Festive messages from our Partners across Morecambe Bay

Date posted: 1st December 2021

Our Partners and colleagues from Third Sector and Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations from across the Bay look back on 2021 and share their hopes for 2022.

Dr Arun Thimmiah.jpgGP Dr Arun Thimmiah, Chair of Morecambe Bay Primary Care Collaborative, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is great to look forward to embracing new ways of working with the evolving NHS commissioning landscape, Place-Based Partnerships and contribute to reducing the health inequalities working alongside the other practices in our Primary Care Networks.”

Councillor Ann Thomson, Barrow Borough Council leader, said: "With 2021 drawing to an end it’s time to look towards the new year with fresh hope, goals and ambitions as we set our priorities for 2022.

"For the year ahead we are committed to continued vital progress towards a lower-carbon future for our borough.

"As part of this, we hope to have a network of rapid electric vehicle charging points installed in car parks across Barrow by April while Low Carbon Barrow grants for businesses and organisations have recently been launched. It’s important we keep the ball rolling and create positive change for the planet wherever we can.

"For many people, 2021 remained an incredibly difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many families were still grieving their loss, children and young adults were trying to catch up with their education, people remained isolated and a number of businesses continued to struggle. In 2022 I want to see us recover strongly as a borough as we learn to live with the virus - with many of the inequalities amplified and gaps opened up by the pandemic last year narrowed or closed altogether.

"My final wish as we go into 2022 is for people to be kind. We all know that it costs absolutely nothing to show kindness to others. If Covid has taught us anything, it's that the smallest act of kindness can make the biggest difference to someone’s day."

David Allen.pngDavid Allen, Chief Executive Officer for Cumbria CVS, said: “At Cumbria CVS, we believe that looking backwards helps us look forwards…Looking back, I am immensely proud of our staff and volunteer team for the enormous contribution they made in supporting organisations and individuals throughout the first year of the pandemic.  Looking forward – I hope that the Health and Care sector (and others!) recognise this and the huge importance that the wider VCFSE sector can make when working as an equal, trusted partner.  Together, we can make Cumbria an even better place to live.”

Jamie Haxby, Assistant Pastor for Hope Church Lancaster, said: "What a year it’s been! It’s been a fantastic year for us to further new partnerships and together develop what we did in the pandemic for the long-term future.  We can wait to keep working on the bay volunteers project and take things to the next level."

Bay Trust Radio presenters broadcasting from home.pngJohn Williamson, President & Station Manager for Bay Trust Radio, said: “2021 has been a year that has been difficult for charities like Bay Trust Radio unable to raise funds but with the generosity of our volunteer’s donating money and small grants during the year we have been able to keep our heads above water. During lockdown, our volunteers continued to broadcast from bedrooms, and we have been able to continue the radio service 24/7. 

“In December we will begin broadcasting throughout Morecambe Bay on DAB radio bringing the radio service to thousands promoting health and wellbeing. 

"2022 will be our 44th year of service and we are planning to resume our fundraising events during the year to promote health and wellbeing and continuing the radio service that all the team are proud of. Also, we will be opening a new studio at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.”

Lorraine Jones, Macmillan Information and Support Service Manager, UHMBT, said: “Our Macmillan Information and Support Service (MCISS) Assistant now has a substantive post thanks to the Trust. The Service has continued to support the people of Morecambe Bay throughout 2021, despite COVID restrictions. We have been working closely with the cancer Teams, supporting many patients from the point of diagnosis with positive feedback from both staff and patients.”

Dr Patrick Haslam.jpgDr Patrick Haslam, Clinical Lead for Morecambe Bay Respiratory Network, said: “The past year has seen our teams put in Herculean efforts to get community and primary care respiratory services up and running and reducing waiting times significantly for patients. We’re so proud of their efforts. 

"We hope to see the Morecambe Bay Respiratory Network (MBRN) rolled out across Morecambe Bay to bring our specialised services and support to all patients in Morecambe Bay!”

Jenny Brumby, Around the Combe Community Group Co-ordinator,Around the Combe Community Group volunteers.jpg said: “As we look back at 2021 we are proud of the work that has been achieved in our area. Although Millom is one of the most isolated communities in Cumbria we pride ourselves on our proactive resilience.

“By working with Bay Health and Care Partners and all Third Sector groups we can help so many people. We feel positive as we go forward into 2022 that our joint work ethic will continue to support the most vulnerable people in our area. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our amazing volunteers who continue to go above and beyond what is asked of them.”

