Friday, 17 January 2014

(Leeds City Council News) New foster carers needed to give Leeds teenagers a fresh start

Leeds City Council is on the look-out for people who have a spare room and can look after a Leeds teenager who is looked after by the authority.

More teenagers in Leeds are in need of good foster families who have the specialist skills required for looking after an adolescent.

The council is looking to recruit foster carers for young people aged 13 and over, who would be able to look after a young person beyond the usual leaving care age of 18, in order to provide an effective stepping-stone to independence.

A new advertising campaign is being launched this week to find people who are able to meet the challenges faced when looking after teenagers, and have the relevant existing skills and experiences.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“Fostering a teenager can be a challenging but extremely rewarding thing to do. Adolescence can be a turbulent time for any young person, but this is often compounded for young people in care, who have often had a troubled early childhood.
This is why we need to find those amazing people who are robust, energetic, empathetic and caring and able to rise to the challenge.

“There are no particular people who make successful foster carers for teenagers. They include single people, couples, and gay and lesbian carers. Before fostering they have usually had experience of caring for teenagers, either through raising their own family, or through having contact in other ways, for example through their work.

“What is important is that they share a genuine enjoyment in working with teenagers and a commitment to promoting their welfare and helping them become independent adults.”

Over recent years there has been a move towards young people remaining in foster care after they reach 18. The recruitment of the new specialist carers will offer a stepping stone between foster care and independent living and provide young people with an opportunity to acquire skills to achieve this transition successfully.

The council has two dedicated fostering support teams and carers have access to professional training and qualifications.

By working for Leeds City Council, carers will help ensure all the available funding for fostering goes towards children and young people and that Leeds children are fostered in their home city, which at times can help them remain in their local school and community.

People interested in finding out more are invited to come to a ‘foster a teenager information evening’ on Wednesday 26th February 2014 (7pm till 9pm) Waitrose Supermarket (Cafe area), Meanwood, LS6 4RJ.

Visit or call the dedicated foster care recruitment line on: 0113 2477443 for more information.

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

(Leeds City Council News) Local bands needed for south Leeds battle

The South Leeds Youth Hub in Middleton is on the look-out for up and coming young bands to take part in a musical battle next month.

The hub is organising a ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition on Saturday 15 February, 2-6pm for young people aged 12 to 19 years old.

The winners will receive free studio time with technical support to record their first professional demo in the youth hub’s state of the art music studio. The battle will be judged by local musicians Guy Thomas from Wakefield band, Thomas Wilby Gang and Shane Joy from Ryder. We are also looking for another guest judge for the day.

The show will be headlined by local band ‘The World keeps’ and feature a non-alcoholic bar, health information and freebies.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“This is a great opportunity for some up a coming young talent to perform in front of a live audience and get the chance to use the fantastic music studio at the youth hub.

“The hub is a fantastic facility for young people across all of south Leeds so if you’ve not been there, come along to see the show and find out what you’re missing!”

Tickets are available for just £1 for people who want to watch the show and the entry fee for bands is £5.

To take part, or book tickets, people can email , ring (0113) 336 7773 or text 07891 274522

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

Leeds Children’s Mayor presents manifesto to council

Picture caption: "Leeds Children's Mayor Charlotte Williams with Councillor Judith Blake."

The winner of the Leeds children’s mayor competition presented her manifesto ‘Life Cycle of Leeds’ to the city’s key decision makers at this week’s meeting of the full council.

Charlotte Williams, 10, from Rufford Park Primary School in Yeadon won the competition after people across Leeds voted hers as their favourite of the 10 manifestos in the final.

Charlotte attended Wednesday’s full council meeting with three of her school friends and explained her idea to promote cycling to young people across the city, to all 99 councillors.

Each of the manifestos submitted to the competition, which was held throughout October last year, had to be based on one of the 12 wishes for Leeds becoming a Child Friendly City. Charlotte’s manifesto linked to the wish “Children and young people can make safe journeys around the city”. Called, ‘Life Cycle of Leeds’ Charlotte’s manifesto aims to promote cycling to children in Leeds, and was inspired by Paralympian cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.

As well as promoting cycling by improving cycle access to places like schools, leisure centres and the city centre, Charlotte also proposes to provide safe areas to lock-up bikes and ‘borrow-a-bike’ schemes. In her manifesto Charlotte also considered how she could raise money for the project.

Already Charlotte has joined the Lord Mayor of Leeds on stage in front of thousands to switch the Leeds Christmas lights on and has helped with the judging for the first ever Child Friendly Leeds Awards.

Leeds Children’s Mayor, Charlotte Williams said:“It was a little bit scary to read my manifesto in front of so many people, but it was great too!

“I hope that the councillors will listen to my ideas and more people in the city will start cycling.”

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray said:
“The children’s mayor competition is a great way for local government to interact and engage with kids, teaching them the importance of local government and what it is we do.

“Charlotte’s manifesto has really got us all thinking about how we can put her ideas into action.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “Charlotte did a fantastic job presenting her manifesto to all of the councillors – it must have been very daunting!

“As Children’s Mayor, Charlotte will get the chance to be an ambassador for all children in Leeds and help us achieve our aim to be a Child Friendly City, as well as getting involved in lots of events throughout the year.”

The Leeds children’s mayor competition is an extension of the previous ‘Mayor For a Day’ contest and allows the winner to participate in activities throughout their year in tenure as children’s mayor.

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

Leeds women advised not to ignore screenings

Health leaders in Leeds are encouraging more women to go for their cervical screenings, as part of their support for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (CCPW) from 19 - 25 January 2014.

Since the screening programme (also known as smear test) was introduced in the 1980s, the number of cervical cancer cases has decreased by about 7% each year. However, around 20% of women aged between 25 and 64 invited to be screened currently don’t get the test done.

If cervical cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it is usually possible to treat it using surgery. The stage at which cervical cancer is diagnosed is an important factor in determining a woman's outlook and around 750 women still die of cervical cancer in England each year.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“Although most women attend their cervical screening, I’m really keen to help raise awareness that prevention of cervical cancer is still a priority for the one in five who don’t. Screening means any potential problems can be picked up early, which we know means treatment is much more likely to be successful.

“Public knowledge and understanding of cervical screening is generally low and Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is a good time to become more aware of the benefits of screening.”

Because of the success of the NHS screening programme, cervical cancer is now an uncommon type of cancer in the UK. Around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.

Dr Adrian Rees, Clinical Lead for Cancer, Leeds West CCG and Partner based at Yeadon Tarn Medical Practice, said:

“We urge all women to take up their invitation for a cervical screening test which checks the health of the cervix. For many women the test results show that everything is fine, but for around one in 20 women, the test shows changes in cells.

"These changes can be caused by many things and most will not lead to cervical cancer. However, the signs that it may develop can be spotted early on so it can be stopped before it even gets started. Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer”.

It is possible for women of all ages to develop cervical cancer, although the condition mainly affects sexually active women between the ages of 30 and 45. The condition is very rare in women under 25.


Case Study (provided by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust):

Sarah Donaghey (from Leeds):
"I had a clear smear test when I was 25 and within a year I have had a radical hysterectomy due to having a high risk cancer that was not visible on the smear. The cancer I had was rare so chances are few people will have this one but the more common two cancers DO show up on smear test nearly all the time.

The symptom I went to the doctors with was bleeding after sex, this was the only one I had at the time, or what I knew of. The doctors didn’t tell me what it was or even ask me if I had any other symptoms of Cancer, I found out when I was finally admitted to hospital for tests. Be persistent, if you know something is not right then keep going until someone listens.

The other symptoms I had - which I found out later - were frequently needing to go for a wee, tiredness, bruising easily and towards the end, pain in my pelvic area. I have now been given the all clear but this has made a massive impact on my life as I cannot carry children.

Luckily they left my ovaries in so I can have kids but I will have to find a surrogate for this to happen. Having this cancer had a massive impact on my life, it made me really insecure in my relationship and I had nightmares for months. Please make sure you go for your smears it takes 5 minutes and it is not as uncomfortable as you may think, it can literally save your life."

Notes to editors

• All women aged between 25 and 64 are invited for cervical screening. Women aged between 25 and 49 are invited for testing every three years, and women aged between 50 and 64 are invited every five years.
• CCPW is a European wide initiative led by the European Cervical Cancer Association and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and aims to encourage women to take up their test, reducing the risks of late diagnosis and making successful diagnosis and treatment more likely.
• Further NHS information about cervical screening is available here:
• Cervical cancer incidence statistics can be found here:

Issued by:
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

First lamb of the new year arrives at Home Farm

Caption: Home Farm has welcomed its first arrival of the new year.

A popular farm in Leeds has been given a lovely present to wash away the January blues, following the arrival of its first lamb in 2014.

First time mum ‘Templeson Jasmyn’, a rare Norfolk Horn sheep, gave birth to the male lamb at Home Farm on January 13, and the new addition is already making its self completely at home in its new surroundings.

Yet to be named, Home Farm’s latest new star is the first of approximately 150 lambs expected this year to be born between now and May.

A bit hit with families, Home Farm boasts over 400 sheep, pigs, poultry and goats, along with an interesting mixture of recreated workshops and exhibitions, is a great place for the all the family to enjoy.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment said:

"It was fantastic to welcome our first lamb of 2014 to Home Farm, and I am pleased to say that the new arrival is doing extremely well.

"Home Farm is a great place to visit, and with over 400 animals on show along with exhibitions and recreated workshop, there is always something to keep all of the family entertained."

Notes to editors:

Home Farm offers the opportunity to explore life on a real working farm and meet some extraordinary characters. Over 400 sheep, cattle, pigs, poultry and goats are at Temple Newsam, and there is also the chance to enjoy traditional crafts or take part in demonstrations such as butter making and blacksmithing!

Explore the cobbled yards to discover an interesting mixture of recreated workshops, exhibitions and rare breed livestock, all in the original buildings, including the historical Great Barn.

Home Farm is open 10am until 4pm (winter hours) Tuesday to Sunday inclusive. Last entry is 45 minutes before closing.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578


Multi-million pound revamp to create Assistive Technology Hub

Caption: 1. Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council's executive member for adult social care, helps gets work underway.
2. Councillor Ogilvie along with members of the project team as work begins on the new AT Hub.

A disused building in Leeds is set to be transformed into a new £2.1m technology hub that will help keep vulnerable residents safe in their homes.

Work on the new Assistive Technology Hub at New Dock (formerly Clarence Dock) officially began yesterday (January 16).

The council-owned building was vacated by Leeds College of Building in 2011 and the refurbishment project will see £2,170,963 spent on providing a new reception, office area, training space, meeting rooms, and blue badge assessment facilities.

Along with a host of other services, the hub will also house the council’s state-of-the-art Telecare service.

The hi-tech system allows older or vulnerable residents to live safely and independently at home by monitoring them 24 hours a day using sensors and alarms.

Sensors can be put on ceilings, doors and walls or may be worn by the service user in the form of a pendant, watch or belt which will detect falls and emergencies and then alert staff at the hub.

It can also include a bogus caller alert system, which allows vulnerable residents to alert the team if they are concerned about someone who knocks at their door.

The service is also working closely with the NHS on the further development of its Telehealth system, which allows people with long term conditions to have their vital signs monitored remotely, helping them to manage their own health condition.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:
“Living independently in their own homes is something more and more of our older residents, as well as those with physical or learning disabilities, are telling us they want to do for as long as they possibly can.

“We’re keen to do everything we can to ensure they can do that safely, that’s why we want to give them easy access to the latest assistive technology which allows them to adapt their homes and make them a secure, comfortable environment.”

Cllr Ogilvie, who was at the hub to see work get underway this week, added: “This Assistive Technology Hub will be a one-stop centre which will give our residents access to more personalised services as well as greater choice and control. This is another great example of the council giving disused buildings a new lease of life and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished hub later this year.”

The Assistive Technology Hub, which is due to be completed this autumn, will also be the new base for Leeds Community Equipment Service which provides equipment for daily living and nursing needs to people at home which is provided by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

Last year 80,000 items were provided and 57,000 collected for re-use.

The new building will provide warehousing, cleaning and refurbishment of the equipment so that the service can continue to improve its response to people in Leeds.

The cost of the refurbishment has been covered by a Department of Health Community Capacity Grant, allocated to the project by the council’s executive board.


- Further images are available on request.

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