Blog 2023

6th December 2023

It's wonderful to see how creativity can bring people together and spread joy during the holiday season. The Rushenden Wellbeing Hub's Christmas Table Decoration Workshop with Helen was a great opportunity for participants to explore their creative side, learn new skills, and enjoy the company of others. The festive decorations that were created were not only beautiful, but also served as a reminder of the joy and warmth that the holiday season brings. The delicious treats provided, such as mince pies, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and chocolate log, added to the festive ambiance. Overall, it was a perfect afternoon that left everyone feeling uplifted and excited for the upcoming holiday season.

17th November 2023

Some of our Sheerness members joined us at Rosemary House, to enjoy creating some amazing paper lanterns, for the Sheerness Lantern Parade. There was lots of fun and laughter and copious amounts of PVC glue! This was a great example of how design can bring people together and create a sense of community. Participating in events like these not only allows for creative expression but also promotes community engagement and fosters a sense of togetherness. Collaborating with organizations like Age UK Sheppey and Big Fish Arts provides opportunities to learn new skills and explore different creative avenues. It sounds like the parade was a fantastic showcase for the beautiful lanterns that we created and was a great way to celebrate the holiday season. .

16th November 2023

It's always heart warming to know that there are people and organizations who support and believe in our cause. We are grateful to the Co-op and its loyal members for their generosity and commitment to small, but important charities such as our own. Being presented with a cheque for £1,971.18 from their Community Fund will go a long way in helping us achieve our goals and make a positive impact in our community. With their support, we can continue to provide exciting and meaningful activities and services to our members in the coming year.

9th November 2023

Following on from the successful launch of our Friendly Fellas group, Lesley was asked to take part in a video to help promote the importance of the Men’s Shed Project. It's great that we are able to share our experience and help promote the importance of men’s groups and how they can play a vital role in providing a space for men to connect, socialize, and improve their mental health and wellbeing. By participating in the video, we hope to help raise awareness and encourage more men to seek out the types of groups run by ourselves and Men’s Shed. Together, we can create a more supportive and connected community.

1st November 2023

At Friendly Faces of Kent, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our dedicated Men’s Groups, known as Friendly Fellas. We are delighted to welcome Ray, Tony, and Steve as volunteers, who will be running these groups. With their wealth of lived life experiences, they have a deep understanding of the many issues that affect men’s wellbeing.

Our Friendly Fellas group aims to promote social connection, camaraderie, and support for men in our community. We plan to organize regular walks, outings, and activities designed to foster a sense of belonging and improve overall wellbeing. Join us on this exciting journey as we continue to build a stronger, more inclusive community for men in Kent. Together, we are looking forward to an enriching and fulfilling 2024!

The group will be meeting in the café of the Hope St Centre in Sheerness 4 times a month on  Wednesdays from 6pm to 8pm. Why not drop in for a cuppa and a chat.

23rd August 2023

Thank you to Sue at Carers Stepping Out for inviting some of our members along on their Walk n Talk to Deal. It was a scorcher But we managed the one and a half mile walk along the sea front, with the aid of lots of cold drinks, and stops to sit on benches, and admire the views! Lunch, provided by The King's Head was amazing, thank you guys!

20th August 2023

9th August 2023

What a fantastic day at the Admiral Woods with Sunita from Out to the Woods CIC The two groups who attended, learned about the history and importance, of this ancient Kent Woodland, where trees have grown for over 400 years. We took part in some fun activities, and got involved with a cooking session, and cooked on the open fire. What an enjoyable day, in the quiet and calm of the woods, with just the sounds of nature to listen to.

26th July 2023

Many thanks once again to Sunita from Out to the Woods CIC for an amazing morning of Indian Cooking at the Rushenden Wellbeing Hub. Lots of tips and really useful advice imparted, to allow our members to create their own Lentil Dahl and Chapatis, which we shared for lunch. They also got to take home ingredients and recipes, for more opportunities to cook at home

13th July 2023

Many thanks to Claire, the Asda Community Champion, who joined our Sittingbourne Friendly Space, funded by Southern Housing this week. Asda have kindly donated £400 to allow our much needed projects and services to continue, free of charge to all our members.

28th June 2023

Many thanks to Sue and her team at Carers Stepping Out for inviting our members to join them on a wonderfully relaxing coastal walk at Tankerton today, as part of the annual Big Step Out. The more adventurous strode out on the 2 mile walk, whilst the less ambitious took a gentle stroll along the sea front, taking in the scenery and brightly painted beach huts. Lovely lunch provided by the Marine Hotel, before setting off home.

16th May 2023

We successfully launched our first Craft Workshop today. Members joined us at our newly refurbished Activity Room at the Southern Housing Wellbeing Hub, in Rushenden, to delve into the world of decoupage for the first time. With no previous experience, they were guided through the techniques to create their own beautiful slate coasters to take home. The extended session, which included a buffet lunch, allowed everyone time to explore their creative side, and learn lots of hints and tips

11th May 2023

We celebrated the Coronation at all our Southern Housing, and Kent Community Foundation funded, Friendly Spaces. At Sheerness, Sittingbourne and Teynham we all got involved with Royal quizzes, cream teas, free raffles and a fun pop quiz. There really was something for everyone to enjoy, to help remember the Coronation of Charles III for years to come!

28th April 2023

Together with Sue and her team from Carers Stepping out, our Sheerness members were pleased to be able to visit Ightham Mote. Nestled in a hidden valley, with 14 acres of tranquil garden, pleasure grounds, orchard, water features, lakes and woodland. We also had the opportunity to visit the romantic moated manor house with 700 years of history, architecture and stories under one roof. There was a shop with seasonal accessories and gifts, food and plants. Locally made products and souvenirs. And our members loved the little second hand bookshop, located in Laundry Cottage. Wonderful lunch and lots of cake!

15th April 2023

Thanks to your donations into our Crowd Funder Warm Spaces Appeal, we were been able to put together a limited number of 'Keep Warm at Home' packs. These include a warm throw, clothing, hot drinks and biscuits. They were available to members who were unable to attend our Warm Spaces projects at Teynham and Rushenden, due to being housebound, having mobility issues or because of ill health. Our volunteers were out and about, just before the cold snap, to deliver packs to Teynham, Sittingbourne, Lynsted, Newnham and Sheerness, so members could stay warm and safe in their homes.

We were also pleased to be able to offer some of the Keep Warm packs to our friends from Kingsdown and Creekside Churches to pass onto their vulnerable parishioners.

3rd April 2023

Lovely start to the week, with our Teynham members this morning at our Kent Community Foundation funded Friendly Space at the Community Hall on Station Road. Wonderful to see some new faces, as well as members visiting from other groups. Everyone got into the Easter spirit having a go at Egg decorating. We held an Easter raffle, with beautiful hampers donated by Lisa as the winning prizes, also chocolate eggs and friendship pockets for all the runners up!

Great to welcome Debbie from Imago who was on hand to chat to members about supporting their independence and creating opportunities to reduce isolation. Sonia from One You Kent was available for everyone to check in on their health and wellbeing, and thanks also to Peter from Digital Kent for popping in to help with our technical devices and online issues.What a busy morning, there was hardly time for tea and biscuits!

A rather stormy, wet and blustery day when we visited the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. But we were all wrapped up against the cold and the rain as we join our friends from Carers Stepping Out. After a short walk we took refuge in the Discovery Centre, filled with lots of photos and information. We had an fascinating talk about the history and natural history of the area. A coffee in the cafe which had great views across the saltmarsh, was followed by a lovely lunch

31st March 2023

9th March 2023

Great week at our Southern Housing and Kent Community Foundation funded Friendly Spaces in Sittingbourne and Teynham. Tony from The Harmony Therapy Trust joined us to let our members know about the treatments and services offered by the charity. Thanks to Nick from Digital Kent who was on hand with lots of help and advice for all our devices. Thanks to Lisa for donating a beautiful Mother's Day Hamper for the raffle.

Members joined us for a light lunch at the end of the session, funded by our Warm Spaces Appeal.

17th February 2023

17th February 2023

With donations from our Crowd Funder Warm Spaces Appeal, we continue to be able to extend our Warm Space at Teynham throughout the cold weather all through February. Welcoming even more residents in to join us, for some good company, chat, games and some music. With hot soup and roll for lunch, kindly donated by Asda, and afternoon refreshments served by our friends from Kingsdown and Creekside Churches. With thanks to the members of Teynham Parish Council for their continued help and support.

16th February 2023

Thanks to Blenwood Ltd and Southern Housing for organising the initial clearance of the garden area behind the Wellbeing Hub. All the woody brambles have been removed, as well as the old greenhouse. The Garden Club and Men's Shed will be up and running for the spring, and able to transform the area into a kitchen garden for the Community and we'll be sharing some great new projects based around home grown food.

14th February 2023

In the depths of the first Lockdown, back in 2020, when everyone was at home, staying safe, we thought it would be lovely to get all our members creating something positive. So we delivered over 50 craft packs to their homes, containing everything they needed to create miniature canvases decorated with painted hearts. We've since kept all the canvases safe, in anticipation of finding somewhere to display them permanently. And we are now in a position to exhibit them on the walls at our Southern Housing Wellbeing Hub at Rushenden. As we've had so many new members, who've joined us since 2020, we decided to give them the opportunity to take part too. February seemed the perfect month to re launch our Heart Art Project at our Friendly Spaces in Teynham, funded by Kent Community Foundation, and at Sittingbourne and Sheerness, funded by Southern Housing. Now we have even more heart canvases to help spread the love!

