Social Cohesion and Covid-19 – Let us know what you think and receive a £5 Amazon voucher!

As some of you might know, Calderdale Council is working with the University of Kent and the Belong Network on a long-term research project to understand the impact of Covid-19 on social cohesion in the UK. We are sending out four surveys from June – November, and we invite you to take part in this second survey today by answering this online questionnaire. If you have already been contacted by the University of Kent directly to fill out this survey, please don’t do so again!

Survey closing on Monday 26th October

The survey takes most people around 30 minutes. The information we collect will be incredibly useful for Calderdale Council, because it will help shape the direction of our work in your local area, and give us vital evidence to support this work in the future.

The questions asked in the survey are for researchers to understand people’s perceptions of others, their trust in different institutions and how Covid-19 has impacted people’s togetherness.

The University of Kent is giving everyone who completes the survey a £5 Amazon gift voucher, and free entry to a prize draw where you could also win one of five £100 Amazon gift vouchers. You will receive the voucher once the researchers have closed the survey, which is usually within two – three weeks of the survey being sent out.

If you agree, we will be sending out one more survey over the next 2 months to understand what you think and how that might change over time. You’ll get another £5 Amazon voucher each time you complete the survey.

The University of Kent will also send you an update report on the project in November 2020 if you’re interested.

To complete the survey, click the link below:

This survey was designed by the University of Kent who will be analysing the results. If you have any questions about the project or how your data is protected then do get in touch with:

Thanks very much – we really appreciate you taking the time to support our work in your local area, and are happy to discuss it further with you if you have any questions.

The voucher will be sent within two – three weeks of filling out the survey.

Please note the closing date is Monday 26 October 2020.

OrangeBox Halifax Half Term Activities Digital Programme

The OrangeBox in Halifax have put daily activities for the Half Term, including Live Dance Workshops, Live Skate Park, Arts and Crafts session, Choir singing and Drop In sessions, aimed at school age children and young people.

If interested contact them on: 01422 392003 or

@AJDanceCompany @SkateItYourself @timeoutcalder

Reimagining Communities Zoom Poetry Workshop

We are really excited to be working with Donald Jenkins of Born Lippy to host community poetry workshops on Zoom for the people of North Halifax!

The workshops will take place in November and December 2020.

Whether or not you have tried creative writing before, this workshop will show you how you can express yourself and tell your story – everyone has a story to tell!

Donald Jenkins is a spoken word poet from Newcastle upon Tyne with over 20 years’ experience of working with youth and community groups. His poetry has featured in a variety of online and printed anthologies. Winner of the Gateshead Poetry Slam 2018, Donald has also performed at Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Albert Hall. He has written and performed commissions for the Curious Festival, Elswick Community Leisure Centre and 24 Hours in Isolation Project. He is one of the directors of – SlamFresh CIC, running poetry slam workshops in schools and youth projects.  He runs and hosts Newcastle’s leading spoken word night –‘Born Lippy’ which has featured as part of Lindisfarne and Word Weekender festivals.

Having attended one of Don’s workshops, I can vouch for the fact that they are really fun, even for someone who has never written creatively before. Check out some of Don’s work below and be sure to get in touch with Natalie to register your place for November or December.

Here are some video links of his poems

State of the Art

I Wouldn’t Dare

Stay Locked Down

To register your interest please contact Natalie at or on 07932883499.

Thursday 22nd October – International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD) by Zain Ghani

Stammering is a form of communication which differs to normal speech. This can either be in the form of blocks (no sound), rep-rep-repetition of words or syllables and/or elongation of sssssssounds. Around 1% of the world’s population have a stammer. In the UK, more than 150,000 children and young people stammer. Most people in the general public know of stammering but may not necessarily know how to speak to someone who stammers or understand what it is. Therefore, to celebrate ISAD, see below some interesting facts, top tips and further information on stammering:

Fun Facts:

  • The ratio of boys to girls who stammer can be 4 or 5:1
  • Celebrities like Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, and Samuel L. Jackson have a history of stammering
  • A stammer normally appears in children aged around 3 or 4 years old

    Colin Firth and Zain Ghani – ASC Annual Trustee Board Meeting 2017

  • No one knows the reason why people stammer but scientists have suggested many theories on contributing factors like development of speech, family environment, even a low blood supply to certain parts of the brain!
  • A film called the Kings Speech (with main actor Colin Firth) focused on King George VI and how an Australian Speech and Language Therapist helped him to manage his stammer prior to giving a wartime radio broadcast upon Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939.

Top Tips on speaking to someone who stammers:

  • Avoid finishing their sentences when they are struggling to get their words out
  • Give them sufficient time to speak
  • Maintain eye contact and show interest in what they are saying
  • Avoid comments like “Speak Slowly” and “Take a deep breath” as this can be quite patronising
  • Be patient and avoid rushing someone who stammers to speak

Links to further information:

Diabetes and Covid-19 key messages

Do you have diabetes?  Or do any of your friends or family have diabetes?

Have you heard or read anything about diabetes and Covid-19?

Having diabetes does not mean you are more likely to get Covid-19. You are no more likely to catch coronavirus than somebody without diabetes.

But some research has shown that if you do catch Covid and you have diabetes then you could be at higher risk of becoming more seriously ill.

The good news is that if your diabetes is well controlled then your risk of becoming more seriously ill is significantly reduced.

Top Tips to help get and keep your diabetes under control

  • Be active – Being physically active helps to control your blood sugar levels. Try and do some physical activity every day. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym or playing sport. A short walk or some energetic housework each day will really make a difference.
  • Lose weight – If your doctor has told you that you are overweight then losing even a small amount of weight can help to control your diabetes. A moderate amount of weight loss can even put your diabetes in remission (This is when your blood sugar levels are below the diabetes range).
  • Take your medication – If you have been prescribed medication to control your diabetes make sure  you take the right dose at the right time of day as advised by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
  • Attend appointments – you might be invited by your GP practice to have a check up appointment. It is important that you accept the appointment so that the health care professionals can see how you are doing and make sure you are in the best possible health. If you are invited for a face to face appointment the doctor/nurse will be wearing PPE and there will be appropriate social distancing to keep you safe. You might be offered a telephone appointment instead.

If you or a loved one have been told that you don’t have diabetes yet but that you are at high risk of developing diabetes then the tips above to be more active, lose weight and attend any appointments you are offered are just as important.  There is also a service available to help people at risk of diabetes to move out of the ‘high risk’ zone. Google Diabetes UK Know Your Risk to find out more and see if you are eligible.

Keeping Calderdale Cosy with Citizens Advice

Citizens advice in Calderdale are here to help you keep yourself warm during the coming winter months. They can offer advice on saving energy, reducing your energy bills where possible and finding you all the help you are entitled to with heating your home.

Being able to keep your home warm improves your health and levels of happiness.

You can contact Citizens Advice on 0300 330 9048.

You can also ring a local energy advisor on 07436 408323 to arrange a telephone appointment.

VSI Alliance Training Programme Survey

VSI Alliance News & Events

Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team


VSI Alliance would like your feedback to help them plan their next training sessions.

We’re conducting a short survey for our next training programme and your input would be very much appreciated.

Click the button below to start the survey. Thank you for your participation!

Begin Survey

About VSI Alliance:

All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact