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School's Out For Summer...But What's Next For A Young Adult Without Qualifications?

SP Program

An interesting article from TES claims that 'research reveals one in four 17 to 23-year-olds doesn't think education prepares them for work' . Even more pertinent is the news that '47 per cent of teachers said that they felt there were fewer opportunities to develop employability skills and competencies due to changes in GCSE and A-Level qualifications, and that focus on rote-learning has been a detriment to developing the skills and attitudes needed for work.' (https://www.tes.com/news/focus-character-skills-school-say-businesses)

Fortunately, we have a fantastic team who deliver the Study Plus scheme, a FREE course aimed at young people aged 16 – 19 (20 - 24 with an EHCP) who are not in education, training or employment or who may have found formalised education settings a challenge in the past.

 Study Plus offers smaller classes and a specialised approach for those learners who need additional support to achieve their goals. Importantly, it delivers modules and qualifications that are far more vocational and applicable to real life, including Functional Skills Maths & English and employability skills.

 Study Plus offers:

Functional Skills: English and maths (Entry Level 3 – Level 2)

Gateway Award in Employability Skills (Level 1)

First Aid (Level 3)

Life Skills

Information, Advice and Guidance

Pathway Planning

Work Experience (if the young person is work-ready)

 Our NEW 2019-2020 program will be running at:

 The United Reform Church in Cuttys Lane, Stevenage.

Monday – Wednesday from 9.30am- 3.45pm

Starting on 17th September and continuing throughout the academic year.

 For more information please contact:

 Louise Crawford on 01438 845821

louise.crawford@hertfordshire.gov.uk

hafls.BST@hertfordshire.gov.uk

New Academic Year Prospectus and Hub Guides Released!

Prospectus

We're delighted to announce the launch of our 2019-2020 Course Prospectus and individual Hub Guides, detailing all the courses planned for the next academic year, starting in September! September and November courses are detailed further down this email with links to book.

Check out the new guides;

2019-2020 HAFLS Course Prospectus

Borehamwood Hub Guide 2019-2020

Waltham Cross Hub Guide 2019-2020

Stevenage Hub Guide 2019-2020

Please see below for our September and November courses, all priced at just £15 each. To book, simply click on the link below or call us on 01992 556194.

Becoming a Midday Supervisor in primary schools

17/09/2019

Tuesday

10.00 - 12.00

5 weeks

Borehamwood

Healthy living made easy

17/09/2019

Tuesday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Borehamwood

Creative Crafts (festive theme)

05/11/2019

Tuesday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Borehamwood

Becoming a Classroom Helper in primary schools

05/11/2019

Tuesday

10.00 - 12.00

5 weeks

Borehamwood

Ipads and Tablets made easy

17/09/2019

Tuesday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Stevenage

Quilting- Sewing for beginners

17/09/2019

Tuesday

9.30 - 11.30

5 weeks

Stevenage

Becoming a Midday Supervisor in primary schools

19/09/2019

Thursday

9.30 - 11.30

5 weeks

Stevenage

Mindfulness

19/09/2019

Thursday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Stevenage

Creative Crafts (festive theme)

05/11/2019

Tuesday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Stevenage

Intermediate Sewing

05/11/2019

Tuesday

9.30 - 11.30

5 weeks

Stevenage

Assertiveness and Communication Skills

07/11/2019

Thursday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Stevenage

Becoming a Classroom Helper

07/11/2019

Thursday

9.30 - 11.30

5 weeks

Stevenage

Introduction to Customer Services

19/09/2019

Thursday

9.30 - 11.30

5 weeks

Waltham Cross

Assertiveness and Communication Skills

19/09/2019

Thursday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Waltham Cross

Introduction to working in the Health and Social Care Sector

07/11/2019

Thursday

1.00 - 3.00pm

5 weeks

Waltham Cross

Boost your Confidence

07/11/2019

Thursday

9.30 - 11.30

5 weeks

Waltham Cross

HAFLS Celebrates the Achievements of Participants Enrolled on the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Project

This May, Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) were proud to attend the annual Building Better Opportunities (BBO) celebration event, held at Knebworth Barns to recognise participants’ successes over the last year.

BBO knebworth

(A packed venue at Knebworth Barns)

With standing room only, this fantastic event bought participants, mentors, tutors and stakeholders together to celebrate their achievements and successes on the BBO programme.

Speakers included David Naylor, who after suffering a brain injury in 2017, praised the project, stating; ‘I was a little lost a year ago but thanks to my friends at BBO, I now know why I moved to Stevenage’.

BBO David

(David Naylor, BBO participant, explains the impact BBO has had on his life)

Meanwhile, Emma Mitchell spoke of her daily struggle dealing with the complications of physical and mental health conditions, ME and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). She praised the support of her BBO assigned mentor and 'knowing someone 100% believes in me'.

Commending the overall project, Emma explained that 'working with BBO is different to other organisations. There is an innate understanding of living with a physical and mental health condition'.

After listening to inspirational stories and successes from the BBO project, guests were able to try out some taster activity sessions including Soccersize, horse therapy, mindful meditation, gaming and drawing. These activities were just an example of what the programme can offer participants as they embark on their tailor-made journey, with the help of their mentor. 

BBO soccersize

Visit our website for more details on the BBO project, jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.

BBO postcard

‘A room full of hope’ at Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service Achievement Awards 2019

Outstanding learners celebrated their success at the Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) Achievement Awards 2019, held at Hatfield House this June.

HAFLS annual awards


The event was organised by HAFLS, part of Hertfordshire County Council, to celebrate the work and achievement of adults and young people who have taken part in community learning programmes over the past year as well as tutors and mentors who have helped to make an impact on their success.

Many of the learners have successfully completed courses or have been coached towards employment, under difficult and challenging circumstances. Awards were given in subjects including English, maths, health and wellbeing and skills for work.

Deputy Lieutenant

(Deputy Lieutenant Ian Pigott OBE)

 

The event was a fantastic acknowledgement of all that has been achieved by HAFLS learners and project participants over the past academic year, with guest speakers and presenters including Deputy Lieutenant Ian Pigott OBE, David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Iain Macbeath, Director of Adult Care Services, Councillor Richard Roberts, Sue Ormiston from the National Lottery Community Fund alongside members of the HAFLS Advisory Board.

Martin

(Martin Norman, HAFLS Learner)

 

Live entertainment was provided by some learners, including Martin Norman’s guitar solo performance and poetry recitals from the Group Award Runners Up, clients of rehabilitation centre, The Living Room in Stevenage.

 

Just a few of the evening’s highlights included hearing the story of an ex-offender who, with the support of HAFLS partner, HACRO, has turned his life around and is now working to help others in similar situations on their release from prison.

 Tutor Award

(Rebekah Afari, Winner of a Tutor Award)

 Meanwhile, Rebekah Afari scooped a Tutor Award for her resilience and perseverance in teaching others at our partner, West Herts College, despite being profoundly deaf. We heard of Rebekah’s interview where the failure of her interpreter to show up didn’t stop her and she instead opted to continue the interview via pen and paper, successfully gaining the job.

A Group Award went to Ocado’s ESOL group and illustrated the huge benefits to an individual in both their work and personal life when a business invests in its staff.

 With tears shed and aching faces from smiling, the evening’s success was poignantly summarised by one learner as they remarked on how the evening had been a joy to attend as they sat in a ‘room full of hope’.

   The Award Category Winners and Runners Up

 

Employability Award

Presented by Steven Lee-Foster, Operations Director, Hertfordshire County Council

Winner

Jevan White - CVSBEH

Runner up

Tara Armstrong – HCL

 

Young People Award

Presented by Sue Ormiston, EU Programme Manager, National Lottery Community Fund

Winner

Neve Hughes - BBO/Mudlarks

Runner up

Jade McFarland - BBO/Mudlarks

 

Family Learning Award

Presented by Helen Lardner, HAFLS Advisory Board

Winner

Lynda Bone—Community Learning Partnership

Runner up

Francesca Orozco Bermudez - Direct Delivery

 

Progression Award

Presented by Councillor Richard Roberts, Cabinet Member HCC

Winner

Paul - BBO/HACRO

Runner up

Maria Del Pilar Diaz Manjon - ASCEND

 

Overcoming Challenges Award

Presented by Lynsi Hayward-Smith CBE, Chair, HAFLS Advisory Board

Winner

Sarah Law - Watford Women's Centre

Runner up

Alan James - Oaklands College

 

Group Award

Presented by Chantal Lommel, Head of Service, HAFLS

Winner

Ocado Employees - SPS Training

Runner up

The Living Room - Direct Delivery

 

English & Maths Award

Presented by Matt Partridge, HAFLS Advisory Board

Winner

Mirek Szczukiewicz - Watford Women's Centre

Runner up

Esther Tawiah - Direct Delivery

 

Tutor Award

Presented by Iain MacBeath, Director Adult Care Services HCC

Winner

Rebekah Afari - West Herts College

Runner up

Anita Martos Truaz - Watford Women's Centre

Hertfordshire Libraries Get Ready for Lift Off!

Space

Are you ready to launch into outer space for 2019’s Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge. Join the challenge from 13th July 2019 at all Hertfordshire Libraries. Children who read six library books of their choice by the 7th September will receive a medal and certificate as well as getting the chance to attend a VIP event at Mission Control with children’s author Steve Cole. Make sure you check out our launch events. With over 20,000 participants last year – you wouldn’t want to miss out on this free challenge.

For more details visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/libraries or  call 0300 123 4049

 Illustrations @Adam Stower 2019 for The Reading Agency

Government updates

Councillor Roberts Visits HAFLS’ Partners

HAFLS was honoured to organise a visit for the Elected Member with HAFLS as a portfolio, Hertfordshire County Council Councillor Richard Roberts. As Trustee for CAD (Community Action Dacorum), Councillor Roberts has a special interest in community learning. Head of HAFLS, Chantal Lommel, was pleased to introduce him to the CEOs of two of our valued partners, Christine Wyard of ASCEND and Elizabeth Borg of CLP (Community Learning Partnership).

Oxhey group shot

Councillor Roberts firstly visited ASCEND’s Step Up community hub, located in South Oxhey, where he proceeded to learn more about the model and work of HAFLS, ASCEND and CLP.

In particular, he was pleased to hear of the partnership model HAFLS has set up and the great connections in place at community hubs, where lots of other organisations work from. As Christine said, ‘Someone may come in with a drug issue but we are able to then refer and recommend them to another service, run from the same building, without the need to send them off to a different place.’

Councillor Roberts recognised the importance of partnerships and networking to ensure individuals get all the help that they need, regardless of where it comes from. He was interested to hear more about the HAFLS BBO (Building Better Opportunities) project, including the BBO mentor that ASCEND and CLP share between them and use to refer clients in and out of one another’s services.

The issue of funding was discussed at length with both Christine and Liz, agreeing that they are ‘ducking and diving to get the funding’; essentially providing social care every single day of the week, without any of the recognition or funding.

Following their discussion, Councillor Roberts was keen to meet some of the participants on the BBO project who had just finished a crochet lesson, before moving on to ASCEND’s local church where ASCEND and HAFLS learners had completed a Functional Skills English exam that very morning.

Oxhey - BBO game

(Councillor Roberts has a game of Five Across with a BBO participant master of the game!)

Councillor Roberts was able to talk with each learner to find out the unique stories behind why they had chosen to do the functional skills courses.

For some, the functional skills qualifications are key to gaining the entry level requirements for further learning courses and new jobs. Others are undertaking the qualifications for more personal reasons such as being able to assist a grandchild with their homework before they enter secondary school education.

Councillor Roberts left the visit with a first-hand experience of how HAFLS collaborate with local partners and we hope that as an advocate of adult learning, he can continue to promote and become a champion of community learning across the Hertfordshire community and beyond.

Functional Skills

(Councillor Roberts pictured with Functional Skills learners and tutors)

HAFLS supports #EveryDayIsDifferent campaign with new course launch

Every Day

It is a fact that with advances in technology, healthcare and lifestyle, Britain's population is growing and people are living longer than they would have previously.

In 1997, around one in every six people (15.9%) were aged 65 years and over, increasing to one in every five people (18.2%) in 2017 and is projected to reach around one in every four people (24%) by 2037. An estimated 18.9% of the population were under 16 years old and 62.9% were aged 16 to 64 years in 2017.

According to projections, the population share of later-life age groups is set to increase further in future years too. By 2041, the 1960s baby boomers will have progressed into their 70s and 80s, and by 2066 there could be an additional 8.6 million people aged 65 years and over in the UK – a population roughly the size of present-day London. This would take the UK’s 65 years and over age group to 20.4 million people, accounting for 26.5% of the projected population. (Figures from ONS; https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/overviewoftheukpopulation/november2018#the-uk-population-is-ageing).

With this in mind, there is a growing demand for employees within the adult care sector and yet, with a 30% turnover rate and the number of vacancies standing at over 110,000 at any time, we are falling far short of the required staff levels within the sector. Skills for Care (https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Home.aspx) estimates that by 2035, a further 650,000 people will be needed to cope with the demands from an ageing population.

In response to this, a campaign has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to promote social care as a career with good progression and professional development. (https://www.everydayuk.org/campaignlaunch/).

Consequently, the team at HAFLS has developed a 5-week course outline for 'An Introduction to Working in the Health & Social Care Sector' and has been running the first of these courses at our Waltham Cross hub.  During the course, learners are finding out more about how the health and social care sector works in the UK. Learners are looking at the way that the industry is structured, the variety of job roles on offer and the importance of communication skills. They are also gaining an overview of policies that are central to working in the industry.

So far, the course has proved to be a great success and the next course is planned to run in November, starting on the 7th November. To book onto this course, please book online at https://www.civicaepay.co.uk/HertfordshireEstore/estore/default/Catalog/Index?catalogueitemreference=E0000848 or call us on 01992 556194.

Hear from our learners

Learner Success Story - A 'Computing for Beginners' learner

ipad

Name    Connie

Age        73

Location in Hertfordshire:  Bishops Stortford

What was the name of the course(s) you did and roughly, when did you do it/them? Computing for Beginners at Bishops House

Educational history: I left school at 15 with no qualifications. I’ve not really done any more education and I’ve worked in shops, different jobs like that. It’s not the first course, I have tried before. A couple of them were private people who did it. I think this course is a lot better. It’s been relaxed, friendly, the people are nice.

What would be your words of advice to any person considering a course with HAFLS? Do it, definitely, it’s worth it!

 The course that Connie enrolled in is called Computing for Beginners. During the course, learners are able to start with the basics and work from there, depending on their skill levels and personal ICT goals. To book onto our next ICT course, click here.

Study Plus Programme Success Story - Meet Xan

Study Plus

Name    Xan

Age        16

Where did you hear our StudyPlus scheme? My mum found it through a Facebook post of a friend and then looked more into it and realised that they have StudyPlus. Mum then emailed Louise (the Young People Provision Coordinator).

What were you up to at the point in your life that you started your StudyPlus course? I hadn’t been in education since Year 8 so really I was sitting at home, not doing anything. I didn’t have any qualifications.

How long have you been on the StudyPlus scheme so far? Since September

What units of the StudyPlus scheme have you enjoyed the most? I think the enrichment was my favourite but maths was most beneficial to me. In the enrichment, we cover arts and crafts, we have guest speakers to talk about money management, sex and relationships, drugs and alcohol. Outside employers come in to do group interview skills.

What module do you think has had the most benefits for you so far and why? I think maths because I’d never liked it and was never good at it and was very, very low on skills. You come here and learn maths skills that you will genuinely use in real life.

What have you learnt about yourself as a person since doing the course? That everyone is different, learns differently and have different abilities. Not everyone is intelligent in a book form. Some people are more creative. Everyone has their own style of learning. I also learnt that I wasn’t stupid. When I first came here, I’d say things like ‘I’m stupid’, ‘don’t ask me this question’, ‘don’t point me out to do this because I’m an idiot.’ But then I learnt everyone has their own potential and it’s about reaching that potential and if you’re confident enough to reach it. That’s the most beneficial thing I’ve ever really encountered in my life. I mean, I have things like school phobia and anxiety but that never challenged me here, it wasn’t messing up my life here. Before I came here, I didn’t really know how to make friends very well or talk to new people. I was very much like a six year old, living in my room with my animals. I came here and realised people can be accepting, they’re not as scary as they seem, and it’s ok to have a bad day.

After completing the StudyPlus programme, what would you like to achieve in the next 5 to 10 years? I think to have a stable job, something to help other people. I see what all the tutors and all the people involved in Studyplus can do for people like me;  in 10 years’ time there could be a kid like me and I could be like Louise.

