Author: Esther Gittoes

International Men’s Day

Celebrate the men in your life

“On November 19th International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. We highlight positive role models and raise awareness of men’s well-being”.

Things to do for IMD

“Since 1999, methods of celebrating International Men’s Day have included public seminars, forums, conferences, festivals and fundraisers, classroom activities at schools, Movember fundraisers, Parliamentary speeches, government observances, radio and television programs, church observations, prayer meetings, award ceremonies, special retail promotions, photos & film competitions, music concerts & art displays, and peaceful awareness marches”.

How you at home can help!

Get on social media

Post info about the day on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram using hashtags like #internationalmensday #celebratemen #menshealth #stopmalesuicide #thankamantoday.
Celebrate the important men in your life by posting about them on social media.

Organise an event

The manner of observing this annual day is optional; any organisations are welcome to host their own events and any appropriate forums can be used.

If you are a community leader or champion for the cause, you could approach your local council and other community leaders and together put on a fun local event to celebrate International Men’s Day.

On our resources page you can find download links to:

Thank the important men in your life.

Whether this is a partner, father, or role model, just saying ‘thanks’ can go a long way. Don’t forget to take time to make special mention of the brave men who protect our communities in the Emergency Services or key people in your organisation.

6 Pillars of International Men's Day

  1. To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  3. To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  4. To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
  5. To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
  6. To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential

“IMD is also a platform to raise awareness to the challenges that men face in life – especially in relation to the international male suicide rate.

International Men’s Day can also be celebrated at an individual and family level, by spending special time with the men in your life, in appreciation of how they enrich the lives of those around them.

Writing letters or cards and posting them to your friends, family, relatives and people you admire and have contributed to your life about how much you appreciate them is another great gesture”.

Want to talk to someone?

Statistics show that men are less likely to talk about their feelings and particularly mental health difficulties. It’s important to understand that it’s okay not to be okay. There is lots of support out there from friends and family to professional services. Here are some listed below:

HIS Mental Health and Prevention of suicide – An organisation that works on improving men’s wellbeing and mental health. They focus on reducing isolation and increasing social capacity to reduce the stigma of mental health within communities and to support those affected by suicide.

About Us – HiS Charity

Man Health – Time to Listen – An organisation that specialises in supporting men with their mental health and provides advice on how men can talk about their mental health.

ManHealth “Time to Listen” | ManHealth provide support to men who experiencing mental health issue. ManHealth provide male peer support groups, training on health inequalities affecting men and campaign to raise awareness about men’s health.

Blue Ribbon Foundation – An organisation that is passionate about promoting health and wellbeing for men and raising awareness of male health issues, they work to encourage men to take positive action to safeguard their mental health.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation – Male Health and Wellbeing Charity

KC Safeguarding

We also have a dedicated safeguarding team who are more than happy to speak with you if you are having issues inside and outside of college, this is strictly confidential, to access this service, please email stayingsafe@kidderminster.ac.uk or visit Student Services.

KC Counselling

We also have a college counselling service if you are feeling lost or are unsure of what support is available, if you would like more information on how to access this service, please visit or contact Student Services on 01562 512000 or email studentservices@kidderminster.ac.uk

 

How to pick yourself up when things get tough! – Men’s Mental Health Month

Men's Mental Health Month

November is Men’s Mental Health Month. It’s important to get talking and here’s why:

  • In England, one in eight men have a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, or OCD. 
  • Men are three times more likely to die from suicide compared to women.
  • Men aged 40 – 49 have the highest suicide rate.
  • Men are less likely than women to access psychological therapies, only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.
  • 87% of rough sleepers are men.
  • 9.7% of men aged 16-24 report having self-harmed at some point in their life.

How to pick yourself up when things get tough...

We all get low sometimes, for Men’s Mental health month ‘The Mental Health Foundation‘ has put together a list on How to pick yourself up when things get tough”.

Get Outside

Get outside for a short walk or add exercise to your daily routine. Exercise is a great way to help with mental health.

