Win! £100 John Lewis voucher

Round & About

Win! A voucher giving you the chance to spend £100 on what you like at John Lewis & partners, including Waitrose

Who doesn’t love John Lewis? The John Lewis Partnership is the UK’s largest employee-owned business. The partnership owns two of the most iconic and trusted brands, has annual gross sales over £11.5bn and close to 400 shops across the UK. The story started more than a century ago when John Spedan Lewis began an experiment into a better way of doing business based on members’ happiness. As a co-owned business, John Lewis is committed to supporting the suppliers and local communities it works with. We have a £100 John Lewis & partners voucher to be won.

To enter, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 28th February

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Win! FIREDANCE tickets

Round & About

Win! Three pairs of tickets to see FIREDANCE, featuring Strictly’s Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer, up for grabs*

Pairing professionally for the first time, Strictly Come Dancing’s Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer will set temperatures soaring with their new Latin spectacular FIREDANCE touring the UK. Expect the sequins and feather boas to make way for hot pulsing beats, seductive choreography and passionate performances with an incredible live band.

We have a pair of tickets up for grabs for the show at Wycombe Swan on 6th March, another pair for G Live on 7th March and a pair for The Anvil in Basingstoke on Sunday, 15th March (*please specify which venue you’ d like; winners drawn on 21st February).

For more about the tour, visit www.firedancelive.co.uk

To enter, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 21st February

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Win! A Silent Pool hamper

Round & About

Win! A gin-lover’s gift hamper from Silent Pool Distillers including seven small-batch spirits & liquid garnish mists

The award-winning Silent Pool Distillers team, based in Albury, are offering a gorgeous hamper of their small-batch range of spirits and Silent Pool Gin Liquid Garnish Mists. This would make the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Created as an ode to the Surrey Hills and surrounding areas, Silent Pool Distillers’ small-batch range has both floral and fruity flavours for the perfect tipple every time. The winner of this competition will receive seven bottles of the Silent Pool Distillers’ small batch range as well as two Silent Pool Gin Liquid Garnish Mists. A gin lover’s dream!

Find out more about Silent Pool Distillers or buy for gin for you or someone you love, visit www.silentpooldistillers.com

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Talking Point: Russell Watson

Round & About

Liz Nicholls chats to singer and dad Russell Watson, 53, ahead of his 20th anniversary UK tour.

Q. Hello! Congratulations on 20 years since your album The Voice. How does that feel?
“Thank you! You’d expect to be more thrilled and grateful at the start of your career and then becoming used to it but for me it’s the other way around. I didn’t realise the significance of the record sales at the time. The Voice spent a year at number one in the charts and people kept congratulating me but at the time I was a bit ‘meh’ – I’d say, nah, Robbie Williams has done more, Elton’s done more. Now I look back and can’t believe the arena tours, the sales. It was just happening so quickly but I’m more grateful now.”

Q. How do you take care of your voice?
“I’ve always had to take care of my voice. If you don’t you pay the price later down the line. Dairy is an absolute no-go, as are fizzy drinks and anything spicy. I lived on chicken and boiled rice throughout the entirety of the last 25-date tour I did with Aled Jones, but he didn’t! I’d meet him in the canteen where Aled would be tucking into his meat & potato pie, chips, peas, gravy and a Diet Coke. I‘d ask him how he could have that before going on stage and he’d say ‘Well, that’s the downside of being a tenor!’ But I love Aled; we’ve become really close. It’s nice to have someone you can talk to and trust in the music industry.”

Q. You’ve worked with some stars – who would be your favourite?
“I’ve been very lucky. The list is endless and I’d never want to forget anybody. From Luciano Pavarotti at Hyde Park to Paul McCartney at the Nobel Peace prize awards in Oslo when we sang Let It Be. When I was a kid I remember sitting in my bedroom playing the Beatles bumper songbook and 15 years on I’m singing with the man himself, wow. Shaun Ryder, Meatloaf, Lulu, Mel C ¬– so many amazing people! Lionel Richie definitely stands out, and Cliff Richard; my mum was a massive fan of Cliff when we were kids.”

I haven’t ever stopped loving it!

Q. What’s your first memory of music?
“My grandad was a fantastic classical pianist trained to the highest level but sadly he had serious confidence issues so he never went on stage. But my earliest memories are of leaning against the back leg of his grand piano, falling asleep to the vibrations of the Chopin waltz.”

Q. You left school early didn’t you?
“Yes; I loved school but not from an academic perspective – I always felt I wasn’t ready for learning as a child. I learned more about life and started to read more after I’d left school – I’m not an advocate of leaving school early, though! I come from a working class background and I love my mum and dad to bits but they didn’t in anyway to encourage me to be academic. Maybe if I’d had parents who’d been more pushy I might have been. But I wouldn’t change anything.”

Q. Do you get stage fright?
“No not really! I’d been doing the clubs for years then in 99 I was invited to sing at Old Trafford for Manchester United’s last game of the season in what had been a truly iconic time for the team. I sang Nessun Dorma and walked off to see my dad at the side of the pitch with a tear in his eye (it was windy, he said!). He said: ‘were you not nervous?’ And I said no – I love it! And I’ve never stopped loving it. The more the merrier in terms of the crowd.”

Q. Do you love being a dad more than ever?
“Yes; my bond with my girls got even closer after getting ill with the tumours, particularly the second one when I nearly died. My eldest is 25 now and works with me and they’re both nearby. We pull funny faces and sing the wrong words to pop songs, crying with laughter. They bring the best and most stupid side out of me.”

Tickets

For all tour dates and to buy tickets

Adult care: Winter 2020

Round & About

We’ve put together some articles about planning for later life care as well as staying healthy & stimulated in our February guide.

CAREFUL PLANNING

Planning for your own – or family members’ – needs in terms of later-life care can be daunting. Where do you start? Here’s our advice on some of the practical elements of care.

People worldwide are living longer. Today, for the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond.

Today, 125 million people are aged 80+. And, of course, there is no “typical” older person. Some 80-year-olds have physical and mental capacities similar to many 20-year-olds. You need only look at Sir David Attenborough’s contribution, well into his nineties, as a golden example of ageing with grace.

If you’re dealing with the care of a parent you’ll know how overwhelming it can feel. And planning for your own later years can be stressful, but it’s worthwhile tackling this, one step at a time, for all concerned, when you can.

Paying for social care and support can be confusing and sometimes worrying. As a general rule, if you have less than £23,250 in savings, your care will be paid for, partly or in full, by your local council. NB: this figure does not include the value of your property unless you’re moving into a care home.

In some situations where poor health is involved, social care and support is provided by the NHS instead of your local authority. In these instances it’s free (and not means-tested). If you like, of course you can arrange care privately. If you’d like your council to arrange or pay towards your care, your first step is to request a needs assessment by calling your local social services department or getting in touch online.

Care options

A recent Better At Home report by the Live-In Care Hub revealed nearly 97% of us say we’d prefer to stay in our own homes as we get older. Many children choose to care for an elderly parent in their home, but it is worth bearing in mind the financial and emotional challenges this can bring, as well as how it can affect family dynamics. In addition to residential care, the third option is home or live-in care, made possible by a professional carer who lives with the older person.

Making changes

Home alterations such as stair lifts, or installing a downstairs shower room, may be needed. If you want to adapt your home, you may be eligible for financial support from your council to make small changes. If the local council recommends that you need minor adaptations that cost less than £1,000, such as grab rails, short ramps, a dropped curb or outside lights these can also be also provided and fitted free of charge.

For larger adaptations, you can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant. Major modifications, which can be costly, can be done free by the NHS if deemed essential. For impartial advice about the care options available in a parent’s home, call the Live-In Care Hub on 0330 311 2906. For support and advice you can also visit www.carersuk.org or call 0808 808 7777 on Mondays and Tuesdays, 10am-4pm, for support and advice.

Legal considerations

It’s important to seek legal advice if you’re worried about any aspect of an older family member’s care, or your own, such as power of attorney. Citizens Advice offers free advice on a wide range of issues, including benefits, housing or employment. The helpful charity team can provide advice over the phone or in person at one of their offices. Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk to find your local branch.

Law centres offer free legal advice across the country, covering topics such as benefits, employment, housing, immigration and asylum, discrimination and debt. Visit www.lawcentres.org.uk

Age UK doesn’t offer legal advice but the advice team can suggest reliable sources of information and advice to help you with your situation. Age UK runs a free national advice line that is open 8am to 7pm 365 days a year. To speak to someone, call 0800 678 1602.

BACK FOR GOOD

Local rehabilitation and fitness expert Tim Laskey explains more about how you can help protect & restore your spine

The importance of looking after your back cannot be overemphasised. Millions suffer from (predominantly low) back pain. Statistics vary, but suggest every year about 20% of us consult our GP about this.
Back pain can range from uncomfortable to excruciating and falls anywhere between inconvenient and totally debilitating. This is a serious problem, exacerbated by sedentary occupations, our obsession with social media, reduced physical activity and burgeoning obesity. The latter in particular places enormous compressive strains on the low back.

The human body has evolved over millions of years. We don’t so much use it, we neglect it, we abuse it, And in the Western World we’re paying a heavy price. Proper functioning of the spine is crucial to our wellbeing. The spine, of course, contains and protects the spinal cord.
The four movements involving the spine are

• Flexion – bending forward
• Extension – bending backwards
• Lateral flexion – bending sideways and
• Rotation – twisting.

All of these movements involve the low back which is, effectively, the hinge between the torso and the lower body. But – and this is so important – just about every movement we make involves the spine and the low back.

Wear and tear and aging take their toll.

Indisputably, though, the biggest problem is very low strength in the muscles, tendons and ligaments that make up the spine’s support structure. Add poor mobility and the deterioration of those crucial intravertebral cartilaginous discs and it’s a “perfect storm”.

If you suffer with back pain, what do you do? For many it’s off to the GP. That is likely to result in prescription painkillers and, perhaps a referral to the physio. ALL drugs have side effects. Some can be extremely addictive. They don’t solve the problem neither do lumbar belts, braces or other supports.

A good chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist with manipulative skills, can offer wonderful relief from pain. But it’s just that; relief and may be temporary. If you do nothing you’ll keep going back. Surgery is the last resort and always carries some risk. It’s often inconclusive and, as I’ve proved, often unnecessary.

To solve the problem you must find a rehabilitation specialist with the experience, the expertise and the equipment required. Such a specialist will interview you, study your spinal alignment and body posture and devise a programme tailored exactly to your needs which will contain strength-building and the development of mobility, flexibility, stability. The specialist needs to talk to you about the most significant muscle groups; erector spinae, rectus abdominis, quadratus lumborum and iliacus. Hyperextension and compression of the lumbar spine must always be avoided

It is generally simple to transform a person’s back strength, mobility and stability and, in doing so, transform their life. It may be simple, but it’s not always easy as it does require application, determination and perseverance! Visit www.getintothehealthhabit.com

LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL

We ask Helen Davies-Parsons, CEO of Dormy Care, which owns Bramshott Grange care home in Liphook, about how care has changed & how we can choose a happier life for our older loved ones.

Q. What do you feel are the myths surrounding care & what would you say to anyone who’s going through the stressful process of deciding care? “Sadly, there is a low level of understanding by the general public on the positive aspects of care homes. There’s been a lot of negative press about abuse in care homes, which is, of course, appalling. However, this is in the minority and most good quality homes offer support, care, companionship and a quality life for the ladies and gentlemen who live in them. My advice for anyone going through the process of deciding on a care home for a loved one is to visit unannounced.”

Q. How do you feel attitudes & ethos have changed for the better when it comes to the care of older people? “Society now has a much more positive view of older people and the contribution they have made, and continue to make, to society. This is largely due to the fact that older people are seen more in the media and their voices are louder than ever before.”

Q. Why is taking a more holistic approach to care better? “Everyone is an individual and one size does not fit all. Treating everyone as a person in their own right enables them to continue to live their life to the full and continue to enjoy what they want to do with the support of care teams around them.”

Q. What should people be aware of when visiting a residential home & what questions should they ask? “The most important thing to do when visiting a care home is to look, listen, smell and get a feel for the place. Is the home clean? Are the staff friendly? Do the people living there look happy and well cared for? Are there activities going on? Does the food look appetising? Would you be happy to move in yourself if needed?”

A BRAIN-BOOSTING DIET

Haslemere’s Hunter Centre is running a series of talks given by local nutritional adviser Claudia Vargas.

Claudia knows that, while we can’t prevent ageing or change our genes, there are some steps we can take to reduce our risk of developing dementia.

