Author Archives: Michael Wallis

Coronavirus, caring and coping

As part of Carers Week Michael Wallis, Somerset County Council communications officer, talks about the challenges and the cheer of bringing up a child with Down Syndrome. I never really considered myself an unpaid carer, just a dad who happened to have a daughter that was disabled, but caring for my daughter is just what […]

Caring – a story of love and loss

As part of Carers Week, Somerset resident Zoe Hook (not her real name) opens up about her years of caring for family members including her husband. She shares her love, her loss and the appreciation caring gives you for the things you have. I first became a carer some decades ago. My mother’s depression and […]

Five things I’ve learnt offering bereavement support

Marie Curie Companion Andrew Wilcox has been supporting bereaved people across Somerset for years. Here he shares some reflections and lessons he’s learnt along the way: Grieving There are usually good and bad days, most people find the good days gradually outnumber the bad days, aided sometimes with a little help on the way. Silence […]

Empathy Day inspires kids to walk, read and learn

Empathy Day returns on 10 June 2021 with a new theme calling for children and young people across the county to walk through their neighbourhood, see it through others eyes and consider how they can make a positive impact. The awareness day, which is supported by Somerset County Council, is spearheaded by EmpathyLab- an organisation […]

Sharing is caring during Child Safety Week

Parents, carers and grandparents are urged to ‘share because you care’ during Child Safety Week (Monday 7 to Sunday 13 June) and beyond. Over 1000 Somerset children are admitted to hospital due to preventable incidents, occurring mainly in their own homes, every year. such as falls, burns and scolds and poisoning through eating inedible items […]

Feeling unwell? Choose Well this May bank holiday

Now that lockdown is easing and more of us are out and about, NHS services are very busy. You can help us, help you this May bank holiday by making sure you ‘Choose Well’ and if you are injured or unwell, use the health service that best meets your needs. This might be your local […]

Donate a toothbrush and create a healthier smile

During National Smile Month, Somerset County Council are encouraging everyone to give toothbrushes and toothpaste when donating to Foodbanks. The awareness month, 17 May to 17 June,is the world’s largest and longest-running campaign to promote better oral health.  It aims to reduce poor oral health by promoting key tips and advice, helping keep everyone’s smile […]

Child cancer survivor inspires Council Chair’s donation

The Chair of Somerset County Council, Councillor Nigel Taylor, has donated £1,000 to a charity after hearing about the child of a Council employee’s fight against cancer. The donation, issued from the Chairman’s Charitable Fund, was made to Musgrove Leukaemic Group, to benefit local children who are undergoing treatment for the disease. In an unrelated […]

Mental Health Awareness Week – Dave Partlow’s story

Dave Partlow, Somerset County Council Adult Social Care Strategic Manager, talks about the emotional rollercoaster of working in high stress frontline jobs, how he dealt with that pressure and his introduction to the Five Ways of Wellbeing – principles of support he was already unconsciously using in his life. Throughout the pandemic, Dave has supported […]

Book lovers return to Somerset Libraries

Somerset libraries have had a huge number of people through the door since reopening, with twenty-one thousand books issued in their first week. Libraries opened last month, with covid secure measures in place, for anyone to browse and borrow from an array of old and brand-new books. The ‘Somerset Libraries Presents’ programme of activities and […]