Tips to cope with back to school anxiety

After a relaxing summer away from school, it can be nice to begin looking forward to the new school year and the new challenges that lay ahead. However, if this feeling of excitement is replaced by a strong feeling of anxiety and doubt, the next week or so can feel like one big nightmare. 

Whether you are a pupil, teacher, or someone supporting these people – It’s important to try and deal with these feelings early, before they begin to affect school life and possibly the quality of education or job progress. 

The Ajuda team have put together some tips to cope with this feeling of anxiety in the hope that we can support anyone struggling at the moment. If you feel your child may be suffering from back to school anxiety, give some of these strategies a try.

  1. Talk over the concerns

Try to have an open conversation with them about what it is that’s causing the worry. You could perhaps encourage them to write them out into a list. Visually reading the problems can help to break them down and sometimes help them to see that there aren’t that many worries in the first place. Let them know that they can come back to you at any time if they feel worried or anxious, and you’ll always have time to sit and talk to them about it. 

  1. Plan how to overcome these if possible

When you are consumed with anxiety, it can be difficult to see a way out of the situation and things can seem hopeless. You can support the person by helping them go through their concerns and try to find solutions to some. If they are worried about struggling to make friends, what ways could they start a conversation? If they’re worried about getting lost or missing the bus, could they call anyone for help or find an alternative route? 

  1. Focus on the positives 

Just like the list of worries, you could also encourage them to share the things they will look forward to about going back to school. They may have friends they haven’t seen over the holidays, or a favourite piece of playground equipment that’s only available on the school grounds. The list can help to relieve some anxiety and replace it with excitement. 

  1. Go through some calming techniques

If you are concerned that the anxiety and stress could become overwhelming for them during school, go through some techniques that can help to relieve anxiety. Some people who regularly deal with anxiety recommend strategies such as deep breathing, or making a list of all the things in a room of a particular colour. These can help to control breathing and focus their mind on something other than the difficult situation. 

If you’d like to learn more about supporting someone with anxiety, in less than 6 week’s time Ajuda will be hosting our first Talking Mental Health National Conference at Cardiff City Stadium on October 10th. The day will include inspiring stories from people who have lived with and overcome their mental health struggles, along with talks from charities and professionals involved in Mental Health Awareness. 

If you’d like to join us on the day to learn more about mental health and tips on wellbeing, please order a ticket here.

Travel health tips for your summer adventures!

It’s that exciting time of year again where many of us are planning to pack up our suitcases and head to a warmer climate for our summer holidays – we hope you have something fun planned! For those who have set their sights on travelling abroad for their holidays, there will be lots to prepare and pack for your journey. It’s also a good idea to prepare yourself for any potential health risks so you can deal with them quickly and easily.

One of the most common holiday complaints are sickness bugs, which can be caused by a number of factors. To make sure you make the most of your hard-earned holiday, here are some top tips for keeping sickness bugs away when holidaying abroad.

 

Food poisoning

Some countries you will travel to may not have the same food safety standards as we do in the UK, and also some hotels may just simply not be up to scratch when cooking and preparing food. All-inclusive holidays have the highest reports of food poisoning based on insurance claims – this could be due to the buffet-style food that is often offered at meal times and the large quantities of food being cooked on-site.

Things to look out for:

  •   Lukewarm food – this suggest it has been left out for a while after being cooked, make sure your food is piping hot
  • Undercooked food – check your meat is cooked properly before eating any, and perhaps ask for things to be cooked a bit longer (such as steak) when ordering for extra reassurance.
  • Unclean settings – if a restaurant, shop or takeaway has visible signs of uncleanliness, it would be a good idea to give these places a miss!

If you have eaten something that has been improperly stored, prepared or cooked, you may experience symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and dehydration caused by infections including salmonella, E coli and campylobacter.

 

Contaminated Water Bugs 

Not all countries have the same standards of water cleanliness as we do in our taps, which is why you may have already been encouraged in the past to buy bottled water when travelling abroad in the past. Not only is drinking water a cause of sickness in people, but also the water from a swimming pool or hot tub.

