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22/07/20

Another major milestone for new sixth form centre

The brand new Trinity Sixth Form Academy in Halifax town centre is ready to welcome its first students this September, as Calderdale Council has handed over the state-of-the-art building to Trinity Multi-Academy Trust.

This key milestone follows the completion of the multi-million-pound construction project to transform the former Central Library into a top-class learning facility and to help regenerate the town.

Spaces throughout the building have been specifically designed to enhance the learning experience through abundant daylight and natural ventilation, creating a welcoming, healthy environment. A new glass atrium in the centre of the building, open from the ground floor right up to the roof, gives a wonderful feeling of space that is bound to inspire students for years to come.

The central Halifax location and close proximity to excellent transport links are proving to be attractive benefits for students, and further demand is anticipated now the building transformation is complete. Trinity Sixth Form Academy has opened a late applications process on its website at https://sixth.trinitymat.org/ for those wanting to apply for a place from September 2020.

The location was also chosen to help boost economic growth by increasing footfall, spending and jobs in the town, and to support the Vision2024 for Calderdale through the Council’s Next Chapter programme to transform the borough through major capital projects.

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, said:

“We’re delighted to hand over the running of this fantastic new facility to Trinity Multi-Academy Trust. Bringing this key site back into use will add to the vibrancy and prosperity of the town, which is more important than ever at the moment.”

Cllr Adam Wilkinson, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, added:

“We know that Trinity Multi-Academy Trust will do a great job of running the new sixth form centre and helping young people to achieve their best. We’re really excited for students to start experiencing the new building from September. It will add to the great existing post-16 options already available to young people in Calderdale.”

Michael Gosling, CEO of Trinity Multi-Academy Trust, said:

“We are delighted that our vision for a new specialist post-16 college for the young people of Calderdale has been delivered, and extremely proud to be part of the wider regeneration of the town, and the combined impact it will have.”

The Trinity Sixth Form Academy partnership project has been completed by Calderdale Council, Trinity Multi-Academy Trust, Rastrick High School, LDN Architects, Blacc Ltd and a range of local contractors.

The new sixth form centre adds to the fantastic range of post-16 facilities available across Calderdale, giving local young people more choice to continue their studies in either a school or college-based setting. This helps to keep students and talent within the borough. The other post-16 providers in Calderdale are Brighouse High School, The Brooksbank School, The Crossley Heath School, North Halifax Grammar School, Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College, Ryburn Valley High School and Calderdale College.

More information:

www.sixth.trinitymat.org

http://calderdalenextchapter.co.uk/projects/halifax-northgate-house

www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision

21/07/20

Playing our part to protect Calderdale from COVID-19

Calderdale Council teams continue to adapt to new ways of working, to provide the best possible protection and support to each other and the entire community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council staff are playing a vital role in helping local people, including the most vulnerable, alongside the amazing work of other organisations and volunteers.

Thanks to the talent, enterprise, kindness and resilience that define Calderdale, Council teams have stepped up to the recent challenges, adjusting to working from home, moving to different job roles and coming up with creative ideas for delivering services in new ways.

This ensures that as many staff as possible are working to support the COVID-19 response. It helps them to stay safe and well, protect the wider community and the environment, support those most at risk, and help build a strong future for the borough.

Like many organisations across the country during the outbreak, the Council has moved to homeworking as a key feature of the new normal for the majority of its workforce. Over 1,200 Council staff are working from home, and this is set to continue in the long-term. A recent wellbeing survey for Council staff highlighted the beneficial impact and the changes they want to build on in the future – greater flexible working, improved technology, employee health and protecting the environment.

We know that the virus is still with us in Calderdale and will remain in our communities for the foreseeable future, as restrictions are eased. Not only does homeworking limit the risk of COVID-19 in the workforce and the whole community, it also boosts efficiency and productivity, accelerates the Council’s digital transformation, is better for the environment due to less travelling, and is beneficial for staff health and wellbeing – in May 2020, the Council’s sick leave was 45% lower than in 2019.

If staff are unable to work from home due to the nature of their job, the Council has office space which remains open with extra safety features to enable social distancing, and a range of other measures and guidance to reduce the spread of the virus.

Enhancing workforce resilience and caring for staff is one of the priorities in the Council’s 10-point plan for responding to COVID-19. It will continue to do all it can to support a healthy, engaged and productive workforce throughout the current challenges and new ways of working.

This includes an Employee Wellbeing Board to drive support across the Council; a dedicated employee support line run by Council staff; an Employee Reference Group with diverse, inclusive representation to shape the Council’s COVID-19 response and vision for the future; regular checks and risk assessments to identify any vulnerabilities; and a wide range of innovative solutions from staff to keep everyone physically and emotionally well, such as online mindfulness and exercise sessions (which are also available to the public on YouTube).

Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, said:

“Giving the best support to local people starts with staff keeping as physically and emotionally healthy as they can. Despite their own challenges, they have gone above and beyond to help people, and we continue to do everything we can to support them.

“Staff have also shown great flexibility and resilience to move to homeworking and some have been redeployed to very different roles when required, ensuring the needs of our most vulnerable residents are met. We will learn from our new ways of working and move forward into a safer and more efficient and effective future for Calderdale.”

Zain’s story

As a Better Living Trainer for Calderdale Council, work and hobbies completely changed for Zain Ghani when gyms closed due to lockdown. He previously played an active role in communities to promote physical activity, health and wellbeing, and gym visits in his personal life were a key way to relieve any stress. Both of the new roles that Zain was redeployed into – first supporting the COVID-19 Volunteer Hub, and now working with Staying Well to help tackle loneliness – have meant working from home and staying active in new ways. Zain says:

“My new role is so rewarding because I can really engage with people affected by COVID-19 and its challenges. It has contributed to promoting my mental wellbeing as I’m making a difference in people’s lives. Having the chance to offer my skills in becoming physically active and remaining healthy whilst at home has also been an important part of this job.

“It has been a big change to provide support over the phone rather than in a gym or out in the community, and at the start of lockdown, managing everyday worries became more of a challenge. However, I took the opportunity to focus on doing body weight exercises at home and walking with my family to maintain my current fitness and appreciate Calderdale’s beautiful landscapes. Exploring different ways of being active, giving more attention to my mental wellbeing and helping people through the crisis has definitely been a positive experience.”

As the virus is still within our community, we should all continue to keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, wash our hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance to help keep ourselves and others safe. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home and book a test as soon as possible, within five days of the symptoms starting. Face coverings must be worn when travelling on public transport or in a taxi. It is also recommended that people wear face coverings whenever they are indoors with people who are not part of their household or bubble.

For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus

20/07/20

Safer streets for everyone

As more businesses start to reopen and Calderdale’s towns and villages get busier, the Council is introducing additional measures to help people feel safer when shopping, queuing, walking and cycling.

In June, to support non-essential retailers to start reopening, Calderdale Council launched new safety features in town centres to enable social distancing and more space for queuing, to complement the measures introduced by businesses.

The changes, which may remain for up to 18 months, included removing the bus stops and taxi rank on Market Street and closing on-street parking bays on Old Market in Halifax; suspending parking and loading bays on Commercial Street, Brighouse; removing parking and loading bays on Crown Street and closing Old Gate to all traffic in Hebden Bridge; stopping through traffic on Water Street, Todmorden and on Hollins Mill Lane, Sowerby Bridge; and introducing temporary road closures outside 10 Calderdale schools at drop-off and pick-up times to create safer, healthier and more pleasant ‘School Streets’ for everyone.

From Monday 20 July, further steps will be taken to not only help protect communities and businesses from COVID-19, but also to address the climate emergency and encourage more active travel, such as walking and cycling, to benefit people’s health and wellbeing.

The second phase of safety measures coming into effect from today (Monday 20 July) will see temporary closures of the following roads to prevent through traffic, improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and increase space for social distancing for up to 18 months:

  • From Monday 20 July:
  • From Monday 27 July:
  • Part of Bridge Street and Calder Street, Todmorden. Closures will be in place 24/7, except for loading.
  • Part of Southgate, Elland. There will be no through traffic between 10am and 4pm daily, plus temporary suspension of parking bays 24/7 to free up space for social distancing.
  • Old Lane, Halifax. There will be no through traffic 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Within two weeks:

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, said:

“Unfortunately COVID-19 will be part of our lives for months to come, so to protect people’s health and wellbeing and to support local businesses, we’re making our town centres as safe as possible for everyone.

“Temporary road closures and the removal of parking on some roads help to keep everyone two metres apart to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is our priority.

“We hope this helps people feel more confident to go out and about in our local area, helping to revitalise our economy, protect our environment and support people to enjoy walking and cycling more.

“All of the changes are temporary and we are monitoring them regularly, listening to feedback from residents and businesses and adapting the schemes as necessary.”

Following positive feedback from schools and parents on the temporary road closures outside schools, the Council is proposing to make the ‘School Streets’ permanent. It is consulting with Ward Councillors and working to get more schools on board for the new term in September. Local schools and parents have reported benefits including easier social distancing, safer walking and cycling, cleaner air and a more enjoyable environment.

To extend these benefits, the Council is planning to pilot a ‘Play Street’ this summer in partnership with residents in Park Ward. On a ‘Play Street’, the road is temporarily closed to traffic at certain times to become a community play space. Children can play out near home without the danger and inconvenience of traffic going through, boosting their physical activity levels, health and wellbeing as part of the Active Calderdale movement. The Council’s Cabinet backed the idea of introducing Play Streets across Calderdale in December 2019. The trial in Park Ward will be reviewed and the Council will then look to potentially expand the scheme.

The Council is also proposing to introduce ‘Friday Streets’ outside certain mosques in Calderdale later this summer. At the smaller mosques on Rhodes Street in Halifax and Eagle Street in Todmorden, there would be temporary, 20-minute road closures for the 2pm prayers on Fridays. Similar to ‘School Streets’, the closures would enable social distancing and encourage active travel and improved road safety.

Every scheme will be kept under regular review and all feedback will be taken into account.

Everyone who goes out and about in Calderdale must follow the guidance to keep themselves and others safe. As the virus is still within our community we should all continue to avoid crowded spaces, keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, avoid face-to-face exposure, wash our hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance.

Using face coverings will not remove the risk of you catching COVID-19 but it may reduce the risk to others if you have the virus. Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England will be mandatory from 24 July. Wearing a face covering on public transport or in a taxi has been mandatory since 15 June. Remember that face masks do not replace the need for social distancing and good hygiene practices.

17/07/20

Mobile testing unit open in Mixenden, Calderdale

A temporary mobile testing unit is now open at Mixenden Activity Centre to make it easier for more people to get tested for COVID-19 in Calderdale.

From Friday 17 to Tuesday 21 July, people will be able to get tested there if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and have booked their test on the national system: Get a free NHS test today to check if you have coronavirus now. Access to the testing unit is by booking only, to ensure it can operate safely. It is open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays and between 11am and 3pm at the weekend.

Testing is a vital part of preventing, identifying and managing COVID-19, which is still within our communities. Anyone experiencing symptoms of the virus must stay at home and book a test as soon as possible, within five days of the symptoms starting.

The mobile testing unit in Mixenden is a positive step forward in the ongoing work to boost local testing capacity, and is part of Calderdale’s local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan to increase testing across the borough.

The unit will build on the successful work by Calderdale Council and its partner organisations to increase testing by more than 60% in the local area since the start of July.

The unit is run by fully trained military personnel as part of the national COVID-19 testing programme. Strict measures are in place to ensure the unit is run safely, such as staff wearing personal protective equipment.

Deborah Harkins, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“We welcome the mobile testing unit as it will increase access to COVID-19 testing for more people in Calderdale. Testing is a really important first line of defence in controlling the spread of the virus, which we will be living with in our communities for some time.

“Over the course of the pandemic, Calderdale has had a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases and is in the lowest 25% of local authorities in England. However, the rate of cases in Calderdale residents has increased in the last few weeks. As restrictions are eased and we come into contact with more people, there is more opportunity for the virus to spread.

“We are prepared for this as part of our local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan, which we have developed in partnership with the NHS and other organisations. We continue to work together to protect our communities from COVID-19 and prevent and manage outbreaks. A key part of this is to provide more testing centres across Calderdale, so that it’s easy for people to get tested if they have symptoms.”

Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, added:

“Protecting people from COVID-19 remains our priority, as it’s still a very real threat in our communities. We must all continue the great work done so far to keep each other safe and keep the number of cases as low as possible.

“Although the mobile testing unit is initially in Mixenden for five days, this is a pilot and we’ll be reviewing uptake to decide on future mobile testing requirements. We are looking at potential testing sites across Calderdale as part of our wider plan to increase access to testing throughout the borough.”

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high temperature, a new cough, or a change in sense of taste or smell, please follow the testing guidance at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a test online as soon as possible and should immediately self-isolate (stay at home) for seven days. Anyone in their household or bubble should self-isolate for 14 days.

We should all continue to avoid crowded spaces, keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, avoid face-to-face exposure, wash our hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance.

Face coverings must be worn when travelling on public transport or in a taxi. It is also recommended that people wear face coverings whenever they are indoors with people who are not part of their household or bubble.

14/07/20

Business grant support scheme extended

Further business sectors in Calderdale are now invited to apply for funding of up to £10,000 from the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund.

The grant scheme is available for small and micro businesses facing major impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, which aren’t eligible for the Government’s Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund.

Since its initial launch on the 5 June, nearly 300 Calderdale businesses have applied for this funding. Calderdale Council is now in a position to widen the eligibility criteria to include additional business sectors.

Applications are now invited from childcare providers who are not eligible for other grants; suppliers of products for the hospitality, retail and leisure sector; and manufacturing or engineering businesses which have a rateable property between £15,000 and £51,000.

Eligible businesses in these sectors are able to apply for £5,000 for companies with up to 10 staff and £10,000 for those with 11-50 staff.

The deadline has also been extended for businesses in existing eligible sectors. This includes:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks and science parks which do not have their own Business Rates assessment.
  • Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
  • All applicants must meet the definition of either a small business or a micro business, and employ less than 50 staff.
  • Applicants must not be eligible for or benefiting from any other of the Government’s COVID-19 grant support schemes.
  • Applicants must have high fixed property-related costs and be able to demonstrate a major drop in income as a result of the pandemic.

Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own Business Rates assessment.

Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates.

The online application form can be accessed at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-business-support

The grant will close on Friday 24 July at 5pm.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:

“We know that the impacts of coronavirus will be felt for a long time to come and we want to offer as much support as possible to our local businesses.

“I’m pleased that we’re now able to widen the eligibility criteria for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund to include childcare providers, suppliers and manufacturing companies. We know many of these businesses have suffered a knock-on effect from other closures.

“We’ve also extended the application deadline for those previously eligible for the grant, to ensure that no one misses out.

“We know how important this funding is and we’ll work through the required checks as quickly as possible to ensure businesses promptly receive their money.”

Please note that all businesses must meet the following criteria:

Are Elland station plans just the ticket?

Residents and businesses are being invited to have their say on the latest plans for the proposed new rail station and accompanying access improvements in Elland.

Comments can now be submitted online about the planned new rail station in Elland, funded through the Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.

The planned station would support existing local businesses and attract new ones, generating economic growth and jobs for Elland. It would be located on the existing Calder Valley route (Leeds – Huddersfield Line) to the west of Lowfields Way and adjacent to the A629, Calderdale Way.

Alongside the station development, a series of accompanying improvements known as the ‘Access Package’ are also planned, to enhance walking and cycling access to the new station from across the town and the wider area.

Initial consultation on proposals took place in June 2018 and showed overwhelming support for the project, with 94% of those responding stating that they were happy or very happy with the plans. The feedback from this exercise was used to inform further proposals which were approved by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in March last year, with further approvals from Network Rail in May 2019.

Further consultation is now taking place to ensure the latest plans meet the needs of local communities. Feedback from this exercise will be used to inform further development before the planning application for the project is submitted - provisionally planned for autumn 2020.

The latest proposals and engagement survey is available at https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/elland2020. The survey will close at midnight on Sunday 16 August 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, it isn’t possible to hold any public drop-in sessions for this engagement. However, if anyone would like to discuss proposals further before submitting feedback, the project team can be contacted at yourvoice@westyorks-ca.gov.uk or on 0113 245 7676. This contact should also be used if the information is required in an alternative format e.g. braille.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:

“The planned new station and access improvements are part of an exciting future for the town, complementing other improvement projects like the exciting proposals as part of the Future High Streets fund and Phase 4 of the A629 programme.

“Initial feedback to the plans was incredibly positive and as we move forward to the next stage of approvals we want to hear people’s thoughts again to ensure the latest plans continue to meet people’s needs.

“This project would transform Elland town centre, bringing huge potential benefits to local residents, businesses and the wider Calderdale community.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“We are pleased to be working with partners Calderdale Council on this major investment in sustainable transport, which will significantly improve Elland’s connections to the public transport network and improvements for people travelling by bike or on foot.

“Our plans for a new rail station for Elland through investment from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund will be at the heart of the huge benefits this masterplan can deliver for the town and I would urge people to make sure they have their say online.”

This project has received funding through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

Elland Rail Station is part of the Next Chapter to enable economic growth, reduce inequalities and build a sustainable future. For more information about this and other exciting developments in Calderdale, visit www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk and follow #CdaleNextChapter on Twitter.

The Next Chapter helps to form the Vision2024 for Calderdale. In the year 2024, Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved in the conversation using #VisionCdale2024 on Twitter, by following Calderdale Council on Facebook and by visiting www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision

13/07/20

Feedback shapes road improvement plans

Following feedback from a recent consultation exercise, a number of changes have been introduced to proposed road improvement schemes in Calderdale.

