Blog 2022

16th December 2022

We're super excited to launch our first Crowdfunder appeal and we're asking for your support!

The Cost of Living Crisis is affecting us all.

Over the Winter, we'll be opening up Warm Spaces at 2 locations. This will allow anyone who needs extra help and support through the colder months, to pop in, relax and warm up, have a hot soup, refreshments and a chat.

We'd really appreciate any donation, however small. This will allow us to expand our services to the most vulnerable, and potentially offer additional Warm Spaces at more locations.

Please donate whatever you can afford today, and share with all your friends and family.

With many thanks from Claire, the ASDA Community Champion, for arranging a generous donation of soup for us.

9th December 2022

We enjoyed our last Walk n Talk of the Year in Rochester, with our friends at Stepping Out. It was a crisp morning, so we all wrapped up warm for a wander around the medieval city, taking in the decorated windows of the High Street and the Christmas Market, followed by a tour of the catherdral with hymns, and a wonderful lunch in the Crypt Cafe.

Due to the popularity of this month's walk, even more members got involved, and made their own way to Rochester by train, and enjoyed lunch at Jaspers Community Cafe together.

8th December 2022

Our festive celebrations got off to a great start this week, at our Friendly Spaces, funded by Optivo Wellbeing and Kent Community Foundation. Lots of fun and laughter, as our members took part in some festive quizzes and a game of Pass the Pudding, as well as a free Tombola and Raffle. Congratulations to Winifred, Pat and who won the wonderful hampers, generously donated by our member Lisa. Lovely to have the ladies from One You Kent with us, offering health checks and advice and Louise from Volunteering Swale Cvs All members got to take home a chocolate Santa or Reindeer, made possible with funding from a kind donation from our Trustee Bob, who we'd like to thank very much!

29th November 2022

This month's Book Club at The Optivo Wellbeing Hub at Rushenden, saw us delving into the lives and loves of the female steel workers at the Vickers Factory in Sheffield, set during WWII. The Steel Girls on the Home Front is by Michelle Rawlins. To inspire some of that Dunkirk Spirit, we had a quiz on rationing, and tasted a fruit cake made with a recipe from WWII, and using minimal ingredients. However we all agreed, it was really tasty!  

22nd November 2022

We're pleased with the response to our FREE Chair Exercise Classes taking place at the Methodist Church Hall in Sittingbourne on Tuesday afternoons. Georgina is a fantastic tutor, and everyone was able to take part, whatever their ability. We all enjoyed getting moving to some classic tunes, and couldn't believe how quickly the hour went!

10th November 2022

We had the chance to get all crafty at our Friendly Spaces in Sittingbourne, Sheerness and Teynham this month. With funding from Optivo Wellbeing and Kent Community Foundation We were able to offer all our members, both within Groups and online, the chance to Take or Make one of our festive craft packs. Wonderful to see so many members popping in to spend the morning getting creative, or just getting together with friends and having cuppa and a chat.

26th October 2022

Members of our Pedometer Challenge, who were unable to take part in our cancelled Sittingbourne Small Pod Walk, were offered a place on this month's Walk n Talk with our friends from Stepping Out, to the beautiful town of Hythe, instead. A short walk, for those less mobile, took in all the stunning Autumn colours along the canal, and the towns winding streets. The longer walk took place along the sea front promenade, with a fresh sea breeze, and stunning views.

Nothing like finishing off a lovely morning in the fresh Autumn air, than with a bowl of hot soup, sandwiches and a cuppa!

Thank You Stepping Out,

for once again inviting our members out for a wonderful day of gentle exercise and companionship.

13th October 2022

Many thanks to Claire, the Asda Community Champion, who joined us at our Friendly Space in Sittingbourne, funded by Optivo Wellbeing. Asda have kindly donated £1100 to allow our much needed projects and services to continue, free of charge to all our members.

Claire was also able to let us know about the initiative that will be running in all Asda cafes, throughout November and December. Anyone over 60 can purchase a bowl of soup, a roll, and unlimited tea/coffee for just £1 and stay as long as they wish, inside, in the warm.

If you have children or grandchildren, you can also take advantage of Asda's meal deal, during November and December, to purchase a child's meal or packed lunch for just £1 (no other purchase necessary)

6th October 2022

We all had fun at our very busy Sheerness Wellbeing Group, funded by Optivo Wellbeing this week. As part of Black History Month, our Book Club members received their copies of The Color Purple, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker (and adapted into the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film) Shona from Optivo joined our members, who took part in a Who's Who of inspirational Black leaders, actors and sporting hero's.

We also produced a booklet filled with examples of the rich tradition of poetry writing, from the Black Community, which members took home to read.

6th October 2022

We were pleased to welcome Sophie from Kent Police's Fraud Prevention team, to join our members at the Wellbeing Group at Sheerness, funded by Optivo, this month, with lots of invaluable advice, to help keep us all safer. 

27th September 2022

To encourage our Facebook members to:

Be Active

Connect to Others

Keep Learning 

Take Notice

Give to Others

Laura has launched our new Challenge Tuesdays, giving members the opportunity to get involved with 3 different challenges throughout the week, and share their results and photos with the group.

23rd September 2022

To mark the successful completion of our most recent Pedometer Challenge, funded by Kent Sport, we invited the participants to join us at Minster Leas. The walk was for all abilities, with lots of benches and flat hard walking surfaces. Members had the choice of a short stroll, or a longer walk. Followed by a lovely cuppa at the The Abbey Hotel and a free fruit raffle, we all ended the day in great spirits.

5th September 2022

Sophie from Kent County Council's Kent Digital project, continues to offer help and support at our Teynham Wellbeing Group, funded by Optivo, on the first Monday each month. The group now also incorporates our second Book Club, by popular demand. The Teynham Pedometer Challengers were also able to pick up their Goodie bags, for successfully completing this round of the challenge, funded by Kent Sport

1st September 2022

The members of our Sheerness Wellbeing Group, funded by Optivo, welcomes Anthony from The Harmony Therapy Trust this month. The Trust pays for free complementary therapy for those suffering from cancer and other serious life-altering illnesses. Their vision is for "the hands of Harmony" to be able to offer therapies to those in need, wherever they live in the County of Kent. And with higher incidences of cancers, and other poor health levels here in Kent, the need for the Trust is more vital than ever.

In keeping with the theme of the session we also held a raffle to win a wonderful Pamper Hamper, created and donated by our member Lisa, with runners up prizes. 

Congratulations to our Sheerness Pedometer Challengers, who have successfully completed their challenge, funded by Kent Sport, and received their well deserved Goodie Bags!

30th August 2022

Our Sheerness book Club Continues to grow from strength to strength. Now meeting on the last Tuesday of each month at the Optivo Wellbeing hub at Manor Road in Rushenden. Each session starts with a cuppa and a catch up, before getting down to the business of discussing the chosen book. A fun multiple choice quiz, allows everyone to refresh their memory on the details. After a lively discussion on each month's read, with comments and feedback, everyone gives their score out of 10. Finally we complete each Book Club with an interactive game based on the books subject or theme, whether that's completing a code breaker to accompany a spy novel or matching some famous writers and their fictional detectives, for a crime novel we've read.

11th August 2022

Our August project got off to a great start with our Sheerness and Teynham Wellbeing Groups funded by Optivo enjoying quizzes, thoughts, and ideas on Healthy Eating. With funding from Tesco Community Fund, we have created a Booklet ‘Healthy Eating for the Older Generation’ full of advice on changing appetites, eating well on a budget and meal planning. Our members were offered the choice of free ingredients to make one of two healthy salads at home, and a follow along tutorial on our YouTube channel. The photos posted on our Facebook Group and the feedback has been fantastic!

9th August 2022

We were pleased to be asked to organise an event to help bring the community together, at Ebbsfleet Garden City by Clarion Futures. It was a fun and busy day as local artisans and crafters from the area, had their products on sale. Residents and their children were invited to come along and take part in some creative workshops, including glass painting and collage. They also had the chance to decorate some friendship rocks, to hide locally, for others to find. Clarion was keen to hear from their residents first hand, what sort of activities they wanted in their community. We're looking forward to working in partnership with Clarion again, on a regular basis, with the potential to start an Ebbsfleet Wellbeing Group in the near future, to help build community spirit and connect individuals and families, many with young children, who are new to the area.

22nd July 2022

Our first Memorial Walk n Talk, to Elmley Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, was a day filled with memories of our dear friends, Ronnie, John and June. Together with Stepping Out, nearly 75 of our own members, those of partner groups and volunteers visited the trees we planted last year. We also had the opportunity to discover the beauty of the wild landscape, and share a wonderful lunch together, and before setting off home, all our members were presented with either free seeds or pots of Forget-Me-Knots to  mark the occasion.

7th July 2022

Great to have Jodie from One You, visiting our Optivo Wellbeing Group at Sheerness to give our members a health MOT with help and advice on positive lifestyle choices and general health

Being able to get online can improve people’s lives, whether through cutting household bills, finding a job or maintaining contact with distant friends and relatives.

However, to make sure the web is truly for everyone, it's more than just about access. Everyone needs to be equipped with the skills, motivation and trust to go online, and be digitally capable to make the most of the internet.

Digital Kent was set up by Kent County Council in 2021 and is part of the Helping Hands scheme. Sophie, from the Digital Kent team is joining us this month, at all our Wellbeing Groups, funded by Optivo to offer help and advice to enable our members to get the most out of their phones and digital devices.

17th June 2022

What better way to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee than with friends! This month we've been meeting up at all our Wellbeing Groups funded by Optivo and on our Facebook Group to celebrate with Royal quizzes, games, free raffles and lots of lovely fresh cream teas.

25th May 2022

What a wonderful day with our friends from Carers Stepping Out, as we wandered in the gorgeous parks and open spaces just a stone's throw from Canterbury's bustling high street. Our Walk n Talk this month took us under and over many of the old bridges that cross the River Stour as it meanders through the medieval city. Followed by a fantastic buffet lunch and a cuppa. What better way to spend the day, than taking some gentle exercise, in the company of dear friends, in stunning surroundings!

12th May 2022

We were pleased to welcome this month's guest speaker, Stevie Pettitt, the Fuel, Water and Home Advisor from Kent County Council, to our Optivo funded Wellbeing Groups In these challenges times, she was able to pass on some invaluable tips to help us around the home, as well as advice about becoming more environmentally aware. All our members went away with a goodie bag, filled with lots items to help swap to LED bulbs, insulate against drafts, reduce their water consumption and lots more! We were also pleased to give all our members our own Friendly Faces of Kent, Money Saving Tips booklet to take home.

29th April 2022

We joined our friends from Stepping Out this month, for a lovely Walk n Talk and lunch at the historic home of Vita Sackville West, Sissinghurst Castle Gardens. The sun shone for us, and the gardens were absolutely stunning.

28th April 2022

Our thanks to  Community Champion Clare from Asda, who poped into our Sittingbourne Wellbeing Group, funded by Optivo, to drop off a hamper full of goodies, for our members to share over a cuppa.

13th April 2022

Members at ourWellbeing Groups at Sittingbourne and Sheerness, funded by Optivo as well as those at Teynham, had great fun taking part in some Easter crafting. They supplied the creativity and we supplied the chocolate bunnies!

6th April 2022

Our members are getting involved with STOP FOOD WASTE DAY this month. We're encouraging them to bring along unwanted non-perishable food items to swap at our Wellbeing Groups, funded by Optivo, throughout April. The project has been so successful thus far, that we are carrying it forward into May. So if you haven't got involved yet, just bring something along to your regular Wellbeing Groups, and get swapping. Any items left at the end of the project will be donated to a local food bank.

We've also produced a handy booklet, with advice about reducing food waste at home, including ideas for turning leftovers into tasty meals and snacks. Booklets are available in Groups, online or by collection from our Sheerness offices.

29th March 2022

Our face to face Book Club, funded by the Co Op and Sheerness Town Council, took place this month at our offices at The Hope Street Centre, Rose Street, Sheerness. We had a lively discussion about Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon. We were all fascinated by the true story and exploits of war time spy, Nancy Wake, known to the Gestapo as The White Mouse.

Our members then took part in their own code breaking challenge, to try to crack the code to reveal a hidden message!

25th March 2022

The weather was perfect for our first walk of the year to the coast at Margate, with our friends at Stepping Out. A long or shorter walk, with the sun on our back and not a cloud in the sky. Followed by a tour of the Turner Contemporary Gallery and a lovely lunch, before setting off home.

4th March 2022

As part of this month's Spring Gardening Project, funded by Optivo and Kent Community Foundation, all our members were offered a Spring Garden Booklet and 2 sets of free seeds. Our resident gardening expert, Mick,was on hand on our Facebook Group offering our members some helpful tips and advice to get their gardens, balconies and window boxes prepared for the coming season. The Booklets and seeds are available for collection from our Sheerness offices, or by delivery if you're housebound, so please do get in touch if you'd like some to brighten up your environment.

3rd March 2022

What better way to celebrate World book Day, than with a free Book Raffle and the opportunity to create a personal bookmark to take home to use or gift to a friend! Lots of chat and fun for all, at our Optivo and Kent Community Foundation Groups and on our Facebook Group.

24th February 2022

This month saw us celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Day. Members at our Optivo and Kent Community Foundation Groups, at  Sheerness, Sittingbourne and Teynham took part in creating their own little pocket sized concertina booklets. With suggested Random Acts to carry out, and space to fill in their own ideas. 

On our Facebook Group we showed lots more ideas, and everyone shared how they had been able to participate in the day, and what kindenesses they'd been able to offer to others.

7th February 2022

Our Caring Sharing, Giving & Gratitude Project got off to a great start this month with a craft activity at the Sheerness, Teynham and Sittingbourne groups. We were so pleased to see so many members joining us again after the extended break due to Covid. Everyone who wishes to, got involved with making cards for loved ones, family and friends. With lots of time left for everyone to catch up over a cuppa and some biscuits. Our Optivo funded Wellbeing Group members at Sheerness were also treated to some yummy cake and free chocolates, which they'd missed out on when their end of year party was sadly cancelled.

2nd February 2022

Royal Visit to Sheerness

We were pleased to be invited to a special Royal event. Prince Charles and Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, were visiting the Healthy Living Centre in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey to meet groups and charities, like our own, who's work in the local community is so important, in helping to combat loneliness and isolation. The Royal couple then continued their tour, with Prince Charles visiting the Historical Dockyards, Chatham, and Camilla, the Battersea dog kennels and cattery.

Prince Charles chatting to one of our Trustees Beverley Nolker, in another of her roles as Founder of the ADHD Awesome Group.

1st February 2022

We'd like to say a big Thank You, to all of you who took the time to place your Tesco tokens for us in their stores. We're thrilled to announce that we came first! We've been awarded the Tesco Community Grant, that together with funding from Groundwork will allow our 'Let's Talk Lunch Project' to take place later in the year. With healthy eating ideas for the older generation, meal planning and nutritional advice for all our members, including affordable meal options, we're really excited to be able to offer this project for you to take part in. After the huge success of our recent Healthy Cook Along we'll also be supplying ingredients, recipe cards as well as lots of help and advice. Thanks again to Tesco for their support

27th January 2022

Our Healthier You for 2022 started off with a great Meat Free Cook Along. Some of our members calling into our office in Sheerness to pick up their free ingredients, donated by the Co Op. Our volunteers delivered to the homes of those unable to get to us, so no one felt they couldn't get involved

As well as a wipe clean recipe card, members were also able to follow along by watching a Video we created on our YouTube Channel

We were really pleased to see our members sharing their finished dishes on our Facebook group, and that they were all so happy with the results. 

25th January 2022

We're pleased to be featured in the latest edition of The Sittingbourne CommunityAd Magazine.The full colour glossy magazine is distributed to homes throughout the Sittingbourne bi-monthly and keeps its readers up to date with local news, articles of community interest, planning, local events, clubs and groups.

14th January 2022

This week we've been connecting on our Facebook Group, with ways to strengthen our Mental Health, through looking at the Five ways to Wellbeing, with solutions for handling anxiety and stress, and the use of positive affirmations.

6th January 2022

As part of our Healthier for You 2022 project running throughout January, we'll be challenging our members to look at healthier meal choices, and to go Meat Free for one day a week. To get everyone off to a great start, ingredients will be available to collect from our office in Sheerness, or delivered to the housebound by one of our volunteers. After a vote on our Facebook Group it was decided by our members in a poll, that they'd like to make a Veggie Bolognaise. 

Everything needed to take part in our Cook Along will be provided, including a recipe card and a video to watch on our YouTube channel.

3rd January 2022

One of the main things that 2021 has taught us, is that even when things get tough, it’s still possible to find small victories in the every day, and although we're disappointed to announce that our Groups won't be meeting up in person, until at least February, this doesn’t mean that it won’t lead the way to brighter days, and the sense of normality that we’ve all been craving.

We'd love to invite you all, to join us on our Facebook group where we'll be getting together every week day for lots of fun, chat and activities, starting on 6th January. Our 'Healthier YOU for 2022' Project is running all the way through January, with an interactive Meat-Free Cook Along - including free ingredients, live meditation sessions, advice on creating an Eco friendly environment in your home, as well as developing a healthy mind and body. We can't wait for you all to get involved, reconnect after the Festive break and join us as we launch into another exciting year!

1st January 2022

We'd like to wish all our Members, Partners, Funders and Trustees, a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2022