Welcome to our Newsletter!

In this, HWS’ first newsletter, we aim to provide an insight into our work and the issues that affect the communities we support. We will share with you the initiatives HWS has developed to encourage people in communities to care for each other’s wellbeing and how we are working towards reducing inequality and improving equality, diversity and inclusion. We hope you enjoy this edition and welcome your contributions to future publications.


  • Editorial – Defining Wellbeing     Jump to
  • Wellbeing Group    Jump to
  • Dementia Awareness Week    Jump to
  • International Womens’ Day 2015    Jump to
  • Health and Wellbeing before the NHS – A new oral histories project    Jump to
  • “Good or Bad”- A response to Healthwatch by Basingstoke residents from minority communities   Jump to
  • Healthier Women’s programme   Jump to
  • New course – Understanding Dementia Level 2   Jump to
  • Dementia Awareness Training Films – Unique and free resources   Jump to
  • Memory Club  – Handover to Viables   Jump to
  • Down-sized Community Development Team   Jump to
  • Hitting the cold spots   Jump to



Defining Wellbeing

Caring for each others’ wellbeing is key to our work at HWS. In a recent meeting I was asked to define wellbeing and for a while I grappled with giving a concise response. Reflecting on the current national publications on the subject, summarising the research indicators and taking into account the differing points of view; does not fit into one simple definition.

There is a consensus that personal wellbeing can be objective as well as subjective. There may be objective measures including Gross Domestic Product – GDP or access to physical assets of benefit such as housing or cars. Also, a subjective element in which each individual makes sense of their world in a personal way and the state of mind each holds is individual and unique. Therefore, personal wellbeing is a term attributed to a variety of personal states of being.

Having read all the reports HWS defines Wellbeing as: a complex set of interactions and links between factors including: physical and mental health, personal income, quality of housing, diet, exercise routines, worthwhile employment, supportive social relationships, spiritual connections and a positive purpose in life. We believe that early intervention through education and support can encourage and empower people in communities to care for each others’ wellbeing.




HWS’ Wellbeing Group

Our Wellbeing Group is a local social gathering offering companionship, information, leisure activities and a light lunch. These meetings are held on DSC_0025the second Monday of each month, at the Irish Centre. Now into its fourth year; our members have given us some great ideas for having fun through keeping active at future gatherings.

We usually invite a guest  speaker to our meetings to share important and useful information for our members. This year speakers have included: Karol Shaw from Trading Standards talking about doorstep crime and scams.  Julie Gallagher from the Foodbank discussing the reasons for the Foodbank existing, how they operate and what we can do to help. Shopmobility also came along to demonstrate their mobility aids.

Occasionally we screen films. In April, despite some members’ misgivings, the Paddington movie was thoroughly enjoyed by everybody!

During the summer months we venture outdoors and though we postponed our excursion to Salisbury; some members joined us for a local walk headed-up by our trained in-house walk leaders Annie and Jayne.

One of our members, aged 75, said: “there are not many places to go to and things to do for people of our age. I look forward to our monthly meetings’.

With our efforts to encourage physical activity as an essential part of health and mental wellbeing; we asked attenders what activities they would like to get involved in. Their interests ranged from: walking, yoga and Pilates to horse-riding, archery, line dancing and cricket!

Our meetings are open to anyone who wants to come along.  We welcome you to join us, if you would like to do so  please contact Jayne Morgan on 01256 423830 or email jm@hantswell.org


Dementia Awareness Week

National Dementia Awareness Week took place from 17th -23rd May. HWS organised a series of activities.

WP_20150501_12_02_27_ProOn the Tuesday and Thursday we held dementia awareness sessions in the Discovery Centre where we enlisted some new Dementia Friends. We screened two films: Tuesday’s film was an interview with a local family living with a rare form of dementia and how that impacts on their day to day life. Thursday’s film ‘Dementia Across Cultures’ introduced perceptions of dementia from people of different cultures and some of the different ways societies and communities deal with people living with the condition.

Finally, in-spite of the temperamental weather, we organised a Health Walk around War Memorial Park for people and their carers/family living with dementia. The people who braved it with us, including the Mayor Elect, Cllr Anne Court, thoroughly enjoyed it – especially the tea and biscuits afterwards!


International Womens’ Day 2015

We celebrated International Womens’ day in March with a jam-packed multicultural community event at Brookvale Village Hall. With the help of volunteers, local service providers and community groups, we were able to put together a lively afternoon of family entertainment.

Visitors were entertained with demonstrations of traditional Kathak dance from India, a Nepalese Chandi hip-hop dance fusion and a Hindu Dandiya Ras

from using canes; which many joined in with.

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We were grateful to our friends who provided some exquisitely ornate traditional outfits for young people to try on.

Also, we were very privileged to host an exclusive exhibition of portraits of women from around the world by photographer Samira Oulaillah. Our arts area challenged people of all ages to get into ‘the zone’ and create careful dot pictures in the style of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Also providing an interesting backdrop to the day was a ‘100 years of Women’s Achievements’ display originally created for the 100th anniversary of Women’s Day by HWS staff.

The popular pampering area gave visitors a quiet space to be adorned with henna tattoos or experience relaxation therapies. HWS was able to offer health and wellbeing advice through short expert talks on Dementia and Breast Cancer awareness.

As well as all of this going on; visitors could visit information stands, buy local homemade preserves and enjoy homemade Caribbean, Asian and English food.

In 2016 we’re inviting the participants from our ‘Healthier Women’ programme to organise a Women’s Day event.



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A new oral history project – Health and Wellbeing before the NHS 

HWS was recently awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an oral history research project. It will capture memories, opinions, stories and images from the eldest members of the Basingstoke community regarding their health and wellbeing experiences prior to the second World War and the existence of NHS.

The project will include oral history training for volunteers who will collect stories from the residents of Basingstoke aged over 75, including many of the 12% who have heritage overseas.

The oral histories, along with any photographic evidence collectable, will be available on the Hampshire Wellbeing Services website. They will be used to create exhibitions in local libraries and be made available to local primary schools.

The findings overall will be made accessible to the public in a variety of ways. We are pleased to have the support of Basingstoke Voluntary Action, Hampshire Hospitals, Healthwatch, Sentinel Housing Association and North Hampshire CCG.

If you would like to find out more or if you know a Basingstoke resident over 75, or you have relevant images which we could include; then please get in touch on 01256 423830.

This project is part of our work to give a platform to the voices of people from diverse communities and to raise awareness of issues and problems that affect minority peoples who, as a result, may experience disadvantage.


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“Good or Bad”– A response to Healthwatch by Basingstoke residents from minority communities

In December 2014, HWS was awarded the Community Cash Fund grant and mobilised 124 people from minority communities to complete the Healthwatch survey entitled “Good or Bad”.

The results suggest that as people get older their attitudes harden either positively or negatively towards their experience with the healthcare system. The care ratings of those who only made positive comments, compared with those who made only negative comments, were significantly different. Communication was a major area of concern, in particular, understanding between patient and health professional when involving those with limited English proficiency.

Respondents told us about issues both of merit and concern in their experience with the health system. Issues of merit identified included: quality of care, the efficiency and quality of services, staff. Issues of concern, included: accessing services, communication with healthcare professionals, poor quality of clinical treatment, attitude of staff and the lack of respite care.

Communication was a major area of concern, in particular, understanding between patient and health professional when involving those with limited English proficiency. There is also a serious issue of the basis of their consent to treatment. The evidence also points to concerns about how the changing population is bringing different cultural expectations about how a medical service operates and how the interaction between medical practitioner and patient is undertaken.



Healthier Women’s programme

Image6With  support from Basingstoke & Dean Council & Simply Health HWS are running a Healthier Women’s programme (HWP) which will develop, motivate and support women to lead healthier lifestyles.

The programme will develop the knowledge and skills of up to a dozen women, training them to become volunteer Community Wellbeing Champions, who in turn will motivate others in their group or community. They will have the opportunity to undertake a range of public health courses and access training in walk leading, food hygiene or event management.

The five day course begins in September. For more details please contact the HWS team.


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New course – Understanding Dementia Level 2

In May HWS became an approved Centre by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) to deliver the level 2 Understanding Dementia course. Concerned about standards in the delivery of dementia education, the Alzheimer’s Society developed a course in partnership with RSPH. This course is assessed by a multiple-choice examination.

We are offering an introductory price for this course for organisations who can train groups of staff at their premises. HWS’ Understanding Dementia, Plus provides extra training on safeguarding and wellbeing is on offer at £115 per person. Offer ends 31 August 2015, for delivery from 5 September.

In addition, a team of HWS staff recently completed the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Champions training. We have increased our capacity to offer Dementia Friends sessions to increase dementia awareness.

Dementia Befrienders out in the community

Since June 2014 HWS recruited and trained 26 people for the dementia befrienders training. The majority are now volunteering either in the Viables Memory Club. Others are available for outreach befriending (visiting lonely people in their homes/care home). In addition, 6 of these people attended the train to be a trainer course held. They will be assisting with the delivery of HWS courses from September 2015.


