Coronavirus Third Sector Bulletin: Edition 26


Welcome to our latest bulletin, created jointly by local NHS and council partners to provide an overview of the key messages local people need to know. Please help us get these important messages out, by sharing them through your own communication channels. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by writing them in a way that you can simply copy and paste into your own channels. The next edition will be Wednesday 25 November.

In this edition:

  • What does the new ‘lockdown’ mean and what are you still able to do
  • Support for people experiencing mental distress
  • Accessing and protecting your NHS.
  • COVID-19 Testing support for children
  • The latest advice for clinically extremely vulnerable
  • World Diabetes Day
  • Drink Coach – Alcohol awareness Week

We hope you, and the communities you work with, find it an interesting and useful resource.

What does the new ‘lockdown’ mean and what can you still do?
As you will know COVID-19 cases and deaths have continued to rise across the country and on Thursday 5 November, England entered another lockdown until 2 December. It is important to look after both your physical and mental health and wellbeing and although the key message is once again stay at home if you can, it is ok to leave home for the reasons below.
Please make sure you keep safe and follow guidance on the new national restrictions. When out remember hands, face and space.
Keeping well at home imageWe know it is difficult to be in another lockdown, but we have produced this useful booklet aimed at helping you Keep Well at Home.

If you need more targeted support, Active Leeds are accepting referrals to deliver individualised activities for people with low mobility through alternative means, such as phone calls and digital methods.

Support for people who are experiencing mental distress.
This is a difficult time for everyone and many of us may be struggling more than usual and feeling anxious. When we feel low it can be daunting to ask for help but try to talk to someone you trust, such as a good friend or relative. There are also many useful resources and services available to offer support or advice.

Improving access to psychological therapiesImproving Access to Psychological Therapies - this Leeds programme is making talking therapies more widely available to anyone who needs them. These therapies include guided self-help, stress and mood management and one-to-one Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The service is available for anyone aged 17 and over. There is self-help  advice available on how you can look after yourself, and mange physical conditions, anxiety and sleep.

The Leeds Directory provides a comprehensive directory of emotional wellbeing services in Leeds. You will also find on the website other useful local services to help you maintain an independent life.

If you just want someone to listen to how you are feeling call the Samaritans on 116 123, who work around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Mindmate imageFor younger people who need mental health support, the best place to start is on the MindMate website, which is a dedicated mental health and emotional wellbeing website in Leeds for young people, parents and professionals who work with young people. It offers tips and tools to support self-help and signposting to services in Leeds. You can make an online referral or telephone referral on 0300 555 0324 during office hours if you are a Young people (5-17 years), parent or professional.
The Calm Harm app is also useful for support of young people who self-harm. The app can help resist or manage the urge to self-harm and it has a number of activities including breathing techniques to help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. However if you need additional support and access self-harm services, please visit ‘What’s in Leeds for me?

Accessing and protecting your NHSNHS lozenge
Your NHS is working hard to maintain as wide a range of services as possible despite increased demands from COVID-19. But you could do your bit to help by making sure you choose the right service for you when you become ill or injured. This will ensure you access the right support at the right time, whilst also reducing demand on accident and emergency departments.

Please note, some services have changed as a result of COVID-19, for example pharmacies have limits on the number of people in store at once, and GPs will offer your initial appointment over the telephone or by video consultation. But these NHS is still here for you, and you should seek support for limb-threatening illnesses and injuries. It’s also important that you seek health advice and support from your GP should you be worried any changes in your body. For example any cancer symptoms such as lump in your breast, changes in bowel habits, blood in your pee or poo, unexplained weight loss, moles that appear to change or cough that you’ve had for three weeks or more.

When using healthcare services we all have a duty to protect ourselves, other patients and staff. Wearing a face covering, arriving on time, coming by yourself, cleaning your hands, and following instructions which are available at the entrance of every healthcare facility are the key ways we can all stay safe.

For less urgent treatment you may experience a delay. We know this will be difficult if you are affected, but we are working hard to treat Covid-19 patients, and people with the biggest clinical urgencies, which maintaining Covid-secure environments. If you have been affected and want more information on delayed treatments, visit our dedicated webpage.
In these times of COVID-19, the NHS in Leeds has one ask for all local people: help us by being patient, being kind to our staff, and keep safe when out and about.

Covid 19 testing information for childrenCOVID-19 Testing support for children

If you are taking a child for a Covid-19 test you may find this leaflet useful.

A leaflet is now available to support parents with taking their children for a COVID-19 test. The leaflet includes lots of helpful tips on how to support children to stay calm and enable them to understand what is happening and why.

Latest advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people
Latest adviceIf you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 you should have received a letter from the Government explaining the latest advice. In summary, the advice is to not go to your workplace (if you can’t work from home), school, or the shops.
Staying home and reducing the amount of people you are in close contact with remains the most effective way of lowering your chances of contracting the virus. However, if you take care to follow the guidance, you can continue to meet with people socially in your support bubble; or get help and assistance from family or friends within your care bubble; and you go outdoors every day to exercise in whatever way suits you.

The key places to avoid are indoor spaces where lots of people will be without protective equipment. This means shops, pharmacies, buses, trains, some workplaces, and education settings including schools are all higher risk places at the moment. The virus circulates more easily in these indoor places, as they are traditionally more crowded, therefore there is a higher risk of you coming into contact with somebody who has the virus.

We have a dedicated shielding web page where you can find the latest information, as well as the support that is available to people in the clinically extremely vulnerable group.

World Diabetes Day
Diabetes day imageWorld Diabetes Day takes place every year on 14 November. It’s a great opportunity for us all along with people with diabetes, to unite and raise awareness of diabetes. This year the campaign focuses on the role of nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes. There are activities planned to support the campaign, and lots of ways you can help. Here are some ideas:

  • Promote the blue circle as the global symbol of diabetes, for example by exercising in blue, using a blue circle as your profile picture on Facebook or putting it in your window
  • Shine a blue light –  on your home, office, building or landmark
  • Share messages on your social media
  • Take the ‘Diabetes type 2 know your risk’ online test and promote with your family and friends
  • Organise a themed online activity or social media campaign with your family or work colleagues
  • Tweet photos and messages using @WHYPartnership#WorldDiabetesDay, #NursesMakeThe #Difference

Findings show that people are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 if they have type 2 diabetes so raising awareness is more important than ever.

Launch of Drink Coach to support Alcohol Awareness Week 16-24 November
If you are worried about your drinking or are interested in cutting down, there are now free online alcohol test and coaching sessions for Leeds. The DrinkCoach Alcohol Test is a quick and confidential way for you to check out how risky your drinking is. Taking the test if appropriate, gives access to information on local face-to-face support options such as Forward Leeds or online coaching.

Sessions are confidential and convenient with evening and weekend slots. Leeds residents can have up to six free sessions with a DrinkCoach to help them reduce their drinking.

woman on laptopThe DrinkCoach App is available to all Leeds residents and is free to download and use. It is a great tool to help track your drinking and help make changes if you want to. The App contains useful features such as unit, calorie and cost calculators, goal setting, location based reminders, hangover diary and share functions. To take the two minute test visit

Telephone ringingUseful Contacts

  • Leeds Directory is the council’s online source of information about a range of local community care and support services, activities and events. During the COVID-19 pandemic the directory provides an important link to essential services, such as trades that can help with urgent repairs in the home to keep residents safe and well. Please take a look at the easy-to-use website, try it out and spread the word.
  • Call the Leeds City Council helpline on 0113 378 1877 if you're self-isolating and don't have friends or family nearby who can help. Our volunteers can help you with shopping, transport to medical appointments, or a call to check how you are.
  • Call NHS 111 if you need medical help but it’s not an emergency. A trained advisor will help you access the best service to meet your need. You can also go online
  • MindWell has a coronavirus information hub with the latest information and resources to help people in Leeds take care of their mental health and is at this time. It’s also helpful if you’re concerned about someone or if you’re a professional supporting others.
  • MindMate is a trusted Leeds-based website specifically for children and young people, their families and the professionals who support them.
  • Leeds Domestic Violence Service helpline on 0113 246 0401. If calling is unsafe, a web-chat service is now being offered from Monday-Friday between 1pm-3pm via If you’re in immediate danger, call 999 (press 55 after the emergency number if you’re in danger and unable to speak).
  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Bereavement Support Line: FREEPHONE 0808 196 3833, and a live chat function is available on the website. The service is available 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm.
Copyright © 2020 Healthwatch Leeds, All rights reserved.

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