including regular health checks and the chance to engage with mental health and addiction services. The good news is that as a result of the intense support, it has enabled some people to move forward in their lives and stay off the streets. The pandemic has also had a knock on effect on the services we provide to rough sleepers. For example, Turning Tides Day Centre - a local charity providing homeless services has had to introduce an appointment system for people to get food, take a shower or find support, rather than being a drop-in centre for people to get respite from the street and the harsh weather conditions.

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Why could someone find themselves rough sleeping in Adur and Worthing? There are many reasons why someone could find themselves rough sleeping. It is often a chain of events including loss of a job, debt, a relationship breakdown or domestic abuse. Or a traumatic event or many traumatic events, mental health issues or a bereavement, or no family to support you when life hits a bump in the road. In some cases, people find themselves homeless because of problems with existing accommodation - such as a fire in the home, repairs not being done by a landlord making it unsafe to remain, or simply being unable

to find affordable housing or not having a guarantor to secure rented accommodation.

Carl Sutherland, Street Outreach Worker at the Councils, talking with a homeless man

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Tell us more about how you work with Turning Tides and other local organisations and volunteers Our Rough Sleepers Team is a genuine ‘team effort’, It comprises several organisations, including Turning Tides, the NHS, Adult Social Care, the Probation Service, Police, and a variety of third sector organisations. We all work together to prevent homelessness and support those that are rough sleeping. Over the cold winter months, a network of local churches and faith groups run the Winter Night Shelter and provide food, accommodation and support. Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, it was unable to take place this year. However, many volunteers have continued to provide food and support to rough sleepers in other ways. Continued on page 8 ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021  |  7


Averting a housing crisis: finding homes for everyone

A place to call home

Carl Sutherland (right) and Georgina Beauman (centre) talking with a rough sleeper in Worthing town centre

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In the absence of the Winter Night Shelter, what provisions are in place to support rough sleepers? All rough sleepers have been offered accommodation and our services for rough sleepers are continuing. As well as Turning Tides’ Day Centre, the Councils have created a ‘pop up’ drop in centre which is open six days a week at St Marys of the Angels church in Worthing town centre.This is a place where rough sleepers can go for a break from the streets and a meal; they can also get help and advice with housing and benefits support, and a health check. The Soup Kitchen cooks hot meals every evening at St Clare’s drop in centre for takeaways, working with volunteers to deliver food to people living in temporary accommodation. Storm Ministries and Emmanuel Church in Worthing have also been cooking and delivering food. Everyone has been helping in the best way they can with the resources they have. One volunteer has even raised over £1000 towards Greggs vouchers for the homeless. With funding from the Next Steps Accomodation Programme we’ve also recruited some additional members of staff to support efforts to move rough sleepers into long-term accommodation.

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Beyond the winter months, what work is in place to prevent people returning to the streets? A big part of our work is about preventing people from being made homeless in the first place.This includes working closely with the Children and Families Early Help Team and JobCentre Plus, where training has been provided on how to spot the triggers that could lead to homelessness. To prepare for the longer-term financial fall-out from the COVID pandemic we will be reaching out to landlords and tenants to signpost them towards support and advice if they are struggling to maintain their home. Our Rough Sleepers Team also works closely with hospitals and prisons to find accomodation for people in advance of them being discharged from hospital or released from prison.

Jordan and Ellie Rome have rented private properties for over a decade. For them, where they live is more than a roof over their head; it is a place to call home. The couple, who have three children, moved into their property in Southwick, which they found through Opening Doors, a free residential letting service run by Adur & Worthing Councils. Since moving in, with the blessing of the landlord, they have repainted and refurbished the downstairs of the home.The garden has also been cleared and a new fence and gate installed. Jordan, who works for a trades retailer, said: “With three young children it’s really important for us that we have somewhere that allows us to grow roots.This home allows us to provide stability and, being in the trades, I don’t mind doing some work to improve the place too!”

You can find out more about Opening Doors at www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/openingdoors

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What should someone do if they are concerned about a rough sleeper? Report it via the Streetlink website www.streetlink.org.uk or app, which can be downloaded from the Apple or Google stores. It is very quick and easy to register and use, and is monitored daily by the Councils’ outreach team.

160 words


FORCED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A HOME AND HER DOG Sam and her dog Blakey live in one of Worthing’s homeless hostels. They were forced to leave their home, spending eight months living in a tent, because their landlord did not allow pets Four years since she was evicted, 49-year-old Sam, who used to sleep rough after fleeing an abusive relationship and doesn’t have any family apart from her dog, remains hopeful that she and Blakey will find a place to call home in 2021. At present most tenancy agreements include a standard ‘no pet’ clause which makes it difficult for dog owners to find somewhere to live and are often forced to choose between their pet and their home. As Sam explains, this was never an option for her with Blakey, who she adopted as a puppy shortly after the death of her partner. “I was told I could get rid of Blakey or find him a foster carer but that was never going to happen. Our only choice was to live in a tent until we moved into the hostel.We have a very special bond and he’s just as attached to me as I am to him.”

“I invite landlords to come and meet him, to see how well-behaved he is. Like most dog owners, I look after Blakey well and always clear up after him.” The pair recently took part in a dog training session, which was organised by Adur & Worthing Councils and Turning Tides, and run by local dog trainer Sue Davies of Dog Tales.The aim of the course was to increase the chances of finding accommodation by demonstrating to landlords that they are responsible owners with well-trained pets. “Although Blakey’s very well behaved, it was good to get help from a professional. He enjoyed meeting the other dogs, not to mention the sausages!” says Sam. A new Bill currently being heard in Parliament seeks to end the ‘no pet’ clause and make it easier for private and social renters to have pets.

Above: Sam with her dog Blakey Below: Sam and Blakey took part in a dog training session, which was organised by Adur & Worthing Councils and Turning Tides

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The one-stop way to get back to work A new resource to support residents of Adur and Worthing who are at risk of unemployment due to the COVID pandemic has been launched.

Adur & Worthing Councils have joined forces with several partner organisations from the recruitment, training and further education sectors to create ‘Help to Work’ - a onestop-shop for local people to get employment advice, access a range of resources to support job hunting, such as tips on CV writing and preparing for job interviews, along with signposting to local training and apprenticeship opportunities. ‘Help to Work’ is the latest initiative developed by Adur & Worthing Councils to support people - and businesses - who have been impacted 10  |  ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021

by COVID. As with other parts of the UK, unemployment figures have risen in Adur and Worthing as a result of the pandemic. The initiative is part of a wider package of business and employment support provided by Adur & Worthing Councils to ensure the local economy is supported as much as possible to see it through this challenging period. Other support includes providing training to local businesses that are going through the redundancy process and providing work placements for young people under the Government’s Kickstart Scheme. Andy Willems, Head of Place and Economy for Adur & Worthing Councils, says: “Many people’s livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID pandemic and may need help with finding alternative employment or preparing for job interviews. By working in partnership with local organisations, we’ve developed a great

resource to support local people to find employment or pursue other opportunities such a re-training or starting their own business.” Visit the ‘Help to Work’ Hub at www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/help-towork

We’ve developed a great resource to support local people to find employment


DINNER FOR TWO: OVERCOMING LONELINESS A food delivery and befriending scheme to combat the isolation older people are experiencing during the COVID pandemic has been piloted in Adur and Worthing The Time To Talk Befriending charity, which aims to overcome loneliness through friendship, partnered with Worthing-based group We Are Food Pioneers, to pilot ‘Cook & Share’. Volunteers were recruited and matched with older people who benefitted from a home cooked meal delivery, a chat and a new friend over the Christmas period. The concept was developed by We Are Food Pioneers, which creates community experiences around food, based on an idea that cooking and eating food is a sociable thing - and during the pandemic many lost access to that. While the scheme cannot grow further due to COVID restrictions, Emily Kenward, Founder and CEO of Time to Talk Befriending, says she hopes the charity can take on the project once the restrictions have eased. “To grow the project and run it well we need volunteers to be able to deliver food safely to older people without risk - which is not currently

possible for us due to COVID - but it is our hope for the future. “Aside from this project, we currently have 120 befrienders across Adur and Worthing who can communicate via phone, which has been much-needed during lockdown. “We work hard to ensure older people are connected to volunteers with similar hobbies and interests, despite the age gap. “Even with pairings 50 or 60 years apart, we see lasting be-friendships formed, and many of the older people we work with say they felt they had no purpose before being befriended but they do now.” Angela Girdlestone, who has been matched with a volunteer, says: “I feel so lucky.The whole process has been such a positive experience.” Volunteer Claire Novis adds: “Not only will you feel positive after volunteering, you will make amazing friendships, adopt new skills and learn so much from listening to other people’s life journeys.”

Photo: (credit Victoria Dawe) Margery, left, and Natalie Derek, left, and Paul the volunteer (before the pandemic)

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JOB BOOST FOR YOUNG PEOPLE Several job placements for 16 to 24 years olds - from arborists and HR assistants, to park rangers and housing support workers - are being created by Adur & Worthing Councils under the Government’s new Kickstart Scheme Young people can acquire new skills

The Park Rangers hard at work

Worthing Town Hall

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The scheme is designed to give young people on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term employment the opportunity to gain work experience. In Adur and Worthing alone, 1,300 young people are out of work or not in training, and claiming Universal Credit. This year has also seen an increase in youth unemployment due to the COVID pandemic. The retail and hospitality sectors, where job opportunities for young people previously existed, have been closed for much of the year and have not been recruiting. The Government-funded Kickstart Scheme provides funding for anyone aged 16 to 24 and claiming Universal Credit to get a six month, fully-paid work placement. It also includes a robust training plan to help increase their chances of getting into full-time work after the placement ends. An initial 40 positions have been created at Adur & Worthing Councils, as Amy Newnham, Organisational Design & Development Manager explains:

“The work of the Councils is wide and varied providing a great opportunity for several work placements for young people to acquire new skills and learn about what their local authority does. “We’re looking forward to being part of this important scheme and giving young people who join us on job placements the best chance of securing long-term employment.” The Councils are also supporting other organisations to be part of Kickstart by taking on the role as ‘gateway’ lead.This creates opportunities for smaller local businesses to pool their vacancies to meet the 30 needed to apply for the scheme directly. If you are aged 16 to 24 and claiming Universal Credit, please contact your work coach at DWP to find out about job placements. If you are a small businesses and would like to join the scheme, please visit: https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/find-akickstart-gateway


Running for good

Photos taken before the pandemic: credit GoodGym

A tight-knit group of runners who combine fitness with good deeds say taking part can be life-changing for those giving and receiving help The Worthing branch of national charity GoodGym formed in 2017, and sees members of the public exercise together, before donating time to helping people, projects or organisations. Before the COVID pandemic the Worthing group met every Monday and completed a group run, a good deed, and 20 minutes of fitness. Last year 36 runners carried out 473 good deeds, and the team got involved in everything from gardening for a community group to hanging curtains for an elderly person. On Christmas Eve members delivered 100 meals to vulnerable people being supported by the Turning Tides homeless charity.

Essential volunteering tasks like food bank drops and shopping deliveries are continuing - but exercise classes are currently online or to be completed alone. Julia Gleeson, GoodGym Worthing’s Area Facilitator, says anyone is welcome to join. “People are amazed at how much work we get done.We spend 30 minutes doing a good deed, but when you have 15 people helping, you can achieve so much. “Because our group is small we’re incredibly close - lots of best friendships have been formed and we’re very welcoming to any newcomers. “You get an incredible high doing something good for your community alongside exercise.” Group sessions will continue once government restrictions ease. GoodGym hopes to work with a number of organisations this year, including Kamelia Kids,We Are Food Pioneers, Breathing Spaces and more.

You get an incredible high doing something good for your community alongside exercise

To find out more visit: www.goodgym.org ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021  |  13


Turning the tide: How Mark has found a new purpose in life A businessman who lost everything after battling a drug addiction turned his life around with the help of Adur & Worthing Councils’ Communities and Wellbeing Team Mark Jones used cocaine daily for 18 months and spent up to £1,200 per week on the Class A drug - before losing his home, partner and car repair workshop. Two years on, the 41-year-old is now dedicated to helping those less fortunate. Mark was referred to the Councils through Going Local, a GP surgerybased service which helps local residents. He worked with Employment and

Skills Coach Ben McGowan to secure a part-time job at Turning Tides - the biggest service provider for homeless people in West Sussex. Mark was living at his parents’ house when he quit using and attended Cocaine Anonymous sessions. Ben helped Mark to build his CV and directed him to a free course on Peer Mentoring with charity Change Grow Live, so he could change careers.

By Tamara Siddiqui 14  | ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021

He volunteered with the Councils’ Homelessness Outreach Team and at Turning Tides, before gaining his permanent role as an Advice and Assessment Worker. Mark says: “Two years ago my life spiralled out of control. I was working 19-hour days and I needed cocaine to get through. “I started using more every week, then everyday, then multiple times a day until I couldn’t function. I lost everything because of that.


“For six weeks straight I continued to use cocaine everyday because everything had collapsed around me.” Mark started at Turning Tides in October and is happy with his new life. He adds: “Ben helped change my life by providing me with emotional and practical support and counselling. I’d never have gone to Cocaine Anonymous if it wasn’t for him. “I’m not going back into the motor

trade, my life is now dedicated to helping people worse off than me.” Last year the Communities and Wellbeing Team made 88 referrals to partner organisations, got 13 people into employment and made 398 interventions, which include tasks like arranging work placements. Ben says: “Some people have drug, alcohol or mental health issues as well as needing employment.

“A holistic view towards achieving that goal is crucial because those issues need to be addressed before a job or voluntary work can be considered. “We help people engage with our partners, or with our housing team to get them into accommodation. “The most rewarding thing is seeing people in dire straits turn their lives around.”

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Heads up to youth safety

A scheme designed to increase youth safety in Adur and Worthing will launch this spring

The aim is to help everyone stay alert and stay safe

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Connect2 - a website and social media accounts will help children, teenagers and parents spot the signs of exploitation and violence. Community ambassadors are also being recruited as part of the scheme. Their roles will be to get out and about in the local area and provide support and advice surrounding youth violence and exploitation. There is growing evidence to suggest a link between an increase in social media use as young people enter secondary school, and greater exposure to the risk of harm from violence, sexual abuse and exploitation. The joint initiative is being developed, with funding from the West Sussex Violence Reduction Unit, by Adur & Worthing Councils and Arun District Council, working with Community Works and West Sussex Early Help. It is part of the Councils’ wider programme of work to increase youth safety, tackle anti-social behaviour and support young people who may be exposed to the risk of exploitation. To make sure the initiative would appeal to young people, a group of 16-year-olds from Worthing were set an Apprentice-style challenge to come up with the logo and branding

for the project, during workshops in September. They were recruited by Brightonbased organisation Concordia, as part of the National Citizen Service’s Keep Doing Good programme, which encouraged young people aged 15 to 17 to support their communities through volunteering and social action following the first COVID lockdown. Sophie Whitehouse, Adur & Worthing Councils’ Lead for Early Help & Wellbeing, said the initiative is more important than ever following the COVID pandemic. “More and more families are experiencing financial hardship which unfortunately means that children and young people are more vulnerable, and at risk of exploitation. “We have been working hard to create a platform which we think will provide the much-needed resources, advice and tips for young people and families.The aim is to help everyone stay alert and stay safe.”


GETTING BACK ON YOUR FEET Have you previously had a fall or are finding it harder to rise from a chair or use the stairs? A new strength and balance programme may provide the solution The free 24-week ‘Wellbalanced for Wellbeing’ programme, funded by West Sussex Public Health, is suitable for anyone who has previously had a fall and for those who are feeling less steady on their feet. Delivered by a team of instructors, who are qualified in postural stability and falls prevention, the weekly exercise classes, which are usually run in the community, are currently being delivered online due to the COVID pandemic. One-to-one support by telephone is also provided for people less able to access the online classes. Janice Hoiles, Families and Wellbeing Lead for Adur & Worthing Councils says: “1 in 3 people experience a major fall each year, which can be due to weaker muscles or poor balance. Keeping active and exercise has been identified as a key factor for reducing the risk of a fall.

“Our home support programme is tailored to the needs of each participant, with regular check-ins and chats to encourage people to stay on track.” The programme can be booked via self-referral or referred by a GP or healthcare worker. To find out more visit https://wellbalancedprogramme.co.uk

1 in 3 people experience a major fall each year

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Working to end digital poverty It’s more important than ever for people to have access to technology and stay connected online during the COVID pandemic

We’re asking for donations of equipment in good working condition, so we can help people in need

Volunteer Mark Howell with staff member Leigh-Anna Barber

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And as ‘digital poverty’ continues for many elderly people, isolated singles and families - Adur & Worthing Councils is calling on businesses to donate laptops, tablets and PCs. Prior to COVID, the Councils’ Digital Buddies scheme saw trained volunteers share skills with those lacking the experience to use equipment, or online services. And while the buddies are offering telephone help, many people are suffering due to a gap in access to technology - like families with multiple children who share one smartphone to do homework on. So the service, which is part of One Stop Junction - a hub for those facing digital, financial and employment issues - is loaning equipment out. Kathy Hanger was given a laptop so her children could complete their school work. She says: “It made the world of difference, because when the kids came out of school during the first lockdown, they were doing their homework on paper and I had to post it back. “It meant we could also stay in touch with our loved ones, it was a lifeline for us.”

Kathy has also been working with One Stop Junction’s Money Mentors service - where staff and volunteers help people manage their income and prevent debt - due to the impact COVID has had on her family. She adds: “These are compassionate people who put the interest of the individual first and are prepared to go to any lengths and assist and support you. I could not be more grateful.” Mel Shaw, Early Help & Neighbourhood Lead at the Councils, says the pandemic has highlighted digital inclusion is important because so many services and facilities have switched online. She says: “We’re loaning equipment out so people can stay connected, do courses, training, and apply for jobs but stock is limited. “We’re asking for donations of equipment in good working condition, so we can help people in need.” If you would like to make a donation of equipment then please email: enquiries.junctions@adur-worthing. gov.uk


GAME ON FOR PING PONG! Photo: copyright Table Tennis England

Hundreds of households across Adur and Worthing turned their dining tables into table tennis tables during the COVID pandemic, thanks to a donation of kits from Table Tennis England In total, 250 table tennis kits containing bats, balls and nets were distributed to enable families to enjoy physical activity during lockdown.The Play at Home scheme forms part of a national initiative called Ping! It is run by Table Tennis England, supported by Adur & Worthing Councils and Worthing Ping United, to encourage more people to take up table tennis. In the last couple of years, outdoor table tennis tables for the public to use for free, have been installed in several parks in Worthing and Adur. When the COVID lockdown was announced, limiting opportunity for physical exercise, the Councils worked with Mencap,Turning Tides, Broadwater support group, East Worthing Foodbank , Shoreham COVID-19 Support (mutual aid) and Gaisford Mutual Aid Group to distribute the Play at Home table tennis kits, prioritising those who were living alone, less able to engage in physical activity or shielding as a result of COVID.The kits have been

