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Imago Newsletter - Issue 44 - December 2021

Work with Us

Ready for a new start in 2022? Perhaps thinking about a change of career?
Imago is recruiting to a range of roles which might be just what you are looking for. Find roles and details on our website Work with Us (
Vacancies include:

  • Volunteer Coordinator - Sevenoaks
  • Community Care Navigator - North Kent
  • Partnerships Coordinator - Kent & Medway
  • Training & Development Manager - Tunbridge Wells
  • Children & Young People Coordinator - children with disabilities - roles in both west and north Kent
  • Social Prescribers - Kent and Medway

We also have Kickstart opportunities based in Tunbridge Wells. These are a great way for 16–24 year-olds to gain experience in a 6 month role, with additional employment training.   
Imago offers a competitive salary, great employee benefits, comprehensive training and you’ll be part of a fun and friendly team. Start something new… apply today!

Young Carers Social Prescribing

Top tips for surviving Christmas
While everyone is gearing up for the big event in December, it can be easy to forget that for some families Christmas is a really difficult time. For our Young Carer’s especially, it can be a tricky time of year to navigate with lots of things to do, errands to run and people to see. There is often a lot of pressure on people to feel happy at this time of year, but the reality is not all of us do feel happy at Christmas. For some people it is difficult to relax and feel festive when there are other worries on their mind.
Keep active: It’s tempting to wind down completely once the school holidays begin and not do much at all, but keeping active and keeping moving is really good for your mind and your body. PE sessions with Joe Wicks on YouTube are great for getting you warmed up and you can still view all of the free sessions made available during lockdown.
Sleep: With the days being shorter and colder it is definitely tempting to stay in bed for as long as possible, but did you know that this can make it even harder to get back into your routine when you go back to school? The Sleep Charity Website gives great advice around good sleep hygiene and has lots of information about sleep difficulties.
Eat Healthy: It can be really tricky keeping a balanced diet at Christmas with so many tempting treats, but did you know that keeping a healthy diet and drinking lots of water can improve your mood, increase your energy and help you sleep better? The NHS Change 4 Life website has some delicious and cheap recipes to keep the whole family healthy and can help you make better food choices.
Try to relax: Sometimes people can feel very overwhelmed or stressed at Christmas and it is important to try to take time out to do the things that make you feel better, even if this is only for five minutes in a quiet place. Doing calm activities like reading, listening to music or watching a film can also help to reduce stress. The website has some fun mindful activities.
Ask for help: It can be worrying over Christmas when it feels like there are less people around to support. It’s ok to not be ok and there are people that can support you if you are having a tough time. Here is a list of useful links and numbers for people struggling over the Christmas period.
YoungMinds: Free 24/7 text service for any young person in the UK.
The Mix: Free email, web chat and phone support for any young person under 25.
Childline: Free 24/7 support through web chat, email or phone support for any young person under 19.
Samaritans – Free 24/7 support through phone and email for any adult in the UK

Dementia Buddies

The Imago Dementia Coordinators, Ruth Wiseman, Pam Monan and Melanie Willmore, met with the Medway Charity Bear and the Dementia Buddies at Medway Hospital to share information on their roles and how they can work together to support clients with Dementia within Medway. 

The Imago Dementia Coordinator role is a pilot within 3 PCN’s in Medway and its main aim is to provide support, information, advice and guidance to people who are pre or post diagnosis. Connecting them with the financial, emotional, social and practical support to maintain independent lives and live well with Dementia. This is achieved through undertaking a holistic assessment, listening and working collaboratively with other organisations to ensure each individual and family is supported and enabled.

What is a Dementia Buddy?

Not everyone with dementia has someone to support them while they are in hospital. The ‘Dementia Buddy’ scheme at Medway Hospital provides an extra friendly face, listening ear and companionship as well as support during mealtimes to patients living with dementia. 

Run through the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Service charity, the buddies are fully trained volunteers who spend time on the ward giving quality time and make a difference to the overall hospital experience for these patients, as well as providing reassurance to families that their loved ones will have a visitor when they can’t be there.

