We are working to compile a list of useful free tools and resources that organisations and Digital Champions can use to support people to make the most of digital to stay connected, informed, and well, through isolation and quarantine.

If you have anything to add to the list please contact us You can also tag us on any Twitter posts with #DigiConnectedLeeds

Coronavirus essentials
General digital skills support
Video calling and conferencing
Access to healthcare
Eating, cooking, and shopping well
Mental health and wellbeing
Supporting older people and those living with Dementia
Supporting people with learning disabilities
Virtual hangouts
Culture and fun
Children
Supporting children and young people with a visual impairment
Resources for ESOL Learners


Leeds City Council Helpline

Leeds city council has launched a helpline so anyone finding themselves in need of essential support can call 0113 3781877 and be matched with a local volunteer who can help. More information about the scheme.


Coronavirus essentials


Using the internet to get ready for coronavirus

This session plan from Good Things Foundation and aimed at organisation and groups helps guide learners through getting reliable health advice and how video calling their GP can help prevent the virus spreading.

NHS 111 coronavirus diagnosis tool

An interactive web-tool to check if you have coronavirus symptoms

NHS advice on Coronavirus

Find up-to-date advice and support from the NHS.

Latest Government response to Covid-19

Find up-to-date advice and support from the Government.

Register with this government web page if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food. You can register yourself or refer someone else.

Easy-read information about Coronavirus from Inclusion North

Information more accessible to people with learning difficulties and disabilities, produced by Inclusion North.

Key information from Aspire

lots of information and resources aimed at those with learning disabilities for people who use Aspire services, family carers, partner organisations, and staff.

Beating the Virus: a picture story that helps have conversations with people with learning disabilities

A short wordless story, that will help people to understand what to do if you have Coronavirus and how to keep yourself and those who you care about safe. The story also shows how to safely help others who may be self-isolating. Supplementary text at the end of the story gives information on where people can seek help if they are unwell and signposts to other useful resources.

Easy read information about coronavirus from Mencap

Simple to print PDF

Coronavirus: Tips for Dementia caregivers

Tips from the Alzheimer’s Association

Cancer and Coronavirus

Advice from Macmillan Cancer Support

Covid-19 Mutual Aid Local Groups

Covid-19 Mutual Aid Local Groups are small groups of people setting up independently in communities to support vulnerable people in their local area through the outbreak. Find a local online Covid aid group, register your group so others can find you, and find information on how to set up a group

Become a Community Care Volunteer to help with COVID-19

Community Care Volunteering is a city-wide volunteer programme operating across Leeds, to ensure systems are in place to care for people and communities during the COVID-19 outbreak. The programme is coordinated by Leeds City Council and Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL)

Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement and grief

Cruse Bereavement Care has launched a new resource – a must read for anyone working in bereavement at the moment and/or has been affected

Speaking to children about Coronavirus

The children’s commissioner has issued a guide for children to explain the current situation.

Information in British Sign Language

From Sign Health, the deaf health charity.

Careview – Report an issue or find organisations to signpost to

Report and issue with someone socially isolated or at risk, or use the interactive tool to find an organisation that can help.

Leeds Directory

Leeds Directory can connect you to checked and vetted services and tradespeople to help you maintain your home and garden. All the information held by Leeds Directory is available online and can be printed to share offline using the “Favourites” feature.  Leeds Directory helpline service is available weekdays, 9am to 5pm, should you need any additional help or support.


General digital skills support


One Digital

From using online health services to staying in touch with friends and family, we’ve pulled together some of our most relevant digital guides to help you and your learners during these challenging times.

Learn My Way

Free courses on using a computer, from video calling and online shopping to staying safe online.

Citizens Online

A list of recommended resources to help you stay in touch with family, friends or colleagues during the coronavirus outbreak – or to help you to help others.

Digital Unite

From using online health services to staying in touch with friends and family, Digital Unite have pulled together some of their most relevant digital guides to help you and your learners during these challenging times.

BT’s Skills For Tomorrow programme

Working in partnership with leading digital skills organisations, BT have bought together a whole host of free resources and information to help people, parents, and businesses to make the most of the online world. They have also created a series of webinars to help small business owners and their employees on a wide range of topics including digital marketing, using collaboration tools and how to get a business online. Webinars can be found here.

121 support from The Tech Ladder

The Tech Ladder is a registered Social Enterprise organisation in the U.K. operating free digital assistance, training and advice by telephone, email, WhatsApp, Zoom, Video online training. If you need help, call our friendly volunteers on 07864639037

Age UK Leeds: one-to-one telephone support for video calling

 Age UK Leeds are offering over the phone support to elderly individuals to assist them with video calling on WhatsApp, Facebook or Skype. They must have a landline and have a reasonable basic understanding of how to use a tablet or smartphone. They can have an Android or Apple product and  can live anywhere in the Leeds area. An Age UK Digital Champion will call the older person at a pre-arranged time to try and assist them to get connected. If needed, each session can last for up to one hour (if the service user wants or needs that amount of time). More than one session can be available. The Digital Champion will absolutely do their best, but cannot guarantee success due to the challenges of training over the phone. To refer someone, book an appointment, or for more details, contact Sarah at 07562 437042.


Video calling and conferencing


All resources refer to the free version of the resource.

Video calling tutorials from Learn My Way

Tutorials for video calling via FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp

Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that lets you host meetings with up to 100 people, for up to 40 minutes, and has lots of other great features. Tutorials and video introductions available.

People In Action – Video tutorials for people struggling with Zoom

Installing and using Zoom on a phone or tablet

Learn to install and use Zoom on a computer

Whereby

Whereby is a flexible tool providing you with video meetings in the browser – no downloads & no logins for guests. The free version allows up to 4 people in a chat, allows screen sharing, and lets you play YouTube videos to everyone in the chat. Tutorials and support available.

Google Duo

Google Duo is a dead-simple app for making group video calls containing up to 8 people. It works via apps for Android or iOS, as well as the Duo Web interface. This makes it a good fit if you want to start a group call of people on different types of devices. You only need to provide your phone number to start using it, instead of signing up for a whole Google account.

Houseparty

Houseparty is a pree app that allows you to chat with friends one-to-one or in bigger groups. It is a nice light-hearted way to spend evenings talking with different groups of friends and family. The app also incorporates games and trivia. You can make it as interactive as you want.  


Access to healthcare

NHS app – download and install

Book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, check your symptoms , view your medical record etc

NHS app – help and support

Documents supporting you to set-up and use the NHS app.

Health access tutorials from Learn My Way

Tutorials for online GP services and using the NHS website

Staying healthy advice from World Health Organisation

Guidance on how to stay fit and healthy during quarantine, including examples of physical exercises.

Live Well in isolation

Advice, tips and tools to help you make the right choices about your health and wellbeing.

Sport England: How to stay active while you’re at home

Sport England have compiled some of the most useful tips on how you can get active when you’re at home, if you’re well enough, including links to apps and exercise videos. General advice as well as specific videos for older people.

British Heart Foundation – 10 minute living room workout

You don’t need fancy gym gear or a lot of space to get active– just a few minutes and a positive attitude. Work up a living-room sweat with our simple 10 minute workout.

British Heart Foundation – Strength and flexibility exercises

Simple exercises to help with strength and flexibility. 10 exercises you can do in the comfort of your home with no special equipment needed.

Gentle chair-based exercise video

This 30 minutes video was produced by Leeds city council and public health west in 201 with our b exercise instructor Audrey The video will help you increase your strength and mobility.

British Lung Foundation

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or are dealing with a long-term condition, and whether you have a lung disease yourself or care for someone who does,  you can chat to like-minded people via their web community or contact their helpline

Health Access for Refugees Programme (HARP)
HARP has suspended all face-to-face activities until further notice. Clients wishing to be part of the virtual HARP Community to join our online groups or HARP Facebook page for up to date translated information about coronavirus, English language support, wellbeing tips and more should call or email Rose on 07393011902 Rose.McCarthy@refugeecouncil.org.uk

Hospice UK

A list of links for advice and information.


Eating, Cooking and Shopping Well

Food is an important part of staying well whilst spending more time at home.  Here are some useful resources to help you eat, cook and shop well.

Eating Well

A good diet is important for good health and eating a variety of foods can improve general wellbeing. You should try to eat sensibly, choosing a varied diet from a range of foods to help boost your health.  Check out these resources to help you and your family eat well.

8 Tips for eating well

Eat well guide

Food fact sheet

Get portion wise

Fluid intake fact sheet

Pregnancy food fact sheet

Cooking Well

Cooking for yourself and your family can be difficult at any time, but is even more challenging when you may have limited ingredients and you want to make the most of the food you have.  Here are some great ideas for easy, budget friendly cooking and how to reduce your food waste.

Cheap Family Food Fact sheet

Cooking on a shoe string

Find more recipe and food waste ideas

Shopping Well

Planning your weekly meals in advance can help make your shopping less stressful and help reduce how much you spend.

