Stay active with walking groups and children’s play

2021 has still had challenges, but Get Set Leeds Local has had the pleasure in being part of the development of some fantastic community ideas which have been supported into things which are enabling people from Holbeck and Beeston Hill (and beyond) to move a little, have fun and meet others.

Each month we will celebrate stories from some of these initiatives that GSLL has supported, with information about how you can get involved.

Linda is the secretary for South Leeds Lakers Walk to Fitness section. She was trained as a walk leader by the GSLL team in October 2020 along with Colette, their walk activity coordinator, in readiness to start their new walking venture. The start was delayed due to the pandemic and the need for more walk leaders, who were trained in Spring 2021; finally launching on 25 July 2021.

“We had a good number of people for the launch event and maintained steady numbers throughout summer. Walks couldn’t have gone ahead without the support from GSLL.

“We have regular members who have benefitted from walking both socially and physically and I feel confident in delivering what is needed to lead safe and enjoyable walks for all within the local community. We’d love to see more people joining us and benefitting from this joint initiative.”

The South Leeds Lakers walks are on your doorstep and free to all. Over winter (December to February) the walks will be fortnightly on Sundays with new people welcomed to join them on any walk meeting outside the café in Cross Flatts Park. Walks may also take place on other days at different start times and locations in the South Leeds and surrounding areas. For more information visit the @southleedslakersWtF Facebook page

Talk to any adult, and nearly all will have a story and be able to reminisce about what play was like when they were a child. We felt we needed greater insight into what play looks like for children in our communities now, especially after the impact of Covid-19. So GSLL has funded a partnership with play experts Ludicology to guide us through research understanding what time, space and permissions children get to play within our communities.

We’re talking to children aged 9-10 years old, young people in year 9, but want to understand from parents and carers what their perceptions of play are for their children. There are two ways parents and carers can be part of the conversation. If anyone looks after children of any age, please help us by completing our 5 minute online survey

We’re also looking for people to be part of a parent/carer focus group to talk to us about what play is like in Beeston Hill and Holbeck for their kids. Please contact me at if you’d be happy to chat to us about play. Follow the research findings by following @LeedsPlay on Twitter.

We’ve loved spending time in November with Year 5 children from Greenmount Primary over 3 workshops. They shared some great insights into where they play, and what makes those spaces good to play in and ideas for what could improve their places for play. Children received a certificate for their contributions and their insight into what play in Beeston Hill is like from a child’s perspective.

We’re excited to announce a new play opportunity for Beeston Hill. ParkPlay launched the first Leeds ParkPlay at Brickfield Park on Saturday 4 December. ParkPlay is a weekly event, from 10.30am, where family’s #MeetMovePlay together with others in the local community.

Everyone is welcome – ParkPlay is a completely free event. It’s fun and varied and offers a range of games and activities, like dodgeball, frisbee, scavenger hunts, quick cricket and many more. Children must be accompanied by an adult. To find out more and register go to

2021 has been an amazing year for new seeds of ideas becoming weekly activities benefiting so many people in Holbeck and Beeston Hill, being supported in some way by Get Set Leeds Local. We’ve loved being a part of each and every one of them.

Get Set Leeds Local is a Sport England funded project for Beeston Hill and Holbeck led by Active Leeds (part of Leeds City Council). If you have a good idea for something that could support people to move more, then please get in touch.

We may be able to help make it happen. We also have a Community Chest Pot to support small good ideas, with funding up to £300 available. We’re also keen to hear your insight and ideas on what the challenges to being active are. Collectively we can develop a place where being active is an easier choice for more people. E-mail


This post was written by Karen Peck

Photo: South Leeds Lakers Walk Leaders including Linda (right) and Colette (second right)

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