Podcasts with Dean Russell

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Making mental health conversations the norm post-Covid- Mental Health recovery plan

Friday 11th September 2020
Covid and lockdown has had a big impact on mental health increasing stress, fear and anxiety for many people - but it has also given us an opportunity to get to grips with it and do something about it. I brought together some of our fantastic local charities and together we drew up a mental health recovery plan. At the heart of it is making mental health conversations the norm in our schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods.  My ambition is for Watford to lead the way on this. More here with Herts Mind Network; Watford & Three Rivers Trust; New Hope Charity; Signpost South West Herts; and more. 

Catch up with football legend Luther Blissett

Friday 14th August 2020
Football legend Luther Blissett is possibly the most famous Watfordian. He joins me in this episode to discuss a range of issues such as Covid, community relations and what Watford means to him. 

Tech, leadership and business being a force for good

Thursday 30th July 2020
Sir Ian Livingstone has a fascinating CV. Chief Exec of BT, then trade minister responsible for our exports, now Chairman of British multinational Dixons Carphone. He joins me in this episode to talk tech, leadership and business being a force for good.

Coronavirus and rough sleepers in Watford

Thursday 23rd July 2020
Did you know New Hope, the homeless charity here in Watford, has been around for 30 years? They’ve done an incredible job over lockdown helping dozens of rough sleepers into temporary accommodation like the local Travelodge and the YMCA. Now we need to work together and make sure they get the support they need to stay off the streets and turn their lives around. I caught up with Matthew Heasman, the CEO at New Hope in this episode.

Coronavirus community information with Hertfordshire's Police & Crime Commissioner David Lloyd

Monday 29th June 2020
David Lloyd is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, and he has a big job on his hands. He's been elected to the role and is tasked with making sure Watford and Hertfordshire remain safe.  Amongst many things, he sets the local policing plan and budget and holds the Chief Constable to account. David joins me in this episode. 

Coronavirus community information with with Paul Da Gama from West Herts NHS Trust

Wednesday 24th June 2020
During the Covid crisis, Watford Football Club turned Vicarage Road into a sanctuary for doctors, nurses and staff at Watford General Hospital which included meals, beds and chill out zones. Just one way our brilliant community pulled together during this tough time. I caught up with Paul Da Gama from West Herts NHS trust for this episode. 

Coronavirus community information with Francis Thomas from London Northwestern Railway

Friday 19th June 2020
The Covid outbreak hit us suddenly a few weeks back and it’s changed some of our habits in a big way. Many of us have got used to working from home, and we’ve found technology like Zoom and Skype actually works! And that will mean a big shift in the way we commute - especially in the immediate future. Francis Thomas from London Northwestern Railway joins me in this episode. 

The National Lottery and Watford

Friday 12th June 2020
Did you know that Camelot, who operates the National Lottery, is a major Watford employer - employing more than 700 people locally. And the National Lottery has invested a huge £40bn into good causes since it started 25 years ago. Watford has received £37m of that and some of that cash been used to renovate Cassiobury Park. More here with Nigel Railton.

Coronavirus community information with Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss

Thursday 11th June 2020
Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss is Her Majesty’s personal representative for Hertfordshire. Robert carries out duties on behalf of the Queen, and in Hertfordshire his packed agenda includes being President of the scouts, the local cadets and reserves force, and the patron of many local charities. During the Covid crisis, he has been working with local hospices to build a 'wish list' get them what they need. Robert joins me in this episode.

Coronavirus community information with local volunteer and district councillor, Donna Duncan

Tuesday 9th June 2020
Meet Donna - a local volunteer and district councillor. Donna and her husband have been doing an amazing job picking up shopping and delivering prescriptions for vulnerable people during this pandemic. Donna joins me in this episode.

Coronavirus community information with Director of Public Health in Hertfordshire, Jim McManus

Tuesday 2nd June 2020
We are incredibly lucky to have Jim McManus as our Director of Public Health in Hertfordshire. Jim has worked in 4 pandemics and brings a wealth of experience and important lessons with him as we recover from Covid. Great to talk to him in this episode. 

Coronavirus community information with Operations Director Glyn Evans from Watford Football Club

Thursday 21st May 2020
Watford Football Club has done a tremendous job completely transforming their ground into space for doctors, nurses and staff at Watford General Hospital. Feeling very lucky to live in such a generous community, and pleased to be joined by Glyn Evans from the club.

Coronavirus community information with Watford’s Mental Health champion Cllr Rabi Martin

Thursday 14th May 2020
Mental health - everybody goes through days where they don’t feel great and it’s ok to talk about it. Ask your friend or colleague if they are ok, especially during these tough times. Sometimes asking twice is good. Very pleased to discuss this and more with Watford’s Mental Health champion Cllr Rabi Martin.

Coronavirus community information with Small Acts of Kindness Chief Exec Lynne Misner

Thursday 7th May 2020
I’m really pleased to hear that older people who need help during this pandemic are asking for it. It’s not always easy for them as some are not on social media, and in many cases older people try and make do and are too proud to ask for help. Small Acts of Kindness is a charity doing a great job delivering warming packages and helping reduce loneliness. More here with Founder Lynne Misner.

Coronavirus community information with Nik Allen

Wednesday 4th May 2020
Nik Allen is an excellent local journalist at My Local News who sadly caught coronavirus. He’s now better - he opens up about his darkest hour battling the virus and he tells us what it was like inside the much loved Watford General Hospital.

Coronavirus community information with Lead Chaplain Frances Novillo for Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy

Tuesday 28th April 2020
The Street Angels and Chaplains at Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy are doing an amazing job in looking after the mental health of people working in our town centre. The COVID-19 lockdown means they can’t visit workplaces at the moment, but they are innovating and adapting to the circumstances. I'm pleased to be joined by Frances from the Chaplaincy to discuss this and much more.

Coronavirus community information with Mayor Peter Taylor

Tuesday 17th April 2020
Whether it’s bin collections, helping homeless people or making sure burials happen, we’re making sure people get their core services during this coronavirus lockdown. I'm really pleased to be joined remotely by Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor who is doing a brilliant job for the community with Watford Council.

Coronavirus community information with Herts County Council Chief Exec Owen Mapley

Tuesday 7th April 2020
Hertfordshire County Council is doing an incredible job during COVID19 - keeping our local schools open for children of key workers and providing social care for those who need it. Their Chief Exec Owen Mapley joins me remotely in this episode to discuss their fantastic efforts. And a big thank you to everyone volunteering in Watford to help vulnerable and isolated people as we get through this crisis. You can also listen to the full episode on 'Watford Matters with Dean Russell' - available now on Spotify here.

Coronavirus community information with Bob Jones of W3RT

Wednesday 1st April 2020
Over the coming days I'm beginning a series of community information podcasts to throw a spotlight on some of the great work happening in Watford during this challenging time. I'm pleased to be joined by Bob from Watford & Three Rivers Trust who is helping coordinate the local volunteering effort with Watford Council. Forgive the audio quality, these episodes are being done remotely to keep everyone safe and we are putting information out in as real time as possible.