Get Motivated!

Make a motivational playlist or read a motivational or inspirational quote – to get perspective.

Reach out!

Chat to a mate when you start to hide yourself away. Make sure you’re being listened to – have a chat and get it off your chest.  Have a chat with someone who will listen and not ‘fix’ – a mate, colleague, family or a helpline.

Use social media

Follow social media accounts that you can relate to and connect with people who have similar interests.

Have structure

Keep up with your routine – or add a new structure to your day. Do something new like volunteering or take up a new hobby.

Get out of your comfort zone

Get out of your comfort zone – feel a sense of achievement from this

Check on your friends

Ask a mate how they are – doing something for a mate can make you feel better.

Take time

Stop and pause – take time to check in with your head by using mindfulness, writing or meditation. Focus on breathing – breathe in and out slowly for 3 minutes. Switch off – in a way that works for you, with a book, film, video game etc.

What to do if your drink has been spiked

What to do if...

You think your drink has been spiked

We’re introducing our new series ‘Play it Safe’ which highlights hints, tips, and useful information to keep our College staff and students safe.

We should all have the privilege of feeling safe in our surroundings, but this isn’t always the case. Although it shouldn’t be on the individual to take precautions to keep themselves safe, we think it’s important to minimise any risk and we, therefore, encourage people at KC to try and keep themselves as safe as possible.

Each week we will look into a different topic on what to do if…

Each person can feel different effects when getting their drink spiked. The common symptoms include; loss of memory, vomiting and confusion.

If you think you have been spiked it’s important to tell someone and to report the incident to a trusted adult or the police.

If you suspect that your friend has had their drink spiked. It’s important that you stay with them and if their symptoms worsen call the ambulance.

People who have been sexually assaulted while intoxicated may find it difficult to contact police or ask for professional help because they feel guilt or shame, or are afraid they will not be believed.

Get support even if you can’t remember exactly what happened. Some drugs used in drink spiking can cause short-term memory loss.

Drug-assisted sexual assault, like all sexual assault, is a crime. Police, health workers and sexual assault services are there to hear your story and help you.

There are a few things you can do if you suspect you or someone else has had their drink spike.

Play it Safe

'Play It Safe'

We’re introducing our new series ‘Play it Safe’ which highlights hints, tips, and useful information to keep our College staff and students safe.

We should all have the privilege of feeling safe in our surroundings, but this isn’t always the case. Although it shouldn’t be on the individual to take precautions to keep themselves safe, we think it’s important to minimise any risk and we, therefore, encourage people at KC to try and keep themselves as safe as possible.

Each week we will look into a different topic on what to do if…

Buddy Up

When walking home in the dark opt for a buddy system and ask a friend or peer to walk with you. Find someone who lives close to your home and do the commute together.

Plan your route

Make sure you plan your route home in advance. If you are walking in an unfamiliar area, this can help keep you from getting lost. If you do get lost, don’t wander aimlessly – find a shop or restaurant and ask for directions. Make sure your journey home is well lit and that someone knows that you are walking home and what time to expect you. 

Call someone

It can be useful to speak to someone on the phone during your walk home. This will give you the confidence to walk home safely, you can also let the person on the other end of the phone know exactly where you are during your journey. 

Trust your gut

Always trust your gut! If you feel an area or situation may be dangerous, don’t wait around to find out. Stop and scan your surroundings if you think someone is following you. If you are being followed, walk as quickly as you can to a well-lit public place. Wait until you feel safe, call a friend, taxi or ask for help in the nearest pub, shop, or restaurant. 

We're always here

We’re always here to listen at KC and can put a plan in place or offer any advice about staying safe. Don’t be afraid to contact the team! 

Be a better listener

Talk To US

This July, The Samaritans continue their annual Talk to us campaign.

“Whether it’s a virtual chitchat, or a picnic in the park, Talk to Us is one of the ways we raise awareness that we’re here – for anyone who needs someone to listen, 24/7, without judgement or pressure”.

This month Samartians are not only promoting their services to those who need to talk, but also encourage others to become better listeners.

Why should I become a better listener?

“Becoming a better listener can help you support loved ones who may be struggling to cope. It can also help improve your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. You could help your loved ones open up about how they’re feeling by making some small changes to the way you listen”.

How do I become a better listener?

Listen without being distracted

“Try things like making eye contact, putting your phone away and focusing completely on the other person. If you’re talking to someone on the phone, try doing it in a quiet place”.

Listen without interrupting

“Try and remember that pauses are fine, you don’t need to jump in and fill a silence. Resist putting your own interpretation on what the other person is saying, and repeat back what they say so it shows you’re listening”.

Check-in on loved ones

“Why not try adding reminders to your calendar or phone, to check in with loved ones once or twice a week. Don’t give up, sometimes it can take a few tries to get someone to open up about how they’re feeling”.

Want to talk to someone?

Talk to our staff and tutors about any worries or concerns you have. 

We also have a College counselling service: abates@kidderminster.ac.uk or book in with studentservices@kidderminster.ac.uk

Have a safety concern about yourself or someone else, let us know: stayingsafe@kidderminster.ac.uk

Need support? Call 116 123 to speak to a Samaritan or

view other ways to get in touch

At Kidderminster College We’re pledging to become a better listener this July for @samaritans awareness campaign, because listening could save a life #WeListen.

#MensHealthWeek

#MensHealthWeek

Men’s Health Week is the 14th-20th June 2021. This year we want to encourage men to open up about their health and mental health. Whether that’s talking to your mates, a professional or a family member.  Men’s Health Forum is encouraging its campaign ‘Let’s All Talk to encourage men to open up as society opens up’.

There are various elements to the Men’s Health Week campaign: Men’s Health Forum is asking for;

  • The CAN DO Challenge – a practical boost to everyone’s mental wellbeing
  • Let’s All Talk to encourage men to open up as society opens up
  • Sign the petition for a men’s health strategy

Discover more on Mental Health and Men’s Health on our blog posts…

THE CAN DO CHALLENGE

There are five days of the week and five ways to well-being. Can you see where we’re going with this?

The five ways to well-being are five things we can all do that are scientifically proven to help us feel better. For the CAN DO Challenge, we’re calling on everyone to choose a different way to well-being to try each day of Men’s Health Week.​

*Connect – connect with other people (eg. call an old friend you haven’t since before lockdown) #connectmonday

*(Be) Active – move your body (eg. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday

*Notice – take notice of the environment around you (eg. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday

*Discover – learn something new (eg. read a book you haven’t read before) #discoverthursday

*Offer (or give) – do something for someone else (eg. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday

Opening Up

#MensMentalHealthWeek is trying to encourage us to talk about how we feel about where we are now in the Covid-19 pandemic – Better mental health in a Covid world.

At KC we want to encourage all staff and students to open up and talk to each other. Whether that’s checking in on your mates or seeking help from our Counsellor or through the FIKA app. Let’s keep talking about how we are feeling. 

Complete the ‘How are you quiz’

Men's Health Strategy

The Forum has long called for a National Men’s Health Strategy. At last parliament’s Equalities Committee agrees.

Following the welcome decision to recognise the role of sex and gender in health with the decision to start work on a Women’s Health Strategy for England, the case for a similar men’s health strategy is now unanswerable.

A strategy – not just for England – but also in the other countries of the UK – will enable the many challenges around prevention, care and outcomes in both the physical and mental health of men and boys to be addressed in a comprehensive and systematic way. Men’s health policies and strategies already work effectively in a number of countries including Ireland and Australia. Learn More

International Happiness Day: What we can learn from the Happiest country

March the 20th is International Day of Happiness. We understand that it may be difficult to feel happy right now, especially with everything that’s going on in the world. So, for international happiness day, we decided to take a lesson from the Happiest Country in the world, Finland.

In The World Happiness Report 2020, which ranks countries by their happiness levels, the UK was ranked 13th in the world with Finland, Denmark and Switzerland taking the top spots. Despite the two hundred days of winter, two months where the sun never rises and harsh temperatures dropping to 20 degrees below zero, Finland takes the top position. So what can we learn from our Finish friends on the art of happiness?

“Time and again we see the reasons for wellbeing include good social support networks, social trust, honest governments, safe environments and healthy lives.”

Be in tune with your sisu - Inner strength/grit.

“Sisu is focused on persevering when the odds are against you and to view challenges as opportunities”. We can’t always choose happiness, but we can choose how we react to what happens. Resilience is a skill that can be learned, how we respond to times of loss, failure, uncertainty and trauma can have a big impact on our well-being, find positive ways to bounce back. ‘Happiness does not come from searching for it, but by living.

Forest therapy - it's a Finnish thing!

“In Finland, this traditional legal concept is called “everyman’s right,” which allows the general public to roam freely in natural areas like forests, lakes, and rivers—and without obtaining permission from landowners when said areas fall on private lands”.  

It’s no secret that being out in nature can affect our mood, anxiety and even blood pressure. Spending just 30 minutes outdoors is a great mood buster and can really help to increase your level of happiness. Why not try and go for a walk, spend time in your garden or escape to a local park. 

Get involved in your community.

The Finnish love to sweat it out in a sauna with their community. It’s totally normal in Finland to be comfortable being naked in the sauna with family and friends from an early age, it even helps with the acceptance of their bodies. Don’t worry, we’re not encouraging you to jump into the sauna, but we could learn a thing or two about being involved in the community. Whether it’s meeting up with friends, volunteering for a local organisation or helping to fundraise at your community centre. Being involved with your community can give you a sense of belonging and increase your level of happiness.

They don’t work long hours. - The dream!

Don’t get any ideas about calling up your boss or tutors to cut your hours. But getting that work-life balance is key to maintaining and creating happiness. Prioritising your time, making time for yourself and working smarter not harder is just some of the things you can do to get that balance. “In fact, in Finland, employees have the right to shift their workday three hours earlier or later than their employers’ typical requirements”.

Prioritise your health

“In Sweden, healthcare (including dental!) is essentially free until you turn 20”. Prioritising your health is important, both mental and physical. Stretch those legs and go for a walk, do some exercise and release those endorphins. Prioritise your mental health as well as your physical, take time out for yourself, talk it out and reach out so it doesn’t all become too much. Being in tune with your mental and physical health will help lead to happiness.

Watch your consumption

“Finns embrace a Nordic minimalism and are known to prefer well-made, sustainable, functional items that will stand the test of time. There is a robust secondhand scene in Finland, too, and on the community-driven “Cleaning Day,” the country turns into one big outdoor flea market”.

There is some meaning behind the phrase ‘Tidy home, tidy mind”. Having a clean space can definitely lift your mood and increase your level of happiness. Clearing your wardrobe and pantry cupboard always feels good for the soul, why not try it out and declutter your life in more ways than one.

Quickfire Mood Busters to increase your happiness

Find joy in the little things.

Do what you’re most passionate about.

Spend time with animals.

Create goals and plans to achieve what you want most.

Live in the moment.

Go on an adventure.

Get lost in a book.

Ask for help when you need it.

Practice mindfulness.

Have a cup of tea and take 5.

Keep on top of your mental health with the Fika App, this is offered to all of our current students and staff members.
Don’t forget, we have our counselling service available for anyone who is struggling right now.
Check out our links for when life is a bit tough. 

Seven influential women who are making history

International Women’s Day is on Monday 8th March 2021 and we thought it would be the perfect time to shout about some of the amazing women we think are inspiring other women everywhere!

@Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Greta Thunberg

You’ve probably heard of the Swedish teenager taking on big corporations to tackle the ever-growing issue of climate change. Greta is no bystander when it comes to talking about the global climate issues that our planet is facing. It all started when in 2018, 15-year-old Greta won a climate change essay competition in a local newspaper. Later, she protested outside the Swedish parliament for the government to meet the carbon emissions target agreed by world leaders in Paris in 2015. Greta held a sign that read ‘School strike for climate change’, she regularly missed lessons on a Friday to protest urging a generation around the world to do the same. The hashtag #Fridaysforfuture went viral and by December 2018, more than 20,000 students around the world had joined her.

Greta continues to share her voice and attends many talks about climate change. The teenager won Times person of the year in 2019, she has since addressed heads of state at the UN, met with the pope and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike in September 2019, the largest climate demonstration in human history.

“We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow,”

Gina Martin

An activist, campaigner, author and law changer. Gina uses her social platform to back important causes and spreads her message that anyone can be an activist. Gina is known for changing the law to make upskirting illegal. In 2017 Gina was upskirted during a festival. Upskirting refers to the act of taking photos or videos under a person’s clothes without consent. It was two years of hard work and determination that allowed Gina and her lawyer Ryan Whelan to change the law to make upskirting illegal, the new legislation means that those convicted of the crime face up to two years in prison. Gina has since written her book, a toolkit for anyone wanting to make a change. 

“BE THE CHANGE is an essential handbook for the modern activist, whether your campaign is big or small, local or global, or somewhere in between”.

@Image Courtesy of divingbellgroup
Photo Courtesy of @Wikimedia Commons

Michelle Obama

Of course, this icon needs to be on our list, I mean where do we start. Michelle is a lawyer, writer and the first African-American first lady of the United States. With her many achievements, Michelle inspires a generation of women with her activism and intiatives. Some of the things Michelle is involved in;

“In 2010, she launched Let’s Move!, bringing together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity”.

“In 2011, Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities”. 

“In 2014, Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative, an effort to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university”. 

“In 2015, Michelle joined President Obama to launch Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the world go to school and stay in school. As part of this effort, Obama is calling on countries across the globe to help educate and empower young women, and she is sharing the stories and struggles of these young women with young people here at home to inspire them to commit to their own education”.

Michelle still continues to inspire and educate in her efforts to support women and young people. 

Jameela Jamil

An actress, radio presenter, model, writer, activist and founder of the I Weigh movement.

” Two years ago we started an Instagram account to try to create a safe and radically inclusive space on social media. A lot of us want to help others and change the world for the better, but don’t know where to start.
Activism can seem daunting. Sometimes it’s just hard and lonely. At I Weigh Community, we don’t believe it has to be that way. We believe in brick-by-brick activism, and making a difference in large numbers. We’re going to have to come together and do this as one to really shift the narrative of our society”.

Jamil inspires women and the LGBTQ+ community by talking about issues of patriarchal oppression, lack of representation, mental health and eating disorders. Now living in LA, the British born activist isn’t afraid of calling out harmful social media behaviours and dangerous celebrity endorsements. We can’t help but love her from her T4 days to her shouting about inclusivity. Yes, girl!

Photo courtesy of @Wikimedia Commons
Photo Courtesy of @United Nations - https://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/

Malala Yousafzai

You’ve almost definitely heard of Malala, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

“My father was a teacher and ran a girls’ school in our village. I loved school. But everything changed when the Taliban took control of our town in Swat Valley. The extremists banned many things — like owning a television and playing music — and enforced harsh punishments for those who defied their orders. And they said girls could no longer go to school. I spoke out publicly on behalf of girls and our right to learn. And this made me a target. In October 2012, on my way home from school, a masked gunman boarded my school bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” He shot me on the left side of my head. I woke up 10 days later in a hospital in Birmingham, England. The doctors and nurses told me about the attack — and that people around the world were praying for my recovery”.

Following her move to the UK and her degree at Oxford University, Malala continues to support and be the voice for women in Education. The young woman set up the Malala fund, a charity dedicated to giving every girl an opportunity to a future she chooses.

“With more than 130 million girls out of school today, there is more work to be done. I hope you will join my fight for education and equality. Together, we can create a world where all girls can learn and lead”.

