Christopher’s Smile founders, Karen and Kevin Capel, on this morning’s BBC TV

Lightwater couple, Karen and Kevin Capel, set up Christopher’s Smile in 2008. A charity to raise funds for research into new treatments for childhood cancer, a neglected area of cancer research.

In January this year, reported in Camberley News, the charity hit the £1 million fundraising mark. To reach that target using only volunteers, requires dedication, tenacity, and no little courage.

I noted today in my Facebook page was this from Sharon Carter, who said this below, and posted this video of Karen and Kevin being interviewed on BBC

Great interview Kevin and Karen Capel, really getting the message across. I hope the general public are starting to understand how important your reasearch is and that it’s charities like Christopher’s Smile funding so much more than the charities they probably assume are in the lead.

I do love businesses that invest for growth

Our latest spectacles are from John Harwood in Camberley. We’ve tried lots of opticians over the years. The key reason for choosing Harwood’s was their choice of rimless frames, which seemed to not be the current trend in frames, therefore restricting choice. Personally, I don’t like viewing the world as though through a picture frame.

OpticianEnough of this. John Harwood recently became part of larger group of opticians when it joined Bayfields. It’s a competitive market for opticians in Camberley, with Specsavers, Leightons, Boots, and John Harwood all vying for our business. We’ve even Simon Pestell opticians in Lightwater, whom we’ve used in the past.

What I like to see is businesses investing for growth. John Harwood’s clientele, now under the Bayfields brand, can visit new larger, and well equipped premises, which opened for business on Saturday 27th February. One of us needed to book an eye test – an excuse to visit for the promised light refreshments on its opening day.

What I noticed was lots more space, comfy chairs, a selection of British made spectacle frames – and just a pleasing ambience. The staff said the move took place on Friday, with everyone working from early hours till late to prepare for the opening. As I’ve said. I just love seeing businesses expand. It shows confidence in the future, and people prepared to take a risk. All good stuff. Here’s my brief photo montage of our visit.

Proof that stuff happens in threes

In yesterday’s post we received three items from opticians. Two of which said we’re due for eye tests. Months, and months have gone by with out a peep from opticians, and then like buses, three come along at the same time.

OpticianLike many people we’ve tried different opticians over the years, such as Specsavers in Camberley, and Harwoods in Camberley High Street, who tell us today that they’re moving into new premises in the High Street – see photo.

The letters were from,

Meeting requirements of those with mental health & social care needs

SHCCG WorkshopI mightn’t get a future invitation to a Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group [SHCCG] stakeholder workshop. Why? Because my invitation to was addressed to Councillor Tim Dodds. No more am I a councillor..

Anyway, last Thursday I attended a SHCCG’s communication and engagement workshop on the ‘Future health and social care in Surrey Heath – help shape the future of Integrated Care’.

In Dr Andy Brooks, chief officer of the SHCCG, introduction to the workshop he said the development of the new Surrey Heath Integrated Care model was in direct response to previous stakeholder engagements, which called for supporting people better in their communities, investing in mental health services, helping people to look after themselves, and to join up health and social care.

Andy also provided feedback on a recent NHS England stakeholder survey, in which SHCCG came out particularly well of all the 211 CCG’s in England. Notably in over 30 factors assessed the CCG improved its performance over the previous year. Here are the results in some of the assessments for Quality of Services – outcomes,

  • 4th in potential years of life lost
  • 3rd in quality of life for people with one or more long term condition
  • 10th in proportion of people reporting poor experience of hospital
  • 1st in proportion of people reporting poor experience of general practice
  • 75th in avoidable emergency admissions

Workshop delegates were asked to help in the design of a consent form for people with complex health and social care needs to assist the Integrated Care Team to meet those needs. The Surrey Heath Integrated Care Model is described in the documents below. Click on the images to expand.

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Helping the vulnerable and elderly get access to information and support

In the centre of Lightwater on Saturday, a largish group of supporters, volunteers and onlookers watched as the new home for L.I.V.E – Lightwater Information for the Vulnerable & Elderly – was opened by the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Cllr Bob Paton.

To fully appreciate what L.I.V.E is all about, do listen to chairman Windsor Rackham’s lucid description in the interview below. I firstly recorded the speeches at the official opening of L.I.V.E, and then I spoke with county councillor Adrian Page, whose financial support from his member’s allowance was crucial to helping establish the information hub. I also spoke with Nigel Drury, a community care connector funded equally by Surrey Heath Borough Council and the Diocese of Guildford, whose role is an enabler in the creation of this new services.

It’s uplifting listening to inspiring people

Yesterday evening I was among the councillors attending the External Partnerships Select Committee – see HERE for the agenda and preamble. There were three presentations, one by Surrey Heath head of Community on the Surrey Heath Health and Wellbeing Board, SAdAS – an addictions advisory service, and Crossroads respite care.

The two external organisations, SAdAS, and Crossroads gave presentations that were inspiring and uplifting. I’ll write more about them both when I’ve time. In the meanwhile here’s my very brief take on both organisations,

  • SAdAS ‘works with people suffering distress through the use of drugs drink or who are suffering mental health problems especially wellbeing problems.’ That’s what they say about their service. The actuality is they offer practical assistance to people with say, chaotic lives presenting with issues of substance abuse, mental health issues, debt issues, potential homelessness – occasionally all rolled into one. The presenter, Hadyn Morris’ optimism, unfailing desire to give practical help and assistance to people with huge personal issues, was a real joy to listen to – knowing that in our society we have people and organisations that can take on immense challenges.
  • Crossroads Care provide regular respite care to carers who maybe at their wits end coping with needs of those their caring for. The two presenters, Jenni Pringle, and Sheila Hargreaves, explained how Crossroads Care provides respite breaks for 1,800 carers in Surrey, and 79 families in Surrey Heath. Interestingly they see ‘caring as a worthwhile profession’ and currently have two apprentices being trained, one in care, the other in business.

Commitment to those in need is the what both organisations do, and they do it with humanity, respect, and as a vocation.

New support initiative for vulnerable and elderly to open in Lightwater: Part 2

As I said in Part 1 on care for the vulnerable and elderly, Part 2 would provide a description of the new Lightwater L.I.V.E initiative. I’m grateful to Windsor Rackham – the project co-ordinator, for permission to reprint the article about it, which appeared in Lightwater’s Roundabout parish magazine.

Lightwater Information for the Vulnerable & Elderly (L.I.V.E)

The new drop-in Information Centre will be opening its doors in Lightwater for the first time with a grand opening on March 21st at 11.00am. Situated in the foyer of Fredericks House, between Carsons Estate Agents and Simon Pestell Optician, it will be aimed at providing information to all in the village, but especially the vulnerable and elderly on:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Support Groups (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Stress, etc)
  • Social, Hobby and Leisure opportunities
  • Volunteering and Caring

The Centre will be manned every Saturday morning, initially between 10.0am & 12.00 noon by caring volunteers from the village community who will not themselves give advice but who will have access to a wide range of information and services available locally.

It will form part of the new Integrated Healthcare System currently being implemented by the Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group and is supported by official and volunteer organisations in Lightwater, including All Saints’ Church, Darby & Joan, Lightwater Business Association, Lightwater Care, the Lightwater Society, All Saints’ Mothers’ Union, the Patients Participation Group, and Lightwater WI.

Funding for the Centre has come primarily from the Surrey CC Member’s Allocation of Lightwater councillor, Adrian Page, with practical support from The Fredericks Foundation, which has provided the office and some equipment, Windlesham Parish Council, and Voluntary Support North Surrey.

The centre is the result of discussions over the past year between local people and organisations who were concerned that information about changes in Health and Social Care sector and resultant services was not easily available to the people who needed it most, and believed that a dedicated sign-posting and information point would benefit the whole community. It quickly became apparent that the new Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group, who oversee the healthcare needs in the Borough, were actively encouraging the voluntary sector to set up such a service and gave Lightwater its full support.

The project co-ordinator in the village, Windsor Rackham, is optimistic that over the long-term the Centre will prove a continuous, well-used and valued facility and looks forward, with the team, to welcoming local people into the office on a Saturday morning in complete confidence. He does ask for patience, however, while all the volunteers gain experience.