University of Leicester teaching sessions for medical students on the role of carers

The University of Leicester is running a half day teaching session for Medical Students about the role of carers. These will run once a week for half a day and repeated every 7 weeks.

They would like to invite carers and organisations advocating for carers to attend a Q&A session for the students.

A payment of £30 is offered for each session and you must be able to make a planning session on Tuesday 6 February.

For more information contact Paul Ackroyd, VAL Voice and Insights Development Officer:
0116 2575029

Supporting the wellbeing of mums: Survey of mothers, mothers to be and healthcare professionals

Healthwatch Leicestershire has today released a report that talks about a mother’s journey through pregnancy and how health services and professionals have interacted and provided support to mothers and mothers to be. 

The report found that over three quarters of mums stayed in hospital overnight after giving birth, with two thirds of those saying that their partners were not given the option to stay with them.  

Mums told Healthwatch about the vulnerability they experienced in the immediate hours after giving birth. They expressed a feeling of abandonment, especially those mums who were not allowed to have their partners stay with them. Just over half of mums said that they could have been better supported emotionally. 

Chris Faircliffe, Healthwatch Leicestershire Board member said:

“Supporting mums emotionally is important for their future wellbeing. In our report, we have not only provided information about support services, but we have also collated a ‘Top tips for new mums’, that is aimed at providing words of comfort from other mums, in their own words”.

The issue of improvements around maternity services is a national one. Earlier this year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) launched a national campaign called #Yourbirthplan, aimed at raising awareness of CQC amongst women who are pregnant, planning to have a baby or have recently used maternity services in England.

A National Maternity Review: Better Births – Five Year Forward View for NHS maternity services in England, recognised that delivering a vision for maternity services could only be delivered through locally led transformation, suitably supported at national and regional levels. 

Healthwatch Leicestershire found that many healthcare professionals thought there should be greater or more effective sharing of information with over three quarters of healthcare professionals saying there ‘definitely or very much so’ could be better information sharing between Public Health Nurses and Midwives. 

Rick Moore, Chair of Healthwatch Leicestershire said:

“The agenda item in all strategic conversations has to be ‘a joined-up approach’. That is the direction of the healthcare system on a whole and maternity services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are no different. We must make sure that at a local level, we are working smarter together and that our local Trusts are doing everything they can to support mothers and their families”.

Healthwatch Leicestershire has dedicated a page in the report to highlight the positive comments that were received when gathering feedback, with one mother saying,

 “Excellent, staff, though they were short of staff, the exchange of midwives was great and the level of care I was given was truly excellent”.

Elaine Broughton, Head of Midwifery at Leicester’s Hospitals said:

“We will combine the findings of the report with the results of the CQC national maternity survey and consider how we can address the recommendations to improve the birth experience for the women and their families.”

A statement from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust said, 

“We welcome any opportunity to explore the experiences of families and health professionals within our 0-19 public health programme, Healthy Together. We have just completed a period of mobilization for this new service across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, based on co-design with local families. The voice of families and their experience remains central to our ethos.

We are committed to working closely with our midwifery colleagues at UHL to ensure there is seamless support for the health of new and expectant mothers. We are proud of the public health role our teams play, and with the recent introduction of our new Health for Under 5s website* and Chathealth secure messaging for parents, the accessibility of our service has been further strengthened. We look forward to discussing learnings from Healthwatch’s report with our staff, with midwifery colleagues and with Healthwatch to ensure we all provide the best possible service for families.”


 Healthwatch Leicestershire will sit down with senior managers at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust to share the findings in more detail.

VAL E-Briefing Correction

This article was included in the VAL E-Briefing by mistake. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Opportunity for free yoga courses for your charity or social enterprise

The Be Happy Yoga Project have funding for 2018 to offer free yoga and mindfulness courses for charities and social enterprises within the city of Leicester.  After running some successful courses over the last couple of years, we are now looking for new partner organisations to collaborate with over the coming year.

Please email us at or have a look at our website and contact us there for more details.

Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Crisis House – Outreach Update

January sees some new developments in the outreach service provided by the Crisis House. Adults with a GP in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland are able to access support directly in the community, either via a drop-in or booking an appointment directly with the team.

The Crisis House runs 9 outreach branches, covering Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. You do not need a referral to access support through our outreach. Your mental health worker or GP may recommend you attend or help you to book an appointment. You can book an appointment directly by either calling the crisis helpline on 0808 800 3302, or sending an email requesting an appointment to

Some locations will also provide a space where you can spend time amongst other people with experience of mental health needs including our peer support workers who are on their own recovery journey.

Please follow the link to our Well-Being Cloud for a full list of venues and support available.

Healthy exercise & eating project for young people aged 11-25

The project is for anyone aged 11-25 years who would like to get involved in exercise and healthy eating sessions with their friends in Beaumont Leys.

Project: Are you fighting to get fit?
Qualified Instructors: Kelton Mckenzie & Ajmal Butt
Brief: The project is for anyone aged 11-25 who would like to get involved in exercise and healthy eating sessions in Beaumont Leys.
Days: Tuesdays 5.6pm & Sundays 12-1pm
Levels: All abilities are catered and welcomed to attend
Phone: 07976704585
Address: 1 Old Barn Holme Farm, Beaumont Leys.
Price: Free

Small Change Big Difference

Our remit at Workpays is to support individuals into training and work, working with partners and employers to design our training programmes to cater for their needs in the workplace, whether that be Work Experience, Sector Based Work Academies, Traineeships or Apprenticeships.

Here at Workpays we are currently recruiting learners onto our accredited courses that can cover, Employability, Job Search, IAG, ICT, Hospitality, Retail, Business Admin, Customer Service, Health & Social Care, Maths & English and Health & Safety to name just a few as we can adapt our training and courses depending on the sector requirements.

Once the courses are completed we aim to place learners with employers within their chosen sector.

Our courses can run as an intense 5 days course (possibly over 2 weeks, 19+) or over 3 weeks (19+, 4 days per week), or 10-12 weeks (15-25 yrs, 2 days per week specifically for young ex-offenders NEET). We are based at Humberstone House, Humberstone Gate Leicester so are very central to the City, although we are more than happy to deliver our programmes out in the community.

We also run a programme for 25+ individuals who may have barriers to employment, training or are just experiencing difficulties on a day to day basis, this is also available to ex-offenders 25+.

This is our Links To Work programme, which is a 1-2-1 programme which is tailored to the individuals needs.


Therefore, if you feel that you or someone you know may benefit from attending any of our programmes here at Workpays, please contact Dawn Lee at your earliest convenience. Small Change Big Difference helping individuals into training and sustainable employment and hopefully filling those skills gaps.


0116 251 8245
07341 864 069

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is helping Leicestershire residents to keep a warm home this winter and save money on energy usage

This winter’s cold snaps highlight how important it is to keep a warm home during the winter months. People are at greater risk of illness and preventable death as a result of living in a cold home. This is particularly true for those who are vulnerable to the cold such as older people, young children and people with health problems or disabilities. 

Government figures show over 54,000 households across Leicester and Leicestershire are in fuel poverty.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is giving free Energy Health Checks to all Leicestershire residents at our branches and outreaches across Leicester and the county. 

This will include a free Energy Health Check drop-in event in Leicester city centre to mark Big Energy Saving Week 2018 (22 to 28 January 2018). This will take place on Thursday 25 January, 9.30am – 1.30pm. The event is open to residents of both Leicester and Leicestershire.

At the Energy Health Check, we will talk people through the ways they can keep their home warm when the temperature drops. This includes:

  • Ensuring they are not paying more than they need to for gas and electricity.
  • Checking if they are eligible for grants for home improvements to increase energy efficiency, reduce draughts or new boilers.
  • Signing up to the Priority Service Register, a free service that provides additional services for those who need it, including priority support in an emergency. 
  • Qualifying households can apply for the Warm Home Discount – a £140 one-off discount on energy bills paid directly to the supplier. This does not affect the Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment.

Tony Wells, Service Leader of Blaby and Harborough Districts, said:

We have had some particularly harsh spells of cold weather this winter, which increases the risk of illness, particularly among older age groups and people suffering with health problems.

If you are struggling to keep your home warm this winter, come and see Citizens Advice LeicesterShire for free Energy Health Check. Or, if you are worried about someone you know keeping warm, tell them to come and see us, or you are very welcome to come along on their behalf.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire has already helped residents of Leicestershire to save thousands of pounds on their energy bills in 2017. One man was told he could save £800 a year by switching to a cheaper supplier.

There are three ways to get a free Energy Health check before March 2018:

  • Drop into our free Energy Health Check event on 25 January 2018, 9.30am – 1.30pm, at Age UK Clarence House on Humberstone Gate. 
  • If you can’t make it on the 25th, drop in to your local branch of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire (drop-in available at Blaby, Coalville, Hinckley, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray and Oadby & Wigston – see our website for opening times), or call 0300 330 1025 to make an appointment in Leicester city.
  • Use the price comparison tool to compare prices from different energy suppliers. Let us know what you could save on Twitter and Facebook! #BESW2018.

Building a Stronger Britain Together programme now open to applications

The Building a Stronger Britain Together programme is now open to applications.

Grants are available for project costs of up to £50,000.

The programme supports civil society and community organisations who work to create more resilient communities, stand up to extremism in all its forms and offer vulnerable individuals a positive alternative, regardless of race, faith, sexuality, age and gender. 

The BSBT programme is a strand of the Government’s Counter Extremism Strategy (October 2015) and they are looking for local projects that ultimately counter extremism and build stronger communities.

For further information on the BSBT application process, please use the below web link, which also contains the online portal for application submissions to be made.

It is strongly recommended that groups in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland who want to apply for this funding should contact: 

Ben Smith
Counter Extremism Community Coordinator
Tel: 07710 148722

Strategic Growth Plan for Leicester & Leicestershire: Consultation Draft Plan

**Letter from Patricia Willoughby, Joint Strategic Planning Manager, Leicestershire County Council**

You may be aware that the nine local authorities in Leicester & Leicestershire, together with the Local Enterprise Partnership, are preparing a Strategic Growth Plan.

The first stage in the preparation of the Plan was the Strategic Growth Statement which was published in August 2016. This was a high level document which explained why the Plan is being prepared, provided a pen portrait of the area, set out some overall objectives and described the types of options that we would be considering when planning for growth.

A Draft Plan has now been prepared for public consultation. A copy of the Draft Plan and information on the evidence used in its preparation are available on our dedicated web site.

Consultation on the Draft Plan begins on 11 January and extends until 5 April 2018. A summary leaflet and a consultation questionnaire have been prepared for your use and both are available on the web site. If possible, please fill out the questionnaire online. Alternative formats, including paper copies of the questionnaire, are available on request by contacting one of the partners. Contact details for all of the partners are given on the web site and in the summary leaflet.

We would very much welcome your views.

Individual local authorities are also organising consultation events during the consultation period. Details will be posted on our web site and will be available from individual local authorities as soon as times, dates and venues have been confirmed.

In the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact me or one of the partners.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Kind Regards.

Patricia Willoughby
Joint Strategic Planning Manager
For the County and Districts of Leicestershire, Leicester City and the LLEP