The pandemic has proven one thing that nobody can deny: that we have outstanding community spirit in South Leeds.
I want to take this opportunity to celebrate the groups and individuals who do not always have the spotlight shone on them – but very much deserve our recognition. They are the cornerstones of our great community, supporting us all, and I think it is time we showed them our appreciation. I hope you will all join me in offering heartfelt thanks to these South Leeds Superstars.
St Cross and St Mary’s CofE Churches continued to run a food bank even when the Trussell Trust said it was too risky. They managed to get their Youth Club running after the lockdowns; they provided meals to the most vulnerable families. And despite doing all this, they still managed to run a Toy Appeal to make sure no child went without a Christmas present. I know there are more who helped, but Sarah Markillie, Amy Jobling, Pagen Wheatley and, of course, Father Andy Myers all deserve our gratitude for their work. St Cross can be contacted via their new Facebook page (Stcross Foodbank).
Emma Pogson-Golden, Carole Kindon and the team at Manorfield Hall set up a new food bank and offered help to those in need. Thank you!
Middleton Elderly Aid staff and volunteers provided many of our elderly residents with hot meals, socially distanced visits and phone calls throughout the pandemic. They will continue to do so. Well done to Sam, Adele, Walter and to the many volunteers who support their work. We appreciate your efforts.
Friends of Middleton Park never gave up on improving the park, which is more important to our community than ever.
Many local businesses also deserve credit for the way they have shown care for the communities they serve. Morrisons and Asda have responded to many calls for help: they have delivered when needed. I also think we should thank our retail staff in general. They have worked on the front lines of an essential service, and have done so with a good cheer that has set an example for us all. Of course, our local shops, cafés and pubs have had – and are sadly going to continue having – a tough time of it, but they have battled away. They are essential parts of our community and deserve our support.
I want to single out The Falconers Rest, which turned itself into a food bank. A personal thank you to Jeffrey Clay, who supplied a local family a Christmas hamper. Well done to The Peggy Tub and Hunslet Club for managing to develop Covid secure Christmas grottos.
A special thank you to Ed Carlisle, who has been relentless in collecting, recycling and then distributing bikes to local families. We appreciate the kindness of everybody who offered him support in that campaign.
We also need to show our gratitude to the staff at our local schools, who have done so well to stay open and have not once moaned about it. I cannot think of anything more important than educating our children.
Thank you to the teams at LHA Car & Commercial and Sense of Occasion who spent their spare time driving Santa around South Leeds to distribute selection boxes to over 500 children (photo above).
I am sorry if I missed anybody. If you think I have, get in touch, and I will write something more, because everybody who gave up their time to help others in this difficult period deserves our thanks. Perhaps there has been one positive to this pandemic: it has proved that the fraternal spirit in South Leeds is strong and runs deep. I feel proud to live among such people in this great community.
This post was written by Wayne Dixon
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