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Calder Community Cares

1992. Janet Lymer

Janet Lymer, from Hebden Bridge, set up ‘Calder Community Cares’ within eight days of the first Coronavirus lockdown, and has continued to run a service matching elderly or vulnerable “Community Friends” with more than 200 volunteers based across the area.

Despite shielding for lung conditions, Janet, a retired businesswoman, wanted to help her community stay connected through social events, check ins and chat calls, as well as arranging food and medicine deliveries. After lockdown restrictions were lifted, she realised the huge benefit of continuing the initiative and has now created a community hub and second-hand shop in Hebden Bridge, offering wellbeing support and food share programmes. Earlier this year, Janet also set up a ‘Calder Cares 4 Ukraine’ initiative to support Ukrainian families who have fled the invasion and are being hosted in Calderdale.

In a personal letter to Janet, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“I wanted to write to thank you for the way you have been tackling loneliness across Calder Valley, matching hundreds of elderly or vulnerable residents with volunteers who can support them.

“Through ‘Calder Community Cares’ you have not only brought people together during the pandemic but sustained that care for one another for the long-term.

“Indeed, it is fantastic to learn how you have expanded your initiative through ‘Calder Cares 4 Ukraine’, helping to welcome and support Ukrainian families being hosted in your community.”

Janet said:

“Calderdale is a place where anybody can realise their potential. It is defined by its innate kindness and resilience, with people genuinely caring for each other, and coming back stronger after each setback – we are full of hope and strive to live a fuller life. At ‘Calder Community Cares’ we believe that “Kindness is our currency, and it is a currency our community and volunteers hold in abundance.”

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