Notes from our September meeting

Although the weather was distinctly Autumnal there was a large number of attendees as Pauline welcomed everyone to the meeting, explained a little how the evening would run and invited the first speaker.

Chantelle has recently started as Community Engagement Manager at Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria and introduced her colleague Mark to talk about the new NHS service starting on a trial basis for when an individual suffers a fall at home and needs help but not necessarily an ambulance or paramedic. This will reduce the demand on the emergency services but still offers that option if the individual’s condition is more urgent. Residents across the region will be asked for their feedback as the service is rolled out.

Karen told us that the fourth ANON arts course for residents will start at the end of September. Around 20 residents have been involved so far benefitting from the social interaction and along with those that want to return, new members are welcome. The group will meet on Thursday mornings at the YMCA Lofthouse Building and there’s a welcome session to explain more on 19th September at the venue on London Street. Anyone interested can call in or contact Healthier Fleetwood (Please see the email and phone number at the end of these notes).

Healthier Fleetwood will be working with MacMillan Cancer, the Fleetwood Trust and the Harmony & Health singers to host a Coffee Morning on Friday 27th September from 10am to noon at The North Euston. Please see the Facebook event for more information or look out for details in the local press. Offers of cakes and goodies for the morning are very welcome! Our thanks to the North Euston for their generous support.

Mark was just back from a day at the NHS Expo in Manchester where he and Fleetwood residents Pauline, Tony and Katrina shared their own stories and also how the wonderful community spirit in the Town is making a difference to people’s lives.

One Fleetwood at Marine Hall on Wednesday 16th October is an event that will bring together residents, voluntary groups, healthcare professionals, local businesses and more to inspire more people to become ‘doers’. More details will be available soon and free tickets from the venue.

The BBC News team have been covering the Healthier Fleetwood story from the start and were in town recently to interview residents from the ANON arts group, the Mens Shed and also catch up on progress at Fleetwood Hospital. Coverage is expected on the BBC bulletins and websites from Monday 9th September but this is very much subject to other events grabbing the headlines!

Fleetwood Primary Care Home, the collective name for the healthcare services that deal with managing acute and long-term illness, has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Primary Care Network Award’ at the General Practice Awards ceremony to be held in London later this year. Residents are working with the healthcare services through Healthier Fleetwood. More information on the awards is at www.generalpracticeawards.com

Craig and Julie are two of the hard-working committee that bring us the Fleetwood Festive Lights and a number of events are planned to raise funds ahead of the big Switch-on later in the year. There’s a Quiz Night at the North Euston on 19th September, the Lantern Parade and Switch On complete with an early appearance by Santa on the 16th November and an Xmas Ball on 7th December. More details on all these and how to get involved with the committee can be found on their Facebook page.

Andrew raised the question of a small charge being made for attending the Harmony & Health singing groups. Pauline pointed out that the charge might be waived in some circumstances and Mark advised that the group had been fully funded for 2 years by Wyre Council but some costs did need to be covered to keep it going.

With apologies to the gentleman concerned (as we didn’t get his name) the value of physiotherapists in the recovery path was mentioned and Mark was able to announce that a physio was now available for the Fleetwood surgeries, with plans to expand the service. Residents should contact their surgery if they need more information.

Jacob is putting together a new LGBT group in Fleetwood with events such as walks, days out and social events. Jacob has also offered to answer questions on the appropriate language to use and any misunderstandings when referring to the LGBT community.

Joanne is arranging a “wheely-good” event to raise awareness for young carers. On Sunday 6th October all ages are invited to cycle, skate, push a buggy, use their chair or scooter (and walk) from Marine Hall to Rossall Tower and back. Everyone taking part is encouraged to wear yellow in support of Young Minds mental health charity. Donations on the day are also welcome to support another event, the Halloween Ball at the North Euston. Follow Joanne’s progress on Facebook. (Please note the date, 6th October – this is a new date, a week later than announced at the meeting).

Mags is helping local families to set up a network of support for those in recovery but very much as part of the community. Her role is part of the New You programme that will see several organisations working in partnership to give residents more confidence and independence, full details will follow in the months ahead. Mags also offered Joanne help with her event by recruiting some volunteers.

Brian gave us a highly entertaining introduction to the Linda Eaton Craft awards, held each year in memory of his late wife. Entries are welcomed in a number of categories ahead of the prize ceremony at The Village hotel in Blackpool next month.

Andrea advised us to look at Kooth.com, an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free to use. If you or somebody you know would benefit from this service, please take a few minutes to have a look. Andrea also reminded us of the support available to young people through the Zone at Milton Street on Wednesdays from 6.30 to 8.30pm.

Abby has created the Fleetwood Youth Praise page on Facebook to share the many ways that young people are making a positive contribution to the Town working closely with Westview Community Association. Joanne said how wonderful it was to hear good news about our younger residents.

Over a break for refreshments there was an opportunity to think about the many local venues that act as hubs for the community and also how we learn about where to go and what’s happening. David asked everyone at the meeting to make a commitment to learn more about a venue they’re not familiar with and also to share with friends and family at least one activity, group or event they’d heard about during the evening.

Anne leads the creative writing group at Fleetwood Library and read a special poem, her personal thoughts about the Town and what it means to her. It was wonderful and warmly applauded by those present, many asking for a copy – we hope to be sharing the poem soon.

As we closed Pauline left us with a final thought which (loosely translated from Confucious) was, “It doesn’t matter how fast you travel as long as you move forward.”

Thanks as always to Emmanuel Church and John for hosting, Susan and Sheila for looking after the refreshments and to everyone for attending and contributing to a great evening. Next meeting is Wednesday 2nd October from 6.30pm at Emmanuel at The Mount.

For further information on any of the subject above, follow the links or contact Healthier Fleetwood by email: listening@healthierfleetwood.co.uk or leave a message on the answerphone at 07399 093835.

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