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The hay fever season can last until October. Avoiding exposure to pollen is the best way to reduce the allergic symptoms of hay fever. Keep windows shut at night and first thing in the morning and wash your hands regularly.

Welcome to the April - May edition of The Calderdale Voice magazine. Healthwatch Calderdale is now 1 year old! To mark this, we are having an event for residents of Calderdale to find out what we have been up to and what we have planned for the future. More information about the event can be found on page 3. If you would like to book a place, please get in touch. With Easter just around the corner, check out page 16 for some tips about keeping healthy and avoiding a chocolate overload! Thanks,

Emma Worsley, The Calderdale Voice Editor

Despite the fact that most of us associate Easter with chocolate eggs, it is actually hens’ eggs that are the traditional food of Easter Sunday.

Healthwatch is the new Consumer Champion, or Watchdog, for health and social care. The aim of local Healthwatch will be to give citizens and communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided locally. Healthwatch Calderdale is a membership organisation. We make sure that all our members are kept up to date with everything related to Health and Social Care at both a local and national level. Becoming a member is free of charge and is open to anyone who lives in Calderdale and/or receives substantial health and social care services from any provider within Calderdale. It is also open to voluntary and community groups who supports users of health and social care services. To become a member, please email

Healthwatch Calderdale is an independent body that will raise your views and opinions on Health & Social Care in Calderdale and to help make your voices heard. The feedback we receive from local residents allows us to understand what the issues are from the people that use the services. Your views will help us identify areas that need to be looked into further. Please get in touch by calling 01422 431099 or you can email us on You can also give us your feedback by using the ’Talk to Us’ page on our website

The UK's first chocolate egg was produced in 1873 by Fry’s of Bristol.

The Healthwatch Calderdale website offers a number of different services:          

Send us your feedback using the ‘Talk to Us’ page Sign up to be a member of Healthwatch Calderdale Find out about our volunteering opportunities Search for local Health & Social Care services Keep up to date with news from Healthwatch Find out where your nearest Healthwatch drop in session is Watch videos from Healthwatch England See our Healthwatch Calderdale Twitter feed Read the Healthwatch Calderdale Pledge Find out about Healthwatch Calderdale local meetings Twitter Facebook

@hwcalderdale Healthwatch Calderdale

The tallest chocolate Easter egg ever made was 10.39 metres in height and 7,200 kg in weight!

Let’s face it, stopping smoking can be hard and even harder if you’re a lesbian, gay, bi or trans. So rather than stopping, try swapping it for all the great benefits giving up will bring like more money, better skin and feeling fitter. IDENTITY is a LGBTQ group situated in the Halifax area. The group itself offers 1:1 confidential support and advice to all young people regarding sexuality, home and school concerns and any other issues or worries a young person may have. The group itself is run by qualified members of staff and volunteers that are all hand selected by the young people and that are all qualified to deal with and provide advice on any sexuality issues. To find out more about identity, please email

To help you quit by swapping, The Brunswick Centre has set up a Swap Squad who are on hand with advice, support and practical resources, eg, patches, gum and other useful things to help to make it easier for you to quit. The Brunswick Centre is working in partnership with the NHS to provide stop smoking services. To access the service, contact The Brunswick Centre on: 01422 341 764

Chlamydia is big. 1 in 10 of those under 25s tested, have it. Chlamydia is a bacteria that affects the sexual organs. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection or STI for short. The problem is that most people have no signs or symptoms. So most of you wouldn’t know you have it. Lifeline Calderdale’s service Branching Out is a confidential drug and alcohol service for Young People in Calderdale aged 10-21yrs. They work with young people who are using alcohol, drugs or solvents at any level, and those at risk of using substances. They also provide up to date training and awareness sessions for professionals and parents, as well as 1-1 support for parents whose children are using drugs or alcohol. If you would like to speak to anyone about any of the support that’s on offer please call 01422 510000

CHLASP! (CHLAmydia Screening Programme) offers free Chlamydia screening to under 25s in Calderdale and Huddersfield. The CHLASP! programme can help:  Tell you the nearest place to get a test  Look after you if your test is positive by giving you FREE treatment, support and advice  Help you trace your sexual partners who may have been infected. CHLASP! also offer postal kits for young people under 25 to complete the test at home. To request a postal kit, please text CHLASP followed by your name and address to 81025. For more information, please visit

Imagineer promote independence, support people to live and contribute to their communities and create opportunities that enable people to develop and shape their own aspirations and future.

