Ed lives in the heart of the local community, and has an unrivalled track record over 18+ years, 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.
And he’s also involved in leading or supporting a range of local community projects and events. These include the following (please follow the links or get in touch to get involved):
- Ed set up and runs the Big Bike Fix, a new scheme to gather unwanted bikes from across the city, fix them up, and donate them back into the community. We’ve done 500 bikes since June 2020 (as of February 2021), and also run bike fixing classes, and serviced 100s of other bikes. We’re working with others to take it Leeds-wide.
- During the 2020 lockdown, Ed helped to coordinate a local initiative – with dozens of great partners – to deliver 100s of items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE, eg visors) to local care and health staff, frontline community workers, and others.
- Ed co-leads 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).
- 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.
- Ed is working with the team behind the Buy Leeds campaign, to promote indepedent retailers and businesses across the city.
- Ed is supporting the fab new Digital Access South Leeds voluntary project: all offers of unwanted IT kit, and volunteer help, very welcome.
- Ed is an avid litter-picker, out most weeks working with others to clear up the area.
- Ed has been working for 12+ years on coordinating ‘junk food’ schemes, to get unwanted food (that would otherwise be binned) distributed into the local communities.
- It’s hugely weather dependent (!), but Ed organised a giant community igloo locally in 2018, then in early 2021 coordinated an igloo-building competition for the city (sponsored by the Green Party), and is now looking to build the biggest ever UK igloo – once Covid is gone.
- 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 for George Edwin Ellison, a Leeds man who was the last British soldier killed in action in World War One; click here for info.
- Ed co-leads a campaign calling for proper regional democracy (ie power for our region and its communities), called We Share the Same Skies – click here.
- Ed is helping to lead a campaign for clean air for south Leeds: click here for more on the campaign, and here for our schools project.
- Ed previously (2015-2017) oversaw the Leeds Junk Boat Challenge events at the Leeds Waterfront Festival; after a couple of years off, and then the pandemic, Ed is now looking to support new coordinators to relaunch it in 2021/22.
- Ed helped set up Cross Flatts parkrun in Beeston, runs with South Leeds Lakers when he can, and has supported numerous other local community sports and charity events.
- He’s a board member, writer, and volunteer for the South Leeds Life community news blog and newspaper.
- He’s worked closely with several local schools, especially Park View Primary (where he was chair of governors for 5+ years), and Cockburn John Charles Academy (formerly South Leeds Academy).
- 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’s also on the board of directors/trustees for the LS-Ten skatepark in Hunslet (formerly called The Works).
- And he’s also on the board of Faith Together in LS11, who run the Building Blocks Centre in Beeston Hill.
- 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 (*not including 2020, when he cancelled due to Covid-19).
- Ed helped launch the South Leeds Community Hiking group in 2013, and has led or supported it – in partnership with other local residents – ever since. The group has undertaken many trips, with 100s of local residents tackling hills and mountains in Yorkshire, Wales and Scotland together: click here to find out more.
- 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. It is now (as of early 2021) being sold to a separate organisation – and Ed is talking with them to ensure this unique building serves the local community to its fullest capacity.
- Ed volunteered with each of the Samara’s Aid Appeals (formerly Leeds2Iraq), each winter 2015-17 in south Leeds: charity convoys of donations from Leeds people, to refugees trapped in arctic conditions in northern Iraq.
- Each December since 2012, Ed has helped organise the annual South Leeds Christmas Lantern Festival in Cross Flatts Park in Beeston. (The 2020 event went ahead as an open-top bus event, throughout LS11.)
- 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 long list 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, public art projects, community BBQs and bonfires, and more.
Although Ed is our lead candidate, it’s not all about him! 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. Get in touch to find out more, or to get involved.
(Top image from one of our community hiking trips to Wales.)