Like Minded - Issue 2

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These days there is much greater awareness around good mental health: people are more open about their internal struggles and are happy to talk about their difficulties. While many are happy to open up to Like Minded about their inner turmoil, in this issue the emphasis is on those who can help when daily life gets tough. Read all about the Veterans’ Community Hub (and find out if you can help) on page 24 - it’s proving to be a real life-line for many former forces personnel.

Cerys Matthews Interview

Feathered Therapy Wildlife

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Dysgu Cymraeg / Learn Welsh


Cwtch at KIM Community Cafe


Mental Health First Aid Training Sabrina Fortune Interview Veterans VC Hub

The Cake Doctor Coconut Cake

Rob Coles Seasonal Affective Disorder

Community News North Wales Together Directory Local and national services Coffee Break

Lorna Doran Editorial Neil Rees Design Andrew Lloyd-Jones Manager With huge thanks to all our contributors Cerys Matthews, Sabrina Fortune, Andy Matthews, Alison Bushnell, Pegi Talfryn, Mark Cooper, and the Double Click team: Rob Coles, Matthew Smith, David Rouch, Dani Dudley, Sian Jones, Jane Hewson, and Claire Doughty.

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Turn to page 18 and step into the world of Sabrina Fortune, the Welsh paralympic shot-putter who was runner-up to Wales rugby captain Alun Wyn Jones in the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year awards 2019. Learn about Sabrina’s path to sporting glory, her ambition to raise the profile of paralympians all year-round and how she’s going for gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Some of you will know our cover star Cerys Matthews from her days as the lead singer of Catatonia, others for her writing or broadcasting. She is also a co-founder of The Good Life Experience, an artisan, family-friendly festival held on Like Minded’s doorstep, in Hawarden.

But however you know her she is undoubtedly one of Wales’ most recognisable and respected figures in the arts world. We’re delighted she took time out to give us an insight into her musical tastes, her coping strategies when things get tough and much, much more. You can read our exclusive Q&A on page 4.

We had lots of positive feedback from our first issue and we’d love to hear what you think about this, our second. With your input, the input of our trainees at Double Click and the community around us, we hope to continue to improve and keep publishing relevant content that boosts mental health as well as providing a good read.

So, wherever you’re reading Like Minded we hope you’ve found the articles and information useful. When you’ve finished reading it, why not pass on the magazine to someone you think would enjoy it?

Don’t forget you can get in touch by dropping us an email at - we’d love to hear from you.

Andy Lloyd-Jones Manager

© Copyright 2020. Like Minded is owned and published by Double Click Design & Print CIC. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without written permission. The views expressed by our contributors do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Double Click Design & Print CIC.

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Pulvinar elementum integer enim neque volutpat ac tincidunt vitae. Varius morbi enim nunc faucibus. Semper risus in hendrerit gravida rutrum. Sollicitudin nibh sit amet commodo nulla facilisi. Neque volutpat ac tincidunt vitae semper quis lectus nulla. Metus aliquam eleifend mi in nulla. Non diam phasellus vestibulum lorem sed risus. Dui faucibus in ornare quam viverra orci sagittis eu. Posuere lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur. Viverra mauris in aliquam sem fringilla ut morbi. Orci porta non pulvinar neque laoreet suspendisse interdum. Cursus turpis massa tincidunt dui ut ornare. Dui sapien eget mi proin sed libero enim sed. Nascetur ridiculus mus mauris vitae ultricies leo integer. Eleifend quam adipiscing vitae proin sagittis nisl rhoncus mattis. Hendrerit gravida rutrum quisque non tellus orci ac auctor. Eu volutpat odio facilisis mauris. Euismod nisi porta lorem mollis aliquam ut. Id donec ultrices tincidunt arcu non sodales neque. Tortor condimentum lacinia quis vel eros donec ac. Laoreet id donec ultrices tincidunt arcu non sodales. Massa eget egestas purus viverra accumsan in nisl. Mauris nunc congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris a. Lectus vestibulum mattis ullamcorper velit sed ullamcorper morbi tincidunt. Cras adipiscing enim eu turpis egestas pretium aenean. Arcu ac tortor dignissim convallis. Fusce id velit ut tortor. PA G E 4

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Cerys Matthews MBE is a music icon, broadcaster, author and a founding member of Flintshire’s back-to-basics and artisan focused festival The Good Life Experience. Here, in our exclusive Q&A, she tells us where she looks for inspiration and solace, why she believes the arts are a hugely powerful and valuable life enricher, and what being Welsh means to her.

Being born and brought up in Wales has affected everything and I’ve spent my life immersed in its history, songs, folklore, literature, music and poetry” You’ve had global success as a musician and you’re a BBC radio broadcaster so music is obviously at the heart of what you do. Can you give us an insight into what music means to you and how you think it affects others?

Singing was everywhere when I grew up - my mam sang all the time, my Nan, and in nursery then school - we learnt everything through song. It made sense, it felt good and from the moment someone gave me an instrument, I was simply hooked. I can’t really explain why, it just makes the world feel like a good place. It’s probably part of your job description to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing music scene, but what type of music do you listen to on a regular basis? Do you have favourites?

I love early country blues and jazz, and a ton of music from different cultures: Cuban music, Ethiopian, Kenyan and I love me some Hammond organ music by players like Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff. I love a groove above anything so that’s where my go-to taste lies. Producers and players like Allen Toussaint, Snooks Eaglin... but I also love lyricists like Dylan, plus a triple harp player called Llio Rhydderch … she pulls and pushes the melody but she grooves. No-one sails through life everyone has highs and lows. What helps you when the going is tough? I love being this age. With the benefit of retrospection and experience on this planet, you

know that things will pass, you just keep breathing, and you tell yourself you are enough and that is a comfort. When I feel glum, I know it’ll pass, I look around me , look to nature and find inspiration, solace , sense and beauty there. This life is so fragile, so short. You’re a founder of The Good Life Experience (TGLE) which has enjoyed five extremely successful years on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden and attracts visitors to Flintshire from all over the UK – and beyond. Why do you think it goes from strength to strength?

Because it’s about community and hands-on things away from mass production: whether it be the music, food, literature, handicrafts or physical activities. They are undervalued in today’s rampantly capitalist society. And so it feels good and it’s invigorating to meet makers, artisans and fellow musicians, writers, explorers, wild swimmers and cooks and just be. We all use social media in some form or other, but are you nostalgic of the time before Twitter and Facebook or do you embrace modern technology wholeheartedly?

I love the access to information that modern technology allows, but I do miss down time. Emails plus all these different portals to be messaged and for messaging others, I could live without. Wikipedia I could not. I subscribe to it and encourage all to do so. It’s a great first place to start research as the format is so PA G E 5


and ideas worldwide, and revisiting some of my touring memories and friends was pure pleasure. Plus great recipes and ideas are priceless: I have some of the best recipes ever, bar none, in the book, and I mean it. However, going back to the point about deadlines, the opposite is also true. If it’s a form to be filled, or something that simply doesn’t interest me, I’ll go to the ends of the earth to avoid sitting still to complete it. That’s when deadlines have their uses. What can we look forward to from you for the rest of 2020? More broadcasting? Books? Time off?

convenient. It gets dissed, but I’m grateful for it. However, I am concerned about the vulnerability the internet and social media brings. In terms of it being the Achilles’ heel for manipulating forces to attack, and its unprecedented effect on elections and the mass psyche. The reach and influence of social media cannot and should not be underestimated now nor in the future. It’s pretty overwhelming when you start to ponder on this. I don’t do Facebook. I toy with Twitter and Instagram, though I’m pretty bad at both. It’s like having two Tamagotchis that you have to keep feeding. I’m a bad virtual pet owner - and they might die at some point but I still manage to waste an awful lot of time on them. Like most people in Wales, every day when I wake up, I thank the Lord I’m Welsh. What does being Welsh mean to you?

