Shared Moments: OUT AND ABOUT WITH CARING TOGETHER written by Maureen Kershaw

Hello all,

Whilst still being officially in Summer, although one or two days have felt distinctly Autumnal, Caring Together have ensured its members  are able to get out and about now that we can enjoy more freedom!

A walk round the Woodhouse Moor Allotment was a joy to see just how the vegetables and plants were thriving since our previous visit when the raised beds were very much in their infancy. Sterling work carried out there.

A visit to the new ‘Stick or Twist’ in town for lunch was most enjoyable, Lisa having reserved tables for us in a far corner which enabled us all to chat easier. Fourteen of us enjoyed snacks to full lunches and what good value when hot drinks at 99p are refilled as many times as one can drink! I reminisced that we were actually on the exact spot of the old ‘Cinderella/Rockerfellas’ nightclub, replaced by the Grosvenor Casino then another Wetherspoons pub before this one was born.

A walk around the Gardens at Roundhay followed by a cuppa and cake (of course) in the Canal Gardens added to our new found freedom as did the visit to Golden Acre Park. The latter being a cloudy day, didn’t stop the many photo opportunities of the lake, swans and demonstration gardens. Finishing our walk, naturally, at the Cafe the clouds broke up and our chat over refreshments on the terrace was bathed in very warm sunshine, so much so it was almost tempting to re-take all the photos again, against a different backdrop! A short walk to the bus stop, our ‘resident horticulturist’ (as I refer to him) Ben decided to extend his walk by heading towards Cookridge for the bus home. In reality he took one or two wrong turnings along the way, ending up at one point at the end of the Airport runway, the roar of an incoming aircraft so low nearly blowing his cap off! I think in future we’ll keep to Lisa’s walking routes and not be influenced by Ben!

Those of us who have continued to enjoy ‘Elevenses’ on Zoom each week, went out on location again, this time to Pat’s at her lovely home with a wonderful garden to relax in and enjoy. Thanks to the wonders of technology we were able to link up ‘Elevenses’ with anyone unable to attend in person.  We chatted to Denise and her grandson Theo whilst Lisa gave them a visual guided tour of the lovely garden. Who would have ever thought at one time this would all be possible!

A real sun-trap we enjoyed our coffees and teas, some being treated to a homemade lemon balm variety from the garden. So much to look at and admire, plants, fruit trees, garden ornaments and bird baths, our attention was constantly drawn to something else espied through the greenery. Then it was time for the goldfish in the garden pond to be fed, which we understood numbered around 40! Suddenly there was a mass of bright orange as hungry mouths surfaced which obviously prompted another photo opportunity.  Thank you Pat for your warm welcome and hospitality.

I understand there are a few more ideas for outdoor events in the pipeline to enjoy before the weather changes and it would be wonderful to see more join us. We will take advantage of the rest of the Summer, before ‘indoor’ events, such as lunching out take over. All too soon the lightweight clothing will be replaced with jumpers and heavier coats but then it will be Autumn – my favourite season – and we will be blessed with the rich golden tones,  of reds, rust and browns as the trees also shed their Summer outfits. Let’s  make the best of what is on offer, we all deserve it.

Thank you Caring Together for your continuing support to all, for encouraging the companionship and camaraderie enjoyed. Many of us will remember when our family Doctor used to prescribe a bottle of ‘tonic’ to improve our well-being and lift the spirits – but this is far better!

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Covid vaccine boosters and Flu jabs as part of ‘Winter Plan’

The Government announced its plans for boosters of covid vaccines for all over 50s as part of the Winter plan to manage the covid risks.  It will be offered at least 6 months after the second dose of a covid vaccine.

People eligible for the boosters will include:

  • All adults aged 50 years or over
  • Those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Younger people with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

The booster vaccines will start to be delivered from next week and are likely to be given alongside the Flu vaccination.  The NHS will contact people to invite them to go for these jabs and so you do not need to contact anyone to request yours at this stage.

Coronavirus remains a serious risk and as we approach the Winter months you are urged to remain cautious to help protect yourself and others.
Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer
Wear face covering in crowded & enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet
Get tested and self-isolate if required
If you haven’t already, get vaccinated

Full details at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Could you be paying less for your fuel bills?

Ofgem recently announced an increase in the energy price cap from 1st October 2021.

All the major energy firms confirm massive price hikes from October – act now to avoid huge bill shock

The price cap puts a limit on how much companies can charge per kilowatt hour of gas and electricity.  The increase in October is 12% and it means the ‘average’ household cost for both fuels would rise to  £1,277 a year or £1,309 a year for a prepayment meter.  NOTE: this is an average cost – you could be paying more or less depending on how much you use.

The price cap only applies to you if you’re on a default or prepayment tariff:

You’re likely to be on one of these tariffs if you haven’t switched energy suppliers before or you’ve automatically rolled on to the standard variable rate after a fixed rate tariff came to an end.

If this applies to you you may be able to switch to a cheaper tariff and save a considerable amount on your bills.

You could ask your existing supplier if there is a cheaper tariff for you – this is the easiest option and you may be able to save money without switching supplier.

However, may be able to save more by switching to another supplier.  There are a number of comparison sites who can look at your energy costs and show you cheaper options, for example http://www.uswitch.com/  or http://www.moneysupermarket.com/  (these are both ofgem accredited but others are available).

If you want some help looking at options to save on energy bills, we might be able to assist you, call Valerie on 0748 3333 115 or email valerie@caringtogether.org.uk 

Note: before switching supplier there may be other things than just price to consider – for example if you get warm home discount you may need to check whether switching will affect this.

Age Proud Festival 6-17 September

The very first Leeds Age Proud Festival starts today.

The Festival will run between 6th and 17th September at a range of venues across the city as well as lots of virtual events from the comfort of your own living room. An opportunity to try something new, embark on some self-improvement or just watch something that interests or entertains you.

The festival aims  to showcase the city of Leeds as a great, community focussed city with lots to offer older people.  A place where people can feel involved and valued.

Information about all the events can be found here: https://www.ageproudfestivalleeds.org/events.

It will be updated with new information throughout the festival so is worth checking back to see what’s new.

 

Shared Moments: ‘On turning a light green’ written by Lynne Fordyce

Dear all,

I have taken up litter picking. It would be wrong to call it a hobby and was not on my bucket list of things to do in my retirement years but litter picking is now one of my pleasures.

As a young person I was somewhat oblivious of the effects of litter on the environment and as a smoker had no qualms at throwing fag ends into the wilderness, or the gutter, with a sense of self righteousness, believing, honestly, that they were bio-degradable. I was once stopped in the street by a man who told me I’d dropped something pointing to a match, and with a sudden sense of guilt, I apologised, picked it up and pocketed it.

Perhaps it was part of my awakening although it’s difficult to know what contributed to the process. David Attenborough in Zoo Quest was definitely part of my weekly childhood pleasures; all those lovely furry creatures; but I rather forsook him later in pursuit of the finer things in life like work and children and a little pub culture.

Litter picking, as I’ve discovered, need not be a lone event. About twenty years ago my partner joined a group of others on a Sunday morning to clear a piece of wasteland. The group, organised in the local pub, had a highly entertaining time and returned full of stories of their finds alongside a new camaraderie. Litter pickers united.

Anyway I joined a similar group on Woodhouse Moor, of  which I have been a “Friend of” for a long time, a task which has involved attending meetings three or four times a year at a co-Friends’ house eating, sharing wine, and agreeing to some proposals. This litter picking event was organised however by young people full of “green credentials” never having discarded as much as a bottle top in their lives. I was provided with a large plastic hoop thing not unlike a giant bubble wand, a black bag to attach to it and a stick with a claw on the end to pick up litter with and set off to fill my bag, which I did, far too easily.

I’ve changed tactics now though and palled up with Cate another late litter picker and every other Sunday morning we circle our local area. We have our own equipment. Personal litter pickers and black bags. No bubble-blower shaped thingy though. Our general finds are mundane, pop-cans; masks; wrappers; plastic bits; and an odd sock. However, last Sunday was different.

My eyesight is not brilliant, I have bi-focals and developing cataracts but there under an overhanging hedge I spied the monarchs head. A tenner. £10 !

“This one’s mine” I said to Cate rather greedily, but as I clutched it between the claws of my picker- upper  there was another one  “and that one’s yours” I added as a magnanimous gesture . Twenty quid for an hour of conversation, fresh air and a saunter. Becoming  a light shade of green has its rewards.

image sourced from Leeds University Union

‘New Bereavement Support Group’

Thanks to support from Leeds Bereavement Forum and Carers Leeds, Caring Together will be hosting a ‘New Monthly Bereavement Support Group’ at our new Caring Together premises. Come and meet other bereaved people for group support and understanding. A warm welcome, cuppa and biscuits will also be on offer too.

Our first get together will be Monday 13th September 2021 @11am – 12noon

Thereafter it will then be on the 1st Monday of the month. So for October the date will be: Monday 4th October 2021 at 11am – 12noon

If you are interested, or just want to know more the please do get in touch. Call Lisa 07436 530073, or email if  you wish: lisa@caringtogether.org.uk

 

From the virtual to the reality….

From the virtual to the reality….
 
Following the lock down some of us embarked on a journey of learning together. This led to frustration as well as elation as we got to grips with the world of zooming. We have met online ever since and from April 2020 and have clocked up 65 zoom sessions in total. We joined the sessions one at a time and supported each other as we navigated this new way of being together.
 
Two weeks ago our virtual world became more of a reality gathering. Most of us met in Pat’s beautiful garden, with Denise and her grandson joining us virtually. We have heard so much about Pat’s garden over the past year it was great to get to see it for ourselves along with her fish.  We also had home made lemon balm tea and biscuits.
 
We are still going to meet online as well as in person. It will be monthly from September’21 on the 1st Thursday of the month. So this Thursday at 11am. We love our catch ups, from books, to dentists, local goings on, gardens, holidays; past and present, to films, art, music and history….. You name it, we have chatted about it. It has also been a huge support network too, with plenty of laughter along the way.
 
If anyone wishes to join us please call Lisa 07436 530073 or email: lisa@caringtogether.org.uk.

Caribbean and African Food Festival – Saturday 28th August

Leeds Kirkgate Market Foodhall

10am – 5.30pm Saturday 28th August

The event is free but you need to register at  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/caribbean-and-african-food-fest-tickets-163291799167

Hosted by The Cultural Arts Heritage Circle (Nubian Noire), the free event promises an array of national dishes, live entertainment and wellbeing workshops.

There will be goody bags for children, live chef demonstrations and a host of independent traders serving recipes passed down through generations.