Looking out for our neighbours is an award winning social movement that aims to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks throughout West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It succeeds by encouraging people to do simple things to help out their neighbours.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) encouraged over 49,000 people to get involved by making a positive difference to their neighbours lives through acts of kindness a part of the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign.
On Monday 16 November, the winter 2020 campaign will launch with a bunch of ‘neighbourly folk’ possibly someone you even know, taking part in a short docu-series to show how neighbourly kindness is making a difference to people’s lives during the pandemic.
Over twenty people from diverse backgrounds will be the stars of a series of online documentary style films from across Bradford district and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Wakefield and Leeds. Ranging from their early 20s to late 60s we hope they will bring you everything you’d look for in a reality show, including lots of fun and tips on how you can look out for your neighbours safely whilst spreading a bit of joy.
As we enter one of the most challenging winters we have faced there has never been a better time to inspire neighbourly spirit and simple acts of kindness through social media, letters and texts. Keeping in view COVID-sensible recorded content the campaign will also cover seasonal topics and hope and goodwill as we head into the festive period.
Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said: “We are really pleased to be connecting a group of neighbours from across West Yorkshire and Harrogate and hearing them discuss a series of topics about life during the pandemic. We hope to show that physically distanced doesn’t mean we have to be socially apart – it’s the smallest of things that will help us through these difficult times and sharing the positives can really boost someone’s feelings of wellbeing and bring areas of positivity to our lives. We continue to work together with local communities and hundreds of VCSE organisations to support this important work”.
Cain Lewis from Bradford, who is taking part in the series said: “Taking part in ‘Looking out for our neighbours – Online’ has been an absolute pleasure. Grabbing a cuppa and speaking with other people and being to listen to other people’s highs and lows during lockdown was really interesting, lots of tips too. One thing we all had in common is that everyone had done or is doing an act of kindness that is supporting another person in a positive way”.
It was also a great opportunity for me when speaking with my online neighbours about being vulnerable and reminding them that we are human and it is ok to sometimes feel vulnerable and reach out to talk and seeking help if the vulnerability is over whelming by contacting your GP in the first instance.
Matthew McLoughlin, from Huddersfield and who is also taking part in the series said: “Being part of ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ has been a joyous experience that has restored my faith in humanity. It was a coming together of the hearts of different communities which are all beating as one”.
Kazia from Leeds, said: “When I was invited to take part in this documentary I jumped at the chance, community is very important to me and being given the opportunity to talk about it is special”.
Lisa Holmes, from Birstall took part and said: “I felt a little bit out of my comfort zone doing something like this but really enjoyed the experience. I really learnt a lot listening to other people and how they are coping throughout the whole COVID-19 situation – some interesting views and some which I had not considered”.
We will be linking to local help available via local place project leads to ensure it is current and reflective of the local climate. All content will be on hosted at ourneighbours.co.uk and on social media @wyhpartnership
You can watch an introduction to the series at rb.gy/8t3ad4