Our community may be facing the most serious and disturbing crisis since the Second World War. Fortunately in our village it is times like these that bring out the best in us. It has been heartwarming to see the reaction on the part of our residents, and to receive so many offers of help in supporting the most vulnerable during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

A number of local groups have come forward eager to offer help, which is great. A crisis of this magnitude requires a co-ordinated response across our area, utilising new and existing networks. Only by taking this approach will the best results be achieved for all, while both those in need and our volunteers can be properly safeguarded.

This responsibility is being fulfilled by Leeds City Council and our local Ward Councillors, working together with Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) – a registered charity supporting a thriving voluntary community in the city.

Updates and new information will be added to this page as available:

Update 6: 3rd April 2020 – Further Advice and Information

After the introduction of the more stringent social distancing rules, a number of specific issues have come to light. In response, further advice and guidance is being issued on an ongoing basis. We believe the following may be of particular interest to our own residents:

Child Care: All Early Years and childcare settings in Leeds are continuing to receive the Free Early Entitlement funding for the children that would normally attend. The majority of settings remain open to cater for the keyworkers in both the private sector and the public sector who are continuing to attend their workplace. We currently have 240 of our childminders, nurseries and Early settings providing essential childcare. Youth workers are being deployed into Children’s homes and 20 staff are working in LTHT to provide child care provision for NHS staff. For older children 219 schools remain open Schools will be open over Easter holidays for key workers and vulnerable families.  For further information and help with childcare click on this link: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus#childcare

Pets: Many people are worried about caring for their pets, particularly dogs and cats. This is especially so for those more vulnerable and unable to leave their homes.

1) Is it OK for another person to walk your dog? Current Government guidance says a person may leave their home to provide care or help a vulnerable person – and this does include walking their dog if they are unable to do so. However, the dog walk should, wherever possible, count as the daily exercise for the dog walker (whether they are paid or volunteering) and should be given from the dog walker’s home. The person walking the dog must not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and must follow advice about social distancing and hand hygiene.

2) Can I catch Covid 19 from my dog or cat? Dogs and cats cannot catch the virus, but if they have been petted by someone infectious with Covid 19 it is possible that they could carry it on their fur. If your furry friend has been out on his or her own, the advice is to wash your hands thoroughly before and after having contact with them.

3) What about larger animals like horses and ponies? For wider information on caring for animals during the Covid 19 crisis, the Government has established a web site. For more detailed information click on this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-people-with-animals

Refuse Collection: Collections of household waste and recyclable waste (black bins and green bins) is continuing in accordance with the normal schedule. Collections of garden waste (brown bins) is suspended until further notice, to protect the higher priority collections in the event that staff are off, due to illness or because they have to self isolate.

Other issues: If you have other questions concerning Covid 19, social distancing, or what the new rules mean you can do, the Cabinet Office have established a web page covering frequently asked questions (FAQs). It is subject to continuous update, and is a useful source of information. If you have encountered a problem, it may very well be that others share it and an answer is already there to be found. Click on this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Update 5: 25th March 2020 – Government information

The Government web site has been updated with much new information and advice following the latest measures to slow the spread of the virus. For details about the new social distancing rules, as well as many other aspects, click on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Please note, the importance of observing the new guidelines cannot be overemphasised. To succeed in slowing the spread of the virus we must all play our part. If we do not slow the spread of the virus, our NHS and other services run a high risk of being overwhelmed within very few weeks. We can do it, but only if we all pull together together.

Update 4: 25th March 2020 – Leeds City Council Contact Points

Coronavirus contact details: Leeds has just issued an updated set of council contact numbers Likewise, there is a dedicated webpage to refer to if you have queries: Leeds coronavirus In each case click on the link.

Volunteering: In each case click on the link. For general information see volunteering. Anyone who feels they are able can volunteer for a range of different roles dependant on availability and preference can do so by visiting doinggoodleeds or emailing info@val.org.uk or calling 0113 2977920. Once signed-up volunteers will receive training and then be matched with opportunities locally to help.

Shielding: Government guidance has been updated to provide advice for households with possible infection, staying at home and away from others, and protecting vulnerable people (shielding). In each case click on the link.

Update 3: 25th March 2020 – Leeds City Council Services

Not surprisingly the current social distancing rules are having a profound impact on the range of services which are normally provided by Leeds City Council. Here is a summary of key measures taken in the light of the crisis. Further updates are expected from LCC very shortly:

  • Garden waste collection (brown bins) have been stood down until further notice.
  • Household waste sites are now closed until further notice. Public litter bins not being collected after today.
  • Golf courses, tennis courts, bowling greens and park cafes have been closed. Parking has been stood down and should be used for NHS & key workers.
  • Numbers at funerals are being limited
  • All community hubs are closed, apart from four COVID-19 co-ordination hubs in Merrion, Dewsbury Road, Armley, Compton Centre. More information coming soon about soon about these.
  • Additional support for Street Support teams today to support rough sleepers and those with drug dependency
  • Taxi/private hire licencing renewals under review, and may be delayed
  • Non urgent housing repairs have been suspended from today and are under review as to what can be maintained longer term to ensure safety of tenants beyond normal emergency repairs
  • Travellers groups across the city are being supported where possible to stay but need to recognise potential for disruption
  • CEL remains operating well and supporting Free School meals, but communications are under review to ensure take-up
  • Good communications in place across schools, clusters and early help staff to support vulnerable children. Schools coping under “key worker” regime  
  • Social workers actively visiting especially those discharged from hospital to help free up beds. Home care supply a concern for longer term.
  • Pressure on Public Health capacity to provide guidance and support in addition to the high volume of traffic from individuals and members needing PH advice. Team have brought in wider capacity to manage this.

Update 2: 24th March 2020 – Claiming Benefits

The Government has announced a raft of measures to support employees, the self employed and businesses through the present difficult times. Here are some useful links for those that need information and advice during the COVID -19 crisis:

Coronavirus and claiming benefits
https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus

self Employment and Universal Credit – 1 https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/Self

Self Employment & Universal Credit – 2
https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit

Employment & Support Allowance
https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

Covid-19 Small Business Government Grant
https://smallbusiness.co.uk/how-do-i-get-the-government-3000-coronavirus-grant-2549866/

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan
https://smallbusiness.co.uk/how-do-i-apply-for-a-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-2549863/

Citizen’s Advice
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/if-youre-struggling-with-living-costs/

Emergency Funding
https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/emergency-funding.aspx

Update 1: 19th March 2020 – Community Volunteering

Phase 1 has seen the rapid establishment of the Outer North East Neighbourhood Network. For more information please click on the link below.

https://bardseyvillage.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Covid-19-Community-Care-Volunteer-Call.pdf

If you would like to join the volunteer force, you can sign up right now at:

https://doinggoodleeds.org.uk/news/2020/03/17/become-a-community-care-volunteer-to-help-with-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR1kwbmSRxd7Zt0j0l7a4cN3Mov9DnzRdxzXrbZVuLIeKn9qjFr09Np7UYs

Whether or not you join the organised response, perhaps one of the most important things any of us can contribute is good neighbourliness. Social distancing is going to be hard for any of us, but especially so for the frail, the vulnerable and those who live alone. Popping round might not be a good idea, but a welcome telephone call from a concerned and caring neighbour, or a little support from someone familiar, might make someone else’s day. We all need to look out for each other in the weeks to come.

Finally, keep checking in with this web page, which will be updated as events unfold. If you are in need of general information regarding Covid 19, and the very latest Government advice, please also keep checking the official government web site at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response