Family meal planner

Here are the new amended shopping times for all the major supermarkets, including the protected hours to help ensure the vulnerable and NHS staff have safe access to food.

Supermarket provision Covid 19

Here are the new amended shopping times for all the major supermarkets, including the protected hours to help ensure the vulnerable and NHS staff have safe access to food.


Mental health and wellbeing

Mindwell 

Information on coronavirus and taking care of your mental wellbeing, as well as information about general mental wellbeing support services in Leeds.

Mind: Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Advice from Mind

YoungMinds: Coronavirus and anxiety for young people

Advice from Young Minds for anxiety and other emotional wellbeing support.

NHS Inform: depression self help guide

Work through a self-help guide for depression that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

NHS Inform: anxiety self help guide

Work through a self-help guide for anxiety that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Leeds Bereavement Forum

A series of links to useful information.

Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement and grief

Cruse Bereavement Care has launched a new resource – a must read for anyone working in bereavement at the moment and/or has been affected


Supporting older people and those living with Dementia

The Silver Line – free helpline for older people

The Silver Line operates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.

Dementia UK

A range of advice about COVID-19 and how to look after someone with dementia during this time.

Coronavirus: Tips for Dementia caregivers

Tips from the Alzheimer’s Association

Downloadable resources to prompt discussion

Themed pictures from different decades with prompt questions to aid discussion. These resources are friendly for people living with dementia but could also be utilised by anyone over the age of 70 who is isolating. Developed by Leeds City Council Complex Needs & Peer Support Services

Home eras flash cards (PDF); Household items flash cards (PDF); Home and shopping quiz (PDF)

Duos Flash Cards

These cards do not have the names of the duos to allow people to guess the name of the person/character. They include film stars, comedy greats, musicians covering popular culture. On the back of the card there is information and suggested questions to stimulate conversation. The cards can also be used picture side up to create a pairs game (when printed). Instructions for Duos Flash Cards


Supporting people with learning disabilities

Easy-read information about Coronavirus

Information more accessible to people with learning difficulties and disabilities, produced by Inclusion North.

Beating the Virus: a picture story that helps have conversations with people with learning disabilities

A short wordless story, that will help people to understand what to do if you have Coronavirus and how to keep yourself and those who you care about safe. The story also shows how to safely help others who may be self-isolating. Supplementary text at the end of the story gives information on where people can seek help if they are unwell and signposts to other useful resources.

Purple Patch Arts – activities for people with learning disabilities

We know how important it is for people to stay active, engaged and stimulated while our Lifelong Learning Programmes are closed. With that in mind, we’ll be posting daily activities on this page, in line with our weekly theme. You can do them all at home, using resources that you should be able to find around the house / garden.

Leep1 – for adults with learning disabilities

A Facebook group for people with learning disabilities running daily lessons and fun things for people to do including posting YouTube videos and hosting Watch Parties. A private group but anyone with learning disabilities can ask to join.

Through the Maze

Things to do while you are at home.

Key information from Aspire

lots of information and resources aimed at those with learning disabilities for people who use Aspire services, family carers, partner organisations, and staff.

Easy read information about coronavirus from Mencap

Simple to print PDF


Virtual hangouts

#CreativeNetwork

From Tuesday 17 March, Voluntary Arts is launching #CreativeNetwork – a daily online get-together open to anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity who would welcome the opportunity to talk to others about dealing with the current situation, the challenges of working from home and what we can do together to make the most of difficult circumstances.

Leep1 – for adults with learning disabilities

A Facebook group for people with learning disabilities running daily lessons and fun things for people to do including posting YouTube videos and hosting Watch Parties. A private group but anyone with learning disabilities can ask to join.

Duet Yourself – virtual community choir

A virtual community choir, accessible via Facebook.

People In Action – for adults with learning disabilities

Online social groups for people with learning disabilities every week day at 11am on Zoom. See the People In Action Twitter account for daily Zoom meeting invites.


Culture and fun

Leeds Libraries – eBooks, eAudio, and eMagazines

All our digital reading options are free and accessible via app. You will need your library card and pin number to access them. If you’re not a member of Leeds Libraries you can join online

Leeds Libraries – heritage online

Explore the heritage of Leeds including a bank of over 60,000 photographs of old Leeds. Share your memories online by adding a comment to a photograph. 40,000 comments have been added so far

Leeds Libraries – online resources

Lots of free to use resources including encyclopedia, newspaper archives, dictionaries etc. You will need your library card and pin number to access them. If you’re not a member of Leeds Libraries you can join online

Leeds Museums and Galleries digital discovery sessions

Leeds Museums and Galleries’ learning and access officer Emily Nelson will be hosting the first in a series of Facebook videos examining artefacts from the Leeds Discovery Centre, which is home to more than a million objects from prehistory, Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire.

