Hillside Enterprise Centre is located near the bottom of Beeston Road in a Grade II listed former school building. Many people know the building, but do you know what goes on behind the impressive façade?
South Leeds Life went to talk to some of the business and organisations that call Hillside their home.
The building closed as a school in 2005 when Hillside Primary and Greenwood Primary merged to create New Bewerley Community School on the Greenwood site. The building was bought by Tiger11, a not-for-profit social enterprise set up by Beeston residents and refurbished to create meeting and office space. For more info call: (0113) 387 6300.
Aspire Community Benefit Society, who support adults with Learning Disabilities in Leeds, set up their first community base at Hillside in 2009.
The staff-owned company are a spin out from Leeds City Council and have taken a fresh approach to providing their service. Hillside was chosen because it was in the heart of the community and would allow users to access other facilities such as the Feel Good Café.
“It feels more like home than some of the old institutions” said Carol Benson. “When we came here it was very much a pilot, but the people at Hillside really welcomed us.”
In return Aspire funded a Changing Places toilet, which has special facilities allowing anyone with a disability to use them. Adults with Learning Disabilities are brought to Hillside each morning, they may do activities at the centre or head out on trips, go swimming for example.
PROFESSIONAL DANCE EXPERIENCE
Professional Dance Experience offers ballet dance opportunities to children around Leeds, ranging from introductory beginners classes to advanced master classes.
They run a summer programme for 8-19 year olds and deliver workshop days to dance schools. They will also work with schools offering assemblies or practical sessions with the children to give them a taste of ballet.
“We like the community feel of Hillside, it’s not a corporate office block and we’ve made good connections with other organisations based here” explains Michael Berkin. “Hillside is our office base, we deliver courses at specialist dance venues, but sometimes when the meeting hall’s not in use we go in and have a dance – it’s such a lovely space.”
For more information cal (0113) 224 9144.
Training company GP Strategies are a national organisation that chose Hillside as their Leeds base.
The company arranges apprenticeships and supported work placements for 16-18 year olds. They also deliver functional skills training in English and Maths. Placements are usually free to small businesses.
Kay Mellenby says they chose Hillside because it provided a good quality office with a staffed reception and excellent transport links. Call Kay on 07814 608047.
FEEL GOOD CAFE
At the heart of Hillside is the Feel Good Café run by SLATE.
As well as an excellent range of meals, snacks and drinks, you’ll find an interesting range of furniture supplied by SLATE’s Feel Good Furniture Shops. In fact if you like the table you’re sat at you can buy it!
SLATE provides employment and training opportunities for people with learning difficulties.
The Feel Good Café is open 8am-3:30pm Monday to Friday.
The Into University centre runs after school sessions where children can complete their homework, or work on an exercise provided by the teaching staff.
Children from primary school attend one session a week, whilst secondary age children attend twice a week. The centre is working with Hunslet Moor, Hugh Gaitskell, New Bewerley and Greenmount primaries, Cockburn high school, The South Leeds Academy and the Elliott Hudson College.
As well as the educational benefits children enjoy the social side and making new friends. It can also be an opportunity for a new start for children who are not getting on well at school. The centre is neutral ground and children have no reputation to live up to. For more information ring 0113 387 6400.
Vera Media is a community education company offering practical courses for adults at Hillside and other community settings.
Courses range from English (ESOL) to help people improve speaking and listening skills; through to sewing and computer training. Vera Media also runs special creative media courses for adults with learning difficulties using photography, film and music to
“Participants learn to film, interview, sing, play percussion instruments, record each other on audio and more, gaining confidence and enhancing their communication, literacy and numeracy skills while working as a team.” Explains founder Al Garthwaite.
Call Al on 07957 152107.
Beanstalk Nursery is a small family run nursery founded by Helen Birch to provide places under the government funded scheme, which provides 15 hours of free childcare for 2 and 3 year olds.
“We wanted to work in this area and Hillside had all the right facilities. It’s lovely to bring childcare back into a building which used to be a school.” Says Helen.
Beanstalk, which was recently rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, is currently looking to improve its outdoor play area with the Woodland Trust. It has also linked up with other tenants such as Into University and the JESS schools cluster. Children also visit the Feel Good Café to make smoothies. Call: 07576 736707
INTEGRATED CARE CLINICS
Integrated Care Clinics are one of the largest providers of physiotherapy outside the NHS. They have two senior physiotherapists based at Hillside, one male and one female.
The company provides private treatment to individuals, but also offer a wide range of solutions for businesses and work in partnership with the NHS. An initial assessment will cost £40 with follow up sessions at £35.
Rob Hardiman explains that they chose Hillside because the facilities, the staffed reception and the opening hours of 8am and 6pm help them to be flexible when offering appointments.
Call 0800 032 5543 or go to: www.ticcs.co.uk