Two new Pathfinder sites given go-ahead in West Leeds

The Hawksworth Wood area ABCD in Leeds Pathfinder site will be delivered by HAVA

A pioneering community development programme is set to be expanded – including the Bramley and Kirkstall areas.

The move follows a decision by Leeds City Council to build on the success of its Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) programme and introduce three new Pathfinder sites in Bramley (Bramley Baths), the Hawksworth Wood area, in Kirkstall (HAVA), and Little London and Woodhouse (Oblong). The introduction of the three Pathfinder sites brings the total number across the city to 17. 

Each new site will employ an ABCD Community Builder to identify different assets that exist in each area and seek to explore how they can harness and build on the capabilities, strengths, and skills of residents to deliver citizen-led initiatives that seek to shift power back into the hands of the local community.

Since 2013, the ABCD in Leeds programme has played an important role in providing a safe space for local people to lead on and make the changes they wish to see in the communities where they live.

The ABCD model is based on focusing on what is strong in an area, creating a positive environment where people feel empowered to share their skills, knowledge, gifts, and ideas with each other. This community-led approach has created social connection and citizen-led action through the building of friendships, and reciprocal change, which has improved the health and wellbeing of the local people living there. Initiatives undertaken have ranged from dance and art groups to community choirs, gardening projects and cooking skills sharing, to coffee morning meet ups and knitting groups! 

Preparation work is now under way with each new ABCD in Leeds Pathfinder site, with individual launches expected to take place in the summer.  

Bramley Baths will deliver a new ABCD in Leeds Pathfinder site

Jenny Willetts, Business Development Manager, Bramley Baths, said: “We are overjoyed to be one of the recipients of the ABCD in Leeds grant. Championing this way of working within the Bramley community will create so many positive connections, experiences and opportunities for its residents.” 

Cherie Cartwright, Chair of HAVA, Cherie Cartwright, said: “HAVA and KVDT are thrilled to have been allocated funding to employ an ABCD community builder for Hawksworth Wood.

“It is an exciting opportunity to further empower our community, listening to and drawing on their strengths. We are lucky to have a diverse community with great ideas and experience. 

“Our ABCD community builder will support connecting this knowledge, bringing more of the community together to create positive change.” 

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, public health and active lifestyles, said:  “We are delighted to be able to announce the introduction of three new ABCD in Leeds Pathfinder sites which will serve the communities of Bramley, Little London and Woodhouse, and the Hawksworth Wood area.

“Not only do our Pathfinder sites led by local groups provide residents with an opportunity to learn new skills and discover hidden talents, they also crucially provide them with the support they need to contribute and help bring forward positive change that mirror the individual needs of their communities.” 

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