well received by many families who, as one of the recipients of the kits explains, are now regularly playing table tennis at home and in the park: “We play every evening for a couple of hours over the dining table if the weather is bad.When the weather allows, we go to our local park and play on one of the public tables. My son absolutely loves it and has really got into it.” James Newton, Activities Development Officer for Adur & Worthing Councils has been delighted with the response. He says: “It’s amazing what you can do with a couple of bats, a ball and net and dining table - it’s been great to see so many families discovering table tennis as a result of this innovative scheme.”

It’s amazing what you can do with a couple of bats, a ball and net and dining table

Table Tennis England are offering equipment for sale at a reduced rate. Visit their website to find out more: www.pingengland.co.uk/batsandballs

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DISHING UP FESTIVE DELIGHTS Several local businesses banded together to do wonderful things for those in need at Christmas

From offering up nutritious meals to delivering Christmas care packages - firms across Adur and Worthing made sure the community were covered. Among them were The Bridge in Shoreham, which delivered festive lunches and gifts to elderly people, while Cocks Kitchen in Worthing used fruit and vegetable donations to make tasty meals for the Worthing Soup Kitchen. The Coast Café in Worthing hosted a raffle to raise money to enable the Worthing Food Foundation to provide 100 families with Christmas Day dinners. Jamie Malpass, director at The Bridge pub, says: “We delivered a Christmas Day lunch, Prosecco, mince pies and donated gifts to about 50 elderly people. “We asked people to donate or fund what they could and the community response was amazing.

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“It’s a real tragedy that because of COVID many of the services vulnerable people rely on weren’t available, like the annual Christmas Day Lunch hosted by The Shoreham Centre. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to do this - as many elderly people were facing Christmas alone after such a tough year.” Tina Favier, Head of Wellbeing for Adur & Worthing Councils, says she has been moved by the lengths that local businesses have gone to to make sure that no one would be forgotten at Christmas. “This last year has been particularly challenging; many people spent Christmas alone rather than with their families. I’m so grateful for the support of local businesses who made sure that some of the most vulnerable members of our community were still able to enjoy a Christmas dinner.”

This last year has been particularly challenging; many people spent Christmas alone rather than with their families


Beating the booze A brand-new Alcohol Wellbeing Service has been launched, where residents can access up to six one-to-one sessions with the aim of making changes to their drinking behaviour

The early intervention, prevention and support service will help people explore their relationship with alcohol in order to become mindful about drinking. The sessions are for adults aged 18 and above and will be conducted virtually - over the phone and via email.They are being run by Wellbeing Advisor, Nicky Smith, who joined Adur & Worthing Councils in October 2020. She decided to sign up to this year’s Dry January, an annual

event run by Alcohol Change UK, to examine her own relationship with alcohol. More than 100,000 took part in last year’s event which encourages people to go booze-free for one month. Nicky explains: “Since starting in my new role with the Councils, I’ve been learning about all things alcohol, in a way which I suppose I have never had to do before, causing me to reflect on my own relationship with how, when and what I drink. “Dry January is a great way to reset and bring balance into your life for the new year ahead and experience a month without alcohol. Most people welcome a break from the booze after overindulging at Christmas.” According to research carried out by the University of Sussex, more than 70% of people who take part in Dry January are still drinking healthily more healthily six months later.They also reported general improvements in their health, being able to sleep better and saving money. Nicky hopes the Alcohol Wellbeing

