The Yorkshire Evening Post launched a new survey this week to find out what sort of city people in Leeds want to live in. It’s got the backing of senior leaders in the city including our own Chief Executive, Tom Riordan who said the survey will “provide a fresh insight into what matters to the citizens of Leeds”.
It covers topical issues like safety and community, transport and getting around, the economy and leisure. By working together, people and institutions can build a city that will thrive for generations to come, whilst also withstanding difficult economic times. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to shape services and to make the city an even better place to live.
This is a great opportunity to influence a city that I’ve come to respect; a city I’m proud to work for. And even though I’m not originally from Leeds or technically a ‘Yorkshire lass’ so to speak, I’ve grown to love this city and believe that many of the people of Leeds do too. For me, one of the things that sets Leeds apart from anywhere else I’ve lived before is the enthusiasm, diversity, passion and spirit of people who live and work here. Whether or not they are residents, professionals or businesses, people seem to share the same passion and commitment for making Leeds the ‘best city in the UK’. The city offers so many opportunities like the survey for example, for people to get involved in making that shared ambition a reality – and that can only ever be a good thing.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside many of our health and social care professionals over the last few years in the journey to transform the health and social care system to better meet the needs of local people. It’s an on-going journey that has really gathered pace over the last year, particularly now that the city has secured national funding to become a ‘Pioneer’ and take it a step further by testing out new, more innovative ideas with the help of national expertise and support. But the reason it has been so successful is because people who use services have been involved from the outset, standing side-by-side with the professionals, making important decisions and giving their views. It means that services can be designed with those people in mind, and ultimately better serve them. You can see lots of real life examples of how people are better supported as a result of this work on our website at www.leeds.gov.uk/transform in the ‘documents’ section.
With so many opportunities and reasons to share ideas and learning, I have decided to take a pledge myself to connect more with people and communities so that I am better informed to do my job as a communications person for Adult Social Care. It’s all part of my personal commitment to Better Lives for People in Leeds. I’m starting by signing up to Leeds Connected Coffee – a joint pledge and part of NHS Change Day where you invite someone that you know but don’t usually have contact with, for a 30 minute coffee to find out more about them and what they do.
It’s a great idea to get people talking and to find out how we can join the dots to make our city even better. There are so many other pledges and you can sign up for the one that means something to you, or even make up your own. Some of the existing pledges include:
- Healthwatch – Local voices shaping local services
- Whose Shoes? Enabling people living with dementia to speak out
- Patient stories
- Be the change you want to see
- Community of health and care radicals
There’s really no excuse to not get involved! There’s lots of ways to make a contribution – here’s a few more examples.
- NHS Winter Friends Pledge – look in on an older friend or neighbour this winter
- Random Acts of Kindness – inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others
- Leeds Involving People – information about getting involved in health and social care in Leeds City Council
- Talking Point Leeds – have a say on services you use and the place you live
Go on, give it a go! We would love to hear what you get up to so please leave us a comment or email us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.