Health and Wellbeing
Your wellbeing is our priority and we want to support you to feel safe and well at work and at home. We are fostering a culture of compassion, inclusion and belonging. A culture in which wellbeing is everybody’s business and where we support each other.
There may be times when personal circumstances, work pressures or health concerns impact on your wellbeing.
On this page you can find tools and resources on ways you can look after yourselves and others. You can get help to become more resilient and better at coping with things like stress and anxiety.
Please do ask for help as soon as it is needed – you can speak to your line manager in your 121 or wellbeing assessment review. They can help you decide what support you need and how to access it.
Information is from trusted sources and recognises that not one size fits all – you can access the help and support that is right for you and at a time that is right.
- Meet the team
You can contact the health and wellbeing inbox with any queries, feedback, and your contributions for the Wednesday Wellbeing newsletter.
You can also tweet us @LYPFT_HWB
Alex Cowman, Head of Wellbeing
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred)
Phone: 07977 327618
Kerry Hinsby, Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Lead for staff wellbeing
Email: email@example.com (preferred)
Phone: 07980 956411
Frances Dodd, Associate Director of People Experience
Phone: 07977 327222
- Improving our staff wellbeing offer
To help us improve our wellbeing offer to staff please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
You can also share our latest You Said, We Did poster in your staff spaces.
July 2021 Poster 1 v2
July 2021 update:
The Trust has started to plan targeted upgrades to facilities, (with a focus on staff rooms, wellbeing space, and outdoor spaces), for colleagues working at certain sites. To begin with, the focus will be on in-patient and community sites, with a view to improving all sites where appropriate as the project progresses.
Over the next few weeks there will be scoping work taking place, and there will be a number of colleagues that are keen to hear feedback from you, about what you’d like to see changed/updated. Site visits have already started, and we want to say a huge thank you to staff at The Mount and The Newsam Centre, for sharing their valuable feedback.
If you want to share feedback confidentially of what you feel should be improved, please email the Head of Wellbeing, Alex Cowman, who will be working with the Facilities Team on this project.
- Your work / life balance
Over the past year home-working has become the “new normal” and while the benefits range from saving money and time on the daily commute to having an extra hour or two in bed, stress, boredom, anxiety and uncertainty is also to be expected.
The line between the personal and professional has become more blurred than ever and maintaining a healthy work/life balance can be difficult.
To feel more productive and take care of your mental health in these difficult times, follow the eight Rs to take back some control:
Create a routine and stick to it. Work out the times you can and are willing to flex into. Be clear about the outside work commitments you want or need to preserve (e.g. school runs, exercise classes) and put them in your diary.
Think about habits to get into to start and end the day a bit like the commute. It could be a quiet cup of coffee in the morning or a walk outside at the end of the day to clear your head. These will help you to mark the transition and boundaries between work and personal time.
You would never sit at the desk all day. Schedule breaks. Be it a stretch, a coffee catch up with a colleague, a chance to put the washing on or walk the dog. Take a proper lunch break.
Keep a log of your hours – you may find you are doing way more (or less) than you think you are. Those 15 minute quick email checks all add up.
Keep asking yourself if the work pattern you have created works for you. If it doesn’t think what you need to change.
The temptation is to schedule back to back meetings. Make sure you also schedule time to do the tasks. Try turning off the phone and notifications in this period to allow you to concentrate fully.
It can be easy to feel the pressure to reply to emails sent by colleagues out of traditional work hours. Think about adjusting your email sign off to explain – you are working flexibly to manage your work life balance but you do not expect a reply at this time. Share your work pattern openly so others do not assume you are working long hours and feel the pressure to follow.
If you are feeling isolated, you are not alone. Reach out to other home workers and build in a chance to chat.
It’s easy when working alone to stop feeling a sense of achievement. Take time at the end of the day or week to write down or reflect on what you have achieved. You may want to schedule an end of day check in with a colleague to share what you have done.
Take time at the end of each day to re-plan what you need to do. This will allow you to switch off, knowing you are clear what you need to tackle the following day.
Literally switch off and pack up. Put the computer and phone away and out of sight. If you have work apps on your personal phone turn off the notifications. Escape the pinging. Plan an end time and stick to it. Set an alarm 15 mins before the end time to remind you to finish up.
You can also download these tips in a handy A3 poster format to display.
For more information and guidance about working safely on our sites and from home, please visit our Working Safely page.
- Health and wellbeing information pack
New pack April 2021 – Staff Wellbeing Pack -12 April 2021
We are all adjusting to living and working in unprecedented times and there will be occasions when everyone, however knowledgeable and experienced they may be, will feel overwhelmed, anxious and out of their depth.
Times are tough and we are only human after all.
Acknowledging this and how we are feeling, using our own tried and tested methods for coping with stress and worries continue to be the biggest protective factors for our own mental health and wellbeing.
However we are all guilty of putting our own needs last especially when we spend most of our day caring for our service users, colleagues and loved ones.
If we are going to continue to rise up to the challenges over the next few months, then we need to pace ourselves and look after both our physical and mental wellbeing.
Whilst we all have our own preferred ways of coping with stress and managing our wellbeing the Trust’s Health and Wellbeing Group have put together this fantastic document which includes top tips, and ideas to help in your everyday life.
You can also find various short films on our YouTube staff health and wellbeing playlist.
- 24 hour help from Health Assured
Health Assured, our Employee Assistance Programme, is available to help you cope with life’s challenges, whenever and wherever they’re thrown at us. It can offer help and support with a range of work, family and personal issues. To access this service you can self-refer or your manager can refer you.
There are different ways to access assistance:
- Online referral: Health Assured have just introduced a NEW online management referral process. You can access the form here which also includes Guidance Notes and FAQs.
- Online resources: via the Health Assured website.
- Call the helpline: 24-hour confidential telephone counselling service on 0800 030 5182. You can speak to a qualified and experienced counsellor who will offer support in a professional, friendly and non-judgemental manner. As well as helping our staff, Health Assured will support your partner and children who live with you who are aged between 16 and 24 and are in full-time education.
- Download the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app:
• PDF Guide – How to Download and Register
• Health Assured App Poster with Code to display in staff areas
You need a code to access the app which is: MHA069034.
• Watch this short film about the app
The app offers access to holistic health and wellbeing support at the tap of a finger anywhere and anytime:
- Support videos and webinars
- Mood tracker
- Four-week programmes
- Home life support and advice
- Work life assistance
- Physical and emotional health
- Mini health checks
- Life Support
- Medical information
- A Live chat function is also included on the new app
This programme is just for LYPFT staff. If you are a service user or member of the public, please go to our health and wellbeing pages for support to help you through this challenging time.
- Physical health support
Physical health helpline
The Occupational Health Team have a Covid-19 helpline for you to call if you are feeling unwell and want to discuss your symptoms.
You can call 01924 316036 from 8am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.
These phone lines are just for LYPFT staff. If you are a service user or member of the public, please go to our health and wellbeing pages for support to help you through this challenging time.
Whether you’re working from home or with unfamiliar pressures in the workplace, in the current situation it can be challenging to maintain physical health. However, this is vital to make sure you can continue to offer your best to service users, family and friends.
Controlling the things you can control is important in dealing with challenging situations and that is why we’ve put together this package to support you to remain physically active, which is key for both physical and mental wellbeing.
HR Frequently Asked Questions on Physical Health
Read this document of FAQs, from avoiding aches and pains, to feeling tense, and how to keep getting up while you work.
Pain is something that affects most of us at some point. The majority recover well but for some people pain can last longer than expected.
We’re used to thinking about the ‘mechanical’ causes of pain, a muscle strain for example. But when pain persists it’s often the case that other factors contribute. As we’re often less familiar with thinking about these other factors this series of three web chats will discuss with experts in their field about how you can think outside the box to manage pain.
Trust Physio Joe Loftus has recorded a series of films with experts on managing pain.
