CINAGE Filmmaking for Active Ageing – New Course Announced

“It’s been absolutely amazing because I’ve done things that I didn’t realise I could do… It’s been a journey. I’ve never, ever done anything like this before. I’ve been so hands-on in it… it’s broadened my horizons”
CINAGE participant 2016

Filmmaking for Active Ageing is a course for people of 60 years and over who want the opportunity to make films that tell their story. From April to November 2017, you will attend regular Tuesday evening workshops – and some weekend workshops – at Leeds Beckett University’s Northern Film School, on screenwriting, directing, producing and editing, you will watch and discuss films, and you will talk about your experience of ageing.

In mid July you will take part in a two week long production period, where you will collaborate with professionals and Northern Film School students, with state of the art equipment, in the making of a short film. Then, from

September through November you will be working on editing the picture, music and sound until you reach a final version which will be screened at the Hyde Park Picture House in early December.

Contact Dave Turner on 0113 812 3330 or email for more information.

‘It has opened up a new page in the book of my life really, a new page’
CINAGE Participant 2016

Additionally we are hosting a FREE CINAGE screening/participant Q&A at the idyllic Ilkley Cinema on 27.02.2017. Information about that free event can be found via following URL booking link

If you need any further information please contact David Turner


The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

By Cherril Cliff, Vice-Chair Leeds Older People’s Forum.                  

I was pleased to accept an invitation from Rachel Reeves MP, to attend the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness Round Table Event in Bramley on 2nd February 2017.

The meeting was very well attended, with representatives from around Leeds who are working to support lonely people of all ages.

Rachel Reeves MP talked about the tragic death of Jo Cox in 2016 and her passion to try and address the scourge of loneliness in modern times. Rachel has been honoured to pick up the mantel and take this important issue forward.

All the lonely people

According to the Red Cross, there are 9 million lonely older people in the UK and this is a shocking statistic. The plan is to talk to groups and individuals that work with lonely people and produce a working manifesto for Government.

The Commission will also mobilise the public to help themselves – educating people on how they can become the remedy – whether it be talking to a neighbour, visiting an old friend, or just making time for the people they meet.

The Commission will also target businesses and employer organisations and look at what action Local and National Government can take, to combat loneliness.

The next speaker was Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Executive Member (Leeds City Council) for Adult Social Care, Health and Well-Being.  She explained that there are approximately 37,000 lonely older people in Leeds and the reasons can be personal, private and bereavement.

What’s being done in Leeds?

However, Leeds is lucky to have 37 Neighbourhood Networks and they currently support 21,000 older people and cover the entire city. Councillor Charlwood also spoke about the excellent work being undertaken by Leeds Older People’s Forum ‘Time to Shine’ work, funded by The Big Lottery Fund.

In addition work is taking place in schools, to support younger people.  Leeds City Council is pleased to be working with Jo Cox’s Loneliness Commission.

The meeting then received 3 short presentations.

Lee Ingham, Bramley Elderly Action, talked about different aspects of loneliness and including emotional loneliness.  He gave a bitter sweet case study, of a very lonely older lady that his charity has reached out to, with practical support.

Emily Georghiou, Age UK, explained her organisation’s work with lonely older people and the links with Leeds and the Time to Talk initiative, with the ‘No one should have no One’ ethos.

Her colleague, Heather O’Donnell, from Age UK Leeds, told the meeting about a very good hospital initiative they are involved with and, with Time to Shine funding, they can offer support at home, to people recently discharged from hospital.

Emily Axel, Time to Shine, gave a short, engaging presentation, explaining that 33 projects in Leeds are receiving funding, with the express intention of tackling loneliness and social isolation.  They are learning what is effective, via  thorough evaluation and working with small local groups.

Questions & Answers

The final part of the meeting was opened up for questions and answers and some very interesting contributions, highlighting innovative work with lonely people in Leeds and some of the challenges of identifying those who are in need of support and the perennial problem of funding.