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a hugely powerful and valuable life enricher, I was able to be naturally immersed in this way of thinking too, and be brought up bilingual to boot, for which I’m eternally grateful. Being born and brought up in Wales has affected everything and I’ve spent my life immersed in its history, songs, folklore, literature, music and poetry. But more importantly, appreciating my own heritage has meant that I can forge a deep and energetic interest in other cultures and heritages, too. You’ve recently brought out another book – Where the Wild Cooks Go – an eclectic mix of recipes, music, poetry and cocktails that’s described as a ‘folk cookbook’. How is the book writing process for you and are you disciplined with deadlines? When the subject matter is one that interests me, I need no deadline. I get the green light and I’m off. And writing this book was one of my life’s greatest pleasures - there are so many great places and people,

I’ll be visiting various literary festivals around the country to support Where the Wild Cooks Go. I’m happy to report that it’s still building momentum. Word of mouth is spreading the love, as it’s not your usual cookbook and it was hard to describe at first. It’s perfect for any age, and for anyone - even those who can’t cook, or have remote interest in it - as it’s not just recipes, but uses food as a great springboard into pulling the world into context and revelling in our differences, too. It’s full of curiosities, surprises, stories about great characters like Confucius, Krishna, Ibn Battuta, Zoroaster, St Patrick, Paul Bogle, Sophia Loren and Jonathan Swift (and tons more) and quotes like this one: ‘It doesn’t matter how slow you go, just as long as you do not stop’. It reached the top of the Amazon food and travel charts, and I’m over the moon. It’s the start of a new year and most of us are looking to change something, either personally or more generally. What would you like to see change in 2020? I’d like to see us get a more

sophisticated political system and a leveller playing field all round. Now for something completely different: you’re hosting a grown-up dinner party. Who would you invite - dead or alive?

Zoroaster, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra, Richard Burton, Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas, Hafez, Einstein, Isaac Newton, Ava Gardner and Ada Lovelace, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, Nina Simone, Anthony Bourdain and Michaelangelo. It’ll be a big party with a piano in the middle. Oh, Louis Armstrong would come, too, Sweet Emma Barrett and Helen Sharman...oh and one more, Robert Burns. I love Burns Night, and the Scottish chapter in Where the Wild Cooks Go is a tribute to it: there’s even a vegan haggis option... Now, pass me the whiskey, the party is starting...

Where the Wild Cooks Go (Particular Books, £25) is out now, available online (www. and in book stores across the UK. PA G E 7


Most of us experience some level of stress and anxiety simply going about our everyday lives, particularly after the long winter months. You might be forgiven for thinking the only antidote to this is to book an expensive foreign holiday, or to make a big change, but the answer could be simple and much closer to home - in fact, just outside your window! PA G E 8


The positive effects from bird watching on mental health are well documented. It’s the perfect pastime to encourage us to ‘switch off’ and give our brains some muchneeded rest, all the while getting back to nature. Sitting and watching birds forces you to be mindful without even realising it, to turn off your mobile and concentrate on the here and now. Furthermore, as you gaze out and begin to relax, your mind will automatically wander, allowing you

the space to process the hustle and bustle of your life, and the time to find solutions to any problems. What’s even better is that you can do all this in your own back garden! Of course, you could also use the opportunity to take a trip out into the beautiful local countryside, of which North Wales has an abundance. So grab your camera and get out there and be inspired by our feathered friends.

more information Check out Joe Harkness’ fascinating Bird Therapy blog at Photos courtesy of Mark Cooper. View more of his stunning photos on his Flickr account ‘coopsphotomad’

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gyda Like Minded! (Learn Welsh with Like Minded!)

While you may have long since given up on your New Year’s resolutions there’s no time like the present to learn something new. If learning Welsh is top of your wish-list this year then the lovely people at popeth Cymraeg are here to help the readers of Like Minded do just that. The community-founded grass-roots language centre offers both online and class-based courses but you can kick-start your Welsh learning process right here with a few basic words and phrases to get you started.


Pronunciation tips



As in English.


How are things? But used as ‘hello’. Often combined with Helo: Helo. S’mae.

Mae pronounced as English my.

Bore da

Good morning. Note: Bore = morning. Da = Good.

There is no silent ‘e’ in Welsh. Therefore Bore is pronounced Bo-reh. Da is pronounced Dah.

P’nawn da

Good Afternoon. P’nawn shortened from Prynhawn.

The aw in Pnawn is pronounced as the sound you make when you’re hurt: ow!

Nosweth dda

Good evening. Nosweth is the local pronunciation for the full word, Noswaith, meaning evening. Note that the d in dda is doubled.

Unlike in English, S is always pronounced as s, never as z. The double dd is pronounced as the th in that, whereas the th in Nosweth is pronounced as the th in thin.

Hwyl (fawr)

Goodbye. The fawr is optional.

The wy is pronounced as oo + ee, quickly together: Hoo+eel. The f in Welsh is always pronounced as a v. Once again The aw in fawr is pronounced as the sound you make when you’re hurt: ow! Fawr = vowr.

Tara ’wan!

Yes. The tara is borrowed from the English. The ’wan is shortened from rŵan, meaning now.

Try to roll your ‘r’s’ when you say tara.

Nos da

Good night.

Remember to keep the s as an s.

See over the page for further details on learning Welsh >> PA G E 1 1


Why learn Welsh? Pam dysgu Cymraeg? People decide to learn Welsh for a variety of reasons. Some want to learn the basics so they can pronounce place names. Many parents decide to learn Welsh in order to help their children in school. A number of people come from a Welsh background and wish to learn the language that their grandparents spoke. Speaking Welsh is very useful for getting employment in Wales. There are also people who decide to learn Welsh in order to keep the brain active.

The advantages of learning Welsh Learning Welsh opens a door to a new world. It gives a person a sense of belonging to the area, it can give a new confidence and you can make new friends. There are other advantages, too, which have nothing to do with Wales. Learning a new language keeps the brain active and staves off dementia. It also improves the memory and the ability to multitask.

How can I learn Welsh? Online - Many people decide to start learning the language online. Two of the most popular methods are DuoLingo ( and Say Something in Welsh (www. Weekly classes - All weekly Welsh classes in Wales are run by LearnWelsh (https:// In North East Wales these classes are provided by Learn Welsh North East, which are run by Popeth Cymraeg in Denbighshire and PA G E 1 2

Coleg Cambria in the rest of North East Wales. Popeth Cymraeg is the first grass-roots language centre founded by the community for almost 30 years. We pride ourselves in the high quality of our teaching and the variety of resources we use in the classroom. In the classroom - In Popeth Cymraeg our aim is to create a learning environment which nurtures the students, without asking them to perform individually. Most of our work is done as a whole class or with partners. After learning Welsh for a couple of years we offer the option to learn the language using our pioneering suggestopaedia method which involves learning the language through

the medium of story and using the subconscious to assimilate the Welsh. This method requires more dedication, with longer hours and higher expectations for practice at home (listening and reading). Visit www. for further information. Extra courses As well as weekly courses, Popeth Cymraeg offers Saturday courses and block courses for all levels, depending on having enough people registered. Extra support Follow Popeth Cymraeg on Facebook and Twitter for Word of the Day and news about courses and opportunities to learn Welsh.


Mental Health First Aid Mental Health is everyone’s business and prevention and awareness are key

Research by the Mental Health Foundation shows that 50% of mental health problems are established before the age of 14. Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. In 2017/2018 mental health problems accounted for 15.4 million sick leaves in the UK, and 300,000 people a year leave the workplace because of mental health problems. Groundwork North Wales works alongside local communities, public bodies, private companies and other voluntary sector organisations to support communities in need. This work is supported by the training courses that Groundwork Training can offer. One of the courses on offer is Mental Health First Aid. Every company will have a first aider but what about a mental health first aider? The course offers the individual the chance to learn and understand more about mental health and how to help someone if they are stressed, depressed, anxious or displaying any sign of disrupted mental health. In addition to the courses many of the projects that Groundwork North Wales are involved in assist the communities in maintaining good mental health. The projects are encouraging individuals to get out and be active, enjoy the natural environments that are on your doorstep and creating additional spaces for nature to take hold. All of which have a proven track record of assisting good mental health with benefits such PA G E 1 4

as reduction in depression, stress and anxiety. Karen Balmer, Chief Executive Officer at Groundwork North Wales, thinks it is important to take time to mentally keep fit: “It is essential for everyone to take time to ensure they are healthy not just physically but mentally. There are many pressures these days. It is important for individuals to take time not just to physically keep fit but to also mentally keep fit. Our projects and training scheme are just some of the opportunities out there to assist with this.” Thanks to funding from Enabling Natural Resources Wales, Groundwork North Wales secured funding to deliver a project called ‘We Care’. The programme will develop and deliver local environmental improvements to transform neglected green spaces into a new green community asset everyone can benefit from. The project will involve groups of volunteers from the communities in which they are working, the involvement of local school children and an employability programme for over 16-year-olds. The Bangor team is working on Cam ar y Ffordd: Peblig/Stepping

Stones: Peblig. It is a two year project designed to bring people together to transform Peblig’s shared spaces to make it a greener and more colourful place to work, live and play, and encourage biodiversity. If you need assistance with your mental health there are many avenues you can go down to help you, including the Mental Health Foundation, MIND and the NHS. See p.35 for details of local and national organisations.

more information For further information on Mental Health First Aid and other courses and projects run by Groundwork North Wales please visit www. groundworknorthwales. or email training@

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community KIM offers support to anyone with mental health issues in the local community. Here, student Helen, who is working on placement with KIM for a year, tells us more about their ‘Cwtch’ community cafe. I’m a second year social work student, and KIM are hosting my practice placement this year. I was so happy to be offered the opportunity with them, as I’m passionate about mental health and wellbeing. Volunteers at KIM thrive on coming together in support of their communities and each other, and inclusion is at the very heart of everything the organisation does. No one with a mental health condition should feel lonely or isolated in their local communities, and KIM recognise the impact this can have on people. The simplicity of drawing upon community resources to build strength and resilience is something so empowering, and I feel proud to be a part of it. “Here at KIM, we have a professional catering kitchen where people can come along to volunteer and learn new skills. Every week we run ‘Cwtch’, a pop up community cafe, where people can come together and enjoy a two course meal made by volunteers. Food donations are offered to us from local supermarkets and in the Summer, the kitchen can make use of organic produce that is grown in the KIM garden. People who access the cafe tell us they look forward to meeting each week, in a safe space where people are kind and non PA G E 1 6

“Cwtch offers everyone a place to actively engage in a positive and supportive environment where everyone feels valued, fulfilled and listened to” judgmental. They also say the food is pretty good! What we offer is healthy, hearty and made from scratch. You can expect to see traditional dishes on the menu. “Volunteering at the cafe is more than learning to cook. There’s genuine team spirit and everyone is welcome. Volunteers say the experience has given them opportunities to build their self esteem and confidence, and learn skills like budgeting, organisation, and working to deadlines. These are skills that people can carry forward in life, and can lead to further volunteering opportunities, training or paid employment. KIM is sponsoring one of our regular volunteers to complete a level 2 National Vocational Qualification in catering, and what he does in the Cwtch kitchen every week

demonstrates his skills and competence for the practical element of the course. Cwtch offers everyone a place to actively engage in a positive and supportive environment where everyone feels valued, fulfilled and listened to. Additionally research shows there is a relationship between “mood and food”, and eating habits can have a direct impact on wellbeing. Poor diet and skipping meals affects blood suger levels and can cause or worsen fatigue, irritability and depression, and the routine of regular meal times can help alleviate these symptoms. It is also claimed that eating together has significant social and psychological benefits, and sharing meals regularly helps to develop self awareness and appreciation of the needs of others.”

For more information about Cwtch@KIM please email or call 01352 872189. Visit them online at

inspiration xxxxxxx Sabrina Fortune has a great name, and if you don’t know it already, remember it. Sabrina is a Welsh Paralympic shot putter with medals and world titles to her name, who looks set to be one of Team GB’s great medal hopes in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

in the 2016 Summer Paralympics and gold in her F20 category at the 2018 World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin.

Sabrina, who is 22 and from Mynydd Isa near Mold, is an able-bodied athlete who has learning difficulties. She competes both as a paraathlete in the F20 (intellectual impairment) category and in mainstream competitions. She has come a long way - both as an athlete and personally - in her quest for sporting greatness, PA G E 1 8

but maybe because her disability is more difficult to see than others, Sabrina’s story is less well known than it should be. The para-athlete who lives and trains in North East Wales, won her first world title at the 2019 World Para-Athletics Championships in Dubai, back in November. She also won bronze

Outside of the sporting circle, her public profile has risen since she was nominated for the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2019. If you tuned in to watch, you’ll have seen Sabrina take the runner-up spot behind Wales rugby captain Alun Wyn Jones and ahead of Flintshire’s double Olympic Taekwondo champion Jade Jones. No mean feat for someone with speech dyspraxia who was once so shy she’d literally hide.

inspiration Sabrina was both surprised and delighted to win the industry accolade at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort and loved mixing with Wales’ greatest sporting legends. “Newport was just fantastic. It’s the biggest experience that I’ll ever have,” she says. “Something I wouldn’t expect to get. To be able to go there, watch the show and come second to Alun Wyn was so amazing. He’s a very impressive guy and awesome to talk to.” Sabrina knew of her nomination just a few weeks before the event and travelled to the awards ceremony with her mum, Paula. Then just days later they took the train up to Aberdeen for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2019, which is a separate event from the Wales-only ceremony. “We did some Christmas shopping then went down to the red carpet around 5 o’clock. Our seats were behind a big camera so we couldn’t see a thing,” says Sabrina. But it didn’t stop her from taking selfies with other sporting idols, especially those from Wales. “We saw Alun Wyn, Adam Jones, Denice Lewis, Colin Jackson...” But Sabrina’s biggest idol is Welsh Paralympian shot putter Beverley Jones, who she used to train with. “She had a bronze in the shot put in London 2012,” says Sabrina. “She showed me her first-ever medal and I thought, that’s cool. I want that.” Over the years Sabrina has become more used to dealing with the stresses and strains of competing, not just from a sporting angle, but with

Even if you don’t get the medal then it’s achieving,. And getting your

personal best - that’s what you strive for. If you get more, then great.

everything that comes with her achievements. She has become more used to the whole experience of performing – the attention, the cameras, talking to people. It wasn’t always so. “There are some competitions where you have the starting gun right next to you. With a learning disability you struggle with change. If something’s different in a competition you struggle. For me, to go in front of a camera and have it follow you around... it’s hard. I don’t want it. I just want to throw. “I’ve had times when they present medals halfway through a competition and you can’t throw.” It happened in Doha in 2015, while she was competing in the IPC Athletics Championships. She was about to go into the circle to throw and they stopped for a medal presentation. “You’re in the flow of the throw, you’ve warmed up, and it comes to an abrupt stop,” adds mum Paula. Her family couldn’t be more chuffed at her success, both in and out of the sporting arena. PA G E 1 9

inspiration “I am super proud,” says mum, Paula. “When she was in school she was afraid she wouldn’t achieve anything and she’s really come on so much. Her sport has given her so much confidence. She’s made friends.” Far from being the best days of our lives, schooldays can be incredibly challenging to even the most emotionally and physically able, but add into the mix a learning disability then the days spent in the playground can be really tough. “Sabrina had speech dyspraxia so she had to have a lot of intensive speech therapy when she was little so for her to stand up and talk in front of people is a massive thing,” says Paula. “She’s getting better the more she’s doing, especially interviews. It’s something she could never, ever have done before.” “There were days when I was younger when I first started athletics when I didn’t want to leave my mum’s side,” adds Sabrina. “I wouldn’t go out and talk to people. I would hide behind them, I was too shy.” Away from the world of sport, Sabrina enjoys sugar craft and digital art and would eventually like to go into the cake making business. It is sport that has brought her out of her shell. “You have to do media, you have to do meetings. You have to talk in front of people. And talking in front of people was one of the worst things in my life,” she says. Away from the bright city lights and awards ceremonies, Sabrina trains full time and has worked hard for years to reach the pinnacle of her sport, helping to promote its benefits to people with disabilities along the way. PA G E 2 0

We should know more about Sabrina than we do but alongside many other disabled athletes, we only really read about or watch coverage of their amazing sporting achievements every four years, at the Paralympics. We forget that these inspirational sportspeople compete throughout the year, every year, chalking up sporting milestones, attempting to break records and improve their Personal Bests (PBs) at every opportunity. It is something that Sabrina, her mum Paula and her coach Ian Robinson, are well aware of. They put in the time and effort to reap the rewards and bring home the sporting glory, yet their achievements often go unnoticed to the general public. “In an ideal world we would get more publicity for what we do. It doesn’t matter about awards, but it does matter that we can show the world what we can do,” says Sabrina. More publicity is needed to show disabled people what can be achieved, she adds. “Many people with disabilities are struggling and don’t know what to do, but there are so many opportunities out there for them.” Sabrina’s mum, Paula, agrees with her daughter that more TV and press coverage would help spread the message and encourage others.

“I don’t think people appreciate that the Paralympians - people with disabilities - overcome their disabilities, learn their sport, perfect it to become world champions and record holders. They’re awesome,” says Paula. “There are people out there who have lost their legs and they have to learn how to walk again before they can throw,” adds Sabrina. “You can say Olympians are amazing because they can throw all this great distance, but if you can watch someone who is blind go to a sandpit and jump straight and get a world record then for me it’s an incredible achievement.”

inspiration Sabrina’s own sporting journey started with sibling rivalry: her older brother, James, was throwing shot, discus and javelin and competing at Deeside Athletics Club. “I started playing sport because we travelled around the UK with my brother and I thought why does he get to throw and I don’t?” says Sabrina. Sabrina pushes herself because she has her eye set on the medal at the end and she wants to hear her anthem. “Even if you don’t get the medal then it’s achieving, and getting your personal best. That’s what you strive for. If you get more, then great.” She started with the discus before eventually switching to the shot put, under the guidance of her coach Ian, who took her under his wing in 2012. “Sabrina came down to the Wrexham track with the Special Olympic people and I was there coaching,” says Ian. “Ron, who looks after them, asked if I could spend some time with Sabrina. And at that point things weren’t going brilliantly with her throwing. She joined me and finished the season, compared to the rest of the season, on a high. And then decided to take me on as her coach.” For Sabrina, competing on a global stage is just one thing on her personal wish-list. “There are some things I just want to achieve,” she says. “I don’t want the fame, I just want to show that people with disabilities can do anything. I do catering, I do drawing, and I struggle, yes,

It doesn’t matter about awards, but it does matter that we can

show the world what we can do but there is so much out there that you can actually do.” Sabrina acknowledges she couldn’t achieve what she has if it wasn’t for the support from her coaches - both past and present - Disability Sport Wales and the medical team. And she says she wouldn’t be anywhere without financial backing from the National Lottery because ‘without people buying lottery tickets we wouldn’t have the money to do what we do,’ she adds. Sabrina is fully funded by the National Lottery. Despite having a world title and a gold medal under her belt, Sabrina says the bronze she picked up in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio is her biggest achievement so far, down to the amount of support she had to get there. “The first is always the best... the atmosphere, the anthem..

people clapping. There was so much support there, so much happiness,” she says. The team spirit among the GB competitors is something that Sabrina really enjoys and when abroad, she enjoys learning about new cultures and even picks up snippets of the local language. “In Team GB you all look after each other. We’ve got a lot of new people at the moment so we have a buddy system. If you’re one of the older ones you look after the younger ones. If you see someone struggling you look after them. I get on with anyone, from all different countries. I’ve learned some French from some of them.” With Tokyo almost certainly on the cards, Sabrina is looking forward to spending time in the Athletes’ Village. PA G E 2 1

inspiration “I’ve looked on Twitter and it looks really nice. There will be different food because it’s a different culture. And there are games rooms. We have all the people from different sports playing games.” Mum Paula doesn’t go with her when Sabrina is with Team GB. It’s one way of increasing Sabrina’s independence. “When Sabrina is away there’s another F20 athlete so they tend to share a room and then nurses keep an eye on them to make sure they are okay,” says Paula. Adds Sabrina: “When you go away you’re not allowed to do anything you’re not allowed to do at home. So because of that you have a lot of down time and a lot of athletes struggle with that. So you have to learn to stay in your room, watch TV or a movie or read books.” Ahead of Tokyo, Poland could be the next major competition on the cards, but the jury’s still out on whether Sabrina should compete. Says coach Ian: “You can’t stay at peak all the time so this is where the question ‘do we go to Poland’ comes in. We’re not going to try and peak at all during the season. Last season we peaked a couple of times to try and get the performance to try and guarantee selection and the season before was the same, whereas now we’re just aiming at Tokyo. “So if we go to Poland then it’s got to be on the basis that she’s throwing quite well but if it doesn’t come out as gold then we mustn’t be upset because we’re not going to fall short on training aiming for Tokyo.” Taking part in run-of-the-mill competitions gives Sabrina the chance to test out some of the things she has been working on, PA G E 2 2

and to prepare herself for the bigger stage in Tokyo. As well as working towards peak fitness and performance, ahead of the 2020 Paralympics Sabrina will need to acclimatise to the heat and humidity of Japan. She will have to use heat chambers – as she did for Dubai – around a month to six weeks before the games. “For throwers the heat is really good because you don’t have to keep moving. Your body is already warm. For runners it’s awful,” says Sabrina. “It’s not hard to work out how to deal with it (the heat). So for a lot of hot countries you work out that the mornings are really hot, the middle of the day can be extremely hot and at night you’re fine, so you compete at night most of the time. That means that although you lose the heat you’ve still got the humidity. “With heat you sweat, but with humidity you don’t.” So, what’s next after Tokyo? “We always used to say baby steps,” says Sabrina. “If you look too far, you get ahead of yourself too quickly. You focus on that year.” Coach Ian adds: “Once you get to this level you tend to work on a four-year cycle. Initially we were just working to get selected.” While Sabrina has been blessed with sporting success, as for any athlete, things don’t always go to plan. So how does she get herself back up when she’s not at her best? “I just say it’ll get better in the end. If it’s meant to be, it will be,” she says. Right now, things are looking bright for Sabrina, but she knows there are people with

disabilities out there that would welcome a helping hand. So she is encouraging those who want to follow in her footsteps to contact her on Twitter. “I’m always happy to give advice,” she says. “I’ve helped people in competitions before now. If you’re scared of media I think, think of what your family want you to say and think of what you want to get out of it as well. “Now sport is the best thing in my life. You meet people from all over. There are some amazing people in this world and to be able to talk to them, share your story to people who struggle with their mental health, anything, can help a lot of people.” While Sabrina, her coaches and family, plan for the future and have Tokyo firmly in their sights, Sabrina reflects on what sport has done for her on a personal level. “Sport has helped me grow as a person. I am more confident. I can stand up on a podium and smile. It’s helped me talk to more people and not want to run away and hide in a corner, which is what I used to do. It’s helped a lot with different things. “When I was younger I wasn’t interested in sport but as I grew up I learned that sport is a lot of things and it teaches you that even if you do not win it’s an amazing achievement. It brings joy.” And throughout her career her sense of awe at her fellow paraathletes remains undiminished. “You can watch army guys with no hip bones, no leg, and with their blades they can run across a track faster than I can jog,” says Sabrina.

“They are super human - they just don’t wear a cape!”


In her early years Sabrina was inspired to take up sport by watching her older brother compete for Deeside Athletics Club. Fast forward a few years and she too now competes for Deeside while training indoors at the club and outdoors in Wrexham. She joined her coach Ian Robinson in 2012 at the age of 16. At that time her best and favourite event was discus. She had thrown just over 10m on shot and was using a linear throwing technique. In 2013 she improved to 10.86m and having been classified for her F20 (intellectual impairment) class was ‘discovered’ by UK athletics and invited with Ian to talent camps as a potential future international para-athlete. It was the start of a very fast learning curve for both coach and athlete. At this point Ian thought that if things went well, Sabrina might just get selected to go to the Paralympics in Rio in three years’ time. In 2014 Sabrina was invited to throw at the Brazilian Para Schools’ Championships in Rio. She was throwing a lighter shot and won with 12.42m. She also came second in the Welsh Under 20 Championships and finished the season at ‘The Final Fling’ throws competition in Wrexham, winning with 10.98m. Over the next six months she changed her technique from linear to rotational, transferring her discus technique to shot. There was an immediate improvement... but to avoid confusion and in pursuit of world ambition, discus had to be banned! It paid off. In 2015 Sabrina won the Welsh Schools’ Championships in July, but was still aiming for world para selection. She reached her

goal in August, then topped it off by coming fourth in the World Championships in Doha in October. She was a year ahead of what was an already ambitious schedule, a time factor that continues throughout her career to date. Fast forward to February 2016 and selection for an Under 20 international for Wales (mainstream), a fourth place in the European Championships (para) in Italy, and a bronze medal in the Paralympic Games in Rio, in the September. She was now targeted by UK Athletics as a potential gold medal winner in Tokyo 2020.

While Sabrina had a setback with injury in 2017, coming sixth in the World Championships in London, by 2018 she was ranked number one in the world with 13.70m. She came second in the Welsh Senior Championships (mainstream) and first in European Championships against all the other leading world contenders. A throw of 13.30m set a new championship record. In 2019 Sabrina took the top spot in the Northern senior championships (mainstream) throwing 13.70m and was also invited to compete in a Welsh international in Manchester and the British Indoor and Outdoor Championships. She came ninth and tenth respectively. Competing at such a high level was all great experience. Her gold medal-winning throw of 11.91m in the World Championships in Dubai set a new championship record, just 19cm short of the world record. With it came the possibility of automatic selection for the Paralympics later this year. She is now hoping for a world record and - with a bit of luck gold in Tokyo 2020.

Follow Sabrina on Twitter @sabfor129

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A community hub that supports the mental health and well-being of military veterans is appealing for help to set up a cafe that will help bring people through its doors. The kitchen at the Veterans Community (VC) Hub in Shotton, Flintshire, needs a full rewire and without help, plans to open up a cafe to the general public are unlikely to succeed. Military veteran Tony Penny is the projects manager at the hub and works alongside Carol Molyneaux to help support military veterans, both holistically and practically. “We have a cafe that we are trying to raise funds for,” says Tony. “It needs a full rewire and once we get that up, it won’t be a cafe for veterans, it will be a cafe for everyone, run by veterans. A cafe for the benefit of the whole community. “We have two ex-military chefs who are volunteers that are PA G E 2 4

ready to start – and we have one volunteer who loves to clean!” Tony adds. A community cafe is just one way the hub is trying to help military veterans in need. The hub is part of Care & Repair North East Wales (NEW), under the umbrella of Care & Repair Cymru, and its home is the former Corus Social Club. Staff and volunteers operate from a room that can cater for more than 100 people, while a second room is used for meetings. Care & Repair NEW was awarded a grant to set up a veteran project with the aim of having a comfortable and secure place for military veterans and their families to go to. “It’s a safe place for one veteran to sit and talk to other

veterans,” says Tony. The hub aims to support the mental health and well-being of the hard-to-reach veteran who has left the military for mental health reasons and who isn’t engaging in other services. “They are sat at home by themselves, often with no family,” says Tony. “We hope to reach out to them by putting on events that they’d like to come to: wood-turning, chainsaw courses and the like, which leads to the second element of what we do, which is training. “We have a budget for training courses, so with our skills and the skills of our volunteers we put on events and bring in courses,” he adds. The hub uses social media to tell people when events are coming

veterans One guy turns up and falls asleep and that’s absolutely fine. He’s come to a safe place. He knows where the hot drink kit is and he can make himself a brew whenever he wants.” up: every second Monday the charity Woody’s Lodge – which supports, mentors and signposts veterans, emergency services, reservists and their families - holds an open session. On alternate Mondays there is Models for Heroes, a model-making group hosted by Help for Heroes. The hub provides a safe and supportive environment for men and women of all ages who are interested in modelling. The hub has also held events such as a 12-week course for veterans on health and well-being. “We have several regular daily volunteers,” says Tony. “We have a guy who is a veteran that does photography, so at the moment he is compiling photographs so we can do a calendar. We’re being the conduit for the calendar so we are using the skills and our volunteer base. (See www.facebook. com/BeardedVeteranPhotography) Because there are only two paid members of staff, the hub concentrates on covering Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham, but, says Tony, if someone from Anglesey needed something, staff would signpost to another military charity that was closer. “There is a kind of league of smaller charities in North Wales and we all keep in contact with each other and hold regular meetings. The big three - Help for Heroes, SAFRA and the Royal British Legion - can’t do everything,” he adds. Care & Repair North East Wales is a service which provides advice and practical assistance to older or disabled people regarding repairs, improvements or adaptations to their homes, enabling them to remain independent in their own homes in safety, comfort, warmth and security. For more information about the fantastic work they do, visit

“I don’t want to replicate what Woody’s Lodge is doing – so we all work together to offer different things. So charities in North Wales know that if you want training you come to us. “We do first aid training, we run chainsaw courses, we’ve had people do driver training. We don’t go looking for training and offer it out. Veterans come to us and say I’ve got an interest in suchand-such, can you get me a course? PA G E 2 5

veterans “We had a chap who knew of a job going and he needed a fork lift licence so we got him on a fork lift course and now he’s as happy as Larry,” Tony adds. “If a volunteer wanted a Knit and Natter course we would facilitate that. “The money is there for training. It’s not prescribed. It’s you coming to us to say is there any chance I can do this? And we’ll sit at a computer and if it’s within our budget we can authorise it there and then, or escalate it to the CEO to authorise.” Carol holds masterclasses on wood turning and is also currently heavily involved with regenerating some of the 35 acres the hub sits in as part of a five-year project in conjunction with Care & Repair, Natural Resources Wales, Flintshire County Council and Flintshire Rangers. Volunteers, too, can get involved in replanting trees and cutting pathways to help regenerate the immediate area. Hopefully, volunteers can also soon get involved in renovating a 16ft wooden boat in the ‘massive’ VC shed. “Someone was advertising a free wooden boat on Facebook that just needed renovating, so I contacted them,” says Tony. A 16ft Osprey 1959 boat that was built for the Olympic team to practise in will be one of the first major projects in the VC shed. “We’re a bit short of tools. If people have any workable tools they want to donate...” adds Tony. As well as providing training PA G E 2 6

