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Issue 1 | Summer 2010

Stepping forwards Jess Snowden introduces CAN’s new befriending and mentoring scheme pg 4

Reach new horizons Find out about free training on offer around the county pg 4

Shout to the top The UP2U forum is making its voice heard pg 5

Branching out People Tree Training’s tips for better self esteem pg 9

Who we are

Over 1.2 million of society’s most vulnerable people are leading independent lives thanks to Supporting People Supporting People is a government grant programme that funds housing related support. The services who receive funding help vulnerable people improve or maintain their ability to lead independent lives. This might include supporting someone coming out of homelessness obtain their own tenancy, enabling an older or disabled person to stay in their own home or helping someone to flee domestic abuse. Supporting People strive to deliver high quality, needs-led services that are strategically planned and complement existing care services. As the key focus is on getting the right support and outcomes for service users, each service is monitored to ensure certain standards are met. This is achieved by working in partnership with local government, probation and health services, voluntary sector organisations, housing associations, support agencies and the service users themselves.




iJi Inside this issue:

I am excited to welcome you to the first issue of Umbrella, the Supporting People newsletter for Northamptonshire.

News Reach new horizons with free training this autumn


New befriending project is stepping forwards


Changing the face of supported housing: it’s UP2U


Service Profile Bromford Support tell us about their services around the county

A warm welcome from the UmbrellaI editorial team


Features How acupuncture can help with addiction and withdrawal


Branch out with People Tree Training’s self esteem tips


Input & Inspire My story This week a client from the Eden Park Project shares with us


It’s all in a name-well it is if that name is Tynchy Stryder


Over the past few months I have been working with a service user designing and developing this newsletter. At the start of the process she suggested the name Umbrella because it represents the umbrella of Supporting People projects in Northamptonshire. We also thought an umbrella could be a symbol of the way support services work. Whilst an umbrella offers shelter and protection to those who need it, it can only work whilst one’s willing to hold on to it, just like the support that helps clients on their route towards independence and empowerment. I take this opportunity to thank Athena for all her help and to those who have submitted items and stories for this and future issues. A big thank you also to the

clients and colleagues who have given their time and commitment in helping us set up the UP2U forum. We are now established and meeting once every couple of months. UP2U carries the voice of clients to the commissioners who shape Supporting People’s services; they are listening and change is really happening. Working together we plan to set up a number of other projects that will enable clients to get involved and help Northamptonshire support services continue to strive for excellence. You can read more about this on page 5. We will continue to keep you informed of any forthcoming opportunities where you too can get involved.

Richard Lukehurst Client Involvement Development Worker

UmbrellaI Are you a service provider or living in supported accommodation and would like to share you experiences? We would love to hear from you. You can submit your articles and pictures to us at our St Giles Street office, by email or call Richard to tell him about what you’ve been up to. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

43 High Street Corby

01536 201973

41 Oxford Street 01933 271879 Wellingborough

32 - 34 Derngate 01604 622121 Northampton 01604 627027

81 St Giles Street Northampton NN1 1JF 01604 250 678 i



Befriending project is stepping forwards I am in the final and exciting stages of starting up The Footsteps Project, a Mentoring and Befriending Scheme funded by Supporting People and run by CAN. The Footsteps Project offers support to individuals who have experienced issues with drugs, alcohol and/or homelessness. By matching our clients with a trained mentor or befriender, they will be encouraged to move forward positively towards their chosen goals. Footsteps also equips its volunteer mentors and befrienders with the skills and confidence needed to offer constructive and motivational support to others, in the form of training and ongoing supportive meetings. Through these regular meetings with a mentor or befriender, the project aims to reduce feelings of isolation and social exclusion. It hopes to increase the individual’s self-esteem and confidence in communicating with others. Through this process, Footsteps aims to reduce any risk of relapse, and to help the client move forward

positively and independently in their lives. In order to achieve its aims, Footsteps first assesses the client’s needs and best hopes. We then match the client with a suitable volunteer mentor or befriender who will meet regularly with them for a year, and spend time working with them to identify their goals and the steps needed to get there. The pair will also have regular opportunities to meet with a Footsteps worker, to discuss their progress and any concerns they may have. The support is tailored to what the client needs, but may include social visits, sport activities, advice and guidance, practical help or signposting clients to other suitable services. If you think that you, or someone you know, would benefit from The Footsteps Project then please give me a call for an informal chat. I would be very keen to talk to people who would like to get involved as either a client or as a volunteer. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jess Snowden The Footsteps Project 81 St Giles Street Northampton NN1 1JF Tel: 01604 250 678

New horizons for lone parents Working can make a big difference to how you feel about yourself as well as improving your finances. However, if you’ve been out of work for some time, going back is a big step and can seem daunting. Horizons Your Work is a unique, three-week, FREE programme run by Gingerbread. The programme is specifically designed to give lone parents valuable advice and support on all aspects of returning to work, as

well as two weeks’ work experience. If you are not currently working, are eligible to work in the UK and are bringing up school age or younger children on your own, Your Work could help you: boost your confidence and explore your options; build your skills for work; gain practical experience in a real workplace and to make an informed decision to see if returning to work is right for you. Help with meals and travel costs are provided

and there is also help with childcare costs incurred for taking part in the programme. Courses will be running in Northampton from September 28 – October 15 and November 9 – November 26. For further details on these courses or to find out more about the Horizons Your Work programme, please call freephone 0800 652 6364 or visit

Free courses in Northants Learn2b delivers courses that aim to enhance the well-being of people living in Northamptonshire through a range of creative, social, recreational and therapeutic groups held around the county. Previous sessions have included card making, yoga, drawing, expressive arts, goal setting and using colour therapy. The courses will benefit people who 4

are interested in developing new skills that will build their confidence, self-esteem and general well-being. Learn2b offers a range of learning opportunities in smaller supported groups, themes include: healthy living—focussing on sporting activities, nutrition and recreational pursuits; creative expression—using creative writing, arts and crafts; and well-being—learning to manage

distressing symptoms such as anxiety, panic and low mood. New courses will begin in September. To receive further details of what’s on offer or to book your place contact the Learn2b team on 01604 893451 with your name and a contact number.



Changing the face of supporting housing A select few members who put themselves forward then sit on a core group with professionals and commissioners to put the UP2U forum’s views forwards. Members are really enjoying being involved and many have gained confidence by taking part in UP2U meetings and activities. Sally Foan of People Tree Training delivered a session on communication. One member said: “It was a good idea that worked well as it meant that everyone who felt they wanted to contribute had the opportunity to do so. I enjoyed the task of setting out what we believed were good personal qualities to have when attending and facilitating a meeting and what wouldn’t be helpful. We then had a clear idea on what to do.”

The UP2U forum decided upon their name during this meeting at the Guildhall. Over the last year Client Involvement Development Worker Richard Lukehurst has been setting up and establishing the UP2U forum.

teenage parenthood; domestic abuse; learning disability and mental health issues; or those who are of ethnic minority or at risk of offending.

UP2U aims to contribute to the County Council’s Client Involvement Strategy so that it delivers an effective and coordinated approach to client engagement for the benefit of all clients in supported housing.

Richard, who is passionate about dispelling social exclusion and increasing client involvement said: “UP2U is all about promoting empowerment and independence through involvement. I’m delighted that this group gives clients an opportunity to speak out; their feedback matters and can lead to real changes.“

Members are representative of the Supporting People client groups and the forum aims to be balanced in terms of gender and ethnic origin. Current representatives include people who have been affected by: homelessness; drug and alcohol problems;

The group meets every couple of months for members to discuss what is working well, what could be improved, and what could be introduced within their services.

