At a time when we can’t get together and access all the usual training and learning opportunities we’re so used to, more of us are relying on the internet. To help people keep learning, Fusion Housing’s community learning service is now available online.
Fusion offers support to people who need a helping hand to get them into work and would like to try learning something new. They have redesigned their very popular Cooking, Nutrition and Health & Wellbeing courses so that they can continue to provide learning to Kirklees residents during the Coronavirus lockdown.
The Fusion Learning Team have several courses where you can learn skills for cooking healthy food and ways to improve your physical health and wellbeing. Here’s a brief outline of what’s on offer.
‘Come Dine With Me’ Healthy Eating Course
Not only does this course help you plan and cost nutritionally balanced meals, it teaches practical kitchen skills too.
This course is 4 hours a week and runs for 7 weeks.
Fit For Life
Helping you understand fitness and wellbeing and moving toward a healthier lifestyle, this course explores new and different ways you can exercise. You can measure your own fitness levels and make your way to being a healthier you.
This course runs for 4 weeks.
Healthy Eating and Cooking Workshop
This short course is designed to give you insight to a balanced diet and the importance of it, how to eat healthily and how to cost a meal.
This short course runs for 4 hours.
‘£1 meal makers’
Learn how to save money and cook tasty, healthy meals.
This course runs for 4 weeks.
Bread and Budget
This is a bread making course for adults, where you can also learn a bit about budgeting.
How to join
If you have a laptop, a tablet or a smart phone, and you want to join any of these courses, telephone 01484 532280 or email email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Kirklees Libraries have curated some reading collections in honour of Mental Health Awareness Week (18th to 24th May). Check out this collection of specially selected fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Whether you want to find a book to help you or others through these difficult times, an uplifting story or a poem that resonates, you may just find what you’re looking for…
The Befriending Partnership are helping to tackle isolation through a telephone service set up to support older people and vulnerable adults, as part of the community response during the coronavirus lockdown.
Volunteers who give their time to the Befriending Partnership are matched with citizens who are known to the organisations as needing contact, to make sure they are okay in their homes and to help reduce feelings of isolation.
The telephone befriending service is led by Community Connections at the Yorkshire Children’s Centre and Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees.
We spoke to Christine Rhodes, Service Manager for Community Connections, about how people have been making connections and helping each other during lockdown.
“In the last few weeks we have seen our volunteer numbers grow to 90, and we have made 56 matches to those who need befriending phone calls. Our volunteers spend between 2 to 4 hours a week on calls with vulnerable or isolated people. We try and match people with similar interests and in the same local areas, with the hope they will carry on befriending afterwards, hopefully face to face.
“Of the 90 volunteers we have at the moment, around 35 have been forwarded from Kirklees Council’s call for volunteers and from staff that have been furloughed from elsewhere. The other volunteers have come in from all areas and walks of life.
“Referrals for the service come in from the Covid-19 Community Response team, from the community anchor organisations network and also now from the mutual aid groups who are doing brilliant work all over Kirklees.”
The volunteers not only phone people to have a friendly chat, but also receive training from the Befriending Partnership to help identify if someone needs other kinds of support. You can read Mark’s story on the Volunteering Kirklees blog to find out more about the experience for volunteers.
Christine told us that, until recently, one person was getting their shopping delivered. The volunteer identified that this had stopped and was able to feedback this information via a new app the Befriending Service are using. This resulted in a referral being made, making sure that the person received the essential supplies they needed.
The service continues to grow and more people are being welcomed to volunteer. We know there are many compassionate people in Kirklees who are keen to offer friendly phone calls to others. We’ve asked the people who have volunteered to offer this kind of support via our Covid-19 Community Response whether we can share their details with the Befriending Partnership.
We’re delighted to say that this has already resulted in a surge of new volunteers. Training is provided for all volunteers and enhanced ID checks are carried out routinely to make sure we are keeping vulnerable people safe.
“The Befriending Service is very important and is still growing. We know this is true of other support services too. We’re very supportive of the Mutual Aid Group network and the amazing work they’re doing too. It’s all about making sure vulnerable people don’t fall through the gaps and we’re doing all we can.
“I hope the volunteers signed up to the Befriending Service now, will continue to volunteer when we come out of the other side. And I hope those volunteering elsewhere in their communities continue as well.”
If you are interested in being a Telephone Befriender with full training and support please email: email@example.com or call the team on 01422 252 040 for more information.
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.
Find out more about the Befriending Partnership
There are five organisations involved in the wider Befriending Partnership in Kirklees. During the Covid-19 Community Response, the specific telephone befriending service has been set up by the Yorkshire Children’s Centre and Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees. They are also working closely with the Royal Voluntary Service and some of the volunteers have been matched with people on their waiting lists too.
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.
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.