Welcome to the Quarterly Member Update from Forum Central

This update covers January to April 2021 with key information about the Health and Care third sector in Leeds, and our specialism areas: Older People, Learning Disability, Physical and Sensory Impairment and Mental Health.

Updates relevant to each of our specialisms are sent out regularly with the most up to date information. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about a specialism update or anything mentioned here.

Don’t forget to use our Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations whilst you read!

Forum Central Presents: Leeds Moving Together
We have released a short film produced and created with the incredibly talented Michelle Scally Clarke. The powerful spoken word piece draws on conversations and information collected through the Communities of Interest Network. The poem communicates the challenges experienced by Leeds’ people and communities during the pandemic, but also the incredible response of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
Watch Leeds Moving Together now on Youtube, available with subtitles and BSL.

In this update

Forum Central
•   Health and Care Leaders Network
•   Member support: Covid-19, LCC Cuts
•   State of the Sector
•   Shaping our Future
   •   Diversity and Inclusion
   •   Representation
   •   Developing CollaborationsCommunities of Interest & Third Sector Outbreak Plan
   •   Covid-19 Grants, Case Studies
   •   Community ChampionsLocal Care Partnerships
•   Health Inequalities Workshops
•   LCP Third Sector Reps
•   Programme Board Agenda

Older People
•   Outbreak & Harm Minimisation Plan
•   State of Ageing in Leeds
•   Diversity

Physical & Sensory Impairment
•   Network meeting notes
•   IDODP #LeedsForAll Report, 2021 planning

Learning Disability
•   Network meeting notes
•   Employment Task Group
•   Digital inclusion
•   LCC Commissioning Day Opportunities Review

Mental Health
•  Leeds Mental Health Strategy
•  Mental Health Collaborative
•  Community Mental Health Transformation bid
•  Adult Community Based Mental Health Reviews
•  Mindwell

Men’s Health Unlocked
•   Newsletter
•   Activities for Men in Leeds
•   Member Consultation
•   Unlocked Projects

Staff Team and Office Updates

Upcoming Dates for your Diary


Forum Central

Our Health and Care Leaders Network continues to meet approximately quarterly to ensure the third sector’s collective voice – the voice of our members – is heard and has influence in the overall delivery and strategic planning for health and care in Leeds.

Read the notes from our last meeting here: Health and Care Leaders Network notes February 2021.

Covid-19 Response to Support Members
We represent our members through our attendance at silver and bronze Covid response meetings where we input around testing and vaccination, shielding, and ending restrictions.We supported the call for people with learning disabilities, severe mental illness and unpaid/family carers to be prioritised for vaccines. We are working on vaccine confidence messaging and the Covid Vaccine Inequalities Plan.Leeds City Council Funding Cuts
Forum Central has been working with Adults and Health commissioners to support our members and partners in relation to the budget cuts. We led a session for those affected by budget cuts in March, mainly for our members in the Leaning Disability and Older People specialisms.

State of the Sector Report

Key findings from the State of the Sector Report are now available to view on our Harnessing the Power of Communities webpage.

The State of the Sector report has been produced by Nifty Sustainability CIC and Leeds Beckett University as part of Harnessing the Power of Communities work, funded by West Yorkshire & Harrogate and NHS CCG, to make sure the third sector is a sustainable, central part of the health and care system – recognising that the person-centred approach of the third sector is key.

Shaping Our Future
Forum Central has led the third sector work on Shaping our Future to ensure the sector can play an active and strong leadership role in developing our Leeds Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) and WY&H Integrated Care System (ICS), as well as being providers working to improve health outcomes.In late 2020, the Shaping Our Future Report was shared across the city’s third sector strategic forums and different models and approaches were considered. It was decided that Forum Central, as the established health and care forum, would act as the leading representative body.Work is now underway to develop an ICP for Leeds. Read more about it in our recent news post: Leeds ICP Development Programme Third Sector Meeting and join the meeting on Wednesday 28 April from 9-10am by emailing [email protected].We are committed to enabling the widest range of third sector organisations as possible to contribute and feed into discussions as much or as little as they would like. All organisations are encouraged to consider how these commissioning changes will affect them and how they want to be involved.

Diversity and Inclusion 
The Black Lives Matter/Inclusion working group is a collaboration between Volition and Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL). It met recently to progress its short, medium, and long term action plan with activity linked to the WY&H review into inequalities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and workforces. Check the Inclusion webpage for updates or get in touch with [email protected] to find out more.

Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) is leading monthly check-in reflection sessions for older people’s organisations challenging racist attitudes which are unconsciously held. Both staff leads of these separate strands have been meeting to look at how we integrate this work and what the next steps are.

Listening Project
Cath Roff, Director Leeds City Council Adults and Health, is leading exploration of why people from certain communities do not use Leeds City Council’s Adults and Health services in the numbers we would expect. She recognises that workers in frontline organisations are key to understanding this, so alongside focus groups for service users, conversations with LCC workers have taken place. In support of this, Forum Central hosted a focus group for third sector workers to look at the needs of Asian, Caribbean and African communities.

Health Inequalities Group (THIG) 
The Tackling Health Inequalities Group is looking at ways to improve the health and care system by simplify complex systems into clear proposals with practical actions to help us all work together towards meaningful change.

The Tackling Health Inequalities Toolkit is currently in development and will include a main interactive resource, a quantitative data pack and a quantitative data pack, as well as a guide to road testing the Tackling Health Inequalities Toolkit.

Our Role in Ensuring Strong Representation
30 different individuals represent the sector, alongside Forum Central team members, on around 92 regular strategic health and care meetings in the city.Our Reps Officer Gabby Voinea is developing our representation, attracting a more diverse selection of reps, and building our training and support for advocates. We have undertaken a new recruitment/selection process for new representatives including:

  • Two new Third Sector LCP Representatives – see details below.
  • Co-chair of the Mental Health Partnership Board

We are planning to develop training, workshops and drop-in sessions for existing and potential third sector reps to understand more about being a rep.

We are also working to develop learning disability representation in strategic meetings across our region. By mapping structures and meetings where Forum Central is not currently represented we hope to gain better influence for our members and people with learning disabilities.

Developing Collaborations

West Yorkshire and Harrogate (WY&H)
We have ongoing input to a range of boards and are having fast paced discussions about future models and partnership working across the area. Linking with our Mental Health Rep and Jo Baker, Programme Lead at WY&H HCP for Third Sector: Harnessing the Power of Communities, has secured funding to support the establishment of a VCSE reference group, which we are working to support.

Leeds Community Healthcare (LCH) Third Sector Strategy
The second steering group meeting for this work took place recently and developments go from strength to strength. Every member of the group has undertaken an engagement exercise to further refine the priorities for action and develop work packages. We are currently integrating the steering group members with the relevant Forum Central team members to ensure we offer good reps support, and support those reps to engage widely with the membership. The consultation and actions are currently being brought together in a draft document which we’ll be sharing.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT)
We are in the early stages of refining a more formal partnership with LTHT and have involved a sample of our reps in this process. We have direct links with the ICS third sector resilience paper and will keep you updated as this work progresses.

Supporting Organisations with Information Governance
Third sector IT champion Dani Mistry continues to make positive progress to support the digital integration of third sector organisations into the health and care system. This is to ensure third sector organisations are GDPR and NHS Digital compliant, their contribution is visible and they have access to connect with NHS providers and Leeds Care Record.Five organisations are now progressing this; Crossgates Good Neighbours, Forward Leeds, St Anne’s and Touchstone, with Care and Repair currently being resubmitted. Work around the details of the Leeds Care Record and understanding similar work at the West Yorkshire & Humber level is ongoing.Partnership Working
The Forum Central partnership of Leeds Older People’s Forum and Volition (the Mental Health, Physical and Sensory Impairment and Learning Disabilities Forum) continues to work together on strategic priorities for the sector.

We work closely with Voluntary Action Leeds, Healthwatch, Leeds Involving People, Leeds Community Foundation and Leeds City Council among others, including Adults and Health and NHS commissioners.For more information about our Health and Care work please contact Daisy Morgan, [email protected].

Communities of Interest & Third Sector Outbreak Plan

The Communities of Interest (CoI) Network, led by Volition (working alongside Voluntary Action Leeds, Healthwatch, and Leeds City Council), continues to meet, share information with and support the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in Leeds with a focus on reducing inequalities highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To view email updates and all meeting notes including meeting recordings visit the CoI webpage. We have a new ‘Share your Knowledge‘ form to help people tell us about what is happening within communities, the challenges organisation are facing and the successes that have been achieved – all of which we hope to feed into the Third Sector Outbreak Plan.
Covid-19 Grants
So far 139 grants have been awarded, with an estimated reach of over 68,000 people, to groups working specifically with; young people, culturally diverse communities, older people, faith organisations, men’s groups, and groups working with people with autism and/or learning disabilities.The grants have enabled organisations and groups to develop innovative approaches to deliver proactive and responsive actions addressing the key themes and issues highlighted in the insight gathered through engagement with the Communities of Interest network during the COVID-19 pandemic in Leeds.

Case Studies
Read short case studies about the impact some of the grants have had on the CoI webpage.

The Vandan Group used the grant to reach people from the Gujrati community who live in the Burley area. Bally from Health for All supported this group through the funding process and has said:

“I am truly happy that you have given them an opportunity to shine. With your funding they are helping so many people and their own confidence is increasing. I help because Health for All has passion to help small community groups – The application process from your side was very simple, so that has helped too to deliver this wonderful work!!”

Community Champions
The new Community Champions Programme is led by Leeds City Council in partnership with Forum Central, Voluntary Action Leeds and Hamara. It aims to make trusted information easier for people to access within their communities, through friends and family. Volunteers are currently being recruited to help share key Covid-19 and vaccine information, and will be given training and support to help myth bust and have positive conversations.

For more information about our Communities of Interest work please contact Stacey Taylor, [email protected]. Contact [email protected] for information about the Community Champions programme.

Local Care Partnerships

Health inequalities Workshops – Covid-19 Vaccine
6 workshops have taken place within the Local Care Partnerships (LCPs), focused on providing information about the vaccines and having positive conversations. These online workshops help LCPs develop local plans for tackling barriers to vaccine uptake, with a particular focus on groups who experience the greatest health inequalities.LCP Third Sector Reps
We are delighted to confirm Emma Holmes, LSLCS and Sharon Brown, Touchstone as our new Third Sector LCP programme board reps. Emma and Sharon join our existing LCP rep, Claire Holmes at Holbeck Together on the board. We’re really looking forward to working with them both.What would success look like
The next LCP programme board meeting will be considering what success looks like for Local Care Partnerships over the next two years. We are reaching out to Third Sector LCP members to collect their thoughts on next steps in preparation for this conversation. Should you wish to contribute to the consultation process, please get in touch.For a summary of the Local Care Partnership model, priorities in each or the LCPs, and how to get involved, visit the LCP web page: http://inspiringchangeleeds.org/local-care-partnerships/

For more information about our LCP work please contact Karl Witty, [email protected].

Older People

Outbreak and Harm Minimisation Plan
We have continued to be involved in the older people Outbreak and Harm Minimisation Plan, including another round of grants (£140K distributed to date). Funding has been secured to support mental health training for older people’s organisations, development of vaccine communications and shaping mental health support and messaging.We held an internal session for staff working with older people to take stock and shape what infrastructure support for older people’s organisations will need going forward. We are collating notes and a plan is in development.
Living with Dementia Resource
A resource that promotes social opportunities for people living with dementia has been produced and publicised, and has received positive feedback.Mental Health Strategy
We have been active in influencing Priority 7 (older people) of the mental health strategy, including mapping, plan development and evaluation development.State of Ageing in Leeds Needs Assessment
State of Ageing in Leeds needs assessment is being developed, and we are actively involved in shaping this. This should prove to be an invaluable planning tool and useful for third sector funding bids and business plans.

Mapping of the diversity of LOPF membership is being planned in order to identify where there may be a lack of representation. LOPF is aiming to re-establish former relationships and reconnect with new organisations in order to gain an understanding of what is happening in this regard. For example, many Afro-Carribean groups are run by older people themselves who may not want to, or be able to, continue to run them in the long term and there’s a danger these groups may be disbanded without support.

Visit the Time to Shine website for more information and to keep up to date with their work.

For more information about Leeds Older People’s Forum please contact Rachel Cooper, [email protected].

Physical & Sensory Impairment

Zaira Khanum joined the team as Physical & Sensory Impairment (PSI) Development Worker in February and is already having a big impact, attending board meetings, such as the Better Lives Programme Board, and meeting lots of our members and key partners.

Read the notes from the last network meeting here: PSI Network Meeting notes April 2021.

International Day of Disabled People (IDODP) 2020 #LeedsForAll
Reports summarising the #LeedsForAll 2020 events have now been finalised. The events were delivered in collaboration with the William Merritt Centre in December 2020 for IDODP. Read all about the feedback we received, and our learnings for the future in our summary report:

A highlights video showcasing the fantastic 4 days of events has been created which you can watch on YouTube or head to the IDODP playlist to watch some of the event videos.

Members of both the PSI and Learning Disability network are keen to continue the momentum of #LeedsForAll and utilise it for further event opportunities throughout the year.

Join our meeting to discuss and plan the 2021 IDODP event on Tuesday 27 April.

For more information about our Physical and Sensory Impairment work please contact Zaira Khanum, [email protected].

Learning Disabilities

Read the notes from the latest Learning Disability Member Meetup here: LD Meeting notes 31 March 2021

Employment Task Group
We facilitated and chaired a task group meeting in February, co-hosted with Lighthouse Futures Trust. It involved three interns with learning disabilities talking about their work experiences and a National speaker from National Grid.

Subgroups have now met for the first time and are working on action plans for their areas: Employer Engagement & Pathways and Skills. The Employment website is developing well with a name and designs for the site ready. A new Subgroup is forming to look at City Centre Retail outlet. Funding from Leeds Community Foundation and Leeds City Council has been discussed to support activities of the task group and subgroups.

Digital Inclusion
Further development is taking place to recruit a Digital Inclusion Coordinator for Learning Disability and Autism in collaboration with NHS Leeds CCG and 100% Digital Leeds. We have supported Pyramid with the recruitment process. A research proposal is in development with Leeds Beckett University and the Aladdin group to support the work of the group in the mid to long term.

Leeds City Council (LCC) Commissioning Day Opportunities Review
Discussions are happening with the commissioning team on the Desk Top analysis of Day Opportunities for people with learning disabilities in Leeds. We have pushed for an open session to bring all providers and LCC together. A session was held in February covering the review and plans for a set of standards for providers and meeting are currently being arranged to discuss what the standards should look like.

Learning Disability Partnership Board – Vaccine Special
We helped to coordinate a special partnership board meeting devoted to information on the vaccine for people with learning disabilities. We also linked CCG communications to the third sector on the decision to open vaccinations to all people with learning disabilities before a national decision was made.

Being Me Strategy – Health Task Group
We have supported the Being Me Strategy Health Task group with interviews to appoint a co-chair with a learning disability.

For more information about our Learning Disabilities work please contact Jez Coram, [email protected].


Mental Health

There is a lot of strategic work going on in Leeds at the moment in relation to Mental Health systems. Read our latest meeting notes: MH Network Meeting notes 26 March 2021

The Leeds Mental Health Strategy 2020-2025
The Leeds Mental Health Strategy 2020 – 2025 focuses on 8 priorities and we have engagement across all priorities.

We are in the process of linking key organisations with key priorities to either feed in through us or sit within the development groups themselves, with wraparound support from the new infrastructure our representation colleague Gabby has created to support and strengthen representation.

Mental Health Collaborative
A citywide mental health collaborative will initially focus on priority 6 of the mental health strategy – Crisis. The steering and working groups for this have strong third sector representation from Forum Central, the Market Place, Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, Touchstone, Inspire North and Mindwell.A questionnaire has been developed and sent to all access points to learn more about each service, what works well and what could work better.We have an upcoming workshop to share the scope of this work, develop a shared vision and objectives, and to shape the next phase of the work on Tuesday 20 April 1-3pm, please get in touch to join.We also plan on setting up a wider reference group of third sector services with an interest in this work, to feed in experiences and areas for improvement, which will feed into the collaborative meetings.
Community Mental Health Transformation Bid
Funding has been confirmed for the Leeds model which was developed with input from a range of third sector organisations in January. We await further information around the specifics of the allocation. We have lobbied to ensure that the vision, leadership and engagement issues are addressed before leaping to actions. There appears to be a strong commitment to ensuring a balanced and diverse voice and to developing the vision and having the holistic approach that we have all been advocating for.The funding available is more than initially anticipated, and there are some conditions including areas where more information is requested. There is a recognition of the need for transparency around the funding including what is and isn’t at our discretion. There is also discussion about the link between engagement and developing the model whether these should be two separate task groups – this was not fully resolved but the general sense that the mechanics of putting the model into practice is a significant challenge in itself. Workforce scoping will be a separate task group. A programme manager has been recruited and an engagement worker/resource will be located in the third sector. Eddie Devine, confirmed as the new commissioner for MH, LD and Autism pathways (ie Kash’s replacement) is likely to be the SRO for committee mental health transformation.Adult Community Based Mental Health Reviews
As part of this review, NHS Leeds CCG have coordinated a series of briefings and events to gather input to inform the review. The original timeline has been delayed due to Covid with a new provisional estimate of the review being concluded by the end of March 2023.NHS Leeds is now tentatively planning to begin the Involvement and Co-production phase of events from the end of May, and on a longer timeframe to reduce the intensity of input needed.
The new MindWell website is now live. The MindWell team at Volition has worked with Mhabitat on the content cleanse and migration and will continue to work to make existing content more accessible until the end of May. The ongoing development work also involves integration with LOOP.For more information about our Mental Health work please contact Sarah Wilson, [email protected].


Men’s Health

The Men’s Health Unlocked (MHU) Network continues to grow and has released this March newsletter.

Let’s Unlock! What’s On for Men

The Let’s Unlock directory of activities for men in Leeds has received 900 hits in less than two months. Groups of any size are encouraged to contribute their men’s health and wellbeing activity to it using this form: https://forms.gle/zyR6WkLiKYTjgGEr9

Men’s Health Unlocked Consultation
summary of a consultation conducted at the last networking meeting has been collated with the full results will be made available on the webpage shortly. The key learning points are:

  • Collaboration, information and networking are clearly things people would like from the Men’s Health Unlocked Network – and are to a large extent what it already provides
  • More networking time to be built into the meetings
  • The skill share workshops proved to be very popular
The end of Unlock Online, Offline and Magazine – for now!

These three collaborative delivery strands have reached the end of their funding so have come to stop for the time being, but here’s what they achieved:

  • Barca-Leeds delivered 100 free digital tablets to isolated men all across Leeds
  • Touchstone set up an helpline and online support groups with 60 men joining in just 3 months
  • Orion’s Manbassador Project created and distributed around 25,000 magazines containing information, education and entertainment to men all over Leeds via businesses, Neighbourhood Networks and food banks.

The next MHU Networking meeting is on Wednesday 12 May which Women’s Lives Leeds will be joining.

For more information about our Men’s Health work please contact Damian Dawtry, [email protected].

Staff Team

Our updated Organisational Chart has details of the current Forum Central team.

We have appointed a number of new staff members recently who we introduced in our last update.

In addition we’d like to welcome to the Forum Central Team:

Recruitment for a Communications Manager, hosted by LOPF, is currently underway.

Return to Office
We are looking at a phased or hybrid approach to office return over the coming months and the logistics, preferences and practicalities of this for the team and work are being closely considered.

Member Engagement
We have recently adopted a new membership database (HubSpot) which is now being rolled out across all Volition’s specialisms.

Upcoming Meeting Dates for your Diary

Currently all meetings are taking place remotely online (via Zoom or other internet meeting/video calling platforms)

•   20: Mental Health Collaborative Workshop, 1 to 3pm
•   21: Learning Disability Employment Task Group, 10am to 12pm
•   27: Planning IDODP #LeedsForAll 2021, 2 to 3.30pm
•   28: Leeds ICP Development Programme Third Sector Meeting, 9 to 10am

•   5: Health and Care Leaders Network, 9.15 to 10.45am
•   5: Leeds Green/Active Providers: Tackling Health inequalities, 2 to 4pm
•   12: Men’s Health Network Meeting, 10am to 12pm
•   19: Learning Disability Network Meeting, 2 to 3.30pm
•   26: Mental Health Network Meeting, 1 to 3pm

•   10: Reps Quarterly Meeting, 1.30 to 3pm
•   23: Learning Disability Employment Task group 10am to 12pm
•   29: PSI Network meeting, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Please get in touch with us at [email protected] or contact the specialism team members if you would like to attend.

In addition, LOPF continues to run its Neighbourhood Network Skills Shares, Digital Working Group, Time to Shine – Time to Learn sessions, and Anti-Racism check in sessions, among others. If you are interested in being involved with any of these groups then please contact [email protected]. You can also sign up to the Time to Shine newsletter to receive details of their events.

Thanks for your involvement

We’d like to remind you that membership is free and open to all third sector organisations working in health and social care in Leeds (it can be indirectly). Please email us to enquire about membership.

Our mission is to be the collective voice for the health and care third sector.

If you think you can help by contributing your voice please do get in touch with us at [email protected] or call 0113 242 1321.