This is what ‘community’ looks like!

Sunday 14 January 2024 saw the launch of the Better Beeston campaign. As previously reported, Better Beeston is a grassroots local campaign to focus on litter-picking, community engagement, competitions, art, and local ‘beautification’. After attending the launch, I’m pleased to say I have high hopes and optimism for not just a Better Beeston, but a better South Leeds!

Volunteers have organised litter picks in Beeston Hill for some time now, although I myself have only been involved since summer last year. For me, it’s become a routine to visit Bangla Square once a month (the junction between Stratford Street and Lady Pit Lane, for those unaware) on the second Sunday of every month. It’s always a pleasure to be out and about on the Stratfords and Trenthams helping keep the area tidy.

However, it’s sadly clear to see why a campaign such as this is needed to turn up the temperature on the issue of waste and fly tipping. Of the residents I’ve met from attending these monthly litter picks there are clearly people who take pride in their local area and are passionate about making it a better place to be, but – of course – that can only come about when everyone does their bit.

Turning up at Rowland Road, it was so heartwarming to see an immense turnout from both residents and volunteers alike! Thanks to the number of volunteers that turned out, we managed to disperse in teams and cover nearly all of Beeston Hill: the Westbournes, the Clovellys, the Sunbeams, Lodge Lane. With this many people, we managed to collect over 70 bags of litter – a great step towards the area being clean and tidy.

This is just the first step though. If we’re to truly make a Better Beeston (or, indeed, a better Leeds altogether) we need to address the attitude and societal issues surrounding waste and fly tipping. It’s one thing for volunteers and passionate residents to play their part in litter picking, but it’s another to work collectively and catalyse the changes we need.

This is a fantastic campaign that certainly inspires optimism for what sort of areas we can live in here in South Leeds. Massive thanks and credit to the residents who have organised this to bring the community together – this is, indeed, what community looks like! Long may it last.


This post was written by Matt Rogan

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