#1 with Sharon Dean – the impact of sleep
#2 with Belinda Godfrey – positive beliefs
#3 with Keiran Breedon – stress, anxiety, low mood and pain
#4 with Ali Roper – talking about how workplace factors can help to protect against pain
Watch all four short films on Youtube on the wellbeing playlist.
MSK podcast series
We’re releasing a series of podcasts aimed at managers throughout the Trust.
We hope these podcasts will act as a resource for managers when managing staff with MSK issues and stimulate thinking and reflection on how MSK issues can be best managed and the key role that managers play.
There are 4 episodes of 10-20 minutes in length on our podcast playlist:
- The staff perspective
- The line manager perspective
- The senior management perspective with Dr Sara Munro
- The Occupational Health perspective
You can also check out the line managers’ guide to managing MSK pain.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) issues and fast track physio appointments
The managers briefing pack for MSK issues summarises the current best evidence about managing musculoskeletal (MSK) pain – this guide is suitable for managers whose staff are working from their usual place of work.
The briefing packs below, for staff and managers, are designed to help support you during the Covid-19 restrictions where you may be working from home much more than usual, for a sustained amount of time.
Here are some resources from Trust Physio, Joe Loftus, which may be useful:
Download Joe’s presentation slides for your team meeting or watch the latest webinar with Joe on how to avoid aches and pains and MSK issues while working from home:
You can watch a helpful video from Trust Physio, Joe Loftus about desk set up if you’re working from home.
We’re continuing to offer fast-track Physiotherapy appointments by video link (self-referral or management referral). Email email@example.com or the Occupational Health and Wellbeing department on 01924 316031.
1. Home desk exercises: Quick fire exercises aimed at common issues with desk based working. An example below:
2. Exercises for staff who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable: Improve your general fitness, you’ll see best results doing these 3-4 times a week.
It’s useful to take advantage of other forms of advice too. If you’re experiencing aches or pains it can be hard to know where to look.
Two excellent starting points for self help on a variety of musculoskeletal issues are:
You could also look at:
- Check-In campaign - staff suicide prevention
The ‘Check-in’ campaign, led by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, aims to reduce staff suicide and promote a wellbeing culture by normalising the conversation around suicide and mental health as well as providing training, resources and signposting for support.
Whether front-line, office, service or community based, everyone works incredibly hard to provide great care but health and care staff are often the last to put their hand up for help for themselves. Through Check-In we are inviting mental wellbeing conversations as common place, without fear of judgement, within all teams, departments and roles.
Across West Yorkshire and Harrogate organisations are working together to create a culture in which we acknowledge ourselves as people in and outside of work.
There are 4 key messages to remember:
Recognise why a person might be at risk of suicide and identify some of the signs.
Talk to a colleague if you’re concerned and ask directly if they’re thinking about suicide.
Help colleagues to stay safe and direct them to helpful resources.
- SAVE A LIFE
Take the training. Save a life.
In 20 minutes, Zero Suicide Alliance’s suicide awareness training gives you the skills and confidence to help someone who may be struggling. The campaign aims to focus on removing stigma and encouraging open conversations.
For training and support visit staffcheck-in.co.uk.
- Resources for managers and team leaders
In addition to the health and wellbeing resources available to all colleagues, you can access resources to develop your management and leadership skills and support your team more effectively in these challenging times and beyond.
Here you can find shortcuts to leadership and team management resources which will support you to:
- Adopt caring, compassionate approaches
- Understand the individual circumstances of those you manage
- Build effective and supportive teams
- Focus on the wellbeing of your staff, such as following the triage of support and build a safe culture
- Your wellbeing as a leader or a manager
In light of the culture collaborative work over the past year and also against the back drop of the current pandemic, with the heightened pressures it has brought, we have pulled together a pack called ‘Leading in unprecedented times’.
It is a collection of resources, containing tools, tips and best practice approaches to leading and managing effectively. There is a strong focus on adopting caring approaches, for yourself as a manager/leader and digging deep to understand the individual circumstances of those you manage. It also includes simple guidance to building effective teams and focussing on the wellbeing of your staff, such as following the triage of support (psychological first aid) and building a safe culture in your team.
This document goes some way to lay out the approach we expect from our leaders and managers and we hope proves a useful toolkit to help them in these challenging times and beyond. Our intention is to embed this further with virtual learning opportunities.
Leadership Support Circles
Leadership Support Circles are based on the principles of compassionate and inclusive leadership and are being introduced in response to supporting manager’s and leaders’ with their health and wellbeing, their ability to prioritise self-care and in doing so, enabling them to better support their people. Our Trust is running a pilot scheme starting in April.
They provide a safe space for people managers to come together and share experience, to be heard and sometimes to work through complex challenges. The intention is to offer psychological support to those with people management responsibilities through sessions that draw on a wealth of evidence. The sessions also provide good networking and leadership development opportunities. You can find more info on Staffnet.
Any team leader or team manager can book a place online. You can sign up to as many of the 10 sessions as you wish and it’s recommended that everyone aims to attend one introductory session.
Find supportive resources for effective team working from Affina OD.
Various resources around building teams quickly, psychological safety, teamwork in critical situations and team working remotely.
Mindtools support pack
To help you during this time, Mindtools have created a FREE support pack of relevant resources aimed at maintaining yours and your team’s physical and emotional well-being.
Visit the Mindtools website.
Free coaching for leaders and managers
Who can access coaching?
Any member of staff can request coaching. We are able to offer coaching to support staff for many reasons including but not exclusively
- To support your development in a new role
- To support the development of better relationships with colleagues
- If you have undergone or are about to undergo a process of organisational change
- To support to delegates on leadership and management programmes
- Exploration of your future career and role development
- You simply want to maximise your performance
Coaching focuses on topics and challenges chosen by you and asks that you complete a contract prior to your coaching which clarifies what you hope to get out of it. This contract will then be re-visited after your coaching has finished.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your coaching journey.
NHS England and NHS Improvement Health and Wellbeing have partnered with selected coaching companies and other leading-edge organisations to provide free, confidential, 1-2-1 coaching or mentoring support sessions for all NHS and social care leaders. So if you would prefer to seek an external coach please find out more about the offer and how to register visit the website.
Peer Coaching Groups focus on the relationship between reflection and action with the structured attention and support of the group. The focus is on the issues that individuals bring and through coaching by peers, attendees choose an action on which to follow through and report into the group in the next session.
An advantage of this group learning is that members can look at real problems which concern them, and they are responsible for the selection of the topics or problems discussed. Find out more in our Peer Coaching Groups guide. If you are interested in implementing Peer Coaching within your team/service, please contact us at email@example.com
‘Leading Beyond the Crisis’ leadership webinars
We’ve run a series of leadership webinar sessions to help our leaders come together, re-connect, and hear thoughts from some leading experts and also to have the opportunity for small group reflection and discussion.
- The first webinar with Professor Michael West, ‘Compassionate Leadership’ can be watched now on YouTube.You can also see an overview of the zoom breakout room discussion themes.
- The second webinar with Margaret Heffernan focused on ‘Looking to the Future’ https://youtu.be/duuQRYKTtRU
- The third webinar with Andy Caldwell, ‘Building Collaborative Leadership and High Performing Teams’ is available on YouTube
Psychological first aid and peer support webinar
This webinar will equip team managers and leaders with the skills to support staff in the here and now at times of acute and chronic stress. Psychological First Aid is an evidenced based intervention adopted by the World Health Organisation, and promoted by NHSE and the Trust as a ‘first line intervention’. The psychological support framework offered within the Trust and across services is supported by the psychological professions.
- Spiritual support
The Chaplaincy Team, is keen to ensure that staff know that they are here and able to provide a service at this time.
In the current climate all support will be provided via a compassionate telephone consultation in replacement of the usual one-to-one meeting, or via virtual consultations where possible.
Any member of staff can access confidential support from the chaplaincy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch a message of hope from 2021 from Leeds Chaplains https://youtu.be/Rw_4GmPb_z8
The holistic wellbeing of an individual should include a person’s spiritual wellbeing. Below is an article adapted from the publication of Janae Bower. She is an inspirational speaker, award-winning author and training consultant.
Value of Spirituality in the Workplace
Research shows the impacts which spiritual wellbeing in the workplace can have for individuals and organisations. Here are four key outcomes that everyone can benefit from:
Boosts morale. Engaging in practices that support spiritual wellbeing in the workplace can uplift the spirits of everyone involved.
Influences satisfaction. Since spiritual wellbeing in the workplace encourages each individual to bring their whole self to both work and home, it increases the satisfaction level in both areas.
Strengthens commitment. Being aligned with an organisation that fosters the essence of who you are enables you to feel and display a tremendous sense of loyalty.
Increases productivity. When you feel a greater sense of connection to your work, you are more motivated to produce good work.
Spiritual wellbeing needs can include:
- the need for meaning and purpose in our lives
- the need to love and feel loved
- the need to feel a sense of belonging
- the need to feel hope, peace and gratitude
- Financial wellbeing support
The NHS partners with the Money Advice Service, an organisation which works to improve people’s financial wellbeing across the UK, to provide all NHS employees with free and independent financial support.
There are a variety of offers that you are able to engage with personally or signpost colleagues to who may need this support:
- Support line: Free and impartial money advice
- Online support: Hub of resources
- Virtual interactive events: Managing your money
If you need support now, you can contact the Money Advice Service for free, confidential and impartial money advice by telephone on 0800 448 0826, via WhatsApp to +44 7701 342 744 and via web chat.
- Tackling racism and inequality
Our workforce is diverse, as are the communities we serve. However this alone does not make us an inclusive organisation. We know BAME colleagues are not equally represented at more senior levels of our Trust and that racism both direct and indirect and bullying and harassment continues to take place here.
We must do more to tackle racism and inequality and create a culture where this can be called out.
What can you do now?
- Reach out and make the time to have a conversation with our BAME colleagues to understand their challenges and concerns.
- Worried about having difficult conversations? On YouTube you will find a series of short videos that might help:
- We have a wide range of diverse blogs written about our staff experience for you to check out, particularly those as part of our WREN Stories.
- Join our networks. These groups are open to all staff:
- Workforce Race Equality Network (WREN) contact email@example.com
Watch the YouTube film from WREN
- Disability and Wellbeing Network (DaWN) contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rainbow Alliance (LGBT+ network) contact Rainbow.email@example.com
- Bank Forum contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the YouTube film about our bank staff
- Workforce Race Equality Network (WREN) contact email@example.com
Want to learn more about equality, diversity and inclusivity?
Contact our Library and Knowledge Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 85 55652/43) as they have expanded their selection of fiction and non-fiction books on diversity, inclusivity, understanding prejudices that can shape our lives as well as exploring the health inequalities of diverse groups. You will find a list of latest titles here.
- Check out a helpful guide for parents to discuss resources, activities, and tips for families to empower children to work towards racial equality entitled Parents Guide to Black Lives Matter.
- Our YouTube playlist relating to diversity and inclusion and how to be an ally.
- Check out other videos on YouTube for more information such as:
- Want to understand more about the impact of Covid-19 on societal groups?
- Connecting with others
Join the conversation – staff Facebook group
Our staff Facebook group LYPFT Together is safe space for staff to come together to share information and talk with each other.
You can join the Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LYPFTstaff
To keep this group private for staff only, you will be asked some questions and to provide your NHS email address. This will only be used for verification purposes and will not be published anywhere on the group.
This is a space for you and we encourage you to take part, get involved and create content for each other.
Coffee Mates is your opportunity to spend around 30 mins having a (virtual) chat and getting to know someone new, who wouldn’t necessarily be someone for your usual work environment. Your chats can be about anything and it doesn’t need to be work related. There is no agenda, no goal, just have a catch up and see where it takes you. It’s all about you having a break, a chat, developing new support networks and having a chance to recharge.
