So as we are in the final quarter of the Community Development part of the Health Grant for South & East Leeds, I am feeling a little reflective.

I have learnt so much about the communities I have worked with.

From the benefits of stopping the dog walkers in Aberford, to understanding how supporting the volunteers of St Mary’s church in Kippax could lead to a building a growing support group for carers and isolated people.

How understanding what others are offering Carers within a community can lead to new opportunities for partnership working.  My favourite of all…. Knowing when the mobile chip van stops in the village, trust me you really have a captive audience in a village when they are waiting for their cod and chips.

So as the end of the March will be here in no time at all we still have Carers to reach and opportunities to explore.

This week alone sees the launch of two new pilots.

Wednesday 25th January 2017 will be the first of a 5 session pilot in partnership with ‘Dementia Friendly
. By working together we are able to offer support for both Carers and the person they care for within their local community. If you are living or working in the area and know someone that would benefit from more support to look after someone with dementia please come along or share the good news. We will be meeting at The Black Bull, 15 Commercial Road, Rothwell, LS26 0AX from 10.30-12.00hrs.

Thursday 26th January will see the first ‘The Catch Up Lunch Club’ take place at Parlington House in Aberford. This has formed as a direct outcome of the monthly ‘Catch-Up Coffee & Cake’ events we have hosted at Aberford Village Hall. Working with a group of residents they decided that the group should evolve so residents can have more time to support each other.  So working with volunteers and with the support of Aberford Almshouse Trust and Aberford Parish Council, we are going to give it a go and see how successful the lunch club is.

For me it’s always a bit of a nail biting moment on the run up to new events. Will people attend, will they get what they want or need from coming along, will the volunteers giving up their time feel supported enough to come back again. Thankfully over the last 9 months I haven’t had one event where I have been sat on my own, having to force feed myself a Victoria sponge. So something must have worked.