Richard feels it is important to reward volunteers for their time and input and has organised various activities for the group. Members have enjoyed going to watch Northampton’s rugby and football teams play at their home grounds and have seen various performances at the local Royal and Derngate theatre. “Clients have really benefitted from the socialising aspect as well as the skills they gain from working as a team or speaking in public,” he said ”The next event is pretty special so watch this space!” UP2U is always looking to recruit new volunteer members. If you are currently or have previously been a service user with a Supporting People’s service we would love to hear your views. Please contact Richard Lukehurst on 01604 250 678 or 07958 617 516 or send him an email at

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Best of

BRITISH focus day

What do D-Day, Trooping the Colour and the Silverstone Grand Prix have in common? They all happen in June. To mark these topical events Daventry’s Bromford Support team held a themed focus day at the Abbey Centre. The British theme was evident by the bunting that decorated the walls and the informative displays that were dotted around the hall. They featured topics from the day’s ‘Best of British Quiz’ including the history of Silverstone; the Grand National; the events leading to D-Day and the Trooping of the Colour. To tie-in with D-Day everyone was given a ration book which could be used to claim their lunch. Support worker Julie Clamp demonstrated her culinary skills by showing clients how to cook a British classic— Corned Beef Hash. She said: “It’s really simple and affordable to make; it really is a budget meal and a family favourite in our house.” Quiz winner Phil Turner was awarded with the ingredients to recreate the dish at home. As a new Bromford client he was very pleased with the result, he said: “The service is definitely having a positive effect. I am

seeing results in certain areas and I am being helped to help myself.” Other clients won prizes in the raffle and I received a box of chocolates as a runner-up in the quiz. Many clients attended and all those I spoke to were enjoying themselves. Bromford Support clients are often isolated so the event was an opportunity for them to socialise in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It was also an arena for Bromford to share information and gain feedback on their service delivery. Event organiser, and support worker, Jan Martin was pleased the day was such a success. She said: “We aim to hold regular client involvement events and having a theme enabled us to incorporate fun activites. We chose ‘Best of British’ because there are so many things happening at this time of the year, things that are specific to the British Isles” I had a great time and learned lots of new and interesting facts. I really enjoyed meeting new people and catching up with familiar faces—I’ll definitely be going to their next event.

Make Julie’s Corned Beef Hash in a dash This quick and easy recipe is a firm favourite Chez Julie 400g potatoes (peeled and cubed) 1 tin of corned beef 2 tins of baked beans 1 medium onion (finely chopped) Dash of Worcestershire sauce 25g butter 70g grated cheddar cheese 1.



Boil the potatoes with a pinch of salt and mash well with half the butter, a splash of milk and season with pepper to taste. Fry the onion on a medium heat in the remaing butter until they’re soft..



5. 6. 7.

Chop the corned beef roughly and crumble into an ovenproof dish. Cover with onions, one of the tins of baked beans, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly. Give a quick flatten with the back of a spoon and dollop the mash potato on top. Spread the potato with a fork to add texture—these bits will go nice and crispy in the oven. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake on the middle shelf at 180oC for half an hour or until the top has started to crisp. Serve with remaining baked beans. By Athena Bartlett


BROMFORD SUPPORT provides housing related support to adults who need a bit of extra help to lead independent lives. Services are aimed at maximizing and maintaining independence and equipping customers with necessary life skills. The support is flexible and tailored to meet the particular needs of each individual customer. Packages can include: support with general wellbeing; mental and physical health issues; bills and budgeting; managing debts; education, training and work; socialisation; relation-

ships and parenting. Customers are encouraged and empowered to make their own choices and to get involved in the services they receive. Bromford Support receives referrals from various professionals including doctors, social workers, midwives, probation officers and community mental health teams. Individuals experiencing difficulties can also ‘self-refer’ by contacting us to request an application form. Bromford Support will then be in touch to arrange an assessment.

