Capstone South West have been trialing a new idea which came about from The Shirin Yoko Forest Therapy day last May. November saw the first of their Walk and Talk Groups for carers (and dogs!) which took place in the New Forest. 

Carers expressed a wish to continue meeting on a regular basis but outside of offices and training rooms. One thing that many carers talk about is feeling isolated and how good it is to meet up with other carers who totally “get it”. Coming together in a natural environment creating an opportunity for carers to meet up with new and experienced carers, exchange ideas, views and support each other, but also to take some time for reflection and fresh air.

Our first session took place in the New Forest, we walked and talked for about an hour and half and then ended with a coffee (everyone brings flasks and biscuits.) The carers have loads of ideas for places to walk and given how large our geographical area is, Nikki is hopeful that most carers will be able to join us for at least 2 walks over the year, if not more!


Foster child ‘T’ talks about her time with St John’s Ambulance Cadets for Child Safety Week. 

Martin and Julie my foster carers encouraged me to join St Johns Ambulance Cadets after trying various sporty activities which isn’t really me 🙂

Although at first I was really, really nervous and didn’t think I would enjoy it I did.

It is a small group and I was allowed to do as much as I felt confident with. My instructor is nice and friendly and very patient. The uniform is green and froglike but ok.

I have passed my Life Skills Level 1 and working towards my level 2. We get go to events as support such carnivals, rugby matches and shows.

I have learnt basic life skills and what to do in an emergency, how to do resuscitation and more, which is important for everyone to know!

Before I came into foster care I felt unable to do anything about my life but this has given me confidence and power and will help me in the future.

T 🙂


Community Psychiatric Nurse, Team Leader – Georgina Cadby-Fisher, who has been working in mental health for 3 years has written an advice piece on how to spot the signs and provide support to somebody who is self-harming.

Georgina Cadby Fisher

What is self-harm?

So what do we mean by Self-harm? Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences that feel out of control. It can be the thing people turn to when they feel they have no other option.

Signs of potential self-harm:

There are not always obvious signs that somebody close to you may have begun self harming. But there are some signs you can look out for:

  • Unexplained cuts, bruises or burns
  • Wearing more clothing than usual to cover any evidence of self harm
  • Changes in eating or becoming secretive/obsessive about eating
  • Unusual weight loss or weight gain

So why do people self-harm?

There are many reasons people self-harm, such as being bullied, stress, bereavement, experiencing a form of abuse whether that’s sexual, physical or emotional.

  • If people are angry, self-harming can be a form of release of pent up anger or emotion
  • Self-harm can be a form of control for people if they feel they have no control over other aspects of their life
  • It can be for psychological reasons such as hearing voices that tell them to do it

Advice for people living with somebody that self-harms

Living with somebody or watching people close to you self harm can be difficult and distressing but there are things you can do to help:


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