Thursday, 29 November 2012

Enjoy oompahs and jumpers at free festive concerts

Caption: Woolly Warmers compere Howard Bradley at Leeds Kirkgate Market (if image used please credit Lizzie Coombes, Leeds Inspired 2012)

A series of free Christmas mini-concerts with a difference will be held in Leeds City Centre this December.

Eight family-friendly events will take place at Leeds Bus Station, Leeds Railway Station, Leeds Kirkgate Market and the German Christmas Market on Millennium Square with the aim of bringing some playful and unexpected festive cheer to shoppers, families and commuters during lunchtimes and rush-hours.

The concerts entitled ‘Woolly Warmers’ have been organised by Leeds Inspired, the cultural programme managed by Leeds City Council which celebrates culture through arts, sport and heritage events throughout the year.

The concerts begin on Wednesday 5 December, as brass quartet The Oompah Band bring their Bavarian-inspired, foot-stomping versions of disco classics to Leeds Kirkgate Market and Leeds Railway Station.

On Saturday 8 December, Leeds seven-piece, A Dread Supreme, will be spicing up Christmas songs with rhythms from the Caribbean and South Africa at the Christkindelmarkt, German Christmas Market on Millennium Square and in Leeds Bus Station.

Stockpot Stopcock, aka Leeds jazz musicians Richard Ormrod and Matthew Bourne, will premiere a new suite of music inspired by the Emmaus Furniture Stall in Leeds Kirkgate Market and at Leeds Bus Station on Friday 14 December.

The final concert will see Leeds band Hope & Social inviting passers-by to join them in ringing in the festive season with 100 bells at Leeds Kirkgate Market and Leeds Bus Station on Friday 21 December.

For both their concerts, Stockpot Stopcock and Hope & Social will be playing a specially-customised piano donated by Emmaus, the Leeds recycling project supporting homeless people. The piano will be available from January to borrow as a travelling piano and community resource to other organisations and projects in Leeds.

To help people get into the Christmas spirit ahead of the concerts, audiences are invited to pull on their favourite festive jumpers for the events, or take part in a free upcycling workshop in advance at a drop-in workshop to be held at the Fabric-ation shop in the Light (formerly Confetti) on Sunday 2 December between 12pm and 3pm.

Co-ordinator of Leeds Inspired Jane Earnshaw said:

“It’s the end of an exciting year for us working with brilliant creative talent across the city, so we wanted to give a warm festive thank you to the busy people of Leeds, in the company of some of the city’s most interesting and playful musicians.

“Woolly Warmers are for everyone whether you’ve five minutes or an hour to spare, so bring your nan, your kids – you can even bring your knitting!”

For more information on Leeds Inspired visit the website at or @leedsinspired on Twitter.

For more details on the Christmas concerts, call Fran Graham on 07815 790189 or or Jenny Harris on 07505 127631/

Notes to editors:

Woolly Warmers – Dates & times of free events:

• Sunday 2 December: Upcycled Christmas Jumpers

Drop-in workshop 12-3pm at Fabric-ation, The Light, Leeds

• Wednesday 5 December: The Oompah Band

12.30-1.30pm at Leeds Kirkgate Market / 5.30-6.30pm at Leeds Railway Station

• Saturday 8 December: A Dread Supreme

11am-12pm at Leeds Bus Station / 2.30pm-3.30pm at Christkindelmarkt, Leeds German Christmas Market

• Friday 14 December: Stockpot Stopcock

12.30-1.30pm at Emmaus, Leeds Kirkgate Market / 5.30-6.30pm at Leeds Bus Station

• Friday 21 December: Hope & Social

12.30pm-1.30pm at Leeds Kirkgate Market / 5.30pm-6.30pm at Leeds Bus Station

About Leeds Inspired

Leeds Inspired is part of the city’s cultural programme that celebrates arts, sport and heritage events throughout the year. It supports culture in the city through the Leeds Inspired website, grants schemes and commissions.

The Leeds Inspired what’s on website brings together the city’s annual highlights alongside independent events and fleet-of-foot DIY happenings to create an ever-changing inspirational cultural calendar.

Through annual grants schemes and commissions, Leeds Inspired fund cultural projects that create high-quality, accessible cultural experiences for Leeds residents and visitors alike.

Leeds Inspired is a Leeds City Council initiative and is led by a steering group of partners including West Yorkshire Playhouse, SAA-UK, Cultivate, Leeds Young Authors, Leeds Initiative, Leeds Met Gallery, Phoenix Dance and Duke Studios.

For more information visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Council boost for Third Sector in Leeds

Leeds City Council has announced how almost £200k in grant funding will be allocated to voluntary organisations in the city. This is in addition to £40k, which was awarded earlier this year to five groups.

Twenty third sector organisations will benefit from one-off grants amounting to over £150k from the Leeds Transition Fund, which is jointly managed by the council and Leeds Community Foundation. Now in its second year, the fund was set up to help third sector organisations that have experienced reductions to their funding to help them to improve their sustainability and respond to new opportunities.

Applications for funding were assessed by members of the Third Sector Partnership including the council, third sector and NHS. The successful organisations were awarded funding as they were able to demonstrate that they deliver high quality public services and would benefit from support to become more resilient and enable them to take up opportunities presented by an ever changing funding environment.

One of these successful organisations is Carers Leeds. They believe that an organisational structure for carers’ services could be created that would deliver a coherent model of information, advice and support that would improve accessibility of the service to carers, enhance carers’ experience of services as well as rationalising the service and improving efficiency.

Helena Bladon, development worker, from Carers Leeds said:
“We very much appreciate receiving funding from the Leeds Transition Fund. Carers Leeds is the primary provider of generic information, advice and support services to unpaid carers in Leeds. We are working in a difficult financial environment and are aware of the need to deliver an excellent and innovative service to honour the hard work and contribution made by all unpaid carers. This funding will help us to improve the way services to all carers are planned and delivered, creating a more stream-lined service which will be easily accessible, easy to understand and which will actively work to meet the needs of carers who contact us for support.”

Cat Pearson, manager of Seagulls Re-use said:
"Seagulls success in securing a grant from the Leeds Transition Fund has come at just the right time. The grant will help us develop our painting and decorating service, ReDecorate, which has suffered in recent years due to the economic climate. ReDecorate is at a pivotal point in that the service needs to expand in order for it to become self sustaining. The grant will enable us to employ an additional painter and decorator and purchase a much needed van.

“ReDecorate was established by volunteers and the growth will allow us to work with more trainees from Leeds College of Building on work placements. Over the years we have carved out a niche market; decorating properties for older and disabled people and people with mental health issues. Seagulls has a holistic approach in working with people and this is very much transferred to ReDecorate. We hope that the grant will help secure the future of our service and make it viable in the coming months/years."
In addition almost £40k has been allocated to projects to enhance quality of services to the public by introducing input from the third sector. These proposals were submitted by council departments in partnership with third sector partners. They include projects to increase the numbers of empty homes brought back into use, to increase re-use of household furniture and white goods, to support third sector organisations to take on community buildings and to further develop networks that support social care organisations.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, chair of Third Sector Partnership (TSP) and the council’s champion for the voluntary sector in Leeds said:
“The third sector is a really important part of the Leeds economy, and absolutely key in delivering community based services for residents. I am delighted that the council was able to allocate this resource to support them, despite the challenging financial circumstances that we are currently dealing with.

“The response from the third sector to this funding opportunity has been excellent, and I am delighted that so many organisations will benefit from these grants, which will offer a lifeline to some of them.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:
“We understand how important funding can be to the third sector, especially when the economic climate continues to be so challenging. This funding will give the successful organisations a great opportunity to secure their long-term futures and become more sustainable.”

