Convive Opens at Weetwood Hall

Restaurant manager Gio Conti with Martin Hicks, MD of Convive and Weetwood Hall

Restaurant Manager Gio Conti with Martin Hicks, MD of Weetwood Hall

 

‘Convive’, part of the University of Leeds-owned Weetwood Hall estate, has just opened, promising to bring a touch of Mediterranean lifestyle to the suburbs of Leeds.

The 120-seat restaurant and bar, will be twinned with Mediterranean restaurants across Europe, creating inspiration through innovative chef swaps and ingredient sourcing on quality food and drink. Of course, many ingredients used in the dishes on the menu will be sourced from local Yorkshire suppliers.

As part of the £2m spend, which also features an alfresco area under a retractable roof within the gardens, significant investment has gone into the kitchens and kit installation.

Convive is the vision of Martin Hicks, Managing Director of Weetwood Hall who, over the past 25 years, has been responsible for establishing Weetwood Hall as one of the leading hotel and conference venues in the region.

Profits from the Weetwood estate are gift-aided to the University of Leeds and these donations are invested into research and development projects at the University, as well as funding educational resources. Several million pounds has been donated over the past two decades purely from profits generated by Weetwood Hall.

“Convive has been in planning for a long time and I’m delighted my original vision has finally become a reality”, said Martin. “Not only is it a great way to build on 25 years of success at Weetwood Hall, but it’s also an impressive addition to the restaurant and bar scene in Leeds. We’ve created a restaurant to rival anything in the city centre. I’m very proud that the University, and the city of Leeds as a whole, will benefit from any profits generated by Convive.”

For more information visit www.conviveleeds.co.uk

 

 

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‘Nora Invites’ Dance Tour Comes to Yorkshire Dance

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Dance duo Eleanor Sikorski and Flora Wellesley Wesley, aka Nora, bring their acclaimed triple bill Nora Invites to Yorkshire Dance on Friday 3rd March.

Nora Invites is a triple bill of work curated and performed by Eleanor Sikorski and Flora Wellesley Wesley. They bring to the stage a bold, hysterical and sublime programme of duets by renowned choreographers Liz Aggiss (BLOODY NORA!), Simon Tanguy (Digging), and Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion (Eleanor And Flora Music).

Burrows’ and Fargion’s piece, Eleanor And Flora Music, overflows with free-ranging, rhythmical dancing, their musical score translated into a playful landscape of touch and synchronicity.

Tanguy’s choreography, Digging, slips between subjects – road trips, plant biology and sexual desire – as dialogue and motion twist the stage into all corners of the imagination.

Aggiss’ finale, BLOODY NORA!, is fiery send up of all who dare patronise the menstruating woman. It is a riot of hormones, competitiveness and female solidarity.

Tickets £10/ £8 available from Yorkshire Dance

0113 243 8765

http://www.yorkshiredance.com/

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CONTAINED at WYP: Rethinking Disability

 

Mind the Gap's production of Container at the Mind the Gap Studios at Lister's Mill in Bradford.

 

Mind the Gap, England’s largest learning disability theatre company, begins the tour of new show CONTAINED at West Yorkshire Playhouse Friday 10 – Saturday 11 March.

Starring nine learning-disabled performers, including Liam Bairstow (Coronation Street, ITV) and Jez Colborne (Irresistible, London 2012 Olympic Games), who’s original score and lyrics feature in the show, CONTAINED presents nine interwoven true stories about family and friendships, love and loss, the everyday and the extraordinary.

Liam Bairstow in CONTAINED. Photo by Tim Smith

Combining live performance, film, photography, music and dance, CONTAINED explores those small moments in life that suddenly become meaningful: moments that teach us about ourselves and the world that we live in.

 

Mind the Gap's production of Container at the Mind the Gap Studios at Lister's Mill in Bradford.

Directed by Alan Lyddiard (Anniversary, West Yorkshire Playhouse 2016) in collaboration with award winning photographer Denis Darzacq and Mind the Gap, this gritty, honest and thought-provoking show reflects the lives of people with learning disabilities in today’s society.

A series of free events for anyone who has purchased a ticket to CONTAINED will run alongside the show, including workshops, discussion events and an exhibition.

Box office 0113 213 7700   Book online www.wyp.org.uk

 

 

 

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LeedsBID is 2017 Leeds Sports Awards Title Sponsor

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Councillor James Lewis, Chris Mears, Yvonne Kennedy (LeedsBID Welcome Ambassador), Jack Laugher, and Andrew Cooper

Leeds Sports has announced that LeedsBID are to be the main sponsor for the 2017 Leeds Sports Awards.

