I joined volunteers on Saturday the 25th October for make a difference day. The purpose of the day was part of a wider initiative to get students and local residents involved with a number of social action activities, and volunteers were tasked to clean rubbish and litter pick, they also helped plant bulbs and prune on an area known as ‘The Rosebank’. It also enabled residents to meet students and feel more involved with their local community.
In 1998 the local community headed by Little Woodhouse Community Association applied successfully for a Millennium Commission grant through ‘Natural England’ to develop ‘Millennium Green’ formerly known as ‘The Rosebank’.
Once a demolition site, ‘Millennium Green’ has now been transformed by volunteers and is maintained on a 999-year lease by The Rosebank Millennium Green Trust’.
Barbara from the Little Woodhouse Community Association said: “It is great that the local community can enjoy the environment and meet other people and feel they have made a contribution to their local community.”
Leeds Urban Harvest organiser said: “A lot of the children don’t actually know how apple juice is made, so it was a good opportunity to demonstrate to children how this process works.” Leeds Urban Harvest are a voluntary run project that collect and distribute soft fruits that grow unharvested around the local area.
Naomi who is a project worker for Hyde Park source said: “They have been very involved with the Rosebank Millenium Green project over the last year. A lot of the parents think the space is dangerous, and it is a great way of being able to create a safe and supervised learning environment for the children, and explained that because the children become involved their parents also become interested and want to become more involved.”
Children from Rosebank Primary School said: “The best part of the day was learning how to carve pumpkins and prepare apples for pressing.”
Freda Mathews from the Rosebank Millenium Green Trust explained about the funding process involved and she said: “In 2000 they got a lot of funding from Yorkshire forward and from the ‘Millenium Commission’ through ‘Natural England’ and they took over the site, which was a former demolition site, and it was opened by local MP Hilary Benn in 2001.”
A former Leeds University student and now local resident said: “students and local residents are continuously encouraged to become involved with the project via a scheme that has been setup called ‘Creative Capture Volunteer’ it encourages students and local residents to get involved with local community projects, and the project has had so far a good uptake by students.”
Leeds Beckett University Student Marian Abdullah said: “She was volunteering for the first time after being told about it by her sister”
Activities on the day included:
- Building habitats for small mammals and insects
- Cutting back overgrown trees
- Pruning fruit trees
- Litter picking
- Building a ‘dead hedge’
- Bulb planting
It was great to be able to speak to students and volunteers about their individual experiences. It was a very enjoyable and fun day had by all.
If you would like to volunteer or support the trust in anyway, then please contact the Rosebank Millenium Green Trust on 0113 2449680