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.
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.
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.
The death of someone close is one of the hardest things anyone has to deal with. At this difficult and distressing time, sadly more people than ever will be affected. Here are some organisations you can contact and places where you can find information and guidance.
Family Care Team – Kirkwood Hospice
The Family & Spiritual Care Team at Kirkwood Hospice provides emotional and psychological support for those living with, affected by or bereaved through a life limiting illness.
The team are now providing a telephone counselling service. If you would like to speak to them about making a telephone appointment, please call Kirkwood Hospice on: 01484 557908.
You can find out more about the support available on their website:
Cruse Bereavement Care has been providing life-changing bereavement support to people across the UK for over 60 years, mainly through face-to-face and group sessions. Due to the current situation, all of their support is currently being provided by telephone or email, until it is safe to return to normal working practices.
If you are bereaved, you can contact the helpline – 0808 808 1677
The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they are open until 8pm.
Sudden is a charitable initiative for suddenly bereaved people and the people who are caring for them. Looking after yourself, whether you are bereaved or a carer, is of the utmost importance and will help you to cope at this very challenging time. Sudden offer online advice and have a helpline.
The helpline is currently open Monday to Wednesday between 10am and 2pm. Sudden are working hard to expand their opening hours, so please check their website for updates. You can also leave a message at any time and they will call you back during opening hours.
Grief and Loss Support Service – West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership
The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Grief and Loss Support Service is for anyone suffering any form of grief and loss, or those worried about losing someone, whether this relates to a family member, friend or member of their community.
Practical and emotional support and advice is available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week via a freephone number 0808 1963833, or online chat facility. The team can offer support and help connect you with organisations local to you, who can offer additional help where needed.
David Smith, Chair of Stocksmoor Village Association, has kindly shared his reflections about setting up a mutual aid group and being part of the Covid-19 Community Response
We set up our Stocksmoor group on the announcement of lockdown and took the opportunity to register with Kirklees Council via the Covid-19 facebook page and council website. Having no previous experience of setting up this type of group or working with Kirklees Council in this type of setting, we didn’t know what to do or what to expect. We found that we were quickly helped to get set up as a Mutual Aid Group and then brought into the local family of aid groups across the borough through email communications and daily Zoom meetings.
The amount of information and activity flying around as a result of lockdown was immense. This is understandable because of the wide range of localities and individuals it has affected. We have been impressed by the way this information has been brought together and then disseminated to us together with the organising of the daily Zoom meetings (now bi-weekly). In the early period we were all learning from the Covid-19 Community Response team and other mutual aid admins. The meetings went on each day irrespective of the fact that they included bank holidays and weekends, to ensure that the groups were fully supported.
The leadership and management of the mutal aid admins and group meetings has been excellent, bringing a real feel of togetherness amongst us and helping us to share information whilst at the same time using that information to form good practice where relevant. The meeting follow up notes and actions have been excellent and this allows us to share that with our volunteers.
Staff absences, self isolation and illness has affected many organisations in this period and Kirklees Council will be no exception. Inevitably this leads to increased workloads even without the above mentioned activity. Not once has this visibly affected the output from the Covid-19 Community Response team. Whilst it would be justifiable, we haven’t (and hopefully won’t!) had staff shortages put forward when waiting for actions to come back down the line. For us this demonstrates a great working attitude and aptitude and indirectly demonstrates great empathy needed when supporting so many volunteers by meeting us “where we are” – which is to say, being really keen to be effective in our roles.
Please keep up the good work and we look forward to our next meeting.
S2R are creating lots of helpful online resources to help our wellbeing, creativity and connection with the outdoors. We encourage you have a look at what’s on offer and share this post with people in your area who might find it helpful. You can also connect with S2R on social media.
‘How to’ videos
Video guides to making things at home, including bird feeders, handmade paper and wild garlic pesto, and looking after your wellbeing. You can choose from:
It can be difficult to connect with others, remain engaged and stay motivated during this challenging time. These Wellbeing Packs are designed around the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, which is a nationally recognised initiative that aims to keep you fit and healthy by concentrating on 5 key elements. S2R have created new packs throughout Covid-19, so it’s worth checking back for the latest pack.
Several supermarkets have made it easier for volunteers to shop for others:
Asda Volunteer Shopping Card
The Volunteer Shopping Card can be bought online then emailed to the volunteer or printed out and left in a safe place for the volunteer to pick up. The volunteer then shops using the card, makes the payment using the barcode in store, and leaves the shopping in a safe place.
M&S We’re All in this Together Volunteer E-Gift Card
This is an online gift card. All the details come straight to the customer or volunteer by email. People can also purchase an E-Gift Card on behalf of a family member who is more vulnerable, older or self-isolating, then send the code to their volunteer.
Customers can visit the dedicated webpage and select how much they’d like to spend on their weekly shop, between £5 and £250. The E-Gift Card will then be emailed directly to the person who is shopping on their behalf, which can be redeemed at checkout in store.
You might also find this doorstep delivery service useful to share with people in your area:
Morrisons doorstep delivery service The Morrisons doorstep delivery service is available to vulnerable and elderly members of the community, who are unable to go shopping in-store.
Customers can call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5 to place an order.
For any order placed before 5pm, Morrisons will aim to deliver the next day. In order to use this service you must live within 10 miles of a Morrisons store. There is a limit of three per item.
Deliveries will adhere to the current social distancing rules so to avoid contact they strongly encourage contactless card payments only. If this isn’t possible, chip and pin card payments are available, but no cash payments can be accepted. Visit the Morrisons website for details and available items (you can specify dietary requirements on the call if applicable):
Supporting people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
This document from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government includes advice about supporting people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to make use of their priority access to supermarkets.
The community response to Covid-19 in Kirklees has been amazing. We want to thank everyone who is helping others to stay safe, to access food and essential supplies such as medication, and to stay connected. We also want to make this vital support as accessible as possible for everyone who needs it, as well as supporting our dedicated partner organisations, mutual aid groups and volunteers.
As part of our commitment to make it as easy as possible for us all to support each other, Kirklees Council have introduced a Freephone number for the Covid-19 Community Response helpline: 0800 4561114. The helpline is currently open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The local number for the helpline, 01484 226919 will continue to be available, and we will happily call people back. Both numbers are answered by the same team. This is not a new service – the advice and support will be the same on both lines.
Anyone who cannot currently get essential help directly from friends, relatives or neighbours can contact Covid-19 Community Response via Freephone 0800 4561114 or online. Volunteers and local organisations can also contact the freephone helpline to make a request on behalf of someone who they are concerned about.
Kirklees Council’s staff and our partners, voluntary organisations, mutual aid groups and volunteers are all working together in local places across Kirklees to respond to requests for help.
We’ve developed an online mapping tool to help community organisations such as Covid-19 mutual aid groups. You will be able to use this to view local information such as the locations of foodbanks, pharmacies and support groups relevant to your local area, to help you support others.
You can use the maps to view geographic boundaries (such as wards, settlements or custom areas) and also the coverage of services and community assets such as known mutual aid groups and other features. Your group can create custom maps for your area, including numbers of properties or streets, to assist with co-ordination of local support.
If you’d like to use this mapping tool and you haven’t already received an email from Kirklees Council about this, please contact: