In the first of a monthly series of articles putting community-spirited West Leeds residents in the spotlight, community reporter Ramona Green speaks to Adele Rae, from Burley, about her work with the Kirkstall Valley Development Trust (KVDT).
Adele Rae is KVDTs community director and also the centre manager for their community hub, Unit 11 Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park.
She has been in this role now for more than three years, which started as a voluntary position. She is a paid member of staff now from about three weeks ago.
Adele undertakes plenty of jobs, including the organising of events, taking bookings for groups/workshops/meetings that wish to use the Unit’s space, leading & supervising all the volunteers there and many others too.
Basically, she is “in charge of all the community based projects” at Unit 11.
KVDT chose Adele Rae for this position from the very start of the project. They must have noticed her passion and desire to make “Kirkstall Valley a better place for us all to live and work in.”
“I’m keen on the link between social & environmental justice,” she added.
It’s because of people like Adele that KVDT are an ambitious organisation, keen to involve people at a local, grassroots level.
This is proven by the meetings they regularly hold to seek the opinions and ideas of local people. Kirkstall Valley Farm is another fine example of this and the need for fresh, locally grown produce has been recognised by them.
Adele has always worked with people and in her previous employment, she has been a trained nurse and a primary school teacher.
This works very well with and even compliments her roles at KVDT and Unit 11.
It is a “Family Space” after all and Adele is already well-equipped to supervise children’s activities and assist in any first aid issues that may come up.
In the time I have spent at Unit 11 with Adele Rae and the other members of staff, paid and voluntary, I have discovered a much needed community hub that covers many kinds of activities, events and workshops.
Adele is there most times to welcome everyone and offer them a hot drink and a chat. It really meets its aim of “reducing social isolation and creating fun” and Adele is a massive part of that!
To find out more about Unit 11 why not speak to the lady herself? Contact Adele Rae on 07900 986570 for more info, to rent a space or for offers of volunteering at Unit 11.