Caring Together’s Virtual “Afternoon Tea”

Dear all,

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who was able to spend an hour with us last week at our virtual afternoon tea. Some of you made some amazing snacks and cakes, I think Hilary is still waiting for a slice of cake Shirley. I even put some lippy on, a very rare event I assure you. It was so lovely to spend this time with you all.

I have attached a picture of us all on zoom ūüôā including a picture of a delightful afternoon tea hamper with tasty goodies that Sylvia won and received the next day. And another thanks goes to Viv and Abigail for your joyous singing, a light relief indeed. And to Sylvia who led the way in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ over the airwaves to Clarita, who recently turned 90, and again to us all; for all Birthday’s missed, and yet to happen. This included Caring Together’s 25th. Also our gracious thanks go to Hilary too, and to family who helped with getting some of you on zoom, and finally to Maureen for sharing yet more of her memories – I have attached a special audio recording below of Maureen’s “A Summer Childhood” story below for those who could not join us, all the best Lisa Argyle

 

Just press play.

Shared Moments: Day 99 written by Maureen Kershaw

Dear all,

Day 99 – The weather for eating a ’99’ ice cream here too. Who named it the ’99’? I suppose I should have investigated a long time ago as they seem to have been around for most of my life. Were there 99 flakes to a box at one time? There certainly aren’t now and why is it that the ice cream vendors’ flakes, when added to the cone don’t disintegrate –¬† yet mine always end up a crumbly mess before reaching the ice cream?

The ’99 Steps’¬† which ran between Burley Road and Belle Vue Road, I believe, were something I took the locals’ word for in the accuracy of numbering. I hadn’t the desire to walk up or down them but today most of them have disappeared to make way for housing or offices. I wonder if the ’99p’ shops have all disappeared now? There weren’t many around and frankly for the sake of one penny it was more convenient to visit ‘Poundland’ and besides, I doubt whether shops will allow a bag of 1p coins for change in future.

99 days since I went into Lockdown, although the official day stands at 94. Students have been flocking back to the City over the last couple of weeks in readiness for the changeover of rentals on the 1st July. Parties, late night drinking, walking around in large groups and as for the Parks……I cannot begin to imagine the litter which will have been discarded on Woodhouse Moor by last night, judging by the queue for drinks outside the ‘One Stop’ shop. It’s as though nothing has changed which of course is far from the truth as daily life has changed so much, well it has for me.

Yesterday at 3pm the local Community Group “Caring Together” enjoyed¬† ‘Afternoon Tea’ by Zoom and we dressed accordingly for the occasion! Over hot and cold drinks, scones and cake we chatted and were entertained with a couple of songs; I read one of my stories “A Summer Childhood”, Our Patron Hilary Benn MP joined us from his office at the House of Commons, telling us all how he has dealt with changes since Lockdown. We of course were all in our¬† living rooms and kitchens. I was sitting in my ‘office’ – the kitchen, but as I was wearing a floaty top with pearl accessories, decided to sit against a plain grey wall rather than the paler shade tiles with a view of the microwave and steamer.

The local¬† PCSO was outside Little London Community Centre – but suddenly disappeared from our gallery so must have been called into action. Hilary Benn apologised in advance, warning he was waiting to Vote and said he would have to leave upon hearing the bell but – staying with us throughout – there was clearly no urgency to Vote on ‘whatever’. I just hope the Government are not proposing to change the name of the ’99’ ice cream cone.

Thank you Maureen, I have checked the¬†Cadbury’s website and they can’t find a reason behind it either, I wonder if anyone else can? Until next time……

 

Snapshot in Time: ‘Knitting things Together’ – Volunteers Week in Woodhouse, Little London and parts of City Centre

Dear all,

This week was volunteers week. And at Caring Together we celebrate this event every year for volunteers and helpers. We recognise everyone’s offers of help and supportive gestures in whatever way it is given, this can even be from our regular dedicated volunteers, to ad hoc offers of help from members, and their family and friends and our supporters too. It all matters a great deal.

Over the last year your acts of kindness have benefited so many. From regular befriending visits, phone calls, letters to helping in groups, money box making and counting, sharing musical talents and written creativity, tending to the allotment, baking and making things, passing on and sharing skills together, tombollas, Unity day, Little London Community Day, helping at other events, day trips and outings, catering, fundraising, marketing, trustees, delivering our newsletters and so on. Phew!

And the lockdown did not squash your thoughtfulness, it just meant for some it shifted slightly for which we are truly grateful. To you and the countless others in the community who have, and continue to give so much, we say a huge thank you to you all.

On a final note we did have something special planned this year with it being our ’25th Year’ yet this will have to wait. We can still celebrate together the amazing support of all our Caring Together’s volunteers and helpers, past and present. And everyone else in the community doing their bit.

Members and volunteers from the Univeristy of Leeds enjoying a sing a long last year before the lockdown

Homemade Marmalade sitting alongside our second batch of homemade Jam

Volunteers at Unity Day last year – huge team effort


Our newsletter ready for our team of volunteers


Pat and Joyce helping in the office prior to the lockdown. And one of our volunteers bringing the newsletter together just recently in the sun. Myrna is also making use of some of the home made jam and marmalade. She is baking buns and cakes which she will be distributing to her neighbours. Some of whom work in the NHS and some are shielding.

 


This is our 2nd homemade fruit cake


Helping to do a bit of shopping


Music Creations and Singing together with student volunteers just before the lockdown


Crochet and Sewing Skills Share – this was a team effort, just before the lockdown, led by Felina, Viv and Sylvia who kindly helped a group of us rekindle chrochet skills and for some learn how to crochet. I recently picked up one of the blankets from Felina who lovingly finished it off. We made two blankets. The one Felina is holding was for one of our members in the next picture.

.Happy 90th Birthday Clarita for this weekend. She was thrilled with her gift, yet not so much with my singing and birthday jig….

Thank you to you all for ‘Caring Together’

Lighting the way!

As part of the ‚ÄėNature Revealed: Making the Invisible Visible‚Äô project, Caring Together will be working alongside the University of Leeds, Schools, other organisations and various artists which involves coming together at intervals in the year using creative techniques to explore the natural world of migrational and nocturnal birds, hedgehogs and bats etc.

For the past few weeks, at Little London Community Centre, this has involved making lanterns which will culminate in them being used  as part of Light Night in October 2020.

I for one cannot wait to see them finished. Watch this space.

The People’s Powered Press

Caring Together members recently visited Leeds-based design studio Split to have a go at producing their own public poster featuring their own words using the Peoples Powered Press. Built by JKN OilTools in Batley, the People Powered Press was originally created for These Northern Types and is thought to be the largest letterpress printing press of it’s kind in the world.

The visit was part of a joint project with SKIPPKO and was certainly a great success among those who participated.

Bussing in the bus drivers!

There were 27 people exercising at the Tuesday Group this week. Our regular group were joined by Bus Drivers and other staff, from many areas of England and the Channel Islands, employed by HCT (Hackney Community Transport Рwhich shows their origins). HCT are a Social Enterprise in the transport industry, delivering services in West and South Yorkshire, London, Manchester, Bristol, Jersey and Guernsey. We regularly use the Leeds based services for our groups that are based at Leeds Alternative Travel. The reason for the visit was for them to view services and activities that take place as apposed to just dropping people off. It was great from our perspective to show them what we do and to learn more about their organisation.

Huge thanks to our members for welcoming visitors to their group, the caring together team, and of course Julie (exercise trainer) for keeping everyone motivated.


University of Leeds Volunteering Fair

Caring Together, as we do every year, had a presence at the Leeds University Volunteering Fair on Tuesday. As always, it was hectic and vibrant. Lisa attended on behalf of Caring Together. This is a great opportunity to make local students and the university aware of what we do and of the myriad opportunities available.

If you wish to explore the range of ways in which you can volunteer with Caring Together phone Lisa on:

0113 2430298

and we can make you aware of what we do and of the ways that you can make a difference to the lives of older people in our area.

Go on, give it a try.

Are you looking for a volunteer Treasurers role?

 

Why are we looking for a new Treasurer?

 Our current Volunteer Treasurer will be leaving the board after 15 years of service (Not bad given that he initially only came for 5 years) and we need new strategic contribution to our Board to support our vision and delivery of our new Strategy.  We employ a very able Finance worker who undertakes the day-to-day financial operations; the Treasurer provides oversight and guidance of the delivery of our financial strategy, our reporting, compliance and financial risk management.  You can find our latest report and accounts on our website.

About our existing Board

 There are currently eight other volunteer Trustees with varied experience and skills including, law, personnel and academia. In addition half of our board is composed of local older people. We are a friendly Board, passionate about our local area and we enjoy welcoming new people and talents to support our work on behalf of older people in our local area.  You can read more about us on our website.

What do you get as our Treasurer?

  • A chance to build your experience of charities and the voluntary sector
  • An opportunity to exercise your financial management skills and knowledge, possibly in a different environment / context
  • A role that includes building your own leadership experience as Chair of our Finance Committee
  • Satisfaction of helping us make a difference for older people, and giving something back to local communities.
  • A boost to your career and CV, if needed.

What will you bring to us?

 You will have proven experience of financial management in the charity, public or commercial sector, ideally with an understanding of charity finance or be keen to learn if this is a new area for you.  You will bring excellent financial management and analysis skills to a financially literate Board, providing guidance on financial risk management and compliance. With a knowledge of finance systems you will be comfortable supporting our Chair as well as having a hands on involvement with our Finance Worker, auditors and Managers when required.

If you are interested, or know someone who might be?

  • You will need to be eligible to be a charity Trustee, which we will explain.
  • A full Role Description with person specification is available here¬†Job Spec and person spec
  • The role is not remunerated although reasonable expenses can be claimed for.

 

 

 

Volunteering – Four

Volunteers Week 2019

Celebrating Volunteering in all it’s forms

We get so much help from our community both from our ‘official’ volunteers and all our members who just naturally offer kindness and support where it is needed in our groups and day to day.

First week of the month is ‘bingo week’ on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and we will have our brilliant volunteer bingo caller shouting out the numbers.¬† At the same time, within our group yesterday we had baking brought in by one member, members supporting others to play bingo, supporting new members to feel included, prizes donated by members, help to clear away and so much support for each other.

Our bingo volunteer says: ‘I look forward to coming and it is something I enjoy doing’

Volunteers Week – Three

Some volunteering is less visible.

Offering support and friendship, in person, on the phone, even by letter to help people stay connected even if circumstances make it harder for them to be involved.

This might be a regular visit to someone who doesn’t get out much or a temporary visit while someone is in hospital, or catch up call to say hello and see how someone is.

We don’t have words sometimes to express just how valuable this support and companionship is to some of our members.

Our volunteers are just amazing!