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:


Community kindness…..

We wanted to give a shout out to our volunteers Myrna and Mary. Some of our chairs got a lovely deep clean a few weeks ago. They have come up like new and are already in use. I know all our bottoms will appreciate it.
Our humble thanks to you both for a fantastic job. I know it was not easy as they were pretty grubby. Thank you.

‘Stroll on Woodhouse Moor and Allotment visit’

Dear all
We have once again enjoyed our stroll on Woodhouse Moor with a pit stop at the Caring Together Allotment. There were onions, courgettes, broad beans (scarlet emperor), potatoes, herbs and so much more including the beautiful flowers to keep the bees (of all varieties) well catered for.
Thank you once again Ben for hosting us and letting us get to take away some of the produce. And for passing on your knowledge not only about the allotment produce but also some cooking tips too. Including the many bees who frequent the plants.
If you wish to join us for more outings/strolls do get in touch, or you would like to get involved and learn more about the allotment. Lisa 07436 530073 or email:

Ship-Shape and lovin it……

A few weeks ago we were delighted that Mary and Myrna had some time to tackle the store room. It certainly needed it. Last week Susan joined them both on day 2 to sort out some craft boxes. When we moved we didn’t get a chance to sort through everything so we are thrilled they could help. We, meaning all our members, volunteers and the team now know where everything is and even have everything labelled up. Order has now been restored…..THANK YOU 🙂
Kindest regards Lisa

Shared Moments: ‘Weddings’ written by Oliver Cross

Weddings aren’t what they used to be, which is a relief for people who don’t like sexism, crude humour, drunkenness, ill-fitting outfits, unimaginative food or seething family tensions.

None of which were even hinted at the wedding of my grandson Sam and my new relative Mrs Becky Cross, mainly, I think, because all the youngish people I know (especially Sam and Becky) are more sensible than I ever was, not to mention more thoughtful, intelligent, enterprising and – which, I realised at the wedding, is the most important social virtue – much kinder too.

So, in keeping with  the kindly mood established by the happy couple (‘happy’ being, so far as I could see, an accurate description rather than a wedding cliché), everybody was nice to each other, enjoying the company of, in many cases, strangers and delighted by the just-in-time end of the Covid lockdown.

Which could sound dull but really isn’t, particularly when you consider that the alternative might be a wedding in Walford, Emmerdale or Kabul during the massacre season.

This ceremony was in rolling green countryside near York in a set of old and very attractive agricultural buildings repurposed to look completely unlike the cramped and charmless register office where I was married in the 1970s and which, as I remember, mainly overlooked the council’s rates department.

Since then, and excluding pandemics and climate change, much has changed for the better. English wedding-goers have started to understand the concepts of smart-casual clothing, ecologically-aware confetti-throwing and acceptable hair arrangements (as a reminder of how bad things were, you could look at wedding pictures from the 1970s and 80s, after first reading a trauma warning).

Other things didn’t need to change; bridesmaids in uniforms  so glamorous that you could imagine them breaking into a West End dance routine, a bride wearing a lovely white dress with  a lacy train which was so definitively a wedding dress that it couldn’t be repurposed into anything else and its future is secure.

There was even a wedding cake tiered, though not in the usual way, by Sam, who, unlike most men in the last century, knows how to bake very well.

But I think the most impressive improvement was in the quality of the wedding speeches. These have been, in my experience, minor ordeals to be got through with the aid of stiff drinks. Here, everybody, especially Sam and Becky, said what they had to say very wittily and intelligently and without recourse to boorishness, cheap cracks or showing-off.

Taking the long view, which, at my age, isn’t quite as long as it used to be, I can see, based on the wedding speeches alone, a union of two families who, being blessed with rare intelligence and goodwill will continue to enrich each other’s lives, just like the Montagues and Capulets didn’t.

NHS Planned Care Citizen Panel – chance to get involved


Planned care is also known as ‘routine’ or ‘elective’ care. It is treatment that people decide to have to help manage a health problem, rather than emergency treatment.

As we cautiously progress with the move out of lockdown, planned care services that were temporarily stopped are gradually being brought back in the safest possible way for patients and staff.  The Planned Care Alliance is finalising a strategy for how to work together as a healthcare system to address the increased waiting list.

As part of this West Yorkshire & Harrogate Health Care Partnership would like people who have been affected by delays to planned care to join a new Planned Care Citizen’s panel.  This virtual Panel will be in place for twelve weeks from 21 June to 10 September 2021. They are looking for panel members who are currently waiting for a planned care procedure, or who have a close connection with an adult or child affected by the delays to planned care services as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.e

The hope for the panel is that it will represent people from across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, of all age groups, ethnicities, genders and with experience of different health conditions.

More information and details of how to express interest in joining the panel can be found at  The deadline to apply is 13th June.

If you’d like to talk to someone about the citizens’ panel, you can call: 01924 317659 during office hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).

‘Volunteers Week’ thanks from local Councillors

Dear all,
Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung wanted me to share this message in relation to ‘Volunteers Week’.

Message to our volunteers from:

Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung,  Cllr Kayleigh Brooks & Cllr Javaid Akhtar
“Just to say a huge thank you to all of you and all the wonderful volunteers we have serving throughout each year and especially in the last very difficult year. We truly appreciate you all and looking forward to when things are normal we can all meet again properly and celebrate being alive and to say thank you to you all” 

‘Volunteers Week’

About Volunteers' Week – Volunteers' Week

We are delighted to have the spotlight on our volunteers this week (although for us it is all year round), for volunteers week. And this includes those who usually volunteer but were not able to due to Coronavirus. From all at Caring Together we are sending a heartfelt thanks to you all for being a valued part of our organisation and the community. We salute you all and hope you enjoyed your chocolate treat with your thank you card :). We look forward to celebrating together again soon.

Caring Moments: Donations, Alterations and Potting….

Our new space has had a splash of colour added. Myrna altered the batak, made by members, so we can eventually get it up on the wall. She also brought in some brightly coloured plant pots. It is lovely to see it slowly but surely coming to life.
We have also been donated some second hand books, CD’s, DVD’s and Hello magazines too. if you would like some call 07436 530073 or email: