Press Release

Calderdale armed forces veteran network up and running

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“Veterans helping veterans”- providing comradeship and support in a safe environment.

That’s the motto of the new Calderdale Armed Forces Veterans Network which meets weekly in the Victoria Theatre in Halifax.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is part of this initiative to create a weekly support group for serving and ex-service personnel and their families. Three people from the Trust set the group up when they noticed a gap in the support provided in Calderdale and the North for armed forces personnel and veterans.

The network will provide a place where serving army personnel and veterans of all ages, including their families, can meet in a non-clinical setting. Information, signposting, support and advice on a wide range of mental health and social issues unique to armed forces personnel will be offered at a one-stop-shop, alongside opportunities to socialise. The network is run by healthcare professionals who have served in the forces, who understand military mentality and who share many of their experiences.

The network is being funded by two Trust programmes designed to back initiatives which traditionally might not receive NHS funding: Creative Mind and the Trust Charitable Funds, both of which provide resources for services not normally paid for by the NHS.

Rob Webster, chief executive of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“This new network will provide welcome support to our armed forces personnel and veterans.”

“We are bringing organisations together to make sure that our armed forces personnel are supported in dealing with any problems or issues they may face, and helping them to meet like-minded people who can share experiences and support.”

“This network is led by veterans so they understand what it is like to leave the forces and adjust back to civilian life. I am pleased that we are able to give something back and help our armed forces veterans in this way.”

The network meets every Wednesday at the Victoria Theatre in Halifax between 1pm and 3pm – Refreshments are provided and the whole family is invited.

Those interested in the group can call 07464 496490 for more information.

Innovative Police Liaison Scheme nominated for a national HSJ Award

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The Calderdale and Kirklees police liaison scheme has been nominated for an HSJ Award 2016, recognising the scheme for its innovation in mental health and the way that it has improved experiences of service users in crisis.

The HSJ Awards celebrate the finest achievements in the NHS and are seen as the most sought after accolade in British healthcare, being the biggest awards scheme of its kind in the world.

The police liaison scheme is run in Kirklees and Calderdale and involves mental health nurses working alongside officers at Halifax and Huddersfield police stations to recognise the signs of mental illness.

This ensures fewer people with mental health conditions are placed on Section 136 of the Mental Health Act, held in a cell or admitted to A&E when there are more appropriate ways of providing health care for them. The scheme also enables practitioners to visit victims and witnesses at home and support police officers at the scene of an incident.

The police liaison scheme is supported by the clinical commissioning groups in Calderdale and Kirklees and has had its funding extended, demonstrating how much of an impact the scheme has had in improving mental health services.

Read more about the scheme at

Outstanding Ofsted inspection for Wellholme Park Children’s Centre

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We are extremely pleased to announce that Wellholme Park Children’s nursery has received another ‘Outstanding’ outcome on a recent unannounced Ofsted inspection.

Here are some of the highlights from the report:

  • There is a superior awareness of safeguarding issues and staff’s collaborative working with other key agencies is exemplary.
  • Staff have high expectations for all children. Their firm belief that all children are competent learner’s leads to exceptional commitment to inclusion.
  • Staff model excellent social skills, which has a positive impact on children’s behaviour and friendships.
  • The nursery has an exceptional commitment to improving children’s health and wellbeing
  • Children show high levels of motivation, curiosity and creativity and their leaning is enhanced because of staff’s high quality interaction.

Some of the verbal feedback from the inspector on the day:

“Everything is underpinned by the continual drive for improvement and self-improvement is key, all staff are involved, everyone had the same passion and drive and all are singing from the same hymn sheet, action plans in place, it’s exceptional.

Staff having lead roles drives improvement and has a massive impact.  Staff are well trained for these roles and support staff well. The staff team is well supported.

Children are happy, social skills and independence is promoted, children in pre-school are well ready for the next step”.

We are really pleased with this feedback and tremendously proud of our staff team and the children that attend Wellholme nursery and will be celebrating with a party!

Beavers Scouts Plant Space Seeds at Kershaw’s

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beavers spaceThe RHS Campaign for School Gardening has partnered with the UK Space Agency to embark on an ‘out of this world’ educational project.

The project, Rocket Science, will give around half a million UK children the chance to learn how science in space contributes to our knowledge of life on earth, using the invaluable expertise of the European Space Agency (ESA) and RHS Science team.

Two kilograms of rocket seeds were sent to the International Space Station as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month Principia mission.

After several months on board, the seeds were  sent back and distributed to schools & Scout Groups, Hove Edge Beavers were lucky enough to receive 200 seeds (100 space & 100 earth bound).