Michaela Coel

A British actress, screenwriter, director, producer and singer. You may have seen her in the iconic programme ‘I may destroy you’, a TV programme about a woman who was sexually assaulted in a nightclub, her life changes and she is forced to reassess everything.

Michaela breaks the mould using her own experience of being drugged and assaulted by a stranger in her TV series. “It’s rare that you see a Black woman writing, directing, and starring in their own TV show centered around the trauma she experienced.” This was something new, something all its revolutionary own.

“Michaela Coel played the lead, wrote the script,co-directed and acted as executive producer. Not only is that unheard of for a young black British female auteur, but her drama tackled the crucial issues of the year with a depth and emotional intelligence that remains unmatched”.

Michaela challenges stereotypes and breaks the mould, we can’t wait to see what she does next.

Photo Courtesy of @Wikimedia Commons
Photo Courtesy of @NBC News

Munroe Bergdorf

A model and activist this force to be reckoned with woman passionately believes in inclusivity for all, no matter your race, ability, religious beliefs, sexuality or gender identity.

“I happen to be mixed-race and transgender. I was assigned male at birth, but never felt comfortable with that label. Adolescence was confusing for me and at 24, finally, I began identifying outwardly as female. This was an incredibly freeing time for me and the start of my transitional journey – one that I accept will never fully conclude itself.
I dedicate my time to pushing forward and educating others on race and identity”.

Munroe continues to open up the conversation on PTSD, race, sexual assault and the transgender community. Munroe has achieved many things in her activism career including being awarded an honorary doctorate for contributions campaigning for transgender rights in 2019 by the University of Brighton.

World Cancer Day: #IAmAndIWill

World Cancer Day 4th Feb

World Cancer Day on the 4th of February is a day that unites people, communities and entire countries to raise awareness of Cancer and inspires people to take action. Everybody in their lifetime will be affected by cancer in some way, so why not open up the conversation.

“This World Cancer Day, we’re asking for your personal commitment to take positive action against cancer. We believe that we can reduce the number of premature deaths from cancer and non- communicable diseases by one third by 2030 if we all take action today. Join us on 4 February to speak out and stand up for a world less burdened by cancer. Our time to act is now”.
#IAmAndIWill #WorldCancerDay

The Facts

How can you help?

Join the conversation

Spread the word on social media. Find out more in the Social Media Guide at worldcancerday.org/materials

Use your voice

Start a conversation about cancer with your family, friends, colleagues and networks. Download the Conversation Guide at worldcancerday.org/materials

Make a social change

Show your family, friends and networks that you’re getting behind World Cancer Day. Update your social media pages with the official World Cancer Day profile cover images. Download the official banners at worldcancerday.org/materials13

Get personal

Create your own custom poster with your own personal message of commitment and share it with the world. Create your poster online at worldcancerday.org/custom-poster

Give Something

Make a donation to one of the many charities that support people, families and communities affected by Cancer. 

Inform yourself & others

Find out more about cancer, how you can reduce your cancer risks, and the impact it has on the people we love, our communities, and the world. Read about the key issues in cancer at worldcancerday.org/key-issues

Advocate for action

Write to your political parties asking them to show their commitment, raise public awareness and take action this World Cancer Day.  Access the email template in the Advocacy Guide at worldcancerday.org/materials

Join the action

Show your support by showing up. Find an event near you on the Map of Activity, sign up to attend, participate or volunteer. Find an event near you at worldcancerday.org/map

Spread the word

Write an op-ed, blog story, record a video message, feature World Cancer Day on your website, an article in your newsletter, or reach out to a local journalist.

Look out for the signs

Prevent the causes

“At least one third of cancers are preventable giving us every reason to champion healthy choices and prevention strategies for all, so that we have the best chance to prevent and reduce our cancer risks”.

Choosing your health 

Although not all cancers are preventable, the many that are, are linked to our lifestyle choices. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), at least one-third of common cancers are preventable through a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active. 

Smoking

Taking the huge step to quit smoking can reduce the risk of cancer greatly. The use of tobacco has been found to cause around 15 different types of cancers (lung, liver, stomach, bowel and Ovarian), as well as some types of leukaemia.

Alcohol

Reducing and limiting your alcohol intake can reduce your risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, bowel and breast, it could also reduce the risk of liver and bowel cancers. 

Exercise

Maintaining a healthy weight and making physical activity part of your everyday life can help reduce the risk of ten cancers (bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder). 

Ultraviolet Radiation

No matter where you live or your skin tone, moderate exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and the avoidance of tanning beds and solariums can reduce your risk of skin cancer. Staying under the shade, covering up your skin and avoiding prolonged periods of exposure to the sun are some ways to help protect yourself.  

Workplace Hazards

Some people may have increased exposure to cancer-causing substances due to their work. E.g. Within the Chemical dye industry, people who work with asbestos etc. 

Get Vaccinated

If you have the option to be vaccinated go for it! Chronic infections are estimated to cause 16% of all cancers globally. Some of the most common forms of cancers such as liver, cervical and stomach cancers are associated with infections with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human papillomavirus (HPV), and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori virus (H, pylori), respectively. Today, there are safe and effective vaccines against HBV and HPV, which can help to protect against the infection-related cancers of liver and cervical cancers. 

“As individuals we can take responsibility for our health, including getting vaccinated and reminding others to get vaccinated, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, avoiding alcohol, tobacco and excessive/prolonged sun exposure”. 

Educate Yourself

Images Courtesy of: World Cancer Day Campaign Material by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

My time as a KC Apprentice

We interviewed Adam Watson to find out how he’s getting on during his first few months of his apprenticeship with Kidderminster College.

The Interview

What Apprenticeship did you apply for?

I applied for the role of Business administration apprentice within the KC marketing department.

How long is your apprenticeship for?

My apprenticeship runs for 18 months.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I decided to choose an apprenticeship because they are a great way to learn new skills and develop others whilst in a working environment. Apprenticeships allow you to gain experience within the role as well as getting a qualification at the end of the apprenticeship.

Did you find it hard to secure an apprenticeship?

No I did not find it too hard. I applied for a couple of similar apprenticeships before KC offered me an interview.

How did you find the interview process at KC?

The interview process was very simple. I had 2 phone interviews with the marketing manager before a telephone interview with the person I would be working alongside. I was then invited to a taster session to see if I suited the role. After this I was offered the positon. In total the process took around a week.

Did you have any apprehensions before starting the role?

One of my main apprehensions before starting the role was the fear of not fitting in due to having little knowledge compared to others. This however was very much proven to be wrong quickly as I was welcomed into the team with open arms.

How do you manage the learning and working aspects of the apprenticeship?

I am able to manage this well. When I have completed my work tasks, if I have free time I am able to complete any college work that I have remaining.

What are your day to day tasks?

My day to day tasks include responding to any emails surrounding admissions and changing any information on the system with the help of spreadsheets. The role can also include booking interviews for potential new learners and helping arrange events such as open evenings.

What is a typical week like?

At the moment I work 4 days in the role and have 1 college day each week. Currently due to the current circumstances I am working from home and doing college from home.

How do you feel it is going?

I feel that the apprenticeship is going well. I have fitted in well with my colleagues and understood what has been taught to me so far.

What do you like about working at KC?

A thing I like about working at KC is how welcoming and friendly everyone is. When I started I introduced myself to some of the senior management team who happily welcomed me and visited the office where I work to introduce themselves. Another thing I like about KC is that the work that it is done matters. KC gives everyone an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that will stay with them for life.

What do you want to gain from your apprenticeship?

I would like to gain the relevant experience that will be required for future jobs and a qualification that will stand out on my CV.

What advice do you have for someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship?

My advice for anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship is too apply. You have nothing to lose but a whole lot to gain if you are successful. You will gain first-hand experience of the job you are in which will help you improve your career prospects.