Friday, 28 June 2019

The PHS (People's Health Service) Launches...

The 24th June 2019 saw the launch of the PHS - the People's Health Service in North Watford at the Feel Hot Yoga and Wellbeing cafe on the Imperial Trading Estate.

The PHS is an idea based on observations about Health in the UK...

  • The NHS is highly stressed as it is, but with an ageing population the NHS is likely to experience much higher demand in the coming years.
  • How could we reduce the numbers of people that need to access the NHS?
  • What if we could leap on the huge trend of people taking better care of themselves?

"Apple and Samsung (to name two companies) are investing $ billions in devices that support people in taking more responsibility for their own health"

In a recent survey, over 50% of people claimed that it was their doctor that was responsible for their health. With only 7-8 minutes per GP appointment at the GP and financial constraints too it is no wonder all the signs are that the population is becoming more and more unhealthy.

With so much pressure on the NHS and growing numbers of people with obesity, diabetes and debilitating conditions there is clearly a need for something to happen.

The invisible health team

Through Networking over the past 10 years it is clear that there is a wide and diverse range of people that offer complementary health and wellness services and products. Health is a topic that always features in conversations and there is huge interest in preventative care.

The challenge for both people at large, and these complementary therapists and practitioners is how do they find each other?  ... and... how can we find out what is available in our locality?

For individual practitioners working alone, to get traction can be both time consuming and tedious with no promise of any results at the end of it.

So what if there was a way of

  1. Bringing a diverse range of Health Practitioners together
  2. Offering important, invaluable, and unbiased information not available easily elsewhere
  3. Providing access to complementary services and products 
"all aimed at keeping people well"

  • Reducing the burden (potentially) on the NHS
  • Keep people on their feet, living longer, more fulfilling and happier lives

How would you do that?

The PHS is an Umbrella idea that provides a simple framework at a national level. This is just a way of bringing all local initiatives together under a national brand / label. This is not a business, a charity or government initiative. It is simply a way of bringing people keen on this idea together so that we are able to share how things are developing across the country.

The SWHertsPHS is a local implementation of the PHS initiative. So there is already a core team of 7 practitioners / supporters who are growing and developing the SWHertsPHS.

  • No fees to join in and participate
  • Self perpetuating... people led and people driven... inclusive anyone in wellness can be part of it, from growing vegetables, nutrition, reflexology, crystal healing through to meditation, mindfulness, fitness and mental health and everything in between
  • Can be implemented anywhere
The plan is to host PHS Sessions to bring together practitioners and those seeking information, products, services and conversations during the day and evening in different locations throughout South West Herts. All sessions will be free to attend for the public.

As the idea grows and spreads then the expectation is to broaden the venues available and the number of events being run.

For Health & Wellness Practitioners

This provides the following benefits :

  • Gain more visibility and traction by working as a collaborative team
  • Opportunity to provide information, signposting and refer to others
  • Provide access to a diverse range of products and services to maintain / improve health and wellness
  • Support and complement the NHS out in the community

For people in the community

This offers the following advantages :

  • Access to information from single location that is not easily available elsewhere
  • A chance to meet a diverse range of Health & Wellness specialists without obligation
  • Try out different products and services aimed at keeping us healthy, well and happy

Final words

This is an amazing opportunity for us to build something really rather special just like the NHS all those years ago. As more knowledge becomes available about how our bodies work, and we accept that we're all unique,  the PHS will provide an important service in finding what works for each of us on our own Health and Wellness journey.

Let's make it happen!

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Camping in style with the Outdoor Group

A while back in February 2019 Tony Joyce tabled the Link4Camp idea. This then developed and was made available to the Link4Growth community; the date then fixed for the 14th-16th June... which was last weekend.

The setting just outside Watlington in Oxfordshire on a delightful camp site boasting fabulous (clean) amenities with plenty of space to easily accommodate.

This wasn't the rustic survival style camping I was used to from my cubs and scouts days though. We were just required to bring ourselves, tents if we wanted to (otherwise Tony provided all of those),  sleeping bags (covers, mattresses, pillows), ablutions kit and appropriate clothing for 48 hour period... oh and drinks as you wanted.

Basically this was... a hotel in tents. Tony and his company (the Outdoor Group) provided a cooked breakfast (fruit and cereals too), all the ingredients to make your own packed lunch, and a cooked evening meal (roast beef on Saturday evening). It has to be said Tony makes camping a pleasurable experience without the "lugging water", working out the menu, buying the ingredients, cooking (on a tiny burner) and struggling to even get a decent cup of tea and coffee (available throughout the day).

Tony also accommodates for all different types of food preferences, vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten free etc. at all meals.

Plenty to do around the Camping area too. Walking, Canoeing, different places to visit and plenty of space to make your own entertainment. We assembled around the Fire Pit in the evenings to chat and drink, laugh and tell stories... on Friday all in the company of a beautiful huge moon, clear skies, great sunset and the fresh air of nature.

Myself, Silpi and Elena went on a 4 hour walk Saturday, taking in some of the scenery on country trails, and then Sunday a shorter walk that began just a stones throw from the site itself.

At £30 all in 'per night' this is incredibly good value and Tony set this up so that he could provide individuals and families with a holiday option even if they were strapped for cash. Tony also provides camps for groups (such as Mind and New Hope - homeless) as his contribution back into the community.

So much did we enjoy this experience... I think it was a first for everyone except myself... we have asked Tony if he could organise another for us? ... maybe in the latter half of September.

This is an ideal opportunity to bring people together in a totally different setting and really get to know others that we wouldn't normally meet or spend time with.

Hopefully if we manage another other Link4Camp... Link4Growth members from around the country will also join in the fun!

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

SWHerts PHS launch date agreed...

If you haven't heard of the SWHerts-PHS (People's Health Service) you may do soon!

The 1st PHS public Drop-in will be on the 24th June at 10:30am. The SWHerts-PHS has partnered with the Feel Wellbeing cafe in north Watford as the first venue to host these events!

The PHS is an initiative to complement the NHS and assist people in taking more responsibility for their own Health & Wellness. The PHS seeks to achieve this by bringing together a wide range of local Alternative and Complementary therapists, that will open up access to a diverse variety of services and products aimed at staying healthy and well.

It is intended that regular (weekly, or maybe more often) Health & Wellness Drop-ins will enable people wanting to take more care of their own health to obtain valuable and useful information. These Drop-ins give people the chance to meet practitioners and explore alternative products and services that may help to maintain health and subvert more serious intervention.

Peter Taylor the Mayor of Watford has confirmed his attendance at this inaugural event as have many local therapists.

If you are reading this and offer any kind of wellness service or product then please do visit the website "for Practitioners" here for more information.

The drop-in events are also a great opportunity for practitioners to learn about other complementary Health & Wellness services / products in the area, so please do come along and join in.

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Monday, 3 June 2019

L4G 5 Question Challenge

Back in April the seed was sown for a special series of videos. These videos would help people to learn the wide variety of reasons why people come along to Link4Growth events in the first place, and then subsequently, what they discover having peered inside.

In our midst is the multi-talented Victoria Hart, who runs her own media agency called Hart-In-Media. Please follow the links for more information.

Victoria engaged her brother Andy and together (with the stars being interviewed), in very tight circumstances it has to be said, the first two videos rolled off the production line.  There are more planned for the 12th June, and an evening 'shooting' will come next for those who work in the daytime.

Many thanks to Victoria, Andy, Ruth and Silpi for all of their contributions without which neither of these video, or any others for that matter, would have been possible.

If you are curious about Link4Growth, it's mission and goals, or interested in how you might get involved then please check out the website... and or if you live locally then visit our own SWHerts Facebook page...

Link4Growth is all about conversations and connection, talking is really important and with 9 million people in the UK being identified as lonely, the importance of conversation and connection cannot be underestimated.

Enjoy the videos below :-

If you'd like to know more then contact us via the Community Hub Contact Us form

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Sunday, 2 June 2019

Link4Growth... your support network...

We only have to look around us these days to see that there are a lot of people struggling in today's society. 

Whether it be money, food, a roof over our heads, work, anxiety, stress, trying to make ends meet, running a small business, the list is exhaustive... no one is exempt either... our children are stressing at school with huge pressure and expectation, young men are committing suicide in increasing numbers, benefits and welfare being cut back to the bone.

Although we human beings are now (today) the most connected generation(s) ever, loneliness is at epidemic levels, and disconnection higher that at any time in our previous history...

What can we do about this?

Where can someone go to talk to others? ... maybe share some of what is happening for them? ... get signposted? ... Where people won't judge? ... where there are no criterion for participation?

There are places out there where people can connect. Getting together community groups (run by the council), churches, activity led groups (camera, art, writing, book club, sport) and I am sure plenty of others that I haven't mentioned covering all manner of hobbies. Let's also not forget there are many Meetup Groups available covering a wide range of Topics.

But what if you are not looking for any of the above... Instead just looking to go along to meet a few people, something with no pressure, no expectation, where you can dip in and out as you please? Or perhaps where you can just be yourself and meet other local people and just simply have a conversation about anything. Everything starts with a conversation... where it might lead none of us know!

Real examples:

A business failed, leaving uncomfortable levels of debt, the business premises doubled up as home, so now homeless too. No chance for support and benefits. In need of new connections, new opportunities and a positive outlook with real support to get back on two feet.

Exiting from serious depression, unhappy in work, and away from family and friends. Trapped in a cycle of feeling alone and inability to trust others. In need of reliable connections and friends and a solid foundation to upgrade social skills and grow.

Looking for a new group of people that could represent an extended family. A chance to go out and improve the colour of life, have fun, enjoy different experiences and make new connections to grow a fledgling business.

What made the difference?

Link4Growth [link is to FB Page] provides some 15 opportunities locally in SWHerts to meet each month. These range from Community coffees, walks in nature, business events, learning and education sessions, and signposting to the wide variety of other community organisations / events going on locally.

Link4Growth [link is to Website] provides a rich foundation and Access-Point through deep local connections, and experience, that acts as a springboard empowering people to "discover their own path" and "what works for them" ... we could all do with that in a world where less and less is now certain.

More information : Visit FB Page for SWHerts
Email :