Be More Queenswood
I wanted to start the year by calling out what I love about our community and calling the community I love to more.
_ Cheer More: Online, in person, from the sidelines, in the thick of it, one to one and to the masses. Understandably, the everyday frustrations often take our focus and we forget the reasons we have to be cheerful. I have resolved to cheer on our community and champion all that is good about it!
_ Brew More: Sharing a brew a day keeps loneliness away! Invite a neighbour round, stick the kettle on and catch up over a nice, hot beverage. If an invite out of the blue is a little too socially awkward, why not use Brew Monday from Samaritans as a ready made reason.
_ Volunteer More: There are a whole host of organisations locally that would benefit from an hour or two of your time. You could volunteer to listen to children read at ones of our local schools, rustle up lunch with STEP on Queenswood Drive or help serve an age in between.
_ Explore More: We are surrounded by woodland to explore — Batcliffe Woods, Beckett Park and Morris Wood to name three local areas of natural beauty. Wrap up warm, get your wellies and go on a (bear) hunt. If birds are more your thing, start twitching with Start Birding.
_ Pray More: As well as hosting the annual Neighbourhood Christmas Carols, local Christians from local churches get together once a month as Queenswood Prayer to pray for our neighbourhood. If you don’t fancy praying with others, why not try praying on your own using this handy guide.
_ Shop Local More: I get my hair cut at Scissors Palace, buy a paper from Best One, occasionally get a bite from Dino’s, up until recently had my car in at Queenswood Service Centre (our loss is Armley’s gain) and, if the occasion arose, I would probably use Gallagher Funeral Services too.
_ Recycle More: Recently, Leeds City Council have made it possible for us to recycle Tetra Paks, margarine tubs and yoghurt pots in our green bins. If you take a short walk to BTRS in Headingley, you can recycle a whole host of other things too, including biscuit wrappers and crisp packets.
_ Socialise More: Over the fence, under the bus shelter, in the queue at the Post Office, while walking the dog, on the school run or in the kitchen at parties. If none of those suit you, why not join Queenswood Social Club — it’s much more than a Polling Station.
_ Play More: You could score for Kirkstall Crusaders, slog for Kirkstall Cricket Club and / or sing with Music From The Attic. If you’re not looking for structure there are courts, equipment, pitches and possibilities for informal play too.
_ Party More: All of the major political parties and a few of the minor ones have local groups which seek to serve the common good in our neighbourhood. Also, there are the monthly meetings of Queenswood Tenants and Residents Association — they like a Christmas party too!
_ Grow More: As spring approaches, why not sow a few seeds and see what you can grow. The keen beans among you could sign up for a plot at one of the local allotments. For those with less time on their hands, you could muck in at St Stephen’s Community Garden.
_ Pick More: In the summer months, the hedgerows are full of goodies like blackberries and redcurrants to be picked, washed and then devoured. While you’re picking fruit, why not take a carrier bag and pick up a few pieces of litter too. One berry for you, one tin for the bin!
_ Create More: As Phyllida Barlow reminds us, “Everyone has imagination.” Don’t just wait for the Kirkstall Art Trail to flex your creative muscles — grab a brush / clay / camera / dictaphone / junk / keyboard / needle / pen and get creating!