Dementia Awareness Training Films – a unique and free resource

HWS have recently launched three short training films targeted at people providing frontline services in an organisation or in a business. These learning tools, narrated by former nurse educator Jean Holmes-Morris, guide viewer through bad and good practice when supporting people living with dementia in the community. The films are a completely free resource and there are more planned for the future. We hope they are helpful. To view these films use their titles below:

Clothes Shopping

A Trip into Town

After Memory Club

In the autumn HWS will deliver its Dementia Across Cultures workshop. The trailer for an accompanying new film and course is here.



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Memory Club – Handover to Viables

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council were the catalyst in the development  of the Memory Club for people with the early stages of Dementia. In the early stages HWS were involved in the setting up, but this has now been handed over to Viables Community Association to run. It currently has around 15 members that join in activities throughout the morning and afternoon every Friday. Once a month the Occupational Therapist does craft based activities with the groups and there is also a massage therapist that attends once a month to do hand, neck and shoulder massage. Previous activities have included a music quiz, card making, Easter egg painting, indoor games such as boules and skittles, and board games. There is also a great of chatting, laughter and reminiscence that goes on as well.

If you would like more information on the memory club or are thinking about attending, please contact Viables Community Association on 01256 473634 or email office@viables.org.uk

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Down-sized Community Development Team

On 1st July 2015 the Community Development Team became part of the joint Equality and Community Development Team. This is a reduction of four officers. The new team consists of:

  • Equality and Community Development Officer   Karen Jones
  • Equality and Community Development Officer Sayem Kabir
  • Senior Equality and Community Development Officer Becky O’Selmo
  • Senior Equality and Community Development Officer Ed Walton
  • Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Manager Camilla Gibson

The new Team will:

  • operate in a project based approach and cover the whole of Hampshire.
  • work with specific local community and voluntary sector organisations to ensure that they are able to offer support to any groups that may need it.
  • be based in Winchester at the HCC headquarters.
  • provide expertise to create, build and sustain inclusive practices that promote equality and diversity, both in HCC Adult Service Department and the five CCGs overall work as an employer, commissioner and service provider.
  • be working closely with key colleagues from Adult Services and the five CCGs to build an inclusive approach to engagement of service users, carers and wider minority groups, with a focus on the reduction of avoidable health inequalities.

A work programme will be agreed and monitored by a joint steering group made up of people from the Clinical Commissioning Groups and Hampshire County Council.

If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail, then do please contact, Camilla on 01962 845 216 or camilla.gibson@hants.gov.uk


Hitting the cold spots

Keeping your home warm and you and your family healthy can be expensive and sometimes difficult. Cold weather not only makes life uncomfortable but can also lead to serious health problems such as respiratory diseases, asthma, depression, heart disease or stroke.

We recognise that it can sometimes be difficult to know who to contact or where to begin – but this advice and support is available from our dedicated Advice Line.

Please contact us on: 0800 804 8601 or follow this link.



Walk4Life in The Memorial Park, Basingstoke, A slow health walk for people with long term health conditions such as Dementia, Stroke, COPD, Diabetes – Wednesday 26 August, at 11am

Understanding Health Improvements course – Saturday 12 September, from 9:00 – 17:00

Introduction to Medical Interpreting Awareness and assessment – Monday 14 September, from 10:00 – 12:00

Wellbeing group meeting – Monday 14 September, from 12:00 – 14:00

Improving Wellbeing course – Tuesday 15 September, from 9:30 – 14:30

Befriending course – Wednesday 16 September, from 9:30 – 14:30

 Walk4Life in War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, A slow health walk for people with long term health conditions – Wednesday 30 September, at 11am

Oral History training – Wednesday 30 September, from 9:30 – 16:30

For more information about training contact: training@hantswell.org

For Wellbeing activities contact: jm@hantswell.org


HULON Meeting in Winchester – Tuesday 18 August, from 13:00 – 16:00.

For more information contact: roger.fenn@spectrumcil.co.uk

Multicultural Forum ‘AGM’ on 10 September 2015.

For more information contact: admin@bmforum.org.uk

Interfaith Walk in Basingstoke – Sunday 13 September, from 14:00 – 17:00

For more information contact: Graham.Owen@ntcog.org.uk

Basingstoke Discovery Centre ‘Black History Month’ October 2015:

  • 2pm – 2nd October – To Kill a Mockingbird – Film Screening – Free
  • 2pm – 5th October – Selma – Film Screening & Panel Discussion – Free
  • 2pm – 6th October – Mary Seacole Talk – £3
  • 2pm- 16th October – Gone with the Wind – Film Screening – Free
  • 2pm- 19th October – The Colour Purple – Film Screening & Panel Discussion – Free
  • 11am – 24th October – Stories from the Caribbean with Miss Lou – Free

For more information contact: gracepowell@ymail.com

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