Leeds Neighbourliness Circular – A Timely Response to the Cold Spell?

I received this circular email on 13 January through the Leeds Third Sector Mailing Lists after snow had been on the ground for 4 weeks.

Dear All,

Current cold and icy conditions: A call for help to staff, friends and the community

As the cold and icy conditions continue to affect the country, please consider the impact of the wintry conditions and plunging temperatures on those more vulnerable to its impact than yourself. This might include those less able to get out and about, such as elderly neighbours, or people who are living alone or on low incomes, and who may be at risk.

During this sustained cold spell, we would ask that you consider checking that neighbours, friends or family are safe and warm and are not left without vital practical help. The icy conditions may mean that you can help someone by running errands, helping pick up a few provisions when you nip to the shops or simply providing a friendly voice. Ask the basics, such as:

  • Are they keeping warm?
  • Are they eating at least one hot meal a day?
  • Are they keeping as active as possible?
  • Are they keeping in contact with family, friends or other neighbours?
  • Do they need anything or can you help in any way?
  • Is there anyone in your neighbourhood that might need your support?

This year is Leeds ‘Year of the Volunteer’ and there is probably no better start for those who aren’t sure how they might do something for their own community than this.

If you have genuine concerns for a neighbour, relative or friend then please check on them. It might be that they need more than you feel able to provide and they may ask you to contact the appropriate local public services – this may be the Council (eg. Social Care, Housing or Benefits), Voluntary Organisations or Health Services. They are all in the front of the Phone Book and the numbers do change depending on where you live.

Further advice on keeping safe and warm is available online at a variety of locations including such sites as:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/

http://www.helptheaged.org.uk/

http://www.nhs.uk/

The BBC News website is also providing a good summary of advice covering a broad range of related issues relevant to all of us.

Please forward this email onto colleagues, friends and family whether they live in Leeds or not. You might end up helping someone who is desperate and in need of your support.

Although the weather is easing at present, conditions are still treacherous underfoot and who knows what weather the next few months may bring.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

XXXXXX

Principal Emergency Planning Officer

Resilience Team

3rd Floor West, Civic Hall

Leeds LS1 1UR

I have my own thoughts on the timeliness, content and assumptions that lie behind such a circular.

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