MyBucks

Welcome to MyBucks

Welcome back!

Welcome to your September MyBucks - our first edition following the summer. And it's packed full of news this month!

Firstly there's the great news about the future of the much-loved Thrift Farm - find out what's happening here.

Find out about our new Family Support Service, how to have a say on plans for the new Buckinghamshire Council, what's on this month for families and much much more!

Don't miss the news from our libraries including what they can offer students of all ages now school's started back.

And there are some great tips and information in our Leading Better Lives section - including how to get a free health MOT if you're over 40. 

Happy reading!

Latest news

Thrift Farm - the future's bright!

Thrift Farm - a much-loved and unique part of Buckinghamshire life, is to be run by new providers. 

The Farm has been operating for more than 40 years. It is a visitor attraction staffed by a number of adults with learning disabilities - giving them employment in a supported environment. Some of the adults have been going to Thrift Farm for as long as it's been open!

Until now Thrift Farm has been run by County Council but the council recently had to consult on its future as it was too complex and costly an operation for the council to carry on running. However, the County Council really wanted to keep Thrift Farm open, so is delighted that new providers have come forward. 

Thrift Farm will now be run by a new company formed by Kids Play and Mead Open Farm. 

Kids Play Childcare, based in Milton Keynes, have over 18 years experience providing childcare in OFSTED registered settings throughout the South East. Through their nurseries, pre-schools, after school clubs or activity day camps they provide care for 2,500 children across the Milton Keynes region. 

Family business Mead Open Farm in Leighton Buzzard operate a well established children's farm. Welcoming some 230,000 visitors each year, they are home to over 350 farm animals, run a programme of daily activities and an active year round event schedule.

Together, they can bring their combined expertise and experience to create a sustainable future for Thrift Farm.

Lin Hazel, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "We were determined to explore every possible avenue to keep Thrift Farm open. The consultation, while unsettling for service users and their families, was instrumental in keeping the issue high profile and finding a new provider.

"We would like to pay tribute to all who campaigned to keep the farm open and worked with us to find a new provider. There has been a thorough debate on all the business plans put forward to run the service - and we are confident that Kids Play and Mead Open Farm are the best option to secure a bright future for Thrift Farm".

Cabinet confirms decision to keep Burnham Household Recycling Centre open

Burnham household waste and recycling centre (HRC) will remain open.

The overall success of the money-saving arrangements for the recycling centre service, reluctantly introduced by the County Council's Cabinet at the beginning of the year, means that the proposed permanent closure of Burnham HRC is no longer required. However the reduction in opening days will continue in line with the other sites at Chesham and Aylesbury (Rabans Lane) with the site continuing to be closed on a Wednesday and Thursday.

Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment, Bill Chapple OBE said he was pleased that no additional permanent site closures were required.

"Back in January, these were tough changes to introduce, particularly the charges for non-household waste, and we knew they would not be popular. That said, we are on track to achieve the cost savings that I needed to make over the longer term, so I'm delighted we can keep Burnham open.

"Can I take this opportunity to remind householders that around three-quarters of all waste is still completely free to take to our recycling centres. On the chargeable waste element, we are seeing an average cost of about £8 a visit, so it's only a small extra charge on your DIY type jobs."

Despite concerns from the public, the charges haven't led to an increase in fly tipping, although this is something the Council will continue to keep a very close eye on going forward.

For up to date information on your local Household Recycling Centre go to www.buckscc.gov.uk/hrc.

New support service for families has started

A new Family Support Service offering wide-ranging advice, help and information to Buckinghamshire families has been launched by the County Council.

The new Buckinghamshire Family Support Service offers support, services and activities for local families from a network of 16 new family centres, spread across the county over three locality areas. Importantly, the service also provides more targeted, specially tailored help for families with more complex challenges. Where needed, a lead family worker will create a team of professionals around families experiencing problems such drug and alcohol misuse, money problems, mental health issues, domestic violence, or who may have children with poor school attendance or emerging additional needs.

The Family Support Service aims to help these families to overcome their problems before they get worse and reach crisis point – so that in the longer term they become more self-sufficient and lead happier, healthier lives. Families will be helped directly in their homes or other places where they are comfortable such as libraries or community spaces as well as being able to go to specific sessions at the family centres.

The 16 family centres will also offer a programme of activities for all Buckinghamshire families with children up to the age of 19 (or 25 for children with special educational needs or a disability (SEND).

Family centres are spread across the whole of Buckinghamshire, with three being ‘Family Centre Plus’ sites; Southcourt Family Centre Plus (Aylesbury), Mapledean Family Centre Plus (Wycombe) and Newtown Family Centre Plus (Chesham). These centres will offer drop in advice and support five days a week.

More information plus timetables of activities on at the family centres can be seen online via the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service website: www.bucksfamilyinfo.org/familysupport

Junction work heralds start on Eastern Link Road

Work on building Aylesbury's Eastern Link Road is underway with preparations for creating a junction on the A418 just outside Bierton.  

The 1.3 mile northern section, with a budget of around £5 million, will be paid for and built by developers Barratt, as part of its new Kingsbrook estate. It will connect Aylesbury Road, Bierton (A418) with a roundabout at the new Bellingham Way, and is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2021. 

When complete, this section will allow traffic to and from Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes to reach Aylesbury's inner ring road more directly, via the Stocklake link roads.

The preparation work for the link road junction will be followed by main construction work from Tuesday 1 October. This may mean narrowing the lanes on the A418, but is expected to have little or no effect on traffic.

As work progresses, from 4 to 22 November off-peak traffic lights will control through traffic on the A418 between 9.30am and 3.30pm. These will operate again from 7 January until 27 March.

Location for the Eastern Link Road junction with the A418, Aylesbury Road, Bierton

The Eastern Link Road will form another section of Buckinghamshire County Council's planned Orbital Route, a way to create more capacity for traffic as Aylesbury grows, linking the town's main radial routes and drawing traffic away from the town centre. 

Other 'link roads' forming the Orbital, are being built progressively on the outskirts as housing and business development is planned, and are being funded  from housing developers, along with money bid for from Government sources, such as its Local Growth Fund and Housing Infrastructure Fund. 

Two link roads - Martin Dalby Way (1.8m) and the half-mile Stocklake Urban - are already built, the 1.2m Stocklake Rural (Bellingham Way) link is almost complete and the Eastern Link Road northern section is now under construction.


New Buckinghamshire Council invites you to have your say

As the five existing councils across the county work together to create the new Buckinghamshire Council, we want to give you the chance to have a say on the matters that are important to you.

There will be a number of opportunities for you to get involved over the coming months, which will be shared on the consultations section of the Shadow Authority website. You can also keep up to date with the latest news about the new council (including details of consultations) on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t miss this chance to get involved as we plan for becoming one council on 1 April 2020.

Strengthening local connections with communities
Community boards would give a voice to local people, giving you a chance to work with the council and other local people to make a difference for your community.

But what would the proposals mean for you?

Find out more and have your say before the community boards consultation closes on Monday 30 September.

 

Helping people on low incomes with their council tax

The four district councils and the county council in Buckinghamshire would like your views on proposed changes to the council tax reduction schemes that help people on low incomes, as we plan for becoming one council in April 2020.

Share your views on the proposal to have one scheme across Buckinghamshire.

 

 

 

 

Bucks Best Kept Villages are revealed...

The judging of the 2019 Buckinghamshire Best Kept Village Competition has been completed and the results are now revealed:

Winner of the Gurney Cup (villages with a population of 500 and under) - Aston Abbotts,         

Runner-up - Fulmer 

Winner of the Morris Cup (villages with a population of 500 – 1500) - Hedgerley

Joint runners-up - Chearsley and Cuddington 

Winner of the DeFraine Cup (villages with a population of 1501 – 3000) - Stewkley

Runner-up - Steeple Claydon 

Winner of the Pushman Cup (villages with a population over 3000) -  Burnham 

Runner-up - Chalfont St Peter 

Winner of the Michaelis Cup (small towns) - Winslow

Runner-up - Olney

Winner of the Tindall Cup (competition for the 2017 cup winners) - Chalfont St Giles 

Runner-up - Wendover

Winslow has been awarded the Sword of Excellence as the best overall winner.

The Dashwood Trophy for the best runner-up goes to Chearsley

Downley has been chosen to receive the Community Award

How to apply for EU settled status

The question of Brexit may still be up in the air but it's important that any EU residents and people from other European Economic Area countries plus Swiss nationals who are living in the UK know about the "European Union Settlement Scheme" - and how to apply. 

The scheme allows EU nationals or their family members - and people from the above countries - to continue to live in the UK after 30 June 2021

If the UK leaves the European Union without a deal (formal arrangements with the EU) then the deadline to apply is 31 December 2020

Find out all you need to know here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families 

Introducing....our new road resurfacing machine!

A lot of road resurfacing works took place over the summer when Bucks roads tend to be at their quietest - and this year we've had a new innovation at our disposal!

The Etnyre Chipper Spreader is being used for the surface dressing programme this year. It has the capability to spread the road treatment across a bigger carriageway width - up to 6.1m which is a 30% increase on the maximum width previously possible. 

The Etnyre Chipper Spreader’s advanced on-board computer manages the rate of spread of the chippings to improve how much material is used. The speed of the surface dressing process can also be varied, improving efficiency on roads where the machine can be fully extended.

In Buckinghamshire this means that some of the more minor roads can be treated in one pass, minimising or even eliminating joints, which reduces road closure time and improves the effectiveness of treatment. 

Eurovia Specialist Treatments (EST), the contractor responsible for the surface-dressing programme, has just two crews in the country that use these machines and Transport for Buckinghamshire is delighted to be using this innovative technique on all 27 of its surface-dressing sites.

M4 improvement works

Highways England began work to deliver 32 miles of new smart motorway on the M4 a year ago. Progress is being made on the western section between junctions 8/9 to 12 and work has recently started on the eastern part of the scheme - closer to Buckinghamshire. The first bridge replacements are starting this autumn with work on the carriageway between junctions 3 to 4b also starting in September 2019.

From spring 2022, the completed smart motorway will increase capacity, reduce congestion and deliver more reliable journeys.

There are 11 bridges in the Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead and South Bucks areas that need replacing ito create space for the new four-lane smart motorway.

The first of these to be demolished will be Recreation Ground overbridge by Upton Court Park. This has closed from 9 September and pedestrians and cyclists are being diverted to Datchet Road during construction.

Work will be complete in late summer 2020 and access will be restored as soon as possible after then. Marsh Lane overbridge near Dorney will be demolished in mid-November and will be out of action until late 2020, with traffic diverted via Lake End Road.

There will be closures of the M4 over the weekends of 27-30 September (Junctions 5 to 6), and also 15-18 November and 29 November to 2 December (Junctions 6 to 8/9) to allow for the demolition and construction of bridges between junctions 8/9 and 5 with more to come in 2020 and 2021.

Read more in Highways England's latest newsletter.

 

Come to an open day at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT) are inviting the public to an open day and joint Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on Saturday, 21 September, from 11am-3pm.

The AGM provides the opportunity to hear about the work of BHT and the CCG over the last year and their plans for the future of healthcare in Buckinghamshire.

The open day will offer behind-the-scenes tours at the hospital as well as live entertainment, refreshments and free fun activities for the whole family.

Performances scheduled for the day include a rock choir, LAR Performing Arts, Castielli School of Dance, Sesha Natya Niketan Indian Dance Group and Urban Strides.

There will be free parking available.

For more information, contact dee.irvin@nhs.net or call 01494 734 853.

Modern refurbished work spaces available at historic Porters Lodge building

If you’re a freelancer, business owner or professional looking for modern, quiet work spaces to rent on a short-term basis, then the recently refurbed Porters Lodge facilities are now available!

The Grade II listed building in the centre of Aylesbury boasts a great location close to the bus and train stations, car parking, as well as local shops and restaurants. Offering a range of meeting rooms and hot desk zones, the charming 19th century building is a retreat for remote workers.

 All rooms are ready for rental on a first come first served basis and start from just £15 per day. Bookings can be for a single day, week or even a month depending on your requirements.

So for full prices and to arrange a visit or book a space, visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/business-and-benefits/porters-lodge-work-spaces; or contact Sharon Noad at snoad@buckscc.gov.uk or on 01296 383151

What's on

Coming up at Bucks County Museum...

What’s on at Bucks County Museum this September

Hard of Hearing Tour: Deborah Hopson-Wolpe: Pots and Prints

Saturday 14 September, 11am to 12pm
This tour is an opportunity for hard-of-hearing visitors to explore the Deborah Hopson-Wolpe: Pots and Prints exhibition at a quiet time. A hearing loop will be available. Booking essential please email community@buckscountymuseum.org to book a space.

Reincarnated Rubbish – Endangered and Extinct Recycled Art Exhibition

14 September – 2 November

An exhibition of amazing animal sculptures created from recycled cans by recycling artist Val Hunt.

Wednesday Wellbeing Sessions
Wednesdays 18 September, 2 October, 12 noon - 1.30pm

Reclaim your lunch break and join us in the Bucks County Museum garden to de-stress in beautiful surroundings. Break away from your desk, turn off your phone and enjoy your lunch with us.  We are offering a range of mindful activities that will allow you to return to work focused and refreshed.

Wednesday Wellbeing sessions run on the following Wednesdays:

18 September: Paper Flower Power & Therapeutic Colouring – make decorative paper flowers and enjoy some colouring in the garden

2 October: Mindful Origami – have a go at folding paper animals, a quiet and reflective activity with beautiful results

Come and drop in and try something different. Refreshments available from the Museum Café. Activities will take place indoors if weather is wet. The wellbeing activities are aimed at adults only.

Katie Surridge – Muir Trust Artist in Residence
23 September – 18 October
This year’s Muir Trust Artist in Residence is Katie Surridge, a mixed media artist specialising in metal casting. During her residency, Katie will be exploring the archaeology collections and creating her own assemblages inspired by her finds. Visit Katie at her Open Studios on 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27 September, 10, 11, 17, 18 October. The work that Katie produces will then be on display in her residency exhibition from 9 November 2019 until 4 January 2020.

Touch Tour – Sports
National Sporting Heritage Day Event
Monday 30 September, 11am to 1pm
For blind and visually impaired visitors to touch and explore sporting objects. Kop Hill Climb vintage cars will also be on show to sit in and rev up. There is no charge for this event but please book a place through the museum website. For further information contact Siemma on community@buckscountymuseum.org

Mushroom Magic: A UK Fungus Day event
Saturday 5 October, 11am – 4pm
The Bucks Fungus Group present local fungi displays and family activities.

Drop into our shop and see the beautiful jewellery and ceramics made by members of the Bucks Craft Guild as well as local books, gifts and greeting cards. After your visit take a break in the Museum Café and garden.

For full details visit www.buckscountymuseum.org or call 01296 331441.

Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery
Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP.

 

Take a look at what's on for Bucks families

The Buckinghamshire Family Information website is packed full of information for families. 

Whatever you're after, be it support, advice, help or information - the BFIS website has it all. 

You can find information about childcare, support for SEND children and as already mentioned in this MyBucks, everything you need to know about our new Family Information Service. 

One of the most popular tools is our 'Things to do' link - why not take a look here:

What's on at Black Park Country Park.

Tots Go Wild Forest School – 13 September – 18 October 

Join us in Black Pines Camp within 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.

Group visits

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 .

For more information on any of these events head over to: 

http://buckscountryparks.eventbrite.co.uk

Or contact us on countryparks@buckscc.gov.uk or 01753 511060 ext 105.

Like us on Facebook for regular updates – Search ‘Black Park Country Park’

Love your Library

Back to school?

Buckinghamshire Libraries have a lot to offer students, both by supporting their learning and for unwinding after school. Here are just some of the reasons why students use our libraries:

  • Free Wi-Fi and PC access. Customers can connect their devices to the Wi-Fi for studying or entertainment. You can get one hour free per day on our computers with your library card (children under 16 will need permission from their parent or guardian).
  • Printing, scanning and photocopying facilities.
  • Quiet study areas.
  • Clubs and events. Libraries offer a large variety, from Homework Club to Coding Club. Find out what events are taking place by checking our events page.
  • Access to thousands of fiction and non-fiction books. Children under 16 can place reservations on Buckinghamshire stock without charge. Search for a book today.

  • Access to literature in other languages. Perfect for those studying foreign languages or who speak languages other than English. PressReader is also available for access to thousands of digital newspapers in over 65 languages.
  • Online reference resources. Buckinghamshire Libraries provide access to resources such as Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Britannica (which is suitable for students at primary and secondary schools). Visit our Online Reference Resources page for the full list.
  • Mental health. Our Reading Well for Young People collection provides quality assured information and advice to help young people understand and manage their mental health. The collection promotes emotional resilience and aims to reduce stigma around mental health issues. View the collection.

Libraries Week

Libraries Week will take place between the 7th and 12th October to celebrate the role of libraries. This year’s focus is celebrating libraries in a digital world. Buckinghamshire Libraries will showcase the way technology can help our library members and how libraries can help build digital skills and confidence.

Digital technology has formed an important part of our service, especially in the past decade. We are now able to reach more of our library members than ever before, and offer more resources online. Members can use library services from the comfort of their own homes or use the free Wi-Fi available in any of our libraries. We also offer free computer access for an hour per day with your library card.

We have a large number of online reference resources. If you’re looking to buy a new appliance, you can make use of our subscription to Which? for product reviews. If you want to research your family history, why not pop into a library and use Ancestry for free? If you’re working on a school project and need to research some information, Britannica could be just what you need. Find the full list of online reference resources here.

Our eLibrary service allows members to borrow and download free eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines to their chosen device and effectively access the library from anywhere with internet access 24/7. We’ve recently added eNewspapers to this line-up, for those that would like to catch up on the latest news around the world with PressReader.

Technology allows our members to manage their library accounts online and place reservations conveniently. There is also the added benefit of accessibility features for anyone who has a visual impairment and is looking to indulge in their love of reading. This can range from larger writing on a high contrast background, to a narrator that reads the words for you.

Visit our Events page to discover what our libraries have planned for Libraries Week.

Get Online Week

Get Online Week 14th - 20th October follows on from Libraries Week and libraries will be encouraging our members to learn how to get more out of life online. According to The Good Things Foundation, 5.3 million people have never been online in the UK and there are 11.9 million people who don’t have the essential digital skills to navigate life and work.

Libraries are a great place to learn how to get online, from providing how-to books to free one-to-one computer lessons with staff and volunteers. Buckinghamshire Libraries use Learn My Way, a fantastic resource for those who want to learn the basics of using a computer. The website can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection, and allows users to learn at their own pace.

Find out what events we have planned during Get Online Week here.

Summer Reading Challenge

We would like to congratulate all our young Summer Reading Challenge participants for joining Buckinghamshire Libraries on what has been an out-of-this-world adventure. A sizeable 4,686 intrepid readers embarked on a mission to read six books over the summer.

The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge is designed to encourage children to read during the long school holidays. Children's reading can 'dip' if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure, and this can be a problem for schools to put right in the new term. The scheme is endorsed by parents, teachers and the Department for Education.