What would be your words of advice to any young person who may be considering a StudyPlus course with HAFLS? Do it because at first you may think it’s an average college but it’s a whole family. You come here thinking ‘I’m just going to learn maths and English’ but you learn so much more. As there’s a little amount of people, you can all get closer and comfortable and come out of your shell. If people are considering they should 100% do it, the tutors are extremely accepting. It’s the best thing I’ve been able to do.

 If you know someone like Xan who is aged between 16 and 19 (or 24 if they have an EHCP) and may benefit from our Study Plus programme, call us on 01992 556194 to discuss.

Hear from our partners

Three Valued Partners Scoop 2019 Queen's Awards

QUAV

HAFLS were extremely proud and delighted to hear that not one, not two, BUT three of their valuable partners have scooped The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019.

This award is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK and winners are decided by local assessment panels who look at all the nominations and decide which ones to send to the National Award Committee. The committee then makes recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval.

A massive congratulations goes to Community Action Dacorum, Mudlarks Community Garden and Irish Network Stevenage.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/all-notices/content/100981

Partner Focus: CAD's Cookfresh YouTube Channel

Paul

Here at HAFLS, we love to hear about the fantastic initiatives that our network of partners, tutors and volunteers use to make adult learning fun. This month, we hear from Paul Mahay, a tutor with CAD (Community Action Dacorum) who has gone one step further to helping learners continue to progress outside their lessons, designing a YouTube channel, Cookfresh.

Paul's role within CAD is to provide tutoring to students, developing their skills and knowledge in areas that interest them. His programme, Cook Fresh, is aimed at individuals with little or no experience in cooking their own food from scratch. By allowing learners to make use of their own creative ideas when cooking for themselves, the aim is to move them away from unhealthy processed foods offered in supermarkets.

Cookfresh learners are from a variety of different sectors, including Mencap, Druglink and learners from HAFLS-funded courses and the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project.

As part of the course, basic safety and general food hygiene around the kitchen is introduced and learners are taught how this prevents any infections and cross-contamination in the cooking process.

The goal for Cookfresh learners is to have the ability to create and cook their own food with fresh ingredients. As their confidence increases, they can create their own dishes simply and effectively from the comfort of home, thus providing personal satisfaction.

Long-term, through having fun whilst cooking, there is a positive effect on the learner’s mental stability through the therapeutic aspects of the process. Imagination is enhanced and brings with it a new profound sense of tastes from a wide variety of food types, from different seeds, spices and herbs used in the cooking process.

Paul has always believed that the benefits of learning a new skill at any age can result in better concentration as it increases a focus of attention, and maintaining an active, more fulfilled life. Discipline is helped with self-control, when practicing and honing new techniques. The creativity aspect enhances imagination, bringing innovative ideas into life. The independence of thought can be nurtured through research and discovery; it improves intrinsic motivation, by participation in something for personal pleasure, rather than for external reward. It improves open mindedness, being more flexible to new ideas. Problem solving is enhanced, by being challenged to explore different solutions, as well as improved positivity and self-worth, through having fun and escaping from reality. All of these various characteristics and abilities lead to a better sense of purpose, achievement, confidence, higher aspirations, self-respect and a deeper sense of belonging and identity and in return feeling aware of own capabilities.

Paul has been teaching since 2014 and has been involved with CAD since 2015. In Paul’s words, ‘the opportunities offered at CAD are second-to-none, and it is a privilege to work alongside them. CAD’s ‘Creative Learning’ offers a wide variety of learning courses for adults.’

To continue learning outside of the kitchen, Paul created the Cookfresh YouTube channel to assist learners with their cooking skills. Not only do the videos provide a great visual demonstration of a recipe for learners to recap, they also encourage use of IT to further enhance the learner’s digital skills. From the YouTube channel, there is scope to then conduct their own research in areas that are of interest to them.

In the future Paul hopes to expand Cookfresh to a wider audience offering classes to people from all walks of life and is in the process of creating a Cookfresh website to make this possible; https://zippo2uk.wixsite.com/cookfresh2.

For more information on CAD’s Creative Learning courses, please visit; http://creative-learning.org.uk/

Equality & Diversity

Stamping on the Stigma During Loneliness Awareness Week

LAW

Loneliness and social isolation are on the rise with nine million lonely people in the UK, and almost half (49%) of UK adults saying that their busy lives stop them from connecting with other people. (The Campaign to End Loneliness: ‘bemoreus.org.uk’)

June saw HAFLS joining in the conversation about loneliness during Loneliness Awareness Week (17 June to 21 June) and helping reduce the stigma around feeling lonely. With posts on social media, HAFLS urged people to talk about why loneliness exists and what is being done in Hertfordshire to tackle it. Everyone can experience loneliness at some point in life and HAFLS wants to remove the stigma around the 'loneliness' label.

Statistics show:

  • Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
  • Loneliness is worse for you than obesity. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
  • Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression. (Valtorta et al, 2016) (James et al, 2011) (Cacioppo et al, 2006)
  • Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29% (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)

There are many initiatives that are being run in Hertfordshire to help reduce loneliness, including Hertfordshire Libraries Chatter Table events and social prescribing’s Community Navigators. East Herts District Council has also just launched a Chatter Table at Hertford’s Café Nero and Watford & Three Rivers Trust is unveiling the Neighbours Together project on 18 June to foster a spirit of neighbourliness in the local area.

The Hertfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board has also identified tackling loneliness as a priority for Hertfordshire. This follows publication of the Government’s strategy; ‘A connected society: a strategy for tackling loneliness - laying the foundations for change’, published in October 2018.

A steering group chaired by Chantal Lommel, Head of Hertfordshire Adult Family Learning Service ( HAFLS) is now developing a Hertfordshire-wide action plan to tackle loneliness for sign off by the Health and Wellbeing Board later this year.

The steering group has members from key organisations including Hertfordshire County Council, the NHS and voluntary organisations, along with Dr Marie-Anne Essam from Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, a champion of social prescribing. While the steering group understands that the issue of loneliness will not be solved, it hopes to go some way to help avoid it becoming corrosive and damaging to peoples' lives.

The steering group held a Tackling Loneliness Conversation Café event in May to get everyone talking about how best to combat loneliness and social isolation in Hertfordshire. Voluntary groups, public sector organisations and local stakeholder groups were invited along to the event so that we could gather their views about loneliness in Hertfordshire. Delegates talked about ways to improve links between the good initiatives already taking place in Hertfordshire to help tackle loneliness.

More than 85 people took part in workshops at the event which was organised with The Campaign to End Loneliness at Stevenage Football Club.

Andy Nazer from the Campaign to End Loneliness, said: "It starts with a conversation and here we [had] a community conversation taking place with a large group of people, but actually it can come right down to one to one and the people that we come into contact with in our daily lives. We each have the opportunity to actually step forward and have a conversation with people, but quite often we step back. But, sometimes those conversations can make a big difference to someone's life and so I implore people to step forward [and have that conversation]."

Iain MacBeath, Direct of Adult Care Services added: “I think that the way we are going to tackle that is really a bottom up groundswell of social movement, be better neighbours ourselves, get involved in local groups and reach out to people who don’t want to be on their own and get them involved.”

For more information, email: connectinglives@hertfordshire.gov.uk or visit the website for the Campaign to End Loneliness.

Carers Week Serves to Remember Carers Need 'Me Time'

Carers Week

June marked Carers Week which is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is. Find out more at https://www.carersweek.org/about-us.

HAFLS works closely with partners including Carers in Herts, to deliver funded courses to carers across Hertfordshire, recognising the strain and stress that can be placed upon the shoulders of someone who is caring full or part-time for another.

Carers in Herts have a wonderful support network in place and you can see more details of their courses on their website; http://www.carersinherts.org.uk/events

Jon Cove, learner on a Carers in Herts Intermediate Ipads course summarises why a carer should try out a course for themselves; "I would say there’s nothing to be lost, what have you got to lose?. Give it a go. You never know, something really good might come out of it. Certainly I’ve met really interesting people with similar problems. Sometimes they make me feel my problems aren’t as bad as I think they are. It’s good to talk. It’s a good aspect of getting together."

If you are a carer or know someone who is struggling with their responsibilities as a carer, we're here to support you. Please give us a call and we can advise on what learning opportunities are available to you. Our number is 01992 556194.

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