The Green Party do politics differently. Unlike the big old parties, we can’t rely on traditional habitual votes – we have to prove our mettle.
And we don’t believe in politics is a special thing separate from the lives of our communities – we enact a hands-on, practical politics in and with local people, every day of the year.
Ed and Omar, and also our local Green Party volunteer team, have long-standing track records in these communities. We work year-round with local people to sort out local issues: waste and litter, crime and anti-social behaviour, roads and paths, housing, and many other glamorous things..! Get in touch anytime if you need help with something.
And we’re involved in leading or supporting a great 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 scheme to gather unwanted bikes from across the city, fix them up, and donate them back into the community. We’ve done 1,100+ bikes since June 2020 (as of April 2023), and also run bike fixing classes, and serviced 100s of other bikes. We’re working with others to set up similar schemes Leeds-wide.
- Ed and Omar help run a new Urban Task Force project for south Leeds: further info here.
- Ed established and continues to co-lead 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).
- Omar has coordinated the donation of over 5,000 meals to the homeless and marginalised, via ‘Ocean Fisheries’ in Beeston, since 2013.
- We’re collectively passionate about reducing waste, and have worked with others over the past years to redistribute over 10 tons of unwanted furniture around the local communities; we also set up the new C.R.A.P. South Leeds FB group, to expand this work.
- 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.
- Omar has organised dozens of charity appeals, generating £10,000s for a wide range of causes; recent ones were for the catastrophic earthquake in the Middle East, and to tackle the flooding disaster in Pakistan.
- 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. The project is now set to come to Middleton in south Leeds. Full info here.
- Ed has been working with the team behind the Buy Leeds campaign, to promote independent retail and business across the city.
- We have been supporting the fab Digital Access South Leeds voluntary project: all offers of unwanted IT kit, and volunteer help, very welcome.
- Ed, Omar, and co are avid litter-pickers, and have been for over 15+ years: they’re out most weeks working with others to clear up the area.
- Ed has been working for 15+ years on coordinating ‘junk food’ schemes, to get unwanted food (that would otherwise be binned) distributed into the local communities.
- Ed organised the creation of a giant community igloo locally in 2018, then in 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 – as soon as we have enough snow..!
- Since 2006, Ed’s been one of the lead organisers for Beeston Festival, an acclaimed community gala attracting 6,000+ people each year; the team also volunteer 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 helped established and co-lead a campaign and think-tank calling for proper regional democracy (ie power for our region and its communities), called Same Skies: click here.
- Ed and others co-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.
- Ed, Omar and other team members have collectively written scores of articles for the South Leeds Life community news site and newspaper; Ed also co-led the organisation as a board member over many years.
- Ed and Omar both work with local schools, on community and environmental initiatives.
- Ed’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.
- … and also on the board of directors/trustees for the LS-TEN skatepark in Hunslet (formerly called The Works).
- … and 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)!
- Over the past 15 years, both Omar and Ed have been involved in leading various youthwork programmes around south Leeds, including the Space project (Ed), and the Hamara youth programme (Omar).
- Ed co-organised the annual family-friendly Middleton Community Camps between 2014-2019. COVID put the brakes on it, but we’re keen to hear from anyone who wants to rekindle it…
- 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 has over many years been working to see the massive unused church building in Beeston Hill (Holy Spirit, on Tempest Road) reopened as a community venue. Its future remains unclear, as of early 2023, but we’re still trying to push things on and forward.
- 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 (up to the current time), Ed has helped organise the annual South Leeds Christmas Lantern Festival in Cross Flatts Park in Beeston. (In 2020 and 2021, the event went mobile as an open-top bus event.)
- Through his work with Together for Peace, Ed 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.
- Omar and Ed have worked with residents and partners over many years to develop community-led events and projects, including a rolling scheme to turn the infamous ‘binyards’ into positive spaces (a hen-run in one, a greenhouse in another, a play space, murals, etc), public art projects, community BBQs and bonfires, and more.
- Between us all, the local Green Party are involved in co-leading residents groups, volunteering with local schools and charities, 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.)