Warm welcomes in Belle Isle and Holbeck

Staying warm this winter may be a challenge for some with rising utility bills. So it’s good to know that the Belle Isle Welcome Centre at St John & St Barnabas Church is now providing a warm space Monday to Friday 9am-1pm.

You’ll find a welcoming smile and free hot drinks, as well as, free phone charging, free wi-fi, games, books and good company.

On Tuesdays £5 hot meal and pudding 12-2pm. Wednesdays you can get a bacon sandwich for £2. The church has been keen to get more community activities into the space and has recently set up a charity to run the centre, separately from the church.

On Thursdays and Fridays young people take over after school with sessions run by the Hunslet Rugby Foundation.
The Thursday session, 4:30-6:30pm is targeted at 10-18 year olds who are offered a range of physical activities from dodgeball, table tennis and cricket, to boxercise and circuit training.

Circuit training

On Fridays younger, school age, children are also welcome and the session is slightly earlier, from 4-6pm. Again, there is a lot of sport and games on offer as well as crafts and dancing.

On both nights the young people are offered a hot meal for £1 and parents can eat for £1.50.

As well as the health benefits it’s hoped the project, which has been funded to run for three years, will have an impact on anti-social behaviour in the area by offering a positive alternative.

St John & St Barnabas Church is on Belle Isle Road, just above the Circus, LS10 3DN.

Meanwhile four community partners across Holbeck and Beeston have joined together to provide welcoming and warm spaces over winter.

You can join Holbeck Together at St Matthew’s community centre, on the corner of the moor, LS11 9NR every weekday between 1-3pm for a warm drink and some social activities, such as reading, or table top games. The project is supported by Leeds Community Anchor Network.

St Matthew’s Community Centre in Holbeck

Other spaces opening up for free include:

Joanna Project, 1 Sydenham Street, Holbeck, LS11 9RR Monday to Friday (9:30am-4:30pm)

The Gambia Welfare Society, Oak House, Balm Walk, Holbeck, LS11 9PG. Open to drop in every Friday afternoon and Saturday evenings.

Kidz Klub at Beeston Hill United Free Church, Malvern Road, LS11 8PD. Drop in every Tuesday evening 4-7:30pm.

St Luke’s CARES charity shop 246 Dewsbury Road, LS11 6JQ also has a warm space on a Wednesday afternoon from 1-3pm, offering craft, drinks, biscuits and jumble sales as well as free school uniform.

Leeds City Council’s Community Hubs & Libraries at Beeston Town Street, Dewsbury Road, Hunslet and St George’s Centre in Middleton all offer a warm space.

You can find details of warm Welcome Spaces near you online at www.leeds.gov.uk/campaign/welcome-spaces


Main Photo: Mandy Nuttall provides hot food for Aidan and Simon.  Credit: Jeremy Morton


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