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All over Leeds, individuals and organisations are coming together to support one another in these unprecedented times. Third sector organisations are adapting, collaborating and working harder than ever to ensure communities and vulnerable individuals are supported.
We want to shout about all of the amazing work going on across the city, but that would require pulling together a blog the size of Leeds itself. So instead, here’s some highlights from recent weeks, showing what Leeds’ resilient third sector has been doing.
Organisations coming together
As part of the Community Care Volunteering programme set up by VAL and Leeds City Council, local organisations in every ward across Leeds have stepped up to coordinate volunteering in their area. Groundwork is one of the organisations involved in this fantastic effort and they communicated a need for PPE for both their staff and volunteers. In came the amazing team at Mobile Haberdashery, who within hours delivered 40 free face masks to Groundwork, enabling them to keep their staff and volunteers safe. The Mobile Haberdashery is providing this service for many organisations across Leeds, allowing them to protect their workers and run their organisation safely.
Adapting and creating new ways to support service users
Now that face-to-face contact has become drastically reduced, new ways of keeping in touch, delivering services and working together have emerged; who knew Zoom even existed before lockdown? There’s an endless flurry of third sector organisations who have adapted their service delivery to continue to meet the needs of their service users, enabling people across Leeds to continue to access much-needed support.
Creative ideas to support children and families
Keeping yourself and loved ones entertained whilst at home can sometimes feel like a struggle - that’s where organisations like KidzKlubLeeds, SNAPS and New Wortley Community Association have swooped in to help. They have been out and about delivering activity packs to keep the kids occupied, giving you the chance get the kettle on and have a few minute’s peace, it’s win-win for everyone!
Tackling loneliness and isolation in lockdown
Before lockdown letter-writing was thought of as an age-old tradition, which in recent times has been replaced by instant messaging, phone calls and emails. Enter the team at Leeds Irish Health and Homes. They have been bringing together their service users and children from local primary schools, rekindling the practice of writing letters, creating pictures and sharing these with older generations, who may be experiencing loneliness and isolation. This simple act has brought joy to Leeds Irish Health and Homes members as you can see in the lovely photos below.
Ensuring everyone in the community has access to food
If you’re isolating or vulnerable, accessing food isn’t always an easy process. Community Care Volunteer Hubs are working tirelessly to support a portion of these people, but all over Leeds, donations of food are coming in thick and fast, with people across the city wanting to do their but to pull together in such a time of need.
With everyone trying to do their bit to support the community around them, so many people are going above and beyond to not only provide food to vulnerable people, but to also provide hot and tasty meals, delivered right to people’s doorsteps. Such acts of kindness and humanity cannot be overestimated, what a treat!
Not only are tasty meals being delivered all over Leeds, it seems the whole country has a new found love for baking and cooking! There may well be a whole new wave of master chefs emerging once lockdown ends. Organisations like Shantona and Feel Good Factor are delivering online cooking classes for people to get involved and cook along together!
We’re proud to be part of the incredible third sector in Leeds and will continue to share the brilliant work of our colleagues across the city here on the blog. Please share your updates and activity with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #TogetherLeeds.
Post written by Rebecca Mott,
Project Worker at Voluntary Action Leeds