Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Flying visit for Leeds kids

Media opportunity

Helping to shape the future of their city is a hoot for one group of Leeds schoolchildren.

Pupils from Holy Rosary and St. Anne’s catholic primary school in Chapeltown, will receive a special visit from some feathered friends this week, as a thank you for their input in the ‘What if Leeds…?’ consultation.

The children, aged 8 to 11, were called upon by the city’s partnership organisation, the Leeds Initiative, to share their ideas and hopes for the future of the city.

The children will now help launch the consultation with a special visit from a falconry team, who will bring with them birds of prey, including a falcon and some owls - the symbol of Leeds.

Media opportunity:
When: Thursday 9 September at 9.45am
Where: Holy Rosary and St. Anne’s Catholic Primary school, Leopold Street, LS7 4AW
What: Pupils, teachers and falconers can be photographed with the owls and other birds of prey.

‘What if Leeds …? Talk today. Shape tomorrow’ aims to find out the views of people who live and work in Leeds on how the city Leeds should develop over the next 20 years.

The children’s ideas helped shape the initial consultation document which members of the public are now being asked to give their views on.

Helen McDonald deputy head teacher at Holy Rosary and St. Anne’s catholic primary, said:
“The children really enjoyed taking part and having their ideas for the future of Leeds recorded. They were excited to think that their input could help to shape the future of their city.”

Councillor Keith Wakefield, chair of the Leeds Initiative said:
“The Vision for Leeds is about our young people’s future. Some of us will be retired by then but today’s primary school children will be tomorrow’s business and community leaders. We want to capture their imagination now and get them involved.”

Further information about the public consultation can be found at www.whatifleeds.org.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Sally Corcoran, the Leeds Initiative, 0113 2478944, 07891 277 195
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

New supported housing scheme opens in Leeds

An innovative new housing scheme for people with learning disabilities in Leeds will have its official opening tomorrow.

Former occupants of outdated council hostel, Windlesford Green, have moved into brand new apartments at Holmsley Green and are already enjoying much greater choice about how they live their lives, with more supported independence and as much privacy - or companionship - as they want.

Staff at Windlesford Green worked hard to provide a good service in an inflexible building, which was no longer fit for purpose. The new facility will make it easier for them to provide an improved, more modern service and transform the lives of the people they help.

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Media are invited to the official opening of Holmsley Green, Holmsley Lane, Woodlesford, LS26 8RY at 10.30am on Wednesday, 8 September. Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Sandie Keene and occupants will be available to show you around and chat about the new facility.
Please contact Claire Macklam on Leeds 395 1578 or email claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk to confirm your attendance.

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Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:“Holmsley Green is a fantastic new facility and a completely new way of meeting the needs of some of the city’s most severely disabled people.

“People can now get up and go to bed when they want, and choose exactly what they want to eat, and when they eat it. They are in charge of their own daily arrangements instead of having to fit into institutional timetables and rotas, and have as much or as little support as they wish.

“The residents are thrilled with their new-found freedoms, which most other people take completely for granted, but were simply not possible in the old-style hostel. I hope that they continue to enjoy living in their new homes for many years to come.”

The 23 people previously living at Windlesford Green played an important part in designing their new homes and choosing colour schemes and furniture. There are ten two-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom apartment, each designed to a high specification that meet the needs of learning disabled people as well as supporting all the usual requirements of everyday life.

The apartments have low-level kitchen work surfaces for people who use wheelchairs, and all have en-suite bathrooms. The building has level access throughout and lifts to all floors, with a ground-floor communal lounge opening onto gardens and a patio.

The properties can be adapted to meet people’s changing needs as they grow older, or if their disabilities increase, rather than them having to move elsewhere.

This new type of supported living for people with learning disabilities also changes the way that staff approach their work. They have received extra training to help them to provide more high-level home care-style support so that they can help to maximise people’s independence and dignity.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Be on the ball with new Striker 9 sessions

Caption: Striker 9 is run at leisure centres across Leeds

The future football stars of tomorrow are to be given the chance to start honing their skills this week at John Smeaton Leisure Centre in Leeds.

Starting at 9am on Saturday 11th September, the Leeds City Council-managed leisure centre off Barwick Road in Swarcliffe will be offering extra football coaching sessions every week as part of the council’s successful Striker 9 programme.

The Striker 9 scheme is run at 14 council leisure centres across the city during school term times and is open to anyone aged five to 16 years old. The programme sees young people being coached by Football Association-qualified coaches to develop the core skills of control, dribbling, running with the ball, passing, turning, shooting and heading. It is run as an award scheme, with players progressing through nine levels across all the skills areas and rewarded with medals and certificates as they successfully pass each level.

Those who complete the entire Strike 9 scheme are presented with a coveted Gold Award, while the programme also teaches those taking part about the rules and conduct of football as well as fitness and nutrition advice and the value of a healthy active lifestyle.

The Striker scheme began in 1999 but was revamped as Striker 9 in 2004. There are currently over 600 young people taking part in the scheme, with some of those taking part having gone on to join local professional clubs’ centres of excellence and others playing at semi-professional level.

Such has been the success of the scheme at John Smeaton Leisure Centre, that the usual Tuesday sessions are now being complemented by additional new sessions every Saturday. These hour-long sessions will take place at 9am for five to seven-year-olds, and at 10am for anyone aged eight to 16.

Anyone keen to attend is welcome, with all skill levels from complete beginners to regular junior players catered for. To book a place on the programme, please call John Smeaton Leisure Centre on 0113 214 1444.

Leeds City Council head of sport and active recreation Mark Allman said:

“Striker 9 has been a major success since it was introduced in Leeds as it provides young people with the chance to develop their football skills in a fun and challenging way and also helps them learn the value of following a healthy and active lifestyle.

“These new sessions at John Smeaton Leisure Centre are sure to be very popular so we look forward to even more young people coming along and taking on the Striker 9 challenge.”

For more information on Striker 9, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/striker or call 0113 395 1688.


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

Road works begin on city centre bridge

Leeds City Council is starting essential work this week to strengthen Lovell Park Road Bridge on the Leeds Inner Ring Road.

The work is expected to last for approximately 26 weeks and will involve weekend traffic diversions on a major route into the city centre.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:

“This is essential maintenance work to repair a bridge on a major city centre route and while we understand that there will be disruption to motorists, especially in the run-up to Christmas, we cannot avoid doing the work at this time.

“However we will work to complete it as soon as possible; traffic diversions will be clearly signposted to help traffic around the work and any diversions in place during weekends and through to Monday will be at off-peak times.

“We advise motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journey.”

Lovell Park Road Bridge is a concrete bridge that carries Lovell Park Road and Wade Lane over the A64 Leeds Inner Ring Road to the north east of the city centre. It is adjacent to the site for the new Leeds Arena.

The existing road will be surfaced and waterproofed and the external beams on each side of the bridge will be replaced with new ones.

Wade Lane and Lovell Park Road will be closed for approximately eight weeks including six weekend closures of the inner ring-road. The weekend closures of the inner ring-road will be at off peak times between 8.30pm on Saturday evening and 5:30am on Monday morning.

People can also find information about the work and traffic diversions on the Leeds City Council website using the following link:


Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times except when it is considered unsafe, for example, when beams are being lifted in or out of the bridge. Pedestrian diversion routes will be in place to guide the public around the works.

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk