70 Years of the NHS NHS Kingston

Winter Champions


Welcome to our winter champions page!

Below we have profiled staff from Kingston CCG who have volunteered to go into the community and talk to local people about staying healthy during the winter months. This included sharing information about seeing their pharmacist first for their illnesses, getting the flu vaccine and extended GP appointments, which are being offered from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. If you are a local voluntary or health organisation and would like a winter champion to come to your service or event then please get in touch with us by emailing kingstonccg.engage@swlondon.nhs.uk. We are particularly keen to talk to parents of 2-3 year olds; adults with underlying health issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and COPD and adults over 65.

To read the full story for each winter champion click on the individual photos below.

Tonia Michaelides, Managing Director for Kingston and Richmond CCGs

Tonia visited Raleigh House, a local day centre in New Malden, run by the charity Staywell, to support centre user Sergio Dellagrotta, with a bingo session. While she was there Tonia spent time talking to Sergio, who shared some of his memories of owning a barber shop in Tooting Bec.

Although Tonia and Sergio didn’t win Bingo, it was a good opportunity for Tonia to hear how the centre is a lifeline to the people who use it. Sergio explained how much he enjoys the camaraderie and atmosphere; there is always lots of laughter and fun!

Tonia said: “It was great to leave the office and go and see some of the fantastic work that is happening at Raleigh House. I enjoyed meeting the people who use the day centre and find out more about the activities that take place. I talked to people about our winter campaign and the importance of getting a flu jab. It was a brilliant day, enjoyed by everyone involved.”


Vicki Harvey-Piper, Director of Corporate Affairs and Governance at Kingston and Richmond CCGs

Vicky visited Raleigh House, a local day centre in New Malden run by the charity Staywell, to meet a group of older people and talk to them about staying healthy over winter. Here she is in the photo with one of the centre users Louise Russell, who enjoys taking part in the arts and craft sessions.

Vicki said: “I got so much out of volunteering and would recommend people take the opportunity to be a winter champion. Most importantly we had good fun and made a positive difference to the people we talked to.”


Hans Schruader, Expert Patients Programme Manager, Kingston and Richmond CCGs

“I had the pleasure of spending a very interesting and fun day at Raleigh House, the Day Centre for Staywell which caters for an older population, many of whom have varying degrees of dementia.

It was a really fun day, making lots of good contact with the good people. It was very interesting to see what an amazing range of services were on offer and how much effort went into giving their clients the best experience possible.

I can genuinely recommend becoming a Winter Champion if for no other reason than it being a wonderful way of meeting the public and passing on the message of staying well in winter (and beyond).”


Rachael Swan, Engagement Coordinator at Kingston and Richmond CCGs

With the weather getting colder, Rachael volunteered to talk to patients at Hampton Medical Centre on Priory Road who attended a fitness event about keeping healthy.

Rachael said: “It’s a positive and fulfilling feeling when you help out the community through volunteering. It allows you to connect to your community and make a real difference to the lives of people and organisations in need, not to forget the benefits for yourself as a volunteer, which include helping to improve your health and happiness. I would really recommend taking some time out of your working day to get stuck in and get involved in the winter champions programme.”


Amy Burns, Communications Officer at Kingston and Richmond CCGs

Amy stepped up to volunteer at two local NHS health events in Richmond and Kingston that were attended by members of the local community. She talked to them about the local NHS services available and how they should see their pharmacist at the first signs of illness.

Amy said: “It was really lovely to be able to get out into the community and talk to people face-to-face about looking after themselves this winter. Cold weather can be seriously bad for our health, especially older people or those with long-term health conditions. Being a winter champion is a great opportunity to promote the services pharmacies can offer and the skills and expertise they have. Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals that can offer a breadth of health and wellbeing advice.”


Vicky Fraser, Designated Nurse for Children Looked After, Kingston and Richmond CCGs

Vicky recently met a group of young people, who are part of the Children in Care Council, to talk to them about staying well over the winter months.

Vicky said: “The Children in Care Council is a fantastic initiative, which is led by a group of young people who represent the looked after population in the boroughs of Kingston and Richmond. They were really interested to hear about what they can do to look after themselves, such as keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet and visiting a pharmacist for minor illnesses, instead of waiting for a GP appointment.

“It is important we empower young people to look after themselves, directing them towards pharmacists, who have a wealth of experience, and NHS 111 instead of visiting A&E for non-life threatening aliments. Also, we explained that small lifestyle changes, such walking instead of getting the bus, can make a huge difference to someone’s health.”


Mal Assi Contract Support Officer at Kingston and Richmond CCGs

At the arrival of winter, Mal Assi didn’t hesitate to volunteer as a winter champion to help get important health messages out into her local community. Building on her existing voluntary work at her local gurdwara (Sikh place of worship), Mal used winter champion training to serve the community where she is a member.

Mal said: “I already volunteer at my local gurdwara, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Hounslow, and wanted to offer winter health messages at the weekly wellbeing stall that is held there every Sunday.  The stall provides information on various health conditions and is run by a team of volunteers.  I wanted to make sure that members of my community knew what to do to stay well this winter, including having the flu vaccination.  I have done a few shifts with the team already and will continue to provide winter health advice over the next couple of months.”


Julia Travers Director of Commissioning at Kingston and RichmondCCGs

Julia attended the Richmond care and support partnership meeting in February to share important information about our winter campaign. The meeting was attended by representatives from the community and voluntary sector and is jointly chaired between Richmond Council and Richmond CVS.

Julia said: “We shared our winter campaign materials with representatives from the voluntary and community sector with particular emphasis on the ‘Help Us Help You’ winter campaign, which is already helping to reduce winter pressures by encouraging people to see their pharmacist at the first sign of illness.”


Sara Phipps Communications Manager at Kingston and Richmond CCGs

Sara went to the Christmas lights switch on in Teddington, a popular event in the calendar for local people! She volunteered as a winter champion and talked to families with children aged 2-3 years and older people about the importance of the flu vaccination.

Sara said: “The event was a great opportunity for me to talk to a wide range of people and shopkeepers and give them our leaflet about extended GP access, which is available 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, and seeing a pharmacist first for illnesses. Some families were unaware they needed to get the flu vaccine for their youngest children and appreciated the advice.

“I also chatted to Cllr Mona Adams, from the East Sheen Ward, who serves as Deputy Mayor, about our winter campaign and she was interested to hear all about it. In the photo I am with a paramedic from St John Ambulance, who also took some of our winter campaign leaflets to share with his colleagues.”

Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group, 2nd floor, Thames House,
180 High Street, Teddington, TW11 8HU
Tel: 020 39419900
Email: kingstonccg.communications@swlondon.nhs.uk

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