Here’s what Lesley Sharp has to say about her experience: “For me meeting colleagues you otherwise wouldn’t helps promote understanding between disciplines and develops lines of communication for future possibilities; also it develops the use of Zoom as a different way of working from home and on site.”
Coffee Mates catch-ups can take place by phone or video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. If you’d like to sign up send an email with the subject ‘Coffee Mates’ to email@example.com to say ‘count me in’ with the area you work in and we will do the rest.
- Sharing experiences
To contribute a selfie, blog, poem, take part in a podcast or for any other contributions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Franklin-Smith, a therapist from the CONNECT Eating Disorders Service, shared her story with us on Zoom about recovering from the infection. Watch now on YouTube.
Lisa Cromack, an Involvement Coordinator, contributed a blog for Learning Disability Week about her recovery from coronavirus. Read it on our website.
Blogs about the Coronavirus response
A colleague talks about their redeployment experience.
LYPFT Together podcasts
First in a series of podcasts featuring our amazing colleagues (Recorded October 2020). Hosted by Josef Faulkner, Clinical Operations Manager for Community and Primary Care Mental Health Services.
Colleagues chat with Josef about their experiences through the pandemic – work pressures, shielding, working from home, coping with anxiety and stress and more. Plus Josef asks for some tips on how they have kept themselves well.
- Asking questions and raising concerns
- Visit the FAQs page to find answers to frequently asked questions.
- If you have questions that cannot be answered locally please email email@example.com.
- We support a speak up culture, where all staff feel safe and confident to raise concerns. If something at work is troubling you, please tell us. Do not be afraid to speak up if you don’t think something is right. For more information visit ‘Raising Concerns’ on Staffnet where you can also find out more about the five new Ambassadors Christopher Anozie, Victoria Savage, Robin Ellis, Katie Yarr and Alexis Bennett.You can raise concerns in different ways:
- Speak with your line manager, clinical supervisor or union representative in the first instance
- Contact a member of the Freedom to Speak Up Team:
- the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, John Verity is at firstname.lastname@example.org or call / text on 07980 959 407
- get in touch with a Freedom to Speak up Ambassador
- NHS support and staff offers
NHS staff offers
NHS England and NHS Improvement have verified all the kind offers being made to NHS staff and have listed them on the NHS website. This list includes details on how to access these offers, and any terms and conditions to be aware of.
AA breakdown support
The AA will assist any NHS worker who breaks down on their way to and from work, even if they have not paid for AA cover. If you need roadside assistance, call the dedicated hotline on 0800 0725 064.
NHS People – wellbeing support
A range of guides, apps and events to support the wellbeing of you and your team are available at people.nhs.uk
The expiration dates for the wellbeing apps is as follows;
- Headspace– free offer to NHS staff continuing until 31 December 2021
- Movement for Modern Life– free offer to NHS staff expires 30 September 2021
Download the NHS Supporting Our People guide to what’s available.
Your Covid Recovery
This NHS website helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.
- Resources for parents
BBC Online Learning Details
Online – learning resources for children of all ages can be found on the BBC Bitesize website.
TV – programming for primary school pupils will be on CBBC between 09:00 and 12.00 every weekday. Programmes for secondary school pupils will be on BBC Two, between 13:00 and 15:00.
Red Button – the Bitesize Daily lessons will also be shown on the Red Button service on TV.
iPlayer – all episodes will be available on catch-up, on demand on iPlayer.
The Bitesize Daily lessons on TV will feature a different subject each day, with the programming kicking off on Monday at 09:00 with maths – 20-minutes of teaching for five-to-seven year-olds, and then tuition for seven-to-nine year-olds and those aged nine-to-11. Lessons in English, science and French will follow over the next few days.
The Celebrity Supply Teacher programme at 10:05 will feature the likes of footballer Marcus Rashford on PE and singer Geri Horner’s English tips.
Science for 11-14 year-olds is the focus in the first week’s Bitesize Daily lesson programme at 13:00, and this will be followed by a screening of The Planets presented by Prof Brian Cox.
