COVID-19 Message for parents of school children

(The following is an abbreviation of letter circulated in schools on March 29th,
signed by Deborah Harkins, Director of Public Health and Julie Jenkins, Director of Children and Young People’s Services)

With schools open more widely and education returning to something a bit more normal, we want to take the opportunity to thank those of you whose children were at home during the last lockdown, for your hard work, supporting your children with home learning.

It’s wonderful to see children and young people back at school and able to see their friends classmates and school staff once again. Social interacton is an important part of learning for young people.

Schools continue to do everything they can to keep children safe from COVID-19 . Please do continue to be polite to school staff. They don’t make the rules, they’re following public health advice, acting on professional advice and trying to keep everyone safe.

The wider opening of schools was the first step on the Government’s roadmap and as we look forward to the coming weeks and months, further restirctions will be lifted if all goes to plan. We’re on the right path but it’s really important we all do what we can to keep moving in the right direction. The more we can do to stop the spread the safer everyone will be and the less disruption there will be to education.

Please do keep your child at home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19:

  • A high temperature
  • A new and continuous cough
  • A loss or change to the sense of sell or taste

When a child with symptoms attends school, it doesn’t just create the risk of transmission but also interrupts the education of all involved and creates challenges for all as everyone the child had contact with may require to self isolate.

From March 29th we’re back to the Rule of 6, where up to 6 people can meet up, or two households if between them there are more than 6 household members. This applies for outdoors meetings, there will still be no indoors mixing, unless it is between members of a support bubble.

Please  think carefully about what you do at the school gate and the way back from school. Please do keep up the good work by avoiding mixing with other households indoors. This applies to your children too – no sleep overs or after school meet ups, please.

Finally, please wear face coverings at drop-off and pick-up while you’re on foot. It is an easy protective measure and can make a real difference. School staff wear them wherever is feasible to do so and it will really support them in their efforts to keep your children safe.

We’re really proud of the efforts our schools and families have taken in Calderdale to help reduce COVID-19 infection. Over 330 people in Calderdale have died of COVID-19. The roll out of the vaccination programme is a vital step towards reducing the impact of the infection but all other measures we have used over the last year are still really important too.


If you or your child have concerns about COVID-19, contact the Healthy Futures Calderdale school nursing team
by phone on 0303 330 9974
by text on 07480 635297 (young people)
or 07507 332157 (parents/carers).

Help for children and teenagers to cope with difficult emotions

Open Minds Calderdale are here to help children and young people cope with the difficult emotions of stress, anxiety and frustration.

A lot of these feelings have come about due to the several months of lockdown and disruption of the daily routine.

The following posters may prove useful in helping your child or teenager deal with such feelings of anxiety. They also provide links for further assistance.

Stressed, Worried or Uncertain?

Frustrated, Cross or Angry?

Back to school routine difficulties

Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities free Parenting Programme April 22

Are you a parent with children aged 3-18?
Do you want to help shape services for the future?
Come and be part of a study to promote family wellbeing!

The Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities free Parenting Programme for local parents & carers will be run again, starting April 22.

The course will take place in person at Ash Green Children’s centre in Mixenden.

This free, 13 week course aims to help you to

  • Build positive family relationships
  • Manage anger and stress
  • Implement effective discipline strategies
  • Gain confidence and communication skills
  • Understand your child’s development
  • Recognise and value your family and cultural traditions
  • Meet others and share ideas

The course is aimed at parents, step parents, grandparents and foster carers who have got a child aged between 3-18.

The programme is part of a research study from the University College London: The Together Study. This means that a researcher would like to talk to you before the programme starts and at three time points after the programme has finished. You will receive a £10 voucher for each questionnaire you complete with a researcher.

Part of the research is that parents are randomly allocated to either the group starting in February or allocated to a group starting in September. (The researchers can explain more about why) – a computer decides who takes part in the group now or in the group later and the decision cannot be influenced.

Halifax Opportunities Trust, Sure Start Children’s Centres & North Halifax Partnership are working with UCL and Race Equality Foundation to offer Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities free Parenting Programme.

For more information please contact Julia Brierley: 07852174007

Programme details – A5 booklet 


Free Podcasting Course – Hebden Bridge Arts Festival – April 5th

Here is a great opportunity for young people interested in Podcasting.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival  are offering a Free Podcasting Course for 16-19 year olds living in the Calder Valley who would like to upskill in digital communication. We’re especially looking for young people’s voices that might be under-represented.

This course is free for anyone aged 16-19 living in Calderdale. 

As part of the ‘Engaging Communities’ project, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival are collaborating with Reform Radio, a multi award winning online station based in Manchester.

The course will be delivered online. 

No previous experience is required, and the deadline to apply is 5th April 2021. Please send all enquiries to :

Download the poster here


Hebden Bridge Art Festival
Reform Radio

Cloud Youth Project Easter activities for children and young people

Cloud Youth Project, part of Reach4ward have prepared a series of Easter activity sessions for young people, starting the Easter term period and beyond.

Download list of activities here

All events are FREE and delivered safely under COVID guidelines.

More details on the activities

Self Portraits Art Project starting 7th April 2021
Join our professional artists in creating a series of 3 self portraits using different materials. Nothing too difficult but lots of fun!

Woodland Capers for 5 – 9 year olds – 6th April 2021, 10am to 2 pm
Come and explore local woodland areas and learn survival skills at our one day Forest School workshop with accredited Level 3 Forest School leader, Nessa Dear.

Walk on the Wild Side – for 9 up to 24 yrs, 14th April 2021, 10am to 2 pm
Come and explore local woodland areas and learn survival skills at our one day Forest School workshop with accredited Level 3 Forest School leader, Nessa Dear.

Street Art Project in Calder Holmes Park
Led by our Detached Youth Worker and Artist Phil Hunter and three other local artists.

Project funded by Hebden Royd Town Council and the LotteryAwards for All

Healthy Minds Create Workshop available spaces

We have places free for our Zoom Drawing Workshops (CREATE) on Tuesdays at 4pm.

Any children aged 10 to 19 that would like to create some cartoon animals with Zeke and Alex are welcome to join.

Here is the link to book and just make sure you add the date you want on the form:

Fill | CREATE Drawing Workshops: Individual Registration Form

Please provide all of the details below

Send to anyone who may be interested – sessions are working for most ages so we are not restricting (just Time Out ages 10-19).

WY&H Partnership supports Young Carers Action Day

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) is set to launch a new young carers App on the 16 March as part of Young Carers Action Day. The App has been coproduced with young carers following feedback on what support they need to make their caring role easier. Feedback included the importance of virtual anonymous support and advice on how to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.


The theme of this year’s Young Carers Action Day is about protecting young carers’ futures and making sure that all young and young adult carers get the support they need to go after their dreams.  Young Carers Action Day is an annual event led by the Carers Trust. It raises awareness and calls for action to increase support for young people with caring responsibilities.


Young carers and young adult carers have done an amazing job before and during the pandemic with many finding themselves with increased caring responsibilities coupled with less time spent at school, in college or with friends.  Many have found their lives turned upside down with feelings of stress or anxiety heightened, with nowhere to go for support.


WY&H HCP is committed to addressing the inequalities that young carers face. The launch of the APP called ‘YC support’ will enable young carers to access information on how to look after their health and wellbeing as well as support available to them in their caring role, including local the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) who can offer bespoke advice and support to young people.


The ‘YC support’ app was produced by ‘Expert Self Care’, an organisation who provide health information, promote self-care and signpost services through trusted mobile apps, led by Dr Knut Schroeder, a Bristol based GP and Health App Developer.


As a result of findings from what young carers said, WY&H HCP has also launched a support network to help them stay happy, healthy and well. . The Partnership is running an awareness raising campaign with local carers organisations across education settings with the aim of reminding teachers to look out for the signs that students may also be carers and that simple things put in place can make their life better – for example keeping their phone on when in lessons.


Karen Jackson, CEO for Locala Community Partnerships and co-chair of WY&H HCP Carers Programme said: ‘Young carers have told us that their teachers aren’t always aware of their caring role. Teachers can be an enormous support to young carers. The reopening of schools provides us with an opportunity to remind them to look out for the signs’.


Richard Parry, Kirklees Council’s Director for Adults and Health, and co-chair for WY&H HCP Carers Programme said: ‘In the coming months, as we build back better we will be working with our local partner organisations and young carers to listen carefully to how better we can further support young carers so they have every chance in life to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions’.