Pioneering Hunslet-based youth charity The Works marked the end of the year with a bang and a party this week, and publicly launched an innovative range of new community programmes for 2015.
Based in an epic old Victorian mill and now in its eleventh year, the charity boasts the biggest skatepark in northern England. But as well as this unique provision for the city’s aspiring skateboarders, skaters, BMXers and scooterers, they’ve massively evolved over the past 2-3 years and now also offer full-time alternative education – and an ever-growing range of community programmes.
Indeed, this week’s event saw supporters and friends gather to celebrate another successful year at the Works, and to hear about all the new initiatives taking off at the moment and over the coming year. They include: the Donate a Bike scheme (they’ve been overwhelmed with old bikes, which they’re fixing up in collaboration with local youngsters and which the youngsters then get to take home); a Leeds-wide Cycling in Parks project, to capture the legacy of the Tour de France; bike-ability workshops; schools work (they are looking for schools with whom to develop programmes); girls-only events and nights; a dedicated new after-school scheme for teens in LS11; and more.
Amongst many others, they were joined by the Lord Mayor of Leeds – Beeston and Holbeck councillor, David Congreve – and a choir from Wakefield-based Sandal Castle Primary School.
The Works CEO Elliott Turnbull summed up:
“Through all we’re doing, we just want to support kids who need a helping hand. By giving them bikes, we hope to empower them and provide access to possible opportunities city-wide. Through the Christmas Bike Programme, we’ll teach them how to maintain a bike, and how to ride well on the roads. And crucially as well, we’re looking to motivate them, raise their aspirations, get them inspired for life. Let’s see kids out playing, being kids – that’s the way to make Leeds truly child-friendly.”
The Works is open seven days a week year-round – for schools during the day, and to the public on afternoons, evenings and weekends. They are based just off Hunslet Road (the A61), behind Cost Co. For full info on what they do, click here to visit their website.