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Publication date:- 2017-23-12

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 3.

Local NHS trust produces animation to help beat loneliness

THE Christmas and New Year festive season can be a joyous time for most, celebrated with friends and loved ones. However, many people can be gripped by stress, anxiety and loneliness.  To help people cope with loneliness, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has produced a short animation, with handy tips and advice on how to maintain good mental health and wellbeing.

Nearly a million older people say they feel lonelier at Christmas time, especially those age 65 and over, who are especially vulnerable to isolation, which can have a serious effect on health. According to Age UK some older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.

Feeling lonely isn't in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health.

Steve Hull, Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality said:- "Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some people, leading to a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing. We hope the advice in our animation provides some help for our service users and carers, especially those who live alone."

For anyone struggling over the festive period with stress, anxiety or feeling they can't cope with day to day life, including thoughts of suicide or self harm, please visit the help in a crisis page on the Trust's website for support and advice:- NWBH.NHS.UK/Help-In-A-Crisis. You can watch the beat loneliness animation at: NWBH.NHS.UK/Are-You-Winter-Ready?

Ambulance Technician performs with singing Superstars Michael Ball and Alfie Boe

A Liverpool Ambulance technician with a secret talent will be taking centre stage this evening during ITV's:- 'A Night for Emergency Services' singing alongside superstars Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.

The North West Ambulance Service Crew member, who went viral on Facebook earlier in the year after being filmed singing classical music outside an ambulance, was surprised by Diversity dancer, Ashley Banjo during his Ambulance shift and was asked to take part in the special variety show celebrating our Emergency Services.

Lewis Quinn, 38, from Liverpool fell in love with classical music at the age of 16, he has sung in opera performances in the past but never on this scale. Lewis said:- "It was such a fantastic experience, everyone treated me lovely and I was even chauffeured around in a Mercedes! It was a totally different world to me.  Ball and Boe were really funny and kind and the orchestra I sang with were all members of the emergency services too which made it even more special. All my family, friends and colleagues are very excited to watch the programme, but I think I'll have to watch it later on catch up!"

Lewis is an Emergency Medical Technician based at Anfield so his usual day consists of attending emergencies and treating poorly people, but the flashing lights from the stage were a little bit different to the blue lights and sirens he is used to.

Lewis' Sector Manager, who also happens to be his brother, Gene Quinn said:- "We're all so proud of Lewis, he has a fantastic voice and I can't wait to see him on the big stage. All of his colleagues are really excited too and I'm sure they'll all be tuned in tonight or recording the show if they're on shift!"

Catch Lewis and the other talented emergency services staff tonight in:- 'A Night for Emergency Services' from 9pm on ITV.

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