LeedsBID is focused on delivering an ambitious business plan to transform Leeds city centre, improving experiences, standards and adding value, working in collaboration across the city. The business-led, not-for-profit organisation is the largest UK Business Improvement District outside London and represents over 1,000 businesses in Leeds city centre.

“The Leeds Sports Awards shine a spotlight on the sporting skills and achievements of people in the city, which play a huge part in the work of raising the profile of Leeds locally, nationally and internationally”, said Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID. “One of LeedsBID’s commitments to the Leeds Sports Awards was leading and facilitating its relocation to a larger city centre venue to reflect the ambition to grow the event.”

“The Leeds Sports Awards are always a tremendous occasion, providing us with the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our local clubs, sporting stars, and our unsung heroes,” said  Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for sport.

Sport Leeds also welcome Leeds Beckett, University of Leeds, ImageCo and Leeds City Council, who are each sponsoring an award within the Special Contribution category.

With the event now less than a month away, the excitement is rising and tensions are building as we count down the days to the most glamorous event on the Leeds sporting calendar. Celebrate the outstanding sporting achievements of the City of Leeds in 2016, at a star-studded awards ceremony and dinner at the first direct arena on Tuesday 7th March.

Tickets can be brought from firstdirectarena.com

 

 

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‘Every Daffodil Counts’ this March

 

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Every year in March, Marie Curie, the charity which cares for people living with a terminal illness, hold their annual Great Daffodil Appeal. This year Marie Curie is appealing for support in Leeds.

Marie Curie nurses care for people in Leeds in their own homes from 10pm until 7am. They provide hands on care and emotional support as well as allowing loved ones some much needed rest. The charity has also launched a telephone support line and has lots of information about living with a terminal illness available on their website mariecurie.org.uk/help

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Jen Aspinall, Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie in Leeds, is asking people across the city to support the Great Daffodil Appeal in whatever way they can this March; “Marie Curie are appealing for support in Leeds so that we can continue providing services, which are completely free of charge to people living with a terminal illness and their families, when they need it most.”

How can you help?

  • Sign up to volunteer for two hours or more at Great Daffodil Appeal collection. Marie Curie has a huge street collection planned in Leeds City Centre on Friday 31st March and lots of others across the city. You can sign up online on our website mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil/daffodil-2017 or contact the fundraising team on 01274 386190. Why not bring your friends, family or colleagues with you and challenge each other to raise the most for Marie Curie? Will your employer allow you time away from work to volunteer as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility policy? Does your employer run a match funding scheme where they match whatever you raise for charity? Or do you know someone who can sing, dance or has a talent to entertain the public at one of Marie Curie’s street collections? If so we would love to hear from you!
  • Would your organisation have a box of daffodil pin badges on their reception? For a small donation your colleagues and customers can purchase a daffodil to raise vital funds and awareness of Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal in March.
  • If you have an idea of your own, or need a little inspiration to raise funds in your own way you can order a fundraising pack full of ideas online at mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil/fundraising. Your local Community fundraiser will be more than happy to support you, provide materials and advice to make whatever you plan a huge success.

 

For more information please contact Jen Aspinall, Marie Curie Community Fundraiser on 01274 386190 or email Jennifer.aspinall@mariecurie.org.uk.

 

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Revolutionary Russia revealed in Leeds

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A new exhibition at the University of Leeds reveals the dramatic events of the Russian Revolution from a new, British, perspective.

Caught in the Russian Revolution: the British Community in Petrograd, 1917-1918 is the latest exhibition at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, University of Leeds.

The exhibition, opening on 1 March, marks the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which changed the course of world history.

Offering a unique perspective on this violent episode, the exhibition focuses on the British community in St Petersburg, renamed Petrograd at the start of the First World War.

The community was well established from the 18th century. Several generations of families helped to develop the city’s infrastructure and commerce. The Revolution in February 1917 disrupted all their lives and the Bolshevik seizure of power in October destroyed any hope for their future in Russia.

This exhibition draws on the Leeds Russian Archive, which includes eyewitness accounts in the form of diaries, letters, and photographs to explore a pivotal moment in world history. The exhibition celebrates 35 years of the Leeds Russian Archive at Special Collections in Leeds University Library. The LRA has been designated as nationally and internationally important by Arts Council England.