Next steps

Rachel Reeves MP closed the meeting with thanks to those in attendance and that this is just the start of this important ‘call to action.’ She said that 13 partner organisations have already signed up to the Loneliness Commission and other groups can affiliate and have imput in the future.

Over the coming months ‘spotlights’ will highlight different issues nationally and the Loneliness Commission Manifesto will ‘knock on the door of Government.’ She concluded, by urging people to keep the conversation going and once again praised some of the excellent work taking place in Leeds.


Welcome In Community Centre 

By Ailsa Rhodes, Project Co-ordinator, OPAL

OPAL is very proud to announce that we have moved into Welcome In Community Centre and that we have reached the stage where we will soon open the doors of our community space.

Our new address is: Welcome In Community Centre, 55 Bedford Dr, Leeds, LS16 6DJ

Open Day

An Open Day is planned on Saturday 25th Feb 11am – 3pm.

We have raffles, tombola, stalls, children’s activities, Rhino’s rugby players and Ronnie the Rhino, the café will be open, the police will be putting on a ‘crime scene’ for children and young at heart to investigate and much more. Come along and join us!


Back in 2014 we identified that OPAL needed secure premises for our staff, volunteers, members and activities.

The Bedford Arms was vacant and the challenge was whether we could find enough funding to purchase it and make it our new home. In January 2015 fund raising started and by June 2015, through donations, buy a brick, extra fund raising activities and grants we had enough money to buy the building. But that was only the start!

Since then renovation work has included land clearance, roof repair, repointing, removal of asbestos, installation of a fire alarm, kitchen renovation for the Community Space, plastering, redecorating and a new Café space, to name but a few.

The renovation project is set to continue as OPAL still raise more money to cover two large activity rooms, a therapy room and a meeting room which will further enhance the offering of this Community Space.

Open to the wider community

The Welcome In is to be a Community Centre which will be open to the wider community to provide a safe, accessible and affordable community space.

Initially we will open the Community Café on 2 days a week from March. Our aims are to bring together members of the community, particularly older people and those at risk of isolation or disadvantage, be a central location for community events and provide volunteering and work experience opportunities for all sectors of the community.

More information

Tel: (0113) 261 9103

Neighbourhood Network Schemes: The Jewel in the Leeds Crown

By Sean Tunnicliffe, Communications Officer, Leeds Older People’s Forum

A few days ago Bill Rollinson (LOPF Chair) asked me a favour. He wanted me to scan some documents which came from the dark ages when everything had to be typed and photocopied or even duplicated (older readers may now be reminiscing about the smell of duplicating fluid on newly printed paper).

One of the documents was the first annual report from Belle Isle Elderly Winter Aid (BIEWA) from 1986/87. BIEWA was the first Neighbourhood Network Scheme (NNS) in Leeds and Bill played a big part in setting up the scheme.

This got me thinking about the NNS and how important they have become to health and social care for older people in Leeds and how lucky we are to have them. It seems timely to talk about them as the latest NNS Review has just finished so the NNS Manager’s will now have time to read this blog.

What are the Neighbourhood Networks?

There are 35 Neighbourhood Networks in Leeds of various sizes and capacity.

According to the most recent figures I have (which are from 2016) there are 166 paid staff working for the NNS.

They also have around 2,000 volunteers who help provide services to over 21,000 older people each year. I don’t know how many hours these volunteers give so I can’t put a figure on how much money this equates to so let’s just say they are priceless.

The services provided by the Networks are too numerous to mention but include: befriending; luncheon clubs; trips and outings; exercise sessions; crafts etc. they also offer home based and one-to-one support and act as a gateway to other services.

Community based services

Being community based means Networks will have a good understanding of their member’s needs. As the schemes cover all areas of Leeds’ different postcode areas they naturally have a wide and varied demographic.

I feel it’s fair to say that they are a lifeline for many older people in their respective neighbourhoods and are likely to be more so in the coming years. Money is getting tight and local authorities are feeling the squeeze and Leeds is no exception.

It is therefore likely that the Neighbourhood Networks will face increased expectations not just because of the economic position of the Local Authority and other funders but also the changing demographics of older people.