10th February 2023

Our Friendly Faces of Kent, Warm Spaces Crowd Funder Appeal officially ended today. We had initially hoped to raise £1000, but we were thrilled to announce that the grand total stood at an amazing £2732 and we couldn't have done it without your generosity! (Although our official Appeal has now ended, you can still donate via our Crowd Funder page, but your donations will no longer be matched by the Co Op)

This vital extra funding will allow us to continue running our Warm Spaces in Teynham and Rushenden for an extra 3 weeks, in addition to the 5 weeks, funded by Teynham Parish Council, Asda, Co-op, Sheerness Town Council and Southern Housing. This will also allow us to extend our Friendly Space in Sittingbourne to include a free lunch in March and April. We'll also be putting together a limited number of 'Keep Warm at Home' Packs, which we'll deliver to the most vulnerable in their own homes. If you are housebound, and you would like to be considered for a pack, please do get in contact. So once again, we can't thank you enough for all your donations, every pound has, and continues to go into making a difference to someone who's struggling with the Cost of Living Crisis. Thanks!

9th February 2023

Many thanks to Community Champion Claire, from Asda, who's now a regular and welcome face at our Southern Housing Wellbeing Friendly Space in Sittingbourne, for generously donating two beautiful hampers in February. Also, our thanks once again, to Asda for donating tins of soup to help support our extended dates for the Warm Spaces at Teynham and Rushenden

18th January 2023

Great to have so many Sheppey residents taking advantage of our Warm Space at the Southern Housing Wellbeing Hub in Rushenden. Lots of laughter and chat, with good company, as everyone kept warm, and enjoyed free refreshments and Soup n Roll, before relaxing in the conservatory after lunch with a cuppa.

16th December 2022

13th January 2023

Time to Celebrate!

This week we were joined by our 800th online member! This is huge for us, as it's only a few short years ago, that we started life as a get together for a coffee, for a couple of local residents!

To be able to reach out, to help and support so many people, many who are housebound and only access us through our online activities is fantastic.

Please check out all our projects and activities page, and do get in contact if you'd like to get involved, either physically or virtually.

Thanks to all our current members, for all your comments and interaction, and a big welcome to all our new members just joining us 

10th January 2023

The launch of our Warm Spaces, funded by Kent County Council got off to a great start this month with the help of our new volunteers. Lovely to welcome Councillors Mike and Lloyd, as well as members of the Teynham Parish Council popping in to give their support. Everyone was welcomed into our warm and relaxed space, to have a cuppa, play games or just sit and read the paper and chat. Lunch was served from 11.45am with a FREE hot soup and roll. Thanks to the members of the Kingsdown & Creekside Churches for delivering the afternoon sessions, with some delicious home baked cakes and savouries.

9th January 2023

Lovely catching up with our Teynham members at our friendly Space funded by Kent Community Foundation at the Community Hall on Station Road. Thank you to Michael, our new volunteer for helping out. Everyone was able to get the New Year off to a great start with some Resolutions, and a health MOT with Sonia from One You Kent. Thank you to members for your kind donations towards our Warm Spaces Appeal and for taking part in the raffle

5th January 2023

We welcomed back all our Sheerness members after the festive break, meeting up at our Southern Housing funded Friendly Space at Trinity Church Hall. Lots of catching up to do after the festive period, with thoughts on New Year's Resolutions and a raffle held in aid of our Warm Spaces appeal. Lovely to see everyone back as well as some new faces. Also joining us were Louise from Volunteering Swale Cvs and Lesley in her role as CEO at Age UK Sheppey

4th January 2023

Please welcome our new Friendly Faces of Kent volunteers, who joined us for their induction at the Wellbeing Hub at Rushenden. Some of you will already know Michael and Hina as members from our Friendly Spaces in Teynham and Sittingbourne, but we're excited to also welcome Shaun and Wendy to the team.

If you think you'd also like to help out in a voluntary role, please get in contact, we'd love to hear from you.

4th January 2023

Exciting times, as we start moving into, what we hope will be our permanent, and long term, new home at the Southern Housing Wellbeing Hub in Rushenden. Getting to stamp our own mark on the building and gardens. With the decorating complete, as well as a big clear out of old and unused contents and furniture, staff and volunteers got stuck in helping to make the Hub feel warm and welcoming. The Hub will shortly be open for our members, partners and other community groups to use, as well as offering office space and hot desks for smaller organisations to access.