This guide is a reminder of some of the important things that carers are still allowed to do during the national lockdown.
Unpaid carers have always performed a vital role and that network of support around a person is more important now than ever. But, with a changing situation it can be difficult for carers to feel confident about what they are (and are not) allowed to do.
If you’re a carer or know someone who is, this guide could be very useful. Key things to know are:
You can be a carer and provide support to a vulnerable person, even if they live in a different household or you are not in a support bubble together. You can still go to the home of the person you provide care for, to support them.
Where you can, maintain social distancing.
Often, it isn’t possible to maintain social distancing when providing care support. You should still do what you can to limit close contact as much as possible and take other precautions such as washing hands and opening windows for ventilation.
The guide explains everything that carers need to know:
If you’re not able to connect with people due to social isolation, or are feeling lonely or worried about yourself, the person you care for, your work, or anything else, please do contact Carers Count.
The Wellness Service at Kirklees Council helps people to live healthier, happier lives and supports people to feel more able to look after themselves. They have a range of support services, all free of charge.
Get support with:
Improving mental wellbeing
Improving physical wellbeing
Steps for life and active for life
Support for carers
Connect to local groups
If you or someone you know might benefit from one of these services, now is the time to act.
As with many services the Wellness Service is currently restricted from providing the usual support sessions, but they are still open and ready to support adults 18 years+.
They are holding one to one consultations by phone appointment and these can be arranged by telephone or by completing the referral form.
Being able to provide help, guidance and information for mums-to-be is at the very heart of what volunteers at Auntie Pam’s do. They believe that the health and happiness of pregnant women is just as important as the baby’s, which is why they are here to help every step of the way.
Of course, during lockdown appropriate safety measures need to be in place, which means that the usual Auntie Pam’s venues in Dewsbury and Huddersfield can’t open at this time.
Help and support is still available though and local women can contact the amazing Auntie Pam’s volunteers via telephone, email and social media.
If you know anyone who might need support, a kindly ear or guidance, Auntie Pam’s is a good place to start.
Could you make time for a 30 minute conversation that can make a huge difference to someone’s life?
The Befriending Partnership are continuing to help tackle isolation through their telephone befriending service. Set up part of the amazing response from community organisations in Kirklees during the coronavirus lockdown, this vital service is supporting older people and vulnerable adults.
The partnership is led by the Yorkshire Children’s Centre and Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees. They are still receiving daily referrals for people who are at home and feeling lonely. This is a key time when we’re once again more isolated from each other and when we’re heading towards the colder winter months. They really need more volunteers.
Could you give up a small amount of your time to have a conversation with someone in need?
Full training (via Zoom) and support will be provided to help more people take up this important role. Not sure how to use Zoom? Support will be provided to help you.
Crosland Moor Community Learning Centre are offering a range of free online learning opportunities this November, which can help people boost their confidence as well as skills. Could you or someone you know benefit?
There are lots of opportunities for you to learn something new, including:
Zoom workshop – Keep hearing about Zoom sessions? Find out what it’s all about
Food Hygiene Level 2 – get qualified to begin work in the catering industry
What’s recycling all about? – Build your confidence speaking English, focussed on recycling and the environment
Working with office apps – making full use of your Google or Outlook apps
Digital skills for beginners – first steps to becoming familiar with digital technology
Digital Citizenship – for people with some existing digital skills, who might want to consider working toward a qualification.
How to take part
You can find out more about these courses on the Crosland Moor Community Learning Centre website. If there is something there that takes your fancy you can sign-up using the enrolment button and complete your details using the online form:
The Covid Quilt Project is a nationwide project aimed at tackling social isolation by bringing people together to be part of something bigger in their community, by stitching our memories into the fabric of time.
By bringing people together in a creative space, to make bold statements about memorable moments in the time of Covid and piecing them together stitch by stitch, the project aims to document people’s experiences by creating a historical textile reflecting a living social history of our time.
But capturing memories and documenting them to look back on is only part of the story. This is also about people and places – a way to talk, create and give people a voice. It is about gaining new understanding of the local communities around us and how we coped.
This is a great opportunity to share your own memory with others, or to help other people to share something, and continue to help bind our communities together.
All project details are available online, including how to get a group together, a timeline for the project, and the support you can expect, such as regular updates, regular Zoom drop-in calls and mutual support and discussion groups.
Like many organisations delivering learning during the coronavirus lockdown, PJ Arts Hub have taken to delivering their weekly arts based wellbeing sessions online.
In between Motivational Monday and Feel Good Friday sessions, PJ Arts Hub have guest speakers to motivate you on such things as gaining employment and skill development, to skills swap sessions to either learn new skills or share your own skills to help others.
Everyone needs a bit of encouragement and mental stimulation sometimes, and everyone is welcome to join the sessions.
Mutual aid groups in the Colne Valley have added something a little extra to their food deliveries after local organisations got together to create a recipe book. As well as being value for money, the recipes in the book are easy to make and are nutritionally balanced.
Third Sector Leaders Kirklees supported the groups with funding from One Community and One 17 Charitable Trust have produced the book. The recipe books will now be given out with food packs in the Colne Valley.
Liz Quinn, a director of Pride in Linthwaite, has put together the recipes. She says in the book:
“I’m an NHS dietician in my day job and I felt that this was something that I could help with. I tried to keep the recipes nutritionally balanced and easy to prepare, inexpensive and accessible for everyone. Tinned, dried and frozen foods can be a fantastic source of nutrients. We hope you enjoy the recipes.”
Among the 18 recipes are the likes of Sausage and Bean Stew, Pea and Pesto Soup, Tuna Pasta Bake and Tinned Meat Hash. If you fancy a dessert there is Banana Flapjack.
Just as different ingredients come together to make a healthy meal, it is the many different groups within a community working together who can make useful projects like this happen.
Co-operative Care Colne Valley are the community anchor organisation who are working with community groups and citizens to respond to needs and priorities across the Colne Valley. Along with mutual aid and community groups, they have been at the heart of support for the community during the Covid-19 crisis, providing food supplies, supporting isolated people and developing community activities in Linthwaite, Slaithwaite, Marsden and Golcar.
Community anchor organisations such as Co-operative Care Colne Valley play a significant role in bringing local groups together to help make healthier and happier communities.
If you’ve volunteered as part of the coronavirus lockdown over the last few months, helping to make sure the more vulnerable people in the community are looked after, you may be considering your next steps. It might be to do more volunteering, find employment or looking for a career change.
Help with finding work is at hand through Works Better. The team understands that this is a stressful time for job seekers and especially those who have recently been made redundant.
The support available includes:
Help to apply for Universal Credit
Advice on updating your CV
Searching for jobs
Preparing for interviews
Support with Job Applications and much more.
Works Better is an employment support programme that has been designed to help residents in Kirklees tackle barriers into work and find new employment opportunities in the future.
Currently, due to Covid-19, services are only being delivered via telephone and digitally, to make sure they comply with government guidance and that residents can still access this crucial support.
To access support from Works Better you must be out of work or unemployed and be a Kirklees resident aged 18+
Works Better Enhanced is part funded by the European Social Fund and managed by Kirklees Council. It is delivered across the Kirklees District in partnership with Fusion Housing, Paddock Community Trust, Proper Job Theatre Company and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing.