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: lisa@caringtogether.org.uk

Today’s lockdown changes

As everyone will be aware today marks some further easing of lockdown restrictions:

Lockdown rules graphic - What's changing in England from 17 May?

Meeting up

Social distancing guidance is also changing. Contact with close family and friends is described as a matter of personal judgement, but people are asked to remain cautious around close contact, like hugging.

Leisure and entertainment

  • Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers indoors
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas can open
  • Theatres, concert halls, conference centres and sports stadiums can all reopen
  • Organised adult sports and exercise classes can restart indoors
  • Steam rooms and saunas may reopen
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen

Education

  • Face coverings no longer recommended for pupils in secondary schools
  • All remaining university students eligible to return to in-person teaching

Travel

Full details are on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

(Summary and image from BBC News)

Shared Moments: ‘Post Pandemic’ written by Oliver Cross

A friend who works for the NHS has been awarded, to add to her one per cent pay bonanza, a memento honouring her invaluable work during the pandemic.

It’s an enamel badge, possibly imported from China, which she likes to call a medal because it sounds more dignified and because otherwise she would have nothing much to show for her contribution to saving the western world except a pile of used PPE.

She will also be able, in her very old age, to thrill young care assistants with tales of her Covid exploits and then, just when they’re beginning to tire, she will show them  her 2021 Covid Medal, which will produce such all-round excitement  that they’ll have to escort  her back to bed.

Of course there’s no call for mockery. I’m sure some NHS staff will be genuinely pleased to have some token recognition of their work; the alternative, given the NHS’s financial state, being no recognition, token or otherwise.

They might also enjoy exploring eBay to check out resale values, although I don’t suppose their returns will start to compensate for the toil and trouble of the pandemic any time this century.

Still, it’s difficult not to sympathise with managers expected to show their gratitude for staff efforts on a budget of nothing whatever, or, if they really stretch things, some enamel badges.

In the 1970s when I was a trainee journalist in Lincolnshire, I worked for an old-fashioned weekly newspaper which made a lot of money but was very reluctant to part with any of it, particularly as a result of paying wages.

The owner, an affable man called Bill, would visit the local office every Christmas and hand everybody a bottle of whisky and, responding to the new pressure for gender equality, a bottle of sweet sherry for the ladies.

Then one year, our National Union of Journalists branch decided  that we no longer wanted to be patronised and short-changed. You can keep your cheap seasonal booze, we told Bill, we want a decent wage throughout the year and we want it now!

Bill responded very quickly by assuring us that he would no longer insult us with free booze, but he couldn’t quite manage the decent wage aspect of the deal at the moment, so would it be OK if he didn’t give us anything at all? Which he never did, despite the union bombarding him with some very severe motions.

This, I think, proves that the workers of the world should grab anything they can get, particularly if it’s drinkable and even if it’s only a badge disguising itself as a medal.

Local Councillors re-elected

Election results are in for the two wards that include Caring Together:
Cllr Al Garthwaite has been re-elected in Headingley and Hyde Park and Cllr Javaid Akhtar has been re-elected in Little London and Woodhouse.

All our local councillors are supportive of Caring Together (Cllr Garthwaite is chair of our Trustees) and we look forward to continuing to work them.

Council results are coming in over the course of today and you can see them all here: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/…/leeds-city-council-election-resu…

Results of the West Yorkshire Mayoral election are expected tomorrow and will be available here: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/…/west-yorkshire-combined-authorit…

After The Interval and Before The Interval – a double bill from The Shows Must Go On

After the Interval’ (2012) and its sequel ‘Before the Interval’ (2014), conceived and directed by Luca Silvestrini for award-winning HeadSpaceDance will be presented together for the first time giving you the chance to see them in their continuity.

‘After the Interval’ pins Silvestrini’s observational genius to satirising dancing life. A show about dance and dancers that opens with the performers’ curtain calls, who then answer audience questions, and continues with revivals of their past stage roles and steps. After the Interval brings to the fore the art of dance making and the backstage lives of dancers while celebrating Broom/Akrill’s 20 years joint career and the start of their company HeadSpaceDance.

After The Interval is available to watch now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02ZTS2eUCU4
And Before The Interval will be available from 7pm on Friday.

Legal challenge to inequality for ‘legacy benefits’

This may apply to you if you are getting ESA or JSA or have been during the pandemic – since March 2020.

We will be keeping an eye on the outcomes and sharing information as we get it.

DWP court battle means millions could get £1,000 benefits back pay.:
People on older ‘legacy benefits’ could be in line for a payout as the Government faces a court benefits battle.
The legal fight centres on the £20 a week uplift given to people on Universal Credit at the start of the pandemic, The Mirror reports.
The payment didn’t go to those on older benefits, like employment support allowance (ESA), income support, and jobseekers’ allowance (JSA).
Many of those still claiming the older benefits are disabled, sick, or carers. According to Disability Rights UK, over 1.9million disabled people are still claiming ESA payments.
And this week, two recipients of ESA challenged this decision at the High Court for judicial review.
They argued it was discriminatory and unjustified to exclude people from higher payments just because their benefits were administered under an old system. On Thursday, the High Court agreed the issue could be arguably unlawful and will decide the case later this year.
The claimants have asked for the trial to be heard before the end of July 2021.
William Ford, of Osbornes Law, which is representing the claimants, said: “We are pursuing this legal challenge based on the proposition that the pandemic means those dependent upon basic allowances are facing higher basic living costs, and yet despite their very similar circumstances, only some of them receive a Covid-specific uplift to help meet those costs.
“This unfairness calls for a properly evidenced justification, particularly as almost 2 million disabled people are disproportionately affected by this decision and the pandemic generally. Thus far the Government has failed to provide any objectively verifiable reason for the difference in treatment of people in essentially identical circumstances.”
A DWP Spokesperson told The Mirror: “It has always been the case that claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit if they believe that they will be better off.”
Helen Barnard of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said “everyone should have access to a strong social security system that protects them from harm when they are struggling to stay afloat.”
She added: “Disabled people and carers already face a greater risk of poverty, so there can be no justification for offering them less support than people claiming Universal Credit simply because they are in a different part of the system.
“Discrimination has no place in our social security system and every day we fail to act undermines public trust and intensifies hardship. Ministers must right this injustice by urgently extending the £20 increase to legacy benefits.

Check your polling station

May be an image of text that says "Leeds CITY COUNCIL The Electoral Commission YOUR VOTE MATTERS DON'T LOSE IT X"

If you are planning to vote in person for the local and West Yorkshire Mayoral elections on Thursday, make sure you check where your polling station is – as it may not be the usual place.

Over 70 polling stations have moved from their usual locations during the coronavirus pandemic – check your poll card to see if yours is one of them or visit www.wheredoivote.co.uk/

For those who choose to vote in person, polling stations will be safe places to vote on 6 May.  Local election teams will be doing everything they can to ensure voting in person on polling day is safe for everyone. This means there will be safety measures in place at polling stations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many of which you’ll be very familiar with!

  • There will be a limit to the number of people allowed in a polling station at any given time to allow for social distancing.
  • Please remember your face covering – you will need this to enter the polling station and will be expected to wear it throughout.
  • Make sure to sanitise your hands before and after voting. In many places, sanitiser will be available but it may be a good idea to carry your own!
  • Some polling stations will supply clean pencils for voters but it may be best to bring your own with you.
  • Polling Stations will be cleaned regularly by polling staff. You may need to wait while a booth is sanitised before you enter.
  • Polling Station staff may be working behind safety screens – this doesn’t mean you can’t ask for assistance if you require it!

With these new safety measures in place, it may take a little bit longer to vote than usual. Remember that if you are in the queue to vote before 10pm, you will still be able to vote even when polls officially close.

Voters are encouraged to keep themselves and others safe by:
• Wearing a face covering
• Bringing their own pen or pencil
• Cleaning their hands when entering and leaving the polling station
• Keeping a safe distance
Voters should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of Covid-19, or if they have been asked to self-isolate. There will be provisions in place to apply for an emergency proxy vote if required due to health circumstances.

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday May 6, 2021.

You don’t need your poll card to vote.

You must vote at your assigned polling station.

If you are registered to vote, but you don’t have your poll card, you can go to the polling station and give them your name and address.

In England, Wales and Scotland, you don’t need any form of ID. In Northern Ireland, you must bring photo ID.

Helping yourself to feel safe when out and about

As lockdown eases and we start thinking about getting out more, it’s natural that some people may be feeling anxious or unsure about going out.  British Red Cross have some really helpful advice about making a personal risk judgement and building your confidence here: https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus/judging-risk-when-going-out

Consider your own needs, and those closest to you
A
cknowledge the source of stress, and how it impacts upon you
L
isten to how you’re feeling mentally and physically
M
anage ways to manage your stress and regain control
E
nable – what has enabled you to cope with stress in the past?
R
esource – what do you need to put steps in place?