New Horizons New Horizons House provides housing and support for young parents aged between 16-20 years who already have a child or are in the third trimester of pregnancy. The accommodation consists of ten, two bedroom self contained flats with tenants holding their own assured short hold tenancy. New Horizons Floating Support Service provides support to young parents living in the community of Northampton, working with other agencies to ensure that they receive support with their first independent tenancy and parenting skills. Contact Kat 07734 857152

Chartwell House, Brackley, South Northants Chartwell House provides long term supported accommodation for individuals with a learning disability who are aged 18 years or over. Contact Gemma 07734 857161

Northamptonshire Generic Floating Support These services support customers in their own accommodation. Support workers have experience of working with a range of issues such as: homelessness; drug and alcohol misuse; mental health needs; learning difficulties; domestic violence and improving life skills and/or confidence. Wellingborough: Jo 07739 446206 Daventry: Andy 07912 275268 South Northants: Karen 07785 510901

Northamptonshire Mental Health Floating Support These services provide support to customers experiencing mental health problems in their own accommodation and who need support to continue to live independently. The support consists of the above but also ensures that a customer’s mental health needs are met; this may be acheived by supporting customers to go to their appointments with their CMHT, monitoring their medication or ensuring that they have enough food in their cupboard. Northampton: Dee 07912 275269 Daventry: Andy Brain 07912 275268



Auricular acupuncture although it is most often associated with helping people to quit smoking or manage their weight loss, it is now accepted as an effective treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

As a recovering alcoholic with degrees of anxiety and depression, I have found that acupuncture has contributed to my increasing well being and better health. Any initial cynicism or doubts about such treatment have been dispelled by a very positive experience.

be achieved within the first session, but regular treatments enhance the beneficial effects. Individuals who have received sessions of auricular acupuncture have experienced one or more of the following: • • • • • • •

Auricular acupuncture is simply acupuncture performed on the ear and is widely used throughout the United Kingdom to treat a variety of conditions. Its popularity has been growing since the 1970s and

Acupuncture has helped me with my cravings and depression. It has taught me how to relax and has helped tremendously with my anxiety. Quality of sleep has improved 100%! A general feeling of well-being.


In Chinese medicine the ear is seen as a microsystem of the whole body. There are approximately 200 different acupuncture points on the ear and each one relates to a different area of the body. The treatment process is straight forward and painless—the client has a small number of, usually about five, very small fine needles inserted just under the skin of the outer ear. The needles are left in for approximately 30 – 45 minutes, before being removed and disposed of safely. The client is left to sit and relax quietly during the process. Auricular acupuncture is a simple, safe and effective approach which allows a large number of people to simultaneously receive treatment and improve the quality of their health and wellbeing. Results can

• •

Improved relaxation Stress reduction Better sleep Improved appetite Reduced cravings Clarity of mind and increased sense of purpose Improved self confidence and positive attitude Reduced physical symptoms of withdrawal Relief from depression/anxiety.

Auricular acupuncture is available at CAN offices around the county. For more information call Steve on 07970 298127.

Monday 11.00am – 12.30pm Derngate, N’pton 2.30pm – 4.30pm Corby Tuesday 2.30pm – 4.30pm Wellingborough Friday 12.30pm – 3pm Derngate, N’pton



Self-esteem matters Our level of self-esteem impacts on our daily lives, at work and at home. Sally Foan of People Tree Training offers advice on how we can give our self-esteem an MOT. Every day we make decisions based partly on our level of self-esteem/selfworth and exhibit that level to those around us in a range of verbal and non-verbal behaviours/clues. These behaviours/clues influence how others react towards us, perpetuating the cycle. Our level of self-esteem can affect many areas of our lives including our career, our key relationships and our general health. Outside influences took their part in setting our level of self-esteem as we grew up. These may have included the opinions and words of parents, teachers, friends and family. What we need to do as adults is take a fresh look at our own opinion of ourselves. Is our long-held view accurate? Is our view ‘rose-tinted’ or unfairly negative? Bear in mind that the feedback we grew up with may have been fatally flawed. What if the people that influenced our self-worth were less than perfect, not experts and wrong? Perhaps we were bullied, or lived in a challenging household that has left our confidence and self-esteem dented, preventing us from achieving our potential. As adults we can decide to take the opportunity to re-examine our self-esteem by seeking balanced feedback from people we respect. So, what if you have the potential to achieve more but the barriers are your own disempowering beliefs? What if the things you’d like to achieve are actually possible? Picture yourself and your future as one of those enormous super tankers out at sea. These massive ships take a great deal of time to change course. Someone in the bridge, at the helm, needs to decide on a destination and communicate this to the crew. Our cognitive (thinking) mind is our captain and our unconscious is the crew that will get us there. Don’t wait for someone else— a ‘perfect’ partner, manager or friend—to steer your ship/life they are at the helm of their own.


Learn how to feel good about yourself Take time to remind yourself of all the things that you have accomplished. Remember your achievements and all the positive things that you do for yourself and others. We rarely hear the positives and yet we certainly hear any negatives – and remember them long after we have forgotten all the nice things said about us or our performance.

Surround yourself with good people Friendship based on mutual trust and respect is a fundamental boost to our self-confidence. Avoid people that continually put you down or make you feel small or low.

Be well rounded Don’t neglect your interests. When was the last time you did that hobby you love, listened to your favourite music, or went to the theatre? Stay active; endorphins lift your spirits and staying healthy will make you feel better about yourself and your self-image. Take a pride in your appearance; it will do wonders for your self-confidence – when you know you look good, others notice. Walk tall.

Avoid self-consciousness If you are self-conscious in a social situation focus on the following: • Just because you lack confidence doesn’t mean others can tell. • Approach a group and introduce yourself. Ask questions and really listen to their answers. • Finding out about the other people present will help make them (and you) feel more comfortable. • Slow down and concentrate on others rather than yourself.

Accept criticism If you are constantly saying things like ‘I’m no good at anything’ you’re probably wrong. People have different skills and talents. Self-esteem is not just about thinking positively about yourself all the time, it is about being realistic and about not thinking badly about yourself for no reason. Criticism can be a positive thing. If we can learn to see the positives of constructive criticism, we can improve our performance. Sometimes seeing things from someone else’s perspective helps us to see what we were blind to, and why the change is needed.

Accept failure Failure is part of life. It is how you deal with it that sets you apart. Everyone gets knocked down at some time so the real question is, will you get back up? Winston Churchill once said: “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Deal with a bully Once you challenge a bully in a calm but clear way you will realise how much better you feel about both the bully and yourself. Changing our mindset about a bully, who after all lacks the more appropriate tools and life skills, can help us to change our approach. Challenging is easier than you think when you use a ‘feelings assertion’ such as: “I would much prefer to have this conversation later when we are both calmer ” Take the time to practice and role-play these situations and this will help you to remain calm in real situations.

Set goals and meet them The process of looking forward, planning ahead, and accomplishing something can be very fulfilling. A Peruvian proverb states, "Little by little, one walks far." 9

Input & Inspire

My story ... teenage parenthood As a child I lived with my mum, dad and older sister. My dad favoured my sister as she was the eldest, so I acted up to catch his attention, which rarely worked. I think I was always close to my mum because my dad gave his attention to my sister so my mum tried to make up for it by giving me more attention, which ended up making me become spoilt. Growing up I was an extremely angry teenager and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I rarely attended secondary school, preferring to spend my days at home lying in bed watching television. When I found out I was pregnant I realised I really needed my Education, and attended a local school for pregnant girls. I found out I was pregnant at 14; I had been having stomach pains but hadn’t imagined I could be pregnant. My sister’s boyfriend’s jokes prompted me to take the test—I thought I would prove him wrong so when the two lines appeared I was shocked, confused and too scared to tell my mum. I told my sister, who told our next door neighbour who offered to tell my mum. for me. At first mum wanted me to have an abortion but changed her mind the next day at my first scan when I heard my baby’s heart beat knew I could not get rid of him. After my mum told my dad I was pregnant he did not speak to me for five months by which time I was almost full term. My son’s dad is not involved because we had split up before I discovered the pregnancy, when I told him he said I was stupid for not having an abortion. He visited us once at the hospital after the birth but has chosen not to see us again since then. After my son was born I continued to live with my mum who was very supportive. I completed school and achieved 7 GCSEs and 2 Diplomas. I then studied at college and attained a Level 2 Business and Administration qualification but fell pregnant to my boyfriend in the second year. When I told my mum she was not pleased and asked me to move out. My son and I moved in with my boyfriend and his mum, welived there 10

for a few months but the house was overcrowded and she had to ask us to move out; that is when my midwife made my referral to Eden Park. I am now 17 years old, my son is 3, and I am 5 months pregnant with another boy on the way. Eden Park is the first time I have lived on my own with my son; I now feel more independent and do not feel anxious anymore. In 5 years time I hope to have completed a home learning course in business, have a full time job and hopefully my own business. My sons will be happy,healthy and attending school, and we will be living in a nice house as a family with my boyfriend. I would also like to learn to drive. For information about the Eden Park project contact Zoe Hall 01536 204315.

Eden Park is a support service for young parents and families in Corby providing support and accommodation to young mothers and fathers aged 16 - 19. Support needs vary from benefit entitlement, educational needs, emotional support and parenting and life skills. Acting as a stepping stone to independence Eden Park has 13 fully furnished self- contained flats that provide accommodation for clients before moving on to their own independent tenancy. The project is a hub of local services providing work shops and drop in sessions on a range of topics and skills. Clients can be referred to Eden Park when they are in their 24th week of pregnancy or are the primary carer of a child aged 0 - 5 years. i

Input & Inspire

A moment with a CAN service user I recognise these thoughts and the feelings they produce...

“What if I had a few cans now and again? It won’t hurt I am in control now.” Reality is I have been here too many times before.

“This time it will be different, I won’t drink more than 21 units a week.” Give me a couple of months and that will be 21 units a day!

“How about only drinking in pubs and clubs, that’s not so bad?” You can’t afford it because it will turn into more and more alcohol each night.

“What about Christmas and New Year, a one off?” You mean a one-way ticket to self destruction!

“Do you really want it? All it is a thought of how it used to feel when you first drank, it’s always the thought of comfort it brings that gets me back to that first drink.” Alcohol is like a fire to you, if you touch it you get burnt so why reach out for the flames.


MEETING RAPPER TYNCHY STRYDER On St Valentine’s Day I went to a Tynchy Stryder concert after legally changing my name to Sean Tynchy Stryder. I’m a big fan of his, his number one fan, I think he’s way cool and quality. I wrote to Tynchy after appearing in the local paper because of my name change and asked if I could meet him after a gig; he read the article and was anxious to meet me. I was very happy and excited that I got to meet my idol and will always treasure this photograph of us both taken backstage. No matter how over ambitious and unrealistic a goal may seem to others, a goal in principal, should always be pursued.


By Sean Tynchy Stryder


Is floating support for me? We can support you to live independently in your own home s and t h g i r your a tenant g n i s in Expla sibilities a n respo Support with contacting and making appointments with other agencies

d y aids an ay need n a n o e m Advic hat you t s n o i t adapta Suppor

Advice and s upport with claiming we benefits and lfare housing ben efits Wellingborough: Daventry:

t with reporting repairs to yo ur home and managing your tenancy

Support with budgeting and managing your bills

Jo 07739 446206 South Northants: Andy 07912 275268 Northampton:

Karen 07785 510901 Dee 07912 275269

Get in touch Clients and Service Providers Contact us with your ideas and feedback Umbrella is keen to get articles, news and stories from a diverse mix of services and service users. We’d love to receive any recipes, poems, pictures or ideas for future editions from right across the county

I The Editorial Team | 81 St Giles Street | Northampton | NN1 1JF | 01604 250 678 | i

Summer 2010  

This is the summer, and very first issue of the Supporting People's Northamptonshire newsletter

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