Thursday, 19 December 2013

Happy to help – Froome backs Tour Makers

Caption: Tour de France champion Chris Froome is backing the Tour Maker scheme

The reigning Tour de France champion has given his backing to the first ever Tour Maker volunteer scheme to run alongside the world’s most famous bike race.

Chris Froome is now encouraging people to put themselves forward to be a potential Tour Maker.

The Tour de France 2013 winner – who is set to return to the UK to defend his title when the race starts in Leeds on July 5 – urged those who still want to get involved, to register before the December 31 deadline.

Froome said: “I’d say to everyone ‘come and become part of it’. The Tour is like a big carnival and this is your chance. It’s really exciting that the race is coming to the UK and to be a part of it will be amazing – it’s your Tour!”

In a first for the Tour de France, Yorkshire-based supermarket giant Asda has announced its partnership with organisers Welcome to Yorkshire to recruit, train and provide bespoke uniforms for the final 10,000 Tour Maker volunteers.

Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg this month officially launched the Tour Maker partnership and the call for more volunteers to sign up.

Tour Maker volunteers are being sought nationwide to cover all three UK stages of the race. The Yorkshire Grand Départ will race from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5, York to Sheffield on July 6, and a third stage will race from Cambridge to the capital London on July 7.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“The eyes of the world will be focused on our region as Leeds hosts the start of the biggest annual sporting event in the world. This volunteer scheme is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for people to play a direct part in Yorkshire’s Grand Depart and I would urge as many people as possible to take the opportunity to sign up.”

Stephen Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Asda, said: “To have Chris’ backing and encouragement for people to get involved is incredible and what a catalyst for people to sign up. We are proud of our Yorkshire roots and honoured Asda is to be involved in this first for the Tour de France and we can’t wait to get started.”

Tour Makers’ roles could include lining the route, welcoming visitors and supporting the emergency and National Parks services.

Anyone interested in volunteering for any of the three stages of the race while it is in the UK can register at before December 31.

More details about Yorkshire’s Grand Départ are available online at and for Stage Three visit


For more information, contact:

Andrew Denton
Head of Media Yorkshire's Grand Départ 2014
Welcome to Yorkshire
T: 0113 322 3537
M: 07769 257 383

Public Health targets health protection challenge for 2014

Caption: Dr Ian Cameron at Thackray Medical Museum

Leeds faces a range of public health challenges in 2014, says Leeds City Council Director of Public Health Ian Cameron in his first annual report to the city council’s executive board.

Praising the council for its commitment to rising to the challenge improving the city’s health and wellbeing, Dr Cameron’s report, which was approved by the executive board yesterday, states clearly that health protection is a priority for the city and highlights areas of focus for action:

• Controlling communicable diseases, including fighting tuberculosis
• Measles and MMR vaccination, as well as whooping cough vaccination
• Reducing air pollution
• Reducing infant deaths
• Improving health in schools

Dr Cameron said:

“The recommendations reflect areas where I am sure we can make a real difference. Health protection means the people of the city not suffering in the way they might in the 1860s and 1870s. We’ve made enormous progress over the last 150 years, but there are still areas where, by targeting our efforts where they will make most difference, we can continue to make more progress.

“This is why I am calling for a Leeds Health Protection Board to be created which can raise awareness, monitor progress and ensure we are best placed to deal with future challenges, such as drug-resistant organisms.

“As we head into the second year of public health being part of Leeds City Council, the importance of making sure we make the most of every Leeds pound is clearer by the day. We have to work across the city and region to link provision from ourselves, the NHS and third sector so that we deliver as well as we can in financially challenging times.”

The most recent statistics show that the city has made good progress on many of the areas targeted by the health and wellbeing board, with good progress on the uptake of child immunisations and reducing infant deaths, but although tuberculosis numbers are going down, it remains a priority area. Increasing MMR uptake and making sure the youngest in society get the best start possible are both areas that will targeted in the New Year too.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Responsibility for Public Health moving to local authorities has been a major change, and Leeds is fortunate to have an excellent team committed to improving health in the city. Dr Cameron’s annual report provides excellent insight into some of the work his team deliver and a call to action for us to make a real difference to health outcomes in Leeds. We have made a positive start to making real improvements, but we know there is a lot more to be done.”