courses, the hub reaches out to veterans in other, practical ways. One of the hub’s most recent success stories involves a man staff found sleeping rough in the grounds. The third time he was found, staff sat him down in the hub and eventually found out that he was a veteran. “So we then kicked into overdrive and within 24 hours he’s in a two-bed house, he’s got a job,” says Tony. “He has new clothes. We gave him the train fare to get new ID because the week before he was mugged and his ID was stolen. He now pops in and is as happy as Larry. It’s a real success story. We helped him with his mental health and his physical needs.” Tony, who is a qualified psychiatric nurse, is keen to dispel some of the myths surrounding the causes of mental health issues in military veterans. As he explains: “There’s a standard feeling out there that every veteran with an issue has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and it’s not the case. PTSD is actually rarer than people think. I am a psychiatric nurse. The criteria for PTSD is unexpected trauma. When you’re in the military you expect trauma. You are more likely to get PTSD in a road traffic accident than you are from going to Afghanistan or Iraq - because

you don’t expect a road collision. “What a lot of military people have is situational, so if you remove them from the situation they’re in their mental health will improve. So going back to that lone veteran by him or herself, in a flat, no family, not engaging with local services. If they were to engage, get the right help and into a more appropriate dwelling - say they’re on the third floor with a bad back - then that would improve their mental health. So that’s not necessarily a treatment, that’s situational. “We work holistically,” Tony adds. “What we can do, we will do. What we can’t do we will signpost.” Tony still uses the skills he learned as a psychiatric nurse in his current job and he keeps up with his mandatory training to continue to improve his nursing skills. As well as having the skills and knowledge to help military veterans, as a former Army medic with a military background from birth, Tony can fully empathise with those he tries to support. He was born in an army maternity hospital and enlisted at 16. “I was in the Royal Signals and was working as a medic. After 10 years - which included

veterans touring Northern Ireland and Bosnia - I trained to be a nurse at university and eventually ended up working in the A&E department of Stoke Mandeville hospital as the alcohol nurse specialist.” He went back into the Army and did his final 10 years, which included a spell in Iraq, until they medically discharged him because of damage to his spine. He is now a disabled veteran and walks with the use of a stick. Tony has also worked in a private care home and for Denbighshire County Council, running day centres. Part of his and Carol’s job is to help veterans reintegrate into a very different world from the one they have left – the world of civilians. Sometimes, it’s about showing veterans just how skilled they are – often without them realising it, says Tony. “When people look at what they’ve done in the military there are lots of transferable skills but they need translating, especially if they’ve gone through any form of rank structure,” he says. “Even if they’ve only got on the first rung of the military ladder as lance corporal they have the skills to manage 10-12 people. And that’s not just organising the work days because in the military it’s 24-7. So it’s just translating what they can do in the military to the civilian life.” The Army now acknowledges that one way of showing transferable skills is by going through the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). “As I was a captain I gained my level 6 in the ILM,” says Tony. “It shows an employer what you are

actually capable of.” The men and women who access the hub are called volunteers, roughly 80% of whom are from the Army, with a 20% mix of Navy and Air Force personnel. Sometimes curiosity brings them to the hub. “A lot of the people come to volunteer, just to find out what we’re about, they don’t necessarily realise they have a need until they talk to other veterans,” says Tony. “No matter what you’re going through someone else has been through it. You’re not the first person to leave the military and you’re not the first person to have issues with housing, or your GP, or issues with the Department of Work and Pensions - so it’s a good knowledge base of sharing information. “Whatever ‘X’ has been through or is going through, ‘Y’ will have been through already.” The hub is open to everyone with a military background who needs support with their well-being. It works for different people in different ways, as Tony explains: “One guy turns up and falls asleep and that’s absolutely fine. He’s come to a safe place. He knows where the hot drink kit is and he can make himself a brew whenever he wants. “Another guy turns up and says: ‘What do you want me to do next?’ And he’s happy going around with a picker-upper and a bin bag doing a litter sweep. We have a guy turn up who says: ‘Those old benches around the front - do you mind if I sand them down and re-varnish them?’ Please, go ahead.”

more information VC HUB For more information contact Tony on 07762 892992, Carol on 07843 371237 or email VCHub@ Twitter: @VeteransNEW Facebook: Veterans Community Hub Shotton For more information on Woody’s Lodge visit 24 hour helplines Forcesline: 0800 731 4880 Samaritans (free from any phone): 116 123 Combat stress: 0800 138 1619 Community Advice and Listening Line call: 0800 123 737 Community Advice and Listening Line text: 81066 ‘help’ followed by a question In an emergency call 999

* Veterans who want to come to the hub can email or ring Tony and Carol directly (see contact details above) or get in touch via Facebook. If people turn up they run the risk of Tony and Carol not being in the office so it’s always best to try and arrange a chat between 9.30am and 4pm. **The VC hub would love to hear from an electrician with commercial qualifications who is willing to give up his/ her time and use their skills to rewire the kitchen area to enable the community cafe to go-ahead. The hub is also looking for donations of workable tools for the new VC shed. If you can help, get in touch with Tony or Carol on the numbers above. PA G E 2 7


Dynamic relaxation for a healthy mind and body Sophrology is repetition, says Valerie, and each time the exercises are repeated, it has a positive impact both on the mind and the body.

“Just 10 minutes a day is enough to make a significant change. It’s good to practice it every day to keep stress at bay and remain calm and focused.” We may not all be suffering from stress, chronic pain, anxiety or sleep issues, but the chances are most of us will at some point. And while stress can be manageable, sometimes it isn’t, and noone ever wants to put up with a body that hurts all the time. Which is where Valerie Lewis steps in. French-born Valerie is the only Sophrologist based in Wales. She offers programmes that can support and offer solutions to all these conditions, and more. So, what exactly IS Sophrology? It is described as a natural antistress and relaxation method. It is designed to help people build lifelong skills to face the challenges in life. While it is an established treatment in France, Spain, Switzerland and Germany, it is a relatively new treatment method on our shores. Those who practice it are taught the anti-stress skills of breathing control, muscle and mental relaxation and visualisation. Practicing these skills over time, says Valerie, helps people manage

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“I really believe that everybody should learn these skills,” she adds.

external stress triggers such as challenging situations and people, increases awareness and helps switch negative thought patterns such as self-doubt, to positive, healthier ones. Regular practice, she says, leads to a healthy, relaxed body and a calm, alert mind. “Although Sophrology is still very new in the UK, it’s working very well and is a very practical solution that gives people tools to selfregulate their stress levels, anxiety and chronic pain naturally,” says Valerie. “It’s about health prevention. “With chronic pain, most people can’t believe how effective it is, that you can get rid of a pain within minutes.” Practising Sophrology doesn’t have to take up too much of anyone’s time. “Our bodies aren’t build to sustain long periods of stress,” says Valerie. “Just 10 minutes a day is enough to make a significant change. It’s good to practice it every day to keep stress at bay and remain calm and focused.” One of the key principles of

The exercises can be done while sitting, standing or walking, meaning that there is a Sophrology exercise that you can do wherever you are and whenever you have a few spare moments. Married to a Welshman and living near Conwy, Valerie’s programmes have already supported a number of clients with a wide range of needs. Her clients are from all walks of life: from the young Welsh athlete who needs help to better cope under pressure when competing, the parent who suffers from stress, anxiety or burnout, to the elderly. Those in retirement homes often have multiple issues, says Valerie: they are often depressed, isolated, stressed, anxious, with sleep or chronic pain issues. Some may also be the main carer for their partner who may have cancer, Dementia or Alzheimer’s. One of her recent clients was happy to give Valerie this testimonial on her Facebook page: “When I met Valerie I’d been in near constant joint pain for three months. As a consequence I wasn’t sleeping well and the snippets I was getting were poor quality. My stress levels were through the roof; juggling family life, work, anxiety about the diagnosis I was facing as well as my new-found decreased mobility and increased pain.

sophrology “Four weekly sessions of learning techniques on how to breathe, relax, think and manage my days intentionally have meant my stress and pain levels are reduced – sleep quality improved overnight. “I now have techniques in my tool box I can pull out at any given time. With continued practice the techniques get easier and are more effective.” Valerie is currently running several group session programmes to support people who need extra help to find work – all funded by local agencies – and runs a stress, anxiety and chronic pain management programme in Colwyn Bay Library, in association with the Conwy Council Wellbeing Team. She is also running a new programme for cancer patients, many referred by the palliative care team at the Glan Clwyd cancer unit. Some clients will visit Valerie at home for their session, but Valerie will visit elderly clients at their own home, especially when they have mobility issues. She also makes use of rooms at Quinton Hazell Entreprise Park in Colwyn Bay for group and individual sessions. Agencies such as councils and charities book rooms in libraries or similar for group appointments. “I do run group sessions in the offices of corporate clients,” says

Valerie. “I am invited more and more to company’s well-being days for staff where I run a succession of workshops and group sessions for all the staff.” Sophrology is not just for adults. Valerie also runs Sophrology for children sessions in primary schools. It helps them de-stress, relax their bodies, calm the mind, focus better and release physical tensions through breathing, visualisation, simple movement and fun games. The idea, says Valerie, is that they can manage stress by learning quick techniques they can practice by themselves inbetween lessons and activities. The feedback from both children and parents has been great, she adds. “One parent said her six-year-old daughter was getting frustrated when practicing playing her violin at home and then just said: ‘I know what I need to do!’ and then practised a quick anger management technique she had learned in school during a 30-minute Sophrology session,” says Valerie. “She then said she felt better and started playing her violin again! “Another parent told me her daughter was having trouble falling asleep so decided to practice a Sophrology breathing technique for sleep in her bed that I had taught her class earlier that

day. She felt more relaxed and soon fell asleep. Her mother was really pleased her daughter could do this by herself.” As well as expanding her client base, Valerie is now looking to develop her website – - and have it translated into Welsh alongside Welsh audio recordings of her sessions. Valerie is the only Sophrology practitioner in North Wales but she is willing to travel across the country, east to west, north to south if needed. * Individual sessions are suitable for adults and teenagers and last an hour. They are priced at £55 for adults and £35 for teenagers. A five-session pack is £45 per session for adults. * To find out more about Valerie’s work and Sophrology in general, log on to sophrologywales. com, email her at valerie@ or call her on 07713 953602

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Cake Doctor Alison Bushnell comes to the rescue with another simple yet simply delicious recipe for you to try I came across this simple but delicious recipe a little while ago when I was juding a ‘Bake Off’ competition. The winner Cerys (not Matthews!) very kindly gave me the recipe to use, although I have taken the liberty of tinkering with it a little to add my own touch. The key to this incredibly simple recipe is to use fresh coconut. It might be a bit of a faff to get it out of the shell, peel the skin and then grate the flesh, but it is so worth the effort! Ingredients • 1 fresh coconut, shelled, peeled and grated • 8oz margarine • 8oz caster sugar • 8oz self raising flour • 4 free range eggs • 1tsp vanilla extract • 1 x 250g mascarpone • 2tbs Greek yogurt • 1tbs icing sugar • A splash of vanilla extract • Malibu (optional!)

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preparation 1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180c/160c fan assisted

2. Live 2 x 8inch round sandwich tins

3. Use the all-in-one method to mix the margarine, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla together. 4. Mix in half the grated coconut then divide the batter between the prepared tins. 5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown. 6. Turn out the tins and allow to cool completely.

7. Whisk together, by hand, the mascapone, yogurt, icing sugar and vanilla. You might like to add a touch more sugar but it doesn’t really need it.

8. Paint the tops of the cakes with Malibu (optional). 9. Sandwich the cakes together with the icing and a sprinkle of coconut.

10. Use the remaining icing to decorate the top of the cake and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

This cake keeps very well but must be stored in the fridge due to the mascarpone and yogurt in the icing. Finally... enjoy!

Volunteering Are you thinking about Volunteering in your local community, or beyond? FLVC can help to put you in touch with organisations and volunteering opportunities to match your requirements/choices FLVC can help you to register on the Volunteering Wales website If you are unsure about what is involved in volunteering and need some support to do so FLVC has a number of Supported Volunteering Projects which could provide you with ‘taster sessions’ and/or an accredited qualification in Volunteering Skills.

Contact our Volunteer Centre Team on 01352 744000 or via

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Telephone: 01352 704119 Email: Newydd Catering and Cleaning, Deeside Leisure Centre, Queensferry, CH5 1SA Visit our website for details of our services, and current vacancies, at PA G E 3 1



Double Click volunteer Rob Coles explores the difficulties many of us face during the winter months

by a professional clinician or counsellor. Light therapy where a special lamp called a lightbox is used to stimulate exposure to sunlight.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that affects many people in a seasonal pattern. In this edition I explore the cause and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, and the techniques I’ve used over the winter in my own attempts to combat it. The common symptoms of SAD relate to low mood, lacking energy, overeating (carbohydrates), sleep patterns i.e. struggling to get up in the morning or oversleeping and not enjoying usual habits through concentration and memory. The severity of symptoms will vary from one person to another and have a direct impact on daily life. The exact cause of SAD isn’t yet fully understood, but is often related to the reduced exposure to sunlight during shorter autumn and winter months. The lack of sunlight affects the part of the brain called the Hypothalamus, which in turn affects the production of Melatonin (a hormone that makes us sleepy). People with PA G E 3 2

SAD may produce Melatonin in higher than normal levels, and lower levels of Serotonin, which can affect sleep, mood, and appetite, again due to a lack of sunlight hours. This in turn can relate to not only mood but feelings of depression. The body has its own internal clock (circadian rhythm) where your body uses sunlight to time various functions, such as when you wake up and lower light levels during winter may disrupt the ‘body clock’ leading to symptoms of SAD. There are a range of treatments available for SAD, depending on the level, and on the advice of your GP. The main treatments available are: Lifestyle changes including as much natural sunlight as possible, and regular exercise, to manage anxiety/stress levels. Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which may be as a one-toone or in a group-based scenario. This allows one to share experiences with others, guided

Medical advice is the most crucial element if you are concerned about any symptoms and worried about what to do and where to go. First and foremost, you must consult with you GP or medical clinician if you have any concerns as to guidance. Your symptom levels and anxieties may be unique only to you. Word of mouth can be a help but also a hinderance, as you may be hearing (for all best intentions) misguided advice in relation to your own specific needs. Mindfulness techniques may help ease symptoms. In this fast-flowing age of technology, consumerism and seasonal adjustments to global weather patterns, it’s not surprising that we can all feel under the weather (forgive the pun). However, while to many of us SAD can have far reaching consequences, the help is out there so do not despair!

more information For NHS guidance on dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, search for it at

North Wales Together


North Wales Together: Seamless Services for people with Learning Disabilities is one of four transformation programmes in North Wales and is hosted by Flintshire County Council.

The project is working with partners to achieve better integration across health, social care and the third sector. This will ensure that people with learning disabilities are able to live more independently and get the care they need closer to home. The programme aims to achieve this in a number of different ways: • Better integration of health and social services.

• Workforce development to create better awareness of disability issues among the wider public sector workforce. This approach should reduce the demand for specialist learning disability services in future. • Work with other organisations to improve commissioning and procurement and make sure we have the types of housing and support people need. • Uses of assistive technology to help people with learning disabilities become more independent in their everyday lives.

• Community and culture change work looking at increasing the number of people employed in paid work, and enabling people to have better friendships and relationships and feel less isolated.

The project aims to embed the North Wales Learning Disability Strategy 2018-2023 that was agreed by all six North Wales Authorities and the BCUHB. Coproduction will be at the heart of the way we work as we aim to support sustainable long term change.

more information Follow us on Facebook at ‘LD Transformation Info’, on Twitter @TogetherYnghyd or email us at

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Local mental health support Advocacy Service North East Wales 01352 759332

Providing an independent, confidential and free advocacy service for people living in Flintshire or Wrexham experiencing mental health problems.

CALL Helpline (Community Advice and Listening Line) 0800 132737 Wales wide mental health 24 hour telephone helpline.

Community Drug and Alcohol Service (CAIS) Flintshire 01244 831 798 Wrexham 01978 261125

Helping people who are having problems with addictions, mental health, personal development and employment.

The FDF (formerly the Flintshire Disability Forum) 01352 756618

Working together to nurture, develop and support enablement, equality, independent living and mobility throughout Wales.

Hafal 01792 816 600

National Welsh charity for people with serious mental illness and their carers.

Jigsaw 01492 523042

Group bringing people together from across North Wales, affected by addiction, adverse mental health, unemployment, offending or other life challenges – or are a family member or carer of someone who is.

KIM (Knowledge, Inspiration, Motivation)

01352 872189

Helping people to improve their mental health through group led activities throughout Flintshire and Wrexham.

Meic 0808 80 23456 / Text 84001

Information and advice for children and young people (under 25) in Wales.

North East Wales Mind 01352 974430

Helping people across Flintshire and Wrexham to recover from mental health problems and stay emotionally healthy.

Parabl 0300 777 2257

Offers talking therapies for people with mild to moderate mental health problems.

SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide) 01352 755895

Providing an opportunity to talk confidentially with someone who has been bereaved by suicide and to know that you are not alone in your experience.

UNLLAIS 01745 827903

Emotional well-being, substance misuse and learning disabilites development, training and support for orginasations and individuals.

National mental health support Anxiety UK 08444 775 774

Working to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services.

BACP Find a Therapist Directory 01455 883300 Through the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) you can find out more about counselling services in your area.

BEAT 0808 801 0677 Offering advice on eating disorders.

Big White Wall 0203 405 6196

Online mental health community.

CALM 0800 585858

Support for young men aged 15 to 35.

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The Centre for Mental Health 020 7827 8300 Working to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems.

Combat Stress 0800 138 1619

Offering mental health support for veterans and their families.

Depression UK

National self-help organisation helping people cope with their depression..

Hearing Voices 01437 769982

Information, support and training to better understand and respond to the needs of people who hear voices.

HOPELine 0800 068 4141

Suicide prevention advice and support for anyone under 35.

Mental Health Foundation 020 7803 1101

Improving the lives of those with mental health problems or learning difficulties.

Mental Health UK 0207 840 3008

Bringing together experts from national mental health charities to improve understanding and provide vital care.

MIND 0300 123 3393

Advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.


Confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, non-directive and non-advisory support services run by students for students.

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No Panic 0844 967 4848

Other advice and support

PANDAS Foundation 0843 28 98 401

Age Cymru 08000 223 444

Rethink 0300 5000 927

Anti-Bullying Alliance

Supporting people who experience panic attacks and OCD.

Support for pre (antenatal), postnatal depression or postnatal psychosis.

Improving the lives of people severely affected by mental illness through local groups and services, expert information and successful campaigning.

The Samaritans 116 123

A charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide.

SANELine 0300 304 7000

Support and information for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.

SCOPE 0808 800 3333

Campaigning to challenge and change negative attitudes about disability while providing direct services.

Self Injury Support 0117 927 9600 Focussing on improving support and knowledge around self-injury.

Shout Text SHOUT to 85258

Shout is a 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone struggling to cope and in need of immediate help.

Together 020 7780 7300

Supporting people through mental health services.

Infoline on issues relating to older people in Wales.

A coalition of organisations and individuals that are united against bullying.

Bullying UK 0800 800 2222

Advice and support on all forms of bullying.

Carers UK 020 7378 4999

Providing carers with information, advice, support and by campaigning for change.

Childline 0800 1111

Free, national helpline for children and young people in trouble or danger.

Citizens Advice 03444 77 20 20

Giving free confidential information and advice to help people sort out their money, legal, consumer and other problems.

Dan 24/7 Freephone 0808 808 2234

A free and bilingual helpline for anyone in Wales wanting further information or help relating to drugs or alcohol.

Dewis Wales

Find local and national organisations and services that can help you.

Education Support Partnership 08000 562 561 A 24/7 telephone support line which gives teachers access to professional coaches and counsellors 365 days a year.


LGBT+ Switchboard 0300 330 0630

A safe space to discuss anything including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing.

National Debt Line 0808 808 4000 Provding free debt advice.


Listening, support and information service run by students for students.

North East Wales Carer Information Service 01352 752525

Supporting carers in the community in North East Wales.

Refugee Council 020 7346 6700

The UK’s largest organisation working with refugees and asylum seekers.

Relate 0300 100 1234

Advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, and support.

Synergy - Mold City of Sanctuary 01352 757998 Welcoming those fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries.

Victim Support 0808 168 9111

Help for people affected by crime or traumatic events.

Wales Dementia Helpline 0808 808 2235

Supporting people affected by dementia.

Young Minds 020 7336 8445

Provides information and advice for anyone with concerns about the mental health of a child or young person.

We are Double Click Design & Print, publishers of Like Minded magazine, and a nurturing Community Interest Company (CIC) that helps disadvantaged people by giving them support and training in a safe work environment. As a not-for-profit CIC we help people with mental health needs while running as a commercial business, with all our profits going back into running a successful local design and print business that supports the wider community. The training we offer to the people that come through our studio doors is at the forefront of a business that also needs to remain financially viable to enable us to develop and continue helping those who need it. With this in mind, our aim is to continue to develop the business and put the community at its very heart: helping other firms and boosting the local economy while at the same time fulfilling our primary goal of supporting those with mental health problems. Every trainee that comes through the design studio is referred to us by Flintshire County Council, with up to seven trainees attending in any given day. Double Click can give its trainees real work experience in a real work environment, tailored to their needs. They can work towards an accreditation in newly-acquired skills, are allowed to learn at their own pace, and can be offered oneto-one support from a member of our highly experienced staff. They can be offered a long-term development plan in areas such as office skills or graphic design and are able to train in a nopressure environment and in a

relaxed atmosphere. Our staff do not invite stress and a safe and nurturing environment for our trainees is always at the forefront of our minds. There are opportunities for suitably skilled people to take up paid employment or be offered additional training placements and we have close business ties with other training organisations and local companies. Double Click’s staff is made up of graphic design professionals with many years experience between them, with valuable help coming from skilled volunteers and trainees. A member of the council’s Mental Health Services team also works on secondment with us. There is a board of directors who help steer the business, which is led on a day-to-day basis by our on-site general manager. Clients are attracted to us because of the core aims of our business. They can see how we are helping to support people within the community while producing top-quality products, including business stationery, leaflets, flyers and brochures, and by offering website design services. We also provide bespoke photographic and digital printed materials. Our aim is to offer clients a service they would be unable to get in a large studio while delivering a finished product that is as good as one from a big city firm.

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xxxxxxx time out

It’s important to take time out. Why not pop the kettle on and try one of our puzzles?

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Crossword and wordsearch by David Rouch Sudoku and theme by Matthew Smith



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