As you read this, I’m either preparing to go, or have already arrived further away than South Leeds to begin a fresh chapter of my life with a new fundraising job. But as a sporadic contributor to the pages of SLL from its earliest days I wanted to take one last opportunity to pay tribute to what a great community resource this website is and what a great part of this city it is dedicated to.
Over the last 13 years I’ve been working with community organisations here in South Leeds, namely Voluntary Action-Leeds, Touchstone, the Hunslet Club and Health For All. I have been privileged to work alongside and collaborate with many of the fantastic volunteers, workers and citizens who keep the community spirit in this part of the city alive and kicking with such passion and enthusiasm. Over that time I’ve helped to raise the funds to open volunteer bureaux, mental health services, build and refurbish community facilities, provide sport, arts and learning opportunities for young people. I’ve been part of funding panels that have awarded funds to some superb grassroots community groups working to improve things in the area. It has been a pleasure to see projects come to fruition, to promote them and help these things change lives to help people reach their full potential.
It’s that community promotion thing that I believe makes the work of sites such as South Leeds Life so important. Being that communication link between organisations and the people and supporters who live locally and why I’ve enjoyed writing many stories to go on here. They say that today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper and in so many instances that is true, but much of what goes on and is reported here has a longer term legacy and reflects what is happening in the community and what people can and should be doing about it to make things better. Here is where a smart person can see a bigger picture.
Some of my favourite stories on here have been those which connect people with the history around them, or have encouraged them to volunteer, or have encouraged people to have a say in exciting new projects, or have celebrated the fantastic achievements of South Leeds people. I am sure there are many who read this who are wondering “what can I do to make my community better?” The answer is this, take a look at some of the site articles about community initiatives, ask yourself, is that something you could help out with and make even better? Volunteering for things can be so much fun and very rewarding as I have found, Get in touch and arrange to meet up. It might change your life.
South Leeds has been such a vibrant, warm and welcoming place for me for a long time for which I am very grateful and will miss many of its people enormously. But I’ll certainly be back to visit the many good friends made, I will also be helping some projects with their fundraising at a distance and follow the SL news with interest from afar, keep up the good work all of you!
Written by Jason Slack Twitter: @Jason__Slack