Follow the Leader: Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council

The digital donation scheme is working well to support children and young people who are studying at homeThe digital donation scheme is working well to support children and young people who are studying at home
The digital donation scheme is working well to support children and young people who are studying at home
With the successful start of the NHS vaccine programme there is hope that we will soon be able to look forward to better times ahead.

It has clearly been a challenging start to the year for everyone, but I thank you all for your continued efforts during the third national lockdown and more recently the excellent support from our communities to tackling the heavy snowfall and rain which impacted the entire region.

I firmly believe when we all work together we achieve so much, as has been demonstrated on many occasions.

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For the sake of ourselves, our loved ones and our communities, I urge you to please continue to follow the latest government national lockdown guidance to stay at home as much as possible. You can remind yourself of the guidance here:

I am so impressed with how people are responding to changing and difficult situations.

In education settings, our school teachers and support staff have done a tremendous job over the last very difficult 10 months, despite constant u-turns by government and ever-changing guidelines.

I will continue to lobby the government, to ask for them to vaccinate schools staff as a priority to support the safe reopening of schools.

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We are here to support you, and are working with our partners to make a real difference.

Our digital donation scheme is supporting disadvantaged children in the district to access IT equipment for home learning.

Thanks to donations 45 laptops have already been sent out to homes where they are needed and more will go out soon. By harnessing people’s kindness and goodwill this scheme will help the next generation to learn.

We recognise that people have different needs, and some are experiencing very difficult living conditions, so over the winter we’re distributing vouchers to help 18,000 children, young people and their families to stay warm and fed.

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We must help those experiencing hard times, which is why we’re putting more money into our Emergency Fund, we are continuing to support food banks in the district, and the work of the Help at the Hubs, to provide vital support for communities.

Please, if you are struggling, get in touch for support. The details of how to can be found here:

I am extremely frustrated that this government continues to dodge its responsibility to fund adult social care, forcing local councils to yet again ask residents to step in.

This has meant that this year we are having to put forward an additional two per cent precept to help maintain services for our most vulnerable adults.

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Please be assured that my colleagues and I are doing everything we can to push this government to come up with a long term, national solution, to the funding of care for older people.

Every day I hear of the good work individuals, organisations and communities are doing to support our district.

I believe we will emerge from this crisis stronger - but for now we all need to hold tight, follow the rules and do everything to stay safe.

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