The Seeds are growing at Kershaw’s, after they were planted at a special evening in April,with equipment provided by the Garden Centre. The Beavers will be visiting the centre keeping a record of how the seeds grow.

rocket seeds 20 mayThe Beaver Group will input their results into a national online database so that results can be compared across all schools in the UK. The project is aimed at inspiring children to think scientifically and helping them to see the potential of future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and Horticulture.

The seeds will be on display as part of National Children’s Gardening week (28th  May to 5th June) alongside daily planting and craft activties.

Funding boost helps festivals flourish

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Calderdale Council has awarded over £11,000 to five local community groups to help them put on events and festivals to celebrate all that’s great about Calderdale.

The Council invited voluntary groups to apply for grants last month to help boost tourism, trade and morale after the Boxing Day floods.

Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale Council’s Director of Communities and Service Support, said:

“We are delighted to award grants of up to £2,500 to support local events and festivals. They are one of the many things that make Calderdale a fantastic place to visit, and are further proof that our towns and villages are well and truly open for business.

“Four months on from the Boxing Day floods, we want to keep bringing enjoyment and trade to the area. We’re certain that the exciting range of events will showcase local people’s great strength and community spirit, whilst bringing in visitors from miles around and boosting the economy.”

Last weekend’s 1960s themed event in Brighouse kicked off the series of grant-funded festivals. Organised by Brighouse Business Initiative, a £2,500 grant helped towards music and dance, memorabilia, street performances and a street market on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April. The event was a great success, with thousands of visitors.

‘A Reet Royd Waater Do’ in Mytholmroyd will bring music, sports, a market, food and information on flood protection from Friday 29 April to Monday 2 May. The local consortium organising the event received £2,500 towards the cost.

The ninth annual Handmade Parade, part of Yorkshire Festival 2016, will take place on Sunday 26 June and will include an international dimension when a Russian-based arts organisation will open the first Cardbordia Embassy in Hebden Bridge in the build up to the Parade. As ever, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to get involved, with community workshops over the weeks running up to the event. A £2,375 grant has helped to make this happen.

Elland Carnival received £1,500 to put on its annual event on Saturday 9 July. This year it will target young people with lots of activities to demonstrate opportunities for art and culture, including a music tent, street entertainers and a climbing wall.

Mytholmroyd Arts Festival received a £2,500 grant towards organising a weekend of art and culture from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 October. The aim is to encourage local involvement in arts and cultural activities and show strong community spirit.

Kathleen McGrath, Executive Director of Handmade Parade, said:

“Hebden Bridge is in for a treat this summer when the town centre will be taken over by the ninth Handmade Parade. Organisers are delighted to announce the theme will be ‘Muck In’. Having received valuable support from Calderdale Council’s flood-related festivals fund we will be using this generous grant to support us in providing the town with a celebration of their fantastic resilience and community spirit. The carnival will highlight the renewed vibrancy of the town after the floods, shining a light on the community and claiming back the right to dance down their streets again.”

Jade Smith, Coordinator of A Reet Royd Waater Do, added:

“Following the devastating flood on Boxing Day the village of Mytholmroyd plans to cheer itself up with four days of fun. Thanks to the grant from Calderdale Council we are able to put on an event that will be fun for all the family. It will include an indoor market, face painting, a beer festival and even a dog competition. There will also be an exhibit which aims to build flood resilience, where children can make their own sandbags and learn where to put them.

100+ turn out for Easter Egg Hunt with ‘Let’s Just Do It’ in Elland

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Shed n NonnyAfter the recent devastating floods, a ‘fundraising’ event in the Elland Community seemed like a good idea to volunteers from the local group ‘Let’s Just Do It – Elland’. So they ‘Just did it’ and organised a Family Easter Egg Hunt followed by a children’s party on Easter Sunday.

Despite the unpredictable weather, 60 children and 50 adults attended the event which was great fun and a big success.

A £500 grant was awarded by Calderdale Council through a Ward Forum Grant.  This funded materials and prizes for a variety of games along the route and a children’s entertainer for the afternoon party at Elland Working Men’s Club and each child received an Easter egg.

Donations were kindly made by Sainsbury’s Halifax, Tesco King Cross and Brighouse, Nestle Halifax and Waxman Tiles Elland.  Proceeds from a raffle and other fundraising activities on the day will go towards supporting individuals in need from the local area.

Formed early in 2015, ‘Let’s Just Do It’ (previously known as ‘Shane’s Fund’) raised a total of £9,000 last year primarily to send Shane, a 10-year-old boy diagnosed with muscular dystrophy to Florida before his mobility deteriorates. The holiday is all booked, paid for and Shane is one excited boy, flying off with his mum for 17 days in April!

Riding hood groupThe group also purchased a sports chair for a local disabled young man, enabling him to continue playing wheelchair rugby.

As a result of a grant from the ‘Staying Well’ project in Elland, funded by Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, in partnership with the council, volunteers also provided lunch on xmas day for 26 older people who would normally have spent the day alone.

Further events are planned starting with a 5 a side football tournament on Saturday 4 June at 3Gi Soccer, Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax.

For further details or to register a team contact John Sheard on 07791 908063 or visit the ‘Let’s Just Do It’ Facebook page.

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Success for Elland at the Calderdale Citizen Celebration Awards

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Citizen Celebration NomineesCalderdale Council has always celebrated the work of individuals who have contributed to their communities and to recognize the efforts of outstanding individuals within Calderdale the Citizen Celebration Award was established in 2014.

To encourage and enable participation, the award was promoted through Ward Forums, councillors, partner organisations and local networks and this year there were 50 nominations from the 17 council wards with one or more nominations in each ward.

Joe Braithwaite and Mayor Lisa LambertThe Ward Councillors in each area worked with Neighbourhood Teams to put a winner forward who would represent their area at the Calderdale Citizen of the Year Celebration event held on Wednesday 24 February 2016 at Halifax Town Hall.

The Civic Advisory Group went through all the nominees put forward to choose the winner Mr Joe Braithwaite, chairman of the Elland and District Partnership, who was awarded a certificate and a contribution of £250 for a community initiative by the Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor Lisa Lambert.

Funding boost for Calderdale festivals

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Calderdale Council is offering grants of up to £5000 for local voluntary and community groups organising festivals or events after the Boxing Day floods. The aim is to celebrate all that’s great about Calderdale, sending out a clear message that it’s open for business.

The new fund is part of the Council’s continued work to help residents and businesses get back on their feet by boosting tourism, trade and morale… read more…

The deadline for grant applications is Friday 1 April 2016 and successful applicants could have the money in their accounts as soon as Friday 22 April 2016.

Application details can be found at Community festival and event fund. For more information please email or call 01422 392317.

New pedestrian bridge to be installed in Elland

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This weekend, a pedestrian footbridge over the Calder and Hebble Navigation will be installed, providing an alternative crossing point to the closed Elland bridge.

The new bridge will be installed at the site of the flood damaged bridge, to allow pedestrians to cross at this location. The 30m long bridge will provide an important link for local people between Park Road and Elland Bridge Road. The bridge will be 1.5m wide and accessible for people with buggies, wheelchairs and bikes… read more…

Christmas day event spreads joy in Elland

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Staff and VolunteersSadly, thousands of older people in the UK spend the festive season on their own, and in Calderdale over 200 older people won’t have received Christmas presents this year.

Local group ‘Let’s just do it Elland’, sponsored by Elland & District Partnership and supported by a team of volunteers held a festive feast with exciting entertainment at Elland Cricket Club on Christmas Day, to bring festive cheer to isolated people aged over 65 in the local community which saw over 30 elderly people come together and receive gifts Dancingwhen they would usually celebrate Christmas alone.

Guests gathered for a three course lunch and enjoyed a traditional brass band, a singer performing 1940s and 1950s classics and many local businesses donated goods which added to the overall success of the day with 100% positive feedback and early requests to repeat the event next year already received.

Door to door transport was also provided in mini buses loaned from the Maurice Jagger Centre, Halifax, driven by volunteers and a number of meals were delivered to the homes of those unable to attend.

GuestsElland & District Partnership is one of four community ‘hubs’ in the borough, established as part of ‘Staying Well’ – a project by Calderdale Council and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help tackle loneliness and isolation in older people, improve wellbeing and create more connected communities whilst reducing GP and hospital visits as well as early entry into residential care.

The project helped to fund the event on Christmas Day, as well as many other activities this year to bring lonely people together – from lunch clubs and coach trips to IT training, befriending, exercise classes and many more.

Rachel Swaby the Staying Well support worker in Elland said:

“The ‘Let’s Just Do It’ Christmas lunch provided a great opportunity to bring together people on Christmas Day who would otherwise have spent the day alone. Staying Well supports and encourages events such as these within the local community – helping individuals become more connected and less isolated. We understand that people thrive when they have company and things to do.”

Cllr Simon Young, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Wellbeing and Engagement, said:

“Loneliness affects thousands of people all year round, but at times like Christmas it can be especially hard, and having company and support becomes even more important. It’s heart-warming that as well as connecting people throughout the year, the Staying Well project has helped to spread some festive cheer this Christmas. I’d like to thank all the hubs and community groups who continue to help us tackle loneliness and isolation in Calderdale.”

For further information about the Staying Well Hub in Elland contact Rachel Swaby on 01422 392708

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