Wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do at Care Network and as organisation we aim to improve the wellbeing of all clients, volunteers and staff.
Cate Winters and I continue to work across the county (except in Peterborough) to provide wellbeing support to some clients who are experiencing feelings of stress, low mood, mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression. We provide strengths-based interventions to help clients identify what they need and would like to do and support and encourage them to achieve their goals. Sometimes we are able to draw on some amazing additional support from volunteers; this really can make a huge difference to a client’s progress – in two recent instances very isolated individuals have been supported to get out and about and both now routinely access community based support and activities, which has really helped improve their lives and how they feel. We are hoping to boost the number of people who volunteer with the Wellbeing Team, so if you are interested in finding out more about this please let me or Azanda Sithole, our Volunteer Lead, know.
Cate will be piloting a fortnightly Wellbeing Booster Group for 6 sessions in March town from September to November, with the support of our excellent volunteer, Charlotte. For more information on the group please contact Cate or myself. We will hopefully be running something similar in the South of the county in due course.
The staff Wellbeing Working Group is busy hatching plans for staff to engage in some wellbeing related activities in our planned Wellbeing Week in September and Azanda is also planning to restart the popular volunteer and staff wellbeing walks in the different districts soon.
Kate Blackwell, Senior Coordinator, Wellbeing. Kate.email@example.com 01954 774 802
I work internationally but have always lived in Cambridgeshire as have multiple generations of my family. I live in Caldecote with my wife and two teenage sons.
My background is product management and business strategy in the information technology, telecommunications, television and Internet markets. I work for Nokia’s IP and Optical networks business. We design and build multi-terabit network equipment that powers the internet. The “bits” that made up the page you are reading now probably traversed some of Nokia’s equipment as the largest provider in Europe for Carrier Routers and Metro Optical networks.
In previous roles I have worked on video delivery systems and applications for delivering TV services into people’s homes all over the world, helping Nokia and predecessors win two Emmys.
I have worked on and with a number of business leadership teams from small startups to multi-national telecom companies, preparing materials and data for board and share holder meetings. I bring vast experience from a technology background which is supplementary to the healthcare and business backgrounds of our other board members.
In my spare time I enjoy road cycling, I’m not quite a middle age man in lycra, but I’m probably not far away. I also enjoy cooking with a sous vide and smoker.
The Open Arms Project has expanded into new areas and reached over 1000 people. Through workshops and visits, around 50 community groups are delivering inputs and sharing simple strategies that help them to build connections.
Early findings and feedback show that providing activities in this way helps people gain confidence to take action and reach out to the vulnerable in their communities by giving and sharing which in turn boosts happiness in the community.
In June Open Arms teamed up with a Play park in Wisbech. The idea was to hold a Big Lunch to build relationships with the local community due to some antisocial behaviour around the play park. Despite it being a wet day a small group of local people were welcomed into the play park for a cuppa and bite to eat in a space that normally a hive of activity for children of all ages
An elderly neighbour attended the event and highlighted that they didn’t get out and was feeling lonely a lot of the time. As a result of a conversation it was decided to hold a regular coffee morning at the play park every two weeks. On the first occasion 3 people attended, the group grew to 11 and the next one brought 30 people together from the community! Open Arms got the PTA at the local school involved with the coffee morning providing more links for people in the community.
This week it was noticed that the elderly neighbour was not present. This resulted in a visit to their home, they were found to have become ill so others from the group arranged a doctor’s appointment and transport, got some shopping in and one offered to take food round and keep an eye out for this person.
I can’t believe it’s been seven weeks since I joined the Care-Network team. I suppose it’s true when people say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. My first day was the 3rd of June and it happened to coincide with Volunteer Week (1-7th of June 2019) which was the week for our volunteer celebration event, talk about timing! I’m a pretty hands on person, plus I used to work in events so I absolutely loved getting involved. Most of the hard work had already been completed by the team so it was mostly smooth sailing. The best thing about the volunteer celebration event was meeting some of the volunteers that have been with us for five and ten years. How lucky are we that we have people who have given their time to support our clients for a whole decade, it’s really inspiring. I’m looking forward to meeting more volunteers and continuing to learn more about Care-Network, we do so much and everyday I learn something new about the services we provide. Whether it’s Healthy Fenland, Help at Home, Community Navigators and Community Development, there is so much that goes in to providing a bespoke service to clients and the communities throughout Cambridgeshire.
Our picture shows Susie presenting Roger Carr with a certificate for volunteering for us for 10 years, Graham Austin also received his 10 year certificate at the event.