Category Archives: Latest News

Scam Alerts: 15 June 2020

Here’s a selection of the latest scams circulating in West Yorkshire and beyond.

Seafood sellers in Leeds
Traders in Leeds reported to be selling fish & seafood on the doorstep, using high pressure sales tactics to target consumers who are isolating due to covid-19 . They are reported to have a mobile card machine to take payment at the door. However, through various means, they overcharge the consumer- for example entering £449.00 in to the card machine instead of £49.00, through distraction techniques. The consumer often doesn’t realise until a later date, getting a nasty shock when they check their bank statement.
 
Fake NHS websites
Fraudsters have set up fake websites, impersonating the NHS website. The websites contain numerous links that claim to offer updates about COVID-19. But clicking on the links prompts the user to download and save a file called COVID19.exe. This file contains information stealing malware.

NHS Test and Trace Service
There are still reports of scam callers claiming to be from NHS Test and Trace service asking for payment details in order to purchase a test kit. The NHS will not ask you to pay for a test kit and will not ask for your bank account details. Please check the Government website for further guidance.

 Income Tax scams
Reports of pre-recorded scam messages telling consumers that there is a fraudulent claim against their Income Tax. The message encourages the call recipient to call a premium rate telephone number. Reports of fraudulent websites selling face masks and coverings, charging customers, but not delivering the goods.
Report Scams:
Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040

General Guidance
Report complaints to Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133
New mailbox to deal with reports of Covid-19 Scams in West Yorkshire: Covid19.Scams@wyjs.org.uk

 
YOUR DOORSTEP YOUR DECISION
If you feel pressured, ask the person to leave.
 
NO SNAP DECISIONS
Take time to talk to someone you trust before you make any decisions.
 
FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE BEST
Support from trusted friends, family or neighbours is ideal. Be vigilant for strangers offering services at the door that may want to take
advantage.

 

Active yoga may relieve depression symptoms

New research suggests that physically active yoga can help ease depressive symptoms for people with a mental health diagnosis.

A study published in Medical News Today has found that people with some mental health diagnoses who regularly engage in physically active yoga are likely to have fewer depressive symptoms than those who practice less often or engage in other forms of intervention.

The research, first published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, brings together the findings of a variety of previous studies and outlines the value that further research on the relationship between yoga and mental health issues would bring.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and according to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression “causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.”

Doctors often encourage people with depression to take part in physical activity to prevent the adverse physical health effects of inactivity, such as cardiovascular disease. 

In this context, physically active yoga may play a valuable role. There is a range of different types of yoga, but the practice typically combines physical movement, breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness.

Combined with the benefits of physical activity for mental health issues, yoga may provide numerous benefits for people experiencing symptoms of depression.

There are increasing numbers of yoga teachers and classes in the Calderdale area, some of whom have been offering online instruction.  With the easing of lockdown restrictions allowing up to six people to meet outdoors, it is possible that yoga classes and/or one to one yoga instruction will soon be possible in Calderdale. 

Keep an eye on the Calderdale Council website for updates as lockdown advice changes. 

10 minute NHS and Active Calderdale workouts

Keep active and stay healthy with these 10 minute workouts from Active Calderdale. 

If you need some ideas and inspiration there are some 10 minute workouts from NHS and loads of ideas on the Active Calderdale Staying Active page for everyone, some 10 minutes and lots longer.

Marie the Active Workforce Lead, has done a couple of 10 minute videos:

https://youtu.be/aHlwCBZ4Ea8  Staircase workout

https://youtu.be/HyRyi8XRAD8     No equipment arms and legs easy workout.

Just 10 minutes a day can help brighten your mood, help with your circulation and overall health. It doesn’t take long, it won’t interrupt your day.

So there really is no excuse!!

Have fun, stay active, stay healthy!

Age UK sounds warning on malnutrition in older people

Age UK and the Malnutrition Task Force have warned that the recent increases in isolation and loneliness, combined with restricted access to shopping and reduction in essential care and support could leave many more older people malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.

This stark warning highlights the need for renewed efforts to identify and support older people who are at significant risk of malnutrition in the community.

