Thursday, 23 February 2012

Wrap Up Leeds team go the extra 10 kilometres

Caption: (Left to right) Liz, Suzannah and Emma prepare to wrap up and run

Instead of going the extra mile to keep homes warm and cheaper to run, staff from Leeds’ free insulation scheme are actually going an extra 10 kilometres.

Whilst energy assessors are out knocking on doors and taking calls from people who want to save up to £300 on their energy bills, Emma Kovaleski, Liz Henry and Susannah Williams are training for a 10 kilometre charity run.

The three athletes from the Wrap Up Leeds team have signed up to compete in Age UK’s Wrap Up and Run on March 18 at Harewood House. The run will raise money for the charity’s Spread the Warmth campaign. The campaign aims to stop preventable deaths by providing information, advice and practical services to help keep older people warm and well in the winter months.

Emma, Liz and Susannah jumped at the chance to don their running gear as they want everyone to know that insulating your home is one of the most effective ways of keeping warm, healthy and lowering your fuel bills.

Wrap Up Leeds is offering free cavity wall and loft insulation to anyone who owns their own home or rents it privately in Leeds.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:

“Emma, Liz and Susannah are showing admirable dedication to our cause. We firmly believe that we can help people, particularly those who are vulnerable, save money and keep healthy with something simple like insulation. I wish them all the best during their training and good luck on the day.”

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group said:

“We’re not offering free insulation because we think it’s a nice thing to do. It will keep people’s homes warmer, cut their energy bills and have a positive impact on the environment. 3,000 people have already contacted us and hopefully Emma, Liz and Susannah’s efforts will result in even more people applying for free insulation. Good luck to them.”

Emma Kovaleski, manager for the chief executive’s office at Yorkshire Energy Services said:

“We’ve been delivering schemes like Wrap Up Leeds for a number of years and we’ve seen the positive impact insulation can make. Age UK are trying to achieve a similar thing to us so it made sense to get out there and join in. Training is going well and we hope to see lots of people at Harewood on 18 March ready to sign up for free insulation.”

You can look out for Emma, Liz and Susannah who’ll be running in the Wrap Up Leeds distinctive burgundy polo shirts on the day.

Anyone who owns their own home or rents it privately can apply online for their free insulation at or by calling 0800 052 0071.

The 0800 number is free from most landline providers, but may not be free from mobile networks. If you would prefer, please call Wrap Up Leeds on 01484 351 779.

Notes to editors:

About Wrap Up Leeds
• Wrap Up Leeds is run in partnership by Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Energy Services, with funding from EDF Energy.
• Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners and privately rented tenants (where landlord’s permission has been granted) in the Leeds City Council area only.
• Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (where less than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (where more than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) are available under the scheme.
• A free, technical survey of the property will confirm that the work will definitely be free and much larger properties or those that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contribution towards the work.
• The project estimates to help householders made total cumulative savings of £1,653,750 on energy bills based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 5704


Ellie Lyon, Yorkshire Energy Services marketing team on 01484 352010


Leeds City Region LEP Board kicks into action with employment and skills campaign

5-3-1 is the Local Enterprise Partnership’s first business-to-business campaign to increase investment in skills and ensure those out of work have the necessary skills to compete in the labour market.

Private sector members of the Partnership and the LEP Board signed up to the campaign today (Thursday,23rd February) with the ultimate goal of getting 1000 businesses to join them by the end of 2012.

The campaign is called 5-3-1 because businesses are asked to commit to one of five actions for three reasons, with the single outcome of creating economic growth.

The actions are:
• Doing more to invest in skills
• Enhancing links with education
• Offering a work placement to an unemployed person
• Offering an apprenticeship
• Mentoring a budding entrepreneur

Neil McLean, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP said:

“I am delighted to launch today our first business to business campaign to actively encourage improvements in skills and employment. The figures speak for themselves, we need to invest more in people, increase our productivity and help our business grow.

"I would like to invite the city region businesses to join this campaign. There are five things you can choose from and it only takes a small commitment to make a big change. For instance, if we increase our employment productivity by 1% point that will result in growing our economy by £1 billion every year. The potential is immense and the time has come to forge ahead.”

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council,said:

“ In the current climate, this campaign is more important than ever. Public, private and voluntary sector partners need to work together to drive economic growth locally and provide jobs, apprenticeships and training for local people - particularly for our young people.

“Over the last year, through successful partnership working, we have made real progress in Leeds in increasing the number of apprenticeships provided by local businesses. I hope this LEP campaign can build on that initial success and in doing so deliver significant benefits to both local people and the city region economy.”

Among the Leeds businesses supporting the campaign are chartered accountants Baker Tilly and design agency Golden.

Kevin O’Connor, Regional Managing Partner for Baker Tilly said:
“We sponsor more than 70% of our employees to study for a professional
qualification, and offer a wide variety of qualifications and graduate
schemes. We’re very proud that we have team members who started with
us just two years ago directly from A-levels who have already completed
key qualifications and are coaching other members of staff.”

Steve McKevitt, Director of Golden in Leeds said:
“It is practically impossible to secure a job as a designer without work experience. Interns benefit from working on briefs for international clients- their experience is real, the briefs are real and the process of approval is identical.

"Over the last two years, Golden has had 20 interns. One of the junior designers, Daniel Bird, is a graduate of the programme. He also felt that his work experience at Golden was instrumental to him achieving a first in his design degree.”

For more information on the campaign and a full list of its supporters please visit


Notes to editors:

5-3-1 Campaign

1. The aim of the 5-3-1 campaign is to:

• increase employer and individual investment in skills
• enable those out of work have the necessary skills to compete in the labour market.

2. Business representatives from across the Leeds City Region will be talking to business groups over the coming months with a view to getting 1000 businesses of any size and sector to commit to one or more of the following actions:

• Doing more to invest in skills
• Enhancing links with education
• Offering a work placement to an unemployed person
• Offering an apprenticeship
• Mentoring a budding entrepreneur

3. Jobcentre Plus, National Apprenticeship Service and the Skills Network will be supporting business to take action where needed.
For more information visit

The Leeds City Region Partnership

1. The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council) with businesses and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.
2. The Leeds City Region is the largest city region economy and financial centre in the country outside London. With a £53billion economy representing 5% of England’s economy, over 100,000 businesses and a 3 million population, the city region will continue to be at the forefront in both driving the economy of the North and accelerating national economic prosperity.
3. The Leeds City Region was one of the very first to form a private sector - led local enterprise partnership (LEP) and commit to working closely with both the private and public sectors in order to help businesses and the economy grow. The body representing the LEP – The LEP Board – is now working alongside the Leaders Board to deliver the Partnership’s economic development plan which was launched at the Leeds City Region LEP Summit in September 2011.
4. For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit

For press/media enquiries please contact:
Maraki Mikroudaki, Senior Communications Officer
Leeds City Region Partnership
Tel: 0113 2476947

Leeds pledges to protect its most vulnerable

Leeds City Council has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the city’s most vulnerable children and adults by allocating a larger slice of its total budget to these services.

The council’s annual budget proposals for the financial year 2012/13 include a rise in the percentage spend on children’s services and adult social care in Leeds from a combined 52.4 per cent in 2011/12 to 55.1 per cent in 2012/13.

With an increasing number of older people and adults with learning disabilities, and pressure on the care system for young people in Leeds, the council has taken the decision to invest more of its reduced budget to help improve the lives of these people, despite having to find savings of £55.4m in the next financial year.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
"Our annual budget is getting smaller, but we are absolutely committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities, which is why we have allocated a bigger slice of a smaller cake to children and adult social services.

"In order to meet the demands that we face we do need to change the way that we deliver some of our services, and we want to do this by involving local organisations and local people. We have to find better, smarter ways of doing things, and civic enterprise will be key in bringing the city’s resources together to achieve more for everyone who lives here.”

A higher proportion of council funding will be allocated to help meet increasing demand for children’s social care. Of this, £2.1m will be prioritised for specialist intervention work such as family group conferencing and multi-systemic therapy (MST), which aims to help reduce the number of children and young people requiring residential care placements.

The family group conferencing service is being expanded from one to three teams. Family group conferences, which bring families together to arrive at their own solutions to the issues they are facing, have been used successfully in Leeds for a number of years. The additional funding will enable the family group conferencing service to work with all families where there is a risk that a child may need to become looked after.

Leeds has been piloting MST since 2008. It is a therapy-based programme, widely used in the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, which helps young people address aspects of their lives that can contribute to anti-social behaviour.

Some of the positive outcomes already demonstrated from MST in Leeds include that 96% of referred families agreed to engage with the service and completed the programme. At the end of their intervention 95% of young people remained living at home, and 75% were attending school.

Children’s services will also extend their independent travel trainers scheme, which aims to promote independence for the most vulnerable and at risk young people in the city, through more use of public transport instead of taxis to get to school or college.

Savings of £1m on the procurement of residential and foster placements through working closely with other local authorities have also been earmarked.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member with responsibility for children’s services said:
“With over 25000 referrals for children’s social care so far this financial year, there is huge pressure on our services.

“We want the best outcomes possible for our children and young people, and to achieve this we have to focus on supporting them and their families from an earlier stage.

“Programmes like multi-systemic therapy and family group conferencing have already made a big difference to young people on the very brink of having to go into care. Our investment in this area of early intervention will result in less children and young people entering care and will improve their life chances.“

Demand on adult social care services continues to grow in Leeds as it does nationally. The council has pledged to allocate a higher proportion of its reduced budget to help cope with the increasing numbers of older and learning disabled people in the city, as well as the changing expectations of service users. The budget for next year has reprioritised £7.7m for adult social care services in order to meet these pressures.

Adult social care has already delivered efficiencies through changing the way it delivers some of its services, and this will continue in order to allow funding to be reprioritised to support prevention and early intervention.

Health funding of £5.7m will be allocated to the ongoing support of reablement, health and social transformation and other services that benefit the health service. Reablement is a service for people that need some short-term, intensive help so they are able to remain living in their own homes, for example following a stay in hospital. This approach will also deliver savings to the home care budget.

This commitment to reablement will also allow more people to benefit from assistive technology. This provides equipment, alarms and adaptations to help people continue to live safely and independently in their own homes, reducing the need for them to go into residential or nursing care. It provides peace of mind to people with family members that are prone to falls, have difficulty maintaining their own safety and have some level of confusion or memory impairment.

Work to transform services for adults with learning disabilities will continue with more community based day services being provided, and the number of traditional, isolated day centres reduced. This strategy is already being rolled out across the city following a highly successful pilot for former customers of the Moor End Day Centre in south Leeds, and is being delivered more cost effectively than the previous arrangements.

Adults with learning disabilities now receive support from a range of voluntary sector services and adult social care staff at three local community bases. They have individual support packages in place and are accessing a much wider range of activities than they were before, including arts and crafts, keep fit, cookery, social and employment skills.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“The pressure on adult social care budgets continues to be challenging due to the high demand on services, and we just can’t afford to carry on doing what we have always done.

“We have already started to reshape our services so that we can continue to offer care to our most vulnerable residents that is affordable, meets their needs and supports them to live their lives how they want to live them.

“I strongly believe that the reablement service and personal budgets offer far better choice for customers and will provide the most effective and efficient service for the future.

“And our transformation programme for adults with learning disabilities is allowing them to be empowered and get involved in everyday activities in their own local communities, with support tailored to their own particular requirements.

“People with social care needs want to live safer, independent and more fulfilling lives, and by refocusing our budget we will help to meet this growing demand for easier access, and greater choice and control over social care services.”

The sum of £1.1m has been allocated to personalised budgets, which give people the freedom to arrange and pay for their own care in line with their own individual circumstances.
Because more people are living for longer, investment in housing, care and support initiatives will grow next year.

Adult social care services have identified efficiencies of £5.1m for next financial year. This includes savings for the procurement of services, transport costs, and more efficient staff working patterns in the home care service.

Case studies

Alan attended Moor End Day Centre for many years, but has now taken full advantage of some of the many new opportunities open to adults with learning disabilities as a result of the modernisation programme.

He now attends the new service base at Hillside in Beeston two days each week, where he has become involved in the community radio station. He attends drama, literacy and Tai Chi classes run by Leeds Health for All’s “As One” project in Holbeck. He is also the co–chair of the stakeholder involvement group and works as a receptionist one day each week for Leeds People First at their “Leep 1” project. Asked how he felt about his very busy new timetable Alan said, “I’m loving it all”, and that he wished as part of his role with People First “, to tell people in other centres about how good the changes have been.”

Mr and Mrs A’s story
Mr A has lived in Bradford and Leeds and worked as a dental surgeon. For many years he enjoyed golf, swimming and cycling. Although he’s no longer able to play golf he still likes to visit the golf club and chat to his friends.

Mrs A came from Wakefield and trained as a shorthand typist. She loves children and eventually moved to Ben Rhydding to a live-in job looking after orphaned children.

The couple met through friends and have been married for 58 years. They have two daughters, one of whom is their main carer.

Mr A has osteoporosis, which led to a fractured vertebrae, and Mrs A has bipolar affective disorder (manic depressive illness) and dementia.

Both Mr and Mrs A have difficulties walking, getting in and out of bed and reaching up or down. This makes normally simple day-to-day activities, such as fastening and undoing buttons, very hard.

Mr and Mrs A were worried about coping on their own, and their daughter and son-in-law also became very concerned for their safety. One of the biggest concerns was that Mr A would fall and become injured, especially as he has problems with his balance and had already suffered several falls. There was also a concern that forgetfulness may lead to accident or injury.

Mr and Mrs A are now supported by various types of assistive technology, including a smoke alarm, heat sensor and carbon monoxide sensor. They also both have pendant alarms. Grab rails have been fitted to doors in the bathroom and in the bedroom, and they use walking sticks, a zimmer frame and a trolley.

Mr and Mrs A have said that they feel more reassured by the equipment in their home, and their carers have said that they feel better too, now that the couple have these safety measures in place. And the equipment has already come into its own. Mrs A recently left the hob on, with a grill pan on top, and the alarms and sensors installed ensured that the fire service arrived promptly.

Mr A has also suffered several falls and he and Mrs A have been able to call for help using his pendant alarm.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578