Celebrating Anne Lister’s Legacy Tuesday 22 September

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Tuesday 22 September 2020 marks 180 years since the death of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall.

Anne, who lived from 1791 to 1840, was a remarkable woman: a diarist, landowner, entrepreneur, mountaineer, scholar, traveller and lesbian. Anne’s story inspired Sally Wainwright’s BBC/HBO hit TV show ‘Gentleman Jack’, which was filmed here in Calderdale.

We’ll celebrate Anne Lister’s extraordinary life with a series of online events – and we’ll be encouraging people to post short videos about what Anne means to them. Get involved! Find out more.


CREW Covid Survey

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We would appreciate you completing our survey, it is important to us that we get your feedback. We at CREW are constantly adapting and improving what we offer to the community in this current climate. Without your feedback and support, this could not happen.

Start Survey

Responding to Covid-19 – VCS Resilience Survey September 2020

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Charities and voluntary groups are playing a critical role in the Covid-19 pandemic response and gradual opening up of communities and the economy.  Organisations are working in different ways, more flexibly and often under real financial pressure.

Third Sector partners across Yorkshire and Humberside issued a survey in April/May to find out about the immediate impact.

We now want to know about your current situation and look ahead to the challenges and support needs.

The survey is being co-ordinated by Voluntary Action Leeds.

The findings will be shared with you, health, local authority and other colleagues.

Please complete the survey here by 30 September.

In case you missed it, we also circulated the Calderdale Voluntary and Community Sector’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Report last week, which was brought together by the VSI Alliance using evidence and insight drawn from across the diverse voluntary and community sector in Calderdale.

VSI Alliance Update September 11, 2020

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VSI Alliance News & Events

Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team

VSI Alliance News & Events

Report: Calderdale Voluntary and Community Sector’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
This report has been brought together by the VSI Alliance using evidence and insight drawn from across the diverse voluntary and community sector (VCS) in Calderdale.


Calderdale News & Information

Calderdale Anti-Poverty Dashboards – Evidence of Need Across Calderdale
This is a collection of dashboards and data sets showing selected statistics on poverty in Calderdale. The site may be of interest to Voluntary and Community groups in Calderdale who are seeking evidence of need for new funding bids and projects.

Fully Funded Courses from Calderdale College
Calderdale College currently have 3 courses live that are fully funded via a number of funded contracts (funding is subject to eligibility), all training is delivered remotely with full support from experienced college tutors.

In case you missed it:

Coronavirus Support for Vulnerable and At-Risk People in Calderdale
Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, has helped secure support for people in Calderdale who are at risk due to the coronavirus.

Do Your Own Thing: Self-Employment Programme for Women
Do Your Own Thing is a free 12-week programme to support women in Calderdale to set up their own business.
Regional/National News & Information

Access NCVO Member-Only Resources for Free
To support charities during COVID-19, NCVO have opened their member-exclusive resources to everyone. For just a few more weeks, you can still get access to practical resources, from governance support to volunteer management or finance help.


In case you missed it:

Calderdale Test & Trace Survey
In Calderdale, the national Test & Trace service is supported by a local service to help us reach as many people as possible. They want to find out what you know about the Test & Trace service and how you feel about it.

Online Events and Training

In case you missed it:

The Secrets of Successful Change Management at a Time of Crisis – 17th September
During this impactful, free webinar, you will learn how to avoid common pitfalls and the key measures for successfully implementing significant change in your charity.

Funding Strategy and Diversification Post Covid-19 – 22nd September
This course from NCVO will help you understand and analyse the current funding situation of your organisation and teach you how to plan for the future.

Mental Health at Work – Current Challenges
This webinar is designed to provide line managers with information to help support their own and their team’s mental wellbeing during this current climate.


Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants
National Lottery Project Grants is the open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects. The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.

New Fund Launched to Support LGBT Communities Affected By COVID-19
A new £350,000 funding scheme has been launched to address the additional needs of LGBT+ people and communities most adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to support and strengthen LGBT+ organisations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phoenix Global Fund for Children for BAME VCSE Organisations – Upcoming deadlines: 16th & 30th September
The Phoenix Fund aims to put racial justice at the heart of COVID-19 pandemic response. The initiative will support a network of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic charities and groups in England that are working in the heart of their communities.

In case you missed it:

New £3.3 Million Fund to Give Babies from Deprived Areas or BAME Backgrounds the Best Start in Life
Mothers and babies will benefit from a new multi-million-pound fund to give people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or poorer backgrounds the best chance at a healthy start in life.


Family Outreach Worker – Closing date: 18th September
A passionate and enthusiastic team member is required at Jubilee Children’s Centre, committed to supporting vulnerable and excluded families.

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.

We can support you with:

  • Organisational development
  • Social enterprise, business development and asset transfer
  • Governance
  • All aspects of establishing a new group or organisation
  • Quality assurance including Quality For Health
  • Safeguarding support
  • Fundraising and income generation
  • Partnership working
  • Specialist financial advice and services
  • Volunteering brokerage and development
  • Engagement Champions
  • Voice and representation of the VCS sector

Do you have a minute? (One Minute Motions)

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” A Minute is All it takes to Calm your Mind and Body “


“Do you have a minute?”… is the top line for our new Calderdale community project.


The project is called One Minute Motions


If you’ve ever spent just one minute on a meditation app – watching the circle move as you breathe in and out – you’ll know it helps calm your mind and body.

Well, we are creating Calderdale’s very own version!


We are asking the people of Calderdale and beyond to create one-minute mindful videos, incorporating dance and movement.


Why? To boost mental wellbeing among the Calderdale community. 

How? Through a free online gallery of One Minute Motion films that goes live on World Mental Health Day, Saturday 10th October 2020


The project is called One Minute Motions. #OneMinuteMotions


We need your videos.

You don’t need any fancy equipment to film. Anything with a camera – phone, tablet, laptop – will work.

Feel like being part of this creative community project? Here’s everything you need to know:

  • This opportunity is open to people of all ages, and it’s free to get involved. You don’t need to have any specific experience in dance or film; everyone is welcome.
  • Make your film around one minute in length and include some ‘motion’ through dance or movement.
  • Register your film HERE, so we know it’s yours.
  • Then send it across via wetransfer to – make sure to include your name and the name of your film so we can match it up to your registration.
  • Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Wednesday 30th September. 

For those of you who are from outside of Calderdale, you are still very welcome to get involved!


More information can be found here:


We’ll be sure to promote the makers of each video in our communications throughout October.



Thursday 10 September : World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD)

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Foreword: Richard Porter, Health Improvement Specialist (Public Mental Health)

Thursday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) which aims to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented. Calderdale Council and partners are raising awareness of the impact of suicide and that there are things we can all do to help people who are thinking about taking their own life..

The national suicide figures have recently been updated by Office National Statistics (ONS) and, worryingly, show the first increase since 2013. In Calderdale the rate is now 14.8 per 100,000 people, which is higher than the Yorkshire and Humber region 12.0 per 100,000 and the national rate of 10.1 per 100,000.  Between 2017 and 2019 81 lives were lost to suicide in Calderdale.

Nationally, the highest rate is amongst men and suicide is the most common cause of death in men under the age of 35. Although the suicide rate in women has relatively remained the same, the age group of 45 to 49 years is the highest age group suicide rate in women. The lowest deaths remain among the under 25s but we have seen a general increase especially in the 10 to 24-year-old women.


Personally, tomorrow WSPD provides me with an opportunity to reflect and share why ‘talking’ is important in promoting good mental health and suicide prevention.

There have been numerous occasions in the past three years where a phone call, a catch-up over a frothy coffee or on instant messenger chat has resulted in a suicide prevention conversation. In brief those in the conversations are a good friend, each were experiencing difficult times unbeknown to anyone but talking and listening revealed suicidal thoughts.

I still think about how within my own social network that a few friends were struggling with their mental health and experiencing suicidal thoughts, but no one was aware. It brought all my reading and training very close to home.

Maybe at the time I had just completed a suicide prevention course which had raised my awareness of the possibilities of suicidal thoughts and therefore I was alert to the signs. In each case there were signs either a change in body language, they were just not themselves or subtle hints. Each occasion I was concerned and asked, “are you talking about suicide?” or “are you thinking about suicide?” resulting in a confirmation that they were. On other occasions it has not but we still talked about any support available.

These conversations continued with further talking, listening and exploring what support will help. Each friend has gone onto speak to their GP or access professional local support. But beyond the professional support we continue to speak more than ever before although it is via technology.

Therefore, with WSPD tomorrow do take up the opportunity to reach out to colleagues, family and friends. Start a conversation and it may save a life.  


Suicide Prevention

As part of World Suicide Prevention Day, Calderdale Suicide Prevention Group is asking people to get involved by taking on board some advice – WAIT!

Mental Health Foundation are pushing the advice WAIT (Watch out, Ask, It will pass, Talk to others) a simple approach everyone can take when supporting a colleague, family member, friend or a complete stranger. It’s simple and effective especially when we remain suicide alert!

Suicide alert means being aware of the possibilities of suicide feelings and asking “are you having suicidal thoughts?”

To be more suicide alert we encourage everyone to complete Zero Suicide Alliance FREE online training session and gain the skills to save a life. It only takes 20 minutes and a printable certificate provided.

It’s about being caring and continuing to use the innate kindness we possess. To encourage people to ‘talk’ is very important and to seek help from a GP or health professional.

Encouragement to talk is very important  and our ability to listen, to keep listening and finally to sign post to professionals or organisation to help keep the person keep safe.





The Samaritans is an always-open listening service – call on 116 123 (free). Alternatively, support is available by contacting the local NHS trust on 01924 316830, which is open 24 hours a day.

On 10 September, a local film focusing on the impact of suicide on one local family will be shown at Square Chapel in Halifax. ‘ What remains’ tells the story of Gillian Brooks and her family, who after the death of her husband by suicide, tried to make sense of the events and preserve memories for her children. She wrote down her story, which has now been made into a film.


Talk to others



If you need to talk to someone, you can always ring the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit



Provide confidential support and advice to young people and provide a safe space to talk through anything happening in your life. Ring the HOPELINE 0800 068 41 41 or visit


 West Yorkshire and Harrogate Suicide Bereavement Service

West Yorkshire & Harrogate Suicide Bereavement Service (WYHSBS) is a postvention service, providing practical and emotional support to people who have been affected by a suicide bereavement.

WYHSBS will work to support residents of the following areas: Calderdale, Craven, Bradford, Harrogate district, Kirklees and Wakefield.

Information on how to access help and the range of support available can be found on the website: (West Yorkshire)

Queries can be directed to 0113 305 5800


Mental health

For advice, visit: Looking after your emotional health and well-being (Calderdale CCG).

Open Minds Partnership (was CAMHS)

For the latest updates, visit: Temporary arrangements for the Open Minds Partnership (CAMHS) – COVID-19 (Calderdale CCG).


Other support

 Andy’s Man Club – are talking groups for men because…
You’ve either been through a storm, currently going through a storm or have a storm brewing in your life. Please visit

New Projects

 Men at risk of suicide and serious self-harm

A new collaborative project ‘Great Minds’ with State of Mind Sport is coming to West Yorkshire and this includes Calderdale. It will see partner teams deliver workshops with men at risk of suicide and serious self-harm. You can find out more about the Great Minds project in this video Great Minds Calderdale.

 Men of Calderdale… join us!

If you are interested and want to join us, email;

Virtual Exhibition to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day the Leeds and West Yorkshire Suicide Bereavement Service have created a virtual exhibition, by inviting clients to submit artwork, poetry, audio and collages around the ‘theme’ of memories.

To access the virtual exhibition email:

Better Health – Let’s do this!

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Keeping fit and healthy has never been more important as recent events have highlighted.

Better Health has been launched by the NHS to provide resources to assist with weight maintenance, nutrition and exercise. It also has helpful tips on maintaining good health in an encouraging tone.

You can download the Better Health app free of charge, for help with your goals.

