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News Report Page 7 of 9
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 4.

Galloway's urges people not to let lockdown and Coronavirus fears disrupt their eye health

SIGHT loss charity Galloway's is urging people who are worried about their vision not to skip eye appointments over fears of the Coronavirus. Under current Government guidelines, many routine appointments, such as:- cataract operations, glaucoma reviews and diabetic screening, have been postponed. But urgent appointments which would, if cancelled, leave a person with untreatable sight loss within 3 months, are still going ahead. As optometrists across England are now expanding their services beyond urgent and essential care, patients are urged to call to book an appointment. Depending on symptoms, the optometrists can initially provide a telephone or virtual consultation. The sight loss team at Galloway's also reminds patients they are still expected to attend macular clinics for injections. The charity is using Macular Week, 22 June to 28 June 2020 to encourage people to attend, reaffirming that safety precautions are in place to keep everyone safe. Appointments are spread out across the week, so waiting rooms are not busy. Many patients are in and out relatively quickly, as Hospitals do not want people sitting around. Rooms and equipment are cleaned between each appointment. Alan Woodward attended Westmorland General Hospital for 1 of his regular macular injections. Knowing how safe and easy it was, he now urges others to put their fears aside to ensure they do not put their vision at risk.

The 83 year old, from Bolton-le-Sands, who was diagnosed with macular degeneration more than 2 years ago, says:- "I was quite apprehensive about going to the Hospital, but it was not that terrible and all the staff involved were marvellous. Glen Sheader, the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer at Galloway's, organised patient transport for me, which took a lot of worry out of going. I felt very safe as the driver Chris was in the front of the minibus and I was sat all the way in the back, which was well in excess of 2m. Chris kindly supplied me with a mask and gloves. When I got to the Hospital, I sat in a large waiting room. Previously there would be around 25 to 30 people, but this time there was only 4 of us I did feel relatively safe. I was given an eye test and they checked the pressure at the back of my eye. I then saw another Nurse who took photos of my eye using a special machine. That didn't take that long. Then I was asked to go into another room on my own which was quite spacious. A Doctor came in to see the bleed behind my eye and I was given my injection. So far I have had 7 injections in my eye and I had not had 1 for 7 months due to the problems with the virus. I had a slight bleed behind the eye, so I did need another injection and I will go back in 6 weeks for another 1. Then I went into another room and a Nurse put my eye drops in, washing her hands before and after. Everyone was wearing masks and gloves. They were wiping the seats and I did feel very safe. Obviously, it is very important to attend your appointments. You have to get over your apprehension because your eyes can deteriorate fairly quickly. If you don't get the medication and help you need, you could lose your sight."

Any patients taking eye drops should continue as normal and ensure that they access prescriptions well in advance so as not to run out. Meanwhile, Galloway's warns that people should call their optician and get advice from an eye health professional if they experience a sudden onset of any of the following symptoms:-

► Loss of vision.
► Loss of peripheral (side) vision.
► Blurred vision.
► Pain with or without discharge.
► Light sensitivity.
► Double vision.
► Black spots or flashes of light in your vision.
► Curtain like disappearance of vision.
► Disturbances in your vision.
► New floating bits in your vision.
► Eye injury or pain.
► Seeing halos or rainbows around light.
► Painful red eye.

Do not ignore these symptoms or wait until after lockdown has eased, as this could have an impact on a person's vision!

Ruth Cuthbert, optometric advisor for NHS England, Lancashire and South Cumbria, and a Trustee at Galloway's, says:- "Sudden changes to your vision such as flashes, floaters or blurry vision, or your eyes becoming red and painful, could be a sign of a more serious condition. At the moment, people are unable to visit their optometrist for routine eye care, but that doesn't mean you can't access advice. Many practices are still open for essential and urgent care, such as if you get something lodged in your eye. You may also be able to get help if you have a problem with your contact lenses or you've broken your glasses. Optometrists are trained to identify visual problems and many conditions and will often be able to do this via a remote consultation or will ask you to come in, if needed. Call your usual practice to find out, and if they are closed, they can direct you to another that is nearby. There's never been a more important time to look after your eyes."

f anyone feels their vision is getting worse, or has any concerns regarding their eyes, contact Glen Sheader, Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, at Galloway's, by calling:- 07498 369 881 or emailing:- Glen.Sheader@NHS.Net or Glen.Sheader@Galloway.Org.UK. If anyone has symptoms associated with Coronavirus, such as watery or red eyes and a persistent dry cough or high temperature, seek advice before turning up for an appointment by using the:- 111 online Coronavirus service or calling:- 111. Galloway's, which has sites in:- Penwortham, Chorley, Southport and Morecambe, supports more than 7,000 blind and partially sighted people across Sefton and Lancashire.

The rise of post furlough blues....

THE North West is predicted to have the highest cases of stress and anxiety as waves of redundancies are predicted in the Region as employers are asked to contribute to furlough.  The latest figures from the Learning and Work institute predicted the North West to be the most at risk Region, within the UK for redundancies, as employers make the uncomfortable decision to contribute to furloughed tapering or make redundancies. New research by Stay Nimble shows the impact on the Region could be even greater than job losses; as employees who experience badly handled redundancy are more at risk of developing mental issues. 1 in 5 respondents in the North West claimed to have experienced anxiety following or during the redundancy process, and a further 25% said it caused stress and panic attacks. Of those surveyed in the Region, 27% said they felt insecure and more than ½ saying the process left them feeling sad or no longer valued. When asked if the felt they were treated poorly or had considered legal action following redundancy; 46% of those surveyed in the North West agreed.  Following the research, Stay Nimble has since launched a whitepaper, Best Practice Offboarding, to help businesses offer employers advice for navigating post furlough redundancies.

Founder of social enterprise Stay Nimble, Dominic Atkinson is urging the Region's business leaders to think smart about how they handle redundancy; advising employees get the same investment leaving the role as they would starting it. An overwhelming 3 quarters of people in the North West said having financial advice, career coaching and mental health support when exiting a business would have had a major impact on their future success. Dominic Atikinson, who uses the platform to provide digital career coaching, said:- "These findings really demonstrate the devastating impact that redundancy can have on an individual. There is a lot of focus on safeguarding the wellbeing of current employees, but it seems that this goes out of the window when an individual is no longer required within the business. If C-19 has taught us anything, it is the need to be kinder and more human."

With 41% of respondents in the North West admitting they didn't trust their employer to handle redundancy well, and over ½ said they would share a bad redundancy experience on social media, businesses need to consider the lasting impression they leave on an exiting employee as it could be reputationally damaging.  Dominic added:- "Badly handled redundancy can also have a knock on effect on 'surviving' employees, in the North west alone our study showed 65% of those avoiding redundancy felt they were negatively affected by the experience. From feeling like their own job was no longer safe to believing that their employer didn't care about its people, the findings painted a bleak picture for the entire post furlough workforce. We firmly believe it is time for employers in the North West to recognise redundancy as part of the employee experience, and ensure their exit gets the same investment and attention as an employee joining the business."

If you have any updates to send in or any views on this topic on here, please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

NSPCC's 10 signs for spotting child abuse under lockdown

THE NSPCC is urging people to stay alert for possible signs of abuse under lockdown, by releasing the top 10 signs of abuse to coincide with its annual Childhood day fundraising.  Lockdown has forced hundreds of thousands of children across the UK into unsafe homes, trapped with abusive family members or friends. Now more than ever, it's important that we continue to stay alert for possible signs of abuse and neglect in our communities. The NSPCC helpline responded to 1,500 contacts about domestic abuse from across the UK between 23 March and 17 May 2020, resulting in 191 referrals being made to local agencies in the North West. These figures have been released ahead of the NSPCC's Childhood day, an annual fundraising event which this year encourages people to:- 'Be a big kid' to raise money for the charity. People across the North West are set to hold their own:- 'big kid' events to raise funds for the charity.

Your support could not come at a more crucial time, as Helpline Practitioner Felicity Aspinall explains:- "Contacts to the NSPCC's helpline about the impact of domestic abuse on children have surged by almost a 3rd since the start of the lockdown, to an average of 1 an hour. At the NSPCC Helpline our main aim is to help children, but we also offer support and advice to anyone who has concerns about the wellbeing of a child - we can let callers know about how we can help and what to look out for."

The NSPCC has released a guide for anyone who may be concerned about a child's welfare, and how to spot signs under lockdown and conforming to Government distancing guidelines:-

Behavioural... Children may:-

► Show uncharacteristic aggression. Younger children may try to physically harm other people and animals.
► Have knowledge of adult issues inappropriate for their age.
► Become withdrawn or anxious, and lacking social skills.
► Come across as attention seeking when around adults.
► Cry for long periods of time.

Physical... You may notice:-

► Shouting, hitting or things being broken.
► A child with the effects of poisoning, such as vomiting, drowsiness or seizures.
► Very young children left alone or are outdoors by themselves.
► Children always choosing to wear clothes which cover their body, or with visible wounds or bruises.
► Children with changes in weight or growth, or a swollen or thin tummy.

Felicity added:- "Sometimes people don't call straight away because they're not sure if what's happening constitutes abuse. But we need people to call us as soon as they become concerned, no matter how big or small they believe the concerns to be, as this can be the missing piece to a jigsaw of a bigger picture which can make all the difference to a child."

If you'd like to join us and:- 'Be a big kid' this Childhood day, 26 June 2020, visit:- NSPCC.Org.UK / to sign up today!

A brand new learning initiative to help students and graduates develop their professional skills

STUDENTEER, the sister project of Furlonteer, a brand new, organically-grown community initiative aiming to connect individuals on furlough with remote volunteer opportunities. Studenteer will allow a younger generation of students and graduates to use their free time to make a positive change for an array of charities, causes or small businesses who are in need of voluntary support in this challenging work climate. This brand new resource serves as an educational initiative and call to action for charities and small businesses to help inspire and encourage Gen Z to develop their skills outside of the classroom, supporting a cause that matters to them and virtually network with a diverse range of individuals and organisations during this challenging time. The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in 27% of employers recruiting fewer graduates, and hiring 31% fewer interns and placement students. Studenteer are here to provide an 1 excellent solution, connecting many ambitious, highly skilled students who have lost out on employment opportunities, utilising their free time to support charities, good causes, and small businesses who face an ongoing struggle during this time. Studenteer are anticipating 4000+ sign ups in the 1st 4 weeks, where individuals will be partnered with a large resource of charities and small businesses. Run by students...for students, the Studenteer initiative is overseen by the wider network of Furlonteers, closely supporting 1 another in the everyday running of the new platform, providing guidance and mentorship along the way. Underpinned by a partnership with UniHeads to help offer online mental health and wellbeing training, students who sign up as a Studenteer will primarily grow their knowledge in the sectors of marketing, business development, design and website development. These remote volunteering roles can range from a few hours a month to several hours a day with the programme being completely customisable by the individual. The initial idea was developed by Sam Tasker-Grindley, co-founder of Furlonteer, alongside a team of his Furlonteer colleagues, who saw an appetite amongst students wanting to help charities and good causes as they signed up for Furlonteer. Sam Tasker Grindely explains:- "Students are up against it. It feels very similar to the fall out of the financial crisis where opportunities for students were few and far between. We want to do our bit to help open doors for talented and enthusiastic students. Studenteer will be run by students for students. It's a very exciting project for the team to express themselves and hone their skills." Rather than just replicating the model for Furlonteer, they decided to empower a group of students to take on the challenge. The team turned to Rebecca Moy to help them roll out the initiative, who after finishing her final year studying Marketing at Leeds University Business School jumped at the opportunity to try and make an impact for her fellow students. Rebecca Moy says:- "Due to COVID-19, many graduate job offers and internships have been revoked and students, like me, have consequently been prevented from taking the next step in life. We've pursued an academic career and studied hard for several years, to now find ourselves unable to put these skills to use. We are launching Studenteer to provide students with work experience and opportunities I believe are imperative during this time. The idea is simple... We partner students with each other, furloughed professionals and charities or small businesses, creating opportunities to share skills and work on volunteering projects. Whilst the class of 2020 may be forced to take work outside of their industry, they can continue to develop their professional skills until the job market improves We have been overwhelmed by the support. So many people want to help; through volunteering as mentors or helping us to build Studenteer and we are grateful to work with such a dedicated team."

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