- Link to BBC Info Page here; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55591821
- Useful link to use maybe on how to how to help your child’s online learning: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-55549072
- Link to Bitesize content: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
- Link to Cbeebies: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/curations/bbc-childrens
Scholastic Home Learning packs
Age range: All
Scholastic has been in the business of textbooks for decades and, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company’s Resource Bank has put together a range of free home learning packs to help parents and teachers keep their kids up-to-date with their schooling and development. The packs are divided by learning age – Early Years, Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2 – and can be downloaded from Scholastic’s Home Learning site.
Canva class timetables and worksheets
Age range: All
- How the pandemic broke Britain’s schools and stranded a generation
If the very thought of homeschooling your children fills you with dread, add some method to the madness with free templates from design platform Canva. Canva is used by more than 8 million teachers and students globally and provides a host of templates from class timetables to worksheets, fact sheets and storyboarding. You can even download certificates to reward your children (or yourself) for making it through each day. On its Distance Education site are tips and fact sheets to help guide parents, too.
Twinkl activity packs and planners
Age range: All
Twinkl – one of the country’s largest education platforms – has made 630,000 home learning packs available to parents for free to help them plan their child’s day and make sure they keep up with the school studies. Each of these packs include activity sheets, information packs and interactive presentations, complemented by online games and videos. The packs are categorised by key stage groups from the Early Years Foundation Stage up to GSCE, as well as those requiring special educational needs provision, and Twinkl has also put together guidance for parents and carers as to how to help children being schooled at home. All core subjects at each key stage are covered and are mapped to all UK curriculums.
PE with Joe
Age range: All
Every morning this week, Joe Wicks – a.k.a The Body Coach – is hosting free workouts aimed at kids live on his YouTube channel. You don’t need any equipment, just tune in to his channel for a 30-minute workout live at 9am Monday to Friday. On day one, more than 800,000 families signed in to take part (including WIRED). If you have a smart TV, Chromecast or Amazon Fire, or a set-top box with the YouTube channel, you can stream the videos to your living room through your TV. If you don’t, you can still stream via a phone or tablet and all workouts are being made available on catch-up, on Joe’s YouTube channel, after each event has ended to be streamed later if you cannot make the live class.
Diddi Dance in Da House
Price: £4.50 to £8
Age range: 18 months to 4 years
Diddi Dance has taken its toddler and pre-school dance classes online and each of its teachers is offering virtual lessons and parties to families across the country. These classes are designed to be fun and interactive to get your little ones wiggling and exercising without realising they’re doing so. Although the classes are run virtually, new customers are being encouraged to find their local teacher so children can continue attending the classes, if they want to, once everything gets back to normal. In theory, though, you can attend any class. Prices vary depending on region but average between £4.50 and £8.
Sesame Street x Headspace meditation
Age range: All ages
If your children are struggling with stress, anxiety or having trouble sleeping as a result of the ongoing pandemic, they may benefit from meditation and mindfulness. With this in mind, Sesame Street has teamed up with Headspace to create “Monster Meditations” – six animated shorts to help children learn the basics of mindfulness, meditation and social and emotional learning. The six shorts were first broadcast on YouTube during the summer and they’re still available, for free, on both YouTube and YouTube Kids.
The shorts are each around three minutes long and feature animated versions of Sesame Street Muppets feeling frustrated, impatient, overwhelmed, nervous, disappointed, and excited. Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe, helps each monster learn various breathing and sensory activities and other mindfulness techniques to better manage relatable, everyday scenarios.
The first in the series shows Cookie Monster impatiently waiting for his cookies to bake. Andy introduces a fun game called “I-sense” to teach Cookie Monster patience.
62 Local parks in Leeds: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/parks-and-countryside/your-local-park
Parks and Open Spaces in Leeds: https://www.york.gov.uk/ParksAndOpenSpaces
Parks and Open Spaces in York: https://www.york.gov.uk/parks
Customers using BT Mobile, EE, and Plusnet Mobile can use BBC Bitesize content from the end of January without eating into their data allowance.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55616959. More mobile companies are expected to follow suit in making such content free to use.