Sheffield Hallam University, and the Centre for Ageing Better, recently shared the latest insights from their evaluation of the Leeds Neighbourhood Networks (like Caring Together)
There are 37 Neighbourhood Network Schemes covering different parts of the city and this research has been looking at how they contribute to healthy ageing. The short animation below is a summary of the findings or you can see the full report, and other information about the research here https://ageing-better.org.uk/publications
On the second anniversary of the UK lockdown – a day to pause and reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years and on the lives of those we have lost.
Whether a death is recent or long ago, and whether or not it was due to Covid-19, every year there are millions of people bereaved. The restrictions we’ve all been living under have meant that many people have had to grieve without friends and family around them.
At 12pm, there’ll be a minute’s silence and people are encouraged to come together to honour loved ones who have died and reflect on the challenges we’ve overcome by observing a nationwide minute of silence.
Civic buildings in Leeds will be lit up in yellow during the evening.
‘This week is Neurodiversity Week which aims to bring about worldwide neurodiversity acceptance, equality and inclusion in school, workplaces and community. It gives us some space to take a moment in the year to recognise all members of the neurodivergent community and celebrate the every day experiences and strengths of diverse thinkers’
See below for some stories and then below some events happening online this week
They’ve created a diverse schedule of events for you to enjoy during Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2022! From introductory webinars, panel discussions and more, our wide range of events aim to educate and encourage conversations around neurodiversity, providing a safe space where you can join thousands of people in celebrating different minds.
All events are free of charge.
Please note that these events are not being recorded, to encourage our participants to speak openly about their personal stories and experiences
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.
“As we enter a new phase of living with the virus we would like to share with you some key advice and messages that may make you feel a bit safer and secure, when adjusting to new guidance. We know many older people may have had difficult experiences during the pandemic and we would like you to know we are here to offer advice and signposting.
COVID-19 continues to be a feature of our lives, so this next phase is around learning to live with it and managing the risk to ourselves and others.
Rates of COVID-19 infection are high and we should all continue to be cautious, help to reduce the risk of spread and protect people at highest risk of serious illness.
If you have not yet had your vaccine, we are here to support you whenever you are ready.
You are no longer legally required to wear a mask, social distance or self-isolate, but our advice is to continue to wear a mask in enclosed and crowded spaces such as public transport and health and care settings. Public Health advice still recommends self-isolation if you test positive for COVID-19.
If you are still working you no longer need to work from home.
Where possible, meet outdoors and let fresh air into homes and other enclosed spaces.
Many people will be excited about the return to the way things were before COVID-19, whilst others, may be more cautious.
Please get both doses of the vaccine and the COVID-19 booster if you are eligible to make sure you have the highest level of protection.
It is also important to reduce the risk of spread by washing hands, getting tested if you have symptoms, and isolating if advised to do so.
We want to make the advice as relevant and as clear as possible. We have created these Top Tips for you to use:
What a fun and uplifting musical trip down memory lane this afternoon. We are back next week Wednesday 16th March 2022 at 1.30pm till 3pm, and Wednesday 23rd March at Little London Community Centre, Oatland Lane, Little London LS7 1HF if you wish to pop along. Thank you @luumusicimpactinthecommunity