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Free Community Health Course

17 Sep

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Lindsey talks about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy

17 Sep

As part of International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awareness day, Sheffield City Council is highlighting the effects of drinking alcohol whilst pregnant.

Lindsey, grandmother to Nathaniel who was born with FASD, spoke to us about the effects of mothers drinking alcohol whilst pregnant.

Lindsey said: “I started to notice Nathaniel acting differently by the time he went to school, he would be withdrawn, he would have extreme emotional reactions to situations, he would lose control of what he was doing, and in some instances he reverted back to being incontinent.

“Nathaniel is a beautiful, warm-hearted young boy who struggled to express his emotions. Due to fear and unease, incontinence was a way for Nathaniel to express his distress; I would have to leave work and pick him up, which resulted in him feeling much safer.

“The school were fantastic with him; he was referred to CAMHS where we went through a long process of elimination trying to determine Nathaniel’s diagnosis. I had always had a feeling it wasn’t ADHD and he wasn’t on the Autistic spectrum, but we had to make sure we covered all areas.

“By chance, someone who had worked alongside Nathaniel had suggested I read about FASD. I spent the evening researching and immediately knew this was what had affected Nathaniel. This was extremely distressing as I came to the realisation that my lovely grandson had been born with a brain injury, one that required a lifetime adjustment.”

FASD is not always identifiable in babies as they don’t always show physical markers, this can result in misdiagnosis.

In Nathaniel’s case, there were physical markers but this was not picked up by healthcare professionals at the time as FASD was not so widely known.

Lindsey added: “Nathaniel was born with a suspected heart murmur; there was a difference in his facial features which I am now able to recognise. During my daughter’s pregnancy, she never confessed to drinking as much as she did, she was presentable and she always attended her appointments sober.

“Life now can be extremely difficult for Nathaniel, he has to have routine, he has short-term memory loss and he has very little empathy. I make sure I am patient with him, that he has support and that I also have a lot of support, I am very lucky to have the support that I do have. My family are brilliant and so is the school that Nathaniel attends.

“It is hard when people assume he is misbehaving, he is not doing this intentionally and his incorrect choices are not done wilfully; he doesn’t have the ability to make correct choices all the time. This is the sad part of FASD, while he does listen to me, he is just unable to access certain parts of his brain that other people can do so easily.

“My message to expectant mothers is this – FASD is totally preventable if people don’t drink. You don’t have to be an alcoholic, you don’t have to binge drink, one drink whilst cooking your meal at home can have a lifetime effect on your baby.

“If you drink when you’re pregnant, your baby is drinking too.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families and Baby Safe Champion at Sheffield City Council, said:

“We know that drinking alcohol whilst pregnant can have a major impact on the health of your baby, and Lindsey and Nathaniel’s powerful story helps us all to understand the real impact this has had on their lives.

“As a baby safe champion for Sheffield, my message to all expectant mums is please don’t drink whilst you’re pregnant. Keep you and your baby healthy to give you both the best possible start in your new lives together.”

There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. If you or anyone you know needs help or support about this issue, call Sheffield Treatment and Recovery Team (START) on 0114 305 0500 for free, confidential support.

For more information on how to keep you baby safe, please visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/babysafe

Sheffield drivers reminded to put safety first around roadworks

17 Sep

The plea comes from Sheffield City Council’s Highways Maintenance contactor, Amey, following a survey into road workers safety, where Sheffield scored just above the national average.

However, despite achieving an above average score for overall road worker safety, 62% of Sheffielders have admitted to not being as safety conscious as they should be when negotiating roadworks – compared to a 59% UK average.

The research, which was carried out on behalf of Amey,  reveals a majority of UK road users admit to driving in ways that put themselves, workers and other road users at risk of injury or even, death.

Melissa Wise, Operations Director at Streets Ahead said:

“Whilst the figures for Sheffield are just above the national average, there’s still a long way to go to ensure that our workers feel completely safe when carrying out their job on the city’s roads.

“Our programme of works is vast and we’re often working across multiple locations throughout Sheffield at one time. What’s more, we regularly carry out work during night time hours to avoid further disruption during peak travel times. However, this poses its own challenges for our teams, particularly during the winter when it’s darker and weather conditions are more unpredictable.

“The majority of people do drive responsibly but there has been a number of incidents where restrictions or diversions have been ignored, which is not acceptable or safe.

“We know diversions and disruption can cause frustration for drivers, but it’s sometimes essential for us to close roads and that’s usually when we see a rise in incidents. Our workers are there to do their job and it’s not right for them to face fear of injury whilst on site.”

Recently, in Sheffield, where a road closure was in place during resurfacing works, a car attempted to drive through the closure and, despite attempts by on-site workers to inform the driver of the closure, the driver continued, parking up further down the street only to obstruct ongoing work.

Unfortunately, in addition to dangerous driving, Streets Ahead employees have also experienced offensive behaviour, with many having suffered physical and verbal abuse whilst doing their jobs on the streets of Sheffield.

“We’ve had numerous incidents involving threats of physical violence and actual physical violence to our workforce and our sub-contractors. We’ve also had operatives who have been clipped by cars as they’ve sped past,” added Melissa.

“With the number of vehicles on our roads continuing to rise each year, and with darker nights and wintry conditions on the horizon, we want to remind Sheffield drivers to take extra care when travelling around roadworks and always put safety first.”

The findings echo recent research undertaken by Highways England, which revealed a catalogue of serious incidents and near misses across the country, ranging from motorists driving into coned-off areas, to physical and verbal abuse of workers.

As part of the city-wide highways maintenance Streets Ahead contract, roads and pavements across Sheffield are being upgraded and maintained by Amey until 2037, creating a much improved infrastructure for years to come.

To find out more about the Streets Ahead programme of works visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetsahead

Be ready for winter in good time this year by visiting www.sheffield.gov.uk/winter to find out more about our service.

Sheffield Walking Festival

10 Sep

10 days. 40 walks. 1 amazing city.

Strap on your boots and take in Sheffield on foot as Sheffield Walking Festival returns 13 – 22 September 2019. Over ten days, the festival presents a host of enjoyable walks for a range of abilities, with plenty to see and discover along the way.

The festival celebrates all sides of Sheffield with 40 routes of varying lengths and themes. Explore the city’s varied heritage and fascinating suburbs on urban strolls or venture out to Sheffield’s dramatic borders that overlap with the stunning Peak District National Park for something more challenging. See the 2019 Walk Programme

All walks are FREE. 

Men Only Wellbeing Workshops

10 Sep

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Dementia Friendly Sporting Memories Cafe- Hillsborough Library

3 Sep

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Ageing Friendly Sheffield – local project handout information

31 Jul

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