Butterfly Champions

A simple and discreet opt-in programme, patients who sign up have a small butterfly symbol placed next to their bed. They have specially trained butterfly champions who have a greater understanding of dementia to support individuals in the Butterfly Scheme; they will be aware of their condition and ensure that these additional needs are supported. 

They also got to see the fantastic addition of their Dementia Sensory Garden that has been added to the hospital grounds.

Carers Support Groups

We hold our Dementia Specific and Generic Carers support groups online via Zoom, on the following dates and times 
Dementia Support Group - last Tuesday of the month at 15:00. 
Generic Carers Support Group - last Friday of the month at 11:00 
If you would like to attend, contact our Hub on 03000 111965 or email We look forward to seeing you.  

Social Prescribing - a patient's perspective

I am 57 years young and have never had to deal with depression before so it was a shock to me and I didn’t know what was happening to me. All I knew was that I couldn’t deal with it on my own. However all the help I received from doctors and therapists whilst it was helpful it all felt like it was given as a ‘duty’. 

Enter my heroine the bubbly Lisa. I connected instantly with her and she was and still is genuinely interested in me as a person not just as another patient in despair. After each phone call with Lisa I felt like a human being again and that alone gave me hope. I began to look forward to Lisa’s text messages checking in on me, when there wasn't time to talk. 

I felt that Lisa was the only person who understood me outside my family. I am so grateful to Lisa and I think that not just what she does is so so important but it’s more the way that she does it. Lisa I cannot thank you enough! 

Safe end of term round-up

It has been another busy but rewarding term for the Safe team. We have continued with face-to-face delivery of our mental health and wellbeing programme in schools across Greenwich. It was wonderful to return to Eltham Hill to follow-up on the work of their Safe Ambassadors since they completed training with us in the summer. We were, as always, incredibly encouraged by the motivation that these young people have to support their peers with mental health and wellbeing. It was great to catch-up and look at the ways we can support them to build on their current Safe space initiative.

We were also fortunate to enjoy a fantastic festive treat with members of our Wellbeing Wednesday group. We all enjoyed a creative Christmas activity at Slap n’ Dash. It was brilliant to meet in person for the first time and we were so impressed with the creative talents of these young people.

Young Carers

It's been a busy time of the year for a number of the Imago young carers groups who have been celebrating Christmas and getting some well earned respite.

Southwark Young Carers  

Southwark Young Carers received a funding donation from Waitrose to put towards a Christmas respite activity. The group decided to use the funding on a cinema trip to see Encanto and go to Pizza Hut for some dinner. The Young Carers had a great time, and were especially excited to receive a chocolate selection box each as a Christmas treat. We would like to say a big Thank You Waitrose for their kind donation.

Bexley Young Carers 

Kian Riverol and Ellie Stringer, two of our Children and Young People Coordinators, recently attended a Tea and Talk session, hosted by Bexley Voice. The team gave a presentation to the parents on the services they can provide. The presentation was well received, and it was lovely to be out and about meeting new families and reaching new Young Carers. Thanks to Bexley Voice for inviting us along.

Bexley Voice is a voluntary organisation of parents and carers of children and young people (0-25) with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) living in the London Borough of Bexley. 

Havering Young Carers

The Havering Young Carers had a brilliant Christmas Party, full of fun, Christmas jumpers, dancing, presents, and snacks. It was a great way to end the year, with a great group of Young Carers

Happy Christmas to all our Young Carers

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

We would like to wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2022. 

Should you need to contact us during the Christmas and New Year period, please note our operating days and contact details below:

Adult Services (including Wellbeing Matters, Social Prescribing or Wellbeing Navigation): email: phone: 0300 011 1965

Young Carers: email 
For Children with Disabilities please email shortbreaks@imago.commmunity or phone 0300 111 1110

OPEN: Wednesday 22nd - Friday 24th and Wednesday 29th - Friday 31st December
CLOSED: Saturday 25th - Tuesday 28th December and Saturday 1st - Monday 3rd January

All services will return to work on Tuesday 4th January.

Make it Happen

Sevenoaks District Council is currently promoting its Making it Happen Community and Voluntary awards.
This year's categories are:
  • Charity Project of the Year
  • Community Arts or Sports Group of the Year
  • Youth Group/Young Person of the Year
  • Best Business in the Community
  • Local Hero - Outstanding Individual Community Champion
  • Carer of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Volunteer Group of the Year
  • Older Person’s Group/Older Person of the Year
  • Contribution to the Environment 
  • Healthy Living Award

They would love to receive your nominations.  You can nominate by visiting You can also request a nomination form by e-mailing or by calling 01732 227000.
The presentation will take place at St Nicholas’s Church on Wednesday 9 March. The deadline for nominations is Sunday 2 January 2022.

My Community Voice

Kent Police have launched My Community Voice Home Page - My Community Voice Kent, this service allows you to be updated by Kent Police about the issues that matter to you. It is a secure and personal messaging system that allows you to determine what type of messages you receive and how.

To receive alerts you must register on the site, the alerts will come to you via email, text or voice note. If you have any information about an appeal, then you can message us back through the alert.

Please note: The system is not to be used to report any incident or crime, you should still call 999 if a crime is in progress or life is in danger.

Reconnect Hackathon

On 3rd February 2022, Reconnect is running a Hackathon event where teams will come together to develop new and exciting ideas of how to better engage children and young people in the fight against the climate crisis.

The winning team will receive a grant of up to £8,000 to deliver their idea and there will also be smaller grants for the teams who come in second (£4000) and third (£2000) place. Projects must be delivered by August 2022. This Hackathon is not just an event for schools and young people. We encourage multi-agency/multi-organisational teams to apply. These teams could involve students from different local schools (with school permission).

To enter a team of up to 6 people (5 Team Members and 1 Team Leader), reserve your tickets through the link below: 
Reconnect Kent Hackathon Tickets, Thu 3 Feb 2022 at 09:30 | Eventbrite
Deadline: 5pm, Monday 17th January

Find out more about Reconnect, or if you have any questions about the event, please contact

Vaccination Programme

Following new advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the NHS is now accelerating its vaccination programme further, aiming to offer booster and third doses to all eligible adults by the end of January, as well as providing second doses to eligible young people. To achieve this, the NHS needs your help. We have reopened recruitment for approximately 10,000 paid and 40,000 volunteer roles across the country, to join existing vaccine teams in protecting those who need it.

The roles available are all flexible and range from vaccinators (paid and volunteer) and registered healthcare professionals to healthcare support workers, administrators and steward volunteers. Further details on the roles and routes available to take part are below. All roles provide full training with appropriate supervision. If you can help, please consider stepping forward. 

Paid roles
Legislation allows a wider group of staff to undertake training to deliver vaccines. This includes many allied health professionals, healthcare scientists and dental staff, as well as other individuals with appropriate first aid training, who are able to undertake additional comprehensive training; so opportunities for flexible, paid roles are open to a huge variety of people.

Volunteer roles
The NHS continues to partner with St John Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service, which runs the NHS Volunteer Responder programme, to help coordinate the training and deployment of thousands of volunteers who can help ensure the safe and smooth running of vaccination services.

Volunteering in England during COVID-19: The Policy Response and its Impact

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published a report looking at the experiences of volunteers and organisations and how they were affected by the Government's response to volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research was the second stage of the project following on from a report published in July 2021 which looked at the challenges and recovery. 

The research looked at the experience of organisations and their response to the policy, which was mixed but the findings will provide guidance for the UK volunteer effort as we go into recovery and will help prepare the sector for any future crisis. 

To read the full report: Volunteering in England during Covid-19: The Policy Response and its Impact – Mobilising UK Voluntary Action during COVID-19 (

To read

1:1 Funding Advice Drop-in Session

Funding for All are offering free drop-in funding advice sessions for small charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises across Kent & Medway. The next one is on Thursday 20th January 2022.

To reserve a 45 minute session at the next event, use the link below:

1:1 Funding Advice with Funding for All & National Lottery Community Fund Tickets, Thu 20 Jan 2022 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Digital Inclusion Fund

Administered through Kent Community Foundation
Thanks to a generous match funding programme from Kent County Council, our donors have raised over £300,000 for a new Digital Inclusion Fund. The aim of the funding, which will be administered by Kent Community Foundation, is to enable frontline organisations to enhance their digital offer and strengthen technology infrastructure.
The funding is available for three key beneficiary groups:

  • Disadvantaged young people seeking training and employment including looked after children to ensure that they can access online resources for school projects.
  • The elderly to navigate digital services and help them to access benefits and health services.
  • Vulnerable adults to access training and skills development to able to live independently.

In addition, the fund will support technology loan or upgrade schemes supporting the same beneficiary groups, so organisations can purchase hardware or connectivity packages that they can loan or use with their service users.
Grants up to £10K, but many will be less. In the KCC area only.

Deadline: 15th January 2022
If you have any questions please contact

Department of Health and Social Care: Suicide Prevention Fund 2021 to 2022

Applications are now open for the government's newly launched Suicide Prevention Fund. The Department of Health and Social Care has set aside £4million to fund suicide prevention VSCE organisations. A portion of the grant fund will be ring-fenced specifically to help support small community-led and user-led groups and organisations.

 The strategic objectives of the fund are:

  • service provision: to support suicide prevention VCSE organisations to meet the increased need or demand for suicide prevention services because of the pandemic
  • to support service provision particularly to people considered to be at a higher risk of suicide, through the work of the diverse range of suicide prevention VCSE organisations and enhancing service provision to high-risk groups

Deadline: 5pm, 16th January 2022
Apply: Suicide Prevention Fund 2021 to 2022 - GOV.UK (

KCC Cultural Sector Build Back Better Fund

Grants of up to £5000 are available in Kent to support arts and cultural organisations to Build Back Better from the COVID-19 pandemic. The priority is to support organisations who rely on customers attending cultural events as participants or audience members e.g. theatres, cinemas, music venues and festivals.

Grants are funded from the councils Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) with a total funding budget of £425,000. 
Applications are welcome from:

  • arts organisations
  • creative businesses
  • freelancers that work within the cultural sector
  • businesses that work within the cultural sector supply chain.
Deadline: 12pm, January 24th 2022
Apply: Cultural Sector Build Back Better grant funding - Kent County Council

National Lottery Community Fund: The Platinum Jubilee Fund

The Platinum Jubilee celebrates 70 years of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign and to mark this occasion, The National Lottery Community Fund will fund 70 projects across the UK.

This is a significant National moment, and we are looking for projects that go beyond simply celebrating but for those that create change for communities.

We want to fund projects that create a greater legacy for our places and spaces, and that support new opportunities, activities and build better relationships with one another, across generations and with the natural world.

Funded projects will need to be up and running by Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend on 5 June 2022.

Our three areas of focus are:

1. Across Generations - Strengthening relationships between generations and creating a legacy for future generations.

2. Community Renewal - Supporting new opportunities for people to develop skills and experiences in their local community, as well as opportunities to bring people together in new ways, and in new or different places and spaces.

3. Our Shared Natural World - Growing our care and action locally for the natural world.

Deadline: Once we receive 700 applications
Apply: The Platinum Jubilee Fund | The National Lottery Community Fund (

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Sources include Kent Community Foundation,, Bates and Wells, KCC, National Lottery Community Fund, Charity Digital, NCVO, and NAVCA LINX. If you would like to submit an article or provide feedback on the newsletter please email Lysette D'Urso at Imago –


Contact details for Imago

Our head office is located at 17-19 Monson Road,  Tunbridge Wells – 01892 530330 -  and we have project delivery offices in 10 locations across Kent, Medway, East Sussex, and London (Bexley, Havering and Southwark).


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