We're excited to be featured as one of the top Kent Stories in the Winter issue of Optivo LIVE Residents' Magazine. It's so important to get information out to a larger audience, about the benefits of taking regular exercise, and getting involved in our Pedometer Challenge is the perfect way to start
13th December 2021
On The Road
As our On The Road Project comes to an end, we've seen our Friendly Faces Minibus professionally valeted, sign written and pass it's MOT. As soon as Covid restrictions allow, we'll be using it to it's full capacity, to help transport our members to walks and activities, as well as a Sharing Library and Mobile Hub. This is going to mean we can offer our services to new people out in the community, and make a difference to even more local members lives. Our thanks go out to Kent Community Foundation and Involving Medway for their funding. Also to Sheppey Graphic for providing their service free of charge.
9th December 2021
Our Optivo Wellbeing Group at Sittingbourne met up at the Methodist Church Hall for our End of Year Party. Lots of laughter and as we all looked back at 2021 with a quiz and tried to guess the celebrities behind their masks! We also had a free raffle and wonderful festive refreshments supplied by the Co Op. We were pleased that our new Trustee Bob was able to come along and enjoy the fun and that we could thank him personally for the festiv gifts he has donated for all our members.
8th December 2021
We met up with our friends at Stepping Out for a festive walk around the medieval town of Rochester. Taking in the beautifully decorated shop windows along the high street, before going on a hugely informative tour of the Cathedral. We shared a delicious buffet lunch in the Catherdral Crypt Cafe and everyone had the opportunity to take part in a free raffle. A wonderful end to the year!
6th December 2021
Our Kent Community Foundation group at Teynham got the opportunity to have a go at creating some festive mugs with Catherine from Espression Arts for In A Space. Their mugs were glazed and fired and returned in time for them to give as gifts. As it was our last meeting of the year we also celebrated with a free raffle, yule log and mince pies, supplied by the Co Op. And everyone got to choose a gift to take home, kindly donated by our new Trustee Bob.
5th December 2021
On a rather cold and blustery Sunday morning, we met with the families invited to The Roots Of Remembrance tree planting ceremony at Elmley Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey.
Each of the three families took part in personally planting a tree for their loved one, who we were all so sad to have lost during the pandemic.
Afterwards we gathered by the open fire to warm up, have lunch and share memories of June, John and Ronnie. Each of the families was presented with a memorial tree cast in metal to mark the day.
We anticipate our first Memorial Walk taking place in March 2022 to coincide with the National Day of Reflection to support the millions of people who've been bereaved during the pandemic and to reflect on the lives of the people we've lost.
2nd December 2021
Lots of festive cheer this morning at our Optivo Wellbeing Group at Holy Trinity Church Hall in Sheerness. We were pleased to welcome Rose and Christina back from In A Space for some fun Christmas Crafting. Our members were all able to create a personal wreath to take home to add to their seasonal decorations. The mornings session was Live Streamed to our Facebook group, where our online members were able to follow along, and sign up to have crafting resources delivered to them over the weekend, to create their own wreaths and cards at home
2nd December 2021
Vaccines have helped us build a wall of defence and return to a more normal way of life, which is why this autumn and winter it’s vital that eligible people come forward for their COVID-19 booster vaccine and flu jab to protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS.
Due to colder weather which favours transmission experts have warned there could be a significant flu surge this winter coinciding with continuing or rising COVID-19 cases.
The government has launched a nationwide advertising campaign to encourage those eligible to get their COVID-19 booster and flu jabs, to protect themselves and their loved ones this winter.
Boots, Asda and Lloyds Pharmacy, as well as the nation’s independent pharmacies, have backed this drive and encourage people to come forward and get their free flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster jab when eligible.
People will be invited for the COVID-19 booster jab when it’s their turn - if they have not been contacted within a week of reaching 6 months since their second jab they can call 119 or book online.
20th November 2021
To allow even greater access to our activities, this week's Small Pod Walk, funded by Optivo Wellbeing, took place on Saturday morning. It was wonderful to be able to welcome along some of our online members, who usually work or are busy during the week, and aren't always able to attend
our usual activities and projects in person.
There was a definite nip in the air, but the Autumn colours were glorious, as we set out for both a long and short walk around Sittingbourne Recreation ground and surrounding area.
Everyone walked at their own pace while taking part in our fun Scavenger Hunt along the way. Finally we all headed back to the Appleyard, for a well deserved cuppa, a free raffle and some chat and laughter about everyone's mini adventure!
17th November 2021
Our theme for this week's meeting at Holy Trinity Church Hall in Sheerness, funded by Kent Community Foundation, was based on books and writers. We encouraged our members to get writing with raffle prizes of writing sets and pens, notelets to send to friends and a journal. We also had a fun quiz, with questions on everything from Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling!
17th November 2021
Over the last six weeks, sixteen members of Friendly Faces of Kent and Optivo residents have taken part in the
Optivo Pedometer Six Week Challenge followed by a four week maintenance update.
They have taken strides to walk their way to wellness since the lockdown restrictions were lifted. Sixteen people successfully finished the pedometer challenge, most completing the 30% step increase and the remaining four are working hard to achieve their goals.
It's not just about the physical element of the challenge but the positive effects of supporting the mental health of our members during a worrying and stressful time.
Overall, the steps our members have managed to do over a six week period was 5,193,544 which is the equivalent of walking from the Isle of Sheppey to Turkey! It has been a great way to get participants moving again after the restrictions of the Covid 19 Pandemic.
