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MyLife News

Season’s greetings from My Life Learning!

We’re at the end of our first term of 2020 and it’s been a busy one for My Life Learning.  

Like everyone we’re navigating the twists and turns of Covid and striving to keep business as usual for our learners.  This of course has led to its own challenges, such as minimising the mixing of learners and external work placements on the whole being suspended, but from these we look for opportunities!  

We’ve created a tutor group system, which has strengthened our curriculum, with each class taught and supported by a core tutor and learning support assistants, in addition to specialist subject teachers to broaden learning. This has actually worked in our favour as a Covid secure measure, as whilst it is beneficial to our learners, we can also further refine the curriculum according to each of them. 

We’ve also continued to navigate remote learning this year and have had some really great examples of this, making use of Teams to engage learners at home in a variety of sessions including cooking and communication, alongside distributing work for learners to complete offline. 

To compensate for offsite work experience being reduced, we have set up a variety of exciting onsite opportunities and enterprise activities for learners to develop skills leading towards employment. All products are available to order by calling 01257 472 900 or emailing info@my-life.org.uk.

These include our Christmas crafts made in our workshop, just £5 each: 

Bird feeders one class is making and selling through ‘5ive,’ the business they have set up:

And if you want your car washing on a Wednesday afternoon, just let us know – another class has set up their own car washing business at our Standish site!  

In previous years we would normally have our Christmas lunch, where learners invite their families in for food, drink and a celebration of their achievements.  At the time of writing, this would contravene many guidelines, so we’ve tasked each class with coming up with their own celebrations – we look forward to seeing what they have planned.   

We are looking forward to the new year and all it brings and wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

John Mitchell, Head of Learning, My Life Learning 

Support My Life as you shop!

Support My Life as you shop!

My Life is registered with Easyfundraising, the UK’s biggest charity shopping fundraising site!

When you shop through the Easyfundraising site or app, My Life will receive a small percentage of what you spend and there’s no price difference to you.

It’s easy and free to use, with nearly 4000 of the UK’s major retailers including Amazon, M&S, Argos, Sainsburys and John Lewis.

Simply sign up to support My Life, click through to your favourite retailers and we will receive a small percentage of what you spend. From fashion to supermarkets, travel and utility providers, you can browse a huge range of stores.

Start now by clicking here.

Thank you, as always, for your support. It makes such a difference to our members.

FREE online help sessions

FREE online help sessions

Through the pandemic many people have struggled to access advice and support.

We’ve launched our very own online help sessions, so that everyone can get the information that they need around social care, from the comfort of their own home.

Our initial sessions, around the subjects of filling in a Personal Independence Payment Form (PIP) and understanding the Social Care Assessment Process, have proved hugely successful.

Led by My Life CEO Caroline Tomlinson, with My Life’s Advocates Gill Lachman and Gail Ambrose, participants have been able to benefit from a wealth of experience, with Caroline and Gill’s many years’ experience of the social and healthcare systems and Gail’s knowledge of Benefits through her work at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Caroline says:

“We were becoming increasingly aware that the pandemic was exacerbating the issue of ‘where do I go for help and advice?’ for so many. As with the rest of My Life, our Advocates have continued to support people throughout this difficult time, even when it has not been possible to meet face to face and we wanted to extend that help to the many people out there who we know are struggling in so many ways. They really are not alone.”

More sessions are planned for the new year, keep up to date by following our Facebook page.

On sale now – My Life Calendar 2021!

On sale now – My Life Calendar 2021!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have felt compelled to spend more time in natural surroundings.

This has been no different for two of our members, Chris Jordan and Richard Turner, both keen photographers, who have turned their lenses to the natural world.

Here at My Life, we place great emphasis on the wellbeing brought about by time spent on our 84 acres of beautiful green land. With the advent of the pandemic, our many outdoor activities that have been able to take place safely have become even more important to our members – and locals too.

Our Chief Executive Caroline Tomlinson explains:

“Chris and Richard have taken so many incredible shots whilst they’ve been walking the dogs at our Doggy Day Care service for local people, as well as undertaking wildlife observations, that we asked them to compile their best ones to create our 2021 calendar.

We’ve all seen the Countryfile calendar – Chris and Richards’ photos are certainly comparable, but all photos are of local wildlife. We’re so proud of their work. The calendar is a true embodiment of what we do here at My Life, identifying, harnessing and nurturing everyone’s individual talent, for the greater good of all.”

Chris says:

“As a member of My Life to be given the opportunities that I wouldn’t anywhere else is amazing and I want to thank everyone at My Life and my family for their continuous support and encouragement.  I use photography as a means to escape and to relax as I suffer from anxiety and depression.  I’m really happy to be able to use my ability to show others what a truly beautiful world we live in and that we all should cherish this.”

Richard adds:

“I’ve been coming to My Life for a year now and after every session I feel really good, like I have achieved something. I really enjoyed taking the photos!”

The calendar costs £6.50 and funds raised will go towards the purchase of new photography equipment for our members. Buy yours by calling 01257 472 900 or emailing info@my-life.org.uk.

A seasonal poem by our member Zack

A seasonal poem by our member Zack

We’ve certainly all been experiencing the seasons more this year, with all the outdoor activities and walks that the pandemic has prompted! This has inspired our member Zack to think creatively. Here’s his beautiful poem ‘Autumn’: 

In September when the children go back to school,

Playing and acting the fool,

I know that autumn is here. 

When the leaves turn orange and brown,

And they start to fall down,

I know that autumn is here.

I see an owl fly in the dead of night,

What a sight!

I know that autumn is here.

Scarves, hats and gloves at the ready,

And the rain getting heavy,

Autumn is here!

Healthwatch want to hear your experience of care homes during Covid-19

Have you got a friend, relative or loved one who has been living or working in a care home during Covid-19?

Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. They are here to make sure that those running services put people at the heart of care.

Their sole purpose is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf.

They focus on ensuring that peoples’ worries and concerns about current services are addressed and they work to get services right for the future.

Healthwatch is keen to find out about the experiences of residents, families and staff in care homes across the Wigan Borough during the coronavirus outbreak.

The aim of the project is to recognise and celebrate the hard work of care homes during this difficult period, to hear about the innovative ways they have worked to keep families in touch with their friends and family members; while also gathering learning opportunities to allow improvements to be made where needed, for the benefit of all.

To focus on the following themes:

  • Primary care provision
  • Discharge from hospital to care home
  • Safeguarding

Project Aims

To gain an insight into the experience of staff and residents of care homes and their families to celebrate the innovative practice and hard work that has taken place by care homes during the coronavirus outbreak

To gather learning opportunities for care homes, Local Authority and health services to enable improvements for residents into the future.

If you would like to share your experience or would like further information please contact Karen Wilson, Senior Engagement Officer on  01942 834666  or email karen.wilson@healthwatchwiganandleigh.co.uk

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Wigan Council
Lancashire County Council
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Care Quality Commission
NHS England

Registered charity number 1167858 - Registered office: Thompson House Equestrian Centre, Off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire, WN6 0PP

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