To further protect the NHS, the public and to reduce stretching resources during the Coronavirus outbreak, patients are temporarily advised not to visit their GP in person but to make telephone appointments.
If you need a GP appointment call your surgery – don’t go to your GP practice.
During this unprecedented time, Calderdale’s food banks, which are mainly led by volunteers, are relying on the kindness of our communities even more than usual. All food and financial donations will be very gratefully received by the food banks to help them top up their supplies.
This page will be updated at least on a weekly basis.
Look online for how to contact groups in your area. We are creating a directory of groups who are working locally to help people who need support. We will post updates on here as we get them.
We know that lots of people have already set up local groups to support their local neighbours and friends during this difficult time with shopping and other basic needs. We want to encourage people to link up with local neighbours and groups where those already exist. We have put together some guidance about doing this safely and in line with the latest public health guidance. Please see here.
Self-isolating? Need some support and help for basic shopping and medication pick up?
Please contact us if you or someone that you know needs some help whilst self-isolating. We will let you know about local support in your area, including home delivery shopping services.
Lots of services are being offered on the phone including our staying well service which will help with anyone who is feeling lonely during this difficult time. If you or someone you know is unable to get shopping or other basic needs through someone they know locally please email us and we will try and find someone local to them who can help them with these things.
Thank you so much for offering to volunteer. We really appreciate it. The Council are currently prioritising matching volunteers to the people who have been asked by the NHS and government to self-isolate because they are at risk and don’t have friends or family who can help them to get essential shopping of medicines. We will be working through that list of vulnerable people first so please bear with us. We will contact you again once those real priorities emerge.
Times are difficult and help is needed now more than ever. If you can offer any assistance, either in the way of food for the more vulnerable or by giving some of your time to the NHS, please follow these links:
Find food banks near you asking for help with donations.
With many of us having to work from home at present and the lack of going out options, despite this uncharacteristically lovely weather, there are still ways to incorporate some exercise in our daily routine.
Do you sit at a desk all day? Does your 9 to 5 leave no time for structured exercise..?
As part of the local response to the measures linked to COVID-19, we are asking local voluntary and community sector organisations to share local intelligence with us in terms of what is happening on the ground and what you are seeing and hearing which we need to know and which we can respond to ensure vulnerable communities remain in view and supported.
A central volunteering hub has been established via the Council website: http://news.calderdale.gov.uk/council-sets-out-plan-to-co-ordinate-community-response-to-covid-19/
Plans are being now being developed for virtual locality based volunteering hubs to be developed to ensure we collectively keep people volunteering as local as possible. To enable this approach we would be grateful if you could review the following questions and respond back to the VSI Alliance regarding what is happening locally and what current volunteering capacity the sector has. We understand there are restrictions on movement, however we are looking at how volunteers can safely support people who are vulnerable at this time. The questions are as follows:
Gathering intelligence through our sector:
What is happening on the ground and what you are seeing and hearing which we need to know and which we can respond to ensure vulnerable communities remain in view and supported?
Do you have any needs we can help with?
Understanding need for and availability of volunteer capacity across localities in Calderdale:
Do you have any staff who currently cannot carry out their day job but would be able to support some volunteer activity to support vulnerable communities/people? Can you provide approximate numbers at this stage if you have staff available for volunteering activity?
Do you have volunteers who have been through the DBS checking service who could support needs at a locality level? If so, could you provide initially, the number of volunteers?
Do you need volunteers and if so what do you require them for?
We thank you in advance and please note that for all general support and enquiries the VSI Alliance team can be contacted on 01422 348777 or by emailing email@example.com.
VAC member webinar invitation to wider sector – 1 April
VAC are facilitating an opportunity for local Voluntary & Community groups in their membership to have a virtual meeting place to ensure we remain connected, ensure there is a platform for peer support and where we can discuss the current impact on the sector from COVID-19 and help each other to look at viable solutions to support the individuals and communities who rely on the invaluable services the VCS provides. We hope to be able to look at the themes as they emerge and to put in a collective emergency response to Local Government and Health: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/calderdale-vcs-coronavirus-peer-support-webinar-tickets-100393313102
We would also like to announce that as of close of play Wednesday 25th March 2020, the VAC building will be closed. Phone and email contact remains unaffected. For organisations that need to submit their accounts to Helen Galvin from WYCAS, please email Helen (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will make the necessary arrangements directly with organisations.
COVID-19 £1 Million Foodbank Support
B&M appreciates that many households will be facing extreme hardship due to the current crisis. Each of their stores are authorised to provide a local foodbank with a £1,500 donation, so they can buy essential groceries, cleaning goods and toiletries.
The classes run by Curious Motion throughout the year have been cancelled for now but they are also moving online and from Tuesday next week they are running a ‘virtual coffee morning’ each week for anyone who would like to join.
This is particularly to support the group of people over 55 who usually attend our ‘Brews & Grooves’ class on a Tuesday morning and are likely to be self isolating for a significant period of time, but it is also open to anyone who wants to join.
To sign up for the coffee mornings email Sam for the info. This can be found on the Curious Motion website: www.curiousmotion.org.uk.
Virtual Coffee mornings will run every Tuesday at 10am.
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Councillor Tim Swift said:
“Just over a week ago, I said that we are facing the greatest challenge since the Second World War. Today I repeat that statement.
“The Prime Minister’s announcement last night means that every single resident of Calderdale, before they leave their door, must consider if this is absolutely essential. The only reasons you may leave home are:
to go to work (but work from home if possible);
to shop for groceries, medicine and other essentials (infrequently);
to exercise outside (once a day);
to provide care or help a vulnerable person or
for any medical need.
“If you are not doing any of these things please stop and think again. This virus will continue to spread if people do not follow the Government’s advice.
“The health and wellbeing of every single one of us, young and old, of good health or in poor health, depends on the actions we do or do not take today. We are putting further guidance in place on these measures as we receive it.
“We all know this is difficult, but we are in unprecedented times. The Council today is reviewing again every service and activity we undertake. We always focus on the most vulnerable and the most in need. We are a place of kindness and resilience and now our overarching focus must be on this.
“We will be updating you on further impacts to the Council as soon as possible. We are also working to launch a support hub for the most vulnerable this week. We have written to businesses about the announcements made by the Government and will make financial support available as soon as we receive it from the Government.
“Thank you for your care, your kindness and spirit of togetherness. We know how unsettling this is but we will get through this together.