Community Voices – can your group be a voice in your community?

Community Voices is about hearing the views of residents, especially those who are seldom heard, specifically in relation to health.

Did you know that the NHS has a duty to involve local communities when health service changes are being considered? Did you know that local voluntary or community organisations can train for free to get the knowledge and skills to carry out accredited engagement and consultation work locally?

The Community Voices programme supports voluntary and community organisations with training for their staff or volunteers to become an accredited ‘Community Voice’ and then seek the views of the organisation’s members to inform health service changes. Local groups and organisations are really well placed to help residents have a voice.

Once the accredited training has been completed, groups can earn money for their local voluntary or community organisation for each survey completed. Accreditation lasts for 12 months, at which point a refresher course needs to be taken.

The free training to help groups to become Community Voices has 5 elements:

  1. Understanding how the NHS Works
  2. Legal and Statutory Duties of the NHS
  3. Methods and Approaches to Engagement and Consultation
  4. A Practical Task
  5. Equalities, safeguarding and review and evaluation

The next virtual Community Voices training runs on the following dates:

  • Session 1: Wednesday 20th January 2021
  • Session 2: Wednesday 27th January 2021
  • Session 3: Wednesday 3rd February 2021
  • Session 4: Wednesday 10th March 2021

All sessions are held online through Zoom and last from 10am to 12 noon. Participants need to be able to commit to attending all four sessions.

If you are interested or want more information please email engagement@cvac.org.uk or contact Laura Beesley on 07535 184368.

 

People Helping People – 12th November 2020

The next online People Helping People local network event is on Thursday 12th November 2020 from 11.30am to 12.30pm.It’s run by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees, to help small community organisations in local places across Kirklees to get together, meet each other, share what you are doing and learn what others are doing. It is another chance to share best practice and discuss how we might be able to support each other.

Supporting people through lockdown, Christmas and beyond…

Join other like-minded local organisations to discuss how we can think differently about supporting people and run covid safe activities during lockdown and beyond. Hear from other local groups, share experiences and get information, advice and support.

How to take part

This meeting will take place online and you will receive a link that you click to join the meeting nearer the time. You do not need any special software, or to download anything or set up an account. You should just be able to click and join.

People Helping People – register on Eventbrite

 

If you have any problems or questions about accessing the meeting, please contact comms@tslkirklees.org.uk

Adult Safeguarding: training to help you keep people safe

Adult Safeguarding week runs from 19th to 23rd October 2020. Third Sector Leaders Kirklees are running some important sessions for local groups and volunteers. Never before have citizens in our communities been so active in supporting vulnerable people. TSL Kirklees continue to offer new learning and awareness events to make sure we remain informed.

If you’re interested in attending a free session to learn more, or if you know a group or volunteer who might be, you can find out more and book your free place now…


Scams and Frauds Training

Delivered by the Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team at West Yorkshire Trading Standards 

Tuesday 20th October from 10am to 12 noon

This training will be relevant to staff and volunteers who are supporting vulnerable and isolated people anywhere in Kirklees. The session will provide information on Scams and Doorstep Crimes including new Covid-related scams in the local area. Illustrated with real case studies, it will also provide an overview of the role of WY Trading Standards and how you can report a concern.

The training will be hosted by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees and delivered via Zoom.

Book your free place for the scams and frauds training 


Adult Safeguarding Basics

For Community and Volunteer-led organisations anywhere in Kirklees

Thursday 22nd October from 6pm to 7pm

We all have a role to play in keeping people safe from harm and abuse. Covid has meant that more vulnerable adults are ‘invisible’ as they are unable to access their usual support services.

This short briefing for community groups and volunteer-run groups will include:

  • Measures your group can take to protect staff, volunteers and those who use your services or participate in your activities
  • Signs and indicators to look out for when you are helping ‘adults at risk’ in your community
  • What to do if you think someone may need help.

The Training will be delivered via Zoom by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees in partnership with Yorkshire Children’s Centre.

Book your free place for the safeguarding basics training

People Helping People event – 13th October 2020

The next online People Helping People local network event is on Tuesday 13th October 2020 from 1pm to 2.30pm. It’s run by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees, to help small community organisations in local places across Kirklees to get together, meet each other, share what you are doing and learn what others are doing. It is another chance to share best practice and discuss how we might be able to support each other.

Coping with the ever-changing lockdown rules

Looking for advice about what your group or organisation can (or can’t) do during Covid-19? We know that it’s a confusing and worrying time for organisations who are managing community spaces and running community activities. At this meeting you can hear advice from others who are going through the same thing.

How to take part

This meeting will take place online and you will receive a link that you click to join the meeting nearer the time. You do not need any special software, or to download anything or set up an account. You should just be able to click and join.

People Helping People – register on Eventbrite

 

If you have any problems or questions about accessing the meeting, please contact comms@tslkirklees.org.uk

The Covid Quilt Project – a stitch in time

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.

Find out more

The Covid Quilt Project – patchwork group information (PDF)

Threads of survival – 999 Call for the NHS

Cooking up ideas in the Colne Valley – recipe book

Header image

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.

See the recipe book

Delicious! Quick and easy great value family meals to make at home (PDF)

 

Free support for local groups from TSL Kirklees

opening doors, connecting people, supporting you

Third Sector Leaders Kirklees are a local charity who support and represent charities, community and groups, and social enterprises anywhere in Kirklees. They have been working incredibly hard to support local organisations and informal groups during Covid-19 and are keen for you to know what free support is available for groups in all our local places. Groups and organisations do not need to become members in order to access this free support.


How local groups can access free support


Support with volunteering

TSL Kirklees offer a free volunteer matching service. The TSL Kirklees Volunteering team (formerly known as Volunteering Kirklees) work with organisations to develop their volunteering programmes and opportunities. They can promote volunteering opportunities from local groups via their volunteering website:

Volunteering – TSL Kirklees


Support for local projects

Organisations can get involved in various TSL Kirklees projects which are designed to fill gaps in service and delivery and support communities. TSL Kirklees have some small pots of funding that groups can access to try out new ideas and activity in their local place.


TSL Kirklees membership – free to April 2021

In addition to all the free support on offer, any group or organisation can choose to become a member in order to help lead and promote the voluntary and community sector in Kirklees.

The benefits of membership include access to a Members Area on the TSL Kirklees website where groups can:

  • Add their own news and updates (these will appear on the TSL Kirklees website and will also be shared via email updates and social media)
  • Add job vacancies to the jobs board (again, these will be shared with the network)
  • Find member offers
  • Find details of other members
  • Join a members-only Facebook group

Members can also take part in additional networking meetings and will receive extra communications.

In March 2020, TSL Kirklees offered 3 months free membership to support local organisations who might be struggling financially during Covid-19. This offer has since been extended twice. The free membership offer is now available until April 2021.

Regular membership costs are:

£12 per year for micro or start-up organisations
£36 per year for any other organisations


Third Sector Leaders Kirklees

Find out more

TSL Kirklees

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

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

 

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