Bognor Regis Herald news round-up 16 January 2022

Councillor responds to Herald Regeneration article

Only two sides of the Regis Centre will be reclad ….

January 2021 | newsletter in association with our Local Offer

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Important: Not all of the services and events listed here are quality assured by the County Council or Local Offer. Some of the services may be provided by or on behalf of West Sussex County Council, to find out more contact the service and see our terms page. Please note, if you are viewing this newsletter on a smart phone, it appears best when holding your phone horizontally.

Service Spotlight

This month’s Service Spotlight is a conversation between myself and Brian O’Hagan, Director of Reaching Families. Keep reading to find all the great work they do to support parent cares and their plans for 2022.

Keir: Could you describe what Reaching Families does?

Brian: Our mission is to empower, inform, and support parent carers of children and young people with SEND in West Sussex. We do this by providing information, training, and peer support through a range of services. For instance, we have recently published a new edition of our parent carer guide ‘Making Sense of It All’, which is now a combined version of the previous edition of ‘Making Sense of It All’ and ‘Making Sense of Adult Like’. It’s now one bumper book, it’s about 400 pages, that goes from diagnosis to adult life for someone with SEND. It covers what kind of things to expect and getting those initial first benefits (DLA right through to when you transition to PIP), going to school and getting the support you need for your child at school, right through to transitioning to college. It’s there for you as a companion and when you’ve got a question or issue you can refer to the book.

Keir: How can people get a hold of a copy?

Brian: People can order a physical copy or download it from our website. The book has no cost but there is a £2.50 charge for postage, or people can download an electronic copy from our website, which works really well on tablets or kindles as you can leave bookmarks and etc on useful sections.

We also have 50 factsheets available on our website on a whole range of topics and tend to be a bit more focused on topics or conditions whereas the book ‘Making Sense of It All’ is more general.

This year we’re going to be delivering something like 63 training workshops which comes out at about 100 sessions over the year, making this our busiest year to date. They cover a variety of topics such as benefits, EHCP’s and behaviour. To help with these we get professionals, as well as parent carers, from different organisations for instance the SENDIAS Service in West Sussex will help deliver training on the EHCP process.

There is also our befriending service. Where we match a trained volunteer with a parent carer of a child who are either just about to or are going through the diagnosis process. The volunteer can help with their emotional response to the situation and the parent can learn from the life experience of someone who has already been through it all. Then there is the more practical side of things, which would be helping them with things like information signposting, how to access services, and crucially how to connect with other parents.

We’ve got 4 support groups, Littlehampton, Worthing, Billingshurst and an online group we started because of the pandemic which has been very helpful to families, so we are continuing it.

Finally, we have a very big Facebook group where parent carers can connect, share experiences, and ask each other questions in a closed group. This is supplemented buy our news page which we use to keep people update to date with what’s happening at Reaching Families.

Keir: How long is reaching families been running for?

Brian: We have been around since 2008.

Keir: What is your favourite part of being part of reaching families?

Brian: From my personal point of view, I just get a real thrill from developing new work. When we get ideas to develop services and watching that unfold. Watching an idea become a reality is just hugely exciting for me.

Seeing the impact as well, that’s the ultimate measure. When we do our evaluation at the end of the year and we get to see the impact it gives me a great feeling. That and the fact that I feel I’m really fortunate. I’ve got a really great team, and great colleagues and they are all really committed to the work we do.

Keir: Do you have any special plans for 2020?

Brian: We do, in part thanks to additional funding from Care Commissioning Groups’. We are going to be expanding our training delivery. Last year for example, I think we did something like 36 individual workshops, this year it’s 63.

Then another major development is we’ve just secured funding to develop a new benefit service for parent carers. We’ve been awarded a three-year grant to deliver a multi layered service, so it’s going to be awareness raising, signposting, information, training and crucially, someone to help with editing applications for DLA and PIP.

Keir: That last bit is something that has been really missed since the benefits adviser at the County Council retired hasn’t it?

Brian: Yeah, there has been a hole in that regard, but our new service will fill that space and I think it is going to be really useful for families. Especially with helping to manage the stress that can come with the process and worries about increasing costs of living. We are hoping to launch this in the early part of Spring this year and information on how to access it will be available on our website.

Keir: What is the best way for people to find out more about what you do?

Brian: The best place to start is our website and I would recommend joining our Facebook groups. We have two, Reaching Families News (where you can keep up to date with Reaching Families) and a private group for parents called Reaching Families.

Keir: Reaching Families also do a great job of keeping the Local Offer Events Section up to date with all their workshops they organise.

13 January 2022

Local Covid-19 and vaccination update

Current Covid-19 rates remain very high across West Sussex. The latest figures show there were more than 11,800 cases across West Sussex in one week (31 December — 6 January).

Find out the latest Covid-19 rates in your area by visiting our data dashboard.

Face coverings remain compulsory in many indoor settings so if you’re popping to the shops, wear a face covering. Click here for a full list of indoor settings where face coverings are required.

Testing

In a temporary change to government guidance, if you get a positive rapid lateral flow result you will not need to take a PCR test to confirm the result. You must still self-isolate immediately if you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result.

You should continue to report positive rapid lateral flow results on the GOV.UK website.

Please do not leave your place of isolation to collect a testing kit. We recommend that you order a kit for delivery to your home, or ask a friend, relative, or carer to collect a kit on your behalf.

Demand for testing kits is high so please keep trying if you’re unable to get kits first time. Click here for details on how to pick up or order a free lateral flow test kit.

There are some exceptions to the revised approach, which mean you may still need to take a PCR test. These can be found on the government website.

Vaccinations

We continue to work closely with our local NHS colleagues to support the vaccination programme.

Everyone aged 12 and above is now eligible to get a Covid-19 vaccination. You can find walk-in and bookable Covid-19 vaccination centres across West Sussex.

From Friday there will be a ‘week of walk-in’ clinics with even more opportunities for people to receive their vaccinations.

Walk-in sessions include a clinic at:

  • Angmering Community Centre on Saturday 15 and Friday 21 January from 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Bognor Medical Centre on Friday 14 and Sunday 16 January from 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Crawley — various venues on Saturday 15 January
  • Saxonbrook Medical, Maidenbower Place, Crawley on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 January from 8am to 6pm
  • Durrington Health Centre, Durrington Lane, Worthing on Saturday, 15 January from 9am to 5pm
  • Sidlesham Football Club on Saturday 15 January from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Details of all the latest walk-in services are available on the Sussex Health & Care Partnership website.

If you have previously missed a vaccination appointment because of having Covid-19 your rescheduled date for vaccination must be at least 28 days since you received a positive test if you are aged 18 or above, or 12 weeks since a positive test if you are aged under 18.

You can book free travel to and from your Covid-19 vaccination appointment, if you have no other means to get there, by calling Sussex Health & Care Partnership’s travel co-ordinator on 01444 275008.

More local information on Covid-19

Discover a rewarding new career as a foster carer

The new year can be a time to reflect and think about a new direction. A career as a foster carer could bring you huge job satisfaction and the chance to use your skills to make a difference to a child’s life.

We’re always looking for local people to foster with us and give children the safe and loving home they deserve. You’ll receive thorough training, ongoing support and become part of a large network of friendly foster carers in West Sussex.

You’ll receive a financial package of between £250 to £510 per week, depending on the age of the child and your skill level.

Visit our website below to find out more or call us on 0330 222 7775.

Our next online information evening takes place on Thursday 20 January. Come along to hear from our fostering team and ask them questions. Book now.

Become a foster carer

Could you play a crucial role in a child’s life?

Do you have a few hours a month to be there for a child in care?

In West Sussex, Independent Visitors play a crucial role in the life of a child in care, aged eight to 17, by offering friendship and fun through regular outings and activities.

Join us for one of our online information events this January to find out how you could join the volunteers.

Gillian has been an Independent Visitor since 2019. She said: “It’s humbling to see the difference you can make. It’s not a huge commitment, you’re encouraged to meet up once a month but you can see the difference it makes is huge.”

If this sounds like something you’d like to do please join us for one of our informal online information sessions:

Tuesday 18 January 2022 at 7pm

Wednesday 19 January 2022 at 12.30pm

Register today to receive joining information.

Questions? Contact Independent.Visitors@westsussex.gov.uk or visit the website below.

Could you be an Independent Visitor?

Make a difference by working in care

Every day you could make someone’s life that little bit easier.

Knowing that you make a difference to their day provides a real sense of achievement that’s difficult to experience in any other role.

Proud to Care West Sussex, a county council initiative, can help you find and apply for a variety of jobs in adult social care across West Sussex and find out what it’s really like to work in care.

We offer a personal online matching service to help you find the ideal role for you. We’ll match your skills, background, and availability with local care vacancies.

We will also support and guide you throughout the recruitment process, from help with your CV to best practice in interviews.

Find out more about Proud to Care

Job opportunities for social workers

We’re currently recruiting for a variety of exciting positions in children’s services.

Our transformation journey is well underway, and our new leadership team has created a culture of kindness and working together.

If you or someone you know is a social worker looking for a new position, join us now and be part of the change that’s putting children and families first.

More info and apply for jobs

More news

There’s still time to take part in West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Community Risk Management Plan public consultation which contains six proposals setting out the direction of the service over the next four years.

The consultation closes on Friday 21 January 2022 and you can take part here.

Looking for love online — police warning to be vigilent

Albion v Palace highlights — You Tube

Great cocktail mixing section

76 New Recruits join Sussex Police

West Sussex Councillor Criticises Local Authorities Not Taking In Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

Latest Albion Vids

* STAR POST OF THE DAY * 11 January 2022

Update on arrests for drink’n’drugs in Sussex

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National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online

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Jan Cosgrove

Jan Cosgrove

National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online

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