Service for residents of Adur and Worthing will help those who may have developed drinking habits caused by the stress and anxiety from the COVID pandemic. “As a nation we are socially conditioned to drink as a part of our culture; we use alcohol to make us happy, socialise and celebrate all those happy occasions. “However, we also tend to use alcohol to block out feelings of unhappiness, uncertainty, guilt, loneliness and loss, and it can very quickly become an unhealthy habit or coping mechanism.” “Our sessions are not about abstinence, but are designed to help people break bad habits and develop a more mindful and healthy relationship with alcohol.” To find out more about the Alcohol Wellbeing Service visit: https://adur-worthing. westsussexwellbeing.org.uk or telephone 01903 221450 ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021  |  21


Take a break: new lunch & learn helps tackle stress A new wellbeing initiative has been launched to support businesses in Adur and Worthing to build resilience in the workplace The initiative is being delivered by the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing team as a ‘lunch and learn’ to offer support to staff who have had to adjust to new ways of working during the COVID pandemic.This includes shifting from office life to home working and for many people, juggling work commitments with homeschooling during the lockdown period. According to the mental health charity Mind, more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said their mental health got worse during the first period of lockdown. Tyler Slade, one of Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Advisors, explains why: “The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty which can make us feel out of control and anxious. It has also prevented us from connecting with others in the way we’ve been used to - for example the loss of social interaction that comes with working in an office environment has been really challenging for some people. “By building resilience it can help us to change the way we think about negative events, and tap into the positives to help us look after 22  |  ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021

ourselves.This includes thinking about how we maintain our social relationships and connect with others to prevent things from bubbling over.” The workplace wellbeing services run by the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing team are designed to reduce the cost and impact of high absenteeism and employee ill-health by helping staff to identify the small changes they can make towards leading healthier lifestyles. It forms part of Adur & Worthing Councils’ Thrive Agenda to enable individuals and communities to flourish, for which local businesses play a key part. “The COVID pandemic has created a new set of challenges for workplace wellbeing.We identified the need for support with building resilience by talking to local employers to find out what their employees needed right now to stay healthy at work, and this came out as one of the number one priorities,” saysTyler. Find out more about how the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing team can support your business at https://adurworthing.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk


Mike Grant

ONLINE CLASSES FOR HEALTHY LIVING Council wellbeing officers had to think fast and move health support online at the start of the pandemic last year – and it worked so well they are continuing

Those accessing Adur & Worthing Wellbeing programmes around healthier lifestyles, including weight management, attended physical theory and exercise sessions - but staff adapted all courses and shifted them online. Families and Wellbeing Officer for Adur & Worthing Councils,Tammy Waine, says there has been higher attendance and retention levels for the online courses, because participants don’t need to battle traffic or weather, and say they find it easier to take part. “There would have been quite a gap in our programme if we hadn’t created the online offers and we’ve found we’re reaching people who might not have joined in before.We want to continue to offer a variety of online and face-to-face sessions this year.” Adur & Worthing Wellbeing provides one-to-one and group courses for people wanting to manage their weight, stop smoking, reduce the risk of falls, learn cookery skills and be more active. The courses are funded by West Sussex Public Health. One person who benefited from online access is retired Mike Grant who lost more than two stone after completing the Councils’ weight management and cookery skills courses. He says: “I sought help when I was 14-stone and doctors found an aneurysm on my aorta. I face an operation should it grow and after a triple bypass at 48, I knew I needed to get as fit as possible. I learned so much about healthy eating and started losing weight immediately. “I was upset when we had to stop attending the course but when it resumed online it was fantastic and learning from home allowed me to absorb the information better. My weight dropped to 11 stone 10lbs and I was overjoyed I was no longer pre-diabetic. My aneurysm is now medium-sized and I feel ready to face whatever operation is needed.” Find out more about the wellbeing services at: https://adur-worthing. westsussexwellbeing.org.uk ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021  |  23


GETTING SUPPORT IN ADUR AND WORTHING If you need support, there are many local groups and organisations that can help you

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BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT

HOMELESSNESS

Cruse Bereavement Care West Sussex 0808 808 1677 https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/local-services/south/ west-sussex

Turning Tides Supporting the homeless community in Worthing and surrounding areas info@turning-tides.org.uk https://www.turning-tides.org.uk