There are nearly 9 million people over the age of 70 in the UK advised to ‘strictly adhere’ to the social distancing rules, and 1.28 million people of all ages being told to shield and not leave the house at all so they cannot shop for essential food and products for themselves.

Becoming malnourished can have serious health implications for older people. It increases the risk of infection, worsens any existing long-term conditions and there’s a greater risk of falls. Being malnourished also makes it harder for people to recover from an episode of ill health, a particular concern during this coronavirus pandemic.

Despite major efforts across public and voluntary sector and amongst local communities, Age UK and the Malnutrition Task Force are receiving a growing number of reports that older people are going without the food and support they need to stay well during the outbreak.

Some of these harrowing issues include:

  • older people being discharged from hospital with no food or support in place,
  • people struggling to access social care support or manage without the informal help usually available from family and friends,
  • and stress and anxiety about coping with on-going health and care needs causing people to reduce their intake of food and drink. 

Age UK’s Information & Advice line is also receiving more calls from older people who are very worried about the virus, and in some cases are too anxious to leave the house for essential supplies. Many of these people seem to be falling between-the-cracks of the different support schemes operating in local areas.

Read the article in full on the Age UK website.

Access our local food delivery directory here.

Get access to Calderdale Council’s volunteer service.

Gov’t Advice: Face coverings & when to use them

The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. This advice comes from the Department of Health and Social Care 

Face Covering Usage – A Quick Guide

  • People who use public transport or visit shops should consider covering their mouth and nose
  • Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing which remain the most important actions
  • Public urged not to buy medical grade masks so they can be saved for frontline health and care workers.
  • Public recommended to make their own face coverings at home
  • Face Coverings don’t need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices and retail.
  • Face Coverings don’t need to be worn by those who may find them difficult to wear, such as children under two or children who cannot use them without assistance
  • Face Coverings don’t need to be worn by those who may have problems breathing while wearing them
  • Face Coverings do not remove the need to self-isolate if you have symptoms
  • How to make Face Coverings – step-by-step guide

Face Covering Usage – Detail

The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces where you may be more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, the government announced on 11 May 2020. After careful consideration of the latest scientific evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the government confirmed face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances.

Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are suffering from coronavirus but not showing symptoms. People with coronavirus symptoms, as well as members of their household, should continue to follow the advice to self-isolate. They may be beneficial in places where it is hard to follow social distancing measures. This applies when using public transport, such as trains, buses and metro systems, or when visiting shops.

They do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices and retail, by those who may find them difficult to wear, such as children under two or primary aged children who cannot use them without assistance, or those who may have problems breathing while wearing a face covering.

The public is being strongly urged not to purchase surgical masks or respirators. These are prioritised for healthcare workers working in more high-risk environments where the risk is greatest.

Instead the public is encouraged to make face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items that many will already own. Read the guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer said:

Wearing a face covering is an added precaution that may have some benefit in reducing the likelihood that a person with the infection passes it on.

The most effective means of preventing the spread of this virus remains following social distancing rules and washing your hands regularly. It does not remove the need to self-isolate if you have symptoms.

More Background on Face Covering Usage

COVID-19 can be spread directly by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces by touch and subsequently from touching the face. That is why hand hygiene is so important in controlling the infection.

Evidence shows a face covering can help in reducing the spread of droplets and therefore potentially infecting others, and could help to reduce the spread of infection as lockdown measures start to be lifted. It is important people refrain from touching their face covering when wearing it, where possible, to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus.

Government will not be supplying face coverings centrally as at home items and fabrics readily available on the market can be used, but it is important to wash them after every use.

Research from the WHO showed that where masks were recommended for prolonged periods of time, some wearers failed to maintain good handwashing practices or follow social distancing policies, putting others at risk. As England has demonstrated strong adherence to social distancing, the government is confident face coverings can be recommended as an added precaution in certain environments rather than an essential part of social distancing policies.

For workers in various sectors, or in public transport, the government is advising they continue to follow the advice of their employers and make sensible workplace adjustments. Further guidance on safer workplaces and on transport will be published shortly.

Government has produced guidance for employees and in it they emphasise and reassure employers that for the majority the most effective way they can ensure that their employees are safe at work is to make sensible workplace adjustments, including erecting perspex screens which many supermarkets have already introduced.

Face coverings do not need to be worn in schools.

How to make face coverings

Macular Society publish newsletter

Read on to hear what has been happening at the Macular society and how people are still visiting their clinics.  A link to their full newsletter is at the foot of the page.

 

Welcome to the Macular Society’s e-newsletter. Our thoughts remain with you and your family as we learn more about what the next few months may hold for us all. In these uncertain times, we remain fully focused on finding a cure for macular disease and making sure we are here if you need us. Inevitably a lot of our research projects are on hold at present, but that does not mean we have stopped. Indeed, this update includes some exciting news about one of our completed projects. We have also recently opened applications for our latest round of research grants, increasing our largest grant to £250,000. None of this work would be possible without your support and we are so grateful to you. Together we will beat Macular Disease.

While many people are understandably nervous about attending their eye clinic at the moment amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, we are hearing nothing but positive things from those who are still receiving injections. One of our members has shared her story.

 

Coping with loneliness: Tips to help you

Here are three simple actions for anyone feeling lonely and three actions for people wanting to help

If you are lonely you can:

  • Keep in touch with friends, family and neighbours
  • Ask for help if you need shopping, medicine or are feeling lonely
  • Set a routine with online activities, regular tasks or by volunteering

If you are worried about someone who is lonely:

  • Phone a friend or family member you think may be lonely
  • Smile, wave or chat from a safe distance with a neighbour
  • Help out through volunteering by picking up food, medicine or by offering regular conversation to someone living alone

Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during lockdown

The Government has launched a major effort to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak and period of social distancing. Below are the headline details of the new programme:

  • New public campaign launched by Culture Secretary to get people talking openly about loneliness
  • Oliver Dowden announces loneliness to be a priority category of £750 million charity funding package
  • Guaranteed £5 million boost for national loneliness organisations leading the charge
  • Government publishes guidance on supporting yourself and others safely
  • Loneliness charities including Age UK will be supported to work with NHS Volunteer Responders in their communities
  • Network of high-profile charities, businesses and public figures to join ‘Tackling Loneliness Network’ formed by Government to help connect groups at risk of isolation

Lets Talk Loneliness logo

Led by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the plan will aim to ensure that, for people of all ages and backgrounds, staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness. The latest #Let’sTalkLoneliness public campaign has been rolled out to get people talking openly about loneliness, which includes new public guidance offering useful tips and advice on what to do to look after yourself and others safely.

The campaign, initially launched last year, is being supported by famous faces across social media including TV presenter Angellica Bell and Karen Gibson, founder of The Kingdom Choir. More information can be found at https://letstalkloneliness.co.uk/

In a wide ranging cross-Government and cross-sector plan, Dowden has also announced that:

  • Smaller, community-based organisations in England helping people to stay connected in local communities will benefit from being a priority category of the £750 million package of support for charities announced by the Chancellor on 8 April.
  • National loneliness organisations will be allocated a guaranteed £5 million worth of funding to continue and adapt their critical work at this time.
  • As part of the national effort, loneliness charities including Age UK will be supported to work with NHS Volunteer Responders in their communities.

In collaboration with the Connection Coalition, organised by Jo Cox Foundation, the Government has also convened a network of high-profile charities, businesses, organisations and public figures. The group will explore ways to bring people together to build strong community spirit, with a focus on groups at particular risk of loneliness, and will work to continue these initiatives in the future.

Chaired by Minister for Loneliness Baroness Barran, the ‘Tackling Loneliness Network’ includes the BBC, Premier League, Facebook, ITV, British Red Cross, Jo Cox Foundation, Vodafone, Zurich, Nationwide Building Society, Campaign to End Loneliness, Aviva, Sports and Recreation Alliance, English Football League, JC Decaux UK, Samaritans, Age UK, Arts Council England, Co-op Foundation, The Cares Family, University College London, Independent Age, Libraries Connected, Sense, Manchester Museum, Nesta Challenges and Seema Kennedy, former Co-Chair of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.

The moves come after the Culture Secretary chaired a virtual summit on Friday (17 April) with a number of loneliness charities including the Jo Cox Foundation, British Red Cross, Campaign to End Loneliness, Co-op Foundation, Age UK, The Cares Family, Mind, Sense and Samaritans, who discussed how to ensure tackling loneliness is a key priority during the pandemic.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Coronavirus and social distancing has forced all of us to look loneliness in the eye. So recognising the signs and tackling the stigma has never been more important.

We’re launching this plan now to help ensure no one needs to feel lonely in the weeks ahead. It will help everyone understand the role they can play in looking after each other, and empower our expert charities and volunteers to reach more vulnerable people.

Zoë Abrams, British Red Cross executive director and Loneliness Action Group co-chair said:

It has never been more important that we all pull together to tackle loneliness by building on the sense of community and connectedness that has been so inspiring to see in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Today’s announcement of investment in this area is critical to help keep funding services and activities that provide a vital lifeline to those who feel lonely and isolated at this time.

Combined with robust policies and practical action across government departments, this should help maintain the momentum on implementing the government’s loneliness strategy and ensure that, even whilst this virus keeps us apart, we are making sure that kindness can keep us together”.

Catherine Anderson, CEO of The Jo Cox Foundation said:

The priority given to loneliness and social isolation at this time is extremely welcome. Maintaining social connection at a time of physical distancing is vitally important. And when we eventually come out of this crisis the country will emerge stronger and healthier if we act now to establish a legacy of stronger connections that are maintained in the future. The Jo Cox Foundation, along with our many partner organisations in the Connection Coalition, are investing much time and energy in ensuring this happens and we’re delighted to be playing a role alongside the government in this important work.

In very different times, Jo correctly identified two essential truths that are now self-evident. Firstly, that social isolation and loneliness do not discriminate. Secondly, that we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.

Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans, said:

Loneliness is a deeply personal experience which means different things to people, often affecting them in different ways. Whilst suicide is rarely caused by a single factor, we know that there can be a connection between loneliness and suicidal thoughts for some people, so this investment to tackle loneliness is critical during this difficult time. Whilst physical isolation is a necessary outcome of the lockdown restrictions, loneliness doesn’t have to be if we work together to look after each other.

New Report from Independent Age.  In Focus: Experiences of older age in England

Published on 16 April, this project set out to explore the reality of life for older people whose voices can be less often heard in debates about ageing, and to find out what is important for people in this age group. It is a new piece of research, which took place in 2019, using surveys and an “expert” group of older people to examine life for older people in England through the lenses of health and wellbeing, social connections, and financial security.

Key themes are highlighted in the report are:

  • Older people aren’t seen as individuals and ageist assumptions persist
  • They can find it difficult to navigate changes and access support
  • The complexity of systems and processes can be overwhelming
  • Opportunities for social contact can be fragile and hindered by limited by public transport
  • Many are actively contributing to society and remaining resilient.

This research will resonate with many older people. Independent Age plan to draw on the issues identified to strengthen their policy work to drive change for older people.

You can download the full report and other factsheets from the Independent Age website.

NEWS: Mediterranean diet reduces risk of cognitive impairment

A new study suggests that following a Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and slow the rate of cognitive decline at a population level.

Medical News Today has reported on the research, which features in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The authors of the new study wanted to explore the possible role of the diet in combatting dementia within a population. In particular, they wanted to see what effect a Mediterranean diet might have on relative cognition.

According to a 2017 article in the journal Nutrition Today, research has shown the Mediterranean diet to have a variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, breast and bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and neurodegenerative diseases.

It was the relationship between this last health issue and the Mediterranean diet that the authors of the present study wanted to look at in more detail.

Reduced risk of cognitive impairment

The authors found that stricter adherence to a Mediterranean diet resulted in a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and a higher numerical result in cognitive functioning scores. In particular, the authors found that consumption of fish was particularly associated with reduced risk of cognitive impairment, as well as slower general cognitive decline.

The differences in cognition were relatively small, which means that at an individual level, they are unlikely to be noticeable. However, the results could make more of a difference at a population level.

