Wellbeing Wednesday 4th May 2022

Jane Fowler

Hello and welcome to your weekly wellbeing update. Thanks to Carolyn for last week’s intro – and her good advice about sunscreen – I am feeling very virtuous – no sunburn after 10 days in Morocco! A small but important victory for a sun worshipper who should really know better…

This week we are focussing on Deaf Awareness Week – and how it raises visibility and understanding for the many people with hearing loss. And it is Walking Week again! May is a great month to get out and about in Argyll and Bute. Our colleagues in the HSCP are running their team Step Count Challenge again run by Paths for All – a little competition goes a long way when you are trying to get your activity levels up. And it is fun to be part of a team. If you think this is something we could do in future as part of our Council wellbeing – let us know!

And finally, on the book front, lots of holiday reading done J More easy read Whodunits by Jackie Baldwin, Educated by Tara Westover – a really tough read, but what resilience, and The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (set in Morocco in the late 1940s). Next book – Walking with Nomads by Alice Morrison, a Scot living in Morocco. Hope your reading is going well – you know how much we love a book recommendation – keep in touch! 

See you next week.

Jane Fowler, Head of Customer Support Services

Deaf Awareness Week 2nd -8th May

Deaf Awareness Week is an annual event in the UK which takes place in May each year and is organised by the UK Council on Deafness.  The aim of the campaign is to highlight the impact of hearing loss on everyday life and increase visibility and inclusion of deaf people.

Positive aspects

In the UK there are more than 10 million people living with some form of hearing loss, whether it is mild or profound.

Deaf Awareness Week is all about promoting the positive aspects of living with deafness. This event aims to raise awareness of the isolation that deaf people can occasionally experience and promotes the importance of social inclusion around the deaf community.

The UK Council on Deafness wants to celebrate all of the amazing local organisations around the UK that support deaf people and their families and friends during Deaf Awareness Week.

Five deaf awareness facts

Hearing loss and deafness is defined as a hidden disability.

As well as British Sign Language, there are international sign languages including American Sign Language and French Sign Language.

Within the UK, there are regional variations of BSL just like there are with spoken language.

Lip-reading helps deaf people to understand what others are saying, but even the best lip-readers still miss up to 40% of what has been said.

The Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists highlighted that the rise in the use of face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic makes it harder for people with hearing loss to communicate. Face coverings with a transparent panel over the mouth have now been created.

How to be more deaf aware

Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start speaking

Stand or sit in a place with good lighting so you can be lip-read

Try to find a quiet place with little background noise as this can be distracting

Use your usual voice level. If a deaf person uses a hearing aid it can be very uncomfortable for them and can seem as though you are shouting

Deafness in Children

There are over 50,000 deaf children and young people in the UK, and the National Deaf Children’s Society have asked some of the children they work with to share their deaf story  #MyDeafStory.

They are finding out what they love about being deaf, what being deaf means to them, and what might surprise people about being deaf. By sharing their stories, the charity aims to empower and inspire other deaf children and young people to celebrate their deaf identity and feel confident with their deafness. 

Find out more about deafness

Throughout Deaf Awareness Week, NDCS will be sharing lots of information about deafness, including information on:

Follow posts on social media to catch all more Deaf Awareness Week updates on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

You can also visit their website. National Deaf Children’s Society

National Walking Month May 2022

Did you know that May is National Walking Month? We have previously highlighted the benefits of walking on both our physical and mental health and also celebrated the wonderful landscape around us, which helps to make getting out and being more active a lot more pleasurable.

In case you need reminding, walking is a fantastic way to keep fit and active, and it is fun, flexible and free.

We are featuring two organisations who are celebrating National Walking Month, which help to show that you can find somewhere to get and enjoy the outdoors wherever you are.

National Walking Month | Living Streets

Living Streets’ are celebrating National Walking Month and this year, they are encouraging you to #Try20 – and walk for 20 minutes each day during May.

Walking is an easy and accessible way to improve physical and mental health and a 20-minute walk can reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions, including certain cancers, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

By swapping a short drive for a short walk, you can also help reduce air pollution, congestion and road danger – whilst saving yourself some money and getting active in the process! 

View these #Try20 tips or download and print your own #Try20 checklist to track your progress.

You can also visit their website and enter the free competition by telling your story of how you have celebrated #Try20 or what you have enjoyed most about walking this month.

Walk to School Week

Living Streets Walk to School Week, a five-day walking challenge is an annual celebration of the walk to school and the perfect activity to celebrate National Walking Month this May.  It takes place from 16-20 May and you can find out more here

The fun and engaging week-long activity for primary schools has been built to make pupils experience first-hand the importance of walking to school.

Through this challenge, children will be well on their way to reaching their recommended 60 minutes minimum of physical activity per day before even reaching the school gates! 

Last year, a record number of over 350,000 pupils across the UK took part, so why not join in this year and be part of the growing movement of children walking to school and help make 2022 the biggest year yet!

Paths for All are also celebrating National Walking Month and their #ILoveWalking campaign is inviting you to post a comment and photo on social media, sharing what walking means to you and the places you most enjoy walking to.

The campaign will run all through May and everyone who gets involved will be in with a chance of winning £500 to spend at Cotswold Outdoor. 

They are also working with a team of social media pros who share their passion for everyday walking, the outdoors, nature, and the mental, social and physical benefits of being active.

They’ll be sharing their personal views on walking and wheeling and encouraging everyone to do the same.

Why walk?

Paths for All believe that walking is the key to a happier, healthier Scotland. This is because almost everyone can do it – no matter their age, income, gender or ability. It is the easiest and most accessible form of physical activity that can become part of your every day life. It is free, and no special equipment is needed.

Walk for physical health

A brisk walk can help you manage a healthy weight, strengthen muscles, and reduce your risk of some serious conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Walk for mental health

It’s proven that a short walk can really benefit your mental health, particularly if walking in your local park, woodland or greenspace. Regular walking can reduce the risk of depression, stress and anxiety and promote positive mental health by helping you to sleep better, connect to nature and enhance your connection with your local area.

Walk for social health

Evidence shows that walking with others at work or in local walking groups creates social and wellbeing benefits that are just as important as the physical benefits walking brings. Supporting older adults to be active with others reduces isolation and loneliness.

Walk for the environment

If more people walked more often, there would be a reduction in traffic congestion and pollution, and children would have safer routes to schools. By leaving the car for short journeys and walking instead, you can reduce your carbon footprint.

The case for walking really does add up. Feel the benefits for yourself and start by trying to walk a little every day, and build up gradually at a pace to suit you.


Thanks for reading and, as ever, keep in touch with us at wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk