We had the pleasure of welcoming a good number of our members, students from the Leeds University Union Music Impact in the Community, the Lord Mayor of Leeds and friends, Hilary Benn and some funders to our AGM Friday.
It is the first one in our premises! It was lovely, it was ended with some wonderful music followed by a cuppa and food.
Thank you everyone in the community for coming along and ‘Caring Together’, what a year.
We are writing to you this week against the backdrop of the crisis unfolding in Ukraine. Leeds has a long and proud history of helping those in need and we are doing everything we can to support the relief effort and welcome displaced Ukrainians to our city.
We recently launched the Leeds Together for Ukraine appeal, and the total is already approaching £70,000. Every donation will help to provide accommodation and support for Ukrainians who have lost their homes.
Thank you to all who have donated, and to our partners helping with the appeal. They include the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (Leeds branch), Migration Yorkshire and Leeds Community Foundation.
Another way you can help is by registering with the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme if you are able to offer accommodation for at least six months.
We know however that closer to home the rising cost of living is a serious concern. We will outline below where to get advice if you are worried about money, as well as update you on the local coronavirus situation.
Helping you with money matters
With the rising cost of living putting pressure on household budgets, please remember there is support on hand if you are worried about managing your money and your fuel bills. Advice is free and confidential.
The 25 community hubs across Leeds provide information in person or by phone and can signpost you to other organisations in the city for assistance tailored to your specific circumstances.
If you need urgent help with paying for food, gas or electricity you can call our welfare support team on 0113 376 0330 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (from 10am on Wednesdays).
Subject to household eligibility, there is funding available for high quality attic insulation to keep homes warmer and cut energy bills. Find out the criteria and apply by 31 March.
Energy bills rebate and council tax
During April, we will pay the government energy bills rebate of £150 to most households in council tax bands A to D. If you pay by Direct Debit, the rebate will be paid directly into your bank account. If you use another payment method you must apply for the rebate by completing an online form, which will be available from 4 April. If you need help with the online form just ask at one of our community hubs.
Your council tax bill for 2022/23 includes more information about the rebate. Please read this carefully and keep your bill handy so you can find your council tax account number. You’ll need it if you have to claim the rebate or make any enquiries about your account.
The Covid-19 case rate in Leeds has reached 462 per 100K, a significant increase of over 50% in the past week. The case rate in England stands at 617 per 100K.
Whilst a rise in cases was likely as the lifting of restrictions led to increasing social contacts, the disease is less severe for most individuals who have been vaccinated. However the case rates are a timely reminder that Covid-19 remains with us and is a source of anxiety for those who are clinically vulnerable. We can all help by maintaining some simple precautions.
As the weather improves, we can enjoy meeting friends and family outdoors which is much safer. If you do have to spend time together indoors, you can reduce the risk of spreading the virus by opening windows and doors for fresh air and wearing face coverings where possible. Please remember to wash your hands regularly and try to stay at home if you are unwell.
During the pandemic it has been reassuring to be able to test regularly for Covid. It’s important to note that under the living with Covid strategy the government will stop providing free universal Covid-19 testing from 1 April. In-person test sites in Leeds offering PCR tests for people with coronavirus symptoms will close on 31 March. After that date lateral flow kits for asymptomatic testing will no longer be issued free of charge but can be purchased from retail outlets.
With effect from today, all Covid-19 travel restrictions are lifted for people arriving into England from abroad. Other countries still have entry rules in place, so you should check travel advice before departure from the UK.
Vaccination is the best protection
With restrictions lifted, the national living with Covid strategy centres on vaccines as the best line of defence against the virus. The effectiveness of the vaccines is constantly monitored and the data shows that two doses help you avoid serious illness while a booster dose as well makes you 90% less likely to need hospital treatment.
It’s never too late to start your Covid-19 vaccination course and there are clinics across the city where you can either book or walk in for your first, second or booster dose. Find a walk-in vaccination clinic near you or use the NHS booking service.
The self-isolation support scheme ended when the law on self-isolation was lifted on 24 February. However, if you were required to self-isolate before that date, you may still have time to apply for the self-isolation support payment. You can apply up to 42 days from your first day of isolation and must submit your application via the council website no later than Wednesday 6 April.
And finally…a week left to nominate in the Child Friendly Leeds Awards 2022
The Child Friendly Leeds Awards will be extra special this year. Not only is it their 10th birthday, Child Friendly Leeds is also celebrating all the wonderful ways in which Leeds is the best city for children and young people – even when there’s a global pandemic.
The awards were cancelled last year due to Covid restrictions, so if you know of a child, young person, adult or organisation deserving recognition for amazing achievements over the past two years, please tell us! Make your nomination online by 10pm on Friday 25 March.
This Thursday 6th January is our first ‘Online Elevenses’ for 2022. It is a virtual catch up for anyone wishing to join us online? We meet once a month online to catch up from the comfort of our own homes and natter in a warm friendly space. We would love to see you.
If yes, just message me firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07436 530073 and I can send you an invite.
Grief and the healing process following a loss, no not matter how long ago, is not something we just ‘get over’. It is different for everyone and can be an incredibly hard and deeply sorrowful experience with some days being better than others. We just learn to rebuild our life without them around the loss. It can feel like it is just there at times and can flare up out of the blue. Talking and being in a supportive space with friends, family and others for group support and understanding can help.
At Caring Together we have a ‘Bereavement Support Group’ on the first Monday of the month for anyone who wishes to come along. This space and time is for you no matter when your loss was, be it 30 years, 10years or just last year. A warm welcome, compassion, and a cuppa will be on offer.
Our next date is: Monday 10th January 2022 @11am Venue: Caring Together premises, 127 Woodhouse Street, Leeds LS6 2PY
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Please just call, text 07436 530073 or email: email@example.com if you wish to come along.
Last year held some wonderful memories and at other times not. And where sadness and loss prevailed we send our deepest sympathies to you at this time. None of us know what this year will hold. Our way of connecting will likely continue to be different as we navigate the unknown. Yet as we adapt, the turning of the seasons and a New Year bring us hope as we all go on working to find our own ways for each of us to feel seen, supported and heard.
All the best for the coming year and may it be one of finding balance, a sense of peace, and contentment.
Our offices will be closed over the festive season from mid day Christmas Eve until Tuesday 4th January 2022, however we will still be checking in on some members on Christmas Day and periodically throughout the week. I have also added below some useful contacts where needed.
But before we sign off to take some time to recharge for ourselves we have brought together a short video of just some of the things we have been up to in the last month together. It has been a mixture of some truly sad times peppered with some fun times along the way. It does not cover everything but we hope you enjoy it and we look forward to being back again on Tuesday 4th January 2022.
Our thoughts are with you all at this time. And we thank you all for your kindness and support throughout the Year in Caring Together. Wishing you all a peaceful and safe holidays.
Press play and turn the volume on if you wish!
Also, please see below a copy of our useful contacts for over the holidays from our recent newsletter.
We had our last digital session this week. We have been having some fun. We made a mini drama along with some pictures that we took. We hope you enjoy!
If safe to do so, we look forward to being back again in the New Year to continue our learning together. If you wish to come along then please get in touch. Call: 07436 530073 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our festive wreaths were finished off this week, they looked beautiful. Joyce donated hers to Caring Together which is on our door. Our skills share craft get together’s have now finished for this year. However, all being well and if safe to do so we are back in the New Year on Wednesday 12th January 2022 at 11am.
If you wish to come along then please do, and if you need any more information about what we will be up to in January please call Lisa 07436 530073 or email: email@example.com
We enjoyed another round of bingo this week. For some this was in person at Lovell Park Court in Little London, for others it was from the comfort of their own homes; online and for another it was via the phone. It was very lively and fun.
If you wish to join us next time then get in touch we would love to see you.
Call Lisa 07436 530073 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What a joyous afternoon. And even though it was a bit chilly, thankfully the rain held off for us. To keep us warm we had blankets, hot chocolate, soup and some hot drinks. We were also treated to some homemade mince pies, vegan cake & mince pies and some chocolates. The beautiful sounds from the choir warmed us further. Thank you to LUUMIC Choir, our members, volunteers, the team at Caring Together, our funders, the Community, Cllr Al Garthwaite and the Lord Mayor who braved the elements to be with us. And to those who could not make it I have put some pictures up for you with a video to follow.
Headingley, Hyde Park & Woodhouse News – @HeadingleyCouncillors – LUU Music Impact in the Community – LUUMIC @luumusicimpactinthecommunity @LordMayorLeeds