On a sultry summer’s night, Leeds’s newest hyperlocal website was born …

Our Emma Bearman chats to a potnetial community reporter at Bramley Lawn last night.
Our Emma Bearman chats to a potnetial community reporter at Bramley Lawn last night.

More than a dozen west Leeds residents pulled themselves away from their ice cold beers and blazing barbecues on a gloriously hot summer’s evening to attend the launch meeting of West Leeds Life*.

Held at Bramley Lawn. local residents heard editor John Baron, of Farnley, and facilitator Emma Bearman, of Armley, speak about the ideas behind setting up West Leeds Life.
The aim is to connect local residents with what’s going on in the area and to all the fabulous local community groups. We also aim to give people a voice on issues that are important to them.
What a fabulous and diverse group of people we had attending!
They ranged from people who’d helped to get a war memorial in Bramley and who regularly clean up graves in an overgrown cemetery, to someone who wanted to set up a new junior football team and a lady who wanted to set up an ‘Incredible Bramley’ foraging group.
We heard from Creative Calverley, a group in Calverley which aims to bring people together to have fun and build a stronger sense of “community” and from a man who was running an event for charity.
People signed up as contributors, came up with story ideas and proposals for regular columns, signed up for free community reporter training courses and expressed an interest in being part of a steering committee to help develop our project.
It was an incredibly inspiring evening, with so much energy and positivity in the room – and given that nearly 40 people actually signed up for the event (guys, we understand … the garden was very tempting in such hot weather) we hope to get even more people on board.
This is your blog – we want YOUR ideas and contributions!!
Emma and I will go away and look at what people have committed to and get back to everyone who attended.
* Oh yes, nearly forgot, we came up with a new name for West Leeds Life.
We combined our online readers’ poll with a poll on the night and found that the winner by a considerable margin, was ‘West Leeds Dispatch’. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote!
Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be slowly working on some changes to the blog and will change the name over at the same time. Same stuff, different name!
The reason for the name change is because ‘XXX Leeds Life’ seems to be a common name. South Leeds has a blog and community newspaper called …  wait for it … South Leeds Life who we have a good relationship with. And North Leeds has a very different glossy community magazine called – you’ve guessed it … North Leeds Life! We don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes so we’re making the change as we’re the youngest opf the three!
Feel free to contact us at westleedslifenews@gmail.com or tweet us @westleedslife.
We feel we’re at the start of something really exciting and important. We hope you do too!


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