The Challenge celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. This year’s theme was Space Chase, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. By reading books over the summer, children would receive clues to help a space family track down books taken by mischievous aliens and save the day. Children could visit their local library, sign up for the challenge, and choose any six books to read. Rewards were given for every two books read and included stickers, wristbands, medals and certificates.

Staff went all out with a variety of space-themed events and mini competitions taking place throughout the county. Events ranged from geology talks and alien crafts, to picnics and even cookery. Staff decorated the interior of libraries for the occasion, with help from local Knit and Natter groups donating their creations.

We would like to thank all the staff, volunteers and parents for helping to make this year’s challenge a success.

 

 

eNewspapers with PressReader

Join hundreds of Buckinghamshire library members who are now downloading and reading eNewspapers for free with PressReader, the latest addition to our eLibrary line-up.

PressReader is compatible with most desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. All you need is your Buckinghamshire library card, PIN, and an internet connection to get started. We have free Wi-Fi at our libraries for those who would like to use it, and library members who visit Aylesbury Library can use PressReader on our Hublets. Take a look at our Getting Started guide to setting up PressReader on your device.

With PressReader you can:

  • Access thousands of publications, both national and international.
  • Read full versions of your favourite papers.
  • Listen to articles while you're on the move with the audio feature. 
  • View publications on the device of your choice.
  • Download titles and view offline.
  • Publications available in 65 languages.
  • Translate publications into 18 different languages.
  • Print or share articles over social media and email.

Once you have signed in you have 30 days to use PressReader. Once the time has expired you will need to sign in again for another 30 days. You can repeat this process as often as you like.

 

You can read e-magazines free too!

New accessibility features are now available on RBdigital. For those who aren’t aware, you can download eMagazines onto your desktop, laptop or mobile device using the RBdigital app for free with your Buckinghamshire library card number. A full library member can read as many titles as they want, and keep eMagazines for as long as they like.

A blue accessibility button now appears on the bottom right of the home page of the RBdigital website when accessed on a PC.

When a library member clicks on this button, the accessibility toolbar will display on the right edge of the page. From the toolbar, library members can access a full range of accessibility features. The RBdigital web interface will also now work with third-party accessibility software and readers across both mobile and desktop platforms, including VoiceOver, TalkBack, JAWS, NVDA, and Windows Narrator.

Instructions for using RBdigital are available here.

September's Recommended Read...

This month’s recommended read is “The Salt Path” by Raynor Winn. Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards 2018, “The Salt Path” is an inspirational nature memoir about losing everything and finding yourself.

In one devastating week, Raynor and her husband Moth lost their home of 20 years, just as a terminal diagnosis took away their future together. With nowhere else to go, they decided to walk the South West Coast Path: a 630-mile sea-swept trail from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

This ancient, wind-battered landscape strips them of every comfort they had previously known. With very little money for food or shelter, Raynor and Moth carry everything on their backs and wild camp on beaches and clifftops. But slowly, with every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, the walk sets them on a remarkable journey.

They don't know how far they will travel, but - to their surprise - they find themselves on a path to freedom.

Reviews

A beautiful, thoughtful, lyrical story of homelessness, human strength and endurance (Guardian)

An astonishing narrative of two people dragging themselves from the depths of despair along some of the most dramatic landscapes in the country, looking for a solution to their problems and ultimately finding themselves. (Independent)

A gem of a book (Guardian, Best Books of Summer)

Uplifting and inspirational (Woman & Home)

How to borrow this title

Reserve here - https://buckinghamshire.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/WPAC/BIBENQ?SETLVL=&BRN=4510794

Download the eBook - https://buckinghamshire.overdrive.com/media/3874636

Listen to the eAudiobook - https://fe.bolindadigital.com/wldcs_bol_fo/b2i/productDetail.html?productId=PRH_571745&fromPage=1&b2bSite=6290

Leading better lives

NHS Health Checks – the facts

Bucks County Council NHS Health Checks have been running in Bucks since 2013. Over 130,000 people in Bucks invited to a Health Check, according to 2018 figures.

The NHS Health Check is a quick and easy ‘health MOT’ for eligible residents and really does save lives.

With the risk of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia increasing over the age of 40, the NHS Health Check acts as an early warning system.

Making a change in lifestyle or habits can cut down the chances of these diseases developing unchecked and becoming more serious further down the line.

In August 2019 central government announced a review into ways to make the NHS Health Check more effective and personalised. This review is now underway.

However, it is important everyone knows that NHS Health Checks are still ongoing, and so if you have had a letter from your GP inviting you for one, you should definitely go along.

We want to increase the number of people in Bucks living well for longer and NHS Health Checks are a quick and simple way of doing that.

You can find out more, register and check your eligibility here

Councillor records his Health Check appointment!

Having your NHS Health Check and the results recorded is not something many of us would contemplate, but the Cabinet Member for Community Engagement at Bucks County Council, Gareth Williams, has done just that.

In an effort to encourage people, especially men aged 40 - 50, to go to their appointment he filmed his NHS Health Check to find out and share what really goes on.

He told us, ‘I eat pretty healthily, do a bit of walking with my dogs and generally feel fine. I’m pretty busy so time is always tight and never having had a Health Check before, I wasn’t sure what to expect.’

‘I arrived for the Health Check with my trainers and shorts ready to do star jumps but was quickly reassured that this was not the case!‘

‘Hannah, my Health Check professional, talked me through each step of the process and made sure I was aware of what all my results meant. They revealed that there are things I should do to continue feeling fit and well. It was really interesting seeing my health ‘scores’ and I was also surprised to find out there is such a thing as good cholesterol’

‘Clearly prevention is key, and going to a Free NHS Health Check offer is an effective and quick way to make sure you stay well for longer. I strongly encourage other people, men in particular, to go along’

You can take a look at Gareth’s NHS Health Check here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz-wyyfTP1DXp26mFGCIiSxaNs69A--Lk

We are Undefeatable!

Did you know that people with health conditions are twice as likely to be inactive, and over a third do less than 30 minutes of activity per week?

We are Undefeatable is a new national campaign which aims to inspire and support people who have an existing health condition to become more active. Being more physically active can help people manage long-term conditions such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mobility limiting conditions
  • Heart conditions
  • Cancer
  • Types 1 and 2 diabetes
  • Asthma

Physical activity helps people reduce anxiety and fatigue; improve self-confidence, self-esteem and general mood; and prevent additional conditions developing

It’s easier than you think to start getting more active:

However you get more active, it’s all good. Find ways to move that work for you

Small amounts of activity add up – so it’s good to start small and build up

Finding something that you enjoy means you’re more likely to keep doing it

Living with a health condition means how you feel can change from day to day. Listen to your body and do what feels comfortable.

For information, support and inspiration on ways to be more active that suit your health condition, go to www.weareundefeatable.co.uk

There’s lots of information on local activities at www.activebucks.co.uk where you can download a free trial activity voucher!

If you’d like to do more walking check out our local volunteer-led organised walks at www.buckscc.gov.uk/simplywalk

 

Alcohol and us...

Buckinghamshire’s residents are being encouraged to think about their habits around alcohol and increase their understanding of safer drinking levels.  

To mark the publication of this year’s Buckinghamshire’s Director of Public Health Annual Report, which takes a closer look at our relationship with alcohol in Buckinghamshire, we want to help our residents understand how to keep the health risks of alcohol to a low level.

The Chief Medical Officer recommends it is safest not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week. This should be spread over several days with some alcohol free days in between. It is also recommended that children should have an alcohol free childhood.

Many people in Buckinghamshire enjoy drinking alcohol – to celebrate, relax or just through habit, but may not be aware that they are drinking at levels that could be harming their health.

You can lower your risk of conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia by taking simple steps to reduce your alcohol intake.

Apps are a great way to keep track of how much you are drinking. Check out the Bucks Drink Checker website and try their easy to use app at https://buckscc.drinkchecker.org.uk

If you’re regularly drinking more than the recommended amount or you feel you can't manage without drinking alcohol, you may be experiencing alcohol dependence. Seek the advice of your GP or a local support service such as One Recovery Bucks (https://onerecoverybucks.org/) to help you safely cut down the amount of alcohol you’re drinking.

Learn something new this autumn

From Spanish to sign language - woodwork to watercolour painting – whatever your interest or need, chances are there is a Buckinghamshire Adult Learning course to suit you.

With more than 1000 different courses on offer at venues up and down the county it isn’t hard to find something that takes your fancy.

Buckinghamshire Adult Learning offers a wealth of learning for personal development courses in languages, arts and crafts and health and fitness. We have both daytime and evening courses from beginners to advanced, which take place in village halls, community centres, local schools and at our Adult Learning Centres in Aylesbury, North Bucks, the Chilterns, Wycombe and South Bucks. Courses vary in length from one-day workshops to six week courses or those that run longer from 10-33 weeks.

We also run English, maths and English for Speakers of Other Languages courses for those who want to boost their employability, go into further education or help their children with their schoolwork.

Enrol onto one of our ‘Are you ready for GCSE?’ courses starting this month.

Most of our courses are starting week commencing Monday 23 September so there’s still time to enrol.

We also have a number of free tasters running from 16 September so you can try a course before committing to it.

To enrol, please visit our website and search for a course by title, call our enrolment team on 01296 382403 or email studentenquiries@buckscc.gov.uk

It’s safe to talk about suicide...

Earlier this week people across the county came together on World Suicide Prevention Day which is held annually on 10 September, to show their support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and to support the survivors of suicide.

The Council, NHS, Mind, local charities and other partners also joined forces in support of World Suicide Prevention Day. Their message is that if you’re worried about someone’s wellbeing or state of mind, it’s safe to talk to them about suicide.

  • 1 in 5 of us have thoughts of suicide at some point in our lives
  • Around 30 people die by suicide in Buckinghamshire each year

Suicide can feel like a difficult subject to talk about but the safest way to start a conversation is to ask someone you’re concerned about if they are considering taking their own life.

Trust your gut instincts and if something doesn’t seem right, say something. Asking them directly will not encourage them to take their own life. You don’t have to be an expert - just listening to them can help. Try to use open questions - the ones that start with who, what, where, how, when or why to encourage them to talk openly.

If you have concerns that someone you know is about to act on suicidal thoughts call 111 or 999, or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. In Buckinghamshire this is at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Do not leave them alone.

Our leaflet It’s safe to talk about suicide has details of what signs to look out for and where to go for help or, for further information and advice including support for people bereaved by suicide, visit the Buckinghamshire Mind website at http://www.bucksmind.org.uk/crisis-support/.

Access All Areas...

Are you a local business that is keen to show support for people with a learning disability or autism…?

Access All Areas is a full day exhibition, advice and demonstration event for people with a learning disability or autism, their families, carers and support workers. It’s on 22 October from 10.30am – 4pm at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.

We want to make sure that every person who attends has the best experience possible and comes away with positive vibes!

Please get in touch to discuss what suits your business and what we can you offer in return to help promote it.

You can book a free ticket, apply to have a stand, or get involved by supporting the event here on our webpage

#BeActive

Stoke Mandeville Stadium is hosting an All Inclusive Sports Day - a day of activities supporting the European Week of Sport .

It's on Friday 27 September and runs from 9am – 4pm. This is a chance for people of all ages and abilities to try out something new for free.

#BeActive is the European Commission’s initiative to get people more active so why not go along and see what sparks your interest!

You need to contact the team there and book details on their website here

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