Health and Wellbeing
[ Message from Debs Harkins, Director of Public Health and Jackie Addison, Head of HR&OD – abbreviated ]
COVID-19 Autumn 2022 Boosters overviewWith flu season nearly upon us and COVID-19 continuing to circulate, we are encouraging you to protect yourself and others from serious illness at this critical time. As well as the infection prevention measures we have been using during the pandemic, you can boost your immunity by:
- having a flu jab – Check your eligibility for a free jab
- having the COVID-19 booster vaccine, if you are eligible
The COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine can be given on the same day. We advise that you get each vaccine as soon as you can, rather than wait to get both.
Additionally, those working in care homes could be offered the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 or flu vaccine when roving teams visit care homes, however this may not always be possible.
Free flu firstname.lastname@example.org.While it’s important to get the flu jab every year, it’s particularly important this year. There has been more flu circulating this year in the Southern Hemisphere than in recent years and the flu season started earlier than usual, so we can anticipate a similar situation in the UK. As well as this, the measures we have taken to avoid catching COVID-19 have meant that for the last couple of years we were also less likely to catch flu, so there may be less natural immunity in the community this year. You are more likely to get seriously ill and end up needing hospital care if you have COVID-19 and flu at the same time. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found that people who have COVID-19 and flu at the same time were almost six times more likely to die compared to people with neither. So please keep doing everything you can to avoid infection. If you are already eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS you should get it through that route. You will have probably already received an invite. If you’re not sure, one of the participating pharmacies can check when you go along and can still give you a jab even if you’re eligible for a free one on the NHS. If you have any questions about the scheme, or are not sure if you are eligible or not, please email
As well as all Calderdale Council staff, the free flu vaccine is available through this scheme for employees of some of our partner organisations, where they are not eligible to get it on the NHS. Specifically employees who work in:
- Calderdale care settings, including domiciliary care
- Early years settings and early years providers
- Primary, secondary, specialist and post-16 education providers
Get your COVID-19 booster vaccination
The NHS is offering Autumn boosters to people at greatest risk from COVID-19 to help increase their immunity from the virus during the winter months. COVID-19 is still with us and people can still become very ill or die from the virus. Having your booster will ensure you continue to have the best protection against the virus through the winter months.here or ring 119. You can have your seasonal booster (Autumn booster) if it’s been at least 3 months since you had your previous dose. If you have not had a 1st or 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yet, you should have them as soon as possible. For more information on eligibility and to book your Covid booster vaccine, visit the NHS website.The NHS will invite eligible people to make an appointment when it is their turn so please wait to be contacted. This invite will provide all the information on how to book an appointment. Frontline Health and Social Care Workers do not need to wait to be invited and can self-declare their status and book an appointment
West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) have once again pledged their support to World Suicide Prevention Day 2022 and urged anyone who is struggling with their mental health to reach out for help.
The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day – spearheaded by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) – is ‘creating hope through action,’ aiming to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
Suicide prevention is one of the ten ambitions of WY HCP with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that the area has higher suicide rates than England as whole.
The latest figures released this week for 2021*, also show the three-year rolling rates have risen in all areas of West Yorkshire, except for Kirklees, compared to those three-year rates released in 2020.
In Leeds, suicide rates have risen from 13.3 to 13.9 per 100,000 people, in Wakefield from 16.2 to 17.3, in Calderdale from 15.6 to 16.9 and in Bradford from 9.2 to 9.8.
West Yorkshire also saw a rise from 12.6 per 100,000 people to 13.2 – compared to the England average, which has remained the same, at 10.4 per 100,000 people.
The suicide rate for Kirklees fell from 11.8 to 11.2 per 100,000 people.
[NB It’s helpful to note that the registrations of deaths with coroners are up to end of 2021 and this may not be reflective of the current position now.]
Rob Webster CBE, CEO Lead for WY HCP said: “It’s clear that periods of recession and financial distress increase the chances of suicide in our population.
“We can prevent this from becoming a reality.
“Knowing the signs and being able to have the conversation with someone is a skill that we can all develop.