Top Tips:

  • Avoid having ice in your drinks from restaurants or bars, as they will likely have used tap water for these as we do at home. When the ice melts we drink the contaminated water.
  • Don’t jump straight into the pool or hot tub – take some time to check if the water appears to be clean and relatively free from insects or dirt.
  • Even if the pool is clean, be careful not to swallow too much water, as the cleaning chemicals inside the water may also cause sickness.

 

If some contaminated water is drunk, the person may be affected by cryptosporidium, a parasite which causes watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever.

Sickness bug from other guests

Hotels, restaurants, poolside areas and many other places can also be a cause of sickness, as bugs can travel much more quickly if people are densely populated in an area such as those mentioned.

There is no real way of avoiding these types of bugs, however if there is news of a sickness bug travelling around your hotel it may be worth asking your travel company to try to provide alternative accommodation to ensure you are able to continue enjoying your holiday.

Treatment

All of the conditions mentioned above can usually be treated with over the counter medicines such as immodium, and by keeping yourself hydrated with bottled water, getting rest and taking things slowly.

If symptoms do persist, worsen or you have other cause for concern – seek medical attention immediately to be on the safe side. Before travelling you can research local doctors and hospitals to ensure you are fully prepared for whatever happens.

Ajuda offer a wide variety of courses focussed on treating common holiday minor illnesses and injuries, both in our online courses and our in-house training courses at the Cardiff Bay Training centre.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about our courses on offer and book one, either call 02920 576883 or email admin@ajuda.org.uk.

Tips for dealing with exam results stress

After an intense few months of revising and worrying for many young people undertaking GCSE and A-Level exams, the results of their hard work will be revealed over the next few weeks, with A-level results this year taking place on 15th August, and GCSE’s on the 22nd. 

Although some may say that the hardest part is over, for many young people the days leading to results day will be full of anxiety, stress and doubt.  If you have a child, or care for someone who is dealing with the pressure of a doubtful exam results day, here are some positive steps you can take, and bits of advice to give them before and during the day. 

Discourage overuse of social media

In the lead-up to the day, and particularly the day itself, their social media feeds will be full of people posting about the upcoming results. Although some posts may help them see that others are in the same boat, the continuous reminder of these emotions may cause the young person to overthink things and cause further worry and panic. If they do not get the results they were hoping for, social media will be full of celebratory posts which could make them feel even worse. 

Suggesting some calming activities that could distract them such as a walk, or watching a favourite film.

Remind them that exam results aren’t everything

Although it may feel like the most important thing at the moment, there are so many qualities and skills in a person that can’t be measured by school exams. Remind them of the good qualities they have that make them special, and reassure them that no matter what results they have, you will be proud of their hard work and support them moving forward in life. 

Look to the future 

It’s important to remind the young person that even if they do not get the results they wanted or expected, there are always alternative routes to gain the life skills, qualifications and work experience they need to go forward in life. If they are in the right mindset, you could help them look for their next step – whether that be further learning through school, apprenticeship, college or university. 

Helping them look forward to the future will help to keep their spirits up, and may relieve some feelings of worry and anxiety. 

On our Youth Mental Health First Aid course, Ajuda cover topics including stress and anxiety, with lots of practical tips on ways of dealing with these with young people in your care. Our courses can be booked in-house at our Cardiff Bay Training Centre, or at a location of your choice for groups of 12 or more.  

Ajuda are also busy organising our upcoming Talking Mental Health Conference in Cardiff City Stadium on October 10th (World Mental Health Day). We have talks on the day about mental illnesses such as anxiety, bipolar, depression and more, along with a selection of mental health organisations, charities and services at our exhibition. 

You can order tickets for the conference here.

Overheating Kills: Tips for elderly care in hot weather.

Although we all love the warm weather, after a few days of non-stop stuffiness and sweating, it can become uncomfortable, and even more so for elderly people.

In times of extreme heat, it’s important to check in on your elderly family, friends and neighbours regularly to make sure they are safe and well. As we age, our bodies find it more difficult to adjust to changes in condition, this along with other age-related illnesses and various medications can affect our ability to cool down. During heatwaves, we often see an increase of heat related illnesses and even heat-related deaths if it becomes too extreme.

If you are caring for an elderly person this summer, take a look at our blog to refresh yourself on some of the ways you can prevent the heat from making them unwell and spot any issues early on.

Tips for keeping cool. 

  • The hottest time of the day is between 11am – 3pm, so advise them to avoid spending time outside during this period
  • Encourage them to drink cold drinks regularly. Make sure the fridge is stocked up with plenty of fluids.
  • Suggest they avoid much physical activity unless necessary, but if they would like to keep active or go outside encourage this to be done in the evening.
  • In extreme heat, windows and blinds can be closed to keep a room cool
  •  Loose and cool clothing will help to avoid overheating
  • If they are uncomfortable, having a cool bath or shower can help
  • Discourage drinking caffeine and alcohol as these can cause dehydration

Signs of Overheating

  • Breathlessness
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Headache
  • Thirst

To treat the initial signs of overheating, the tips above such as a cool area, cold bath and rehydration should be followed to attempt to naturally cool the person down. If not treated, overheating can turn to heatstroke.

Heatstroke Symptoms

  • Fainting or feeling faint
  • High body temperature
  • Strong, rapid pulse or slow, weak pulse
  • Behavioural changes
  • Staggering
  • Lack of sweating in extreme heat
  • Dry Skin
  • Confusion
  • Coma

If you notice any of the above symptoms, call the emergency services immediately for help as there are medical measures that can be taken to relieve the symptoms of heatstroke.

If you would like to refresh your knowledge on some key topics surrounding elderly care, Ajuda have a variety of online Health & Social Care courses to develop awareness of Strokes, Diabetes, Dementia and Mental Health. Along with this we also cover topics such as Duty of Care, Fire Safety, End of Life Care and Safe Handling of Medicines.

These courses are a quick and inexpensive way to refresh your knowledge on key caring topics, and ensure you are prepared to save lives in any situation. They can be done at your own pace, from the comfort of your home.

If you would like to know more about enrolling onto any of our online courses, please contact the office today.

 

Tips for treating bites and stings this summer

With summer in full swing and the temperature rising, we all find ourselves spending more time outdoors making the most of it with barbecues, days at the beach or the park and generally being more active. In the summer, we also see a higher level of activity from insects such as wasps and bees – that are attracted to sweet smells (such as alcohol), food and plants. This perfect combination can sometimes lead to insects getting a little too close to us, and biting or stinging us as a defensive response. 

This week’s blog has some handy tips on how to diagnose and deal with a variety of bites and stings that might happen when you’re out and about, so you can be prepared in the situation. 

Wasp and Hornet Stings

Most cases of wasp and hornet stings cause a sharp and sudden pain in the first instance, which can be followed by a red mark on the area and swelling. In some cases this can last up to a week, but often will subside within a day or so. 

Bee Stings

Bee stings are very much like wasp and hornet stings, but Bees often lose their stingers in the process which can remain in a person’s skin. 

Mosquito Bites

Mosquito bites appear as small red patches on the skin, which can be very itchy. In some extreme cases blisters can also develop. 

Tick Bites

Tick bites don’t tend to cause pain, so they can be difficult to notice right away. Symptoms of a tick bite include a small red lump on the skin, swelling, Itchiness, blistering and bruising. Ticks attach themselves to a human to feed on blood, so these would need to be removed like bee stings. 

Horsefly Bite

A horsefly bite can cause significant pain, mostly appears as a large raised rash and can bring other worrying symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, wheezing and swelling to parts of the body.  

Treatment of stings and bites

In most cases, bites and stings do not require medical attention and can be treated as follows: 

  •  Bee stings and ticks will need to be removed. Bee stings should be scared out of the skin with a hard edge such as your fingernail or a bank card. Ticks can be removed carefully with tweezers

  • Wash the affected area with water and soap

  • Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to the skin for at least 10 minutes.

  • To reduce swelling, the affected area should be raised if possible.

  • Avoid scratching or itching the affected area to reduce the risk of infection   

 

If symptoms persist or get worse, it could be worth giving 111 a ring and explaining the situation for some advice and guidance.  

In extreme cases, a sting can cause a severe allergic reaction and lead to anaphylactic shock. If you notice the person has the following symptoms, you must call 999 immediately. 

  • wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • a swollen face, mouth or throat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • a fast heart rate
  • dizziness or feeling faint
  • difficulty swallowing
  • loss of consciousness

If the person is know to have an allergy to stings, they may have an Adrenaline Auto Injector (such as an EpiPen) in their possession which could be used to relieve the symptoms of anaphylactic shock. Make sure you know how to use the particular injector before attempting to administer it. 

You should remove a sting if applicable to stop the venom spreading, and lay the person down flat unless they are pregnant, unconscious or having breathing difficulties.  If symptoms persist after 5-15 minutes, and there is another injector available, you should use this whilst waiting for the emergency services to arrive.  

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If you would like to know more about treating someone in an emergency situation such as anaphylactic shock, Ajuda offer courses on first aid on-site at our training centre or at a location of your choice. You can choose between paediatric, emergency or work-based first aid depending on your training requirements. 

 

Please click here to view out First Aid Training Courses. 

Talk to Us month: Tips on Talking About Mental Health

The Ajuda team are dedicated to doing everything in our ability to spread as much knowledge and understanding of mental health as possible. Through our range of courses, events, and awareness blogs we want to teach our customers and readers a little bit about mental health and wellbeing to help others in their daily lives. In recent weeks, we have featured blogs on PTSD, Workplace Mental Health and Children’s Mental Health – and we hope to continue writing these to help people to save lives. 

This month is Time to Talk month, which is a campaign organised by the Samaritans charity to raise awareness of what their service offers to local communities. Some branches will be arranging special sessions and events to connect with local people, so take a look on the Samaritans’ website to see what your local branch has planned.

This week’s blog will keep with the talking theme, and will explore ways we can encourage conversation about mental health and talk about it with others. 

How you can open up a conversation.

Just asking how the people around you are feeling on a regular basis can be an important step. It develops a bond and a level of trust where people can feel more comfortable opening up to you, as they know you care and will listen. 

If you are concerned about someone in particular who is showing signs of ill mental health, set aside some time to talk to them with no interruptions or distractions, in a place where they feel comfortable. Some people you will speak to may want to avoid an intense face-to-face conversation, so it could also be a good idea to ask them what they would like to do (e.g walk, listen to some music). 

Although you may need to prompt the person with some questions at times, it is important to allow them to lead the conversation and share as little or as much as they would like.  

Tips for listening

Make it clear to the person that you are listening to what they are saying with simple gestures such as eye contact, nodding and small verbal responses. You could also repeat back some of the things they say to reinforce the fact that you are listening and understand what they are saying. This tip can also be useful for the person to hear back their feelings in order to process them more fully. 

Asking open-ended questions are the best way to allow the person to explain the situation fully in their words. Instead of saying “I can see you are feeling down” you could try “how are you feeling at the moment?” and “when did you start to feel this way?”

Keep an open mind when listening to friends or colleagues speaking about their feelings. You may not agree with some of the things they will say, but it is important to try and remain balanced so you can offer the best advice. 

How you could respond. 

It can help to discuss some ideas with them about ways they might want to try and feel better in the future. Remember to keep up the open-ended questions, rather than making plans for the person and possibly taking control of the situation – it’s important that they feel in control.

As much as you may like to give the person a range of tips, ideas and advice, it is also important to remember that you are not a medical professional and in some cases it may be best to signpost the person to some professional help too. You can offer to go to the doctors with them, or support them to tell other people such as their family. 

Make it clear that if they ever want to speak about it again, they can arrange another time to speak to you and that day-to-day things will not change and they will not be treated differently based on what you have heard. 

Remember that if you fear for their safety, or think they may have already hurt themselves, you must contact a professional immediately. 


For more tips and advice, Ajuda will be hosting our first Talking Mental Health National Conference on on 10th October 2019 at Cardiff City Stadium – providing a day of keynote speakers, expert knowledge, free resources and professional advice concerning mental health and wellbeing. Tickets cost £95.00 for a full day including a 2 course lunch and refreshments, and can be ordered from our Eventbrite page here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talking-mental-health-national-conference-tickets-61777247410

Ajuda proudly wins Veterans Business of the Year!

We are delighted to announce that Ajuda became the proud winners of the Veterans Business of the Year at the Welsh Veterans Awards earlier this week. The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 26th June at the Village Hotel in Swansea, and welcomed a selection of Wales’ most successful veterans for a night of celebration and recognition of their achievements. 

The Welsh Veterans Awards is an annual award ceremony in association with ABF Soldiers’ Charity, a cause which our director Dawn holds very closely to her heart. Dawn served in the military for 12 years, where she gained the strength and skills she possesses today, and met her husband who also served in the military.   

On their website, the Welsh Veterans Awards announce: “In Wales, we have a huge number of highly successful Armed Forces Veterans that have made the transition from the Military to civilian life and we want to reward these veterans who have gone above and beyond and excelled in their relevant fields. They will act as role models for future service leavers.”

It is a huge honour for Ajuda to have been recognised among the collection of fantastic businesses and individuals who were nominated and in attendance on the night. It was amazing to be part of such an inspiring and motivating occasion, in aid of a fantastic charity, ABF Soldiers’ Charity. 

This year is also very significant to the charity, as they are also celebrating 75 years in service, having been founded in 1944. The charity provide a lifetime of support to soldiers, veterans and their immediate families in a large number of ways such as financial aid, housing, elderly care, access to opportunities through training and education, along with so much more. 

Later this year, in September, Dawn and her husband will be taking on a big challenge to raise money for the ABF Soldiers’ Charity. They will be climbing Mount Toubkal in Morocco, the highest mountain in North Africa. Training for the climb has been well underway for months, and now there’s just two months to go!  

You can donate to Dawn and Ianto’s fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/MountToubkal19 

Ajuda are also honouring the 75 year anniversary of the charity by offering all veterans 10% off any of our in-house or online courses. If you wanted to try something new and develop your skills, there’s no time better! To take a look at our courses, please click the links below. 

Online Training

Local Training

PTSD Awareness: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

This week on the 27th of June the world acknowledges PTSD Awareness Day to help raise knowledge, understanding and awareness of the causes and symptoms of PTSD, and how we can support those who are suffering with it in their daily lives.

The date of PTSD Awareness Day has been selected for a poignant but heartbreaking reason. In 2007, Staff Sergeant Joe Biel died after suffering from PTSD; Biel committed suicide after his return from duty to his home state. SSgt. Biel’s birthday, June 27, was selected as the official PTSD Awareness Day, which is now observed every year.

Suffering with PTSD can take over a life, and make people feel like there is no way out of their mental struggles – but there are ways that everyone can help them understand their feelings and realise that support is available out there to them.  

This week, our blog will provide an overview of some signs and symptoms of PTSD, and ways that we can provide support to those living with the condition.

PTSD: What is it?  

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health condition which can develop after a person has survived, or sometimes witnessed, a traumatic or violent life-changing event. People who have experienced events and circumstances such as military combat, sexual assault, road traffic accidents, bereavement of a loved one, terrorist attacks, traumatic childbirth and more could develop PTSD in the aftermath.

Due to the level of trauma the incident has caused, sometimes our brains cannot process the event fully, which can cause the person to develop PTSD as the brain attempts to process what has happened.  

Signs and Symptoms (provided by PTSDUK website)

Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

  • Hypervigilance (On constant ‘red alert’)
  • Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. Pounding heart, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Irrational and intense fear
  • Reduced tolerance to noise (hyperacusis)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being easily moved to tears
  • Panic attacks/anxiety/depression/mood swings
  • Feeling jumpy and easily startled
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Anger or aggressive behaviour
  • Tense muscles

Avoidance and numbing

  • Work-related or relationship problems
  • Inability to remember important aspect of the trauma
  • Loss of interest in activities and life in general
  • Sense of a limited future
  • Feeling numb and empty
  • Avoidance of people and places
  • Feeling isolated
  • Frequent periods of withdrawal into oneself

Re-experiencing the traumatic event

  • Flashbacks (Acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
  • Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
  • Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma

Other common symptoms

  • Feeling suicidal
  • Self harm and self-destructive tendencies
  • Feeling distrustful and suspicious/blaming others
  • Guilt, Shame, embarrassment or self blame
  • Misuse of alcohol/drugs/gambling and/or food
  • Exhaustion
  • Seeking out high-risk/dangerous pursuits
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Over-reactions to minor situations
  • Fear of being alone and fear of being in crowds

Ways you can help.

If you have a friend, loved one or colleague suffering with PTSD, you have already taken a great first step by reading this blog and other websites for advice and to learn more about the condition. Having PTSD can cause feelings of isolation, so being around for them, talking about things they want to talk about, and making it clear you are dedicated to helping them recover are the next steps.

Depending on the person, they may want to talk about the experience, or alternatively want to avoid conversations like that altogether. It’s important to allow the affected person to “lead the way” and let them make decisions on what they want to do. This will help them to feel in control of their environment and actions, which is important for recovery.  

Many of the treatments of PTSD are dependant on how the individual is coping with the condition. Steps that can aid the recovery can be developing routines, reinforcing trust, having something to look forward to in the future, reminding the person that they are valued and important and many more. There are so many different ways of supporting someone with PTSD, and people will respond to different things so it can be a case of trying different things and making note of what works and what doesn’t for the person you are supporting.

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If you would like further support and guidance for dealing with the condition, PTSD is covered in Ajuda’s Mental Health Courses, which are run monthly in our Cardiff Bay Training Academy. We can also offer this training in a venue of your choice for a group of 12 people.

Ajuda currently offer Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Level 1 in Mental Health Awareness.   You can view and book our Mental Health courses here: https://www.ajuda.org.uk/product-category/courses/mental-health-first-aid/

Useful Links: 

PTSD UK: https://www.ptsduk.org/

Mind: www.mind.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness: https://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-treatment/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

SANE: http://www.sane.org.uk/home

Learning Disability Week: No barriers to learning at Ajuda Training Academy.

Ajuda are dedicated to providing opportunities to as many individuals as possible, and are always interested in ways we can help more people gain vital skills and knowledge. Learning Disability Week is taking place from 17th-23rd June, and we are proud to provide opportunities to many different learners with a range of skills and abilities.

Learning disabilities charity Mencap conducted a survey of 300 18-35 year olds with learning disabilities, and the survey discovered that “49% would like to spend more time outside their house”, while “18% feel alone and cut off from other people”.

It is important that everyone feels they have the opportunity to meet new people and engage in new activities, which is why Ajuda aim to ensure there are no barriers to people wanting access to learning. We always strive to make our training inclusive and accessible for as many people as possible.

There are many ways we support learners with disabilities and limitations, in both our local training and online courses, which we offer in a huge range of subjects. If you are unsure whether our course would be suitable for a certain individual, please get in touch where our friendly team will do our very best to find a solution.

Some of the ways we can support learners…..