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation said:
“Leeds Community Foundation was delighted to work with Leeds City Council on this year's transition fund. We had an amazing response from local organisations, which just shows how crucial schemes like this are to help groups in these changing and challenging times. Although not everyone was successful in receiving a grant there will be a series of seminars in the new year so that everyone will have access to some practical help.”


Additional info
Third Sector Leeds is an alliance of voluntary and community organisations, charities, faith groups, and social enterprises working in Leeds.

The Third Sector Partnership work together to:

• develop third sector policies regarding key strategic issues;
• engage with and influence the decision making processes of all its key stakeholders, especially the Leeds Initiative and its partners including Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds; and
• co-ordinate representation of the third sector on statutory partnerships and boards.

Carers Leeds is part of the Carers Trust, a national network of carers centres. Carers Leeds was opened by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, on 11 January 1996. The organisation works in partnership with carers, funders and partnership organisations including 111 GP practices across Leeds to provide support to unpaid carers.

Seagulls is an environmental social enterprise working to promote and develop a community resource centre in Leeds. The project arose from the bin yards of Burley, LS6, Leeds back in 2001 when Cat and Kate the founders met whilst volunteering for a community project.

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

Nominations wanted for Leeds apprenticeship awards

Leeds is set to host the second Apprenticeship Awards and is looking for nominations for the city wide event.

Over 14000 apprenticeships have been created in Leeds over the last two years, providing much-needed employment and training opportunities while helping the city’s employers bring in the skills they need to grow.

The Leeds Apprenticeship Awards highlight the work of excellent apprentices, those organisations who are committed to offering quality Apprenticeships, and those that champion Apprenticeships and the positive difference they make to the city.

Partners including Leeds City Council, Leeds College of Building, Leeds City College and the National Apprenticeship Service launched the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards 2013 this week, with the ceremony taking place at Leeds Banqueting Suite next March.

Individuals and organisations are encouraged to submit their entries before the closing date of 20 December 2012.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the apprentices, employers and learning providers who are making such a difference in the city, and at the same time getting the message across that apprenticeships are about much more than the traditional trades.

“We are absolutely committed as a council to doing all we can to support more apprenticeships across a wide range of professions in the city. Not only do they provide a hugely valuable experience for the apprentices themselves, but employers really like to take on and grow a motivated, talented apprentice who is looking to build a career in their organisation.

“With more and more young people are getting involved in apprenticeships, I am delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of those already making the most of these opportunities in our city.”

At last year’s Apprenticeship Awards, Surgical Innovations were awarded the SME Employer of the Year in acknowledgement of their successful apprenticeship scheme.

Graham Bowlans, CEO of 2012 winner Surgical Innovations, said:

“Here at SI we understand the positive impact the younger generation has to offer and run a proactive apprenticeship scheme across the organisation to nurture this young talent. The scheme allows us to train apprentices to our exacting company standards and help towards combating the skills shortage throughout the manufacturing industry.”

Dawn Marshal, Divisional Nurse Manager, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – 2012 winner said:

‘’Apprenticeships have been in place at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust since 2010 and to date 323 have been recruited.

“Apprenticeships gives individuals who have no previous experience or academic qualification the opportunity to work in health care through the provision of up-to-date training in a supportive environment over a 1 year period as part of a clinical team. “

Short-listed individuals and organisations will be invited to attend the awards at the Leeds Civic Hall on the 12 March 2012. This coincides with National Apprenticeship Week and will be a prestigious event for the city.

To discover more, and how to enter for one of the award categories please visit:  or email us at:

Notes to editors:

The award categories are broken down as follows:

Apprentice of the Year (3 awards – Intermediate, Advanced and Higher)

Against All Odds

An award celebrating the learner who has overcome the most obstacles to excel within the apprenticeship and progress to better things..

Employer of the Year (3 awards – Small, Medium and Large)

Outstanding Contribution

Apprenticeship Ambassador

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Alleyway secured to prevent anti social behaviour

An alleyway in south Leeds that has caused problems with anti social behaviour over the last few years will now be secured by the installation of a steel gate.

The alleyway near Tingley Crescent in Tingley has been the subject of a range of anti social behaviour including damage to fencing, litter, graffiti and damage to the children’s playground nearby.

Many different approaches have been tried in the past to reduce the problems, including increased PCSO patrols, outreach sessions with young people and investigations by the Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team.

After consultation with local people it was decided that installing a gate at the end of the alley way will prevent this type of behaviour happening in the future. The gate is a standard alley gate design made of steel and with a mechanism to self close to ensure extra security.

Leeds City Council is working with Morley NPT to ensure the gate is secured through funding from the outer south area committee.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“We are striving hard to tackle any cases of anti social behaviour across the city, and this is a great example of where we have worked with the local community to ensure action has been taken.

Councillor Karen Bruce, chair of the outer south area committee said:

“Alleygating is being used in Leeds as a crime reduction tool and is part of a series of measures to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime.

“The work we undertook with the local community proved to be very valuable in this case, and we are pleased to be able to fund a gate for the alley to prevent this kind of behaviour.

”The gate will be installed by the end of November and we will continue to monitor behaviour in the area."

Inspector Paul Sullivan, who leads the Morley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

"The closure of this alleyway supports the work we are achieving in the area in terms of tackling anti-social behaviour. It also shows what can be achieved when the local authority, the police and local residents, all come together to tackle a shared problem."

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

A safer night out in Leeds City Centre this Christmas

Safer Leeds is again enlisting taxi marshals for the run up to Christmas along with trying out new measures to enhance public safety for the festive season.

The marshals are part of a range of measures being put in place by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police, who are working with Health and Business Against Crime in Leeds (BACIL) to ensure safety and reduce crime in the city centre.

A trial of night time traffic management measures at The Calls and on Albion St will be brought in this year to control the movement of traffic in the interests of public safety. These controls will be in affect from Friday 30 November between 11.30pm and 5am.

The taxi marshals will be located at three taxi ranks across the city -- Leeds Railway Station, Call Lane/Corn Exchange and adjacent to the Oceana nightclub on Woodhouse Lane. Marshals will be working alongside the street marshals who are patrolling the areas outside nightclubs as well as Police Community Support Officers and police volunteer constables.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds said:

“Keeping our city safe is really important. People want to be able to go out knowing they will be safe, and this is one of the main reasons for the council and partners coming together to fund these measures.

“This scheme has been very successful in the past and will reassure people in our city centre again”

Inspector Richard Clarke, who heads the City Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

 "Leeds city centre continues to be a very safe place to enjoy a night out. The reassuring presence of the taxi marshals in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year will complement the work we and our partner agencies are doing to help people enjoy the season safely."

Andy Johnston, manager of BACIL said:

“BACIL members were more than happy to help make Leeds an even safer place by supplying marshals to assist our members and other businesses to reduce crime and anti social behaviour in Leeds city centre for the festive period”.

Notes to editors:

The shared funding for the Marshals has come from LCC City Centre Management; LCC Community Safety; BACIL; Health ;Network Rail and WYP POCA funds.

The taxi ranks will have three marshalls working from 10pm - 3am each Friday and Saturday night up to and including New Years Eve.

Business Against Crime In Leeds (BACIL) will also be supplying marshalls for the day and night time economies. On the four Saturdays in the run up to Christmas BACIL marshals will patrol the shopping precincts from 1.30 to 5.30pm and assist the night time marshals from 10.00pm to 2.00pm. Street Angels will be operating fortnightly on Friday night in the city centre working out of Trinity Church Café to engage with people out in the city centre. Yorkshire Ambulance Service will also have two static vehicles located in the city centre to assist those who need assistance, but not to the extent of necessitating a visit to A&E.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450