Loneliness Awareness Week (15th to 19th June)

Lady talking on a mobile phone sitting at home.

Loneliness can be difficult to talk about. It’s hard for people to say sometimes that they feel lonely. It shouldn’t be, but it is. The last few weeks in lockdown will potentially have highlighted to some of us what loneliness is who haven’t previously given it a second thought. There are others who may well have felt lonely even before lockdown.

Writing something to share that dwelled on all the effects loneliness can have on our mental and physical wellbeing didn’t feel quite appropriate. What so many Mutual Aid Groups, volunteers and neighbours have been doing over the last few weeks is a demonstration that loneliness and isolation is being tackled, that we are aware and collectively we are doing something about it.

Tackling loneliness may have been disguised as the shopping you’ve done for a vulnerable neighbour, or picking up that prescription from the pharmacy, because the other part of that action is the conversation you’ve had with those people and making sure they’re okay. Small human interactions can make all the difference.

How many of you have seen or helped out celebrating an older person’s birthday who lives on your street? How many of you have clapped for carers on a Thursday evening, then exchanged words with neighbours you haven’t really talked to before?

The actions of groups, volunteers, friends and neighbours have helped to reduce isolation, and have demonstrated the caring nature of people and communities. Together we’ve done that.

Yet there is still a need for vigilance and awareness beyond our own neighbourhoods. There is always potential for individuals to fall through the gaps, but there are also local volunteer befriending services who do amazing work to catch those people.

The challenge for us all will be to maintain our neighbourliness beyond lockdown and to keep talking to each other, to keep visiting those who may be more vulnerable, whether that’s an older person or someone who you know that isn’t as socially mobile as they would like to be.

You might have been inspired yourself to sign up to be a volunteer at the befriending service, or know someone who you think might want to do that. We should all encourage that as an option. But we should all keep doing what we’re doing.

If you want to read more about the Befriending Partnership in Kirklees, read our blog:

Befriending Partnership

If you are interested in being a Telephone Befriender with full training and support please email: befriendingpartnership@yccuk.org.uk

If you, or someone you know, would like telephone befriending support please let us know via our Covid-19 Community Response online form, or call our Freephone helpline: 0800 4561114.


Let's talk loneliness
Loneliness Awareness Week

Loneliness Awareness Week is about encouraging people to speak about it openly and understand loneliness, one conversation at a time.

Let’s Talk Loneliness – Get involved

 

 

 


There are five organisations involved in the wider Befriending Partnership in Kirklees.

Yorkshire Children’s Centre

Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees

Royal Voluntary Service

Kirkwood Hospice

Locala

 

Pass It On shops

illustration of houses

Many mutual aid and community volunteers have recently found themselves supporting individuals who don’t have a working fridge, cooker or freezer.

The Yorkshire Children’s Centres Pass It On shops sell donated and reconditioned white goods at a reduced price.  They have a range of fridge freezers as well as new electric cookers.

Whilst the Pass It On shops have not been open, the Yorkshire Children’s Centre have been running a buy and collect service. The shops are now reopening, but in small steps so this can be done safely – so please check their website for the latest updates.

How the goods are purchased may vary from circumstance to circumstance. We recommend speaking to the Local Welfare Provision team at Kirklees Council for advice and assessment if the person who you are supporting is struggling financially and you think they may be entitled to benefits.

Pass It On also offer new and donated beds along with various other furniture items.

For details of what’s in stock, please contact linda.page@yccuk.org.uk

Pass It On shops – Yorkshire Children’s Centre

 

Make It Click – improve your online digital skills

Digital Skills

There’s a chance that even after the coronavirus lockdown ends, the way we communicate, interact with one another and learn will have changed significantly. You may have already become more familiar with tools like Zoom to video call your family and friends, but what about using digital tools for work as well?

Make it click flyer

Thornton Lodge Action Group have teamed up with the Good Things Foundation and Google to offer a chance for individuals to gain digital skills using a range of online tools. They are offering free training to explore using video tools for meetings, apps for managing projects and tips on how to adapt to remote working.

