People in Leeds don’t always know what services are available to help them.
That’s the claim made at an awareness event held in Kirkgate Market today.
The event had over 40 stalls covering all elements of social care. Age UK and Presto, who mainly support the elderly, were joined by The Space, for those who suffer from drug addiction and mental health issues, as well as Carers Leeds.
Steve Hume Chief Officer, Adults & Health, Leeds City Council introduced the event saying: “We pride ourselves on trying to support social care services in a way to keep them independent for as long as possible.”
Being more human
He added: “The first question that is asked by social workers these days has fundamentally changed: It’s no longer ‘What’s the matter with you?’ it’s ‘what matters to you?’ And events like this, which is the fourth Adults and Health Marketplace Event, play an important part in increasing everyone’s awareness of the services available in the city of Leeds.”
Many of the services are partly funded by Leeds City Council, like Presto. It offers the popular ‘meals on wheels’ service whic h has been expanded to include cleaning, gardening as well as companions who can help with day-to-day activities like shopping trips and days out and support in the home.
In some areas that don’t receive the funding they require, voluntary organisations are having to step in. Many of these services rely on public donations and council support to stay open.
Need to spread the word
Mark, an event helper, spoke to Leeds Hacks about the importance of the event. “We do these events to spread awareness of the services around Leeds. A lot of people have heard about this event through social media, like Twitter. But a lot of people who are passing by are stopping to take a look, which is really encouraging.”
He added: “Even if you can’t see anything that might be useful to you, you might know somebody who could use these services.”
Aspire, a staff owned social enterprise, supports adults with disabilities and brought along a ‘bike-blender’ for the public to try.
Aspire had a stall full of fruits and fruit juices that they put into a blender, then attached to the front of a bike, volunteers were encouraged to hop on and begin pedalling which would blend the fruit into a smoothie.
The volunteer would then be rewarded with the smoothie they made, promoting a healthy diet as well as a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise.
Jenny Harris, Project Coordinator at Learning Partnerships, said: “The event is taking place to raise awareness of the wider range of resources and support that are available to support adults within Leeds and to maintain independence at all stages of life.”
Learning Partnerships is a service that provides support for unemployed people, with programmes like employability courses, as well as counselling for those who have financial issues or debt.
The event further promotes the Leeds City Council Better Lives Strategy, as well as encourage ‘better conversations, better living and better connections’ for those who need it.
Leeds City Council hosted the event and showed their support throughout, with speeches from Steve Hume and Rebecca Charlwood, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing for Adults, both of which remained to view the stalls and chat to the public about the event.
The Leeds City Council Choir also attended to perform some hymns.
This is the fourth year the event’s been held.