Our Latest News

2014 / August

Welcome to our August newsletter. We can’t quite believe it is August already but we’re making the most of the sunshine and our outdoor activities.


Start2 have been shortlisted for The Digital Entrepreneur Awards

Start2 are pleased to have been shortlisted for ‘Technical Innovation Within the Public Sector.’  In it’s ninth year the DEA are the only awards of their kind, recognising entrepreneurs from across the country who have achieved online business excellence.  The awards celebrate not only the high-profile websites and leaders driving online commerce but the silent heroes who develop the systems that change the online landscape and shape our digital future. 


Mental health and physical health go hand in hand

Valuing mental health treatment equally with physical health treatment by health services is an ongoing theme in the news.


In a recent Guardian article freedom of information requests by Luciana Berger, shadow public health minister, show that the 67% (147 of 211) of clinical commissioning groups that responded spend less than 10% of their budget on mental health services. The results show that many parts of the NHS spend as little as 6.6% of their budgets on mental health, though conditions such as anxiety and depression make up 23% of the service's overall burden of illness.


In some of the areas with the largest numbers of people with a mental health problem spend the least on such care.


Berger said the figures showed that people needing help were faced with an "alarming postcode lottery".


"Mental health should be treated no differently to physical health. People with mental illness shouldn't have to expect different standards of care simply because of where they live."


Summer stress busting 

Whilst a little bit of stress can be beneficial for us, too much stress significantly reduces our quality of life, health and wellbeing. Continued learning, positive thinking exercises and activities that relax us can all benefit our mood. Research has shown that a simple mood boosting activity can leave us feeling good for hours afterwards. If practised on a regular basis Start2 creative wellbeing activities can begin to build inner resources to maintain positive wellbeing.


Travel Journal

Create holiday memories with a difference this summer.  Instead of taking photos, keeping a sketchbook or writing a diary, try keeping a scrapbook-style memoir of your travel experiences. You don’t need to be able to draw, or be a whiz at creative writing or photography. Whilst we’re at it, you don’t even need to be on holiday! Spice up your working week or those tedious tasks with this step-by-step guide which suggests ways you can capture your travel experiences visually, using recycled materials you can pick up easily when out and about. Great for a bit of ‘me time’ or to entertain the whole family…


Why not share your work in our Stress Busting Gallery for other Start2 users to admire and be inspired by?


Treat your brain

There’s growing evidence to suggest that our brain and our memory can be seen as if they were muscles benefiting from regular exercise. This is known as brain plasticity or ‘neuroplasticity.’ Our brain is designed and built to be stimulated and stretched.  It’s shown that in response to new and exciting mental activity our brains change neural connections by making new ‘neurons’ (cells which process and transmit information though chemical and electrical signals). Brain researchers have found that with age there's an increase in "chatter" in our brains, slowing us down. However taking part in interesting new experiences and learning new things are both significant ways of boosting our brain power.  Give your brain a mini-workout and wind down with this enjoyable Stitch a Day activity which shows you how to capture memories of your day and notice your surroundings.


New to stitching? We’ve got video guides and downloadable guides here.


Why not share your work in our Brain Boosting Gallery for other Start2 users to admire and be inspired by?


Here at Start2 HQ we love to hear what you get out of Start2. Drop us a line and let us know. Have a read of what others think.


Best wishes


The Start2 team