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Leeds community groups praised in new report

A new report has praised grassroots community groups in Leeds for the vital support they have provided for older people during the pandemic.

The report, jointly compiled by the Centre for Ageing Better charitable foundation and Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, highlights how Leeds Neighbourhood Networks have acted as a lifeline for older people in the city over the last nine months.

The ‘key findings’ section of the report shows that the Leeds Neighbourhood Networks were able to respond quickly to the challenges posed by lockdown and other COVID-19 restrictions, assisting vulnerable and isolated older people by doing everything from shopping to organising hot meal deliveries and picking up medicine.

Then, after the first national lockdown began to ease over the summer, they created opportunities for older people to enjoy more face-to-face contact while following social distancing rules. Notable examples of the work carried out during this period included the relaunch of an allotment project and the setting up of a mobile library service.

Funded by Leeds City Council and Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, the Leeds Neighbourhood Networks are a group of 34 voluntary organisations that cover every part of the city, delivering services designed to help older people live independent lives and play active parts in their local communities.

The Centre for Ageing Better report says the value of these organisations has been underlined by their important role in the city-wide response to the Covid-19.

‘The Leeds Neighbourhood Networks are a long-term success story for our city, so it’s heartening to see the work done by staff and volunteers being recognised in this way,’ said executive member for health, wellbeing and adults, Cllr Rebecca Charlwood.

‘Protecting and supporting older people has been a priority for the council throughout the pandemic and the tireless efforts of all those involved with the neighbourhood groups have contributed enormously to that.

‘Their local knowledge and community contacts mean they have been perfectly placed to reach out and help our older residents cope with the difficulties that this year has brought.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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