Purple Patch Arts – activities for people with learning disabilities

We know how important it is for people to stay active, engaged and stimulated while our Lifelong Learning Programmes are closed. With that in mind, we’ll be posting daily activities on this page, in line with our weekly theme. You can do them all at home, using resources that you should be able to find around the house / garden.

Watch the animals at Monterey Bay Aquarium

With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are – be delighted by the antics of the sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of the jellies.

Virtual tours of the world’s best museums and galleries

A list of virtual tours of the world’s best museums and galleries including the British Museum, New York Guggenheim, and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

Virtual tours of National Parks

Take virtual tours of 5 USA National Parks

Project Gutenberg

Download free out of copyright books including Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Frankenstein, etc.

Stream recordings from The Berliner Philharmoniker

The Berliner Philharmoniker invite you to visit their virtual concert hall free of charge.

The Wind in the Willows

Stream a video of the West End production for free.


Children

Made with Music early years virtual music classes

Virtual music classes by the organisation who run music activities for families

Live storytimes with Oliver Jeffers

Join Oliver on Instagram at 6pm every day for a live reading of one of his amazing picturebooks.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. If you post your art to social media, be sure to hashtag it with #MoLunchDoodles! New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.

Drawing with Sarah McIntyre

Learn how to draw some of your favourite characters from Sarah’s popular picture books. Regular episodes via YouTube.

Booktrust Hometime

Enjoy storytime with free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.

British Science Week Resources

Try our these free activity packs and watch science unfold from your living room!

Free educational content on Minecraft

If you head over to the Minecraft Marketplace, you will find some of our favourite lessons from Minecraft: Education Edition in a brand new Education category. These educational worlds can be played on your own, with your kids, parents or friends. From the comfort of your home, you can tour the International Space Station or even explore the inside of a human eye, explore renewable energy, marine biology, Greek history, and more! The worlds include lesson plans like creative writing activities, build challenges, and tricky puzzles.

Girls Who Code: Code at home

Free code from home activities for everyone.

YouTube Makers Club. By kids for kids.

STEAM making ideas and tutorials made by kids for kids. By playful Leeds.

STARS

STARS are continuing to provide support to schools and settings during this time of school closures. There’s a range of resources linked to the current situation on this website.


Supporting children and young people with a visual impairment

These online support activities are primarily aimed at children and young people with a visual impairment, many of these will be adaptable and suitable for children with complex needs. These resources are for pupils aged between 0-25 and were compiled by the Leeds City Council Visual Impairment Team.

Positive Eye’s Idea Machine

Positive Eye have set up a Facebook page to share conversation and resources, and are posting free online classes three times per week via Facebook live (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm). They also have lots of ideas on their website.

Look – Supporting families living with visual impairment

Look at putting out lots of content via their website, Facebook page and YouTube channel and are hosting regular webinars for parents and other age groups via Zoom. Check out their platforms for details. They are looking to bring people together to help create content, including VIT professionals.

Guide Dogs Children’s Service

Continues to run through this time, and are working with others including sensory support services to offer support at this time. Call our their advice line on 0800 781 1444 for information and guidance for families with children with a vision impairment.

Free eAudio from Audible

Audible have opened the whole collection of audio books for free.

Living Paintings

Living Paintings are continuing to run tactile and audio books and do not want anyone to worry about overdue lending during this time.

Amber Trust

Amber Trust have resources on the website for music and VI learners

RNIB Bookshare

RNIB Bookshare opens up the world of reading in education for learners with a print-disability, including those with dyslexia or who are blind or partially sighted.

New Life

Newlife offers advice, a free helpline for parents, and the free loan of specialist toys to families who have disabled and terminally ill children. Their Play Therapy Pods are self-contained and are delivered direct to the family’s door.

Doorway Online Games

Doorway Online is a collection of free and highly accessible educational games that learners will find easy to use independently. Each activity has a range of accessibility and difficulty options.

Seeing Ear

An online charity where you can download free books.

Life hack films

Tips, tricks and tech for living with a visual impairment. These short Life Hack films aim to support those living with sight loss to lead a more independent

Willow Sensory

Offering free resources for generic sensory ideas and tips.

View – various resources

The professional association of the vision impairment education workforce have pulled together a list of resources for educators and parents.

Objective Ed – free distance learning tools

Their distance learning tools have now been made free for all teachers and their students.


Resources for ESOL Learners: Adults

Online resources for ESOL Learners, compiled by Leeds City Council’s Language Hubs Team.

Beginners

British Council: Beginners

Lessons for beginners on different topics to help practise speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Futurelearn: elementary English course

Free online elementary course starting on 6 April 2020.

ESOL Courses

Free online course for beginners.

English My Way

English My Way activities for everyday life for beginners.

Skills

British Council: Practice key skills

Practise speaking, reading, writing and listening skills and improve your pronunciation.

British Council: practice activities

Here you can find activities to practise your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.

Futurelearn: pre-intermediate course

Free online pre-intermediate course to improve your listening skills.  Join now or on 27 April 2020.

English Interactive

English speaking practice at different levels.

Learn English with songs

Learn English with songs.

https://www.esolcourses.com/content/topicsmenu/listening.html

Listening skills lessons and quizzes.

Listening Library

English Listening Lesson Library Online.  Search by level.

BBC Skillswise

BBC Skillswise resources for English and Maths.  Useful for Functional Skills exam preparation.

Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation

British Council: grammar videos

Watch video presentations of grammar areas, practise your vocabulary and spelling.

British Council: grammar practice

Choose your level from beginner to advanced and practise your English grammar with explanations and practice exercises.

Learn English

Activities to help you learn the meaning, pronunciation and spelling of new words.

Future Learn: English pronunciation

Free course to improve your English pronunciation skills and learn about speaking English in today’s globalised world.  Available to join on 6 April 2020.

Cambridge Dictionary

Free online dictionary with pronunciation.

British Council: pronunciations

Pronunciation lessons.

Video lessons

Free English video lessons.  Search by topic or level.

ESL Lounge

Lots of online activities to improve your grammar, vocabulary and skills.

English Club

Many different learning activities to improve your grammar, vocabulary and skills.

Grammar Guide

A collection of many different resources to improve your grammar.

Talk English: grammar

Many different grammar resources available.

UK life

British Council: UK Life

Learn about different places in the UK, culture, history and law.  Practise language that will help you in your daily life, in the home and with your children.

British Council: everyday English

Improve your knowledge of everyday English and the language you need for socialising.

BBC Learning English

Videos on lots of different topics.

Futurelearn: British language culture

Free online course looking at British culture and examines English in use to help improve you English language skills. Available to join now.

Life in the UK resources

Life in the UK learning resources.

Work

British Council: English for work                       

Learn new language and vocabulary for different types of jobs.

Business English

Improve your vocabulary and knowledge for your work.  Activities to develop interview skills and write clear emails.

English for work resources

Vocabulary, lessons and worksheets for English for Work.

Futurelearn: workplace English

Free online course for English for the workplace.  Available to join now.

IELTS and Trinity B1

Futurelearn resources

Prepare for IELTS Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening tests with these courses.

IELTS podcast

Free IELTS preparation tutorials and materials for different skills and topics.

Trinity College

Information about the Secure English Language Test (SELT) offered by Trinity at level B1 in Speaking in Listening for Indefinite Leave to Remain (to settle) or British Citizenship.

Apps

Duolingo

App to learn English on your phone or online.

Facebook learner groups

Facebook learner groups including for speakers of Oromo, Amharic, Mandarin, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Korean, Telugu, Thai and Tigrinya.

British Council apps

British Council has many apps available for Android and iOS.

BBC Learning English app

All the BBC Learning English lessons are available on this app for Android and iOS.

Children

Young children

British Council

Free online games, songs, stories and activities for children.

Audible

Free audio books for young children.

https://www.weareteachers.com/virtual-author-activities/

Read aloud and do activities with children’s authors.

Unite for Literacy

American site with books to listen to and read.  Different languages are available – click on the pencil at the top of the page on the left where it says English.

Storyline

American site to listen to children’s books.

Family learning with music

Family learning with music for young children, via YouTube

Children’s Library

International children’s digital library.  Search for books in your language by region.

Children’s books online

Children’s books online with digital activities.

Global storybooks

Read and listen to stories in different languages with your children.

Teenagers

British Council

Improve your English with reading, writing and listening practice, tips for exams, grammar and vocabulary exercises, games and videos.  Interact with teenagers from all around the world.

Audible for teenagers

Free audio books for teenagers

Cockburn School

Online learning site by year group from Cockburn School.  Maybe your child’s school has something similar.