Brian Urwin, Think Healthy Me’s Life President sadly passed away on the 1st of June 2023. He worked passionately and tirelessly to help disadvantaged young people and was dedicated to empowering people to look after their health and well-being. In recent years he founded Think Healthy Me CIC, which has 24 associates, each experienced in natural/complementary medicine, nutrition and mindfulness, yoga, transcendental meditation, massage, coaching and more skills.
Much-loved husband, dad, grandad, and great grandad, he was an inspiring man who set up many community groups in Thanet, including two befriending groups to conquer the loneliness brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was an active member of many resident associations and community groups and a founder of numerous support groups for everything from diabetes and asthma to friendship groups.
Brian Thomas Urwin was born on April 15th, 1936, in Eastham, Merseyside to Dorothy and George Urwin. He had a younger brother, Raymond.
He married Brenda on 29 June 1957, and this month the couple would have celebrated 66 years of marriage.
Brian leaves three children, Karen, Nicki, and Ross, six grandchildren, Dani, Naomi, Minnie, Nathalie, Thomas, and Joseph and two great-grandchildren, Harry, and Matteo.
On behalf of the family daughter Karen said: “He was a truly amazing, generous, kind, thoughtful, beautiful, positive, motivational, and inspirational person, a true gentleman, and gentle man. We are all so very proud of him and he will be so deeply missed.
“His family meant the world to him, and he leaves a great hole in our lives. He was our rock, our confidante, our protector, our anchor, our mentor, our advisor, and our friend, and loved us all unconditionally and immensely, as we did him. He meant the world to us all. He was a dedicated family man, with a heart of gold.
Brian was also instrumental in getting a defibrillator installed at Westwood Cross and recently received the Kings Coronation Award for his voluntary services to the community, one of only 500 nationwide. His nomination spoke of how Brian coached and mentored disadvantaged adults and young people, empowering them in personal leadership, values, health, and well-being. It also highlighted the self-help and support groups he had created.
‘I’d like to thank-you to Brian for his dedication, commitment, vision and enthusiasm in establishing Think Healthy Me. He has been such an inspiration to me and others. I vow to continue the legacy he leaves behind.’
CEO Think Healthy Me
Brian Urwin is one of 500 outstanding volunteers to be chosen as the nation’s Coronation Champions.
An outstanding volunteer from Thanet has been recognised by Their Majesties the King and The Queen Consort as part of the official Coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service.
Brian Urwin volunteers with Think Healthy Me and has been recognised for his contribution and crowned a Coronation Champion. This follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.
Brian impressed judges with his dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of residents and businesses in Thanet.
With the support of Her Majesty the Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history. Across the UK, 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and unwavering commitment to volunteering.
All Coronation Champions, including Brian have been invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party. They will also receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.
Commenting on becoming a Coronation Champion, Brian Urwin said: “It’s an honour to be named a Coronation Champion. At Think Healthy Me, we all work hard to make a difference, it’s heart-warming to have my volunteering efforts recognised.”
The Coronation Champions Awards invited people across the UK to nominate their local volunteering heroes who are going the extra mile. Nominations were made across eight award categories; supporting older people; supporting young people and children; crisis and welfare; community; sports, culture, and heritage; health and care; sustainability and the environment; and animal welfare.
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended. “
“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”
Royal Voluntary Service is immensely grateful for the generous support of brand partners Simplyhealth, for supporting the Health and Care category, Sky through its Sky Cares programme, for supporting the Community category and Petplan, for supporting the Animal Welfare category.
Those feeling inspired to try volunteering themselves are encouraged to take part in The Big Help Out on Monday 8th May. The Big Help Out is another official Coronation project, aiming to encourage newcomers to volunteering, bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation weekend.
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting the NHS and thousands of vulnerable people in the community. The charity delivers the NHS Volunteer Responders programme for NHS England, enabled by the GoodSAM app, with volunteers responding to over 2.5 million requests for help to support approximately 200,000 people, and completing over 363,000 shifts at vaccination sites. The charity also works in local communities running home libraries, companionship support, home from hospital services and patient transport. Its Virtual Village Hall provides online activities and classes to promote wellbeing and keep people active.
RAMLETS (aka Ramsgate LETS the Ramsgate Local Exchange and Trading System) is a community-based barter system for the whole of Thanet. Members pool their skills and resources to form a local network, which allows them to trade goods and services without using money. Instead of using pounds and pence, RAMLETS has its own ‘currency’ called ‘RAMS’. It was started in 2014 and is one of over 450 similar systems around the country.
Please have a look at its website at ramlets.org.uk and join up.
Think Healthy Me is pleased to support the development of RAMLETS as a community resource.
Are you in the unfortunate position of being labelled in the NEET category? This means: ‘Not in Education and not in Employment’, in other words you are young and I suspect not too happy with being idle and not able to gain employment.
My name is Brian and I have been mentoring and coaching young people for the past 35 years and been inspired by how many of them have recognised the benefits of gaining ‘Personal Leadership’ at a young age. They have also gained many more life skills that their education did not cover such as Personal Values, Resilience, Commitment,
Civic Pride and Community plus the benefits of volunteering and much more. If you are interested in finding out more I will be attending the Westcliff Conservation and Community Association AGM at 1030hrs on Saturday 19th March at the Boating Pool, Royal Esplanade, Ramsgate. I will be very happy to introduce myself and explain more about the benefits of mentoring. Alternatively, you can contact me as follows:
Mobile/ Text: 07768530909 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thinkhealthyme.co.uk
SOME REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES OF CAREER BENEFITS OF MENTORING:
CASE STUDY 1 Phillip
THEN: Came to the UK when he was 12 years of age. Could not speak English. Put into the largest boy’s school in Kent and was bullied. Consequently, he became a ‘school refuser.’
NOW:15 years on:
Phillip has a PhD, lectured at Kings College London. He now has a senior well paid position in Australia.
CASE STUDY 2 Bill.
THEN: Born with a medical condition that affected his mobility and learning ability. At a young age his parents were informed by the Education Authorities he would not benefit from main stream schooling. His parents ignored this and Bill eventually ended up at the same largest Boys school in Kent as Phillip. Consequently, he was subjected to bullying which affected his education and learning. By the time he reached the 6th Form he had not done very well in literacy and arithmetic, two basic subjects.
NOW 15 Years later;
Despite his physical limitations it is obvious that Ethan is enjoying life, more so than his time in education. He has strong determination and is a high achiever. He is Chairman of the Kent Branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Kent Coaching SML/CPD Group, a Human Resource Director with one company and a Director and Company Secretary in a new Health and Well-Being CIC company. He is studying for professional qualifications in Human Resources. Also, he has conquered the shortfall in literacy and arithmetic through his tenacity. Ethan recently took over, from myself, the Chair of the Diabetes Thanet Community Self-Help group and is providing the necessary leadership. He has become an extraordinary man with a heart for people to fill the planet. Recently he took over, from myself, safeguarding and mentoring a young man who has been gang stalked and bullied from the age of 14 to the present day.
CASE STUDY 3
His head teacher requested Brian to mentor and coach him which Brian accepted. Benjamin was instrumental in helping Brian to set up Personalised Learning in Communities and showed indications of leadership. Brian and Benjamin worked together to form a PLC committee of young people focused on helping young people set up a Basketball league in the Medway Towns. Three teenagers joined Brian and Benzamine at the Medway finance committee to make their case for the Council to support the sport of Basketball. They were successful. They also achieved Triangle awards as a result of the achievements in helping local teenagers and communities.
Benjamin is an AREA Manager for a very large national supermarket.
Many more examples of young and older people benefiting from mentoring and coaching are available.
Brian Urwin CEO Think Healthy Me Ltd
Founder/Chairperson Health and Business in Thanet ‘HABIT’
Ambassador for Public Health Collaboration
Founder/Chairman of Diabetes Thanet Community Group
Think Healthy Me (THM) Ltd was a new business start-up a year ago just as the first Coronavirus lockdown hit. Now in April 2021, we have taken the bold step of re-registering and changing our status to that of a Community Interest Company (CIC). This is because, as a Board of Directors we have realised that we can potentially achieve more and have a greater impact on the deprivation around health and wellbeing currently being experienced by people in Thanet and wider in Kent and the UK. We aim to do this by undertaking projects and accessing grants to fund them. Whilst the commercial needs of businesses will remain a focus where possible, it seems to us that community-based needs are a greater priority for Think Healthy Me’s attention.
During the pandemic and the past year, we have learnt a lot about the achievements of our THM Associates in regenerating and re-imagining their businesses. We have the capability to help struggling Kent SME’s in doing the same. We are also now collaborating with other charitable organisations, for example the Warnborough Foundation, to assist where we can with their aims.
Our aim is to develop funding bids for projects that can contribute to improving people’s health and wellbeing by tackling key issues such as diabetes, obesity, depression, loneliness and poor mental health using life-style change and a broad range of complimentary health services. We are keen to make a difference in the community and hope to work in partnership with local GP surgeries and other community-based organisations.