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NEWS ROUNDUP: New COVID-19 Leeds contact tracing service and BBC Yorkshire jobs boost

 

18/03/21

A major new initiative has been launched in Leeds to track down the contacts of people testing positive for COVID-19.

The Leeds Contact Tracing Telephone Service is aiming to stem the spread and will also offer guidance and support including help with shopping, collecting prescriptions and financial advice.

As part of the BBC’s plans to move key jobs and programmes out of London, some departments and news divisions will be moving to Leeds. The corporation are also looking to introduce a new version of BBC One tailored for Yorkshire audiences.

Following a successful fundraising campaign, Leeds Baby Bank is celebrating getting on the road with the purchase of an electric van to deliver essential baby items to families in need.

Leeds Baby Bank launched a fundraising appeal in September last year, and thanks to the generosity of people across the city and a grant from the Brelms trust it was able to purchase the environmentally friendly vehicle as well as employ a driver. This means that the charity will be able to reach more families in need more quickly.

The charity, which creates referral packages of pre-loved and new baby items for families of children under five in Leeds, is mindful of its environmental impact which led to the decision to go electric. Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley is providing storage as well as free charging for the zero-emissions van. 

Will Munton, Charity Manager for Leeds Baby Bank said: “Whilst it’s heart-breaking to know there is so much demand for our service, we are stepping up to the challenge by investing in digital solutions for our warehouse, and investing sustainable transport for our charity. This new electric vehicle will help us speed our service up for families in crisis, and at the same avoid harming the environment.

“We started fundraising for transport in September last year and we’ve been blown away by the generosity of people in the city and we’re incredibly grateful to the Brelms Trust, John Lewis, Wesleyan foundation, CAF, Leeds City Council and Leeds United for their support too.

“Last month we delivered essential items to 77 families but there are more in need. We hope that we’ll be able to support more families more quickly now we have dedicated transport.”

William Gaunt, Joint Managing Director of Sunny Bank Mills said: “Sunny Bank Mills is really pleased to support the wonderful Leeds Baby Bank to go green. It is now more important than ever to support young families, whilst saving the planet at the same time with an electric vehicle and re-using precious equipment.”

Leeds Baby Bank is one of the largest baby banks in the country and supports up to 100 families each month with essential items which have been donated, checked and distributed to families in crisis. 

Families are referred to Leeds Baby Bank by professionals and the charity’s work supports the efforts of the NHS and local council. The small staff team and army of volunteers work tirelessly each week putting together bundles of cots, prams, clothing, baby food, and toys for children 0-5, for families who have reached crisis point. 

More information about Leeds Baby Bank can be found here.

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