Tuesday, 31 August 2010

It’s toddler time at Abbey House Museum

Kirkstall Abbey will be the place to be for toddlers in September as Abbey House Museum is hosting a month of fun activities for under-fives.

The month of fun activities coincides with the launch of a new guide to the range of events and activities for parents and toddlers to take part in at the Leeds City Council-managed venue.

From dressing up as animals, pirates and princes and princesses to messy fun with paint, dough and sand as well as singing an sign language sessions, all activities are aimed at learning and developing new skills in a fun way.

The month of activities culminates in special bear hunts to be held for groups of primary school and nursery children run each day from Tuesday 28th September to Thursday 30th September.

The groups will go in search of Albert the Abbey House Bear, using rhyme, repetition, movement and sign language to track him down in the museum.

Keeper of Kirkstall Abbey and Abbey House Museum Sam Flavin said:

“Abbey House Museum is really popular with parents and toddlers so we have been keen to develop even more fun activities for them to enjoy doing here.

“The new guide offers the full range of things for under-fives to do and we look forward to seeing lots of toddlers coming along and having a great time throughout September and beyond.”

Apart from taking part in activities, visitors to Abbey House Museum can journey back through time and see what Leeds looked like in the Victorian era of the 1880s by walking through carefully recreated streets and houses.

To find out any more information about the toddler activities or about Abbey House Museum, please call 0113 230 5492 or email abbey.house@leeds.gov.uk.

For more information about what all the council-managed cultural venues in Leeds have to offer this summer visit www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Getting back to nature

Children are being encouraged to log out, turn off and get into the outdoors with the launch of a new nature club on Otley Chevin.

Leeds City Council parks and countryside rangers will be helping them to explore the fascinating woodland and wildlife as well as have loads of adventurous fun.

The new Nature Watch Club will take place on the first Sunday of every month starting Sunday 5th September throughout the year helping anyone between eight and 12-years-old to get outdoors, active and learning about wildlife.

Leeds City Council’s senior parks and countryside ranger Emma Trickett, said:

“Various perceptions mean children today spend less time outdoor than any other generation so it’s even more important they are given inspiring chances to get outside and engage with nature and wildlife.

“Children are missing out on the kind of free range upbringing many of us had as young people and this club will provide them with and excellent opportunity to have these important experiences.”

The first session will see children blackberry picking and crumble baking and they can look forward to learning survival skills, taking woodland walks and making Christmas decorations from natural materials.

The group will meet from 2pm – 4 pm and sessions cost £1 per child per session. Most sessions will start from the White House at the top of Johnny Lane at Chevin Forest Park.

If you are interested in joining the group or having a look at the programme of activities contact ranger Jenny Watts on 0113 2375320 or countrysiderangers@leeds.gov.uk.


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email: Daniel.johnson1@leeds.gov.uk

Friday nights are creative for Middleton youngsters

Picture caption: "The mosaic created by the Friday Night Project youngsters, in pride of place at St. Cross church Middleton."

Picture caption: "Brendan with his artwork at the urban art workshop"

Young people from the Middleton Friday Night Project have been making good use of their Friday nights by producing some creative masterpieces for their neighbourhood.

A mosaic for the local church, an urban art mural and community banners have all been created by the young people who attend the Friday Night Project, a multi-agency project, run by Leeds City Council’s Out of School Activities Team and Youth Service, Leeds Federation, NACRO and South Leeds Health For All – ACE.

As well as getting involved in the arts projects, young people also take part in activities including multi-sports, swimming, beauty therapy, media and music. The project gives young people a safe place to try new activities, meet new friends and simply ‘chill’ with their mates.

The Friday Night Project is for young people between 8 and 18 years old – this is split in to junior and senior groups so the level of the activities is suitable for all.

The urban arts project has helped to brighten and tidy up an area at the back of Middleton sports centre. The young people from the Friday Night Project have used their creative skills to cover up a previously scruffy wall with pictures of sports and of what makes them proud to be part of Middleton. Throughout the project they were encouraged to think about what it is like to live in and be part of Middleton.