The reason Purple Patch Arts call their workshops ‘Feel Good’ is because they do exactly that! Through a mixture of gentle exercise and art activity, they help participants to feel relaxed and be happy. All their workshops support people to build their confidence, improve communication and develop their self-advocacy skills. Workshops take place on a Tuesday daytime in central Halifax. Joining Purple Patch Arts is very easy. All you need to do is get in touch with Bronia, Programmes Manager on 07725 041 801 or email

Through Your Choices is a new session with activities will include drumming, dance and arts and crafts. This is a great opportunity for developing skills, building confidence and ultimately having fun in a safe environment. These sessions will take place on the last Saturday of every month, 1.30pm - 3.30pm at 36 Gibbet St, Halifax. Each session costs £5 per person. Please bring your own support or contact Imagineer if you need personal assistance support. For more information and bookings please contact the Imagineer Team Call: 01422 363817 or Email

Many parents are all too aware of that feeling that comes with caring for young children of never having a moment to yourself and how it can sometimes be overwhelming coping with the demands of parenthood. Do you need a safe space where you can make a positive change in your life? Well… Noah’s Ark Centre in Ovenden is here to help. They offer counselling for adults and young people (age 11 upwards) for depression or anxiety, childhood abuse, bereavement, low self-esteem and relationship issues. Ring 01422 300457. Their Money Advice Service is for those struggling in this economic climate with debts, the impact of the Bedroom Tax, changes to the benefits system or any other money management issue. Ring their money adviser on 01422 364664 to book an appointment.

The Mum Time sessions are an opportunity for mums struggling with the day to day demands of babies and very young children, to come together and have some time for themselves. A free crèche is available for women attending the session, but should book with Healthy Minds prior to the session. Mum Time meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, 1pm - 2.30pm at: The Women Centre, 23 Silver St, Halifax For more information about Mum Time or Healthy Minds, please call 01422 438722 or visit the website:

Disability Support Calderdale is a user-led organisation that seeks to empower disabled people by providing appropriate information and support services.

Dimensions, an organisation supporting services for people with Autism, offer Autism friendly film screenings at cinemas across the UK. Autism Friendly Screenings are mainstream films shown in a sensory friendly environment:  Lights on low and sound turned down  Trailers are not shown  People can bring their own food, make noise and move around VUE Cinema at Broad Street Plaza, Halifax, have an Autism friendly screening on the last Sunday of the month. The next screenings is: Sunday 27th April Escape From Planet Earth 10am

They are a new and innovative service promoting social inclusion, equality and justice within the district. They recognise that there are many barriers that disabled people face. These can be physical, inappropriate attitudes and lack of opportunity. Their support services promote choice and control and provide disabled people with a voice. The service is run by and for disabled people. They offer person centred support with issues that people face within their daily lives i.e. accessing services, benefit issues, signposting and access to information etc. They also deliver disability awareness training to groups and organisations in the district. Telephone: 07772582817

CREW was formed when a group of local cardiac rehabilitation patients, many who had suffered heart attacks and some who had bypass surgery, decided to start a walking group to supplement their exercise classes at the local leisure centre. Crisis Pregnancy Care provides free, unbiased counselling for anyone experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or has experienced a pregnancy loss through miscarriage, stillbirth or termination of a pregnancy. Crisis Pregnancy Care also contributes to the well-being of low-income families by providing good second-hand baby clothes and equipment. Free pregnancy tests and Chlamydia Screening for under 25s are also available at the centre. They provide a Drop-In Service at 5 St James Street, Halifax, on Mondays from 12-2pm and Thursdays from 3-5pm. To contact Crisis Pregnancy Care, call 01422 357589/ 07527375986 or email

Membership is free and is open to any individual who suffers from heart/circulatory illness, has high risk factors for heart/ circulatory illness or is a carer or supporter of the above categories The support available includes Special Exercise classes, Weekly walks programme, Social events (excursions, quizzes etc) and Information/education on the conditions. To find out more, please call 07599080666 or visit

Viral meningitis is more common than bacterial meningitis and, although rarely life-threatening, can make people very unwell.

If you're worried that you, or someone close to you, may have dementia, it can be difficult to talk about. You may feel scared, confused or even ashamed. You may also be hoping that the problem will go away so you don't have to deal with it. We all bury our heads in the sand from time to time. But if you're seriously concerned, and the problem continues, it's important to talk to someone about it. The sooner you know what you’re dealing with, the sooner you can get on with your life and feel in control again. That's why this Dementia Awareness Week (19-25 May 2014) is all about opening up. The Alzheimer’s Society want anyone who's concerned about dementia to stop bottling it up and talk about it. To contact the Alzheimer’s Society, visit

To raise awareness of the disease Meningitis Now is holding Viral Meningitis Week, Take it Seriously, between Monday 5th May and Sunday 11th May. This aims to dispel misconceptions among the public that the disease is always ‘mild’ and highlight the long-term difficulties sufferers can face. There are around 5,000 cases of viral meningitis each year in the UK. The awareness week coincides with the start of the peak season for the disease, with the majority of cases happening during the warmer months. After-effects include headaches, exhaustion and memory loss. Because the symptoms can be very similar to bacterial meningitis it is essential to seek medical help if concerned. More information:

Every 13 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with bowel cancer. It is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but it shouldn’t be. If diagnosed at an early stage, bowel cancer is highly treatable.

Parkinson’s Awareness Week is an annual health awareness campaign organised by Parkinson’s UK. It will run from the 7th to 13th April 2014. It aims to change the way the condition is viewed by both public and health professionals alike. Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological condition which robs people of control of their bodies, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity – and these can only get worse over time. To find out more about Parkinson Awareness Week, please visit

The problem is that far too few people with bowel cancer are diagnosed in the early stages. This could be Early diagnosis is a problem, because some people either find it uncomfortable to discuss the symptoms or simply do not know what they are. Bowel Cancer UK’s aim is to encourage people to recognise the symptoms, act on their concerns, and take part in bowel screening, so that they have the best chance of survival. Symptoms of bowel cancer include:  Bleeding from the bottom and/or blood in your poo  A change in your normal bowel habit lasting three weeks or more  Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason  Unexplained weight loss  A pain or lump in your tummy For more information, please visit

Who doesn’t love Easter? Not only is it holiday time, it’s also a chance to feast on delicious chocolate egg after egg after egg! Sadly though, chocolate overload has its down points. Follow these healthy eating tips to avoid chocolate overkill: 

Fill yourself up with a big healthy breakfast. If you want to stick with the Easter theme enjoy a boiled egg and soldiers Don’t be tempted to scoff your egg in one go – save it for dessert and make it last all holiday Instead of asking your family for chocolate, why not ask for a pressie that isn’t edible this Easter As a break from the chocolate, enjoy a hot cross bun but go easy on the butter spread Melt your eggs to make a chocolate dip and dunk fruit pieces to make a healthy snack

For those of you having trouble resisting that chocolate egg temptation, try and get your mind off it with some fresh air and exercise like going for a bike ride.

Great Ormond St Hospital

In the UK, children receive on average 8.8 chocolate Easter eggs every year.

Healthwatch Calderdale is hosted by

The Calderdale Voice Issue 4 Apr - May 2014  

Healthwatch Calderdale

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