Big Boys Do Cry

We're in your cornerA new initiative has been launched by Ashford Samaritans, supported by Ashford Borough Council, which aims to reduce what has been called the ‘silent epidemic’ of men’s suicide within the borough.

Men are almost three times more likely to take their own lives than women and more middle-aged men are killed by suicide than by cancer, heart disease or traffic accidents.

The campaign, Big Boys Do Cry, aims to break down the barriers preventing men from seeking help when it seems there is nothing left to live for. (more…)

Domestic Abuse Service Integration Consultation

Kent County CouncilBackground:

Domestic Abuse Support Services in Kent are currently funded through a mixture of commissioned services, grant funding and charitable funds. The landscape of service provision varies across the county with different levels of support available in different areas of Kent.

The three largest commissioned services are Women’s Refuges, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) and Floating Support. Refuges and Floating Support are commissioned by Kent County Council, and these contracts come to an end in 2016. The IDVA service is partnership funded, with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) holding the contract. This contract is also due to end in 2016.


We are proposing to integrate these existing services into a single service, to be delivered by service providers working together within partnership and subcontracting arrangements to improve client journeys and provide clarity on where to go for support.  This will ensure consistency of support available wherever a client is living.  The proposal includes the introduction of a central referral process to ensure those accessing the service can be referred appropriately at their first contact.

Have your say:

Please have a look at the Consultation Document, the summary of the proposed service and the draft service specification.

You can have your say by using the online questionnaire or by sending in a paper version which may be downloaded below.

The consultation closes on the 15th of July 2016


Full time carers are twice as likely to be in bad health


Full time carers are twice as likely to be in bad health as non-carers.

When carers faced barriers to maintaining their health

  • 51% let a health problem go untreated
  • 50% said their mental health got worse
  • 31% only got help when it was an emergency

Carers Week 2016 Research Report



Carers Week 2016

Carers WeekCarers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

The campaign is brought to life by the individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.


Add your voice to health and care changes in east Kent

Ashford Clinical Commissioning GroupThe NHS across England is changing, including here in Ashford.  So a new drive to get people involved in shaping their local services has been launched today.

Across the NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area, people are being encouraged to join the Health Network so that they can have a say in how hospitals, family doctors, social care workers and community nurses work together to look after the people who need care and keep others healthy and well.

Some of our local services were designed to meet the needs of people in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.  Now they need updating for 2020 and beyond.  Local NHS doctors and leaders are getting together over the coming months to talk about what needs to change and share their current thinking about ways to make that happen.

As well as new evidence about the best way to treat certain conditions and new national standards to meet, there are challenges in funding, an ageing workforce due to retire with not enough specialists to fill vacancies and the need to join up health and social care services more effectively. But new ways of delivering health and care services need to be designed with patients and local people.  Have a voice and get involved.  Now is the time to be heard. (more…)

Dementia can be scary but you don’t have to face it alone

Dear Dementia, I'm scared, this is youThis Dementia Awareness Week the Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging anyone who is worried about dementia to confront their concerns and get in touch with them.

Hundreds of thousands of families are touched by dementia every year and many people don’t know where to turn. We know dementia can be scary but you don’t have to face it alone.

If you’re worried that you, or someone close to you, might have dementia, call our National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email helpline@alzheimers.org.uk for advice and support.

Deaf Awareness Week: Travel

Ed Rex, Travel blogger“For years people said I couldn’t travel on my own because of my deafness. With my hearing aid and cochlear implant, it’s been so easy to travel by myself.

“I have travelled round the world and been immersed indifferent languages, cultures and customs. It’s really bro

Ed Rex, travel blogger http://rexyedventures.com/



British Sign Language

Learning BSL I definitely can“I’m learning British Sign Language because everybody deserves the same level of service when coming to our pub.

“I want to be able to ask deaf customers how they are, if they’ve had a nice day and what they’d like to order, without having to write everything down. Not long now!”

Josie Linden, Operations Manager

Learning British Sign Langauge