St. Andrew’s Church Liversedge – our food box network

Volunteers at St Andrew's Methodist Church

In spring 2020, Kirklees Council more than doubled the funding that ward councillors have available to support local projects in their area. Through this extra £30,000 of funding per ward, councillors are able to support the groups, projects and volunteers who are such a vital part of the community response to Covid-19. We’re sharing some stories from different wards, so you can see how councillors are using these funds in our local places.

The relationships councillors have with people in their communities, and their local knowledge, continues to be an important part of helping citizens in our local places respond to Covid-19.

Like many local groups and organisations, volunteers from St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Liversedge realised that if they were going to set up a project to help their community, they were going to have to act fast to get it off the ground before lockdown happened. Their aim was to be ready to provide food boxes to vulnerable people across parts of North Kirklees.

Administered by Wesley Playhouse Ltd (as part of the Howden Clough Methodist Church in Birstall) the project quickly brought together representatives of other churches in North Kirklees, who together made a plan for the food box network.

Caroline Holt, one of the lead organisers, explained how the project came about and what they’ve achieved by working together with other partners. Funding from local councillors has been important in supporting their work.

“I was approached by a local ward councillor, Cllr Lisa Holmes. She has a really good knowledge of the communities and knew that through the network of churches something could happen. Churches covering the North Kirklees circuit quickly became part of the project.

“Getting funding to run a project under normal circumstances isn’t always easy. The bureaucracy involved can really hold things up. Cllr Holmes explained local ward councillors had been given extra funding so they could tackle issues more quickly. This allowed us to focus on getting the project up and running with minimal time wasted on form filling.

“We were keen to do things properly though, so made sure we consulted with parishioners on what they thought would be more useful to go in food boxes. From this we were able to work out the likely costs and let the councillors know how much funding we thought we’d need.

“We wrote a business plan to give ourselves some structure and an ability to demonstrate our approach. The councillors from Liversedge and Gomersal ward and Mirfield ward initially gave us £5,000 between them. They offered reassurance too though, that if the numbers of people requiring our help increased, they would support us with additional funding.

“The trust they showed in us to deliver a project like this was really important. We would have done something to support our communities anyway, but the time taken to do this would have been time lost when people really needed our help.”

As well as the benefit of having a good relationship with the councillors, Caroline also told us about the importance of managing the project properly and the support from other parts of the community.

“We knew it was important we reached the right people, so relied in part on referrals from the Covid-19 Community Response phone line set up by Kirklees Council. In this way, we knew the referrals we were getting were from people in need and were at a level of need we could definitely help with. We had so many people come forward to volunteer that we couldn’t even use all of them. This shows how brilliant the community response has been.

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Mav Morse taking a request

“Some people gave up their time every day, such as Liz and Richard Sands, along with Mav Morse who manned the phone line. We’re also hugely grateful to Steve Dawson of Tesco and Wendy Clough of Morrisons supermarkets, whose local branches gave us donations of food, meaning the funding we did have could go a lot further. It probably doubled the length of the project.

“In all, throughout the lockdown, we’ve helped over 200 households and continue to help some. We’ll keep helping them until we know they’re no longer vulnerable, but will also encourage them to take back their independence as time goes by.

“The success of the project and the benefits to our communities shows why it’s good for groups to have a good relationship with your local councillors. The councillors took the initiative in approaching us, trusted that we could help and gave us the funding to deliver something much needed in our communities at the time.”

Ward project budgets – your councillors can help

Learn more about councillors

 

The Welcome Centre – help with food and more

The Welcome Centre food bank and more

Do you know someone who needs help to get food?

The Welcome Centre is a food bank and more. This independent charity can help anyone in Huddersfield and South Kirklees. They can supply food, toiletries and household cleaning items. The Welcome Centre also offer advice and guidance.

If you know someone who cannot buy the food, toiletries or other household items they need, please advise them to contact someone who can make a referral for them (or seek their permission to contact someone on their behalf). This person could be their GP, teacher, health visitor, housing worker, counsellor or church.

These organisations can also offer help and can make a referral for a food parcel if necessary:

  • Local Welfare Provision team at Kirklees Council: 01484 414 782
  • The Mission advice workers: 01484 421 461
  • Kirklees Citizens Advice: 0344 848 7970

Advice leaflets

Do you need help to get food? (PDF)

More than a food bank (PDF)

 

Find out more

The Welcome Centre

How to get help from the Welcome Centre

 


We haven’t beaten the virus… yet

stay two metres apart where possible

Covid-19 is still in our communities. The only way to eliminate it is to stop it from spreading.

You can play your part by:

Staying 2 metres apart, washing your hands, staying away from crowds, wearing a face covering, isolating if you show symptoms and following instructions from the NHS Test and Trace.

You can also contribute to the gathering of local insight through this online form:

Gathering local insight about Coronavirus

It’s really helpful if as many people as possible can contribute their local insight.

You can also report unsafe practices, incidents or planned events through this online form:

Reporting an incident which increases the risk of spreading Coronavirus

 


Preventing an outbreak

We need your help to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19)

Download our advice posters

Kirklees Covid-19 advice posters (PDF)

 

Arabic poster (PDF)            اضغط هنا للغة العربية
Albanian poster (PDF)         klikoni këtu për shqip
Guajarati poster (PDF) ગુઆજરાતી માટે અહીં ક્લિક કરો 
Farsi poster (PDF)                برای فارسی اینجا را کلیک کنید
Hungarian poster (PDF)     Kattintson ide a Magyar
Kurdish poster (PDF)          لێرە كليك بكە بۆ كور د ى
Mandarin poster (PDF)      点击这里查看普通话 
Polish poster (PDF)             Kliknij tu, aby wybrać j. polski 
Romanian poster (PDF)     apăsați aici pentru limba română 
Spanish poster (PDF)         Pulse aquí para Español’ 
Urdu poster (PDF)              اردو کے لئے یہاں کلک کریں 

 

Coronavirus: Information in other languages

Covid-19 Translated information – Kirklees Welcomes blog

 

Art Workshops for mutual aid co-ordinators and volunteers

crafts

Crafty Home are inviting Mutual Aid Group co-ordinators and volunteers to attend a FREE art workshop. After a particularly intense time of helping and supporting your communities, what better way to relax, unwind and let your imagination run free?

Not artistic? Not a problem. This is a way of saying thank you for the amazing work you’ve done, to share in some downtime together, reflect, paint, draw or make.

You don’t have to be an artist to take part and the workshops are free of charge, but places are limited so please get in touch as soon as possible.

The first event for mutual aid co-ordinators and admins is on 25th July 2020 at the Piazza (Unit 16 next to USC shoe store) from 11.30am.

The second event for volunteers and those who couldn’t make to the first one is on 1st August 2020 form 11.30am, also at Unit 16 at the Piazza.

Find out more

Contact Patrycia: crafty.home@yahoo.com

Or call 07421 122314

www.facebook.com/almondbury

Capture

Neighbourhood Watch – a way to keep helping your community stay safe

Nieghbourhood watch header

The outbreak of Covid-19 has presented many challenges but has demonstrated how neighbourhoods and communities have pulled together, kept an eye out for each other, and supported those who are not in a position to help themselves.

Forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your neighbourhood is just one opportunity that local volunteers or mutual aid groups could move forward with, continuing the amazing work already done over the past few months.

Neighbourhood Watch schemes are far more than the old cliché of ‘nosy neighbours’ and there are number of ways they can impact positively in our communities. They can:

  • Support neighbours struggling with Covid-19 restrictions
  • Create safer neighbourhoods
  • Build community spirit and cohesion
  • Enhance partnerships with other community groups
  • Address issues relating to anti-social behaviour
  • Improve quality of life and the local environment
  • Provide valuable information to the police
  • Reassure people

There are lots of resources available to help.

Becoming part of the West Yorkshire Police Neighbourhood Watch network will keep you informed and more alert to what is happening around you, creating a safer neighbourhood.

Safer Kirklees would like to build on the close community relationships and have a commitment to work with communities to address quality of life issues. They believe local people are best placed to understand local needs and help find the solutions to support others.

Find out more

For more information, advice, or to share your ideas, please contact: Beverley.Fox2@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk  or  Safer@kirklees.gov.uk 

More information about setting up a Neighbourhood Watch:

Setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

 

West Yorkshire Police Community Alert

Community Alert 1

Keeping up with what is going on in our local area can be a challenge and some things are more important to us than others. Crime is something we may be unfortunate enough to have to report sometimes, but it can also be useful to be alerted to policing issues.

Helpfully, West Yorkshire Police have launched a new messenger system “West Yorkshire Community Alert” which will enable members of the public to keep in touch with local police updates.

Registration is free and you can choose to receive news and appeals, local crime information and prevention advice direct via email, text or voice message.

You can also sign up for local updates from their Neighbourhood Policing Team or Neighbourhood Watch contacts, or join a number of specialised community interest groups such as business watch, dog walkers, motorists or crime prevention etc.

To sign up, please visit:

West Yorkshire Community Alert

 

Yes You Can 2020

Yes You Can1

Sometimes we all need a boost of confidence or support to get us on the right track or back into work. Many of us might need this more than ever right now. It is great news then that Shape Lindley are running a back to employment programme for people aged 18 to 65.

It is FREE to attend and will be running over the summer from 27th July 2020.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet real employers through the programme, learn new skills and learn how to update and improve their CVs.

Worried that you won’t be able to attend because of childcare? Don’t be. Shape Lindley have an Ofsted registered provision for parents of Children under 5 to access and can provide a pick-up service from Town where necessary.

To find out more please contact Shape Lindley: shapelindley@gmail.com

Yes You Can

Community Buildings webinar and guidance

Chestnut Centre

This blog post was updated on 20th July 2020

Community buildings in our local places across Kirklees are vitally important hubs for communities, offering social, mental and physical support to citizens. Kirklees Council wants support the re-opening of these buildings in a safe and practical way as part of our recovery.


Community Buildings Webinar

On Tuesday 14th July 2020 from 6.30pm to 8pm Kirklees Council hosted a webinar to provide guidance on how to safely re-open community buildings, sharing advice about the things to consider, including how to decide when is the right time to re-open. We also discussed the lessons learnt from community buildings that have stayed open during lockdown. This learning can help everyone with the re-opening of community buildings in our local places.

The webinar panel included:

  • Joanne Bartholomew, Chief Operating Officer, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing
  • Jane O’Donnell, Head of Health Protection, Kirklees Council
  • Emma Griff, Facilities Management Officer, Kirklees Council
  • Jaime Nalson, Venue Management, Kirklees Council
  • Lisa Newbold, Local Services 2 You

There was an opportunity for people to ask questions in advance and via the YouTube chat during the session.

Watch the webinar and see the chat


Watch the webinar


Kirklees Council guidance

Covid-19: Re-opening of community facilities (PDF)


Government guidance

COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of community facilities

 

 

Share an object that can tell a story about Covid-19

pebble painted with NHS logo

We are living through history – the Covid-19 pandemic has touched everyone’s lives and has made big changes to some.

Kirklees Museums and Galleries want to know more about your experiences, both positive and negative. We collect objects and the stories connected to them in order to help people in the future understand events and how they have affected people in local places across Kirklees.

So, what could we collect? Well, we are particularly interested in objects which say something about the pandemic locally. Are you a volunteer or keyworker who has experienced life changing times? Has home-working meant big changes for you, or perhaps you’ve had to adapt and spend your time in a different way? Perhaps you have a unique way of counting the days of lockdown, or maybe you have benefitted from the kindness of others supporting you. Perhaps you are a local business who are now manufacturing things for the NHS.

We are sure there will be many different ideas that capture an important part of this crisis. However, we cannot collect everything that we’re offered, as we have very limited resources and every object needs to fit with our collections policy. But we would like to hear from you if you have an object with a story, which really says something important about the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on people in our local places.

How to contribute

Please contact museumsandgalleries@kirklees.gov.uk if you have any objects you would like to donate to Kirklees Museums and Galleries which you think will help to tell the story of the pandemic to future generations. Please also email us if you would like to read our full Collections Policy.

Our colleagues at West Yorkshire Archives are interested in collecting any paper-based items which tell a story about the local response in Kirklees – anything from diaries to NHS rainbows.

You can find out more on their blog:

Living through history – West Yorkshire Archives

 

Shelley’s mutual aid story – looking out for each other

Shelley Village Hall

The story of Shelley village’s community response is about kindness, new connections and how Covid-19 has perhaps made us look at our local places in different ways. It’s a story that may be familiar to those who have been directly involved with their own mutual aid group.

Many people in our local places have benefitted from the actions of dedicated mutual aid group volunteers, who have helped to deliver essential supplies such as food shopping and prescriptions. When a potential lockdown began to look likely, it prompted some active residents of Shelley village to come together and form their own mutual aid group. We spoke to Ann Priestman from Shelley Community Association about how everything unfolded…

Ann“There was a core group of people from the village including the vicar, pub landlord, Brownie leader, leader of the mother and baby group and a resident who is a community first responder with the paramedics, along with several other active residents.

“Within just a couple of hours we had assigned roles. Two volunteers to coordinate and lead the response. Someone responsible for social media and the website. We knew it was important to communicate the offer of support to all residents, not just those online, so we developed a leaflet that could be delivered to every household.

“A group of eight volunteers were able to get out and deliver the leaflets and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Lockdown had just been announced and people were already feeling scared and concerned about how they would get food and prescriptions. The leaflet gave them reassurance that there was help in the local community.”

This was just the beginning of the community response from Shelley village. The landlord from the village pub set up a small farmers market so residents had access to fresh fruit and vegetables along with other produce. He also did deliveries to those who were shielding. The Brownies made happy postcards and painted rocks which they put around the village.

A call out for more help generated a whole team of extra volunteers. Over the next few weeks these volunteers delivered nearly 150 prescriptions and made almost 50 shopping deliveries. Ann explained that was not all, and the figures don’t necessarily reflect the reality.

“Once a volunteer had been matched to support a resident, future deliveries were often worked out between them. Volunteers also started to help residents with other things such as mowing lawns or tidying gardens. One couple even took a resident to all of her hospital appointments.”

The volunteer team also worked closely with the Denby Dale Centre, one of eight community anchor organisations across Kirklees, to help with some of the shopping requests.

“The Denby Dale Centre were great, particularly when residents could only pay for shopping using cash. The centre had a system in place which meant transactions could be done transparently for residents and the volunteers helping them.”

We asked what impact lockdown has had on Shelley village overall. Is there a sense that community links have strengthened? Ann explained her thoughts to us:

“People have been saying on Facebook and in conversation this is a great place to live and people are really thankful that they are getting help in their village. There is a sense that people are looking out for each other and their neighbours. People are talking to each other who they wouldn’t normally. They have connected and bonded.”

In October 2019 Ann was one of a group of volunteers leading the Ask Shelley conversations, which asked what life is like in Shelley village. Supported by the Democracy Service at Kirklees Council, Ask Shelley is one of a growing number of ongoing How Good Is Our Place activities in our local places. This programme of work recognises that citizens want to have more dialogue about what matters in our local places, and more of a voice in what happens here.

Ann told us that she thinks recent events will have changed how some people think about Shelley:

“During the Ask Shelley activities, some of the findings were a little negative about the village not having many facilities and some residents feeling that other surrounding villages had more to offer. I believe if the Ask Shelley engagement was carried out today it would be a lot more positive, as people have rediscovered their pride for the village.”

Volunteers in Shelley have been working on an action plan for the village, based on their conversations, which will be shared online soon.

Ask Shelley