A pledge to make our city the best it can be

GS in the city

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

To make your pledge, click here. To take part in the Yorkshire Evening Post survey, click here.

There’s really no excuse to not get involved! There’s lots of ways to make a contribution – here’s a few more examples.

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 asc.comms@leeds.gov.uk.

 By Gurpreet Sarai
@gurpreetsarai  @betterliveslds

About betterlivesleeds

Health, social and age-related care services working together to make Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing
This entry was posted in Choice, Dementia, Health and Wellbeing, Working together and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A pledge to make our city the best it can be

  1. Phil Gleeson says:

    Not sure the survey covers enough. it is very vague in its questioning, The personal info at the end doesnt even seek out wether you are able bodied or not, this makes a massive difference to the answers and their meanings.
    Im a wheelchair user and I dont feel safe in leeds because i cannot escape in a situation, i dont travel on public transport because they are terrible to use as a wheelchair user, same with the sports facilities or lack of.

    The idea is good but i think we arent going to get a clear and accurate picture of the way a citizen in leeds lives and what they feel.

    • Thanks for sharing your views Phil. We hope you shared them when responding to the survey. Sharing what we think is important as it provides an opportunity for a discussion and views to be shared and better understood. That’s the main reason we set up this blog.

      We have more information about Disability Sport and access on our website. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/sports/Pages/Disability-Sport.aspx

      It includes an events calendar, detailing all of the disability sport festivals, camps, competitions and events held in Leeds throughout the year.

      • Phil Gleeson says:

        I have done.

        I know Mr Bibby very well from Leeds Disability sports. he does a great job with what he has, the problem is for example, if I want to go swimming I am limited to a specific times and not all centres provide this, if they do its one lane or at best two lanes, without being derogatory to the disabled citizens of Leeds not all can take part within these confines, also the times are very limiting especially for carers etc. I think we need to include all the citizens of the great city of Leeds fairly.

        Maybe this is a discussion I could take up elsewhere, I dont want to be negative in fact im hoping we can get Leeds to be totally inclusive for ALL.

        • Phil, that’s a great aspiration for Leeds. We encourage you to continue that discussion and we will let our disability sports colleagues know too. Thanks again for sharing your experience and thoughts.

    • I absolutely agree with Phil. In my opinion the YEP survey is clearly meant for the ‘average’ (able-bodied) person. We are not average and have very different needs.

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