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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.

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.

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 or phone 01274 431931.

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


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.

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

Good luck with the challenge!

Bridging the gap between coursework and reality – Tosin’s work experience blog

From 16 to 22 May it’s Learning at Work Week. In this guest blog, Tosin Akomolafe, placement student in the Council’s HR department, tells us about what she learnt during her placement here, part of her Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Bradford. Over to Tosin…

My name is Oluwatosin Akomolafe. I go by the short version of my name – Tosin. I am a Nigerian lady who enjoys photography, discussing politics, travelling and learning new things. I moved to England last year for my Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Bradford.

First day in Bradford and the UK September 2015
Tosin on her first day in Bradford, September 2015

I recently finished a placement at the Human Resources (HR) Department of the Bradford Council and here is a brief overview of my experience. This placement has afforded me opportunities to learn beyond the classroom and fulfil my desire for a practical experience in the public sector.

One of the reasons I chose the University of Bradford for my Master’s degree was the learning approach and opportunity for placement, which is rare for a one-year master’s degree in other universities. The module is called professional practice.

Since my first semester at the University, I had been looking forward to the professional practice or placement. On being accepted for placement at the HR department of Bradford Council, I became anxious because my mind was raising all sorts of reasons why it may not work out. However, on talking with Elaine Mallinson, an apprentice officer, my anxiety was reduced. She was so helpful. She told me about what they do in the department, different units and how my time would involve learning from different teams, shadowing and attending meetings.

Continue reading Bridging the gap between coursework and reality – Tosin’s work experience blog

Local helpline after the Hajj tragedy

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the terrible tragedy during the Hajj pilgrimage at Mina, near the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

As Muslims locally and around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, families in Bradford and many other places are waiting anxiously for information about their loved ones.

Telephone helplines

Anyone worried about friends or family can call a national helpline on 020 7008 1500. In addition, the Council for Mosques has established a local hotline, 07990 021732, for people who are concerned about their relatives and friends.

Keep the clucking noise down, chuck!

18 to 23 May is Noise Action Week and this year we are looking at the noise problems of keeping cockerels, especially in urban areas.

Our Environmental Health team has seen a near 400% increase in the number of complaints received about cockerels in the past five years, from 38 in 2009-10 to 147 in year 2014-15.

Keeping poultry in an urban environment can cause a number of problems including noise, vermin and odours.

If you keep poultry, in particular a cockerel, please consider your neighbours and don’t fall foul of the law.  You have a duty to make sure that your cockerel does not cause a nuisance.

If someone’s cockerel is causing a nuisance you can report the noise on our website or call our Environmental Health team on 01274 434366.  The owner could be served with a legal notice which requires the nuisance to be stopped. If they don’t comply they could face a fine of up to £5000.


Lord Mayor of Bradford re-opens Holmewood Resource Centre in Keighley

Holmewood Resource Centre, a 28 bed specialist dementia care service has been extensively refurbished to a high standard. Plans for the refurbished were developed with service users, carers and staff to create an environment that is welcoming and homely.

The refurbishment refreshed the internal environment in the centre, including corridors, communal areas, kitchens and bathroom facilities. Floor coverings, lighting and décor were replaced. These improvements created an environment familiar to residents and, as far as possible, reminds residents of home. Communal areas were furnished with items that aimed to reassure service users. A sensory room was created along with a living room with a period ornaments, and fittings.

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Kitchens were re-fitted throughout the centre for service users to utilize. This aims to support independence and enablement and meet the needs of each individual resident and service user.

Outside the centre, the gardens were re-created with a bandstand, newly furnished seating areas, a sensory garden, an original red telephone box and letter box. Plants and flowers were chosen to enable residents and service users to enjoy the scent and touch of the plants from soft leafy lambs’ ear plants, to sage and lavender. Continue reading Lord Mayor of Bradford re-opens Holmewood Resource Centre in Keighley