Alison Nicholson.jpgAlison Nicholson, Lead Nurse and Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Kendal Integrated Care Community said: “2021 has been a year of a mixture of reflection and hope for health and happiness in our town. Our team has co-located with our Primary Care Network colleagues and great relationships have transpired. We have continued working with our population with mental health needs, our rural population and those living with frailty to name a few!

“The team has been pivotal in supporting the delivery of the COVID vaccines in care homes, those with a need to be seen at home and those living with a learning disability. Lucy our case manager welcomed a new baby and we look forward to her return in the Spring. Our lunch bunch resumed and went from strength-to-strength with some 30 older people enjoying a rotational slot in the parish church hall.

“We thank our colleagues and key partners within primary, secondary and the Third Sector and wish them a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2022!”

BHCP0002PMP L-R James Page, Laurence Griffin, Neal Brace, Mark Mellar, Pam Brier and Dr Mathias Tautz.jpgPam Brier, Pain Management Practitioner, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: "During the covid pandemic, the pain service has had to adapt the way it works as many other services have. We’ve had to embrace change and look and be more creative in our ways of working. We are very proud as a team to have started a pilot pain management programme at the back end of last year when it was very difficult in terms of venue location and the number of patients, we were able to facilitate due to social distancing.

"On successful completion of the pilot programme, we have run two further programmes this year at Rylands House in Lancaster with really positive outcomes and feedback from the patients involved.

“We have also been able to get up and running again with our one-to-one sessions which are focused specifically on patients who may find it difficult attending or being involved in group sessions. We’ve also managed to embrace the Attend Anywhere video consultation for our one-to-one self-management programme as well. The feedback from patients has been excellent as they feel they are able to engage much better being in their own environment at home.

“The whole aim of our group pain management programme and our one-to-one self-management programme is to deliver the holistic patient-centred approach to healthcare whereby the complexity of our chronic pain patients' needs are met. We focus on all aspects of that patient’s life addressing the educational needs of chronic pain, anxiety, stress and depression and the impact that has on chronic pain, activity and diet. We also focus on medication management.

“Our aims for 2022 are to increase our group sizes, thereby providing more effective management for our patients. We’re also looking to extend the service to South Cumbria as sessions are currently held in Lancaster. The aim is to provide an effective, alternative approach to chronic pain management whereby previously we had looked at injection therapies and analgesia. We see these as very exciting times for not only our patients but for our service as a whole.”

Alison StainthorpeAlison Stainthorpe, Chief Executive Officer for CancerCare, said: "As for everyone, 2021 was a challenging year for CancerCare with the continued uncertainties of Covid disrupting our services and fundraising. However, as the football saying goes: “attack is the best form of defence” and I was inspired with the effort shown by all our staff to counteract it with innovative new online therapy sessions and “virtual” fundraising events. The highlights for me were the launch of our new website and refreshed branding, opening our new Morecambe Centre and the Cross Bay Walk in August. After 18 months of being unable to run any mass participation events, the sight of 500 people gathered together, enjoying each other’s company on the beautiful sands, was an inspirational and emotional experience."

GP Dr Alison Johnston said: “Looking back at 2021, it has been a difficult year for Mid-Furness Integrated Care Community's health and recovery programme but we have adapted well, taking things online or outside via The HARRI Van. We are looking forward to 2022 to build on all our work from previous years, particularly working on COVID recovery and prevention of childhood obesity and working with our excellent community group members.”

Natalia Wealleans-Turner.pngNatalia Wealleans-Turner, Cumbria CVS The Building Better Opportunities: Getting Cumbria to Work Manager, said: “The Building Better Opportunities: Getting Cumbria to Work project team reflects on the importance of our continued ability to be flexible and adapt our delivery approaches and working practices to meet not only the needs of our vulnerable participants but also the health and well-being of our staff during this challenging time. Looking ahead to 2022 our project team hope to help even higher numbers of economically inactive e.g. carers, parents, and unemployed people from across Barrow and the South Lakes move towards and into meaningful employment and to support our local business plug their vacancies, all of which contributes positively to our collective social and economic recovery from Covid."

Dr Philip Batty, Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine, said: "My reflections of 2021 are of the great community effort to vaccinate people against covid. The solutions to so many of our problems are in the kindness and efforts of local communities. My hopes for 2022 are that we focus on our own lifestyle (diet, exercise and social connection)  to support each other to maximise our own health and well-being, whatever challenges we face."

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