WHAT ED + THE GREENS DO
Ed lives in the heart of this area, has been active in the community for 16+ years, and is passionate about working with others to make good things happen.
Most importantly, he and the local Green Party team are out-and-about locally year-round, talking with people, working with them to sort out local issues: waste, crime, roads and paths, housing, and other glamorous things..! Get in touch anytime if you need help with something.
He’s also involved in leading or supporting a range of local community projects and events. They include the following (please follow the links or be in touch to get involved):
- Ed is co-leading the Holbeck viaduct project, an innovative scheme to open up an iconic unused Victorian rail viaduct as a public walkway and more. Join the FB group (here) for all the latest news and updates, or check out the website (here) – where you can also sign up for e-bulletins.
- Ed helped launch and now co-runs Leeds Repair Cafe (running since 2016): a project for people to gather and fix stuff together, for free. Full info here.
- Since 2006, Ed’s been one of the lead organisers for Beeston Festival, an acclaimed community gala attracting 6,000+ people each year; he also volunteers most years at Hunslet Gala and Holbeck Gala.
- Ed initiated and co-led the project to get a memorial plaque at Leeds railway station to mark the life and death of George Edwin Ellison, a Leeds man who was the last British soldier killed in action in World War One; click here for info.
- Ed is currently (as of early 2019) helping to lead a campaign for Clean Air for south Leeds: click here for more on the campaign, and here for our schools project.
- In June 2015, 2016 and 2017, he oversaw the Leeds Junk Boat Challenge events at the Leeds Waterfront Festival; he is now supporting it under its new leadership at Open Source Arts.
- Ed helped set up Cross Flatts parkrun in Beeston, runs with South Leeds Lakers when he can, and has supported other local fundraising races and sports events.
- He’s a board member, writer, and volunteer for the South Leeds Life community news blog and newspaper (although always steps back at election time, to avoid a conflict of interest).
- He does bits of volunteering at the Hunslet Club.
- He’s worked closely with several local schools, including especially Park View Primary (where we was chair of governors for 5+ years) at Park View Primary School, and also the John Charles Academy (formerly the South Leeds Academy / High School), developing events and programmes with them (eg a school leadership programme), linking them into opportunities and external initiatives, and more.
- He’s on the board of trustees/directors for the fantastic Leeds charity, SLATE – that works with people with mental health disabilities, to rescue, refurb and resell furniture and much more besides.
- He helped launch the Friends of Hunslet Moor community action group in 2015, and has supported them to this day, but is keen to claim no credit for the great work the local residents are now doing driving it forward (click here)!
- Since 2002, he’s been involved in leading various youthwork programmes around Leeds (sometimes paid but often voluntary), especially the long-established Space project. He’s also supported their sister project Kidz Klub since it started in south Leeds in 2003.
- Each summer since 2014, he’s co-organised the annual family-friendly Middleton Community Camps.
- Ed helped launch the South Leeds Community Hiking group in 2013, and has helped lead it ever since. The group have undertaken many trips, with 100s of local residents tackling hills and mountains in Yorkshire, Wales and Scotland together. The 2019 hikes are ON: click here to find out more. And the Alps and Kilimanjaro are in our sights too..!
- Ed *was* leading on a scheme to open up a massive unused church building in Beeston Hill (Holy Spirit, on Tempest Road) as a low-cost events, sports and arts venue for the local community. For the record, it now looks likely (as of 2019) that it will be sold; Ed is talking to several of the bidders, and hopes to work with them, but there are no guarantees.
- Ed volunteered with each of the Samara’s Aid Appeals (formerly Leeds2Iraq), each winter 2015-17: charity convoys of donations from Leeds people, to those trapped in arctic conditions in northern Iraq.
- Each December since 2012, Ed’s helped organise the annual Christmas Lantern Festival in Cross Flatts Park (and previously at the Holy Spirit church) in Beeston.
- Through his work with Together for Peace, he’s helped coordinate and support major projects including the Planet Leeds city centre street festivals, the major Leeds Summat gatherings since 2009, the Leeds Den Festivals, and the epic Leeds to London WALKTALK inter-community walk back in 2008. Full info here.
- And he’s developed a bunch of neighbourhood community events and projects, including a scheme to turn the infamous ‘binyards’ into positive spaces (a hen-run in one, a greenhouse in another, murals, etc), a hanging basket scheme, community BBQs and bonfires, and more.
But it’s not all about Ed! The local Green Party team features a bunch of great folk who – between them – co-lead residents groups, volunteer at local schools and charities, undertake community litter-picking and campaigning, and much more.
(Top image from one of our community hiking trips to Wales.)