Third Age becoming the Fourth Age

We have often referred to older people as the third age but  as life expectancy has increased we have developed a fourth age. There are more older people aged 80+, Neighbourhood Networks generally provide services for people aged 60+ (though some offer them from 55+).

This means that families often have two generations of ‘older people’ (although many of today’s 60 year olds don’t consider themselves to be old). Networks have spoken to us about the issues of younger older people which sometimes include drug or alcohol dependency which is something they haven’t had to deal with before.

People living longer means more risk of diseases such as dementia and Neighbourhood Networks are responding to this by becoming dementia friendly and opening up dementia cafes.

The Networks also play a vital role in helping older people to live independent lives. A good example of this is that in 2014 there were 2,714 reported  instances of Networks helping to avoid hospital admission.

Local but not national

I’ve never been fully able to understand why other local authorities in the UK haven’t copied the model. Whether it’s the cost and logistics of setting them up or maybe they’re not aware of the schemes.

If they’re not aware of them then maybe we need to shout about them more because they are brilliant and we should let everybody know. As well as doing fantastic work  the schemes provide unbelievable value for money which is vital in the current economic climate.

You can get more information on the Neighbourhood Network Schemes in Leeds on the Neighbourhood Network Scheme Map

Intergenerational work back on the LOPF agenda

Back in September LOPF spoke about our plans to do an update of our report Generations Together which we produced in 2013. This updated version will only be available online.

We asked organisations for examples of inter-generational work they were doing in Leeds that could be featured in the report.

We had hoped to have a draft done by the end of 2016 but due to a change in circumstances at Forum Central we had to out the report on the ‘back burner’.

Ready to go
We are now ready to start work on this report and so once again we are asking for organisation who have done inter-generational work to come forward so that we can highlight and promote what is being done in Leeds to bring generations together.

What we are looking for
We are looking for organisations from the third, statutory or private sector who are willing to be involved with this project and who want to tell everyone about the inter-generational work they do and the benefits it brings to everyone involved (young & old alike).

A city for all ages
We are really keen to promote Leeds as a ‘city for all ages’ and demonstrate how good it is to bring young and old people together and how it can break down barriers, assumptions and stereotypes and make the different generations realise how much they have in common.

Next steps
We hope to get enough interest to start work and the publication will be a similar format to the original version a copy of which you can download at to give yourself an idea of what it is we are looking for.

If you have a project or scheme that you would like to be considered please contact Sean Tunnicliffe by email or ring (0113) 244 1697

Download the flyer for more info

Dying Matters in Leeds

Following the success of the 2016 event, the Leeds Dying Matters Partnership will be holding a launch event for Dying Matters week 2017 at the Leeds City Museum in Millennium Square.

The date

The event will take place on Tuesday 9th May 2017, from 11am to 3pm and will include a range of stalls, workshops, and activities themed around planning for end of life.

Who will be there?

A range of council, NHS, voluntary and private sector services will be represented at the event, with staff available to offer information and advice on matters concerning end of life issues. Refreshments will be available.

The aims of the Dying Matters Partnership are:

  • To enable people in Leeds to feel more comfortable talking about death and dying, discuss their end of life wishes with friends, family and/or professionals, write a will, register as an organ donor and communicate their end of life wishes.
  • To enable health and social care professionals and volunteers to feel able to engage their clients in planning for the last years of life.

Please make a note in your diary, and watch out for more details about this important event.

More information

Further information about Dying Matters in Leeds can be found on our website

Contact:   Carole Clark, Leeds City Council;
Email | telephone 0113 3783831

New groups mark a new phase for Resilient not Reliant

Three free brand new groups are being set up to serve people aged 50+ in the North Leeds area. The aim of tackling loneliness and raising awareness of alcohol and its effects while enjoying new skills and social activities are being aimed at younger older adults.

Rebels With A Cause

An exciting initiative Rebels With A Cause aims to meet fortnightly and explore music and films of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The first meeting on 26thJanuary will show some short films and will encourage people to help set the programme for the first 3 months. Anyone over 50 in the North CCG area of leeds is very welcome to attend, enjoy and contribute to this user led group.

New papercraft group

An ideal opportunity for people to make greetings cards and get to know others with similar interests is the Papercraft Group. This will run for a 6 week trial period at The Meanwood Community Centre, weekly on Wednesdays from 1st February – 15th March (except 15th February)  10am-12noon.

Drawing class for beginners

East Street Arts are providing an 8 week drawing class for beginners through to people wanting to brush up their skills. Taking place at the Royal Voluntary Service Offices on Potternewton Lane, the course will run every Thursday from 2nd February to 30th March (except 16th February) 1pm-3pm

Service manager Sian Johnson said:

“we are delighted to start these new groups in the North of Leeds which has been made possible by the funders North CCG and Leeds Community Foundation extending the age range from 60+ to 50+ and also encompassing the whole North CCG area”.

This will really help with the alcohol awareness prevention agenda of the project which in addition to alcohol training, advice and guidance for public and professionals, also offers support for people to get into new social activities, special interest groups and routes into volunteering as happier, healthier alternatives that tackle harmful drinking and strengthen communities.

More information

For more information and to book places, please contact Sian Johnson (0113) 873 598 or 07876 585 931 or email

Resilient not Reliant

In addition to working with people aged 50+ RnR also works with employers, attends information events and presents fun but factual alcohol awareness sessions to team meetings, social groups and other such gatherings across the North CCG area. Contact Sian for more details.

Are you sitting comfortably?

By Sean Tunnicliffe, Communications Officer, Leeds Older People’s Forum

“There are many benefits to more seating: as well as helping shoppers, seating will encourage more older people to go out thus providing them with opportunities for social interaction, reducing loneliness. The shops also benefit as these people are more likely to use them, boosting their profits.”
Simon Peyton, Standing up for Sitting Down

Don’t take it lying down

LOPF was recently contacted by one of our members who had visited a new shopping arcade which had opened in Leeds. This person has an arthritic hip and so after walking around for a while needed to sit down.

This might seem a reasonable and sensible thing to do but unfortunately this brand new shopping centre contains no public seating so the person was unable to rest there and so had to walk further to find a seat.

Rather than leave it at that the person contacted us to ask if this something that LOPF can pursue under the Age Friendly City work.

WHO Guidance for age friendly cities

The World Health Organisation has published guidance for age-friendly cities, which includes the need for public benches that provided resting spots for the elderly.

Without these, the WHO says, many older people feel trapped indoors, unable to travel to the local shops and isolated from visiting friends and family on foot.

Don’t shop ‘till you drop

It seems bizarre that people can design a new shopping centre without giving any consideration for public seating but this issue seems to be getting raised more and more and I am at a loss to understand what the thinking is behind this.

Community seating in shopping centres make them more accessible and makes more people use them. It’s not just older people who like to sit down; there are people with mobility issues, people with young children and people of all ages who like to just watch the world go by.

Not everybody wants to buy a cup of coffee (other beverages are no doubt available) to do this, but sometimes it’s only the cafes which offer seating.

Easy on the eye but not on the legs

Something else I’ve noticed is that more and more public seating seems to be designed to be aesthetically pleasing rather than functional and comfortable (or alternatively is designed to discourage rough sleepers). A simple thing like a lack of arm rests can make it difficult for some people to get up.

Perversely when community seating does have more armrests it is often aimed at stopping homeless people from sleeping on them rather than helping people get up. British bus stops are also designed to be tough to sleep in which often results in seating that isn’t comfortable.

The message is spreading

Jane Robinson, who works for Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours (when not working for Leeds Bereavement Forum) has recently written a blog on the subject of community seating after investigating the seating choices in her local area which you can read here:

Phil Kirby also wrote on Culture Vultures with his take on the issue of public seating in Leeds City Centre:

If you have any views, thoughts or examples of areas with a lack of seating please contact me at

 Standing up for sitting down

Anchor Housing is running a national campaign to improve community seating.

Standing Up 4 Sitting Down (#su4sd) is a national initiative aiming to improve people’s access to their local shops and high street by increasing the amount of seating available to those who need it.

They are looking for people and organisations to sign up to support the campaign

Further reading

The park bench: A powerful symbol in the debate for people-friendly spaces

The social value of public spaces

Vanishing seats turning high streets into standing-room-only zones

Winter Friends are here to help this winter

It is that time year again when the nights are long and the adverse weather kicks in. We cannot be sure what this winter will have in store for us but one thing is guaranteed, cold and damp weather can affect anyone if you are exposed to these conditions for a period of time.

This makes daily life difficult, can increase cold related illness and for our most at risk be life threatening! In Leeds on average there are 380 excess winter deaths (December – March) each year suggesting that much more can be done to support those most at risk.

Stay Well This Winter is an important national campaign.  Your service users and other members or your local communities may have already seen relevant information from this campaign and across Leeds Winter Friends are building on and promoting these crucial messages.

Who are Winter Friends?

They are anyone and everyone who has a role in supporting vulnerable residents but who are particularly concerned about them over these cold and damp months.

We know anyone can be at risk of cold weather but we all are reminded that those who are at greatest risk are:

  • Age 65 and over
  • Those suffering from a long term medical condition
  • Children and babies under 3 years old
  • Pregnant
  • Or a carer

Each Winter Friend has received training from Public Health, Adult Social Care and Sustainable Energy & Climate Change Team developing various skills and information such as the signs and symptoms of cold weather as well as the services available in Leeds to sign post residents to.

We have seen organisations such as Age UK Leeds, neighbourhood networks, children centres, health and social care professionals and emergency services including West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) getting involved through the training.

What do Winter Friends do?

On the whole Winter Friends carry on with their normal day to day work. But as a Winter Friend they will make their contact with vulnerable residents count focusing on ‘Staying Well this Winter’ through the use of a simple Winter Wellbeing Checklist and prompt card.

Winter Wellbeing Checklist Questions:

  • Have you had your flu vaccination?
  • If on regular medication, have you had a review of your medicines in the last 6 months to check they are right for you and you are taking them properly?
  • Is your whole house warm in winter and heated to a comfortable level?
  • Do you find it difficult to afford to pay your fuel bills?
  • Have you had any falls in the last year?
  • Do you find it difficult to have regular daily hot meals and hot drinks lately?  Do you feel your lifestyle is affecting your health?
  • Would any of the following be helpful to you? A personal alarm, sensors in a chair or bed, or a falls alarm, which sends an alert to a response centre?
  • Do you feel connected to your local community? Do you feel ok and happy in yourself?
  • Do you know what to do if there is a cold snap on the way?

The checklist helps the Winter Friend identify which of the 9 support service could help the resident over the winter months.  The checklist is left with the vulnerable resident to enable them to make contact with the appropriate service themselves, or if it is deemed necessary Winter Friends can refer on their behalf.

How many Winter Friends are there?

The single network of Winter Friends has been steadily building momentum over the past 3 years and currently there are 67 organisations who are trained, aware of the signs of cold weather and each have access to the winter wellbeing checklist

It’s not too late you can be a Winter Friend too!

You may also be concerned about your neighbour, family members or friend. Our Winter Friend West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have also released their winter safety campaign ‘Cherished’ particularly focuses on older people. For more top tips on how to help older people this winter, click here!

Additionally why not visit our Winter Friends page ( to download the winter wellbeing checklist for yourself.  Please don’t forget to let us know if you have read the Winter Friends page through the email address provided.

Find a local Winter Friend

If you know someone who may need a bit of extra help over the winter such as an older neighbour, family members or friend then contact the Helpline Leeds Directory 0113 3918333 or visit to find your local Winter Friend.

If you would like to know more about the Winter Friends programme and how this work in practice please contact

Leeds LGBT+  Mapping Project Update

By Anne Marie Stewart LGBT+ Community Development Worker

WP 1: LGBT+ stakeholder and infrastructure mapping

Activity update:

Initial mapping

  • Identified over 70 LGBT+ groups and related activity through outreach and online research – identifying grassroots and community groups, and activity
  • Contacting groups and networks that have been identified so far about the project – gather information about the groups, their aims and purpose and history and request participants for further consultation ( over 40 so far)
  • Beginning to identify some emerging gaps in LGBT+ landscape, issues with sustainability and capacity – particularly related to social activity and support for young LGBT+ people in Leeds and BME LGBT+ groups, people with learning disabilities, older people
  • A number of LGBT+ groups and communities to consult with in 2017 have been identified – incl young LGBT+ people, Deaf LGBT people, LGBT+ people with experience of mental health issues

Next steps:

  • Further mapping – including focus on faith
  • Spatial mapping of LGBT+ activity in Leeds
  • Develop a typology of groups and activities, and developing themes
  • Identify relationships between activity and groups
  • Start identifying potential case studies/profiles for the project report
  • Look at how GIS mapping might contribute to the project – training on 6th December VAL

WP 2: Governance and stakeholder participation

Activity update:

Project Advisory Group development

  • Successfully recruited 15 people Project Advisory Group from Leeds’ LGBT+ community – with experience in mental health, community health and advocacy, education, activism, arts and culture, youth engagement and disability inclusion . The PAG group also has achieved a diverse spread of people regarding sexuality, age, gender and disability.
  • First Meeting (December 2016)- Mapping Stage
  • Second Meeting (January 2016)- Consultation Stage
  • Third Meeting (March 2016) – Findings and Implications

Project set up and updates

  • Update meeting with Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Foundation

Next steps:

  • PAG Meetings set for 12th December, 25 January, 15 March
  • Meeting format – ensuring it is accessible and engaging
  • Project updates with LCC and LFC

WP3: Outreach and consultation with LGBT+ community and stakeholders

Activity update:


  • Information about the project has been shared on LOPF, Tenfold, Volition, Gay Leeds, Through the Maze websites, mailing list for LGBT+ Hub and BME hub
  • Created a Facebook page for the Project – promoted the project online, and on social media – generated interest leading to groups sharing information and interest in PAG, (137 likes)


  • Introduced the Leeds LGBT+ Mapping project via LGBT+ mailing lists, Four Forums networks and at LGBT+ Hub Meeting, TenFold meeting
  • Meetings with community members and professionals working with or on LGBT+ issues in Leeds – building relationships, recruiting to the PAG and participants for consultation
  • Set up meetings with bar managers on Gay scene
  • Set up meetings with Sauna managers
  • Set up meeting with Leeds GATE to discuss ABCD and Gypsy and Traveller LGBT engagement
  • Engaged with staff at Leeds City College re. recruiting LGBT+ young people for consultation

Online survey

  • Planning online survey to find out about LGBT+ community engagement in Leeds, relationship to the city, access etc

Next steps:

  • Ensure comprehensive promotion of Leeds LGBT+ Mapping project across Leeds – all city areas
  • Arrange consultation with different groups and LGBT+ communities for 2017
  • Develop and distribute online survey

WP 4: Market research

Activity update:

Learning from other LGBT+ infrastructure models

  • Set up visit to LGBT Foundation Manchester and LGBT Centre Leicester in January 2017
  • Reviewing other hub websites – LGBT Foundation, Centered in London – LGBT Community and Voluntary Sector Almanac

Learning from social research and methods

  • Gathering learning from community mapping, social impact assessment, community participation resources
  • Reading recent social research on LGBT+ communities in the UK

Next steps:

  • Visit and gather learning from LGBT+ models in other cities

WP 5: Website development

Activity update:

Information gathering

  • Building database of LGBT+ groups and community activity
  • Identifying different LGBT+ stakeholders through the mapping exercise – understanding website users and audience

WP 6: Business development and funding

Activity update

Beginning early March

WP 7:Gap analysis and write up

Beginning late February