Event hire takes Seacroft residents across the digital divide

Andrew Grinnel writes about an enterprise which uses an event-equipment hire service to offer Seacroft residents employment opportunities, legal advice, support finding work and all the benefits of joining the digital age – all through a converted unit on Ramshead Hill shopping parade.
For the last 5 years I’ve been involved in running outdoor events within my local neighbourhood. As most of us do this as volunteers, it’s always a scramble to ensure that all the infrastructure is in place, all the forms have been correctly filled in and health and safety fully organised.
Last year, for the first time, we used LS14 Trust Event Hire to hire the generators for one of our events. There were four things that made us feel good about hiring them.

1. The equipment was new and of a good quality – we knew it wouldn’t break down during our event.
2. They run events in areas similar to ours. Therefore they know the complications that this may bring and had experience to help us make wise choices about everything from what we ‘really needed’ to where to place everything in order to be safe.
3. Most companies don’t deliver or pick up generators at the weekend. LS14 Trust Event Hire dropped it off as we were setting up and were there, promptly when we finished so we didn’t need to find safe storage till Monday morning.
4. We knew that by using them to provide their services, the money would get recycled into community development work in East Leeds. For us, it felt better than the money disappearing into someone else’s business account and inevitably away from the areas that we feel need it most. All in all, working with LS14 Trust was a great experience and as we begin planning for our events this summer, we know who we’ll be calling.

How does it work?

LS14 Trust Event Hire organises four major community events a year, and employs local people to oversee the hire equipment. Profits support the Digital Lounge, which has 650 members aged from 8 to 78. Between 30 and 50 people a day use the lounge to overcome the digital divide, mainly adults looking for work, who get help with their CVs and searches, and kids looking to check their social media accounts. A work club delivers one-to-one support, with 35% of referrals from the job centre plus going into employment or work-related opportunities.
It also offers meeting space, other IT resources, advice and sign-posts to other services.

Ls14 Trust 45 Ramshead Hill Seacroft Ls14 1BT
T: 0113 318 0522
E: info@ls14trust.org.uk

Development Manager
Nicola Greenan
E: nicola@ls14trust.org.uk

Membership Development Officer
Joanne Curtis
E: jo@ls14trust.org.uk


Bramley Baths get active in the community

In our first guest blog, Ben Whittington tells us why his community-owned local swimming pool is good for Bramley.
I’ve been a resident of Bramley for nearly three years now. We moved to the area because of the good railway link to Leeds and also because we loved the house we went on to buy – an edwardian terrace house in need of a lot of work but, despite the abuse it had suffered over the years, still retained an underlying charm. Despite the brutal unsympathetic redevelopment that occurred in the 60s and 70s Bramley itself still retains a fair amount of buildings from this period, the most iconic of them being Bramley Baths.
Photo by Spherical Boy

Photo by Spherical Boy

The Baths has recently been saved from closure by a local community group (The Friends Of Bramley Baths) and not only have they managed to keep the pool open by taking over the running of it from the council they’re also passionate about what the Baths can offer the community, and this really shines through when visiting. The lobby has been redecorated and and now features a variety of photographs some of which were taken in the early nineteen hundreds and along with the staff who work there give the impression that ‘The Friends’ recognise how important the history of the pool is to the area and want to celebrate that too. The baths also seem much cleaner than they did when they were run by the council and the prices are cheaper than most places. As well as the swimming pool there is a Russian Steam room, a gym and a variety of fitness classes.SUBMERGED 99

Photo by Lizzie Coombes

I would encourage all residents of Bramley and even people further afield to give the Baths a try, it’s one of the last remaining Edwardian Bath Houses in the country and not only does it feature amazing vintage charm it’s now being run on a not-for-profit basis by people in the community for people in the community and I feel that that is something well worth supporting.
 Ben is a graphic designer who also blogs about beer. Follow him on twitter @ben_whittington .

Bramley Baths is on Broad Lane, Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 3DF.

Tel: 0113 214 6000

Follow them on twitter @bramleybaths or find them on facebook.