Winter advice if you're under the weather
Who can you turn to for immediate help or advice from a qualified health professional who is an expert in medicines, without an appointment? Your high street pharmacist, of course.
Everyone is familiar with going to the pharmacy for a prescription, painkillers or plasters, but with five years of training in the use of medicines, pharmacists are highly qualified experts who play a vital role in the NHS. They can offer advice on a wide range of health problems.
Nip it in the bud
If you feel poorly or have a cold, cough or other common ailment such as a tummy bug, flu or sore throat, see a local pharmacist right away before you start to feel worse. Pharmacists have the right training to know when to tell you to see a GP if they think you need to.
And with NHS services under intense pressure this winter, the great thing about a pharmacy is that you don’t need an appointment to get advice from qualified staff.
If you call 111 for urgent medical help, you could be referred to a pharmacist if your condition is not serious enough to need hospital or a doctor. It means you get immediate access to the right clinical advice and medication if you need it.
Pharmacists can explain how to safely take medicines such as an asthma inhaler. They can also do a medication review for people who have long term repeat prescriptions. And they can give extra help if you're starting on new medicine for: asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); type 2 diabetes; high blood pressure or have a new blood-thinning medicine.
Most pharmacies have a consultation room, so patients can discuss health matters in private just as they would with their GP. They also offer a whole range of other services such as: travel vaccinations; emergency contraception; help to stop smoking; and blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar testing.
With extended opening hours at evenings and weekends, pharmacies should be the first port of call if you need convenient, quick, professional health advice this winter. To find your nearest pharmacy visit www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/
If you feel unwell and aren't sure what to do you can call NHS 111 or go online at www.111.nhs.uk for immediate medical advice. Trained experts will tell you what you need to do and can book you an appointment with a doctor if you need one.
It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine!
The flu virus is continuing to spread in Buckinghamshire but there's still time to get a vaccine, protecting you and your family and friends from serious illness.
Lots of people mistakenly think the flu season is almost over but in fact it can last until the end of March. Hospital admission rates are still high across Bucks.
If you fall into one of the higher risk categories including young children, pregnant women, over 65s and those with long term health conditions, catching the flu can lead to further more serious complications.
The best way to avoid getting ill is to have a flu vaccine which is free for those in the most at-risk groups.
To find out more visit: www.nhs.uk/flu or contact your GP surgery.
Countdown to a new council for Buckinghamshire
With less than 3 months to go, preparations are well underway to create the new Buckinghamshire Council that will launch on 1 April this year.
What does the new council mean for me?
- For most people there will be no change to the day-to-day services you use. This includes bin collections, social care, libraries and parking.
- Getting in touch will be simpler. From 1 April you will only need to contact one council for all services currently provided by the county and district councils.
- Face-to-face support in your community. You will be able to access information, advice and support through a network of 17 local Council Access Points. These will be based at the heart of the local community – usually in a library or a council office in one of the county’s main towns.
- Strong links between the council and local communities. Through Community Boards Buckinghamshire Council councillors will work closely with local people and community organisations to understand and respond to the key issues affecting their local area.
Find out more about Community Boards
Find out more about Council Access Points
Who will be my local councillor on the new council?
Elections for the new council will take place on 7 May 2020. Until these newly elected councillors take up their posts, the current elected members from the five existing councils will continue to serve their communities.
How can I find out more?
In the run up to the start of the Buckinghamshire Council there will be regular news and updates, including on Twitter, Facebook and on the Shadow Authority website
Our Family Support Service is there for all local families
Buckinghamshire's new Family Support Service can help local families with children of all ages - whatever level of help and support you need.
Whether it's finding out info about local family activities to more concentrated help, it's what we are here for!
We have a network of 16 family centres across Buckinghamshire and new timetables for all of them are now out. The new spring timetables run from Monday 6 January right through until Easter and there are different types of sessions at each centre.
Here are some of the courses and sessions on offer:
- “Incredible Years” parenting courses – for parents of children aged 4-10 years
- “Your Space” drop in sessions – for children in school years 7-13
- “Teen Triple P” sessions – a positive parenting programme for parents of teenagers
- “Strengthening Families” course for parents and children aged 10-14
- “Marlow Feel Good Group” for adults who’ve experienced mental health issues
- Many ‘universal’ ‘playgroup’ type drop in sessions for parents with babies and pre-school aged children
- Sessions for parents of children with disabilities or special educational needs
There are lots of other types of sessions available too – check out the Family Centre timetables at www.bucksfamilyinfo.org/familysupport.
You can also use this link to find out more about the Family Support Service and the various ways it can help local families.
For information about local family activities and events check out the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website
You can read more on BFIS and half term activities in this month's MyBucks here and find out about special sessions for children with SEND here
Buckinghamshire's Adult Learning service is rated 'Good' by Ofsted
Buckinghamshire Adult Learning, the main provider of part-time courses for adults in the county, has been given a ‘Good’ rating in a recent Ofsted inspection.
The programme was praised for the positive impact it has had on the learners, as well as the hard work of the leaders, managers and tutors in tailoring opportunities to their needs and supporting lifelong education, personal development and wellbeing.
Inspectors said, “Learners develop positive relationships through their participation on adult learning programmes. Single parents and newcomers to the county value the social networks they create on family learning courses. As a result, many learners progress together as groups onto new courses.”
Try a course for free!
Fancy a free taster session in an art and craft, language or health and fitness course?
From Monday 24 – Friday 28 February 2020 you can join in with a class, meet the tutor and find out what students think about the course.
Check the range of courses at www.adultlearningbcc.ac.uk and if you're tempted, make sure you enrol by 12 noon on Friday 7 February
Enrolments open on Monday 27 January; to enrol, call 01296 383582
*Subject to availability where there is capacity.
Sale for Term 3 courses
Book a course between Monday 24 – Friday 28 February 2020 and receive a 10% discount off courses in Term 3 in 2020.
Drivers - know your limits!
Are you certain of speed limits, stopping distances and how fast you should be driving your make of car?
Most drivers could benefit from a refresher on most aspects of driving and speed is no exception. It goes without saying that driving too fast makes a collision more likely - and more severe.
So jump online and take a look at Transport for Buckinghamshire's (TfB) innovative new online e-learning module, designed to help drivers recognise the speed limit for their type of vehicle and the type of road they are driving on.
The module also includes information on:
- Stopping distances
- Causes and consequences
- Hazard perception
- Tips to help you drive within the speed limit
Throughout January, TfB will be focusing on speed, tying in with the National Police Chiefs Council’s national speed campaign.
TfB’s Road Safety team will join forces with the joint operations unit from Hampshire &Thames Valley Police and Bucks Fire and Rescue to promote the campaign, which encourages drivers to think about their speed and to travel at an appropriate speed within the limit.
Try the new speeding module at www.buckscc.gov.uk/speeding
How’s your Dry January going?
For those of you doing Dry January, you’re over halfway! Keep up the good work you will really notice the benefits of being alcohol free. After all who wouldn’t like:
- better sleep, better skin and weight loss
- more money in their pocket
- healthier insides!
If you would like to reset your relationship with alcohol, it’s not too late to sign up for the help and support available through the Dry January app which, by the way, is available all year round!
Check out the facts and sign up to give your body a break this year by visiting www.dryjanuary.org.uk
Or the NHS One You website has a great Drink Less section with lots of ideas and tips to help you cut out or cut down your alcohol intake. Go to https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/drink-less/
Bucks libraries to become theatres during half term!
There's a real treat in store at some Buckinghamshire libraries during February half term!
Theatre company 'Lots of Odds Theatre' are putting on a special production for young children at four library venues during the week-long school break.
"The Goose who Flew "is a puppet show about migration and meeting new people. It's being staged at High Wycombe, Iver Heath, Buckingham and Chesham libraries between 15-21 February for children aged 3-7 years old and their families.
Goose loves the summer, playing with his family and friends, but every year there comes the time for him to fly south for the winter. As his journey begins, things are not as they should be. As Goose continues his journey he meets an assortment of quirky characters - including metallic friend Bolty, paper-loving official Whiskers and a feathery jazz singer called Flossy.
Tickets are £4.50 each for children and adults and can be bought at the participating libraries above or online at this link: http://buckinghamshirelibraries.eventbrite.com
Performances are at the following dates and times:
- High Wycombe Library, Sunday 16 February at 2pm
- Iver Heath Community Library, Monday 17 February at 2pm
- Buckingham Library, Tuesday 18 February at 2pm
- Chesham Library, Wednesday 19 February, 2:30pm
For more on what's happening at Bucks Libraries check out the Libraries section in this month's MyBucks.
Design a parklet for Aylesbury!
Aylesbury Garden Town is launching a Design a Parklet competition, which is a call for all budding designers in Buckinghamshire to submit a conceptual design proposal for a parklet. The first-prize winner will see their design developed into their unique public parklet design.
Working with local communities and local councils, three sites in spring 2020 will be chosen to install a parklet - which transforms a kerbside area into a place to rest, relax and watch the world go by. (see the example on the right)
From the submitted designs, an independent judging panel will review the entries and select the top three finalists who will receive the following prizes:
First prize: £150 high street shopping voucher + see their design worked up into a public parklet design to be used across Aylesbury.
Second prize: £100 high street shopping voucher.
Third prize: £50 high street shopping voucher.
The competition opened on Thursday 9 January and will close at 5pm on Thursday 13 February 2020. The competition is open to all Buckinghamshire residents aged over 16, and the winner will be announced in February 2020.
For more information, and to download an entry form, please visit the Aylesbury Garden Town website.
** Curious about parklets? Then head over to the Living Streets website. **
Transforming Aylesbury - a masterplan
A six-week public consultation began on Monday 6 January 2020 on the Aylesbury Garden Town Draft Masterplan - which sets out an exciting vision for transforming the area over the next three decades.
There will be a series of roadshow exhibitions where you will be able to meet the team, take a look a the plans and have your say:
- Tuesday 21 January at The Oculus at The Gateway, AVDC, 4pm to 8pm.
- Thursday 23 January at Weston Turville Village Hall, 6pm to 8pm.
- Monday 27 January at The Canal Side, HP20 1AP, 6pm to 8pm.
- Wednesday 29 January at Watermead Village Hall, HP19 0FU, 6pm to 8pm.
- Tuesday 11 February to Friday 14 February at Hale Leys Shopping Centre.
A copy of the Draft Masterplan is available in all Aylesbury libraries and all information will be available on the Aylesbury Garden Town website, together with the opportunity to download a copy of the document and provide feedback via an online survey (which closes at 5pm on Friday 14 February).
If you have any questions, please email the Aylesbury Garden Town team.
Find half term activities
Holiday Activities for February Half Term and the Easter Holidays are beginning to be published on the Family Information Service and Local Offer. So keep checking back for the latest activities, camps and courses. Some of the fun things coming up in February include:
Like and follow @BucksFamilyInfo on social media as we regularly round up our latest additions.
Do you know of any holiday activities that you think more families and young people should know about? If so, let the team know by dropping them an email to FISdigital@buckscc.gov.uk. The team can then encourage activity providers to register on the directory and help spread the word to more families in the run-up to the holidays. In the meantime, find you can also find Things to do all year round.
About Buckinghamshire Family Information Service
Buckinghamshire's Family Information Service is the 'go to' place for local families. It's full of information, advice and support.
The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service provide free, impartial information, advice, and guidance on a range of topics relating to family life including childcare, education, money, local services, things to do and the Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
LinkedIn: Buckinghamshire Family Information Service
Phone: 01296 383 065 or text: 07786 202 920
Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Coming up at Bucks County Museum
Toy Box Exhibition
On now until 18 April 2020
This family favourite is great fun for children of all ages with lots of hands-on toys and games to play with and toys that will bring back memories of childhood for parents, too. It’s the perfect place to bring family and friends on a cold winter day.
Half Term Toy Craft Activities
17 – 21 February
A different toy craft each day of half term to accompany our brilliant toy exhibition. Drop in between 10am and 3pm. No need to book. Suitable for ages 3+. Check prices and themes on our website.
Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery Annual Pass
An annual pass is now available for the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery which is great value particularly for local families who want to drop in on Saturdays and during the school holidays. Visit our website for details.
Brilliant Birthday Parties in the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery
Experience something different with a birthday in the unique setting of the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery and Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury. The Gallery is full of exhibits inspired by Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories – you can crawl along Fantastic Mr Fox’s tunnel, go inside the Giant Peach, explore sound with the BFG, discover inventions with Willy Wonka and ride in the Great Glass Elevator.
We offer a 2 hour party led by one of our party planners which includes a one hour fun session in the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery followed by a craft activity with a Roald Dahl theme and scrumptious party food in our large spacious room in the museum.
We can also provide party bags so you can sit back and enjoy the day. If you would like to find out more about how we can make your day special please email email@example.com, call 01296 331441 or visit www.buckscountymuseum.org
The Museum also has a café serving light snacks and a gift shop with unusual gifts, cards, books, great stocking fillers and now a beautiful selection of jewellery and ceramics made by the Bucks Craft Guild. Drop in and take a look.
For full details visit www.buckscountymuseum.org or call 01296 331441. Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP.
Does your child have a disability or special educational needs?
Do you have a child with special educational needs? Do you know where turn to for impartial information, advice and support?
Buckinghamshire SEND IAS Service is coming to Family Centres in January, February and March.
Book a free slot now to meet a SEND IAS adviser, find out more about what the service offers and to take away an action plan. These sessions are first come first serve so book now.
Find out more about these SEND IAS sessions.
SEND IAS Service stands for: Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service.
Tots go wild at Black Park Country Park!
Tots Go Wild Forest School
Join us in Black Pines Camp in Black Park for some Forest School fun!
We have a variety of activities for your Tot to go wild, including the mud kitchen, digging pit, water play, bug hunting, weaving, balancing and more.
Tots Go Wild is aimed at 2-4 year olds but as soon as your little one is able to walk independently they are welcome to come and join in at our exciting Forest School. Friday mornings and afternoons during term time.
For more information and to book click here: http://buckscountryparks.eventbrite.co.uk
At Black Park we offer exciting educational sessions, perfect for large groups or school visits. You can choose from tree workshops, minibeast hunting, den building or Forest School sessions. If there is something else you would like to learn about, we are more than happy to expand our programmes.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01753 511060 ext 105.
Like us on Facebook for regular updates – Search ‘Black Park Country Park’
Love your Library
Make the most of your gadgets this year
Did you, or someone you know, get a new gadget for Christmas? Would you like to learn how to make the most of it? Libraries can help!
For beginners who would like to learn the basics of using a computer, visit one of our libraries and ask about our Learn My Way sessions. We will introduce you to a website where you can learn a variety of skills, from how to use a mouse and keyboard, to sending emails and managing your money online. Learn at your own pace and take your first steps into the digital world.
We also offer online resources. If you prefer to read digital copies of books, take a look at our eLibrary where you can borrow eBooks, listen to eAudiobooks, download eMagazines, and keep up to date with the news with our eNewspapers. https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/libraries/elibrary
Is learning to drive on your list of new year’s resolutions? Buckinghamshire library members get free access to Theory Test Pro which is perfect for those looking to practise, and this is just one of many resources available. Find the full list here: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/libraries/online-reference-resources/a-z-list-of-online-resources
Not a member yet? You can sign up at any Buckinghamshire Library. More information is available here: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/libraries/using-the-library/join-the-library/
We've got a great Recommended Read this month...
Lots of us like to mark the new year with a good sort out - so what better companion than our January Recommended Read, "Spark joy – an illustrated guide to the Japanese art of tidying" by Marie Kondo.
The secret to Marie Kondo's unique and simple KonMari tidying method is to focus on what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. Ask yourself if something 'sparks joy' and suddenly it becomes so much easier to understand if you really need it in your home and your life. This is an in-depth, illustrated, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising your home.
To reserve a copy click here
To borrow in eBook format click here
And to listen to Spark Joy as an eAudio book click here
"Its strength is its simplicity." -- Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times
"All hail the new decluttering queen Marie Kondo, whose mess-busting bestseller has prompted a craze for tidying in homes across the world ... one proper clear out is all you need for the rest of your life." -- Good Housekeeping
"Do I love it? If not, chuck it. Marie Kondo promises that by following her KonMari Method I will be a neatnik, forever ... I decide The Life-changing Magic of Tidying will become my bible." -- Brigid Moss, Red magazine
"The tidiness regimen prescribed by Japanese author Marie Kondo is a great idea. It’s so great that maybe we need to expand its reach" -- The Guardian
Slight changes to library opening hours
There will be small changes to the opening hours at the community libraries in Haddenham, Wendover and Great Missenden from Tuesday 4 February.
Make sure you check the websites before visiting.
The days the libraries are open will stay the same and there are just minor half hour variations in opening and closing timings on a couple of days.
You can check up to date opening times on our website at www.buckscc.gov.uk/libraries - follow the 'find a library' link for your local library.
Leading better lives
Talk to a Friend this Time to Talk Day
We’re all happy to chat about our dodgy knees, the nasty cold going round, sore backs and diabetes. Chatting about our mental health should be as accepted as these other everyday illnesses.
For anyone who has experienced a mental health problem, talking to someone whether that’s a relative, a friend, a GP or a professional counsellor, will have been the start of their recovery.
Time to Change is a national movement of people working together to change how we all think and act about mental health problems. Every year, Time to Talk Day is organised to encourage the nation to talk about mental health and help make it as normal a conversation topic as that dodgy knee.
This year, Time to Talk Day is on Thursday 6 February and the local Time to Change Champions will be out and about talking to people about their own mental health experiences, helping people see that there is nothing to be worried about by opening up or by stopping and listening to someone who needs to talk.
It’s OK to not be OK, as long as you tell someone and find the right help and support for you.
Find out about Time to Change Bucks here and about Time to Talk Day here.
Is adoption on your mind for 2020?
A new year means a new start for many people. If you’ve been thinking about making your family bigger in 2020 and are considering adoption, then come and talk to our experienced and friendly adoption team at Buckinghamshire County Council.
Our monthly information evenings, held alternately at Aston Clinton and Chesham, provide an easy and informal environment for you to hear more about what adoption means, including from local adoptive parents.
You can also use our new online adoption readiness checker, which has been developed to give anyone thinking about adoption an idea of what is and isn’t needed to become an adoptive parent.
If the online checker makes you think you might be ready to take the next step, the next information evening is on Thursday 6 February at Chesham Town Hall, or Wednesday 4 March at the Green Park Centre, Aston Clinton.
You can book onto either session on our website.
Find out more about adoption, including how to contact one of the team by phone or email, here.
Could you become a childminder?
If you love children and want to give them the best start and would like to have a rewarding career, then being a registered childminder might be the profession for you.
Ofsted is holding a briefing session on childminding on Wednesday 5 February at 7:15pm at The Disraeli School in High Wycombe.
This two and a half hour, face-to-face session will give you all the information you need to decide whether childminding is the right career choice for you. It looks at all aspects of childminding, the training course and other processes that are involved in registering.
Find out more about the High Wycombe Ofsted Briefing Session