The opportunity to access this digital learning is open to everyone. Whether you’re employed, unemployed, furloughed or self-employed, everyone is eligible.

You will be able to learn at your own pace and as it is all online you can do this from your own home.

If you’re unsure about what you want to learn or where to start, a member of staff from Thornton Lodge Action Group will call you to complete an initial 5 minute questionnaire to help set you off in the right direction, focused on the area of the digital world you’re most interested to learn about.

How to begin your digital learning journey

If you have an idea of what you want to learn already, you can dive straight in by visiting:

Make It Click

When registering use the code 8004620.

If you’re unsure about what you want to learn and need some support, you can contact the team on 07871 938 174.

 

Welcome Mentors Service – support for migrants

Welcome Mentors

Kirklees is rich in diversity when it comes to our communities, with people from many different countries making their homes in local places and enriching our community life.

It isn’t always easy for migrants coming to live in a new place. One of the ways migrants can now be supported is through the Welcome Mentors programme, provided by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees.

The Welcome Mentors programme offers a volunteer support and befriending service to help reduce some of the barriers and alleviate the feeling of isolation some migrants may feel.

The Mentors are there to help refugees, asylum seekers and migrants settle in Kirklees and help them navigate through what can be a complicated process for starting again in a new environment.

You can find out in detail just what the Mentors can help with on the Kirklees Welcomes blog:

What is the Welcome Mentors project?

In this short video Steffi Rogers, the Welcome Mentors Co-ordinator at Third Sector Leaders Kirklees, explains more about the role of the mentors:

What is a Welcome Mentor? (video)

For things like the Welcome Mentors project to work, willing volunteers are needed and it’s always nice to hear first hand the stories of those directly involved. These stories from Volunteering Kirklees say more about the practical help that Mentors provide to migrants, along with what the volunteers get out the experience as individuals. It’s heart-warming stuff.

Read Itziar’s story

Read Antida’s story

Get healthy & budget better with Fusion Learning online

An image of different words about healthy living

At a time when we can’t get together and access all the usual training and learning opportunities we’re so used to, more of us are relying on the internet. To help people keep learning, Fusion Housing’s community learning service is now available online.

Fusion offers support to people who need a helping hand to get them into work and would like to try learning something new. They have redesigned their very popular Cooking, Nutrition and Health & Wellbeing courses so that they can continue to provide learning to Kirklees residents during the Coronavirus lockdown.

The Fusion Learning Team have several courses where you can learn skills for cooking healthy food and ways to improve your physical health and wellbeing. Here’s a brief outline of what’s on offer.


‘Come Dine With Me’ Healthy Eating Course

Not only does this course help you plan and cost nutritionally balanced meals, it teaches practical kitchen skills too.

This course is 4 hours a week and runs for 7 weeks.

Fit For Life

Helping you understand fitness and wellbeing and moving toward a healthier lifestyle, this course explores new and different ways you can exercise. You can measure your own fitness levels and make your way to being a healthier you.

This course runs for 4 weeks.

Healthy Eating and Cooking Workshop

This short course is designed to give you insight to a balanced diet and the importance of it, how to eat healthily and how to cost a meal.

This short course runs for 4 hours.

‘£1 meal makers’

Learn how to save money and cook tasty, healthy meals.

This course runs for 4 weeks.

Bread and Budget

This is a bread making course for adults, where you can also learn a bit about budgeting.


How to join

If you have a laptop, a tablet or a smart phone, and you want to join any of these courses, telephone 01484 532280 or email learning@fusionhousing.org.uk

For full details visit:

Fusion Housing

Modern Slavery and Covid-19

Person hiding behind hand.jpeg

Modern slavery continues to be an issue in our society. If you’re engaging with vulnerable people during the Covid-19 emergency, there’s a chance you may come across victims of modern slavery.

The term ‘Modern slavery’ includes human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced labour. Modern slavery can affect areas differently, being more common in some than others. Being aware of what to look out for and how to spot the signs can only be a good thing.

Advice and guidance differs depending on your role. First Responders have a Duty to Notify the Home Office. People in other roles should contact a First Responder Organisation, such as the Police or the Salvation Army.

All of us need to know what to look out for. The Home Office have provided some information posters. These posters cover things like spotting the signs, where support and help is available to victims and how to contact support services. Also included is important information about how you can stay safe during Covid-19 and how to safely take action to support a potential victim.

You don’t need to be sure that modern slavery is taking place, or fully understand the types and definitions, to report your concerns.


Information posters from the Home Office

This poster tells you what to look out for and how to get help:

Modern Slavery and Covid-19: What to look out for and how to get help (PDF)

This poster provides details of what to if you are a First Responder:

Modern Slavery and Covid-19: What to do if you are a First Responder (PDF)

This film includes how to spot potential victims and how people may be exploited:


Other online resources

Modern Slavery Helpline, where an online form can be completed:

Modern Slavery Helpline

Kirklees Council have web pages about modern slavery, for those who want to learn more about spotting the signs or reporting potential incidents:

Modern slavery and human trafficking

The Kirklees Safeguarding Children Partnership provides a wide variety of resources to help professionals working with children who may have been trafficked, including guidance, policy and referral information:

Modern Day Slavery


Useful contact numbers

  • Police: 101, or 999 if there is potentially immediate threat to life
  • The Salvation Army: 0800 808 3733 confidential referral helpline operating 24/7
  • Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700
  • Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111 – calls can be made anonymously  
  • Safer Kirklees: 01484 221 000 – ask for Safer Kirklees

 

Growing Great Places – community crowdfunding

Growing Great Places crowdfunding

We know that local places really matter to our citizens. People make places great.

Lots of new ideas for how we can support each other and stay connected have come from our towns, villages and neighbourhoods during Covid-19. Growing Great Places crowdfunding could be a way for you to get a great idea off the ground in your local place.

The programme is run by the Democracy service at Kirklees Council. We want everyone to be able to have a real stake in the places where we live, work or visit. By running a crowdfunding campaign with Growing Great Places, you’ll have the opportunity to involve backers in your project, spread the word, and connect with others who care about your local place.

How much can you crowdfund for?

You choose your own crowdfunding target. Kirklees Council and our partners at Spacehive are here to support you and make sure that your campaign has the best chance of succeeding. We offer lots of advice and support. If local people back your idea, groups could also receive a pledge of up to £5k of funding from Kirklees Council (and up to 2.5k for citizens).

Who can crowdfund?

Local organisations, informal groups and citizens can start a crowdfunding campaign. If you’re part of a mutual aid group without your own bank account, you may be able to work with a community organisation to run a crowdfunding campaign for your project.

What can be crowdfunded

Growing Great Places is for projects that bring people together to get involved in making our local places even better, through your local energy, skills, assets and creativity.

Kirklees Democracy

Find out more

We’re keen to hear from anyone who might like to start crowdfunding soon, so we can learn how to support you best. Please email: GrowingGreatPlaces@kirklees.gov.uk

Growing Great Places website

Blogs about Growing Great Places


hashtag lets pull together

Extra help for local campaigns

Both Kirklees Council and our partners at Spacehive are doing more to support groups who are crowdfunding at this time. Spacehive have waived their standard 5% fee until 20th June 2020 for projects who are raising funds during lockdown and are offering an extension of up to two months to give people more breathing space. Kirklees Council are being more flexible about the percentage of project costs that we can pledge to fund.

Spacehive have also relaxed their criteria so that organisations can crowdfund for running costs (so even if your project isn’t right for Growing Great Places, you could still run a campaign). You can find out more on the Spacehive website about how mutual aid groups and community organisations across the country are crowdfunding to support others during Covid-19.

Spacehive – Helping your community cope with COVID-19

 


Creative Minds – great projects to engage with during lockdown and beyond

sunflower with smiling faceAs challenging a time as it continues to be at the moment, keeping our minds healthy is perhaps one of the most important things we can do. It can also be one of the most difficult challenges we face. Creative activity can often play a role in meeting this challenge. Creative Minds, part of the NHS South West Yorkshire Partnership, help fund a number of creative projects.

The latest edition of the Creative Kirklees newsletter is testament to just how much creative activity continues to happen in spite of the challenges we’re all facing. Here are just three examples of projects happening in Kirklees.


‘Budding Up Together’ from Growing Works focuses on mental wellbeing and physical health. The project involves activities such as gardening tips, advice and nature interests. While access and connections happen virtually through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their website, there is also the physical maintenance of community gardens to be enjoyed, in line with social distancing guidelines. The project is available to anyone using NHS South West Yorkshire Partnership services. The project is run by the Growing Works charity and they can be contacted by email info@growingworks.org.uk or by phoning Rachel on 07845 415289 or through their website:

Growing Works


Wellbeing packs from Support To Recovery (S2R) are full of creative activities, instructions and useful information to reduce isolation during Covid-19 lockdown. There are physical packs available, but the resources can also be accessed online. To find out more about this and other projects you can email contact@s2r.org.uk or see our blog post:

Wellbeing resources from S2R


‘It’s Okay to Wave’ from Satellite Arts is all about movement, songs and drama sessions using enjoyable joining in material from Xylosound. The sessions will be available on YouTube and DVD. The focus of these sessions is to help adults with learning needs to keep themselves mentally and physically active during lockdown. The project is run by Satellite Arts and they can be contacted by emailing andy@satellitearts.org.uk or phoning Andy on 01484 848072 or through their website:

Satellite Arts


There are lots of other projects happening in Kirklees as part of Creative Minds. Have a look at their latest newsletter to see them all, find out who can access the projects and who to contact for more detail.

Creative Minds newsletter, May 2020 (PDF)

 

Online self-confidence courses with Crosland Moor Community Learning Centre

Hand written note above desk saying Never Stop LearningAt times of stress and change our self-confidence can easily be affected. Motivation can be hard to come by. During our time in lockdown because of coronavirus, we need opportunities to keep our minds active and focused.

Fortunately Crosland Moor Community Learning Centre are providing exactly those opportunities and over the next several weeks are providing a range of free online courses to support people’s personal development.

There are lots of opportunities for you to learn something new, including:

  • How to use Zoom effectively for communicating with friends or in work meetings
  • Work it Out – skills for confidence and positivity
  • Developing digital skills for working in an office
  • Food Hygiene training (level 2)
  • Progress yourself – Looking at next steps and how to get there

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:

Crosland Moor Community Learning Centre

You  can also ring Joe on 07972 929495 or email joanne.berry@croslandmoorclc.co.uk to find out more information first hand.

 

Online Volunteer Safety training through Paddock Community Trust

woman using laptop

Safeguarding in our communities has become a big talking point in recent weeks as many volunteers try to make sure the most vulnerable people in our neighbourhoods are kept safe. It is just as important that volunteers in Kirklees, whether part of a Mutual Aid Group, registered as a volunteer with Kirklees Council or volunteering in another capacity shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to staying safe.

Paddock Community Trust are offering free online volunteer training courses and are encouraging any volunteers who might benefit from the training to get in touch. The course focuses on volunteer safety and everyone is welcome to participate.

The course covers:

  • Looking at the benefits and types of volunteering
  • Exploring ways to keep yourself safe when volunteering
  • How to keep others safe when you are volunteering

The course is a short series of one hour Zoom calls. There are two courses to choose from:

  • Fridays 12th June, 19th June and 26th June from 1pm to 2pm
  • Tuesdays 30th June, 7th July and 14th July from from 11am to 12 noon

How to take part

Enrolling is simple. Please get in touch with either Yvonne at yvonne@paddocktrust.org.uk or Sarah at sarahwk@paddocktrust.org.uk to book a place or find out more. Or you can telephone Yvonne on 07928 810 355.

These courses are funded through the Paddock Community Trust’s OFSTED-inspected Adult Community Learning programme.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone who might like to take part.

Paddock Community Trust