Category Archives: District Plan

Why we all should rally round…

The Council’s adult social care service provides a valuable support to older members of our community. Whether it’s through home care, day care, provision of equipment, care home placement or support for carers, the Council plays a critical role in improving the quality of life for some of our most vulnerable neighbours, friends and loved ones.

Funding challenge

There is a substantial cost associated with providing this support, yet in the last few years the funding received by the Council to carry out all of its functions has reduced significantly, with further savings still to be made in the next few years.

By 2020 the Council’s spending power will be half what it was in 2010. These cuts have implications for the district as the Council is having to make tough decisions about what it does less of, what it does differently and what it stops doing altogether.

Increasing cost and demand

In addition to the reduced levels of funding, we face increasing costs and rising demand for services. The number of older people in the district is growing, which adds further to the pressure on services, including adult social care. Earlier this month the Local Government Association published a report on the pressures facing the care system. Population projections from the Office for National Statistics estimate that there will be an extra 16,000 people aged over 65 living in the district in 10 years time with that figure rising to an extra 41,000 over 65s by 2039.

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Source: ONS

People can make a difference

There are some inspiring examples of ordinary people across the district rising to the challenge and taking on a greater responsibility for themselves and each other, with simple acts of neighbourliness, kindness, volunteering and community action. One approach which has provided great support to many has been use of the free Rally Round service.

What is Rally Round?

Rally Round is an online service which allows friends, family, neighbours and care staff to work together more effectively when looking after a loved one or service user.

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Rally Round – small tasks, big impact

The new online service has been launched in Bradford to help people stay in their homes for longer, improve health and wellbeing and reduce isolation. This is also linked to our People Can campaign.

Rally Round allows a network to be created around a person with care needs. Anything that the person needs help with can be listed as a task. Then, trusted friends, family members, neighbours or staff involved in their care can see this, discuss it, agree to take the task on and let everyone know when it has been done.

It is a voluntary-based neighbourhood support service and is free to use.

Rally Round works on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones and a daily or weekly email provides a useful reminder of what people have agreed to do.

Lyn Sowray, Assistant Director of Adult and Community Services – Operational Services, said:

“Rally Round is an exciting new service which has been designed to support people to maintain independence and improve their health. The online system is easy to use and can be securely accessed at any time to make life easier and safer.”

Visit Bradford’s Rally Round website to find out more or register.

Further information

If you are a person receiving or giving care, or an organisation with clients or service users and would like to know more about Rally Round, for more information please contact Mike Halliday, Commissioning Officer in Adult and Community Services: email mike.halliday@bradford.gov.uk or phone 01274 431931.

Join us in the ‘Make One Change’ challenge to improve your health and wellbeing

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We’re asking people across the district to ‘make one change’ as part of this year’s Self Care Week which runs from 14 – 20 November. We’re all being challenged to make a change which we can stick to throughout the year which will make us feel good about ourselves and improve our health and wellbeing. Sounds easy? It really is…honest!

So what sort of changes can we make?

Let’s have a go at changes that are simple and realistic (often the best place to start) because they’re achievable and really do make a difference. Here are some suggestions to think about:

  • Cutting down the amount of sugar in tea and coffee
  • Taking a brisk walk for 10 minutes a day
  • Keeping a day alcohol free each week
  • Having an extra portion of fruit and vegetables

We find that making changes can be easier when done with others, so making pledges with family, friends or work colleagues is a good place to start. For those wanting to overcome a greater challenge, such as reducing or stopping smoking, there is support available online or by calling the Bradford District Stop Smoking Service on 01274 437700.

Events, information and advice

This year for Self Care Week there are events taking place across the district designed to help us understand how a simple lifestyle choice can make such a big difference to our long-term health and wellbeing. Some of the many things on offer at the events include home energy checks, blood pressure and BMI checks, dental health, winter home safety, flu prevention, diabetes screening and treating minor ailments – and a chance to meet Billy Bantam!