Calderdale Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority are developing a series of improvements to the road network along the A58 / A672 from Junction 22 of the M62 to King Cross in Halifax and the A646 / A6033 from Todmorden to Skircoat Moor. They cover well-used routes through Calderdale, which can be congested and suffer from air quality issues, particularly during peak times.

Earlier this year, the plans were the subject of a public engagement. Feedback from this exercise has been used to further develop the proposals, with some significant changes introduced as a result. These include:

  • The proposed one-way system around Hebden Bridge has now been removed from plans

Following concerns about the loss of parking on Burnley Road in Hebden Bridge, there are plans to provide a new car park at Stubbing Holme and Network Rail has plans for approximately 44 additional spaces at the rail station car park. There are also plans in place to provide approximately 200 additional parking spaces at Mytholmroyd railway station

The proposed one-way system on Blackwall Lane and Water Hill Lane in Sowerby Bridge has been removed from plans

The proposed relocation of a bus stop on Halifax Road in Todmorden has been moved to by School Lane car park.

A number of further changes have also been introduced and the full evaluation of feedback is available at http://calderdalenextchapter.co.uk/projects

The consultation also raised concerns about general disruption from the roadworks, particularly in those areas currently being affected by the Environment Agency’s flood defence scheme work. To minimise disruption, the road improvement work will be carefully planned in coordination with all partners, including the Environment Agency, to ensure that any scheduled work does not overlap with this scheme.

The improvement proposals look to address other concerns raised in the consultation, such as the lack of accessible safe facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and congestion issues causing poor air quality.

Pending scheme approval, the programme of work is currently being further developed with a look to work starting in early 2021.

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:

“With funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, we have an opportunity to make significant improvements to key routes through Calderdale. The proposals look to address long-standing issues on some of the borough’s busiest roads and improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We’ve taken on board the really useful feedback from residents and businesses received as part of the consultation earlier this year. As a result, we’ve made some significant changes to our proposals, including removing unpopular elements and amending plans where issues were highlighted.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to respond and reassure them that we’ll continue to develop proposals to ensure they meet the objectives and do all we can to minimise any disruption.”

Known as the Corridor Improvement Programme, the project has received funding through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

For more information about the scheme and other exciting developments in Calderdale, visit www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk

The Next Chapter helps to form the Vision2024 for Calderdale. In the year 2024, Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? What’s our ambition and what will be different? Get involved in the conversation using #VisionCdale2024 on Twitter, by following Calderdale Council on Facebook and by visiting www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision

09/07/20

Support available to help people #QuitforCOVID

Smokers in Calderdale are being urged to quit to reduce the risks of severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19.

In Calderdale, almost 26,400 residents (16.1% of the population) are smokers, which is above the national average.

It’s well documented that smoking is major risk factor for many diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease. It is also associated with cancers in other organs, including lip, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver and cervix.

In addition, smoking also harms the immune system, reducing the body’s natural protection against infections, like coronavirus. Smokers therefore could not only be at greater risk of getting coronavirus, but the infection is likely to last longer and be more serious than it would for someone who does not smoke.

Calderdale Council is supporting the #QuitforCovid initiative, encouraging people to think about how their smoking habits could be putting them at increased risk and taking the opportunity to quit for good.

The Council funds and supports Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale, the borough’s local stop smoking service, to support people and help them to quit successfully.

Yorkshire Smokefree’s specialist advisors have helped thousands of people to give up the habit, by providing practical advice and access to medication.

Support for those wanting to quit has continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic with personalised online quit programmes and telephone support.

As well as reducing the risks from complications from coronavirus, quitting smoking quickly improves your circulation and your breathing. In the longer-term quitting is also linked to reduced depression, anxiety, and stress and improved positive mood and quality of life compared with continuing to smoke.

Calderdale Council’s Director for Public Health, Deborah Harkins, said:

“If you smoke, you generally have an increased risk of severe illness with COVID-19. There are lots of benefits to quitting, but this is a particularly important time to take that step and give up smoking for good.

“You’re three times more likely to quit with the right support and Yorkshire Smokefree are still providing personalised advice and help to quit. The service is free so there’s nothing to lose and an awful lot to gain.”

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:

“The risks associated with COVID-19 are concerning for everyone, but for smokers the disease could be particularly dangerous.

“Some smokers may have already been cutting down recently, particularly those who mostly smoke socially. As restrictions begin to ease, we’re urging those people to continue with their quitting journey and remember that free support is still available, despite COVID-19.”

To find out more about smoking and the coronavirus, visit https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-qui

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