There’s a lot of winter gloom about – the floods, Storm Frank, the murder of sex worker Daria Pionko in Holbeck – so we decided to offer you 12 nuggets of good news from 2015 to remind you that South Leeds has so many good things going for it.
In January we reported on Lauren, a young woman who moved to Holbeck and threw herself into its community life and in particular helping to keep the neighbourhood tidy.
We shone a light on the unsung work going on down at The Salvation Army on Hunslet Hall Road in February. Andrew and Jackie Jarrold are in charge of a team offering hot meals and a hand of friendship.
The volunteers at Parkrun have been helping people exercise every Saturday morning for the last two years. As they celebrated their birthday in March the runners (and walkers) gave something back by doing a litter pick around Cross Flatts Park.
The Hunslet Club has been a South Leeds institution for 75 years and to kick off their anniversary celebration they held a gala night in April. South Leeds Life was there to cover it.
In the light of the dreadful sex attack in Beeston in May, martial arts expert Maurice Oldridge stepped forward to offer free self defence classes for local women.
June saw the 21st Beeston Festival, perhaps its biggest and best with all sorts of participative art projects adding to the usual menu of live music, food, stalls and fun fair.
In July a group of young people from Middleton, taking part in the National Citizen Service programme decided to put of a special day for older folk in their neighbourhood.
Beeston St Mary’s showed that the church is about more than services and buildings. In August they re-launched their matchday burgers initiative to reach out to the wider community – in this case Leeds United fans.
In September ladies from the Ciaran Bingham Foundation Trust took a new initiative to raise funds for their valuable work – they stripped off and posed for a very tasteful calendar. Have you got your copy?
Cottingley celebrated its position in south Leeds by unveiling a new community mural in October. The mural, at the shops on the estate, was created by young people with help from Groundwork and the Community Centre.
South Leeds already boasts the Leader of Leeds City Council in Cllr Judith Blake. In November Hannah Begum topped the poll to join her as Children’s Lord Mayor with plans for a Global Families project.
And finally in December the inevitable happened when a South Leeds pub – the Parnaby Tavern in Hunslet Carr – was voted Leeds Pub of the Year in the YEP. Cheers!
So raise your glasses to another 12 months of good news in 2016. You’ll read it here first on South Leeds Life.