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Stories and objects on display include:

  • Patent of hereditary Russian nobility granted to George Baird by Alexander II, 1872

George Baird belonged to a Scottish civil-engineering and ship-building dynasty. The patent of nobility was granted by Emperor Alexander II in recognition of George, and his family’s, contribution to the development of St Petersburg and Russian shipping from the late 18th century. This unique artefact is an intricate handmade object which comes with the huge seal of Alexander II, and represents the integration of British families, like the Bairds, into Russian life prior to the Revolution.

  • Reverend Lombard’s prison mug, letters and drawings, 1918

Reverend Bousfield Swan Lombard was Chaplain of the British Embassy and English Church in Petrograd from 1908 to 1918, and a central figure in the British community in Russia. During the October Revolution, shortly after drinking tea together in the British Embassy, Reverend Lombard witnessed the murder of his friend Captain Francis Cromie, naval attaché and Royal Navy submarine commander. Reverend Lombard, alongside many of the remaining British community, was subsequently imprisoned. Lombard’s prison mug, letters he received and drawings he made whilst incarcerated, act as vivid reminders of the brutal end to the British Community in Russia.

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To accompany ‘Caught in the Revolution’ The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds, will be displaying a selection of objects, textiles and jewellery from the Leeds Russian Archive curated by Richard Davies. On display 11 February – 10 June 2017.

 

Public events

A varied programme of public events will be held to accompany the exhibition. Highlights include:

  • 1 March, 18:00 – 20:00 Opening Reception – Celebrate the opening of the new exhibition. Free and open to all. If you would like to attend please register here: opening-reception-caught-in-the-russian-revolution.eventbrite.co.uk
  • 23 March, 13:00 – 14:00 Free Lunchtime Talk: Curator and archivist Richard Davies explores the British expatriate experience during the Russian Revolution.
  • 26 April, 13:00 – 14:00 Free Lunchtime Talk: Vera Pavlova, a visiting research fellow at The University of Leeds, examines Russian theatre around the time of the Russian Revolution.
  • 25 May, 17:30 -18:30 Chris Sheppard Lecture: Helen Rappaport, alumna of the University of Leeds, will give a lecture on the subject of her latest book: ‘Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd 1917’.
  • 21 June, 13:00 – 14:00 Free Lunchtime Talk: David Jackson, Professor of Russian & Scandinavian Art Histories at The University of Leeds explores Russian Art during the Russian Revolution.

Full details of the events programme can be found at library.leeds.ac.uk/treasures-events.

Photography by Ken Kajoranta

www.kenkajorantaphotography.com/

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Gamers in 24-hour Charity Challenge

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William Merritt Centre Gamers, are gearing up for a charity challenge on 24th – 25th February, to raise money for people with disabilities. They will be playing video games continuously for 24 hours as part of GameBlast17, the UK’s largest gaming marathon weekend, and are aiming to raise £1,000 for the charity SpecialEffect, which uses technology to help people with disabilities benefit from the fun and inclusion of video games.

The William Merritt Centre, was established 35 years ago to enable disabled people to live as independently as possible. It is the only such centre in Leeds and is the largest in the region. It provides impartial information, advice and assessment on equipment and practical aspects of daily living for people with a disability.

The William Merritt Disabled Living Centre also adapts toys so people with a disability can use them. They also adapt controllers so that everyone can play computer games, and regularly host sessions where people play games.

Anyone can go along and take part in the event. More information regarding GameBlast17 can be found at www.gameblast17.com To sponsor the team, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WMC-Gamers

 

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Leeds Mencap’s Corporate Challenge Is Back!

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Zurich Insurance Company signing up with Catherine Storey, Leeds Mencap

 

The Leeds Mencap Apprentice challenge is back for a fourth year and seeking creative, entrepreneurial teams to battle it out for the top spot. Just how much money could you make in seven weeks with just a £50 loan?

As well as providing a fantastic opportunity to improve team working and fulfil corporate social responsibility aims, taking part in the challenge also raises much-needed funds to support people with learning disabilities.

 

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Winston’s Solicitors 2016 Apprentice Challenge winners

 

Several teams have already signed up and are raring to go. Last year’s winners, Winston’s Solicitors, have entered for the fourth time hoping to retain their crown. Joining them are the HSBC Service Recovery team, Zurich Insurance Company, a Leeds Mencap team, and Re:Work an office furniture company. With more teams to come, the competition is going to be tough!