  • For people who struggle with sight, or with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and other reading related issues, we can provide a reader on-site to help the learner through any quizzes or exams that may be required as part of their course.
  • Similarly, if you struggle to read small print we can arrange to have our exam papers and resources supplied to you in larger print.
  • Many of our courses are practical and taught with a different approach to simply sitting down and writing out facts and figures. If your mind is suited to a more practical and active style of learning, our team will be happy to advise you of a suitable course.
  • We have recently taught a course in British Sign Language, and can offer many of our other courses including First Aid and Mental Health First Aid with the help of a BSL interpreter.
  • If booked for 12 or more people, we can provide training for a group wherever they feel comfortable, which can be ideal for individuals with many varieties of mobility, social or mental disabilities.

Last year, Ajuda became part of the Remploy Community Partner Network, and now work closely with Remploy, a leading provider of specialist employment and skills support for disabled people and those with health conditions.  

If you have any similar schemes or events that you feel Ajuda would be suited to, please let us know!

If you would like to learn more about learning disabilities, we have an online Learning Disability Awareness course available which provides an overview of some of the common types and causes of learning disabilities and how they affect people. The course also touches on how to adopt a person-centred approach, and ways to break down the stigma around learning disabilities.

Carers Week 2019: The Facts and Figures

According to Carers UK, “1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people) are carers”, with the figure set to rise in the next few years with a predicted 9 million people to be involved in a care-giving role by 2037. These people often struggle in silence, which is why Carer’s Week is important to show support to the millions of people involved in caring.

“Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.“ – Carersweek.org

This week’s blog will take a look at some facts and figures about caring in the UK from Care Trust and other sources, and the types of sacrifices people in care-giving roles make to provide their loved ones with comfort and support.

Caring and Working

  • Carers save the economy £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer
  • Over 3 million people juggle care with work, however the significant demands of caring mean that 1 in 5 carers are forced to give up work altogether.
  • Carer’s Allowance is the main carer’s benefit and is £64.60 for a minimum of 35 hours, equivalent to £1.85 per hour – the lowest benefit of its kind.

Caring and Wellbeing

  • People providing high levels of care are twice as likely to be permanently sick or disabled
  • 72% of carers responding to Carers UK’s State of Caring Survey said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring.
  • 61% said they had suffered physical ill health as a result of caring.
  • Over 1.3 million people provide over 50 hours of care per week.

Caring and Education

  • Young carers can find it hard to go to school/college/university or keep up with course work. They can be bullied and find it difficult to make or keep friends. They can take on responsibilities well beyond their years and have little time for play or socialising or to be children or young people.
  • Caring may mean that you have to put your chance of a career on hold or never have the opportunity to have a career and reach your full potential.
  • Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment, or training (NEET).
  • Based on Census figures there are estimated to be at least 376,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 16–25.

 

When in a caring role, it can be very difficult to find the time and support to develop your skills and knowledge in preparation for a future job, and the carers may sometimes feel that they are falling behind where their friends and colleagues have many opportunities to develop.

To fit around busy lives, Ajuda have a huge range of online training courses designed for individuals who are too busy to attend a physical training course. These courses can be paused at any point, so they’re great to fit in to a busy care-giving schedule as you can return to them as and when you would like.

Whether the learner wants to learn crucial skills for their current care role with our Health and Social Care courses, or want to gain some experience for the future in disciplines such as Business or Employability Skills – we have something for everyone on our website.

If you know any individuals currently in a caring role that would like to gain knowledge and skills, please point them to our website and social media where we also sometimes have some great discounts and give-aways for our courses too!

 

Children’s Mental Wellbeing is Just as Important as Physical – And Here’s Why.

This week is Child Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness on ways in which children are at risk of accidents every day, and how the adults in their care can be more aware of these potential accidents and in turn prevent them.

In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that young people’s mental wellbeing is just as important as their physical for long term positive development and a long and healthy life. Yet, our youth are left at risk every day of developing mental health issues as many can go unnoticed by those who are unaware of the signs.

Ajuda have recently launched our new Youth Mental Health First Aid course, which teaches adults how to assist adolescents who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, and equip adults with the knowledge and tools to deal with this on a First Aid basis.

In this week’s blog, we’re listing just some of the many ways youth mental illness can impact their daily life, which can also help you to diagnose an ongoing mental health condition in a young person.

Activity

Depending on the type of mental health condition the child is suffering with, they may lose interest in some of their favourite interest and hobbies, and in other tasks such as school or socialising with friends.

Keeping active and engaged with hobbies and activities has many benefits such as developing communication skills, fitness in the case of sports, confidence and much more.

 

Concentration

When an adolescent is having difficulty understanding and dealing with their emotions, having to focus on other things too can become a heavy burden – so they may seem distant and distracted at seemingly simple tasks.

Having a good level of concentration in school is crucial to ensuring they develop the knowledge and skills to further their education and set them up for life.

 

Behaviour

Having to deal with these negative emotions can also show in a young person’s behaviour, sometimes communicated in angry outbursts, get frustrated more easily, or sometimes take risks that they may not have taken before due to a feeling of hopelessness.

Dangerous and angry behaviour can cause significant risk, and could lead to them putting themselves in the way of potential of injury or harm.

 

Appetite & Sleep

Certain types of mental illness can cause people to eat and sleep noticeably more or less, or a variation where they may have periods of regular eating and sleeping and times where this pattern suddenly changes.

Maintaining a healthy level of sleep each night impacts so many crucial factors such as those points listed above, and eating can also have an effect on how healthy their body and mind is too.

 

If you’re concerned about a young person, or would like to know more about the ways of spotting ill mental health in the children in your care, we have ongoing courses in our Cardiff Bay Training centre which provide great knowledge and understanding – and could potentially save a life! We can also offer this course to groups of people either in our centre or in a location of your choice.

Take a look at our course description here. 

 

Ajuda proud to win business of the year at Zokit Springconf 2019!

It’s always an amazing feeling in the office when the Ajuda team are recognised for our efforts and achievements in educating people to save lives. So, the team are absolutely over the moon to be named as “Business of the Year 2019” at this year’s Zokit Sprinconf at Cardiff City Stadium!

The annual business conference took place this year on 16th May, and is always a key date in Ajuda’s calendar. With hundreds of visitors to meet and speak to, along with break-out business sessions throughout the day, it’s a great way to introduce Ajuda to new potential customers.

The awards gala lunch forms a big part of the Zokit Springconf, where Welsh businesses are recognised and highlighted for their achievements over the past 12 months. The independently judged “Business of the Year” award was sponsored by A&R Group, and presented by TV presenter Ruth Wignall.

Ajuda were also selected as a finalist for the “Winning Legacy” award, which is a testament to the fantastic achievements that our small but dedicated team have worked hard for this year.  

Director Dawn Evans also took time to present a session “Running a healthy and effective business”, as part of the fantastic programme of talks from Wales’ most successful entrepreneurs. The programme also featured inspiring talks from Paralympic gold medallist Mark Colbourne and former Wales rugby international Alix Popham,

Dawn spoke of the day: “We are thrilled and honoured to receive this award. It reflects the hard work put in by the talented team at Ajuda, who have helped the business become such a success.

Our mission is to educate people to save lives, and we’ll continue to grow and give even more people those life-saving skills. It was a fantastic day, with lots of knowledge and inspiration shared by other business owners.”

Ajuda would like to thank all of our staff, trainers, customers and colleagues who help us to achieve amazing results year on year. We can’t wait to see what the next 12 months bring for the Ajuda team!

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If you’d like to know more about the ways Ajuda stand out from the crowd, check out our About page for more information.

Our top-quality training courses are at the very heart of our business, and we run regular training at our Cardiff-based training academy, and also a large range of online training too.

To speak to one of our friendly and helpful staff, give our office a call on 02920 576883 or email admin@ajuda.org.uk