CARERS SUPPORT Carers Support West Sussex 0300 028 8888 https://www.carerssupport.org.uk

DEMENTIA SUPPORT Dementia Friendly Worthing Supporting people with dementia and their carers and families https://www.dementiafriendlyworthing.org

DOMESTIC ABUSE Safe in Sussex Supporting people affected by domestic abuse 01903 896202 https://www.safeinsussex.co.uk

EMPLOYMENT

FAMILIES, CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE Asphaleia Training 16-24 Support services for young people living across Sussex 01903 823 546 trainingreferrals@asphaleia.co.uk asphaleia.co.uk Homestart Support for vulnerable families family@home-startawa.org.uk https://www.home-start.org.uk Sussex Clubs for Young People Fun & rewarding activities for young people 01273 443563 admin@sussexcyp.org.uk https://sussexcyp.org.uk YMCA Downslink Supporting young people and families 01273 222550 enquiries@ymcadlg.org https://www.ymcadlg.org

EmployJunction Supporting unemployed people into work 01903 221400 https://onestopjunction.org.uk/employ-support

GENERAL ADVICE Citizens Advice: Shoreham-by-Sea 0344 477 1171 https://www.advicewestsussex.org.uk/shoreham-by-sea Citizens Advice: Worthing T: 0344 477 1171 https://www.advicewestsussex.org.uk/worthing

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LEARNING DISABILITIES

OLDER PEOPLE

Reaching Families Empowering families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities https://www.reachingfamilies.org.uk

Age UK West Sussex 0800 019 1310 admin@ageukwestsussex.org.uk https://www.ageuk.org.uk/westsussex

Worthing Mencap Supporting people with Learning Disabilities mynetwork@worthingmencap.org https://www.worthingmencap.org

Guildcare Community services for older people and children and adults with learning disabilities 01903 528600 https://www.guildcare.org

MENTAL HEALTH

The Silver Line Helpline for older people 0800 4 70 80 90 https://www.thesilverline.org.uk

Adur MIND pathfinder.adur@westsussexmind.org https://www.westsussexmind.org/mental-healthsupport/corner-house-southwick-support-hub Worthing MIND pathfinder.worthing@westsussexmind.org https://www.westsussexmind.org/mental-healthsupport/worthing-support-hub

Time to Talk - befriending service referrals@tttb.org.uk https://www.tttb.org.uk

SAFEGUARDING If you’re concerned about a child:

MONEY AND DEBT One Stop Junction Support with money issues 01903 221400 https://onestopjunction.org.uk/money-support West Sussex Credit Union (BOOM) A credit union for people who live or work in West Sussex 01903 237221 info@boomcu.com https://www.boomcu.com

West Sussex County Council https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-andfamilies/keeping-children-safe/raise-a-concern-about-achild If you’re concerned about a child: West Sussex County Council https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/ social-care-support/adults/raise-a-concern-about-anadult

WELLBEING Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Hub https://adur-worthing.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk

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A BIG PART OF OUR WORK IS ABOUT PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM BEING MADE HOMELESS IN THE FIRST PLACE

Amanda Eremie, Housing Needs Manager, Adur & Worthing Councils

This magazine is created with full green credentials using carbon neutral production and FSC® certified paper which has been harvested in a responsible manner. ThriveAW Magazine - February 2021  |  27


Adur & Worthing Wellbeing Alcohol Prevention Service

Because talking about alcohol, should be as easy and comfortable, as buying it

• Confidential support for a healthier you

• Self Referrals

• Access up to 6 sessions

• Early intervention and prevention

• Blended support; of face to face, virtual meetings and phone support

• Professional referrals

• Encouraging choice confidence and change

For information & support contact Adur & Worthing Wellbeing 01903 221450 www.adur-worthing.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/contact-us

Profile for Adur & Worthing Councils

ThriveAW - February 2021