As the authors note, the study did have some limitations. While they accounted for some factors that may have affected the results, such as each participant’s relative level of education, the team did not account for some other confounding factors.

For example, it could be that people who follow a Mediterranean diet are generally more physically active, which can significantly reduce the risk of various major health issues.

Nonetheless, the research contributes to a growing body of evidence that a Mediterranean diet can make a significant difference to the general health of a population.

Read the full article here.

NEWS: Thank You! – Community Foundation for Calderdale

Thank you to the Community Foundation for Calderdale who have awarded Calderdale Forum 50 Plus with a grant from their NET Community Resilience Fund.

The grant will specifically help us to communicate more frequently and effectively with our members and older people throughout Calderdale during the Coronavirus outbreak.

We’d particularly like to thank Rob Billson, the grants manager, for helping guide us through the application process and also the fund’s donors, who have supported our work and the work of many other charities and volunteer organisations.

INFO: Calderdale Council Newsletter

Here’s the most recent newsletter from Calderdale Council, covering a number of topical issues.

Message from the Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift
“As we all adjust to the changes in our daily lives as a result of COVID-19, it’s important that as well as looking after the physical health of ourselves and those around us, we also look after our mental wellbeing.“During these difficult times it can be easy to become overwhelmed, either by our own situations or the sheer quantity of information that is being communicated. This week, we’ve been raising awareness of the support available to minimise the mental health impacts of COVID-19. I recommend that you take a look at our press release: Looking after your mental health, which has some great advice to help people during this difficult time.

“This week has also seen further changes to a number of our services and I’d like to thank the many staff who have been working around the clock to ensure that we can maintain the delivery of vital and highly-valued key services.

“Calderdale’s kindness and outstanding partnership work continue to shine through this challenging time and we’ve been sharing examples on social media of staff from the Council and our partners who are on the front line, helping some of our most vulnerable residents. If you don’t already, make sure you follow @Calderdale on twitter and our Facebook pages for the latest news and updates.

“As always, we’ll continue to do all we can to support residents through these difficult times. Below are some of the key updates from this week. I also recommend that you visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus for up-to-date news and advice regarding COVID-19. Please continue to help us, support the NHS and save lives by staying at home. We’re all in this together.”

Keeping our communities safe during lockdown
Calderdale Council and West Yorkshire Police are working together to look after Calderdale’s communities and ensure people understand the national guidance so that everyone can play their part in protecting each other.
During their usual patrols (taking into account social distancing), the Council’s community safety wardens and youth offending team, and Police officers are engaging with people in public areas, helping them to understand what they should be doing and why it’s so important. They’re out and about giving a reassuring presence at this difficult time. To find out more about how we’re working together to ensure that people, businesses and premises are complying with the national guidance, visit Keeping our communities safe during lockdown
Changes to funeral services in Calderdale
Following further, stricter guidance from Government, Calderdale Council has taken the difficult decision to make additional changes to funeral services.
From Monday 6 April, any new bookings taken for both cremations and burials will be subject to further restrictions. Visit COVID-19 – Changes to funeral services in Calderdalefor more information.
Supporting the most vulnerable together
Vulnerable people in Calderdale are being supported to get the food they need during the COVID-19 outbreak, through food parcels, food banks and free school meals. Find out more at Vulnerable people supported to get the food they need.
The most vulnerable residents will receive food parcels, containing essential items such as pasta, fruit, tinned goods and toilet rolls. These are being distributed this week thanks to joint working between the Council and West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.
Calderdale Council, its partner organisations, volunteers, Councillors and communities all around the borough are pulling together to help people through this national emergency. Find out more at Supporting the most vulnerable together
Supporting Calderdale businesses to minimise the impact of COVID-19
Calderdale businesses are encouraged to register their details with the Council in order to receive the relevant COVID-19 support grants.
Recent government announcements have confirmed a package of measures to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on businesses.
This includes small business grant funding of £10,000 and a grant of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, subject to qualifying criteria.
Forms are now live on the Council’s website for businesses to provide information to ensure eligibility and also allow payments to be made to the correct bank accounts. Find out more at Supporting Calderdale businesses to minimise the impact of COVID-19