Messages Across Leeds
Leeds College of Arts community department was awarded funding from the Skills Funding Agency to run a new engagement project in 2011, to encourage people living in the Inner Leeds communities to participate in something different and to explore new ways of delivering a community learning programme. To support the development of an innovation project, we collaborated with the BA Visual Communication course, a course for students with a wealth of eclectic skills and knowledge, interested in the benefits of volunteering and working with the local community. The students designed the concept of a pop-up travelling workshop that could be transported across Leeds on a bus to work with difficult to reach groups and people experiencing isolation, especially during winter, bringing something new to their doorstep and support them to feel part of Leeds and their community. After making links with community organisations, practitioners and students spent over two months visiting groups and venues, including shopping centres, market, mobile library buses, libraries and community organisations, totaling in over 35 workshops lasting from one hour to all day. People were invited to draw, speak, stamp or write a message on one of six postcards, each with a different prompt. Each postcard was then sent for one of six exciting exhibitions that would showcase and share their messages with the wider population of Leeds. We discovered that working in this way was far more effective at engaging with groups and individuals that find it difficult to join a college course and commit to something more substantial. The format of a small-scale mobile workshop has been invaluable to the department; it has seen volunteer numbers rise by over 200% enabled us to work with over twenty community groups we have not worked with before. As a result, we have already set up five new mobile taster workshops to follow the project, helping shape the future of the community department to be more responsive to individual community groups in Leeds. The support of the student volunteers with concept design, organisation, publicity, press, social networking, exhibition curation and event management has been invaluable and I would like to give a big thank you to everyone that has helped to make this project be a success.
Marianne Springham Project Manager Messages Across Leeds
Geoff RusselChief Excecutive
Skills Funding Agency
NIACE is proud to have the role of supporting Skills Funding Agency in managing the Adult and Community Learning Fund.
The response to this bid has been staggering we received over 2400 bids. Deciding which of the projects should receive funding has been incredibly tough, however this means that the very best projects will be starting work soon and transforming the lives of local people and local communities.
Each project that has secured funding from the Adult and Community Learning Fund will make a tremendous difference to the lives of individuals and to the communities they are part of. Skills and lifelong learning should be at the heart of every community and the Government is committed to making that happen with its vision for the Big Society.
Training and Engagement Mentor
St Georges Crypt
The sessions gave clients the opportunity to express their opinions in a creative way by working alongside experienced tutors to literally get their Message Across Leeds!
Moving on from the success of these workshops, we will be getting creative again with a 5 week group project to produce artwork for our Gallery space. Opportunities like this that enable our clients to be part of a wider community and have their contribution valued are ideal for developing confidence and self esteem.
BA Visual Communication Student
Leeds College of Art
I enjoy working on community projects, usually my role is a regular volunteer. By being involved with Messages Across Leeds as an assistant coordinator, I have had the opportunity to learn some valuable new skills in project management whilst continuing to work with members of the community.
Messages Across Leeds has been both a fun and worthwhile project. Whilst some participants have to warm up, others ponder their message, or dive right in; each is pleased with what theyve produced. Whether it is access to new craft materials and the chance to play, or having their voice heard or story told, the workshops have been warmly received.
The project has engaged people of Leeds in their communities and groups and has genuinely offered the opportunity to Do Something Different.
The good thing about Messages Across Leeds is finding out about the wealth of local projects in the city and promoting new opportunities to people who might not ordinarily have access to the information.
Enabling people to tell their own stories using new skills and materials within their community helps build confidence in their abilities. The exhibition events also allow communities to come together to celebrate and enjoy their achievements.
Message Across Leeds would like to thank all the organisations and communities who got involved in workshops and contributed to the success of this project.
Practitioners/ tutors: Elaine Barrow, Frances Norton, Louise Atkinson, Hannah Green, Abigail Simmonds.
Students: Elvina McCormack, Vicky Kortekaas, Katy Chester, Chloe Thompson, Fran Greenwood, Jonny Krimholtz, Matt Shields, Maria Brzozowska, Paul Howarth, Clare Selman, Sin Yee Cheung, Abi Sharp, Jen Hill, Tom Woodland, Jonathan Wilkinson, Joe Alexis, Laura Dove, Emily Reid, Jenny OConnell, Jordan Jones, Laura Dove, Olga Maksimenko.
This project has been funded by the Skills Agency.
Tinshill Community Hub
Pot O Tea Potterdale Resource Centre
Osmonthorpe Resource Centre
Leeds City Museum
Ministry of Food, Kirkgate Market
Love Leeds Festival
Feel Good Factor
St Georges Crypt
NHS Dementia Cafes
Richmond Hill Elderly Action
OPAL @ Tinshill Community Hub
Osmonthorpe Resource Centre
Rothwell Day Services
Pudsey Farmers Inn
Richmond Hill Community Centre
Crossgates Shopping Centre
Leeds Mobile Libraries
Leeds Art Gallery
Womens Health Matters
Health for All @ The Bridge
Caring Together Woodhouse
Corn Exchange Exhibition After collecting over 500 messages from Leeds communities, we plan to showcase the messages and give participants the opportunity to have their message seen and heard by as many people as possible. Students have worked extremely hard to organise the following events and exhibitions which will be opened officially by the Lord Mayor of Leeds at Leeds Corn Exchange. Friday 16th Exhibition Launch Exhibition launch: 12:00-15:30 Celebration launch: 15:30Exhibition close: 18:00 Opening Times 16th - 30th March 2012 Mon-Sat: 10:00-17:00 Sunday: 11:00-16:00 If you require more information please feel free to contact us via email or phone call and we will try to help you as soon as possible. E - email@example.com
T - 0113 202 8162
Exhibition Schedule Tell a Story Travelling Book | Starts at Corn Ex 16th March Opening times 10:00 - 18:00
My favourite place Open Workshop | Bus Briggate 17th March Opening times 11:00 - 17:00
Send a message to the Lord Mayor Give Leeds a piece of advice Millennium Square | Big Screen 16th - 24th March Showing times 12:00 and 18:00
Taster session - Learn to make pizza Ministry of Food | Kirkgate Market 16th March 12:00 - 13:30 To book contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
My favourite food Ministry of Food | Kirkgate Market 16th - 30th March Opening times 10:00 - 17:00
Change a famous artwork Leeds Art Gallery | ArtSpace16th - 24th March
Sunday 13:00 - 17:00Monday 10:00 - 17:00Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00Wednesday 12:00 - 17:00Thurs - Sat 10:00 - 17:00