Some more highlighted topics:

  • Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
  • Other ways to lose weight
  • Other ways to get active
  • More ways to kickstart your health

Verd De Gris Arts supporting good mental health and well-being in Calderdale

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#arts & #health 
Take a look at this range of projects using the arts to support good mental health and well-being in Calderdale




Please have a look at some of our current project work focussed on supporting good mental health and well-being:

The GRIEF project – a series of intimate online support sessions for people affected by grief during #lockdown. This means people from all our communities: family members, health / emergency workers and carers, those who may be deeply fearful or anxious. The sessions incorporate the sharing of experiences alongside creative work including art, writing and poetry with counsellor Gill Brooks.

As well as working with Gill, we are commissioning two artists, Sameena Hussain and Sharon Marsden, to create their own responses to the theme, with a view to developing a community conversation that cuts through the statistics to tell the stories of life, love and loss at the heart of the Covid-19 lockdown.

We also plan to develop an interactive event at the historic Piece Hall in Halifax in the spring ‘21 with the Leeds-based Grief Series. You can catch up with Gill’s work here:

The Grief Project

FIBRE – is a new long term investigation by verd de gris arts into notions of connectivity. Weaving together threads of creativity (both physically and virtually) with award-winning sound artist and composer Nina Perry (BBC Radio 3 & 4), poet Katie Atkinson and the women from our One Voice group we will explore the importance of connectivity + social connection on our collective well-being.

#realtimetalk – Verd de gris and award-winning filmmaker Geoff Brokate are working with young people from across Calderdale to explore + showcase their feelings around positivity, opportunity + what well-being means to them – an important addition to the debate around lockdown and mental health.


HERE I AM – these free online creative sessions open to anyone and everyone – deeply enriching and calming they draw on 20 years of therapeutic sessional work in communities across the north of England.

WHAT REMAINS – an ongoing programme of online creative sessions / peer support group work with local people affected by suicide loss. This project began in Calderdale and has included screenings and presentations to a range of client groups inc. to over 400+ delegates from around the world at the International Suicide Bereavement Conference in Manchester in 2019. The project is now being extended to central Lancashire – you can view the powerful new film trailer here:

WORKING WELL? – take a look at the film we created recently to explore issues around mental health in the workplace. Commissioned by Dir of Public Health in Calderdale we are keen to stress the importance of ‘lived experience’ in advocacy and support in mental health services:

Working Well?

There is also lots of other amazing work on the website, exploring issues ranging from women’s rights and wellbeing, to emotional resilience in schools.

If you want to find out more about any of these current projects please get in touch:

email: web:

Twitter @verddegris Instagram: @verddegris

many thanks to all of you for your loyal and passionate support over the last 15 years.

Please support our Facebook page Verd de gris arts and follow us on Twitter and Instagram





Curious Motion Needs You to Move the Calderdale Way!

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This September, we’re taking part in Move the Calderdale Way – a new virtual team-based fundraising challenge from Active Calderdale, helping to make Calderdale the most active borough in the North!

As a team, we will aim to collectively dance, walk, run, cycle or move at least 50 miles; the equivalent distance of the actual Calderdale Way footpath that encircles the borough.

For every team member we have, Active Calderdale will donate £20 to Curious Motion!

We’re looking for 20 people to join our team!

This challenge is for everyone! It’s not about pushing you past your limits. Far from it. It is about harnessing team spirit through activity and creating a support network of Curious Motion supporters who are taking on this challenge to support our work. Read more on our website.


Did you know an average dance class involves…

  • 120 steps per minute…
  • that’s 5400 steps in 45 minutes…
  • and approximately 2.5 miles per person!


It’s about working as a team to get to 50 miles, you can do whatever activity suits you and as much or as little as you like, every step counts!


By joining the team you can help us to…

  • Offer more of our wellbeing boxes to reach the most vulnerable people in our communities, tackling social isolation and loneliness.
  • Develop our online classes programme so we can continue to support our participants with their physical and mental health whilst keeping attendance costs low.
  • Help us with the launch of some NEW wellbeing resources, including an audio playlist and mini mindful videos for the Autumn, ensuring these are free for everyone.


You don’t need to fundraise yourself, just track your steps/distance through the month and help us get to 50 miles!

At the end of the challenge, all team members will receive a thank you present for taking part and moving the Calderdale way!


Join the Team!