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Residents' eNewsletter

 Welcome to the September 2023 edition of our Residents' eNewsletter

gro health autumn challenge

Sign up to get your weight down!

Gro Health, the free weight management app for West Sussex, is offering an Autumn Refresh Challenge if you are looking to start your health and weight loss journey.

Running throughout September, it offers support from a community of like-minded people and expert health coaches.

There are on-demand fitness classes, ‘cookalongs’ and masterclasses covering a range of topics including combating weight stigma and managing hunger.

In addition, 1 to 1 coaching and weekly community virtual meet-ups will help keep you on track.

Gro Health is free for 12 months to anyone who is over 18, lives or works in West Sussex or is registered with a GP in the county, and has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 to 40.

Start your free health and weight loss journey

walking in autumn

Your mental health matters

If you’re struggling with your own mental health or are worried about someone else, there is plenty of support available in West Sussex.

World Mental Health Day is on 10 October and we’re highlighting a number of services and organisations that can help.

For information and tips on maintaining good mental health, advice on what to do if you or someone else is struggling and what to do in a crisis visit NHS Every Mind Matters or West Sussex Mind.

Support for children and young people is available at Your Mind Matters.

For urgent support:

  • Samaritans: call 116 123.
  • Sussex Mental Healthline: call 0800 0309 500.
  • NHS: call 111 (select option 2 for mental health).
  • Or text the word SUSSEX to 85258 (NHS Sussex Partnership).

secondary school pupils

Year 7 secondary school applications open now

If your child is starting secondary school next year, applications are open until Tuesday 31 October 2023.

The easiest way to apply is online via the link below.

The process is quick and simple to do, and you will receive an automatic confirmation when your application has been submitted.

Apply for a secondary school place

mature man has vaccine

Covid-19 and flu jabs update

Residents of older adult care homes and people who are housebound will begin receiving their Covid-19 and flu vaccinations from this week, as the NHS kickstarts its winter vaccinations campaign.

The vaccination programme, which was brought forward based on the latest expert advice following the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant, will prioritise those at greatest risk.

Starting with care homes and people who are housebound, other eligible groups will begin to be invited to get their top-up protection from next week.

People will be able to book their jabs from 18 September, through the NHS website, the NHS App, or by calling 119.

Eligible groups may also be offered a vaccination sooner by GP surgeries or other local NHS services.

The NHS is encouraging people to get both vaccinations as soon as they can and not delay, due to the risk of the new Covid-19 variant and ahead of the busy winter period.

It is important for those who are eligible to top up their protection, even if they have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or Covid-19 before, as immunity wanes over time and these viruses change each year.

You can help reduce the risk of catching and passing on Covid-19 by:

  • getting vaccinated.
  • letting fresh air in if meeting indoors, or by meeting outside.
  • wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces.
  • trying to stay at home if you are unwell.
  • taking a test if you have Covid-19 symptoms, and staying at home and avoiding contact with other people if you test positive.
  • washing your hands and following advice to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.
More on the Covid-19 autumn booster

electric blanket testing

Our West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is offering free electric blanket testing sessions this autumn.

Last year almost 40% of the blankets tested were found to be defective. Faulty electric blankets are a common cause of fire in the home.

Testing is recommended for blankets more than two years old. Blankets over 10 years old should be replaced.

The sessions will take place between 9.30am and 4.30pm on the dates below, by appointment only. Book an appointment by calling: 0345 872 9719.

  • 3 October – The Studio, New Park Centre, Chichester PO19 7XY.
  • 4 October – Worthing Community Centre, 2 Romany Road, Durrington BN13 3FJ.
  • 5 October – Bognor Fire Station, West Meads Drive, Bognor PO21 5TB.
  • 10 October – Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, Crawley RH10 6HG.
  • 11 October – Horsham Library, Lower Tanbridge Way, Horsham RH12 1PJ.
  • 12 October – Haywards Heath Fire Station, Mill Green Road, Haywards Heath RH16 1XQ.
Advice on fire safety

fire safety on farmland

If you live or work on a farm, it’s important to be aware of the risks and take simple steps to protect your family, home, and business this harvest season.

Keeping farm vehicles and machinery well-maintained, installing fire breaks between crops, and storing hay and straw safely can all help prevent fires. 

Always take extra care when working near overhead power lines. If your vehicle strikes a power line, stay in the cab, and try to drive clear. In an emergency call 105.

Our West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has a dedicated Rural Engagement Officer supporting people in rural areas to keep their homes and businesses safe from fire.

Read more about rural fire safety

Get safe online

Train to be a cyber hero!

We’re looking for ‘digital ambassador’ volunteers to help educate and support residents to be safer when they go online.

You don’t have to be a digital expert, you just need a basic understanding of the internet and a passion to help others work, learn, and connect with each other as safely as possible.

You’ll be trained by the experts from our Get Safe Online team on-line on either 25 October or 10 November. All materials will be provided, as well as ongoing mentoring and support to help you deliver advice effectively and confidently.

To register your interest, please email the team by 9 October: 

Become a digital ambassador

stop smoking

Quit smoking for good this October

Smokers planning to quit this Stoptober are urged to prepare early and seek free support to have the best chance of quitting for good.

Research shows smokers are three times more likely to successfully quit when they have support and there are free local Stop Smoking Services available across the county.

Watch our videos on how West Sussex Wellbeing’s smoking cessation service can help you quit and how the service helped a resident quit smoking.

Get help to quit

Five million single use vapes are disposed of per week

Safe vape disposal

Do not dispose of single-use vapes in either your recycling or waste bins at home. They often contain hazardous materials which can start a fire when they are crushed during collection and sorting.

How to dispose of vapes

More news

Head to our Newsroom to find all the latest news. Below are some highlights:

did you know

High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and other diseases.

It’s important to #KnowYourNumbers and we’re encouraging everyone to have their blood pressure checked and take control of their health.

You can pop into your local pharmacy to ask about getting a free blood pressure check and some GPs have machines in their waiting rooms. You can also buy a monitor to check yours at home.

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We have more than 40 eNewsletters on a wide variety of topics including Envrionment and Climate Change, West Sussex Recycles, Extreme Weather Alerts and Staying Safe Online. View all topics here.

Think Before you Throw