The healthiest foods worth including in your diet are greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli, blueberries, avocadoes, coconut oil, olive oil, walnuts, cashew nuts, almonds.

Rich prebiotics are garlic, onions, leeks, chociry, Jerusalem artichoke and top five herbs and spices for health are rosemary, turmeric (mixed with a bit of pepper and coconut or olive oil), cinnamon, ginger and sage. As for drinks, opt for filtered water, green tea, golden tea, ginger turmeric, black pepper, coconut oil tea or rosemary and mint tea.
For further information on diet, recipes and useful care tips please email [email protected]

HEART WARMING

After talking to care-givers on their team, Kevin Lancaster, managing director of Right At Home, shares five tips to help older people in our community stay safe and warm.

Winter is here, and with it the increased likelihood of a cold snap and freezing temperatures. We can all play our part to be good neighbours and help keep loved ones safe, warm and comfortable.

Getting older can leave us more vulnerable in the colder months as our bodies respond differently to temperature changes. When we start to feel cold, this usually triggers us to do something to warm up; adding more layers or turning up the heating. But if our body temperature drops below 37ºC, dangerous problems can arise, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, liver damage and even heart attacks. Hypothermia can set in if our core temperature drops below 35ºC. Left untreated, hypothermia shuts down the body’s heart and respiratory systems – a real risk in the winter, especially among older people.

Registered care manager Bailey Harrison says “We do see some people making decisions during the winter months which can have an adverse impact on their health & wellbeing. This includes turning the heating down, or off, to save money; not wearing the right clothing for the weather; or being unaware of the temperature drop outside.

“For people living with dementia, there can be extra challenges in the winter, such as forgetting how to operate the heating or fire, placing something too close to a fire so it becomes a risk, or leaving the house not properly wrapped up.” We thought we’d share some of our top tips…

1. If you have vulnerable members in your family or friendship circle, create a rota of people who can regularly call in to check your loved one is warm and safe. Check they have appropriate clothing. Check the cupboards are stocked with the right kind of food. Check room temperatures and make sure there are extra blankets to hand. Be ready to organise your loved one’s medication, so they don’t run out.

2. Diet and hydration is always important, but especially in winter. Encourage your loved ones to eat warming food such as stews and chunky soups and to keep hydrated with warm drinks. If they may be alone for long periods, why not invest in a flask to keep drinks warm for longer? Also, an offer to pop to the shops to refresh their groceries so they have plenty to eat and drink would be lovely.

3. Pop in to neighbours and loved ones for a quick “hello”. As well as alleviating loneliness, it allows you to check temperatures and to ensure there’s no fire hazard. It’s also worth investing in a carbon monoxide alarm, especially if you notice the heater is old.

4. When out and about, observe the people around you. Are the elderly people you pass dressed appropriately for the weather? A friendly conversation can give you an idea if the person has forgotten to put a coat on, or if there is an underlying issue. We’re not saying you have to buy everyone a pair of gloves, but you may encounter a situation needing a little extra care, or a trip to the charity shop. It’s vital to keep the body’s extremities – such as hands, feet and head – warm.

5.If paths are icy or snow-covered offering a little support can bring confidence to someone who is struggling. If someone falls, keep them warm as you call for help. Don’t try to help them up, in case they’ve broken a bone. Be sure to get it checked by a medical expert.

By working together, we can help to keep our community safe this winter. And, if like the lovely care-givers at Right at Home, you find helping others a natural heart-warming act, why not consider a career working in care professionally? Call 0118 207 0600 or visit www.rightathomeuk.com/reading to find out more.

HISTORY OF NURSING

Claire Laurent is a local writer and nurse whose family are rich in nurses, medics and midwives. Her new book explores the rituals and myths in nursing through the 20th century.

Nurses, as Claire Laurent observes, have largely been depicted in public consciousness as female and caricatured as angelic, sexy or fierce. From the tabloids’ “angels” to the Carry On films’ formidable Hattie Jacques matron and buxom Barbara Windsor, to Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, nurses have rarely been regarded as just people doing a job. “This, despite Florence Nightingale leading the charge, more than 100 years ago, to establish nurses as a “workforce of demure, clean and educated girls.”

Claire says: “I trained as a nurse at the oldest hospital possibly in the world; St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, in the traditional ‘apprentice style’ of the 20th century. I moved from there to a job as a journalist on the nursing press so I spent many years writing about nursing and following the developments of the profession.