“It is a phenomenally tough time, so we are determined to make sure we make the best of the full range of services we have. Integrating work, making sure we have an emphasis on prevention and engaging people in the way we deliver health and social care will be paramount in the coming years.”

The Director of Public Health for Leeds Annual Report 2013 is available for download at: and can also be read in local libraries.

Phil Morcom
Communications and Marketing team – Public Health
Leeds City Council
4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 0772 227 5370
Tel: 0113 395 0393
Fax: 0113 247 4736

Notes for Editors:
More information about Public Health in Leeds is available at:
The next Health and Wellbeing Board meeting is on Wednesday, 29th January, 2014 10.00 am. More information and papers for previous boards and future boards are available at:

East Leeds community projects benefit from area committee funding

In another very busy year, a wide range of important community projects have been delivered in outer east Leeds, thanks to funding from the local area committee.

Schemes to have benefited from the outer east area committee’s wellbeing fund include organisations and facilities which support the young and the elderly, along with initiatives tackling key issues in communities such as crime and anti-social behaviour.

Those to benefit this year from funding include a cricket summer camp delivered by Yorkshire CCC in Kippax and Whitkirk (£5,000), a playground expansion in Swillington (£7,000) and improvements to Whinmoor Park (£10,000) and Barley Hill playground improvements (£10,000) in Garforth.

Over £47,700 was provided to fund CCTV in east Leeds, while community focused activities including Older People’s Week (£3,814.59), luncheon club Christmas parties for the elderly (£1,950) and festive lights and switch-on events (£16,955) were also supported as part of 34 projects overall throughout the year.

Councillor Andrea McKenna, chair of the outer east area committee said:

"We have certainly had a very busy and enjoyable 2013 in the outer east area committee, and it has been fantastic to be able to support once again a range of important projects being delivered in our communities.

"This has included providing support to groups and organisations helping and providing activities for our young people and elderly, the Older People’s Week programme and festive light switch-on events.

"The contribution that local residents play in helping us as a committee set out our priorities and aims is absolutely vital, and we would urge any person who is interested in the work the committee do to attend one of our meetings."

Notes to editors:

10 Area committees across the city, play a vital role setting out detailed improvement plans for the areas they represent, and decide through a monitored service level agreement, where both street cleansing and environmental action should be targeted.

The management and budgets of community centres are also undertaken, while funding is also provided to agencies, groups and organisations which support a range of important projects that are being delivered in communities through their wellbeing fund.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Huge £366,000 cash boost an early Christmas present for Neighbourhood Networks

Hard-working Neighbourhood Networks across Leeds have been given a festive funding boost of more than £366,000.

The early Christmas present will see nine Neighbourhood Network projects each given a share of £366,826 after they were invited to apply for the money by Leeds City Council’s Adult Social Care team.

The extra funding will be used to help the Neighbourhood Networks provide support and day opportunities for local older people and their carers.

It will also be used to expand projects to combat poverty, isolation and loneliness and help forge closer links with GP’s as well as helping to develop a volunteer driver scheme in the Wetherby area.

Among those being given funding are West Park-based Supporting the Elderly People (STEP) who have been awarded £65,650 and Action for Gipton Elderly, who will receive £54,000.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“Making this extra money available to our Neighbourhood Networks shows just how much confidence we and our partners in health have in the vital services they provide to local elderly residents.

“Neighbourhood Networks are a genuine lifeline to the thousands of people across Leeds who regularly attend some of the activities they provide, receive support in their own home and are helped to access other community activities.

“This extra money will be a massive boost to the already excellent work done by the networks and will mean they can offer even better support to older people, their carers and local communities.”

As part of the new funding arrangement, Adult Social Care are providing a total of £300,000 to Neighbourhood Networks each year.

A one off payment from Leeds’ Clinical Commissioning Groups further boosted the amount of extra funding available for individual groups by £66,000 per year.

Dr Andy Harris, Clinical Chief Officer for NHS Leeds South and East CCG and Chair of the Citywide Transformation programme, said:

“We are committed to improving integrated care in Leeds and the Neighbourhood Networks have a key role to play in this.

“I am delighted that by working with our partner clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Leeds – NHS Leeds North CCG and NHS Leeds West CCG – we have been able to support this initiative that will help keep older people safe and healthy over the Christmas period.”

Leeds currently has 37 Neighbourhood Networks across the city which have long-term contracts with the council.

The networks provide services that support older people to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible.

They are supported by 1,862 local volunteers, and provide on-going support to 21,966 older people.

The full list of groups which have successfully bid for extra funding is:

Action for Gipton Elderly- £54,000

Bramley Elderly Action and OWLS- £38,500

Hawksworth Older People’s Support (HOPS)- £25,000

Middleton Elderly Aid- £42,100

Richmond Hill Elderly Aid- £36,695

Supporting The Elderly People (STEP)- £65,650

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WISE) one of £29,404 and one in partnership with British Red Cross of £38,869

Horsforth Live at Home Scheme (with British Red Cross) - £36,368

For more details, please contact:
Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

Helping Leeds citizens out of poverty and into work

Senior councillors have agreed an innovative new way of working to help Leeds residents find training and employment opportunities, and ultimately help get them out of poverty.

Poverty is one of the biggest challenges Leeds is facing, which is why members of Leeds City Council’s executive board have agreed proposals to develop a new way of working, and a range of initiatives to help more people get easier access to training and employment advice and opportunities across the city.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We want to do all we can to stop people suffering and help them get out of poverty. The best way to do this is by helping people find training and employment opportunities, which will not only help them financially but also raise their aspirations and help combat health and wider social issues.

“Poverty and deprivation is one of the biggest challenges our city is facing. By focusing our support and advice services on the people who need them most we can start to improve the lives and futures of people who find themselves living on the breadline.”

The innovative approach, which is part of a package of initiatives called ‘Citizens@Leeds’, will bring employment help and advice right into the heart of communities, by using new community hubs as a base to improve, tailor and deliver training and employment advice services for local people in need of work.

The council will also target the support to those most in need and those furthest from work, and use its position as a major employer to target its own jobs and opportunities to those most in need, as well as influencing other employers in the city to do the same.

The Citizens@Leeds approach changes the way the council currently works to bring together the services that will help people get access to jobs and training. To achieve this, the council will work closely with existing partners to improve information sharing and intelligence gathering to maximise the use of existing resources and target those people furthest from work.

It will also bring different council services and partners together to develop a more customer-focused approach to ensure that any barriers to accessing training and employment are removed or can be overcome.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills said:

“The council currently supports over 10,000 residents each year with information, advice and guidance and job brokerage services through its network of Jobshops. We also target 7,000 residents each year with low skills levels to help them re-engage with learning, and develop new skills and qualifications to support them into work.

“However, we know we can do more, so we wanted to create a way of reaching even more people. These new initiatives will bring the services into the heart of the community to help people do whatever they need to do to gain the skills and experience to find work. Ultimately, helping people into work is the most sustainable way of reducing financial hardship for individuals and the wider city.”

The additional impetus now being provided by the Citizens@Leeds approach will look at ways in which more support can be provided to those furthest away from the labour market, those individuals and families suffering financial hardship and groups who face particular barriers to securing employment.

There are currently 64,510 benefit claimants aged 16 to 64 years in Leeds and 1,400 young people aged 16 to 19 years old not in employment, education or training. There are also 2,465 unemployed 16-24 year olds who have been out of work for more than 6 months. Over 10% of the working age population in Leeds have no qualifications and 12.7% are only qualified to Level 2.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713