Well Done Everyone!
12th November 2021
11th November 2021
More help and advice for our Sittingbourne members when we met up at our regular 2nd Thursday of the month meeting, funded by Optivo at the Methodist Church Hall. With a copy of the NHS Community Health magazine, free PPE starter kits, funded by Kent County Council, as part of our Covid Awareness Project, and lots of fresh fruit to take home and enjoy!
Our members also got involve in a fun creative writing exercise. With some easy to follow prompts, we created some amazing pieces of poetry, that everyone was proud of and got them in the mood to enter our ongoing Poetry Competition. All entries will be published in our Friendly Faces Poetry Booklet for all to share after the judging. Entres can be emailed to Lesley@friendlyfacesofkent.co.uk or brought along to any of our Community Groups settings by 16th December.
9th November 2021
We were out with the Sheppey Support Bus volunteers in Leysdown, on their regular Tuesday journey around The Island. Great to see this invaluable service, of community food bank and information service being used by so many local people. We handed out our free PPE, funded by Kent County Council, and were excited to chat to those hearing about our activities and services, some for the first time.
5th November 2021
There are still cases of COVID-19 in England and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated. This means it is important that you understand and consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19 in all situations. While no situation is risk free, there are easy and effective actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.
All adults in England have now been offered at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective. Getting fully vaccinated is the best way of protecting you and others against COVID-19.
Let fresh air in if you meet indoors.
Meeting outdoors is safer. When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person. Meeting outdoors vastly reduces the risk of airborne transmission, but this may not always be possible. If you’re indoors, you should let fresh air in to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
Wear a face covering
COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. You should wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed areas where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet.
Get tested and self-isolate if required
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. This is because many people experience mild symptoms from COVID-19, but may still pass on the virus to others.
Take tests if you do not have symptoms to help manage your risk
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. This means they could be spreading the virus without knowing it. Testing regularly increases the chances of detecting COVID-19 when you are infectious but are not displaying symptoms, helping to make sure you do not spread COVID-19.
Try to stay at home if you’re feeling unwell
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. You should self-isolate at home while you book the test and wait for the results. You must self-isolate if you test positive.
Wash your hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes
Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. Regular hand washing is an effective way to reduce your risk of catching illnesses, including COVID-19.
Use the NHS COVID-19 app
Using the NHS COVID-19 app helps stop the spread of the virus by informing you that you have been in close contact with someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19, even if you do not know each other. You can also use it to check in to venues with an NHS QR code and receive advice if there has been an outbreak. The app is free and easy to use and doing so can help you protect your loved ones and others.
Limit close contact with other people
When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles containing the virus that causes COVID-19. These particles can be breathed in by another person. You may choose to limit the close contact you have with people you do not usually live with. You may also choose to take a lateral flow test before being in close contact and also encourage those people you are meeting with to do so, which will help to manage periods of risk.
5th November 2021
During the Pandemic lock down it became very important to be digital! Being able to use online shopping, banking and communication options made life a little easier for many and kept people connected and informed. We saw a distinct difference in our members mental health and wellbieng between those that could remain connected through our online activities and those that did not have the facilities/know how. to get involved. With this in mind we are hoping to be successful in obtaining funding for a Digital Inclusion Project
This would allow our members that are not digitally savvy to gain vital training. They would learn how to shop online, bank online, send emails, join online chat rooms and join our Face Book Group. We feel this is an important project that would help those that now feel the importance of staying connected with their Community, Friends and Family in such a changing world.
We've already seen the huge difference that having access to a Kindle Fire, funded by Medway Voluntary Action, has made to our members, opening up the world of 1000's of books and the chance to get involved in both our physical and interactive online Book Club.
5th November 2021
With help from our amazing Staff, Volunteers, Trustees and Partner Funders we are proud to be supporting our community with our 'Four Ways to Connect' Projects. Encouraging adults 18+ to form friendships, improve their physical/mental wellbeing and connect with their local community through our interactive, inclusive activities. If
you know someone who would benefit from our Support please sign post them so they can join in our fantastic group.
4th November 2021
We were pleased to welcome One You, to what will be a regular slot at our Sheerness group, on the first Thursday of every month. Our members were able to take advantage of the One You MOT, having their weight and blood pressure checked, as well as getting life style advice on keeping healthy. There was a selection of fruit available for our members to take home, as well as tea and biscuits, whilst we chatted and took part in our popular and fun Pass-the-parcel-raffle.
3rd November 2021
A wonderful fresh afternoon with the lovely colours of Autumn on our 2nd Small Pod Walk, this time, through the fields and lanes around Teynham. Also joined by members from our Sheerness and Sittingbourne groups, we finishing both our long and short walks at the Dover Castle, for some much needed tea and biscuits. Thank you to our funders Sport EnglandKent Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund
29th October 2021
Coronavirus infection levels have risen across the UK, with new estimates suggesting that the same proportion of people in England have Covid as at the peak of the second wave, while in Wales it is at the highest rates since estimates began last year. But, despite the high prevalence, hospital admissions and deaths remain far lower than in January, largely thanks to the vaccine rollout.
The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, suggest around one in 50 people in England had the virus in the week to October 22, up from one in 55 the previous week and the equivalent of about 1.1 million people. Professor Jim Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, said he hopes England's infection level has peaked - and if so, this will soon be reflected in the data - but warned that the country is still “running very hot”. The estimates come as students are being encouraged to get tested for Covid-19 before returning to school after the October half-term. Ministers and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) urged young people to take a rapid lateral flow test to minimise the risk of disruption to lessons and ensure families can “enjoy the best” of the festive season.
29th October 2021
What a great time of year for a poetry competition! Get inspired by the crisp mornings, changing Autumn colours or walks through the fallen leaves with friends. We know some of our members are great poets and many enjoyed Alishas Poetry Corner last year. All entries will be included in our very own little booklet of poems, that will be printed out for everyone to read and share. The winner will be chosen by our members to receive a prize. So come on get your creative juices flowing and send in your poems by email or hand in at one of our group settings.
The subject can be either the Seasons or Friendships
22nd October 2021
PLANTING A TREE IN MEMORY OF THOSE MEMBERS WE HAVE LOST
Friendly Faces of Kent sadly lost three of our valued members during the Pandemic before the relaunch of our group settings this month. We would like to remember them by planting a tree in their memory. We are in conversation with the families of these loved ones and The Elmley Nature Reserve, to be able to have a very special memorial tree, planted in each of their names. Each tree will be a native tree of Kent which Elmley are encouraging to aid sustainability. We think this would be a fitting and beautiful way to remember these friends and our CEO’s father, who have all been active members of FFOK since we set up some 4 years ago. The trees we plant will be added to the RHS Roots of Remembrance tree map to demonstrate the mass UK wide tree planting effort, providing a physical place to remember, reflect and celebrate the lives of those we lost, for generations to come.
We are asking our members to help us choose a tree for each of these members, Ronnie, June and John and make a small donation to the cost of the tree and small plaque in their honour. For those of you able to attend group settings there will be a voting sheet and donation box. The trees will be planted in November, at a special memorial tree planting day, by our Volunteer Gardener Mick and the families of those we are commemorating. Everyone will be notified of the date, so you can join us from home on the day, as we commemorate the day in photos on our group pages for all to share.
21st October 2021
This month's community group meeting, funded by Kent Community Foundation, at Trinity Church Hall in Sheerness, was all about energy conservation. Our members learned some easy tips for saving energy around the home, with a fun quiz. Each recieved a leaflet with advice about grants and help available in the case of problems with higher than expected winter fuel bills. Our raffle was themed around keeping warm and snug with prizes including a fleece blanket, furry hotwater bottle, gloves, socks and hot chocolate.
20th October 2021
As our current Pedometer Challenge came to an end recently, thirteen of our Sheerness members met up with Alisha and Lesley, for our first small pod walk together. The Autumn weather was glorious, as our members stepped out for a stroll along the Leas at Minster on Sea. Thanks to the Abbey Hotel for providing copius amounts of afternoon tea and bicuits for us, on our return.
15th October 2021
Many thanks to Stepping Out for a wonderful series of outings throughout 2021. For our last Walk n Talk of the year we visited the glorious grounds and gardens of Leeds Castle near Maidstone. A Norman stronghold, a royal residence and a royal palace. It’s situation is stunning, set on two islands in a magnificent lake. After taking a stroll around the grounds and house we gathered for delicious lunch to share our experiences of the day.
15th October 2021
As part of our Covid Awarness project funded byKent County Councilwe are able to provide our vulnerable members with information and PPE stater packs . Our Teynham members were pleased to be the first to receive their packs, as we strive to keep all our members safe and healthy. We'll be continuing the hand outs at all our group settings and at our mobile hubs.
14th October 2021
Our lovely members met up for the long awaited relaunch of our Sittingbourne group this morning, funded by Optivo Wellbeing. Great to see some familiar faces as well as some new members joining us.
Our thanks go out to ASDA Foundationwho kindly donated an amazing hamper full of treats for our members to share.
Join us at our next meeting, which will be on Thursday October 28th at the Methodist Church Hall from 10am - 12pm
7th October 2021
Today saw the relaunch of the Teynham group funded by Kent Community Foundation. Thrilled to see so many new members joining our village group, which continues to go from strength to strength.
If you'd like to join our Teynham members for a morning of fun activities and chat over a cuppa, we meet every first Monday of the month at the Community Hall on Station Road. Everyone welcome!
7th October 2021
people aged 50 and over
people who live and work in care homes
frontline health and social care workers
people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have a booster dose. It's important not to contact the NHS for one before then. Most people will be invited to book an appointment at a larger vaccination centre, pharmacy, or local NHS service such as a GP surgery.
Most people who can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine are also eligible for the annual flu vaccine. If you are offered both vaccines, it's safe to have them at the same time
A coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
Booster vaccine doses will be available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a 2nd dose of a vaccine at least 6 months ago.
7th October 2021
So lovely to finally have the relaunch of our Sheerness group at Trinity Church Hall, with funding from Optivo. The Co Op generously donated some yummy cakes and everyone had a great time catching up with old friends after so long apart. We also has lots of laughs with some fun quizzes and Games
5th October 2021
Some of our members met up for a rock decorating workshop at our Hope Street offices this week for Mental Health Awareness Day (10th October). Their beautifully painted and decoupaged rocks were shared with Strengthening Minds Youth Club to hide in the community.
1st October 2021
Introducing our newest Friendly Faces of Kent Trustee
Hello my name is Bob and I have the honour of being asked to become one of the Trustees of FFOK I am now retired, my last job being a Train Driver for Eurotunnel for 23 years, before that I was in the Merchant Navy for 19 years. The first 13 years working on cargo ships all over the world and the last 6 years working on the cross channel Ferries out of Dover. During my working career I have been a works representative in both Industries and have served on numerous committees. Now that I am retired I have a camper van which I go away in when I can, I also like to travel abroad. I play golf and bowls, which I am just training to become a coach in. I also like walking and volunteer on the Stepping out walks, where I have already met many members of FFOK and look forward to meeting many more, over the next months and years.
1st October 2021
Although cases of Covid 19 have gone up, there has not been the same increase in people becoming seriously ill and needing to go to hospital or dying. This is due in large part to the success of the vaccination programme, being offered to all the adult population, including those previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. With the latest scientific evidence and considering how the restrictive nature of shielding has affected individuals mental and physical wellbeing, the Government has made the decision to end the current shielding programme.
All COVID-19 vaccines should offer some protection, so even those who have a condition or take medication that affects their immune system, should still have the vaccine. The vaccine programme remains open and available for all those who are eligible. If you can’t have the vaccine for whatever reason, or if you are immunosuppressed, you should strongly consider these additional measures to keep yourself and others safe:
considering whether you and those you are meeting have been vaccinated – you might want to wait until 14 days after everyone’s second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others
considering continuing to practise social distancing if that feels right for you and your friends
asking friends and family to take a rapid lateral flow antigen test before visiting you
asking home visitors to wear face coverings
avoiding crowded spaces
Anyone who is immunosuppressed and has any concerns about what this means for them, should raise this with their specialist at their next routine appointment, who can provide support and guidance on any extra measures necessary to further reduce the risk of infection.
24th September 2021
With not a cloud in the sky, and the warm September sun on our backs what a wonderful morning, spent with friends on our walk along the Leas at Herne Bay, with Stepping Out.
Artist and painter, Lara, joined our Sittingbourne members this week at Holy Trinity Church Hall, which was sadly our last session of the current art project, and collaboration with In A Space. With simple guidance and advice from Lara, our members produced a wonderful selection of colourful and delicate watercolour flowers and blooms.
Those members who took part in the recent ceramic painting art sessions, were thrilled to be reunited with their masterpieces, now glazed and fired and ready to use. Every single mug, unique and amazing!
17th September 2021
We've been lucky enough to have been put forward for a chance to win a Tesco Community Grant for our Food Awareness For Older People project. Between 1st October and 31st December we'll be included in 3 Tesco stores counter voting systems. You will receive counters every time you shop, to pop into the display. There are some other, very deserving causes taking part, but we'd be grateful if you'd consider our project when voting. Guidance on eating healthily for older people can be a lifeline and will include resources to follow some of the recipes at home.
Milton Regis Express
Canterbury Road Express
1 Canterbury Road
17th September 2021
We are pleased to announce that we're now part of a great local project accessed through the Citizens Advice Bureau. If you are self isolating due to Covid, you may be able to take advantage of some of our services directly through them. Whether it's shopping and pharmacy drop offs, dog walking, friendly welfare calls or interactive book clubs the Citizens Advice Bureau can sign post you to the most relevant organisations to help.
Contact them on 01795 417664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
9th September 2021
We were so pleased to finally be able to welcome back both current, as well as new members, to our former venue at the Methodist Church Hall on the High Street. And with funding from Optivo, the group is now guaranteed to run into 2022. It was the turn of our Sittingbourne members to have a go at creating their own personalised painted mugs this week. Catherine from Espression Arts, with In A Space, was on hand again to guide everyone smoothly through the creative process. Some beautiful designs were created and we can't wait to see them, once the mugs have been fired in the kiln.
6th September 2021
Our Teynham members met up this morning for ourcommunity group, funded by Kent Comminity Foundation, a coffee morning and a lively chat. We also had a games session, with the opportunity to play Scrabble, Uno, Jenga and Othello, all on hand to challenge everyone and keep the grey matter active! Some members even had fun learning Rummy for the first time.
4th September 2021
We were delighted to be asked to join the volunteers from the Sheppey Community Development Forum to promote the official launch of their new Sheppey Support Bus. Together with the Community Champions at Morrisons in Queensborough, some of our team attended on Saturday morning to offer our support. Customers were able to take a tour of the interior and view the facilities, and kindly donated lots of dried and tinned goods to help stock the food bank, located on the bottom deck of the converted bus.
As well as offering a much needed mobile food bank, this exciting project will also provide a meeting place to access local services and support on wheels, to help residents in even the most rural parts of the Island. We're pleased to be one of the local organisations able to offer extra services, support and information, and look forward to getting more involved, as the bus becomes a familiar sight on the roads around the Island, and an essential mobile hub for Sheppey residence. Please do go along to the launch if you are interested in finding out what services the Sheppey Support Bus can offer you as a resident of the Island or contact email@example.com
Wednesday 15th September From 5pm
Oasis Academy Minster Campus Sheerness ME12 3JQ.
2nd September 2021
At our first Thursday coffee morning, funded by Optivo Well Being, we all went a little potty!
With help from artist Catherine from Espression Arts, on behalf of In A Space, our members were able to design and decorate their own ceramic mugs, with lots of interaction and chat while we worked on our pieces. Live feeds on our Facebook page meant those unable to attend weren't left out and could follow along with the fun. Once Catherine has fired all the mugs in the kiln, the paints will be permanent and glossy. Our mugs, always a useful keepsake, but also a lovely reminder of a wonderfully creative morning, spent with friends.
26th August 2021
As part of the White Cliffs 2021 Walking Festival 14 of our members joined up with our friends from Carers Stepping Out for a coastal walk along Folkestone Leas and Seafront. Lovely chance to catch up and chat with old friends and new, enjoyed by all, including our members dogs! Two different walks to allow access for all, as we were serenaded by the Dulcettes from the bandstand! A traditional seaside Fish and Chip lunch finished off the day perfectly!
25th August 2021
We're on the Road!
With a kind donation from our friends at Moat Foundation we're now the proud owners of our very own Friendly Faces of Kent minibus! Funding from MVA and Involving Medway has allowed us to cover the running costs, MOT and insurance. Our thanks go out to Taking Care of Cars for offering us a discount for a full valet service and to Sheppey Graphics who will be generously donating not only their time, but resources, completely free of charge, to add our logo, to make the minibus really feel like it's ours!
Having our own transport is going to open up a whole world of new opportunities for Friendly Faces. We're already discussing with funders the possibility of providing a Mobile Community Library and Well Being/Covid Information Service. We'll also be able to offer additional places on our popular outings and walks, allowing even more members the chance to take part in our projects and activities
12th - 26th August 2021
Our workshops in collaboration with In A Space continue at Sittingbourne and Sheerness groups. We've been getting all Inky with Casey, who's been showing our members how to prepare different plates to create Mono Prints, Collagraphs and Lino Prints. Our Members have loved getting messy and the results have been so rewarding.
5th August 2021
Molly from In A Space joined us today for week 6 of our creative project. Seaside and summer themed collages kept everyone busy all morning. Using stencils, decoupage and colouring all our members created lovely greetings cards to be proud of, to take home to share with family and friends.
If you'd like to view some of Molly's beautiful hand decorated ceramics they are soon to be on show at the Turner Contemporary
26th July 2021
We were thrilled to have members from across all our groups, as well as our friends from Stepping Out and Porchlight, take part in the Walk n Talk at Elmley Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey today. With a choice of one and three mile walks, everyone was able to reconnect with nature in the peace and quiet of the huge open skies and the sounds of the marsh. Nature guide Abbie showed us the best places for viewing opportunities and the chance to see some stunning British Wildlife.
Then it was time for a well earned cuppa, with a tasty, and socially distanced, lunch in the traditional Kentish barn with its huge window providing breath-taking views across miles of unspoilt landscape.
A wonderfully calm and
rejuvenating day enjoyed by all, with everyone keen to sign up for the August Walk in Folkestone.
Week 4 of our eight week art collaboration with In A Space this week, saw our Sheerness members taking on a Still Life challenge. Camille kept everyone on their toes with a series of quick fire sketches, with lots of help and advice.
Although a bit daunted by the prospect, every single member surprised themselves by created an amazingly realistic 3D drawing by the end of the session. Just proving what you can achieve with great tuition, and a willingness to try something new. Everyone came away with a great sense of achievement.
17th July 2021
Thanks once again to the ASDA Community Foundation who are supporting our NHS fund raiser with donations of free ingredients for our members.
Our busy volunteers were out in the sunshine this morning delivering cake supplies to make some lovely fruit cake and scones in aid of the NHS Big Tea
We are looking to recruit for a member based focus group.
We would like members from across our groups and social media platforms and from varying age groups, so we can reach all. The group will be asked to help look at what Friendly Faces Of Kent do well and what needs improvement.
It will also be a point of contact between members and management for any initiative ideas. It will help us collate data in order to improve our service and measure impact
Lovely gentle walk and talk around Sittingbourne Recreation Ground in the sunshine catching up with some of our Sittingbourne members today. We provided a shared lunch at the Appleyard with support from our funders at Kent Community Foundation, The Dulverton Trust and Pargiter Trust, to finish off a great morning together. Looking forward to our group sesssions resuming once again in August at the Methodist Church Hall on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from 10am - Noon
We are already taking names for our next challenge, this time around with our partners at Optivo Do get in touch if you'd like to join us in taking part
Congratulations to our latest cohort of members as we come to the end of another successful 6 week pedometer challenge with our partners at Moat Foundation and Strengthing Minds. It is great to see how far everyone has come and to hear such positive feedback about the participants experiences. People reported that they felt physically and mentally stronger and socially more confident. Everyone felt that they had benefited from taking part in the challenge.
What a wonderful morning sat outside in the sunshine with members from our Teynham group!
Lots of laughs with a fun quiz and
a raffle. Everyone enjoyed a socially distanced cuppa with a free lunch, while catching up with old friends for the first time in over a year.
Our regular group sessions at Teynham Community Hall will resume in August on the first Monday of each month from 10am - Noon
2nd July 2021
Join an outpouring of love and make time to brew a national Thank You to the NHS
It’s a national celebration of our amazing NHS staff – ordinary, yet extraordinary people who continue to go above and beyond for us and our loved ones.
Every pound (up to £50k) is being matched by Alpro, doubling the difference we can be making for the people at the heart of the NHS
Supported with funding from the ASDA Community Grant, we're pleased to be able to offer our members free ingredients to help them raise funds for the NHS Big Tea Party.
We're giving our members the opportunity to bake a fruit cake, which they can then use to raise money, by inviting friends and family to guess the weight of the cake, or make a donation for a slice or two.
Whilst encouraging our members to get involved in this fantastic fund raising event, to help support the NHS BigTea Party, we are as always, encouraging them to stay safe, stay outdoors and stay socially distanced.
1st July 2021
What a busy day! With not one, but two great activities for our Sheerness members today!
The weather was perfect, for some of our members to take a gentle stroll along the Leas in the sunshine. Then we met back at the Abbey Hotel garden for some socially distanced games, and a shared lunch with more members. It's been such a long time since we've been able to meet up in person, and there was lots of chat and catching up to do!
We're now looking forward to meeting up with our members at our regular support groups when they resume in August at Holy Trinity Church Hall in Sheerness on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from
10am - Noon
Meanwhile at the Trinity Hall in Sheerness, our more creative members were enjoying their first session of our 8 week Art group with In A Space and artist, Tim. It was very educational, learning about using botanical leaves and flowers to create natural pictures in a process called anthotype. A great outdoor class, where we were really able to connect with nature. Enjoyed by all, with stunning pieces produced by all those who attended.
29th June 2021
Our volunteer, Laura, met up with Sioux Peto from Polka Dot Arts, at the Yarn Trees on Station Road. She was handing over our first batch of crocheted and knitted items, for Teynham in Bloom. We are so grateful to all our creative members who have generously made flowers, butterflies, bees and caterpillars. The whole display will be amazing and we'll be going along on July 9th for the judging, to show our continued support for the project.
26th June 2021
At the beginning of this week we reached 500 members on our Facebook group!! Member Denise was our 500th member who'll be receiving a special welcome gift . Since then we've had even more members join, so keep spreading the word, the more members join the more people we reach and can enjoy all that we do.
25th June 2021
The Big Step Out
We were proud to attend Stepping Out for Carers' first sponsored walk, to support the UK's invisible carers, and those they care for. Our members and their well behaved dogs, took part in 1, 3 or 6 mile walks around Bewl Water. Walks are a life-line to so many carers who work tirelessly to look after someone in their own home but have very little time for themselves and often feel isolated. Just being supported to step outside and experience the benefit of nature can do wonders for carers’ well-being.
18th June 2021
Although the decision has been made not to meet up in our usual indoor support groups, we are pleased to announce we'll be meeting up again, outside, for small pod group activities. With that in mind, here are the dates and times.
NOTE: To attend, your space must be pre booked and a confirmation received.
Thursday 1st July
(Car Park end)
Monday 5th July
Teynham Community Hall
89 Station Rd,
Thursday 8th July
Sittingbourne Recreation Ground
Come along for a much needed get together.
We'll provide a fun quiz and raffle, and a light lunch.
All spaces must be booked in advance by telephoning Lesley on 07825 630108.
9th June 2021
As Friendly Faces of Kent continues to expand, we have been very busy moving to our new bigger offices. You can now book an appointment to meet with us at:
The Hope Street Centre
Tel 07825 630108
10am till 4pm
Mon to Thurs only
Once restrictions are lifted we hope to welcome you to our new base where our small pod activities will take place.
7th June 2021
It's important to recognise and value those in a caring job role, and the registered carers in our group. We thank them for their dedication and hard work in caring for their loved ones, friends or family members.
So this week, as part of National Supporting Carers Week, we'll be sending out a small token of recognition to the unsung heroes whose roles play a vital part in our communities.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
If you need help finding local support, call a Carers Direct helpline adviser on 08088 020202.
Carers Direct is a national information, advice and support service for carers in England.
26th May 2021
Wonderful walk today at Riverside Country Park in Rainham with our friends from Stepping Out. A gentle walk along the River Medway estuary with its various habitats within the park, including mudflats, salt marsh, ponds, reed-beds, grassland and scrub, which provide a haven for wildlife. With time to catch up with old friends and new, as well as a number of our Pedometer Challenge participants from the last cohort. A shared picnic, sitting in the sunshine finished off a great day out and was enjoyed by all.
25th May 2021
Fantastic to see so many of our crochet beginners following along to learn new skills with our YouTube tutorials. And after a bit of early frustration getting started, they perservered to create their own beautiful flower designs. This week we continue to hone our skills to create some different flowers and also some colourful butterflies.
17th May 2021
It was great to reconnect with some of our members on Monday, for a beautiful walk and a nature-themed scavenger hunt, around Milton Creek Country Park in Sittingbourne, with goodie bags and snacks provided by our partners Strengthening Minds and Swale Your Way. For most, it was the first time being out as a group again since early last year. New and old members walked, talked and laughed, it was a great way to gently come together again after so long. The rain even held off long enough for some to stay for a picnic lunch.
11th May 2021
This week is Mental Health Week and what better way to aid our Mental Health than to connect with Nature. Even small contacts with nature can reduce feelings of social isolation and be effective in protecting our mental health, and preventing distress.
Nature’s unique ability is to not only bring consolation in times of stress, but also increase our creativity, empathy and a sense of wonder.It turns out that it is not just being in nature but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts.
Tuesday's craft project supporting Teynham in bloom saw our members combining nature and creativity, taking up crochet for the first time, in preparation to create some beautifully colourful woollen flowers to adorn the village.
We started the week with our Mindful Monday visualisation, connected us with a Mindful walk through a woodland to reconnect with someone close to us. Margaret's Natural Solutions gave us some great advice about using essential oils in our gardens.
As part of our Sharing the Love' Art Project, members will recieve a postcard to colour and send to someone who has helped to support them over the last year. This will be in conjunction with the gifting of the heart canvases created by our members, due to be exhibited soon.
Exercising in nature may help to prevent or reduce feelings of anger, tiredness and sadness. For those unable to take part in our upcoming walks to Milton Creek and Medway Riverside, we brought nature to you, as we revisited one of our virtual walks around Lullington Castle and World Garden
8th May 2021
It's great to be announcing this new partnership with In A Space during Mental Health Week. What better way to support members with their Mental Health, then with Art. Surveys show that losing yourself in Art, Being creative and coming together with others offers an ideal arena to support your Mental Health, it's also a great way to re connect you to your local community. So why not join us for our 6 week Art classes during July/August. We'll be covering topics like water colour, printing, ceramics and much more for all abilities. So don't worry if your not artistic use this as a chance to come together with others in a small pod group and have some fun. Please note you don't have to come every week, you can pop in and out, it's very flexible.
Great to be out and about today delivering our Crochet packs, together with a selection of cakes donated by ASDA. During the month of May our members will be getting crafty with their wool and crochet hooks, some for the very first time. They'll be learning everything they need to know, with our 'Crochet Basics for Beginners' tutorial on Facebook and our Youtube Channel to create some colourful flowers to donate to Teynham in Bloom's village Yarn Bomb!
1st May 2021
Another busy weekend of deliveries for our volunteers. With our new funding from ASDA we're able to offer 20 of our members recipe ingredients FREE of charge. With these they can create a warming and hearty sausage casserole to enjoy over this Bank Holiday weekend.
We'll also be delivering the next two reads for our popular Book Club hosted by Bev on the last Tuesday of every month.
These are Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things, voted by our members as one of their favourite reads of 2019. Also The Book Club by CJ Cooper. If you'd like to join our interactive online book club and discussion, or just borrow any of the titles from our extensive Sharing Library, please contact us.
30th April 2021
How lovely to get out and about in the sunshine and fresh air with our friends from Stepping Out. Our first small pod walk of the year, meeting up with old friends and making new ones, at Hole Park near Maidstone. Check out details of future walks to get involved
Just a few of over 130 fantastic miniature canvases created for our 'Sharing the Love' Mini Canvas Art Project. Once everyone's art has been displayed together in an exhibition, they will be gifted to friends and family.
28th April 2021
We are pleased to share the great news that we've been successful in our bid to receive funding from the ASDA Community Fund. This awarded will help us to deliver our exciting new projects over the next few months, including some Let's Cook with Cheryl, Virtual Coffee Mornings (coming in May) and materials for Mindful craft and relaxation sessions.
24th April 2021
The 45 members taking part in our 'Sharing the Love' Art Project are receiving their supply kits and canvases this weekend, being delivered by our team of volunteers. Filled with everything they need to take part in our interactive workshop on our Facebook group on Thursday 29th April at 11am. Also available to watch on our YouTube channel.
Once completed, and it's safe to do so, we're looking forward to having our very own art exhibition of all the completed canvases.
23rd April 2021
We were pleased to be asked by Southeast News to be interviewed as part of their report on the effects of the planned reduction in Bus Services on the Isle of Sheppey. The topic is one close to our hearts, as it directly impacts our members like Sally. We support all our members, as they begin to return to their pre lockdown lives. For some, who are struggling with their mental health, the local Bus Service is an essential part of getting back out into the communities and attending support groups like Friendly Faces of Kent. And for those without their own transport, it's a lifeline in regaining independance to shop and see families and friends once more. If the planned changes take place it will have a huge impact, not only on the lives of the residents but also visitors to the island.
20th April 2021
Our good friends at Stepping Out, who offer scenic, social and rejuvernating walks at beautiful venues throughout Kent, have kindly offered our members the opportunity to join in with their activities once again this year. Interest is always high and places limited. If you would like to join in, please contact us.
We are excited to have partnered up once again with our Friends at Strengthening Minds and Moat to bring about a new 'Walk this Way' Pedometer Challenge starting soon. We've expanded the areas covered to incorporate Gravesend/Gillingham/Sittingbourne and Ashford.
Anyone fitting the criteria who would like to join can contact Lesley on 07825 630108 to register their place.
We are also pleased to announce that we have a new Pedometer Challenge starting soon for Optivo residents and our members on the Isle of Sheppey
16th April 2021
What a busy week we've had!
Our volunteers were out and about over the weekend delivering all the supplies our members needed to take part in Margaret's Natural Solutions workshop on Monday. After an informative and interesting live chat on all things doTerra, Margaret guided us through mixing our own Essential Oils to create a wonderfully fragrant room spray. This was followed by a lively Q&A session.
Cheryl invited us to join her in Let's Cook Together on Tuesday, to prepare a rich and creamy Blue Cheese & Bacon Gratin. Luckily our members were able to walk off this indulgence on Wednesday, when Alisha hosted the last session in the current round of our hugely popular Pedometer Challenge! All the participants are now looking forward to the maintenance part of the program and carrying on with their new healthy habits.
Our Crafting tutorial this week was a Decorated Dolly Peg Frame, a beautiful wreath frame made from simple supplies like wall paper and clothes pegs, and also included lots of other ideas throughout the day, for creating fun peg dolls, which children will adore.
Feedback Fridays is our favourite day of the week! It's a chance for all our members to let us know if they've enjoyed our activities, and to listen to any suggestions or requests they may have. It was also the last call out for anyone interested in our 'Sharing the Love' Art project on April 29th. The Bluebell Walk on 30th April at Hole Park Gardens still has places for those with their own transport. Please Contact us if you're interested in either activity.
Finally, Alisha has challenged our members to step outside of their comfort zone this weekend and try something new. So can't wait to catch up next week and hear what everyone's been up to!
4nd April 2021
Essential Oils Workshop
Join Margaret's Natural Solutions for an interactive essential oil room spray workshop on Monday 12th April at 2pm Margaret will be hosting a dōTERRA
room spray workshop live on our Facebook Room. All materials needed will be delivered to you free and will include follow a along worksheet for those not on Social Media.
Those who are on Social Media we ask you to join in the room with other members to experience this live session. It will be fun and full of essential oil tips where you will be producing your own natural spring fresh Room Spray.
For more details or to sign up please go to our Facebook group.
2nd April 2021
'Sharing The Love!'
We launched our FREE interactive art Project, due to take place on April 29th at 11am. We'll be delivering everything our members need, directly to their door, to create a selection of these cute little miniature canvases. There will be written instructions for those not on Social Media, as well as a video tutorial available on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
Once our support groups are meeting up again, all the canvases will be exhibited together to share the love! And members will be able to gift one of your works of art to someone who Friendly Faces of Kent has helped them stay connected with, throughout the Lockdown period.
For more details or to sign up please go to our Facebook group.
30th March 2021
Tune in to our latest video, as Lesley and Alisha discuss our Friendly Voices Project, in partnership with Optivo.
Learn how our invaluable service has helped to keep both Optivo residence and our own members connected over the past year, with regular catch up calls by phone. And listen to Maureen's personal experience of the service that helped her through lockdown
We have Cheryl with the Let's Cook Together workshop every Tuesday at 11am. This week we learnt how to make citrus hot cross buns, delicious and just in time for Easter! Thanks Cheryl and thanks to the funders
One year ago, the first national lockdown began and since then our lives have changed dramatically.
Today, we remember those we've lost and reflect on the difficulties we've all faced. We've seen two further national lockdowns and varying levels of local restrictions keeping friends and families apart. Many people have been impacted financially, our children have missed their classrooms and most of us have experienced feelings of anxiety and isolation.
But we also have a lot to be proud of. Over the last 12 months, our partners, support staff and volunteers have really pulled together to support our members. We're particularly thankful to those who have adapted to new ways of working to keep delivering our existing essential services, and to those who have taken on alternative roles to help us provide extra support for the most vulnerable.
12th March 2021
Blooming Marvellous Together – Spring Gardening Project.
Well done to all our members who took part in our project this week, your Hyacinths look amazing all planted up. June even decorated some of the tiny stones as ladybirds! Do keep us updated with photos as they come into flower, as we’d love to share how they look in full bloom!
Let us know if you’ve enjoyed this project, and would be interested in taking part in another gardening activity later in the year.
10th March 2021
Some of the Participants from Round 1 of our Pedometer Challenge met up for the final maintenance catch up this morning. With lots of lively chat, motivational tips and advice for carrying on their healthy lifestyle, with ongoing support still available in our Facebook group.
Meanwhile we have 22 new participants all ready and raring to go in Round 2 of the challenge and look forward to sharing their progress as they increase their steps each week. Whether you go out walking regularly or would like to become more active at home, and are interested in getting involved please contact us.
Today our volunteers were out and about around the Isle of Sheppey, Sittingbourne and Teynham. We've been delivering all the FREE supplies that our members need to take part in our Blooming Marvellous Together - Spring Gardening Project scheduled in our facebook group on Thursday at 11am. Mick, our resident RHS qualified gardener, will be showing our members how to plant up their bulbs for some welcome indoor colour and fragrance.
6th March 2021
8th March 2021
Today we were thrilled to welcome back Lesley for her regular Mindful Monday sessions. Join her for some meditation and relaxation to ease us out of lockdown and into Springtime and new beginnings for 2021.
The Mindfulness continued later with Margaret and her recommendations for the perfect blend of Essential Oils to help turn anxiety into calm and peaceful retrospection.
3rd March 2021
Pedometer Challenge - Round 2
20 more new members were excited to join the 2nd round of our Pedometer Challenge this morning, sponsored by
Stepping Out and co ordinated by Alisha, offering her knowledge, help and support. Throughout the 6 week challenge, members will be encouraged to increase their activity and daily steps by 5%
At the end of the challenge there is also a 4 week follow on maintenance program to encourage members to carry on with their new healthy habits. The participants met up virtually online to introduce themselves, and had a lively discussion centred around everyones reasons for taking part, or their 'Why?'
26th February 2021
New Pedometer Challenge packs, sponsored by Stepping Out, ready to post out! Everything provide FREE ready for Wednesdays start. Good Luck Newbie Challengers!
22nd February 2021
Today Margaret, from doTERRA Essential Oils, showed us how to make our own natural DIY mouthwash. During April we will be joining her to make our own DIY room spray in an interactive live room, with follow along card option for those not on social media. So keep your eyes out for more details and get your name down to join in and receive your free samples oils and spray bottle. Its sure to be informative and fun!