Third Sector Leaders Kirklees are hosting an online event on Thursday 25th June 2020 for mutual aid groups and other voluntary groups in Kirklees. You can get help with information about funding, volunteering and support.
If you’ve been helping run a Mutual Aid Group or other voluntary group over the last few months, you might now be wondering about how to develop your group and keep it going for the benefit of your community. This event will help you explore what the possibilities and options are, enabling you to continue the invaluable work you have been doing.
You will no doubt have already faced operational challenges over the last few months. Third Sector Leaders Kirklees recognise this and through working in partnership with Kirklees Council’s Democracy team and other experts, will be able to support you with a considerable range of advice and insights to take your next steps.
The meeting will take place on Zoom, from 6pm to 7.30pm.
The challenges people have faced over the last few months have not fazed or diminished our sense of community. Neighbourliness is thriving week after week in our local places, where we’re helping each other and finding new ways of connecting.
A way we can all celebrate community and neighbourliness is by joining in with the Great Get Together, which takes place from 19th to 21st June 2020. Whilst there won’t be any public gatherings or large events this year, we can all reach out across the weekend with acts of compassion and connection in a safe way to celebrate the power of community.
On your street
Here are just a few of the fun activities you could help arrange with neighbours on your street over the weekend:
Community singalong: pick a song, share lyrics, and schedule a time to step outside and sing together.
Have your own Bake-Off: bake and present your masterpiece to your community for judging
Share a garden: grow one type of vegetable and get the community to do the same. Share what you grow and perhaps use it to make the same recipe.
Design a Treasure Hunt (think of things to hide in your windows and gardens that children could find on their daily walks).
Wishing Trees: encourage everyone to leave a wish for the future.
Community recipe book: share a recipe per household and create a recipe book.
There are lots more ideas on the Great Get Together website:
More in Common Batley & Spen are part of the Jo Cox Foundation and remain the key partner in organising the Great Get Together. The group works year round to build strong and compassionate communities where everyone has a sense of identity and belonging. They are also a vital part of the community response in Kirklees, as one of our community anchor organisations.
There will be a More In Common assembly for schools in collaboration with a number of local head teachers on Friday 19th June. On Saturday 20 June, a regular Community Service event goes virtual with a community quiz to follow. Details of how to watch and take part in these, and many other events organised locally in the community will be shared on social media channels.
There is a planned digital art projection in Dewsbury town centre, featuring the work of artist, Ian Berry and messages of thanks, thoughts, hopes and prayers from people across Kirklees. Ian’s work and shared local images will be projected onto a building in Dewsbury town centre, on the evening of Friday 19th June after dark. The public are not being encouraged to attend in view of social distancing. Instead, a film will be created that will be shared on social media platforms. There is also a longer term plan for an outdoor exhibition to support the re-opening of local towns following lockdown.
Run for Jo
On Sunday 21st June people across the country are being encouraged to take part in the Run for Jo by doing a 2.5km or 6.5km run in their own community. Hundreds of people are also training for the run on the Strava running community.
It is important to remember that this week is also Loneliness Awareness Week. You might want to consider doing something to make sure those neighbours who are more isolated or unable to participate outside can remain a part of your community. Here are a few virtual activities you can organise:
Take a walk for someone who can’t – call someone isolated on your daily walk and describe what you see, smell, hear and feel.
Organise a telephone tree to reach those most isolated.
Call an old friend.
Host an album listening party.
Have a virtual Open Mic night.
Loneliness Awareness Week
Loneliness Awareness Week is about encouraging people to speak about it openly and understand loneliness, one conversation at a time.
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.
As 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 email@example.com or by phoning Rachel on 07845 415289 or through their website:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or see our blog post:
‘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 email@example.com or phoning Andy on 01484 848072 or through their website:
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.
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
We want to do more to show the amazing work that everyone is doing as part of the co-ordinated Community Response in Kirklees. This includes pictures of local organisations, mutual aid groups, councillors, staff and volunteers. Please send us any photos that you are happy for us to use to help promote the Community Response to Covid-19 in Kirklees.
Share your photos
What we’re looking for:
Photos of people or activities
Landscape format photos are best
Please get consent from any people who are in the photo
Photos that you’re happy to be published on the web, including social media
Please send your photo, along with a short description (including who is in the photo) to:
Please also confirm that we have your permission to share your photo. We may use your photo on Kirklees Council web pages, on social media or in email bulletins. We may also share your photo with trusted partner organisations who are helping to promote our work.
Got a story to tell?
If you have a story about the response to Covid-19 in your local place that you would like to share, please get in contact with Diane Calverley.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07966 248959.
There are now thousands of local mutual aid groups across the country who are connected to Covid Mutual Aid UK. The basic idea is to coordinate care efforts for people who are self isolating in your neighbourhood, especially if they are more at risk. These groups are supporting the elderly, disabled people and those who have existing health issues. They are also supporting people who are feeling isolated or anxious throughout the pandemic. Many are on facebook.
A heartfelt thank you to all the groups who have already organised themselves to help their neighbours in local places across Kirklees. Some of these are new mutual aid groups, others are community organisations and networks who are looking out for people in their local place. We are listening to what local mutual aid groups and voluntary organisations need so that we can offer more support and advice where needed.
Find your local group to help out or to ask for support. Not all local groups are part of Covid Mutual Aid UK, so we’re also gathering more contact details to share, so that we can help to promote all our local groups.