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Covid-19 Information for the People we Support to Keep Well & Connected

Books Beyond Words:
Have an amazing series of books dealing with some of the more uncomfortable discussions that we may all need to have in respect of coronavirus.  They have added new picture books about coronavirus testing.  These and many more of the books are free to download.

Connect in the North/Through the Maze:
Connect in the North/Through the Maze have pulled together a timetable of weekly activities that are being run by organisations across Leeds for people with a learning disability.   If you have any regular activities that you want adding, please contact let the team at CITN have the details.

You can still read their summer newsletter.  Also their autumn newsletter is out now which includes the news that Cathy is retiring after 25 years with Connect in the North.

Connect in the North have 3 new training courses/events which are all on Zoom and for people with learning difficulties.  All the details are on the Through the Maze website:

Exercise – guidance change:
The Government has changed its FAQs on what you can and cannot do during the coronavirus outbreak: Question 15 now makes it clear that exercise is permitted more than once per day where an individual has a “significant health condition”.  This “could include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times per day, ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional”.

Fitism 70 Live:
Michale Vaughan is promoting a free workout for the over 70s which can be accessed free via Facebook at 2:30pm every weekday.  It is called Fitism 70 Live and will be useful for all vulnerable people who are self-isolating and need to keep their bodies moving.

The Haqooq team has shared their Facebook programme of lockdown activities.

Leeds Rhinos Foundation:
Have published a Wake up, Shake up video

Leep 1:
Are putting on virtual activities – see their timetable in the documents section of this page.  Also:

Tuesday Yoga

Friday Yoga (10am) and Friday Yoga (11:30am)

Saturday Yoga

Is a website with online and downloadable activities as well as some fab ideas

Open Country:
Do some amazing projects in Leeds, Harrogate, Wakefield and beyond.  They have created a series of audio walks to help bring the outdoors indoors for anyone struggling to get out, or those who simply want to enjoy nature from the comfort of their home.  So, sit back and enjoy the colours, signs and sounds of Tom and Ella’s wanders around the Yorkshire countryside in these free to access audio walks.

People in Action:
If you want to keep fit and connected, why not sign up to the fab sessions being run by People in Action?  They are running 3 one-hour Zoom sessions on most days:

  • 11am – an activity specific session
  • 2pm – Keep Active sport and physical activity sessions
  • 4pm – social get together

The sessions are open to anyone with a learning disability.  Details are on the People in Action Facebook page and on their Twitter feed.  NB. the sessions are password protected so anyone wanting to join in just needs to contact the PiA team on 0113 244 3729 to get the password.

People Matters:
Have produced a weekly workshop timetable of the great things they have going on.  Why not check out their autumn programme.

Purple Patch Arts:
Putting up activities on their facebook  and website pages to keep connected with people.  They have an updated programme, with lots of resources and activities for people to get engaged with whilst at home, and are putting ujp new things each day.  You can also follow them on their Instagram and Twitter accounts.

They have also uploaded their Warm Up and Cool Down videos for you to boogie along with!

12.2020 – Purple Patch are running a Zoom disco as part of the International Day of Disabled People programme of events.  They would love to get as many people as possible to come along.  If you would like to join in, go to their Facebook event page and let them know you are interested.

Pyramid of Arts:
Most of Pyramid of Art’s groups are now running weekly via Zoom  If you support someone who would like to join or rejoin the groups, please contact  Pyramid have posted up some really good suggestions for arts activities, singing and sensory environments that are easy to do at home.  They also have some online groups running which may be of interest to people you support.

18.08.2020 – there are some more online activities from the Pyramid team.

09.2020 – PoA are doing another Zoom disco.  This time it’s jungle-themed.  The disco is free to attend but you’ll need to sign up first.  The disco will take place on Friday, 18th September from 7-9pm.

Through the Maze:
Through the Maze have updated their website which now includes a new page with information about coronavirus.  There’s also loads of ideas and activities for people to keep active and connected whilst they are being supported to stay at home.

Through the Maze/Connect in the North also post a weekly timetable of activities from a range of organisations.

You can find lots of information about flu and keeping well over winter on their website.

Zoo Live Stream:
If you google ‘zoo live stream’ you can watch some very cute (and not so cute!) animals living in zoos around the world via their web cams.

Digital Skills Training:
Beckie at Leep 1 is currently delivering digital skills sessions for people we support.  The sessions take place every Tuesday afternoon at 1pm via Zoom.  The sessions are fun and member-led and they have had lots of positive feedback.  If you know of anyone who would like to join in, then the zoom ID is 9195246235 and the password is 1.  Leep 1 also promote Learn My Way which is great for staff and members alike to gain IT skills.  Their centre number is 8003816 when you register.

Digital Inclusion:
100% Digital Leeds have provided details of their free Digital Champion training webinar for people supporting adults with learning disabilities.  Called ‘How to be a Digital Champion: digital inclusion for people with learning disabilities’ the webinar will take place on Thursday, 4th June from 1-2pm.  This training will give practical hints and tips on how you can motivate and support people to build their digital skill and confidence.  The event is delivered by 100% Digital Leeds in partnership with CoSpace North and is part of the CoSpace North Online Lunch & Learning series.  More details and booking via Eventbrite.

IT for Vulnerable People:
A government-backed company called AutonoMe is offering free technology to help vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Library Digital Inclusion Team:
is collating useful digital resources for people and workers supporting socially isolated people to make the most of digital to find accurate information, stay connected, and stay healthy.  If you have anything you think might be useful to share, please pass it to or tag her on twitter with the handle @amy_hearn and/or #DigiConnectedLeeds

A lot of people want to use Skype to make video calls, so we’ve added two easy read guides for how to do this:

A lot of you have been asking about help to support people with learning disabilities to use WhatsApp so we’ve added an easy read guide to the documents section of this page.

A lot of you have been asking about help to support people with learning disabilities to use Zoom so we’ve added an easy read guide to the documents section of this page.

Keeping Safe Online:
This easy read guide for people with learning disabilities was developed by Jez during his time at CHANGE.  It covers things like how to keep safe online, spotting the warning signs that you are not safe and what to do if you have a problem.

Staying Safe:
West Yorkshire Police have produced a great easy read document explaining how they are making sure that people are staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic.  You can find this in the documents section of this page called ‘Coronavirus: Staying Safe’.

Accessible Self-Help Booklets:
The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability has published a series of guided self-help booklets developed to support people with mild to moderate learning disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.  The series covers many topics including coping with feeling down, getting a good night’s sleep, being active & staying well and copying with anxiety.  The booklets are all online but printed copies can be ordered.

Coronavirus/Covid-19 Easy Read:
Lots of documents are being produced in easy read format.  As these become available we’ll add them to the documents section of this page of our website.

Easy on the I:
Dean Milner-Bell has been very busy producing top quality coronavirus related easy read information which you can download from the documents section of this webpage (all the LYPFT ones).  He’s also setting a regular quiz using the vast number of pictures he has in the image bank, so keep checking for these in our online activities section of the main website.

Every Mind Matters:
Public Health England have some accessible information resources on their website, including BSL and audio versions, to support people with their mental health and wellbeing.

Face Masks on Public Transport:
From 15th June 2020 new rules were brought in to say everyone must wear a face mask or face covering when travelling on public transport unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’.  This easy read poster explains the new rules.  The Keep Safe website also has exemption cards for people who are unable to tolerate wearing masks.

Handwashing Rap:
This great handwashing rap has been produced by the St. Albans Purple All Stars to help people who have a learning disability follow the steps.

Hospital Passport Add-on:
Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust has brought out a great addition to the hospital passport for anyone we support who may need to be admitted to hospital with symptoms of coronavirus.  You can download the Hospital Passport Covid-19 Add-on from the documents section of this page.  (Although it looks like a pdf, it is a word version, honest!)  NB. Please remember, this is an optional add-on, not a replacement for the usual hospital passport.

Learning Disability Information:
There’s information on LYPFT’s Get Checked Out page, including more of Dean’s great posters.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) have a learning disability information page on their website.

Mental Health & Well-being:
Some good advice on keeping well during the crisis can be found on the Mindwell site.  Also the government has issued guidance about how to cope during the current crisis.  It’s also worth noting that Carers Leeds are working tirelessly to support family carers.  Find details on how to contact them on the ‘Information for Family Carers’ section of our website.

Nose and Throat Swab:
This easy read document explains what is involved in having a nose and throat swab for a suspected case of covid-19.

Patient Information Leaflets:
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) has lots of very useful patient information leaflets in easy ready format.

Track and Trace Diary:
An accessible Track and Trace Diary created by our friends at LYPFT.

Autism Information:
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) have an autism information page on their website.

Back to School:
Leeds City Council and Child Friendly Leeds have produced a leaflet to help support the young people with SEND who have worked hard to achieve independent travel, and may be experiencing anxieties around returning to travel and school.  The leaflet is called ‘Getting Back Out on Public Transport?’ and you can find a link to this in the documents section of this page called: A Guide for Independent Travellers.  A video has also been produced with the hope of giving young people the confidence to get out and about again.

The team has worked hard with partners at Metro to identify routes most used by school and college students, and to add capacity to the public transport network.  This has included arranging adding duplicate services to existing bus routes, so that there will be an extra bus following on the key routes at key times.  They are really confident that every child and young person who needs to use public transport to get to school or college, including those with SEND, will have services there for them.  Metro’s web page features a wealth of information about school transport, which will be regularly updated.

Intensive Interaction:
Graham Firth has told us about the Leeds STARS team (Specialist Training in Autism and Raising Standards) which is part of Leeds City Council Children’s Services.  Their coronavirus resources webpage has links to various resources including social stories, symbols, talking mats, addressing worries and quick guides plus links to other external websites.

Leeds Autism Aim:
Has some really useful and practical Covid-19 resources on their webpage.

National Autism Society:
World Autism Awareness Week (30 March to 5 April) has fallen within these difficult times.  However, NAS has provided some information and resources to support autistic people and their families during the Covid-19 crisis.

Social Care Support Taskforce:
The Taskforce has published an easy read version of its first report setting out how coronavirus has affected people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

UK Government’s Recovery Strategy:
On 10th May the government published it’s recovery strategy, including an Easy Read version.

Digital Survey:
Leeds People First/Leep 1/Forum Central have put together a survey about digital skills.  It’s for adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults living in Leeds.  The survey asks a few questions about using things like websites and apps and asks how confident people are when using digital technology.

Healthwatch Survey:
Healthwatch Leeds would like to know how lockdown is affecting people with a learning disability in Leeds.  They are sharing real-time experience with health and care decision makers on a weekly basis to inform their response to the coronavirus outbreak.  Please call them on 0113 898 0035, email them or follow the link.

Documents :

Information about Coronavirus

Easy read information about coronavirus from Inclusion North covering what it is, how people get it, symptoms to look out for and what to do if someone becomes ill.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – March 2020

Easy read information about coronavirus from Public Health England covering what it is, how people get it, what the government is doing, hand washing, staying home and support from the NHS

Aspire Family Visitor Protocol

Easy read version of Aspire’s protocol (C028) for family carers wishing to visit their loved ones who live within our supported living services.

Leep 1 Activities Timetable

Timetable of activities the Leep 1 Facebook group has planned.

Resources to Use with People with a Learning Disability

Produced by the Learning Disability Professional Senate, this is resources to use with people with a learning disability through the coronavirus restrictions

Hospital Passport Covid-19 Add-On

A word version of the covid-19 add-on which can be used to supplement the main hospital passport for people who are symptomatic, produced by Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Staying Safe Poster & Staying at Home Poster

Two easy read posters produced by LYPFT

Social Distancing Poster

Easy read poster explaining how to reduce contact with others created by LYPFT

Coronavirus Key Points

An LYPFT easy ready poster explaining the key points of coronavirus covering what it is, what you can do to stay well and active

Stay at Home Symbolised Timetable – Template

Easy read timetable template ready to drop image bank symbols into for people who are staying at home during the pandemic (produced by LYPFT)

Stay at Home Symbolised Timetable – Completed Example

A worked example of LYPFT’s easy read timetable with images from the easy on the i image bank

Coronavirus: Staying Safe

West Yorkshire Police have produced this easy read explanation (updated in July 2020) of what powers the police have and how they are working to make sure that people stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

How to Use Zoom

An easy read guide produced by Learning Disability Wales.  This tells you how to use Zoom to join a meeting on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Quick Guide to Using WhatsApp

An easy read guide to using WhatsApp produced by Learning Disability England.

About Coronavirus (Video)

An accessible guide to Coronavirus (COVID-19) designed by HFT to help people with learning disabilities understand what the virus is, what steps they will need to take to stay safe, and what to do if they think they have contracted Coronavirus.

(If you want to see this video in full screen, simply click on the little square in the bottom right-hand corner.)


Stay Safe Rules (New)

This poster reminds us how to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic after the government updated the rules on social distancing in June for people in England.

Shielding Update

New poster for people who are shielding during the coronavirus pandemic following the government’s updated guidance on 1st June.

How to Use Skype On Your Mobile Phone

Easy read guide for joining a Skype for Business meeting on your mobile phone.

How to Use Skype from Your Laptop or PC

Easy read guide for joining a Skype for Business meeting from your laptop or PC.

Our Plan to Rebuild

Easy read version of the government’s recovery strategy issued on 10th June – Our Plan to Rebuild: the UK Government’s plan to get back to normal

Face Masks on Public Transport

Easy read poster explaining the new rules (June 2020) on wearing a face mask or face covering on public transport.

Having a Nose & Throat Swab for Covid-19

Easy read poster explaining what is involved in having a nose and throat swab undertaken for suspected cases of covid-19.

Leep 1 – Tuesday Yoga

Leep 1 – Friday Yoga 1

Leep 1 – Friday Yoga 2

Leep 1 – Saturday Yoga

Direct Payments During Coronavirus

Easy read guide about money to pay for care and support.

Keeping Your Workers Safe

Easy read version of: Covid-19 Adult Social Care Risk Reduction Framework: Assessing and Reducing the Risk to Your Workforce.


Easy read guidance from Public Health England for people who get very ill from coronavirus

Domestic Abuse

Easy read guidance from Inspired Services Publishing about domestic abuse during coronavirus and the help that is available for you or someone you know.

Leaving Hospital to Go Home

Easy read leaflet.

Leaving Hospital to Go to a Care Home

Easy read leaflet

What You Need to Know About Leaving Hospital

Easy read leaflet

Coronavirus Home Test Kit

Easy read leaflet created by Dean at LYPFT explaining how to use a coronavirus home test kit.

Testing for Coronavirus

Easy read leaflet created by Dean at LYPFT explaining about the coronavirus test and how this is done.

A Guide for Independent Travellers

Leeds City Council and Child Friendly Leeds guide to help support young people with SEN to get back out on public transport.

Safer Travel Guidance

Easy read document from the Department of Transport on all aspects of safer travel.

Get Your Free Flu Jab

Easy read poster from the NHS about getting your free annual flu vaccine.

Protect Yourself From Flu

Easy read leaflet from the NHS about protecting yourself from flu by getting a free flu vaccine.

All About Flu

Easy read leaflet from the Public Health England/NHS about flu and how to stop getting it.

Covid-19: Reducing Transmission

Easy read version of guidance from Public Health England on what you can do to help stop Covid-19 spreading.

Covid Response – Questions for You

Each year we do surveys with the people who use our services, their family/carers, staff and other organisations. 

This year we have changed the survey to look at Aspire’s response and performance during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We know that it takes time to do surveys, but what you tell us really helps us to check the quality and effectiveness of the service we provide.  It also helps us to spot any areas where we could change things to make your life better.

To help keep people safe we are doing the survey online.  If you use any of Aspire’s services, then we would like you to complete the survey.  You can ask any member of staff to support you with doing the survey.  

To start the survey, click on the link:  Customer Satisfaction Survey

If you would like to have a paper survey instead, please speak to your support worker and they will get one for you.

We need to receive your completed survey by 16th November 2020.

Covid-19: Guidance for Supported Living

Easy read guidance for supported living from the Department of Health & Social Care and Public Health England.

Using an iPad

Connect in the North have shared this great manual with us about how to use an iPad for Pass it on People.  It covers using the iPad, joining a wi-fi network, downloading an App and using Facebook.

Setting Up Your iPad

Connect in the North have shared this great manual about how to set up your iPad for Pass it on People.