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isolated-sun-and-sea_1025-281   - editor David Wilson  07714772707 -   Journalist,   07917730238

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A THERAPY group run by a mental health and wellbeing charity saw members get involved in making healthy meals from their own homegrown vegetables.

Trust Links in Westcliff run a number of therapeutic groups including Looking After Yourself.

The group encourages members with courses covering cooking, healthy eating, and a range of titness activities to boost wellbeing.

A spokesman said: "Looking after yourself is so important. "We have been looking at making healthy meals from vegetables grown in our garden. "Learning how to alter recipes based on what you have in your own kitchen is key to eliminating barriers so our participants have been talking about subsidising ingredients."

Get involved in being healthy

Keep moving, stay active

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will launch a new sexual health service on Monday 1 April in partnership with Provide and Southend University Hospital.

  This new service will deliver improved sexual health services to the residents of Southend, including contraceptive advice and services, and diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with online access to services coming soon.

 The service has been commissioned for residents by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's Public Health Directorate.

Cllr Lesley Salter, cabinet member for healthy communities and wellbeing, said: “The new Southend Sexual Health Service is committed to delivering a modern, confidential, sensitive and professional service for the residents of Southend-on-Sea.

“People who use these services will still be able to access the advice, tests and treatments they need and with faster results. Many sexually transmitted infections are easily treated and I would encourage people to seek advice at an early stage."

The service will be located at Thamesgate House, 31-44 Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6DF.

 Residents can contact the new service via the intelligence centre from Monday 1 April as follows:

    Telephone: 0300 303 2693

Club 50 is a local club in central Southend for the over 50’s.


This information was originally published in July 2009 but has been updated in December 2017

 The club meets every weekday for various activities including: Short Mat Bowls, Cards, Snooker, TableTennis, Art Club, Darts, Dancing – Belly, Ballroom, Line and sequence, Tai Chi, Yoga ,Keep Fit and Computer/internet for beginners.  Where tutors are involved there is a small additional fee.  The activities are not compulsory. You can just come along and enjoy the company. We also have a tea bar providing teas, coffees and small meals at afforadable prices, prepared and served by volunteer members.

 The club has no paid staff and is run by volunteers doing the office work and manning the tea bar.  New volunteers are always welcome, so if you have a bit of spare time why not put it to good use?

While social media may have you be[ieve that miLl.ennial.s are the most active group, a recent survey has reveaIed that over-65s are giving them a run for their money. A study of 7,6oo adul.ts by Nuffiel,d Health showed that 44 per cent in the over-65 age category take part in sports eight or more tirnes per month. with swimming the most popular activity among the age category. However, many older peop[e spend ro hours or more sitting every day. with a higher risk of fatl.s, heart disease and obesity as a resutt. NHS guide[ines suggest that over-G5s shou[d do at least 15O minutes pc]- week of aerobic activity such as cycLing or watking, combined withtwoormoredays of strength exercises to work the major muscte groups. Exercise isn't just important for your physicai health - st'urdies show that it can hetp with depression and improve cognitive perforrnance and group classss are a useful way to alLev;ate [oneLiness.

New Southend Sexual Health Service  launch

Volunteer at Club 50+

We are looking for volunteers to help out at our community club, Club 50+, as hosts and receptionists.


To find out more about joining the team please call 01702 345373

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A new service has been launched at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust providing emotional and practical support to people newly diagnosed with sight loss.

 Funded by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Tracey Meddle has started work as a new Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO). Employed by local charity, Southend in Sight, she works five days a week alongside health professionals at the hospital to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people on a range of areas. These include independent living, returning to work, benefit entitlements, emotional support, and coping at home.

 Tracey said: “The staff here are wonderful and are very supportive, it’s fantastic to have an opportunity to help patients within the Eye Unit with emotional and practical support straight away.

 “I’ve got a dedicated room to listen to patients and give them that private time to talk about their diagnosis and about how perhaps they are struggling to come to terms with it or cope with their treatment. I’m there to listen, reassure and help give them the best guidance.”

 Karen Looker, RNIB ECLO Service Manager for the East of England, said: “It can be an overwhelming experience being told you are going to lose your sight. That feeling is compounded if people have to deal with it alone.




New Eye Clinic Liaison Officer for Southend Hospital

Tracey Meddle, RNIB Eye Clinic Liaison Officer at Southend Hospital

Tracy Meddle

A wellbeing event will take place to give residents the opportunity to explore the services available in Southend.

 The event has been organised by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s mental health employment navigators on Thursday 1 August to highlight the activities and advice available in the community around mental wellbeing.

 There will be fun activities, goodies and experts on hand to answer questions, whilst promoting the five ways to wellbeing: connect, be active, give, keep learning and take notice.

 Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said “I hope many people take advantage of this free event and the opportunity to be able to come together as a community.

“Simple but practical changes to your day to day routine can make such a change to your overall wellbeing; connecting with others, being active and learning a new skill are just some of the ways you can give your wellbeing and your self-confidence a huge boost.

 “I feel this is a real opportunity to achieve some positive changes and for this reason I encourage people to attend.”

The event is being held on Thursday 1 August, between 10am and 4pm, at Twenty One, which is located opposite Adventure Island, on Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea.


Free beach yoga will take place at 10am but there is a limited number of spaces

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A funding stream to set up events and activities across the borough is open to bids from event organisers and local organisations.

Following on from the two previous funding streams - the first in October 2018 and the second in February 2019 – the council is excited to announce the third round of bidding is now open for the Southend Culture and Wellbeing small grants.

 The first two rounds proved very popular, with a wide-ranging variety of ideas submitted by bidders, many of whom have gone on to or are in the process of hosting successful events in the town.  These have included “Open Arts” series of creative arts sessions for adults with mental health needs and their carers, a community film project and a choir set up for health and wellbeing, encouraging participation from adults with a range of mental and physical needs.

 The Southend Culture and Wellbeing small grants cater for different types of events and projects, from cultural and wellbeing events, to night time safety and support services. There is an expectation that funding applied for will be match funded by other sources.

 Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “The first two rounds of this grant scheme have been fantastic, and we have been able to help fund some brilliant events across the borough.

 It is great to see local people and local businesses come together to host events that really make a difference locally.”

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “The events and activities that this stream helps to fund will ensure we can directly impact and improve local people’s health and wellbeing.


“Being active can have a huge impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing, and so I urge everyone with an idea to submit a bid, and I wish everyone the best of luck.”


All applications will be reviewed and scored by council officers, with the winners announced in mid-October.


Southend Culture and Wellbeing small grants


The Southend Culture and Wellbeing small grants has a £35,000 pot, following a boost of £10,000 from ActiveEssex and ActiveSouthend. Bids for this stream can be anything between £250 - £2,000. However, a minimum of £10,000 will be directly allocated to projects seeking to support those who are physically inactive to become active.


This fund is aimed at delivering projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

·         Increase participation in cultural activities

·         Reduce the number of inactive people within Southend

·         Support the regeneration of the borough through a culture led agenda

·         Use arts and culture to improve public health and wellbeing across Southend

  Bidders will be able to apply for a maximum of £2,000. There is an expectation that funding applied for will be match funded by other sources and that all projects or events will take place within the borough.


Closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 4 October 2019.


Examples of events include arts and crafts, group fitness activities, mental wellbeing events, art exhibitions and much more. Projects must be delivered by no later than Tuesday 31 March 2020.


To find out more or to submit a bid, please visit our website, or email

Wellbeing events fund opens for third round of bidding


Revised figures of newly diagnosed HIV cases for Southend-on-Sea have been released, placing the town well within the national average.

Public Health England have published the new number of diagnoses is 14 rather than the previously reported 45.

This is after Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Public Health team raised an urgent query over the figures, as it was not believed to be an accurate representation of how many people were newly diagnosed with HIV in Southend-on-Sea in 2018.

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care said: “We knew from comparisons with our own internal data, that the figure was not an accurate reflection of what was happening locally. I am very pleased it has been investigated so that we can highlight this error and have it amended to the correct figure.

 “We take the health and wellbeing of our residents very seriously and proactively work with our NHS colleagues and other partners to encourage self-care. This includes being aware of changes to your body which could be symptomatic.”

Anyone with concerns about HIV or symptoms of other sexually transmitted infections can contact the Southend Sexual Health Clinic online or by calling the intelligence centre on 0300 303 2693 or their GP.

 The Southend Sexual Health Clinic offers advice, medical appointments, online testing and urgent walk-in appointments for anyone with concerns for their sexual health or contraception.

The service was launched in April 2019 by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in partnership with Provide, Southend University Hospital and the Terence Higgins Trust.

Updated HIV figures for Southend-on-Sea show reduced figure