Celebrated chef backs ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign

Matt Healy, a former MasterChef finalist and one of the city’s most celebrated chefs, has thrown his support behind a campaign that champions togetherness in an effort to reduce social isolation and loneliness.

Matt is joining NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in backing the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign that has been developed by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership. The campaign has received the support of MP Jo Cox’s sister as well as over 300 organisations in the region including Leeds Rhinos, NHS organisations in the city, community and voluntary groups and Leeds City Council.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign hopes to inspire people to reach out to those who live alone or might need help, and encourage them to do simple things for them that will make a real difference to their wellbeing. This could be anything from picking up some shopping to something as easy as just saying “hello” next time they see their neighbours.

Matt Healy, Chef-Patron at The Foundry said: “I’m fully behind this campaign to get people to come together and look out for each other more. In my line of work I know that food is a great way to get people to connect but not everyone has the confidence to cook or feels comfortable inviting people round to where they live. So there’s plenty of other things you can do starting with a simple hello to people living near you.”

Philomena Corrigan, Chief Executive for NHS Leeds CCG, commented: “We’re really keen to get people more involved in their communities and in particular looking out for their neighbours, especially those who may need a helping hand. It can be easy to assume it’s only older people that can become socially isolated however it can happen to anyone for example new parents or those that have recently been bereaved. Now’s the time for us all to take action – visit www.ourneighbours.org.uk and see how you can make a difference.”

Jo’s sister Kim Leadbeater, Ambassador for The Jo Cox Foundation, said: “I feel passionately about creating well-connected communities where everyone is happy and healthy and has a sense of identity and belonging, and it is heart-warming to see the work that Jo started on this important issue being continued in such a positive way in the county where we grew up. Much of my focus since Jo was killed has been on how we can build compassionate communities and bring people together.

“The national Great Get Together campaign which we run across the weekend of Jo’s birthday in June is the centre piece of this, and it would be wonderful to think that some of the connections which will be made through the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ initiative can be continued and we see lots of Great Get Togethers happening in June as a result! I believe if we all work together to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks, we can reduce the demand on health and care services and have a positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone, which is why I am delighted to support this campaign”.

To download a neighbour pack or to find out more about the campaign, visit: www.ourneighbours.org.uk

ENDS

Campaign background

‘Looking out for our neighbours’ is a social marketing campaign commissioned by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership. The campaign aims to prevent loneliness and its associated health issues by encouraging communities to look after each other. The campaign aims to inspire communities to engage in simple wellbeing activities that will positively impact on their neighbours. You can find out more about the campaign and simple tips to look out for our neighbours on the website at www.ourneighbours.org.uk

About West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership focuses on the health and care needs of local people across Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. The partnership is made up of a number of organisations who work together to help 2.6 million people in the area including the NHS, councils, Healthwatch, voluntary and community organisations. You can find out more at www.wyhpartnership.co.uk @wyhpartnership

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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net