Leeds Now live updates: Monday 23 March

It is a very different newsday for our Leeds Now reporters but even though we’re not in a newsroom, our reporters are still hard at work bringing you the latest stories from in and around Leeds.


16:20 – Hospitality staff given free meals


16:15 – Graduations cancelled for university students


16:10 – Food banks call for more donations


16:06 – Businesses start home deliveries


15:58 – Retired NHS workers called back to work


15:53 – Staying fit and safe during the coronavirus outbreak


15:50 – Cancelled exams spark worries among students


15:44 – Public sector workers on the frontline against coronavirus


15:42 – Homeschooling with PE lessons enters first week


15:39 – Supermarket workers under pressure from shoppers


15:37 – Panic buying in UK supermarkets creates uncertainty


15:35 – Schools remain open for key worker’s children


15:30 – UK could follow Spain into Lockdown stage


15:25 – Recycling services in Leeds ask residents to be extra careful

Waste disposal teams in Leeds warn that changes may need to be made to collection times.

Residents are also asked to double bag any rubbish. This is to contain the spread of coronavirus and in turn place workers at less of a risk.


15:11 – Buses between Leeds and York operating on new timetable

From tomorrow, the CITYZAP service which runs between York and Leeds will be following a new timetable, the company has announced.

They say the reasons behind this change are to place priority on those who need to still get to work and school.


14:58 – Local businesses also offering key worker discounts

It’s not just major high street retailers that are offering discounts. Local business owners also want to celebrate the work being done by key public sector workers. Kara spoke to one such owner.


14:50 – Public sector workers back social distancing recommendations

Our reporter Gemma has spoken to a dental hygienist who insists that social distancing doesn’t just protect those at risk but public sector workers too.


14:45 – Free meals for staff who have been left jobless

Hyde Park Book Club have been handing out free meals to hospitality staff who have lost their jobs because of store closures, a precaution that is hoped will limit the spread of COVID-19.

Jess Louise Gale has been covering the story for us.


14:31 – Summer exams cancelled for students across the country

With universities, colleges and schools closing right across the country, students are having their end of year exams cancelled, leaving them uncertain as to how they will be graded.

Another reporter on our virtual newsday Lauren West, has been speaking to students to get their reaction.


14:20 – Panic-shopping places pressure on supermarkets

Shoppers who have bulk bought because of fears over the coronavirus have meant supermarkets are struggling to keep up with the demand.

Our reporter Olly Bradley has been working in isolation today, looking into what both supermarkets and shoppers can do to help reduce this shopping anxiety.


14:05 – Recruitment drive for care workers in Leeds

Leeds City Council have began a recruitment drive to ensure that social care remains accessible for those who need it. More staff are needed says the council, to ensure the system works smoothly and that the necessary care is provided.


13:50 – Stores offering NHS discount for workers

Many high street chains are now offering discounts for NHS workers as a thank you for the work they do to combat COVID-19.

If you work for the NHS, simply show your ID card and see what offers are available.


13:37 – Leeds Nando’s gifts food to NHS workers

A Leeds branch of Nando’s has given food to NHS workers, in recognition of their hard working fighting the coronavirus crisis.

Nando’s has recently announced that it will temporarily close all its 400 restaurants in the UK “until further notice”.


13:23 – Good Neighbour pack offered by Leeds Charity

One Leeds charity has put together a Good Neighbour pack to help people look after those in their local communities who might need some extra help to combat COVID-19.


13:08 – Homeless Charity calls for more food donations in Leeds

Leeds residents are being called to help out a charity who are struggling for donations during the coronavirus crisis.

St Anne’s Community Centre is trying to help the homeless by offering them food packages, but require donations from the public to continue to do this. Can you help?


12:55 – Children of key workers still at school

Although schools are closed for many children across the UK, they remain open for those whose parents are key workers.

Our reporter Molly Carr has been speaking to parents about their reactions these measures.


12:45 – Police appeal for identity of a man in relation to an offence in Leeds

West Yorkshire Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in relation to a crime committed in Leeds.

If you recognise the individual, let the authorities know.


12:35 – Great Yorkshire show cancelled

Organisers of the Great Yorkshire Show have announced that the 3-day event has been cancelled until further notice.

The 162nd Great Yorkshire Show would have been held between Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 July 2020.


12:20 – Pharmacies face shortage as people rush to stock up on essentials

Local pharmacies are struggling to cope with a rise in demand as people begin to worry about their prescriptions not being ready.

Emilia Kettle is reporting on this story.


12:05 – Food banks struggling for donations

With stockpiling and supermarkets running low on stock, there is concern that members of the public will be reluctant to part with the food they have.

George Clarke has spoken to one Leeds food bank to see what they are doing to encourage people to keep donating.


11:50 – Spanish authorities to extend lockdown

Spain has become the second-worst affected in Europe, with only Italy reporting more cases and deaths. Alvaro Casas has spoken to someone affected by the lockdown and how they are coping.


11:40 – Homeschooling encouraged as children start first week with no school

As schools shut last Friday, initiatives have been set up to help children learn whilst at home.

Gabby Mercer is reporting on efforts to homeschool and what can be done to keep kids active.


11:30 – Leeds City Council to close park playgrounds to prevent COVID-19 spread

Leeds City Council announced yesterday that they will be temporarily closing all playgrounds in public parks to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

To find out more, follow this link: https://news.leeds.gov.uk/park-playgrounds-to-close-to-prevent-covid-19-spread/


11:20 – West Yorkshire Police to introduce telephone witness statements

West Yorkshire Police have today announced that they will be encouraging members of the public to give any witness statements over the phone.

There are hopes this will limit the amount of necessary human contact people have and will help with social distancing.


11:05 – Public sector workers raise their concern during coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus is placing considerable pressure on public services say some workers.

Our reporter Gemma Ryles has spoken to a number of public sector workers and how they are coping during the crisis.


10:48 – Joe Wicks to start a week of home workouts via YouTube

Today marks the launch of body coach Joe Wicks’ live school work out, an alternative to PE lessons for children who are now staying at home because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Find his Youtube channel here: youtube.com/thebodycoach1 


10:38 – Online newsday begins to take shape!

Our reporters are listening to social distancing advice and staying at home. However, there is still news to be reported. Stay tuned!


10:25 – Costa announces store closures nationwide

British coffeehouse chain Costa has announced this morning that it will be closing stories nationally. The company insists that the move is in the best interests of both customers and staff.


10:17 – Good morning from Leeds Now

I’m Oscar Bellerby and I will be today’s live reporter. I’ll be updating you with live updates from our Leeds Now journalists throughout the day!

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