Cllr Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council, and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing said:

“It’s great to see so many organisations getting together and supporting Self Care Week. Whether you are eight or eighty, anyone can make one small change to their lifestyle to improve their own life and it’s never too late to make a difference. It’s not just about being healthy; it’s about feeling good about yourself and improving your mental health.”

As well as using self care to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are some great resources available to support people with existing conditions. Information is available and booklets have been produced to support anyone with asthma, dementia, heart failure, stroke and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The packs are designed to support and empower people to feel more confident about self care, maintaining independence, control and responsibility. The booklets can also be used by carers.

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Some of the useful information guides available online

Why self care?

Self care enables us to look after our own health better when it comes to self-treatable conditions such as coughs and colds, how to manage more serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and how to maintain good health and wellbeing to help prevent illness. Self care is important and it’s about people doing more for themselves, either with support or individually. People will feel more confident to manage their health and wellbeing because they understand their own needs and know where to access help and support when it’s needed.

Health and social care pressures

The Local Government Association has produced a report this week which highlights the benefits of self care in reducing pressures on health and social care services. The report ‘Helping People to Look After Themselves‘ calls for a culture of care to help reduce pressures on health and care services, and highlights the high number of visits to GP surgeries by people with minor ailments such as colds, sprains, headaches and insect bites. Professor Ian Banks, self care forum trustee and former A&E doctor, said:

“Most people are entirely capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it’s safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it. Self care is not no care; far from it, for example you will find the local pharmacist an excellent source of health advice and information. There are also reputable health information websites such as NHS Choices or the Self Care forum website.”

Sharing your Make One Change successes

We’re keen to see what’s being done across the district as people rise to the ‘Make One Change’ challenge. You can share your successes on twitter @HealthyBrad4d #mk1change #SelfCare4life.

You can find out more about the challenge and what’s on during Self Care Week by visiting the website, or contacting self.care@bradford.gov.uk

Good luck with the challenge!

Celebrating the district’s passionate people and amazing volunteers

You won’t be surprised to hear that researchers have found that the people of Bradford are more likely to give to charity than anywhere else in Yorkshire. The Cabinet Office Place Survey found that volunteers in Bradford are more likely to volunteer than those from anywhere else in Yorkshire. What’s more we are the fourth most generous city in Britain and the sixth kindest!

Volunteering

The district’s volunteers do some amazing things that you might not know about:

The Bradford Police Museum at City Hall is run entirely by volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer in one of our museums, you can contact Janet Bruce on janet.bruce@bradford.gov.uk

A team of committed volunteers provide dedicated support for male victims of domestic abuse in Bradford, one of very few in the UK.

Local people volunteer through the British Red Cross, with some on standby to drive a camper-van to homes which have been affected by fire. As well as providing emergency accommodation the volunteers also provide a welcome cup of tea and place of safety for families who may have lost everything. If you’d like to get involved you can visit the Red Cross emergency volunteering site.

Our community campaign ‘People Can Make a Difference‘ is actively promoting all the good things that people are already doing in their communities as well as encouraging more people to volunteer and get involved in community life.

Foster Park community clean-up

A community clean-up took place in Denholme village centre. People came together on 29th September in Foster Park to take part in a litter-pick.

The clean-up was led by Denholme Town Council. Staff from Bradford Council’s Neighbourhood Service helped out, with the Council Warden for Bingley Rural joining in and giving gloves and litter-pickers to the volunteers, with the Clean Team taking away the rubbish afterwards. Children from the village primary school also joined in on the day.

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Children at a community clean-up in Denholme village

The clean-up supported two recent initiatives in the village – Bradford Council has recently installed two dog-bag dispensers, purchased by Denholme Town Council, and the formation of a Friends of Foster Park group is being considered. Continue reading Celebrating the district’s passionate people and amazing volunteers

Back to school: new hopes, new fears

Is your child going to a new school next year?

The deadline for applying for a place for your child at secondary school is Monday, 31 October 2016 which is fast approaching!

If your child was born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013, you will need to apply for a Primary School from Monday, 14 November 2016 up to the closing date of Sunday, 15 January 2017 for the school year that starts in September 2017.

Read this blog to find out how to apply and read one parent’s experience of their child starting school.

Fiona Binns, from the Council’s Education Communications Team and Editor of Bradford Parents on the Go Blog, talks about her experience of children starting school and how life-changing moving from primary to secondary school can be!  Her eldest son, Joshua is eight and has started his journey in Year 4 this term and her youngest son, Finley is five and moves into Year 1.

Starting primary school is one of the most exciting milestones in a child’s young life; but on the other hand it can also be an anxious time too.

In the summer before Finley started Reception I’d be hearing the same question on a daily basis “Mummy, when do I start big school?”

Preparation and organisation is key and I recall highlighting many paragraphs in the school’s prospectus and making endless lists of what we needed in order to be ready for Day One.

In reality I was more anxious than Finley was!

Maybe it’s the fact that we, as mummies, or daddies or carers, have done everything in our power to protect our babies since they were born.  Like when they fall over we are there to pick them up, give them a cuddle and try to make them feel better, we have always done everything for them and then the time comes for that role to be given to teachers and teaching assistants.

As a family we prepared both our boys for ‘big school’ by talking to them about the start of school, making new friends and entering the world of education and learning about something wonderful every single day.  We made a big deal about buying their  school uniforms, new shoes and deciding whether or not they would be staying for school dinners or taking a packed lunch.

I need not have worried; Finley embraced his first year at school as a ‘Roaring Rocket’ (the name of his class!).  His class teacher and teaching assistants at school played a very important part in this and I know Finley will always remember his first year at “big school”.

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Me and the boys

Transition time

The transition from primary school to secondary school is one of those life events that most people can recall in some way or other. In the main, it’s a fairly manageable period and one that parents often get more emotional about than their children. Continue reading Back to school: new hopes, new fears

Enterprising Bradford

Did you know that Bradford has a £9.2 billion economy, the eighth largest in England?

As the district’s top business leaders and companies were recognised at the Bradford Means Business awards in June, and in July Bradford was named one of the top 10 places to work in the UK, we thought we’d seize the moment and share some evidence to show that Bradford really is on the up. But how has this come about and what do the key statistics tell us?

Bradford plays a key role in the regional economy, with 46,000 people commuting between Leeds and Bradford each day. This is the largest flow between any two cities in the UK. Over 40 large companies are headquartered in the Bradford district, employing 370,000 people across the UK with a combined turnover of £30 billion – impressive numbers for sure.

Economic growth since 2008 has outstripped regional and national averages and we have seen a 70% increase in foreign investment in Bradford in the last year. The district’s Job Seekers claimant rate has reduced by a significant 22% in the last 12 months, which compares very favourably to the UK average drop of 7.1%.

What has driven this growth?

The £35 million City Centre Growth Zone has played a key role, offering unique financial incentives and benefits to businesses. The result has seen a real expansion in business activity and an increase in footfall rates across the city centre with 250 businesses creating over 465 new jobs in the city centre.  Coupled with the opening of the Broadway shopping centre which is projected to attract an additional 9 million shoppers a year, this positive outlook and growth has made the city centre a very attractive proposition to both businesses and visitors. Plans are underway for further large-scale mixed use schemes and Grade A office developments with negotiations taking place with private sector partners.

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Happy staff at the successful Forks Cafe!

We went to the heart of Bradford’s independent quarter to see the positive impact of Growth Zone funding on thriving business and social enterprise Forks Café. We spoke to Jon Royle, Chief Executive of the Bridge Project which owns Forks Café who explained, “Since we opened Forks Café we’ve had a fantastic reception from the public and local business community. We usually appear in the top 10 Bradford restaurants on Trip Advisor and we’ve provided dozens of our beneficiaries with structured work experience, many of whom have gone on to find full time jobs. Without the support of the Growth Zone none of this would have been possible. Thanks to the investment from Bradford Council we’ve opened a popular business that achieves important social outcomes.” Continue reading Enterprising Bradford