Thursday 22nd October – International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD) by Zain Ghani

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Stammering is a form of communication which differs to normal speech. This can either be in the form of blocks (no sound), rep-rep-repetition of words or syllables and/or elongation of sssssssounds. Around 1% of the world’s population have a stammer. In the UK, more than 150,000 children and young people stammer. Most people in the general public know of stammering but may not necessarily know how to speak to someone who stammers or understand what it is. Therefore, to celebrate ISAD, see below some interesting facts, top tips and further information on stammering:

Fun Facts:

  • The ratio of boys to girls who stammer can be 4 or 5:1
  • Celebrities like Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, and Samuel L. Jackson have a history of stammering
  • A stammer normally appears in children aged around 3 or 4 years old

    Colin Firth and Zain Ghani – ASC Annual Trustee Board Meeting 2017
  • No one knows the reason why people stammer but scientists have suggested many theories on contributing factors like development of speech, family environment, even a low blood supply to certain parts of the brain!
  • A film called the Kings Speech (with main actor Colin Firth) focused on King George VI and how an Australian Speech and Language Therapist helped him to manage his stammer prior to giving a wartime radio broadcast upon Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939.

Top Tips on speaking to someone who stammers:

  • Avoid finishing their sentences when they are struggling to get their words out
  • Give them sufficient time to speak
  • Maintain eye contact and show interest in what they are saying
  • Avoid comments like “Speak Slowly” and “Take a deep breath” as this can be quite patronising
  • Be patient and avoid rushing someone who stammers to speak

Links to further information:

Proper Job Theatre running The Lab Project 30 October – 13 November

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There is a new two week session of the LAB project course.

Designed for unemployed adults aged 19+, the LAB Project is a two week course combining team working, confidence building and communication skills, working towards participants delivering a drama workshop in a school during the second week.

The course starts runs between 30th October – 13 November.

The sessions will run over Zoom from 10am – 1pm each day for two weeks.
Learners will also be expected to complete some independent study as part of the course.

For more information and to book contact
Or call
Melissa: 07368 291874 or Audrey: 07716 638762

Since 1997 over 7000 people across the North of England have successfully completed the course with most participants progressing into employment, training, volunteering or further education.

There is also the opportunity for participants who complete the course to gain an accredited Level 1 Award in Progression.

This is followed by development of individual action plans, a tailored progression route for each participant and follow up sessions working alongside individuals for 6 weeks following the course.


Community Thank You 2020

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No matter how awful 2020 has been (and at times it really has) its certainly been a fantastic year for community involvement and volunteering. Across Calderdale more people than ever have been looking out for their neighbours, helping out the vulnerable and finding new ways to reach out and support strangers in their communities.

Annual awards celebrations have sadly not been able to go ahead this year due to the COVID19 situation but we don’t think the amazing community effort should go unrecognised.

Who has stood out to you this year by making a real difference to local people? If you could send them a message what would you say?

We will be publishing Community Thank Yous across North and East Halifax and the Lower Valley on our Community Blogs and Friday Flyers. Tell us who you would like to thank and we’ll pass the message on!

Click here to post your thank you…


Keeping Calderdale Cosy with Citizens Advice

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Citizens advice in Calderdale are here to help you keep yourself warm during the coming winter months. They can offer advice on saving energy, reducing your energy bills where possible and finding you all the help you are entitled to with heating your home.

Being able to keep your home warm improves your health and levels of happiness.

You can contact Citizens Advice on 0300 330 9048.

You can also ring a local energy advisor on 07436 408323 to arrange a telephone appointment.

VSI Alliance Training Programme Survey

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VSI Alliance News & Events

Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team



VSI Alliance would like your feedback to help them plan their next training sessions.

We’re conducting a short survey for our next training programme and your input would be very much appreciated.

Click the button below to start the survey. Thank you for your participation!

Begin Survey

About VSI Alliance: All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact  


CREW Heart Support Group – Walk through Wainstalls and Whitley

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This week’s CREW Heart Support Group Bulletin features a self guided 4.5 miles walk through Wainstalls & Wheatley. The walk is marked as Grade 2 and estimated to take 2.5 hours to complete.

We start our walk at the crossroads with Mount Tabor Road and Balkram Edge at Wainstalls, next to the Crossroads Inn. There is plenty of parking on Balkram Edge.

From the crossroads walk along Balkram Edge for about 150 meters, on your right you will see a bridleway, walk along the bridleway for about 500 meters. You will come to a junction of tracks, turn left and walk towards Upper Greenroyd House. The track turns right in front of the house and then left towards Greenroyd and Moor End Road.

On reaching Moor End Road, turn left and walk along the pavement for 200 meters, cross the road and go down the track, Mixenden Lane Ends. Continue along the track, you will pass Grindlestone Hall, one of Halifax’s oldest buildings. Continue along the track until you reach the cobbled road of Gibb Lane.

Turn left and go down the hill, passing Gibb Farm, on your right you will see the concrete access road to Ramsden Reservoir, continue up the track passing the ruins of Ramsden Wood Farm. Just after the ruins turn left on the path, towards the woodland, you will come to a junction of paths, turn right and walk up hill. The path will soon become Buckley Lane, continue to the junction with Moor End Road.

Cross the road and walk up Broadley Road, you will come to a walled gap leading you into Roils Head. Keep the wall to your right and walk up the track until the wall turns right, turn left and walk along the wide track for 300 meters. Turn right and walk down the bridgeway for 250 meters. Turn sharp right, passing some stables, to a gate and snicket. Bear left here, down a footpath on Tower Hill, to meet Heath Hill Road. Turn right and walk up for 150 meters, you will come to a track on your left.

Continue along the track, you are walking below Sentry Edge, after about 800 meters, you will pass a farm on your left and you will come to a way-marker leading you down onto Stocks Lane.

If you walk down the lane for 30 meters, you will see on your left a stone circled wall, the entrance is at the top, it is a ‘Pinfold’ and stray animals were put in here by the Pinder, who would then charge the owners a small fee to return them

Continue up the hill for 100 meters, on your left you will see a track, this track will lead you back to Mount Tabor Road, with the Crossroads Inn in front of you.


We would love you to try this walk and send us your photos so we can pop it in the newsletter.
It doesn’t have to be this walk, we would love to feature your scenic photos in the newsletters.


Crew Heart Support Website
CREW Facebook page

VSI Alliance Update October 16, 2020

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VSI Alliance News & Events

Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team

VSI Alliance News & Events

Calderdale News & Information


West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Weekly Update
This week’s leadership message comes from Dr Sara Munro, CEO for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Keir Shillaker, Director for the Partnership’s Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Programme. There is also a blog from Sayma Mirza as part of celebrating Black History Month.

Events and Training

In case you missed it:

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership – Climate Change Virtual Summit – 19th & 20th October
Over the two days there will be twelve workshops, each one will explore how as health and social care partners we can reduce the effects of climate change and prepare for its impacts.


Sir George Martin Trust
The Sir George Martin Trust has tightened up its geographical area for funding and will now be focusing its grant-making towards charitable projects which support disadvantaged and vulnerable people in West Yorkshire.

Women’s Sector Resilience Fund
The Women’s Sector Resilience Fund has been created with the support of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to safeguard the vital frontline jobs and support services of women’s organisations that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In case you missed it:

Nesta’s New Prize Supports the Vulnerable to Access Post-COVID Jobs and Finance – Deadline: 26th October
UK organisations are invited to apply for support to accelerate innovations that can help vulnerable workers, hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis, to secure jobs and financial help.

The Ann Rylands Small Donations Programme
The Ann Rylands Small Donations programme makes grants of up to £1,500 to support smaller charities across the UK providing support for older people, people with disabilities or others facing difficulties in their lives.


Apprenticeship and Training Delivery Manager – Closing date: 23rd October
You will be responsible for the development, operational management and successful delivery of all apprenticeship and work-based programmes delivered by the Halifax Opportunities Trust work-based learning arm.

Sessional Youth Worker – Closing date: 25th October
Newground are looking for someone who is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of young people and the communities they serve. This role will be for 1 evening a week between 6PM – 9PM, with the potential of overtime.

Bank/Relief Enabler – Closing date: 30th October
Pennine Magpie are looking to increase their team of Bank/Relief Enablers to cover staff holidays and sickness. The role will include both 1:1 support for students and facilitating group sessions.

In case you missed it:

Engagement Coordinator (Health and Care) – Closing date: 19th October
The Engagement Coordinator (Health and Care) will be part of a team that will work closely with NHS Calderdale CCG engagement team to lead on and/or support a wide range of patient and public engagement projects.


New Treasurer Required at Memory Lane Cafe Calderdale
Memory Lane Café run regular pop-up cafes providing entertainment, information, support and socialisation for individuals, their families and carers. Since they began, they have steadily increased their membership (firstly with their Sowerby Bridge cafe and, a year later, their Halifax cafe).

In case you missed it:

Community Covid-19 Champions
Would you be interested in a new volunteering opportunity that will help people to stay safe and support your local community to respond to and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic?

About VSI Alliance:

All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact, or visit for more contact details.

Resources for Children Young People and their Families in Calderdale

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The following list of agencies and support groups are here to assist children, young people and their families with a number of issues that may trouble them, ranging from health, social to personal issues.

Tough Times Reference Group

The young people’s Tough Times Reference Group works for Calderdale Council on the emotional health and wellbeing (EHWB) agenda. During lockdown they have been working with services across Calderdale on producing this  Children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing services poster.

Their intention is for every young person and their families to know about the different services, not only by name, but also what each service specialises in, to ensure young people receive the support that best fits their emotional health and wellbeing needs.

Open Minds CalderdaleWorry Cards on Returning to Education – created by young people for young people
Recently, 16 young people came together to create 14 flash cards for students returning to education. The purpose of these cards are to help decrease stress levels surrounding any worries or queries that students might have. These top worries have been selected as the most frequent worries that students said they would face on returning to education last September.

Do you want to Remember Remember the 5th of November?

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While most of us are excited about the fireworks spectacular that comes with Bonfire Night and some may be preparing for it, the risk potential should not be overlooked.

Since many events will not be running due to Coronavirus restrictions, many may wish to organise their own event.

The West Yorkshire Fire and rescue service would like to remind everyone that carelessness with fireworks can result in severe injury or death.

  • Be careful when using fireworks. Only buy fireworks from reputable sellers and check the certificate is appropriate for use.
  • If hosting your own bonfire event, be considerate to your neighbours.
  • If you plan on having an open fire on your property, it is worth informing the West Yorkshire fire service, so they are aware.
  • Hoax calls to the emergency services can result in a £1000 fine.

Let’s not remember Bonfire Night for the wrong reasons.

Visit West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for more on Bonfire Night.