“This Suicide Prevention Day I’m urging everyone to take the free 20-minute training provided at www.zerosuicidealliance.com – you might just save a life.”
Jess Parker, project manager for WY HCP’s Suicide Prevention Programme said: “These figures show that on average, over the last three years to 2021, there have been rises in suicide rates across West Yorkshire, except for Kirklees.
“With the economic pressures faced by people and communities, the risk of suicide may increase going forward.
“We know that households are struggling with financial worries at the moment, so we want them to be aware of the support that is available and to reach out if they feel they need it.
“Feeling suicidal is something that we don’t want anyone to go through alone. We realise that many factors can be at play, like relationship breakdown, bereavement, financial difficulties, addiction and ill-health.”
The WY HCP Suicide Prevention website brings together the broad range of support on offer across all areas of West Yorkshire for anyone struggling with their mental health or in a crisis – including for gambling issues and self-harm, young people, LGBTQ+, parents, veterans, and bereavement.
It is also a hub of information on suicide prevention including latest news and blogs, resources for professionals and the training available to all, including that offered by Zero Suicide Alliance.
Jess added: “We all need to be aware of the risk of suicide – residents, employers, colleagues, workers across the public sector – take the training and you could potentially help save a life.
“To all those struggling, know that support is out there and reach out – there are people ready and waiting to help.”
WY HCP’s Suicide Prevention Programme has been carrying out intensive work – based on its five-year strategy launched earlier this year – towards an ambition of reducing the suicide rate by ten per cent before 2027.
Recent measures include recruiting people with personal experience of suicide into a project to help shape future prevention work, improvements to the sharing of real-time information on suspected suicides across West Yorkshire and securing funding to invest in suicide prevention training for frontline workers.
For the full range of suicide prevention support and resources available in West Yorkshire visit www.suicidepreventionwestyorkshire.co.uk.
Would you like to improve your health and wellbeing? Do you feel you need some support to get started? The Better Living Service are here to do just that! We support the residents of Calderdale (aged 18+) to lose weight, become more active and reduce alcohol consumption. If your BMI is over 25 (check it here), you may be eligible to access 12 weeks free at Slimming World. If you would like to become more active, we can support you to take the first steps and provide the motivation and advice to keep going! We can also support you to reduce your alcohol intake if you feel it’s time to cut down.
For more information, please see our website www.calderdale.gov.uk/betterliving or email us at email@example.com. Stroke Survivors Programme The Better Living Service run a programme of one-to-one support for anyone who has had a stroke within a 2 year period, to increase/maintain their levels of physical activity and ability. Following an initial assessment, each client sets their own goal and over the next 12 weeks, the trainer supports the client through a programme of exercises and activities to achieve that goal. On completion of the programme, the client is matched to other relevant services that the client can access in order for their recovery to continue.
The event may be held in Todmorden but we will be promoting our research across Calderdale – by including community groups and other potential allies who are based in Todmorden, Hebden Royd, Halifax and other areas of Calderdale.
Download Flyer here (PDF)
In the first half of the meeting we will be going through the 7 headings of our research findings about Disability and Health – as we did previously with our on-line meeting in April. This includes Professional Support, Voluntary Sector Support, Friends and Family, Personal Care, Family Carers, Getting Out and about, Friends and Community, Disability Rights and Access.
In the second half of the meeting, we will be discussing our recommendations in an open forum. These themes include Listening to and involving local citizens more in local decision-making, tackling inequalities and upholding the rights of disabled people. We welcome your ideas or suggestions on how we can follow-up our initial research in practical ways.
If you’ve not heard of Crown Green Bowling before or, like I used to, you think it’s about idly rolling a ball on flat grass, prepare yourselves for a surprise!
Described very aptly as a hidden gem by the National Crown Green Bowling Calendar, this club hidden in plain sight offers one of the best forms of gentle exercise imaginable. Very few activities offer such a strong correlation of mind and body working together. We visited and found out why.
The club is part of the Greetland cricket, pigeon and Crown Green Bowling club. It can be found at the right of the cricket grounds, crossing a bridge that seems like out of a fairy tale and indeed, it feels like you enter an exciting new world!
Our host, Peter, a relatively recent member of the club who looks after the beginners group, said from the outset, the aim of this club is to offer the option to locals and not just, to socialise, exercise and have fun!
He patiently went into great detail about the rules of the game, why the balls are crafted to be held in a particular way to control how they veer and how the ground has an ever so slight slope towards the centre, the ‘crown’ of the field.
When playing, the bowler needs to adjust their position, aim, plan the veer of the ball and strength. It requires focus, concentration and good control of movements.
Still think Crown Green Bowling is as simple as that?
I admit to having jitters as I walked on the green with Kath, who offered to show me how to roll and lo and behold, beginner’s luck, I knocked the ball on the first try!! (no pictures of it sadly but it did happen!) I honestly felt very giddy about this and sad that I didn’t have time to play more! I bet however I couldn’t repeat that if I took a hundred tries, still I would like to do so!
Left to right: 1. Kath and Peter, two of the club’s members 2. Past picture of a competing team – many are still members of the club 3. Some of the club’s accolades displayed on the wall 4. The club doesn’t always take itself too seriously!
Kath told me how the club began shortly before the first Covid lockdown. They overcame the restrictions and are now back, at least until the end of September every year.
Greetland Bowling Club has mixed gender teams. There are exclusively ladies teams as well where up to two men may be part of the team.
Now that I know a little more about this, I can confirm that the Greetland ground has one crown.
On the day we were lucky to have a feature talk from Damian from DG Ozfit. He very encouragingly explained that fitness is more than diet and exercise, is striking the all important balance of looking after yourself while still enjoying life.
And this is what Greetland Crown Green Bowling promotes, a place where you can step in, leave your worries behind for a little while and invest yourself in something enjoyable, nurturing your wellbeing.
The game doesn’t require a great level of fitness and can adapt to each person’s capabilities. At the same time it is amazing at requiring the full application of one’s capacity and offers great enjoyment in return!
Several of the members of the club had simply walked in after either stumbling upon the club or through word of mouth, which goes to show how well the club is doing.
This is in all a wonderful opportunity, right at our doorstep.
It’s a great way to spend a few hours out in the lovely weather, in the midst of beautiful surroundings, doing something that is active enough to be stimulating, feeling more like a game than exercise, surrounded by friendly people – and having a brew and a biscuit?
It goes to show that there is always something to do. You just need to find it.
The single issue I have with this is that due to the seasons, the club closes at the end of September.
And if you are interested, the Pigeon club hosts a type of pigeon racing. Homing pigeons are set free from distances, sometimes as far as France and then return to the roost.
The Greetland Bowling Club meets every Friday from 10.30am from beginning of June to the end of September.
Think you’ve got what it takes?
Applications are now open for all our current job vacancies at Healthy Minds! To find out more about the posts and how to apply, please visit www.healthymindscalderdale.co.uk/jobsCommunity Health & Wellbeing Service Manager Full-time (37.5 hours), fixed-term to 31st March 2024Rate of Pay: (2021-22): £28,574 per annum + 5% pension Deadline to apply: 9.00am Wednesday 14th September 2022 We anticipate that interviews will be held on 21st September. Membership & Engagement Coordinator Full-time (37.5 hours per week), fixed-term for 12 monthsRate of Pay: (2021-22): £26,245 per annum + 5% pension Deadline to apply: 9.00am Monday 19th September 2022 We anticipate that interviews will be held week beginning 26th September. Link Project Worker 22.5 hours per week, fixed-term to 30th June 2024 More details coming soon… Safespace Relief Project Workers Rate of pay: £13.46 per hour/£80.76 per 6-hour shift Deadline to apply: Relief worker applications are taken on a rolling basis. You can submit your application any time. We will review all applications received every three months so please be aware that you might not get an immediate response. To find out more about the posts and how to apply, please visit www.healthymindscalderdale.co.uk/jobs