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Yearly archives for 2014

Neighbourhood Care Scheme Featured in BBC Article on Loneliness

Posted on 23rd May 2014 by
Elaine & Miles

An older but lovely photo of Miles and Elaine
(more recent pictures on the BBC article)

Yesterday the BBC published an article titled “Loneliness: Beating the curse of old age” featuring Elaine Rothwell, a Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) member, and her volunteer Miles Sigley-Brown. It gives us a small window into Elaine’s long and eventful life then highlights a big contrast: Elaine lives alone.

Elaine told BBC journalist, Nick Triggle, how she feels about her situation and how she gets on with her life despite the loneliness of older age. One major part of enjoying her life is her volunteer, Miles, who was matched with her by the NCS.

“[Elaine] has found comfort in a new friendship she has developed with Miles Sigley-Brown, a 46-year-old whom she was introduced to through a local befriending scheme.”

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Anxiety – Are You Anxiety Aware?

Posted on 14th May 2014 by

Anxiety is one of the leading causes of mental ill health. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2014, let’s talk about that.

Since 2000, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has been raising awareness and generating discussion about issues relating to mental health. They have campaigned around a variety of themes so far over a week each May, including loneliness and physical activity. Now it’s time for 2014’s theme – anxiety. Here’s our insight into the topic.

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Tackling Loneliness in our Communities

Posted on 24th April 2014 by
lonely elderly woman

Photo Credit: AleBonvini via Compfight cc

A new report released today by think tank, IPPR, says that most care for older people is not provided by the state or private agencies but by family members. But, by 2017 the number of people in need of care will outstrip the number of adult children able to provide it. They suggest that one way of responding to this is to develop community support and neighbourhood networks. I spoke on Danny Pike’s show on BBC Radio Sussex this morning about how our Neighbourhood Care Scheme is already providing this kind of support – and how we’d like to do more.

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Marathon runners do us proud!

Posted on 7th April 2014 by

Spending hours on your feet, stretching yourself to your physical limits, riding an emotional rollercoaster, enduring the elements – and that’s just the Impetus marathon cheer squad who are hoarse but happy today! We are incredibly proud of our three Brighton Marathon runners, who ran the course in under 4½ hours for our ASpire service for adults with Asperger Syndrome. They worked hard for months in the lead up to the big day and did an amazing job, pacing steadily and getting to the end within 5 minutes of each other. Here they are looking tired but deservedly proud.

Tom, Kev and Steve, after they collected their marathon medals

Tom, Kev and Steve, after they collected their Marathon Medals

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Free Screening of Temple Grandin with Impetus and Autism Sussex

Posted on 27th March 2014 by

“If I could snap my fingers and be nonautistic, I would not. Autism is part of what I am.” – Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin Flyer from Impetus and Autism Sussex

The flyer for our free screening of Temple Grandin. Click to view bigger.

On World Autism Day, 2nd of April, Impetus and Autism Sussex are showing a free screening of the multiple award-winning biopic Temple Grandin. The film stars Claire Daines as Temple Grandin; an American doctor of animal science, best-selling author, autistic activist, and a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behaviour who revolutionised animal welfare thanks to the unique perspective her autism offered.

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Joining Up Care – Community Support is the Lynch Pin

Posted on 12th March 2014 by

The role of voluntary sector services such as our Neighbourhood Care befriending scheme is the lynch pin of the government’s new Better Care initiative. Local authority and Clinical Commissioning Groups need to really understand and value what we can bring to this vital piece of work.

Better Care aims to join up Health and Social Care around ‘frail’ adults and Impetus is involved in the discussions on how we make this work in Brighton & Hove. One of the key points is how the voluntary sector can make health and social care services more effective by offering community-based support such as befriending. This video from the King’s Fund shows the ideal situation.

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Snip, Snip, Snip – The Real Impact of Voluntary Sector Cuts

Posted on 4th March 2014 by

A chilly but lively rally of voluntary sector organisations, service users, parents and others gathered outside Hove Town Hall last Thursday to make sure Councillors understood the impact of cutting Brighton & Hove Discretionary Grants by 10%.

While an amendment to reject this cut was passed, Councillors ultimately failed to agree on the budget overall, so will meet again tomorrow night. Here’s what they need to know about the real impact of nibbling away at funding to voluntary sector organisations.

How The Argus reported the Save Our Grants rally

How The Argus reported the Save Our Grants rally, featuring a conspicuously red-coated Impetus CEO.

The impact for us of the 10% cut in this grant would be relatively small on its own, but in conjunction with other cuts that we are experiencing (or are aware might come) it adds up to a worrying picture, for two reasons.

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Mental Health: Time to Talk

Posted on 6th February 2014 by

Today, February 6th, is the first ever Time to Talk day.

Time to Talk

This day was coined by Time to Change – a campaign led by mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which aims to fight the stigma and discrimination attached to mental health.

At Impetus we know that mental health problems can show themselves in lots of different ways and we see this every day in our work – our Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) links older people and those with physical disabilities with volunteers to build personal connections, allowing them to combat isolation and depression with somebody by their side.

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Cut-Price Care?

Posted on 5th February 2014 by

I happened to catch part of the Radio 4 programme called Cut-Price Care last night. They looked at whether we can be confident that home care provided for older people and those with disabilities is of proper quality.

They say “Ministers have promised a new focus on home care for the elderly and disabled amid concern that 15-minute calls and a low-paid, under-skilled workforce are leaving vulnerable people at risk.”

Hands of an older lady

Brighton & Hove has a series of private companies providing home care for them, with a budget of over £11 million a year. Some of the care provided is exceptionally good, and some is not so good – and according to Radio 4, this tends to be the picture across the country. Their programme makes the point: you wouldn’t want to be the unlucky person who happened to have their care provided by a not-so-good company, would you?

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Steps on the road

Posted on 31st January 2014 by

I’ve been thinking a lot about data, defining outcomes and evidencing our impact this week. We are at the beginning of implementing a new database, and we are at that stage of the process where we have high hopes, are expecting miracles and nothing has gone wrong yet!


This is what happens when you do an image search for ‘setting up a database’!

Of course, reality will bite and our expectations will be trimmed and adjusted by the setting up process, training and the early days of usage, until we hopefully end up with something that works for us all, across the organisation. Whatever it is will be an improvement on where we are, and that is what we work for every day in every part of our organisation.

In a waft of the Bader-Meinhof effect, while we’ve been talking about how we collect and use data, a piece of work I did before I joined Impetus – DataBridge - has cropped up twice this week. This looked at the use of data and Open Data in the voluntary sector.

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