Archive | Health & Fitness

£10,000 Grants Available to Boost Walking and Cycling


Not-for-profit groups across West Yorkshire can bid to win up to £10,000 of grant funding to assist and encourage residents from their local community to cycle and walk to access work, school or training

The grants, which are funded by the Cycling and walking to Work Fund and delivered through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, are to allow groups to deliver projects offering grass-roots support for people living and working within their individual communities.

The total amount of grant funding available is £150,000, this is split into a nominal amount of £30,000 per West Yorkshire district. Grants will be allocated via a competitive process whereby groups and organisations apply to receive funding and are awarded based on their alignment with fund objectives.

“Having received funding through an earlier CityConnect community club grant scheme I would strongly encourage groups to apply,” said Satwant Singh, founder of Bolton Road Community Cycle Club. “The funding we received helped us develop a group, based at Ramgarhia Gurdwara in Undercliffe, which provides the opportunity for local people to get on bikes and discover the benefits of cycling in an informal and fun way. From my own experience, people enjoying cycling for leisure then find a natural pathway into cycling for transport purposes, which opens up all kind of employment and training opportunities which otherwise may have been inaccessible.”

Applications  for the CityConnect Community Grants scheme close on Sunday 31st December. Delivery of successful projects will commence at the end of January 2018 and delivery must be complete by 31st July 2018.

For more information and guidance on applying for CityConnect Community Grant funding please visit or email


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5 Ways Open House Shows ‘WAYS’ to Recovery

Helen Mason, Lead Practitioner & Jo Byrden, Manager


5 WAYS to Wellbeing @ the Recovery Academy, the Leeds hub for those in recovery from alcohol and drugs, is hosting an Open House on 30th November. Academy staff will showcase the range of services and support they offer the recovery community including guitar lessons, yoga, structured groups, IT skills, a gardening group, plus support in getting people into work, education and training.

5 WAYS will be running taster sessions for a number of activities including arts and crafts, music production and guitar lessons. Manager Jo Byrden and current members of 5 WAYS will present an overview of how 5 WAYS helps people to maintain abstinence and visitors will be able to sit in on a sustained recovery group meeting.

“We are open to anyone in recovery in Leeds”, said Jo. “We have over 200 members and would love to see even more people coming through the door for support. It’s also an opportunity to get peer support, so people in recovery don’t have to feel isolated or alone. We would also like to see family and friends of those in recovery. That’s what our Open House day is all about – come in and try something, it’s all free.”

5 WAYS works with a number of expert partners to deliver its courses and activities such as the Swarthmore Education Centre, the Cardigan Centre, St Anne’s Community Services and Hyde Park Source some of which will be at the event to discuss their range of programmes.

The Open House event will run from 10:30am – 3pm on 30th of November at 5 WAYS to Wellbeing @ the Recovery Academy, 43 Westfield Rd, off Burley Road (next to Rosebank Primary School) LS3 1DG.



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Help Support Legal Defence Against Treats to NHS

Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Newcastle University, Allyson Pollock, is appealing to people to help fund a legal challenge against those who are attempting to dismantle and sell off the NHS, Jeremy Hunt in particular.

In a letter currently being circulated she states:

Graham Winyard, giving notice to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, of our intention to seek a judicial review to stop NHS England from introducing new commercial, non-NHS bodies to run health and social services without proper public consultation and without full Parliamentary scrutiny. Working with Peter Roderick, co-author of the NHS Reinstatement Bill, Harrison Grant Solicitors and Nigel Pleming QC, we consider this introduction to be unlawful.

Accountable Care Organisations originate in the US. ACOs will fundamentally change the NHS and involve a radical reorganisation of health and social services in England.

These non-NHS bodies will have control over the allocation of NHS and taxpayers’ money. Their accountability for spending it and their obligations to the public will be under commercial contracts, not statutes.

This is a critical moment in the move to the privatisation and Americanisation of the NHS in England. Opposing it is going to be a big fight and we need a lot of help. It will be expensive, so please consider donating towards the cost of the judicial review on CrowdJustice. It is critical that we reach our funding targets for the case to proceed.

Please do all you can to spread the word to your family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues, and send this link on.

Consultation on changes to regulations required to facilitate the operation of an NHS Standard Contract (Accountable Care Models)



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Leeds City Centre Cycle Superhighway Launches

Councillor Richard Lewis – Leeds City Council Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, Andrew Crompton – Scheme Project Manager for Carillion, John Dennis – Chairman of CityConnect Advisory Group, Councillor Keith Wakefield – West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair

Construction starts on segregated cycle route through Leeds City Centre

Cllr Keith Wakefield and Cllr Richard Lewis was joined by local cycling advocates on Wednesday 1 November to welcome the start of construction of the Leeds City Centre Cycle Superhighway.

Delivered in partnership by Leeds City Council with West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, the scheme will deliver a high-quality segregated cycle route through Leeds city centre.

This new project builds upon the benefits of the Leeds-Bradford Cycle Superhighway, which is the longest segregated route in the country. The existing 23km cycle superhighway will be extended along Wellington Street to City Square, from Queen Street to Westgate and from north to south along the line of St Peter’s Street, making it safer, easier and faster to move around the city by bike.

The design features bi-directional cycle tracks segregated by kerbs from general traffic, junction designs which accommodate cyclists, segregated cycle crossings, cycleway bypassing of bus stops, cycling priority on side roads and clear signage. The project also includes improvements to pedestrian crossing facilities and enhanced public spaces.

The improvements to cycling infrastructure and provision forms part of the strategic vision set out in the Leeds Transport Strategy, helping to reduce congestion and improve air quality by making cycling and walking a more attractive option. Integrated with plans for the city’s South Bank, this is the first step in realising the transformational vision for Leeds city centre.

Works are being undertaken by Carillion with the final cycle route expected to open next summer.

For further information, including plans for the Leeds City Centre Cycle Superhighway visit

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Forward Leeds Focuses on Families and Alcohol


Leeds’ alcohol and drugs service, is encouraging people to think about how drinking can affect family life as part of the upcoming Alcohol Awareness Week, (13-19 November).

Forward Leeds will be running events at three of Leeds City Council’s One Stop Centres and launching a social media campaign with a hashtag of #LoveMyFamily. It’s hoped the campaign will make people think about how alcohol impacts on the relationships between themselves and their partners and families.

“Alcohol can have a big impact on family lives, even for families that don’t think they drink that much”,  said Early Intervention and Prevention Manager Bill Owen. “There is evidence to suggest that even for parents who don’t regularly drink large amounts, drinking can still have negative effects on their children. It can also impact on relationships and is a big factor in domestic violence.

”We are hoping that through Alcohol Awareness Week people will take some time to consider how alcohol may be affecting their family life. They can then start to have a conversation about positive changes that they might want to make to their lifestyle.”

Forward Leeds will be at the Reginald One Stop Centre in Chapeltown on the 15 November, the Dewsbury Road One Stop Centre on 16 November and Armley One Stop Centre on the 17 November. They will be offering information and advice around about the impact of alcohol on children.

Alcohol Awareness Week is a national campaign organised by Alcohol Concern. The theme this year is Alcohol and Families.

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Bradford-Based Hospital Fund Donates £5000 to Canldlelighters Cottage Campaign


The Candlelighters Cottage Campaign was given a significant boost recently, making a real difference to the refurbishment process. Cash plan provider, Sovereign Healthcare, have donated £5000 towards the children’s cancer charity developing overnight accommodation for families when their child is being treated as an in-patient at Leeds Children’s Hospital. Candlelighters supports several families in Bradford meaning the cash donated is going to impact people locally.

The Candlelighters cottage is just a stone’s throw away from Leeds Children’s Hospital and will provide family rooms to ensure that children with cancer can have both their mum and dad with them and their siblings too. The Cottage will provide a family with their own private bedroom that is a quiet and calm place to get a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed. A well-rested parent is an asset to a child’s care as it puts them in a much better position to support their child, comfort and entertain them during the day.

The donation from Sovereign Healthcare could cover the cost of an entire bedroom and en suite refurbishment or even the furnishings in one of the communal spaces, such as the living room or kitchen.

To find out more about the Cottage Campaign please visit or call the team on 0113 3229283.




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WYP’s Youth Theatre Explores Mental Health With New Production


A poignant production which explores young people’s mental health is being created by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Youth Theatre in collaboration with Leeds Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Written for West Yorkshire Playhouse by Rebecca Manley, Zoetrope follows seven young people as they tackle emotional and behavioural difficulties in a timely exploration of the mental health of young people and the resources afforded to them.

In preparation for the performance the Zoetrope cast have collaborated with Leeds Community Healthcare’s CAMHS service, inviting both young people and NHS staff into rehearsals to share their insights and experiences. CAMHS provides services for young people under 18 when mental health issues get in the way of daily life.

“Being involved in Zoetrope has given the CAMHS young people a real sense of confidence and helped them realise how their knowledge and experience has made them the experts”,  said Child and Adolescent Mental Health Practitioner,Vandhna Sharma. “Our CAMHS young people have loved learning about a theatre production and were touched by how polite and considerate the Zoetrope cast are, in particular when they shared their experiences of mental health and the support they received, which helped provide authenticity and depth to the Zoetrope characters. The audience get to see young people navigate their way through mental health difficulties and support processes from their perspective, as well as understand the impact it has on every area of their life.”


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Healthy Lifestyle Campaign ‘One You’ Launches in Leeds


This month sees the launch of a free healthy living service that aims to help Leeds residents make positive changes to their lifestyle and behaviour to improve their health.

Commissioned by Leeds City Council following a comprehensive health needs assessment,  One You Leeds provides personalised support planning and allows people to access a range of important healthy lifestyle interventions.

People can access smoking cessation support, adult weight management services, physical exercise activities, healthy eating support and cooking skills classes.

Throughout October and November a range of activities will take place, including a Drop-In Centre from 1st – 3rd November at the Merrion Centre, where members of the public can receive free health and lifestyle advice from the One You team.

For more information visit or call 0800 169 4219

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Launch of New Book to Help Caregivers


Local author and speaker, Linda Sage, is launching her new book ‘Caring for the Caregiver’ on 25th November and she’ll be joined by singer/ songwriter Fuzzy Jones, performing her new single (recently reviewed in North Leeds Life) and other songs.

Presenting an introduction to her book, Linda will talk about how those working in caring professions, which require putting the needs of others before their own, very often neglect their own mental and physical health.

The book seeks to investigate common beliefs and habits related to this issue. All caring professions have a propensity for compassion fatigue and burnout; anyone regularly giving a large part of themselves to others and dealing with trauma, needs to protect themselves.  Not just for their own wellbeing, but also for those they care for.

Compassion Fatigue has been around for decades but few people involved in care take steps to combat it.  This is not just an issue for those seen to be on the front line – doctors, nurses, dentists, social care, the emergency services etc. Volunteers, home carers, professional support workers, PAs, admin and receptionists all also build up barriers to trauma and sadness as a protection, but suppression is not the solution. In learning to deal with Compassion Fatigue effectively, being able to enhance personal beliefs to become more powerful and positive is a great step forward.

The launch will be between 2 pm and 4 pm on the Saturday with refreshments, tickets are  a  donation of £ 2.00 when booking via Eventbrite at

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The William Merritt Centre’s New AccessAbility Exhibition


The William Merritt Centre’s new AccessAbility Exhibition will take place on 11th October at the Centenary Pavilion, Leeds United Football Club, 10am – 3pm. Once again, it will showcase new assistive technology and provide information and advice to help both adults and children with disabilities achieve greater independence.

“Both professionals, end users, their families and carers are invited to attend this free event”, said Annette Abbott, Senior Occupational Therapist. “As well as companies demonstrating a range of assistive technology (including beds, seating, walking aids, bathing aids, tricycles, scooters, wheelchairs, and car adaptations), a number of charities will be attending to offer support and information. This is a great opportunity to meet companies and try products that can enhance your everyday life and enable greater independence. It is also useful for professionals to attend with clients to assess which equipment might best meet their needs.”

There will be a special gaming area showcasing the options available for adaptations so everyone to access computers, toys and computer games. And, William Merritt Centre’s Car Safety Consultant and Occupational Therapist will be on hand to check that children’s car seats (both mainstream and special needs) are fitted correctly.



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