Pride in Linthwaite – a shared journey

Pride in Linthwaite volunteers

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.

Pride in Linthwaite were able to quickly transform into a mutual aid group, providing support to vulnerable people in Linthwaite and Cowlersley, when the lockdown was announced. The group (who had formed two and a half years earlier) quickly adapted from their usual activities of litter picking, community fundraising and events.

Setting up and running something new isn’t easy. All the practicalities are challenges. It can also be a challenge convincing people of your group’s value to the local area. Pride in Linthwaite had seen a mixed response to their usual activities. Some people volunteered hands-on support with things like litter picks, some were supportive from a distance and attended events, but others were not sure why the group was needed. Experiences over the past few months have helped more people to see the value of Pride in Linthwaite.

We spoke to Liz Quinn, NHS nurse and one of the directors of Pride in Linthwaite. Liz told us about some of the group’s work, how people have worked together during lockdown and the new-found trust that has changed how some local people see the group.

“Pretty much the first thing we did was get a leaflet together with a helpline number and did a mass leaflet drop to households. We wanted to make sure people knew who to contact if they were in need. We also had people contacting us to volunteer as things quickly escalated.

“Volunteers were delivering food and collecting prescriptions, they were dog walking and supporting a befriending service.

“Small acts of kindness can be simply heart-warming. One lady who was self-isolating was panicking about being able to post birthday cards to her nieces. We arranged for her to leave them on her doorstep, collected and posted them. She had been so anxious about not being able to post them, and was so grateful that someone was there to help her do this.”

“We’ve recorded in total over 220 ‘volunteering acts’ but this is likely to be more, through things such as the befriending service. Once someone had made contact, they would then make their own arrangements for continuing that connection.”

Whilst it takes a lot of energy and commitment to create new ways of supporting people, sometimes a little bit of funding is needed too. The local Colne Valley ward councillors were on hand to support the group:

“Two of our local councillors, Cllr Rob Walker and Cllr Donna Bellamy, were able to provide some funding from their own budgets that they’d been given to support groups who are part of the community response to the coronavirus. This meant we could start making up food parcels for those people who were self-isolating. It was nice that they worked together for the good of the community and put any party politics to one side.

“We were so lucky to have the ward councillors on board and all those volunteers, but we also had support from Morrisons supermarket in Meltham, who were fantastic by donating food. Also the manager and staff of the local Premier shop were able to just help us get what we needed for a person in need, particularly if it was an emergency. They were just brilliant.”

Relationships and partnerships have been a key part of Pride in Linthwaite’s ability to respond so well to the needs of the community. Liz explained how relationships have developed over the last few months:

“Whilst we are looking to wrap-up the mutual aid group side of things, it has enabled us to gain the trust of more people locally and strengthen our partnerships.

“All the volunteers want to remain part of the WhatsApp group we have, so if there is any ever need to mobilise again, they will be there. The socially distanced litter pick we’re organising has already got more people signed up to help than we’ve had before. There is a good feeling about the group and I think a change in perception about Pride in Linthwaite.

“We were all thrown in at the deep end. I think the council support has been really good, especially when we started. Even though it was chaotic for everyone they provided information and guidance. It was a shared journey. Links with councillors and local businesses have been excellent.

“Feedback from the people we’re all helping – moving them from state of panic to relief – has been something every one of us has had a role in.”

Ward project budgets – your councillors can help

Learn more about councillors

Community Response Hubs – take part in our evaluation

hand reaching out behind glass

Many people have contributed to the amazing community response to Covid-19 in our local places. Mutual aid groups, voluntary and community organisations, ward councillors, Kirklees Council officers, volunteers and partners have been working alongside each other to keep people safe. We are all part of the co-ordinated Community Response in Kirklees – and we all have a stake in our local places.

Our response has been supported through place-based Community Response Hubs, with people working together in new ways. We really value the relationships that have been so vital for this work. We want to grow and strengthen those relationships as part of our recovery and for the future. We are still in the very early stages of beginning to work with and alongside citizens in a meaningful way in our local places. Your insights can help us go much further.

On behalf of our Place Based Working Board (which includes council, voluntary sector and health colleagues), I’d like to ask for your support in helping us to think about what has gone well and not so well with the hubs.

How to take part

If you’ve been part of the co-ordinated Community Response in our local places, please take part in the Community Response Hubs Evaluation by 21st August 2020 to share your personal experiences:

Community Response Hubs Evaluation – take part now

Thank you for helping us learn how we can work together well in our local places in the future – and thank you for everything you’re doing to help keep people safe.

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

 

Kirklees Food Network

Volunteer delivering shopping

We know that many people in our community will continue to need support in accessing food as the lockdown is lifted. We also want to make sure that the support network we have built together remains sustainable as we gradually move past Covid-19. So we are developing a Kirklees Food Network to connect everyone.

If you’re currently providing a food offer to support vulnerable people through your Mutual Aid Group or local organisation and would like to be part of the Kirklees Food Network, we’d like to hear form you. Your food offer might be either food parcels, food donations, a food bank or hot food.

This is an informal support network where you will:

  • Have support in your local place from one of the 3 main foodbanks across Kirklees – The Welcome Centre in Huddersfield, Fusion in Dewsbury or Batley Foodbank.
  • Be signposted to further support for the people you’re helping.
  • Access support, guidance and advice around local welfare provision, food safety, safeguarding, housing and other essential policies.
  • Share good practice and ensure any gaps in provision are highlighted.
  • Access support from Councillors, Kirklees Council staff and other local community organisations.
  • Help to ensure our food offer is stable beyond Covid-19.

Join the network

If you would like to access this support, and be part of the network, please send an email to food@kirklees.gov.uk or contact Rebecca Strutt, Transformation Project Manager directly on 07790 349978. Thank you.

 


How Platform 1 are supporting people – and how you can help

Platform 1 we are here for you

Platform 1 are a local men’s health and addiction charity working with men who have lived in isolation due to their illness. During the coronavirus lockdown they are playing their part by reaching out to even more isolated and vulnerable people, including women and the elderly.

Bike hub

Platform 1 bike hubThrough their bike repair scheme, Platform 1 have been loaning bikes to NHS staff and other key workers who normally rely on public transport, so they can get to work.

Such has been the demand of their bicycle offer they are now struggling to provide any more bikes to key workers who need them.

Platform 1 urgently require donations of bikes, so they can continue to provide this service.

 

Crisis support

Other services that Platform 1 have been offering as part of their Covid-19 response include a freephone number 0800 066 2828 for anyone in crisis who needs a chat.

It’s understandable that we may feel anxious and stressed, especially now. Anxiety has many different symptoms and may affect how you behave both physically and mentally. Platform 1 are determined to continue to support people in different ways at this difficult time. They offer a free, non-judgemental, confidential service where you can talk one to one.

How you can help

There are a number of ways you can support Platform 1 to carry on their work in our communities.

  • Counsellors wanted – If you’re a level 3 trained counsellor, they could really use your help to support vulnerable people over the phone.
  • Make a donation – If you have a bike to donate, or can make a financial donation to help them carry on making bikes available to key workers, this would be gratefully welcomed.
  • Be a volunteer – If you think you can contribute by volunteering, they would love to hear from you.

Platform 1 can be contacted on the telephone 01484 421 143 or by email office@platform-1.co.uk

Find out more

You can find out more about Platform 1 by visiting their website or social media:

Platform 1 website

Platform 1 facebook group

Platform 1 twitter

Food safety support and training

Home Delivery Of Takeaway Food Outside House Observing Safe Social Distancing During Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic

The Environmental Health service at Kirklees Council is here to support local groups and organisations who are providing food during Covid-19. Our Food Safety team are offering advice, guidance and support to help you provide food safely, for the benefit of yourselves and those you are supporting. This isn’t about getting in the way of the vital work that you’re doing in our local places, but is just about helping us all to keep people safe.

The Food Safety team may call you about your work, to find out whether you need any advice. Some organisations may also need to register with Kirklees Council. This is because national food safety requirements apply to everyone who is providing food to the public at any time, whether given away free or not. We’ve listened to feedback from local groups to help make this process easier for you.


Contact the Food Safety team

The first step is just to have a conversation with the Food Safety team. Whilst we’re in the process of contacting Mutual Aid Groups, you can also contact the Food Safety Team directly, to discuss what food provision you’re offering. We’ll help you work out whether registration is required (it might not be).

The Food Safety Team can be contacted by email: food.safety@kirklees.gov.uk or by telephone. Call Kirklees Council on 01484 221000 and ask for Food Safety.


What kind of activity requires registration?

Groups and organisations are working in many different ways to provide the vital support that people need in our local places. Not all activities will need registration. For example, if you’re collecting food from a supermarket or shop and delivering this straight to someone at home (without storing), you don’t need to call us or to register.

We understand that many new groups have set up and others have started new activities in order to provide essential support to our communities. So you may not already be familiar with the legislation surrounding the provision of food. If you do need to register, we want to make sure you have all the information and support you need to operate safely, in line with existing regulations. The aim is to protect you and make sure you can do what you need to.

Examples of activities that would require contact with the Food Safety team for advice or registration are:

  • Food banks.
  • Storing food before delivery to vulnerable people or key workers.
  • Cooking food for vulnerable people or key workers, especially cook and chill.
  • Changes in your normal food production practices – for example, changing from serving food in your venue to providing food at scale or cook and chill.

If you think you might need to register, please get in touch with the Food Safety team for advice and support. Email food.safety@kirklees.gov.uk or call 01484 221000 and ask for Food Safety.


Free training and tailored support

We know that there are lots of different kinds of food support being provided by local organisations. The Food Safety team can provide tailored advice, guidance and support to any organisation providing food in Kirklees.

If it’s useful for your group or organisation, we can help you to access free online Food Hygiene Level 2 training for your volunteers. This training includes important topics for people who are handling food, such as why food safety is important, temperature control, hazards and contamination, and personal health and hygiene.

If you’re providing cooked food for vulnerable members of your community, we will need to undertake a site visit. If you are providing food parcels or non-perishable items, we may only need to ask where and how you’re storing your food. If you are simply doing shopping runs for people who are self-isolating or shielding and taking the food straight away, we won’t need to speak to you.

Do make sure any foods that need refrigeration or freezing are not out of a fridge for more than 30 minutes. Please follow the Government’s advice on hand washing, protecting yourself and social distancing:

How to help safely

 

If you do receive a phone call from the Food Safety team, we hope that you will find this useful and reassuring. You are also very welcome to contact the team whenever you need advice. Please call Kirklees Council on 01484 221000 and ask for Food Safety.

 


SHARE Checklist – be careful what you share

False information causes real harm
When shared, false information can take on a life of its own and have some serious consequences. It can lead to health scares, false accusations and potentially damaging hoax stories. Recently there has been a lot of this kind of false information about coronavirus. It’s not always easy to spot, so use the SHARE checklist to make sure that you don’t feed the beast.

Share Checklist: Things aren’t always what they seem online – UK Government


Bad information hurts people
Bad information can ruin lives and hurts our democracy. There’s a lot of information out there about Covid-19, but not all of it is right. Full Fact, who are the UK’s independent fact checking organisation, have produced a simple guide to help you be more aware of false or misleading information. Their team of independent fact checkers are also fact checking current claims about coronavirus, with the aim of preventing the harm that bad information can cause.

How you can fact check claims about the new coronavirus – Full Fact

Latest fact checks about coronavirus – Full Fact

Full Fact


 

Introduction to Zoom – 45 minute training

Volunteering Kirklees

Zoom (whom many of us had probably never heard of a few months ago) is an online platform for meetings, chats and conferencing , enabling us to keep connected at this time.

If you’re part of a community group or organisation in Kirklees and want to learn more about using Zoom, you can join in one of these 45 minute interactive sessions delivered by James Bulley (Calder IT), who is donating his time to run these sessions for Volunteering Kirklees.

Due to the interactive nature of these sessions, places are limited to a maximum of 10 attendees, but there are regular sessions to choose from. If you book on and then find yourself unable to attend, then please do cancel your place to allow another group in Kirklees to take part.

Introduction to Zoom training – book your place