Nick Halahan, the artist who helped the young people with the urban arts project said:
“It was a great success, the wall brightens the place up and has a friendly, colourful and sporty look to it.

“There was a great moment when a group of about 15 lads came round the back and starting hanging around and watching some of the senior group painting. At first it looked like they might be a problem, but within five minutes most of the louder ones had borrowed pens and paper and were busy drawing.”

The banner project was also very popular with the young people, who were very proud to see their work displayed around the neighbourhood.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“These projects have given the young people a chance to put something positive back into the community and help to improve relations between young people and the rest of the community.”

Another creative addition to the local community to come out of the Friday Night Project was a new mosaic for St. Cross Church in Middleton. A group of up to 20 young people worked together to design and create a new sign for the church which was unveiled at their summer fair.

Father Andrew Myers, St. Cross Church. Middleton said:
“The youth workers and young people have produced a wonderful mosaic picture of our church which can be seen and appreciated by all who pass by. The sign was blessed at the opening of St Cross summer fair by Bishop James Bell of Knaresborough and is a wonderful example of a gift to the church by our young community. Many people have mentioned to me how much it adds a splash of colour to our church and is a real enhancement to the area."

On average 16 to 20 young people attended the sessions each week and over 50 young people have taken part in the overall project.

Funding of £5352 for the project came from Middleton Bright Ideas supported by the Inner South Area Committee, Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team and Aire Valley Homes. The Friday Night Project is a Positive Activities for Young People (PAYP) initiative.

The Friday Night Project is looking forward to returning on the 10th September 2010, and bringing some more creative flair to Middleton.

Photographs of the urban artwork at Middleton sports centre can be found at olasart.com/workshop37.html for photos of the final piece.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

New sport launches in Leeds

Picture caption: (from left to right) Hattie Grant netballer star of the future, Sian Foley West Yorkshire netball office, Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Joanne Silver who has returned to netball inspired by her daughter Francesca Silver who is far right.

A fast and furious new sport is being launched at Armley Leisure Centre, Leeds.

Following the success of 5-a-side football and twenty20 cricket netball is the latest sport to get a lively makeover.

FastNet is a new variation of netball with teams and rules tweaked to make play quicker and more appealing raising the sport’s profile and getting women who have left the game back on the court.

Leeds is spearheading the campaign with a launch event at Armley Leisure Centre on Sunday 5th September. Players, coaches, officials and anyone interested in netball are invited to watch the new game in the afternoon while the morning will be dedicated to developing netballers of the future.

Leeds City Council’s deputy executive member for leisure Lisa Mulherin said:

“This vibrant variation of netball is a great addition to an excellent and enduring game and what better way to keep fit than having loads of fun with friends.

“Particularly we’re appealing to women who have played netball but given up due to other commitments to come along to the launch and get back into the game, but obviously we want anyone who is interested in playing the game to come along too.”

FastNet has a number of innovative rule changes designed to test the fitness, technical ability and tactical awareness of players – rolling subs, power play quarters and shooting from outside the circle are but a few.

Sian Foley, West Yorkshire Netball Development Officer said:

“Netball can be seen as a very traditional game but while the sport is growing quicker than ever, FastNet will help us to attract a new audience. It will also build upon the success we’ve had in our Back to Netball programmes in West Yorkshire this year.”

Sessions on the day for under 11s are free in the morning but for £10 anyone over the age of 16 is invited to attend the whole day and develop their understanding of the game and then in the afternoon watch the new FastNet format on court.

The launch is a partnership between Leeds City Council, England Netball and West Yorkshire County Netball Association. For more information and to book your place, please contact the Leeds Sport Development Unit on 0113 3950001.

Notes to editor:

Schedule for Sunday 5th September at Armley Leisure Centre will be as follows:

9am – 10.30pm Step into Netball (5-7 year olds)

9am -12pm High 5 Netball (8-11 year olds)

12.30pm-1.30pm Back to Netball (16+ yr olds)

12.30pm- 5.30pm FastNet (16+ year olds)

To find out more about netball in West Yorkshire contact Sian Foley (West Yorkshire Netball Development Officer) Sian.Foley@englandnetball.co.uk


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email: Daniel.johnson1@leeds.gov.uk