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

Works Better – get help to find work

Works Better header

This post was updated on 6th August 2020

If you’ve volunteered as part of the coronavirus lockdown over the last few months, helping to make sure the more vulnerable people in the community are looked after, you may be considering your next steps. It might be to do more volunteering, find employment or looking for a career change.

Help with finding work is at hand through Works Better. The team understands that this is a stressful time for job seekers and especially those who have recently been made redundant.

The support available includes:

  • Help to apply for Universal Credit
  • Mentoring
  • Advice on updating your CV
  • Searching for jobs
  • Preparing for interviews
  • Support with Job Applications and much more.

Works Better is an employment support programme that has been designed to help residents in Kirklees tackle barriers into work and find new employment opportunities in the future.

Currently, due to Covid-19, services are only being delivered via telephone and digitally, to make sure they comply with government guidance and that residents can still access this crucial support.

To access support from Works Better you must be out of work or unemployed and be a Kirklees resident aged 18+

Find out more

Works Better

or call 01484 221000 (and ask for Works Better)

 


Works Better Enhanced is part funded by the European Social Fund and managed by Kirklees Council. It is delivered across the Kirklees District in partnership with Fusion Housing, Paddock Community Trust, Proper Job Theatre Company and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing.

 

Art Workshops for mutual aid co-ordinators and volunteers

crafts

Crafty Home are inviting Mutual Aid Group co-ordinators and volunteers to attend a FREE art workshop. After a particularly intense time of helping and supporting your communities, what better way to relax, unwind and let your imagination run free?

Not artistic? Not a problem. This is a way of saying thank you for the amazing work you’ve done, to share in some downtime together, reflect, paint, draw or make.

You don’t have to be an artist to take part and the workshops are free of charge, but places are limited so please get in touch as soon as possible.

The first event for mutual aid co-ordinators and admins is on 25th July 2020 at the Piazza (Unit 16 next to USC shoe store) from 11.30am.

The second event for volunteers and those who couldn’t make to the first one is on 1st August 2020 form 11.30am, also at Unit 16 at the Piazza.

Find out more

Contact Patrycia: crafty.home@yahoo.com

Or call 07421 122314

www.facebook.com/almondbury

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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

 

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

 

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

 

Flowers from Clem's Garden

Spring cheer from Clem’s Garden & Mutual Aid Groups

Community spirit blooms in partnership with Kirklees mutual aid groups

Clem’s Garden are working with Lindley Covid Mutual Aid Group to brighten up the lives of local people in the area. Clem’s Garden CIC is a social enterprise in Huddersfield. It’s run by local volunteers who don’t have children or grandchildren to channel their care, skills and experience into. They work together to grow and sell flowers, supporting local charities and community projects with the profits.

Their locally grown flowers are included in essential deliveries of food and medicine for those neighbours who don’t have family around or at the end of the phone for support. The group are also supplying HRI staff with bunches of flowers, to show their love and support for NHS staff.

Golcar Mutual Aid Group’s Food Buddies are also working with Clem’s Garden, delivering beautiful bunches of flowers once a fortnight to those who are unable to leave the house.

The Clem’s Garden volunteers have also pitched in to help with writing letters for care home residents who feel isolated, as part of a project co-ordinated by Volunteering Kirklees.

Find out more & Get involved

Clem’s Garden welcome new participants, including adult volunteers who have their own family, as ‘Friends of Clem’s Garden’.

Clem’s Garden

Could you write a letter or draw a picture to brighten someone’s day?

Volunteer to be a letter writer

Find your local mutual aid group

Find your local group – Covid Mutual Aid UK

Supermarket shopping for Covid-19 volunteers


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.

Asda Volunteer Shopping Card

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.

M&S We’re All in this Together Volunteer E-Gift Card

Sainsbury’s volunteer shopping cards

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.

Sainsbury’s volunteer shopping card

 


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):

Morrisons Doorstep Deliveries

 


Open Ears for volunteers – telephone support

Telephone wires

Confidential telephone support for Covid-19 volunteers in Kirklees

Had a tough day? Feeling overwhelmed? Finding the tasks daunting? Volunteering during this time can be stressful. If you need someone to talk to, you are not alone, we are here for you.

“Open Ears” is a confidential telephone support service for all Covid-19 volunteers in Kirklees, provided by Third Sector Leaders.

What we can do

  • We offer emotional support over the phone.
  • We listen and provide help on how you can look after your wellbeing.
  • We signpost you to additional services and support where required.

What we can’t do

  • We can’t offer medical or financial advice.
  • We are not a professional counselling service.
  • We are not an ongoing befriending service.
  • We are not volunteer coordinators or a complaints service.

How to get in touch

To get in touch with us, please send a simple Hello to openears@tslkirklees.org.uk

We will respond to you immediately with a short form to fill in, and will connect you with one of the Open Ears team as soon as possible. (Please check your junk mail folder if you don’t receive it).

Open Ears – Aspire

Open Ears leaflet (PDF)

Aspire logoThird Sector Leaders Kirklees

 

 

 

 

 

Safeguarding awareness for Covid-19 volunteers

Please share this quick video to help get the safeguarding message out to Covid-19 volunteers in Kirklees. Some useful messages for anyone who is volunteering in their local place are:

  • if you see something say something
  • safeguarding is everybody’s business
  • as volunteers you have a safeguarding role

All volunteers should have a contact in their group or the organisation they are volunteering with, who they can raise any safeguarding concerns with. If you’re volunteering with Kirklees Council, this will be your volunteer co-ordinator.


Safeguarding training resources

Here are some useful materials from Third Sector Leaders, which were also shared with some local mutual aid groups in our online safeguarding training session.

Safeguarding for Covid-19 mutual aid groups in Kirklees (PDF)


Safeguarding adults in Kirklees

Safeguarding adults means protecting the most vulnerable from abuse and neglect. During the Covid-19 pandemic, professionals and volunteers may come into contact with individuals and families they haven’t met before. If you see something, are told something or something doesn’t feel right you need to report it. Call Kirklees Gateway to Care on 01484 414933. Don’t ignore it, report it.

Kirklees Safeguarding Adults Board advice

Adult safeguarding factsheet (PDF)

Coronavirus: staying safe – leaflet or poster (PDF)


Safeguarding children in Kirklees

If you think a child in Kirklees is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about a child’s wellbeing you should call and speak to someone:

Worried about a child? – quick reference numbers

A brief guide to reporting child abuse in Kirklees (PDF)

Kirklees Safeguarding Children Partnership advice