Friday, 29 July 2011

Leeds summer Breeze – off to a sprinting start

Picture caption: Elliot Hurley (centre) leads some Breeze-goers in the Sprint Challenge at Cross Flatts park"

Picture caption "Yorkshire 100 metre champion Elliot Morley with his medals"

"Inflatable football at Breeze on Tour"

Breeze got off to a sprinting start at Cross Flatts Park this week as young people and their families flooded in to take part in the free fun.

With just under a year to go before the 2012 Olympics, Leeds’ own Elliot Hurley - the under- 17’s Yorkshire 100 metre champion, set a record of 7.3 seconds for the 60 metre urban athletic sprint challenge held at Breeze on Tour. Elliot has set down the gauntlet to all Breeze-goers to see who can beat his time. To compete against his time all you have to do is turn up at Breeze on Tour, register and run.

Elliot, who will be competing in the Inter Counties Championships tomorrow (Saturday 30 July), realised his sprinting talent at the age of seven. He said: “It’s a great opportunity to test yourself at a whole range of sports activities, here in the Breeze On Tour Sports Zone”

As well as the Sprint Challenge young people visiting Breeze on Tour can take part in a wide range of sports and arts activities including making a clay animation film which can be seen developing each week on the Breezeleeds Facebook site.

Each event runs from 12 noon until 5 pm, Breeze on Tour will be visiting Temple Newsam on the 3 and 4 August with an extra bonanza event on the 3 August as Breeze celebrates National Play Day.

The tour continues at Scott Hall Playing Fields on the 10 and 11 August Armley Park on the 17 and 18 August at and the fantastic finale at Kirkstall Abbey on 25 and 25 of August.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“As ever, Breeze is bringing a whole host of exciting activities to banish the boredom for children and young people in Leeds during the summer holidays.

“I’m sure this sprinting challenge will encourage lots of young people to try to beat Elliot’s time. Maybe we’ll uncover a whole host of future Usain Bolt’s from across the city!”

Children and young people can just turn up with their Breezecard and can get in for free at every location on every day. If people can’t make it to Breeze on Tour they could try one of the mini Breeze events – it’s just like Breeze on Tour only a little bit smaller. For more details please visit

Mini Breeze events to come are:
Springhead Park, Rothwell on Tuesday 2 August at 12 - 4pm;
Horsforth Hall Park, Hall Lane on Monday 8 August at 12-4pm;
Roundhay Park on Friday 12 August at 1 - 5pm;
Tinshill Recreational Ground on Saturday 13 August at 12 - 4pm;
Garforth Academy on Monday 15 August at 1 - 5pm; and
Pudsey Grangefield on Friday 19 August at 12 - 4pm.

Find out more about activities for young people in Leeds over the summer holidays by visiting

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Making moves making a difference

John Perman, Biddy Coghill (WEA), Emma Pearson, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon

Customers of the Osmondthorpe Resource Centre (ORC) who took part in an innovative new project were awarded with certificates of achievement at Leeds Civic Hall yesterday (Thursday).

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon presented the certificates to thirteen of the centre’s customers who took part in the ‘Making moves’ project. This was developed by ORC and the Workers Education Association (WEA) to mark the 2011 European Year of Volunteering, and supported by the council’s inner north east area committee.

ORC is a council-run resource service for people with physical and sensory impairments. The aim of the project was to help a small group of interested customers to develop new skills and qualities, which would then enable them to recognise their potential by taking part in a volunteering placement.

The project involved the customers taking part in two 10-week courses. During these they focussed on their personal qualities, built on skills that they already had and learned new ones, and addressed potential barriers - their own and those imposed on them from the outside world – which might prevent them from achieving their potential. The courses were delivered by a WEA tutor and two WEA and ORC workers, who supported the customers, found out what their interests were and listened to their aspirations and fears. Alongside this a WEA development worker negotiated partnerships with organisations who agreed to offer taster volunteering placements to the customers, which they took part in during June and July.

Another aim of the project was to give customers the chance to experience something that is potentially out of their usual comfort zones, to realise their potential to move on and hopefully act as a stepping stone into more volunteering or even paid employment.

David Fletcher, project leader from the ORC said:
“This is probably the best project that I have been involved with over my 11 years working at the centre, and has been an incredible journey for the customers that took part. They all had a tremendous, personal boost from being involved in it, and their confidence has grown right in front of my eyes.

“I want to thank the WEA for helping us to develop the project, and the ten organisations that got involved and offered our customers this fantastic opportunity. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that people’s lives have been enhanced by this project.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“Osmondthorpe Resource Centre has been successfully helping to rehabilitate people after life-changing accidents and illnesses for over 21 years.

“The centre provides outstanding support and opportunities for the people that use it, and this project with the WEA has given customers the chance to experience a whole range of different situations that society doesn't always allow.

“I would like to congratulate the customers that took part for stepping outside their comfort zones and being brave enough to take advantage of something completely new to them. I hope it has given them the means and confidence to keep volunteering in the future.”

Mike Jolly, of Cloth Cat Studios said:
“Having Geoff at Cloth Cat has been great for us and hopefully a really good and useful experience for him too.

“Geoff was a data analyst and researcher before he had his accident, so we decided to give him some raw data to have a look at for us.

“This was the first time in eight years that Geoff had the chance to recall and use the skills that he used to use everyday in his job. He did some fantastic work for us and prepared some essential data for us to use as part of a funding bid. We are a small charity and didn’t have the resources available to do this work ourselves, so we were thrilled to have Geoff on board to help us.

“Geoff seemed to really enjoy getting involved and his confidence seemed to grow through knowing that his work had a real purpose for us. I’m delighted that he is going to continue volunteering with us in the future.”

Emma’s story
Emma Pearson, age 25, is a wheelchair user and has been a customer of the ORC for three years. Emma has a bubbly personality and enjoys meeting people, and as part of her social development at ORC sometimes runs the reception desk. This has given her extra confidence and when the ‘Making moves’ project became available she thought it would be a really good experience for her to get out of the centre and do something different. Her support worker secured her a placement working at the St Vincent’s Community Shop, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She said:
“I really enjoyed working at the St Vincent’s shop selling books, pots and clothes to the public. The staff there were very nice, the customers were really friendly and the food was good too!

“I think that the course was a really worthwhile thing for me to do; I learned a lot from it and would recommend it to other customers. The support worker was very supportive and taught us about different ways of dealing with some of the barriers that we often come up against. I definitely feel more confident now.”

John’s story
John Perman, age 57, worked as a maintenance mechanic at the bowling alley at Merrion Centre for 34 years until his stroke seven years ago. The stroke left him with severe weakness in his leftside, and he was unable to continue to work.
John was keen to get involved in the ‘making moves’ project as a way of exploring how he would cope back in a working environment. His placement at the Discovery Museum in Leeds encouraged him to use his hands and concentration to prepare medals for an exhibition. He said:
“I was really pleased to be involved in the making moves project. The courses were delivered at an adult level and gave us the opportunity to work as a team, feel that our opinions were valued and consider how we would cope back in a workplace environment.

“Having this opportunity has given me a real sense of self worth again. Disability can be a barrier, but the placement at Leeds Discovery Museum has shown me that I still have lots to offer.

“I feel much more confident about my abilities now. I’m hoping to step forward and continue to develop myself with more voluntary work. Hopefully, this will give me the chance to realise my full capabilities.”

Ten organisations were involved in the project, and offered volunteering placements to the customers involved. These were Meadowfield Primary School, LATCH, Cloth Cat, Leeds Discovery Museum, John Charles Centre for Sport, Change, Shine, St Vincent’s, Holbeck Elderly Aid, and Leeds Study Support.

Additional info

Osmondthorpe Resource Centre has been helping to rehabilitate people after life-changing accidents or illness for over 21 years, by providing a range of opportunities including education, work skills training, day-to-day independent living skills and emotional support as well as an award winning WoodenTops project, creating employment opportunities.
The ‘making moves’ project is supported by the inner north east area committee.

The WEA (Workers' Educational Association) was established in 1903. We are a national adult education provider, operating regionally and a registered charity funded by the government through the SFA.
We run a very wide variety of accredited and non-accredited courses for the general public, in the workplace and for targeted or discrete groups. We are inspected by Ofsted regularly and we run all of our courses in the community.

Cloth Cat Studios is a not for profit social enterprise based in Inner City Leeds which aims to provide:-
a) Free/low cost music courses and other music-based training for local people.
b) Facilities to promote people who want to be involved in music, particularly those on low incomes.
We use music training to help local people improve the quality of their lives. Through empowerment, confidence building, making music contacts, learning musical and other skills, we help our users to gain control over their lives and find avenues into employment.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578