Due to the impact of Covid-19, last year core programmes at our Health & Wellbeing Centre on the Dumfries House Estate moved online for the first time. These courses have been a lifeline to the communities we serve, as the physical and mental impacts of lockdown become ever more apparent.
As well as moving delivery online, the Health & Wellbeing team made several adaptations to the content of the complementary therapies. For example, Acupressure and Hand Reflexology were offered in place of Acupuncture and Reflexology as they have similar outcomes yet provide better flexibility for remote practice. To reflect the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, the Health & Wellbeing Centre was also able to provide increased access to psychological therapies such as Neuro-linguistic Programming, Hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Adaptations were also made to the exercise component of many programmes; Tai Chi and Yoga were selected as ideal activities to practise at home. The social element of the The Prince’s Foundation Chiu Health and Wellness Programmes was continued via virtual ‘cook along’ sessions to keep up morale and encourage participation in the group.
This programme offers couples the opportunity to identify lifestyle changes to improve their chances of conceiving and achieving a healthy pregnancy and baby. The group numbers are small and supported by a range of secondary and tertiary care specialists and consultants. The programme includes support around nutrition, smoking and alcohol, managing stress and building resilience, and support with treatments. Over the past year, The Prince’s Foundation has delivered five programmes with 27 couples participating. Wellbeing amongst this group rose by 7.39 points on average.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn from some of the best people in the business, and the support provided has been amazing.” – Participant, Fertility programme
The programme was of interest nationally, and we had the excitement of having our very first baby, Calvin Forrest. His parents were keen to share how much support and advice they had received from the professionals on the programme and to encourage other couples who were beginning their fertility journey or struggling to conceive to join the 6-week programme.
For those suffering from low mood and anxiety, the Health & Wellbeing Centre’s Mindfulness Programmes promote time to calm the mind and allow ourselves space to appreciate and be compassionate to ourselves and the world around us. We have delivered five programmes online over the last year with 58 participants.
The Health & Wellbeing Centre has also supported 27 NHS and Care Home staff through the pandemic by delivering two Mindfulness Programmes. Participants have been incredibly appreciative of the sessions and have been promoting its benefit with their networks across Scotland.
“The course helped me to relax, be aware of what is around me and everyday pleasures such as scents and sounds. I felt it gave me permission to unwind and give my brain a much-needed rest.” – Participant, Mindfulness programme
In future, the team at the Health & Wellbeing Centre would like to explore a blended approach, with both in-person and online delivery.
In recognition of Dr Gabriel and Mrs Christine Chiu's support of The Prince's Foundation, these programmes are known as The Prince’s Foundation Chiu Health and Wellness Programmes.