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How you can get involved in volunteering in West Leeds

Last week was National Volunteer Week. But a volunteer is for life not just for a week, writes Jill Stocks.

There are many benefits to volunteering; improving and utilising your existing skills and knowledge, adding a new skill to your skill set and improving your CV, improving your confidence and, of course, the all-important social side.

Here are just some of the ways you can get involved in volunteering in West Leeds.

In Bloom groups

Green fingered? There are several In Bloom groups across West Leeds including Kirkstall, who meet regularly at the Drink and Be Grateful Fountain for tidying and planting sessions,and Pudsey who meet on Tuesdays between March and November.

The aim of Leeds In Bloom groups is to “encourage residents and business to work in partnership to make Leeds more attractive”. Information about local In Bloom groups across West Leeds – including Armley, Farsley and Calverley – can be found here.

Newlay events

newlay garden tidy up
Volunteer power! Community garden tidy-up in Newlay

Newlay and Whitecotes Residents’ Association organise regular volunteer events such as maintaining the community garden and litter picks as well as various events throughout the year for children and adults.

Friends of Kirkstall Abbey Park

Perhaps you’d like to be one of the first members of a new group which will meet for the first time on Saturday June 22, at 10am?

A number of local residents are forming the Friends of Kirkstall Abbey Park to “develop the beautiful Abbey grounds and gardens” with “a friendly group of people who are passionate about the Abbey”.

Their first project is tidying and weeding the garden next to the Gatehouse Cafe. Equipment will be provided but it would be helpful if you could e-mail to inform them of your attendance.

Litter picks

Is litter your bug bear? Help your local community look better by getting involved with a litter pick locally. Keep an eye on West Leeds Dispatch or have a look at Litter Free Leeds to find out about upcoming picks.

Equipment is provided at the picks though appropriate clothing and footwear is recommended.


Perhaps a big event would suit you? Kirkstall Festival, this year held on Saturday July 13th, is entirely volunteer led and require helpers on site before during and after the festival. Or perhaps you’d be interested in being involved in the organising committee? The committee comprises various different roles, with something to suit everyones skills and experience. Check out Kirkstall Festival’s website.

Barley Mow Supporters

You may have seen our reports in the past couple of months about the planned Barley Mow community takeover in Bramley.

The Barley Mow Supporters are a volunteer-led group which was formed by local residents in a bid to revitalise the Barley Mow as a community pub. You can find out more about their progress and how you can be involved on their Facebook page.

Armley and Bramley parkruns

Perhaps something sporty would suit you? West Leeds has two parkruns which are run entirely by volunteers in Armley and Bramley.

jean hollings bramley parkrun
She’s a winner: Volunteer Jean Hollings of Bramley parkrun

The events take place at 9am every Saturday morning, with Bramley also having a junior parkrun on Sundays at the same time.

There are various different roles available including course set up, course marshalling and time keeping and they are a great social event too. Find out more about how you can get involved at Armley parkrun and Bramley parkrun.

Community reporting

And of course we couldn’t miss the opportunity to mention ourselves here at West Leeds Dispatch. All of our board members and community contributors are volunteers, aiming to provide you with up-to-date news and information about what’s going on across West Leeds.

If you’d like to get involved as a budding reporter, or you think you have skills you could contribute which will help us to take WLD into the future please contact us via

These are just a few ideas about how you can get involved in volunteering in your community. There are many many more and far too many to include here! But there is something for everyone!

Visit Doing Good Leeds and use the search facility to see what else you could get involved in. And if you have a project you’d like to see featured in WLD please let us know.


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