Leeds celebrates 10 years of inspirational community development

8 November 2023

Miranda Foster, our Rothwell ABCD Community Builder, shares her thoughts on celebrating a decade of Leeds community development:

It’s not often a work event includes ice cream rewards, advice on walking more dogs than you own or the event round up delivered through poetry – but this celebration was not your usual run of the mill occasion.

A decade of building communities

The amount of good work showcased at the ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) 10-year celebration event, held at the end of October, was outstanding. People came together not only to learn how ABCD has been working in Leeds over the last decade but also to listen to the amazing stories that the local residents had to share.

The centrepiece was an interactive map that linked to each area of Leeds where a Community Builder is working their magic. They all had a range of different showstoppers representing their area – from maps to local market stalls and walks around Holbeck.

People attended not only from Leeds but also from a range of other areas – with everyone keen to chat to the Community Builders and see how the ABCD way of working could be implemented in their area. This brought a real buzz to the event, with people inquisitive to find out how they can adapt their way of working in different places across the UK. It was great to see Leeds recognised as a shining light in all things ABCD!

A fun day for all

Volunteers from Voluntary Action Leeds and Leeds City Council employees not only made sure the event ran really smoothly, they also made it a fun day for everyone. It’s not every day you get an ice-cream for sharing your gift/talent with the ice cream seller!

Workshops were well attended and encouraged participants to question their way of thinking and working. I don’t believe I’ve ever been to a workshop called ‘Walking more dogs than your own’, but each workshop was different and interactive. The discussions from these workshops were an important part of the day and gave everyone the opportunity to share what they had learnt with a stranger who then became a friend.

Artists helped capture the day

Art was a major theme throughout the day. Not only was there a focus on the art of asset mapping, but elements of the day were captured by the absolutely brilliant artist, Tom Bailey, who produced a fabulous piece of wall art. The captions and pictures were superb.

To finish the day, we heard from a Leeds resident who had walked around the venue listening to numerous conversations throughout the day and brought everything together in an amazing poem. This was the final element of the day and left me thinking about how successful it had been and all the good things that had been celebrated by everyone for everyone.

Get in touch

Do you have another good news story? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and tell me what is happening in your street, who has made a difference to you and the way you live. Rothwell has many unsung heroes that we would like to hear about.

To get in touch with me please call 07394 566463 or drop me an email miranda.foster@communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk
Facebook: Miranda Foster-Rothwell
Twitter: @ABCDRothwell

Miranda’s post is funded by Leeds City Council and managed by Community First Yorkshire.