Thursday, 18 February 2010

Volunteering for health and wellbeing

Over 150 people will gather in south Leeds next week to celebrate the work of the army of volunteers who give their time to support the health and wellbeing of others across the city.

The event will showcase some of the many activities delivered by volunteers that are funded by Healthy Leeds grants. Senior staff from NHS Leeds will talk about the importance of the work that volunteers do, and volunteers themselves will share their experiences about the type of work that they do and what they get out of it.

The event will take place on Tuesday, 23 February, 10am to 1pm, at Tiger 11, Hillside, Beeston Road, Leeds LS11 8ND. There will be a variety of stalls showing the range of volunteering work available in health throughout the city, as well as information on how to become a volunteer. During the event, a number of small grants will be awarded to agencies that have expressed an interest in improving the experience of volunteers in the health and wellbeing sector.

If you are a volunteer supporting health and wellbeing in Leeds, a volunteer whose volunteering has improved your own health, or a health and wellbeing agency which uses volunteers and you would like to attend this event, please email Siobhan@leedscommunityfoundation.org.uk . Attendance is free and lunch is provided.

Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader and executive board member with responsibility for the 2010 Year of Volunteering said:
“Health and wellbeing is something that matters to all of us. It’s about how we feel, our ability to take care of ourselves and others, and about leading a full and active life.

“Many of us have experienced ill health at some point in our lives, whether it is ourselves or our families, and this can often encourage people to start volunteering themselves to give something back to the hospitals, hospices and charities that supported them and their families through difficult times.

“The act of volunteering can also really help people who have been ill to recover their confidence and their sense of being part of something worthwhile. Mixing with lots of people and making a difference to others helps us to feel good about ourselves, so any volunteering can help to improve people's own health and wellbeing.

“We hope that the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering will encourage more people to get involved in activities in their communities and help to improve the quality of life for local residents.”

John Lawlor, chief executive of NHS Leeds said:
"NHS Leeds is proud to be a partner in the Leeds Year of Volunteering, so we can celebrate the excellent work done by volunteers within Leeds hospitals and healthcare settings, as well as within community organisations across the city.

"Volunteers make all the difference to services; and when local people get involved, communities become stronger and people’s lives improve as they see the great things they are doing for others and their community. Over the next year we are looking forward to many more people coming forward and joining in to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of individuals and neighbourhoods in Leeds."

If your organisation uses volunteers and would benefit from a small grant to support this, please visit the Leeds Community Foundation website (www.leedscommunityfoundation.org.uk ) for details on how to apply.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Have your say in north east Leeds

Five community engagement events have been organised across north east Leeds to give residents the chance to have their say on what local improvements they want to see in their area.

The aim of the events is to work with residents to help identify local priorities and gather ideas for action in the year ahead. The area committees want local peoples ideas to help decide how local budgets will be spent. This could include activities for young people, actions to help them make neighbourhoods cleaner and safer, or opportunities for community activities.

Previous ideas have included suggestions on how to improve the area around Oakwood clock, and the need for additional grit bins to be installed in areas of Alwoodley.

Councillor Matthew Lobley, chair of the inner east north east area committee said:
“These events will provide a great opportunity for the people of north east Leeds to put their ideas across about what they would like to see change or develop in their community. The events are a vital source of information for the area committees and give us a real insight into what the local communities would really benefit from.”

Councillor Gerald Wilkinson, chair of the outer east north east area committee said:
“The area committees across the city are in place to represent the views of the communities they serve, and get ideas from local residents about future plans for the areas.

“I hope that residents across the north east of Leeds will take this opportunity to make their thoughts and opinions known so that they have an impact on the future developments of their areas.”

Organised by the two area committees covering north east Leeds, the events will be attended by local ward councillors and staff from council services, neighbourhood policing teams and East North East Homes.

The events will promote the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, and residents will have the opportunity to speak to other local people who give their time up to make their communities a better place.

The drop-in style events will take place on the following dates:

Saturday 20 February (11am to 1pm) at Chapel Allerton Methodist Church Centre
Includes face painting and a showcase by local voluntary groups.

Tuesday 23 February (3:30 to 6:30pm) at Moortown Baptist Church
Includes a focus on the King Alfred’s estate improvements.

Thursday 25 February (4:30 to 7pm) at Roundhay High School
Includes a focus on prevention of crime and free afternoon tea.

Monday 8 March (4.30 to 7pm) at Alwoodley Community Centre
Includes a display and information on the Year of the Volunteer 2010 and how to get involved.

Monday 15 March (4.30 to 6.30pm) at Boston Spa Village Hall
Includes a showcase by the local In Bloom groups and a presentation by young people on Barleyfields Radio Project.

Ends
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk