Category: Community

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Decade of dissonance

Javed Bashir

Part one of a three part series on social change The world is different, especially since Covid-19 emerged and a meagre four months ago the global pandemic triggered a lockdown of the UK economy. But the UK has been different since 2010; we have lived through a decade of dissonance and could now face a […]

Masking the communication

Daphne Franks
crop man putting medical mask on face of ethnic child

When I explain that my job is teaching student doctors and other healthcare professionals to learn how to communicate with patients, there’s one response I often receive: “But surely that’s just common sense?” Frequently, and without awareness of any apparent contradiction, they immediately follow up the “common sense” remark with an anecdote about when some […]

Sex workers further marginalised during pandemic

Isabel Ralphs
silhouette of woman during sunset

Lockdown has pushed some women in our local communities even further into the shadows, as the government fails to account for the unique needs of marginalised women, leaving sex workers, ex-offenders and the female homeless poverty-stricken and highly vulnerable.

Levelling down: councils face bankruptcy as funding dries up

Jane Thomas
coins and a piggy bank

It may have been the last day of term for our MPs, but they went out with a bang. Monday night saw Conservative MPs, having whined about wanting to take back control, give most of it straight back to the executive. A Tory backbench attempt to give parliament a definitive say on post-Brexit trade deals […]

Norky’s ramblings: episode 5

Peter Norcliffe

There’s another puzzle. For many years it seemed almost socially acceptable for older women to have relationships with younger boys, but not the other way round. It’s as though society developed a view that girls should be allowed to mature at their own pace without the sexual advances of an adult, but not so the boys. There is probably some rational, sensible reason for it all, but I don’t understand it.

Symbols and cynicism: Britain’s cultural war

Jacob Taylor

Symbols are the cultural and political currency of the day. From the Thursday evening clap-for-careers, rainbows in the windows, taking the knee, or toppling statues – the political battlefield in Britain is by some being turned into a cultural war in which image takes precedence over substance. Symbols are important, they allow us to represent […]

Minister demands local government restructure despite the current crisis

Andy Brown

Every reasonable person understands that government is harder than opposition and making choices between competing priorities in the middle of a crisis can be challenging. Deciding on whether to prioritise the NHS or care services, how to open up the economy whilst keeping people safe and how to cope with the pressure of rushing through […]

Tackling Islamophobia in the North East

Emily Horner with Yorkshire Bylines
brown desk lamp on table

A report published by Tell MAMA, UK Islamophobia Hate Crime Service, and Newcastle University has concluded that the community spirit shown throughout lockdown needs to be retained to improve relations between different groups in the North East. The team surveyed 111 people of various faiths and backgrounds from the region, from October 2019 to February […]

Lockdown community spirit soars in Ackworth

Lauren McGaun

Lockdown has been difficult. Yorkshire, like everywhere, has been stress-tested. It has challenged us like never before. Yet, one close-knit village near Pontefract has responded by engendering community spirit. Over the past few months, Ackworth has held street parties and bun sales, built a caterpillar trail in the woods and conducted weekly street bingo. In […]

There’s no ‘I’ in the real dream

Mo Kanjilal and Susie Courtault

In the social movements of the 21st century, collaborative women are showing the way. Social movements in history have usually been centred on a charismatic male figure with a famous quote. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech is a leadership speech full of hope and inspiration on posters on many students’ walls. Think […]

Pen-y-ghent: time to plan a Yorkshire day out

Charlie McCarthy

It’s been a funny year in many ways. Locked down, isolated, unable to get out and enjoy the Yorkshire hills. However, all that’s changing and now is the time to get into the spare room, find that map you’re sure you have somewhere, and plan your first trip out. How about starting with one of […]

Black people don’t ski!

Joel Baccas

My grandparents came to England from Jamaica in the mid-50s. Grandad came first, attracted by the call “your queen needs you”. Although his name was Bevat Baccas, he was given the name of Arthur Dougall on his passport. This was the name of the sugar plantation owner where he worked, a remnant of the way […]

Norky’s Ramblings: episode 4

Peter Norcliffe

At 11 years old, I was quite comfortable being naked within the family environment, but when we did PE (physical education), we had to use the communal boys’ showers. Not only was it the first time I had used a shower, it must have been the first time I had even seen a shower. It was also the first time I had seen other boys without clothes.

The Nazi row at Temple Coffee and Donuts

Beanna Olding

“It is a horrible thing to experience someone who treats you differently because of the colour of your skin … The effects of this kind of treatment are magnified when you’re stuck in a workplace environment where you have to endure this treatment from the moment you start your shift to the moment you walk […]

Knock-knock: Amazon calling

Andrew Milson

A reader’s story. In January, one of their vans got stuck in our lawn. Properly stuck. So stuck they had to wait several hrs until a truck arrived to winch them out … Knock-knock it off Amazon. Sort out your app.

Norky’s ramblings: episode 3

Peter Norcliffe

Have you been following Norky’s ramblings? This week he returns to his high school days in the Colne Valley and recounts some of his memories of teachers’ so-called discipline.

From couch to chorus: Opera North launches new digital choir

Yorkshire Bylines

Anyone who has been missing their usual singing group during lockdown, or who fancies having a go at mastering opera from the comfort of their living room, can look forward to this summer’s launch of a new digital choir by Opera North. Starting in July, Opera North will be running four weekly Zoom sessions, which […]

Building on our community spirit

Barry Sheerman MP

After this long disruption of our lives, we are understandably looking forward to seeing our families and friends. We no doubt relish the opening up of pubs and restaurants and will obviously support this, when it’s safe to do so. We also welcome the ability to return to all our places of worship. Perhaps now, […]

Facing Covid-19 with a ‘Happy Disposition’

Jimmy Andrex

How a Leeds songwriter is celebrating the city’s more isolated residents Has anyone ever written a song about you? Unless you’re Pattie Boyd or Dolly Parton’s love-rival, probably not, but that’s exactly what’s happening to a group of isolated older people in Leeds. Writer and poet Peter Spafford has already carved himself a niche as […]

Settle reopens as the UK’s first Rainbow Town

Yorkshire Bylines

The Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle has become the UK’s first Rainbow Town, now that some of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted and businesses are permitted to open. The initiative has seen local businesses re-opening with special discounts and offers for frontline NHS staff and care workers, as an ongoing practical ‘thank you’ […]

Are you being gamed by the algorithms?

Jimmy Andrex

I can dance, I can dance in my new lockdown pants! Are your pants giving you hot, sticky torture? Looking for that ice silk feel from a unique rhombus vent design? Me neither, but Facebook appears to think I need lots of pairs of elasticated shorts. I can barely find my bubble of benign bigotry […]

Norky’s ramblings: episode 2

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. Over the next few weeks, he will share with us his memories of early life. You can catch up on his ramblings so far HERE. My sister Rhondda recalls one of her most embarrassing […]

A grand night out … or not

Angela Reid

Isabel and I had just had a grand night out seeing Cabaret in February. In March I started to get emails from theatres about cancelled shows. Lockdown came. I love a plan, so I set times and ‘dress-up’ for something to do and to break the blurring of day-to-day life. I heard about One Man Two Guv’nors being streamed on YouTube and Saturday night became […]

Remembering Jo Cox

Salli Martlew

“We have more in common than that which divides us.”  Jo Cox is still remembered for these words in her maiden speech in parliament in June 2015. Although tragically she was assassinated a year later on 16 June, her words have continued to reverberate around the country and beyond, from Westminster, to her Batley constituency […]

Norky’s ramblings: episode 1

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. Over the next few weeks, he will share with us his memories of early life. I was born at St. Luke’s maternity hospital, Huddersfield, at 5am on the 21 June 1947. Dawn on mid-summer […]

In the British Empire, black lives didn’t matter

Charlie McCarthy

Tearing down the statue to Edward Colston is an historic moment for Bristol and a much needed history lesson about the British Empire for the rest of the UK. The video clip of the toppling of his statue has demonstrated to us all how aggrieved members of the black community, and many other people, feel […]

Local plans, local lockdown – or Mexican standoff?

Jane Thomas

Another week, another raft of measures from the government to combat Covid-19, all sending conflicting messages. On the one hand, we have new quarantine arrangements for those arriving into the UK, despite a growing backlash from aviation chiefs and MPs warning it would be “devastating” for the economy. On the other hand, some of the […]

Yorkshire campaign groups call on MPs to extend Brexit transition

Yorkshire Bylines

“One crisis at a time, please!” The chairs of 13 pro-European campaign groups from across Yorkshire have written to our region’s MPs to call for the Brexit transition period to be extended. In their open letter to the Yorkshire MPs, the groups stress that this is, “not an attempt to thwart Brexit. We simply want […]

Campaign to save Owlthorpe Fields in Sheffield succeeds

Douglas Johnson

Residents and campaigners in South East Sheffield scored a notable success on Tuesday 2 June when the planning committee rejected a scheme to build over a greenfield site in Owlthorpe. The decision came after a concerted effort by local residents, supported by experts such as Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and the Campaign to Protect […]

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