“There’s a bond you develop as a nurse, both with the work and your colleagues, sharing memories and experiences. I wanted to write something that told the stories of nursing that reflected its nature without being a memoir, of which there are many.”

● Rituals & Myths in Nursing: A Social History by Claire Laurent is out now in paperback, £12.99, published by Pen &Sword. ISBN: 978147389661

HOME FROM HOME

A carer and a companion all in one – Chawley Grove introduce their innovative, award-winning “home-maker” model of care to Oxfordshire

A quiet revolution in care is taking place in Cumnor Hill. Chawley Grove
is one of the UK’s first care homes to do away with traditional care workers and instead employ “homemakers”…

Homemakers are universal workers, providing gap-free care. Homemakers are carers, housekeepers and companions all in one, holistically supporting residents just as they would in the resident’s own home.

Chawley Grove is part of the Hamberley Care Homes Group, which recently won a prestigious Health Investor award for its groundbreaking new care model. The organisation has removed the hierarchical structure you’d normally find in a care home, and instead developed a leadership hub and a more dynamic model of working.

Chawley Grove also has a wellbeing & lifestyle coach who ensures the team create a nurturing and stimulating environment for residents and staff alike. The coach considers all elements to enable supportive, homely environments that empower residents to live meaningful lives.

The Hamberley team believe the unique model, including an expert clinical team, is the most effective way to deliver outstanding care, helping them win Residential Care Provider of the Year. The judging panel congratulated them for focusing on the resident’s experience of care above anything else. One said: “The resident is clearly at the centre of everything. Brilliantly innovative to create the role of homemaker.”
And it seems the residents and their loved ones agree – the luxury care home enjoys a rating of 9.9 on independent review site www.carehome.co.uk. The son of one resident said: “The staff are always welcoming and courteous. The ‘homemakers’ do exactly what it says on the tin.”

The daughter of another resident said: “When I first visited I was struck by the beautiful setting, furnishings and facilities. However, it’s the professionalism and warmth of the homemakers and staff that has made my mother’s stay so happy. The attitude of staff is exemplary.”
Hamberley Care Homes CEO Paul Hill said: “Innovation is embedded at the heart of our company and each day we strive to make improvements that benefit our residents and their families.”

February’s recipes: Rice & easy!

Round & About

We’ve teamed up with Tilda to serve up some recipes to make the most of their new flavoured easy-cook sachets

Chicken Massaman curry

Ingredients:

• One red chilli, deseeded and cut into very thin matchsticks
• One spring onion, trimmed, halved and thinly shredded
• 50g peanuts
• 400ml can reduced fat coconut milk
• 200ml hot chicken stock
• One cinnamon stick
• 100g Massaman Thai curry paste
• 500g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
• 300g baby potatoes, halved
• 350g Tilda Fragrant Jasmine rice
• Large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped (see cooks tip)
• Finely grated zest and juice of one lime
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Lime wedges to garnish, if liked

Method:

Place the chilli and spring onion into a bowl of iced cold water and set aside while cooking the curry.
Dry fry the peanuts in a small pan for one or two minutes until toasted. Set aside until ready to use.

Place the coconut milk, chicken stock, cinnamon stick and curry paste into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir in the chicken and potatoes, cover and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the potatoes and chicken are tender and cooked through.

Meanwhile, place the rice into a sieve and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Tip into a large heavy based saucepan and season with a little salt. Pour over 600ml boiling water and bring to the boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over the lowest heat possible for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand until the curry is ready to serve.

Discard the cinnamon stick from the curry. Stir in half of the coriander, lime zest and juice and season to taste.
Fluff up the rice with a fork and arrange into individual serving dishes. Spoon over the massaman curry. Scatter over the peanuts and remaining coriander. Drain the spring onions and chilli and scatter over the curry to serve. Serve with extra lime wedges to squeeze over.

Cook’s tip

There is lots of flavour in the stalk as well as the leaf of fresh coriander don’t be afraid to chop up both and add to the curry. For an even quicker version of this recipe substitute the jasmine rice for 2 x 250g sachets of lime and coriander basmati rice or sweet chilli and lime basmati rice.

Kimchi rice

Ingredients:

• One pack of Tilda
• Long Grain rice
• 2tbsps vegetable oil
• One clove garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
• One onion, finely chopped
• 50g kimchi, drained
• 3tbps soy sauce
• Two eggs
• One spring onion, finely sliced

Method:

In a large pan, heat one tablespoon of the oil and gently fry the onions, garlic and ginger for a few minutes until softened. Add the drained kimchi and heat for a couple more minutes

Heat the long grain rice in the microwave for one minute and then add to the kimchi mix.

Drizzle in the soy sauce and mix in well. Keep warm.
Fry the eggs in the remaining oil for a few minutes.
Divide the kimchi rice between two bowl and top each with a fried egg and a sprinkle of spring onions.

See our other recipes

You’re never too old…

Round & About

Active minds and active bodies are on the curriculum at the
University of the Third Age

“Live, laugh, love” is the mantra of the team behind the U3A which has groups all over the UK, including branches local to you. Here’s why you should get involved, whatever age you are.

CHOOSE YOUR AREA:

Birds Hill Golf charity holes

Round & About

Putting themselves firmly on course to raise a few eyebrows tomorrow afternoon (Friday 24th) will be Bird Hills Golf Centre general manager Michael Connelly and food and beverages manager Kemal Sen.

The plucky pair will be swapping the plus fours for something much smaller as they take to the greens wearing only mankinis.

Michael and Kemal will play the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th holes at the Maidenhead course in just the skimpy outerwear to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK.

As golf is largely played by men of a certain age it is unfortunately a common cancer that can affect many of these golfers, the aim of this is to draw attention that men need to be brave enough to get checked and deal with this head-on!

Everyone is welcome to come down and watch these two tee off at 3pm and then cheer them on as they come back off the 9th hole after about 45 minutess of being out there in the not so warm weather – temperatures are set to be around the 7-8 degree mark.

There will be a raffle in the bar afterwards. Everyone is welcome to swing by and chip in for the cause!

Donations

Follow the link to donate on Facebook

Business School

Round & About

Make money from your passion at Pop-Up Business School in Didcot 

Have you always wanted to start your own business but don’t really know how or what the next steps are? 

Help is at hand at a Pop-Up Business School in Didcot next week when you’ll be able to get advice on starting a business with no money, marketing, all the legal stuff and much more. 

The five-day course at the Civic Hall will help new and established businesses get going and to  kick start them in the right way. You don’t need to attend every day but the more workshops you can visit the better, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll get out of it. 

The Pop-Up Business School has been running live events for seven years and shows a new way of thinking and practical ways to get your business off the ground. 

Each day is split into two sessions and the week starts with help on how to start a business for free and the quickest way to do so. Tuesday is all about sales and marketing before website Wednesday teaches you how to build a website for free and setting up online payments. 

Thursday focuses on social media – where are your customers online and using social media to find them before the week ends with a guide to the legal stuff on Friday. 

In addition to the workshops, Pop Up also provides one-to-one support whenever possible and continuing online support to all participants after the event. 

All sessions are free, but places are limited so booking is essential for the course which runs from 27th to 31st January, 10am to 3pm daily except Friday, 10am to 1pm. 

More info...

To find out more and register for your place to make money from your passion visit

Health research study

Round & About

People in the Thames Valley can now find more than 100 research studies taking place in the NHS, public health and social care using a new interactive online map.

The map, at thamesvalleyresearch.nihr.ac.uk, features pins that show where studies are taking place at locations including hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes.

Users click on the pin to browse studies at that location. They can also search all studies in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire by medical speciality, location, keyword (for example diabetes), postcode and study name.

After finding a study they are interested in, users visit a webpage for more information including a summary of the study, health inclusion and exclusion criteria and contact details.

The website lists studies supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands.

Prof Belinda Lennox, Clinical Director for the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands, said: “Health research is vital for developing new treatments in the NHS and improving the quality of the care that we provide.

“We rely on the public to take part in this research, which can range from filling out a questionnaire or giving a blood sample to trialling a new medication or treatment.

“This map provides people with the opportunity to actively seek out studies that they could take part in.”

Participating in health research helps develop new treatments, improves the NHS, public health and social care services and save lives.

Studies are offered to NHS patients that are relevant to their condition. Healthy people can also take part so results can be compared to those with a condition.

We rely on the public to take part in this research