“This challenge is an enjoyable and fresh way for businesses to make a social impact, meet their internal engagement objectives and do something for a worthwhile cause,” said Mark Goldstone, Head of Business Representation & Policy, West & North Yorks Chamber of Commerce and Judge on Leeds Mencap Apprentice. “I would urge chamber businesses to get a team together and get involved.”

Leeds Mencap is inviting both large and small businesses to take part. For further information, call 0113 235 1331, or email catherine.storey@leedsmencap.org.uk or jenny.hill@leedsmencap.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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Murder, Margaret and Me at York Theatre Royal

 

 

Nichola McAuliffe

Nichola McAuliffe

 

Nichola McAuliffe, Susie Blake and Andrina Carroll star in the premiere production of comedy thriller Murder, Margaret and Me by Philip Meeks at York Theatre Royal from 18th February to 4th March.

 

Susie Blake

Susie Blake

Margaret and Me explores the relationship between Queen of Crime Agatha Christie and the acting legend known as ‘the funniest woman alive’ Margaret Rutherford, who played Miss Marple in a series of British movies in the early 1960s. These two powerful national treasures were the creative force behind one of British cinema’s most successful franchises but the Miss Marple films were almost never made. Christie didn’t want Rutherford to bring her fabled spinster to life and Rutherford was mortified at the prospect of sullying her reputation with something as sordid as murder.

The pair form an unlikely friendship filled with afternoon tea and gossip. Meanwhile Agatha turns detective herself as she becomes determined to unearth Rutherford’s tragic and shocking family secret.

For more info and tickets click here.

 

 

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Comment from Qari Asim: Muslims are the New Scapegoats

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As Trump closes the doors of the US to Muslims with his travel ban, British Muslims have opened the doors of their mosques to welcome everyone -irrespective of faith, belief, background and age.

This week has seen some of the largest marches in recent history, across the world, against Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily block travel for immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries- Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It also stopped the admission of all refugees to the US for 120 days. The weeklong protests are preceded still by the global Women’s March, immediately following Trump’s inauguration day.

The #MuslimBan order is bigoted and discriminatory; it is encouraging that a federal judge in Seattle has temporarily suspended the executive order. Trump’s fierce attempt to overturn the legal decision is disappointing. The order has resulted in fear, anxiety and stigmatisation of many families and homes because of their religion. The executive order is not only a full-frontal assault on the civil rights of Muslim citizens in the US, it is a dangerous and self-defeating policy. It purports the attacks of 9/11 as a rationale for such a replusive ban, whist exempting the countries of origin of all the hijackers who carried out that plot. However, no citizens from those war torn seven countries has ever committed terror on US soil. Terrorism doesn’t have a nationality; Since 9/11 more Americans have been killed by home grown right-wing extremists than by terrorists from any Muslim country.

The Muslim travel ban is insulting, divisive and regressive to say the least. The timing of the order is ironic as it was issued on the eve of holocaust memorial day. Holocaust did not begin with gas chambers, but with a culture of hate, the crime of indifference and conspiracies of silence. The treatment of Muslims parallels with how Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution were treated in the 1930s and 1940s are obvious. The prevailing rhetoric about Muslim refugees is identical to that used to demonize Jews during the World War II. The Daily Mail’s 2015 cartoon showing Muslim refugees as rats perfectly tracked a 1939 cartoon in a Viennese newspaper depicting Jews the same way. Prince Charles, in an address this week, said the lessons of World War II were in “increasing danger” of being forgotten.

The counterproductive travel ban is a gift to the extremists – both ISIS and ultra-right nationalists. Only a few hours after Trump’s order of ‘Muslim Ban’ came into effect, the Islamic Centre of Victoria in Texas was burned to the ground. The deadly shooting at Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre, resulting in the brutal murder of six Muslims is shining a light on the ugly truth of Islamophobia that Muslims have to experience. These attacks are not isolated incidents. Many mosques in the UK and across Europe have been attacked in recent years. Violent attacks such as these highlight the critical importance of combating anti-Muslim hatred which is being promoted by the far right in recent years by spreading misinformation about Muslims. Islamophobia has been legitimised by populist leaders in recent political campaigns. The British Government recognises the threat posed to places of worship including mosques, and last year announced a grant of £2.4m to help places of worship install security and safety equipment to prevent hate crime.

As the world feels under threat by ISIS affiliates, the Muslim communities not only feel threatened by ISIS affiliates but also by populist leaders and far right sympathisers – Muslims feel more vulnerable now than ever before. When populist leaders, including the President of the US, makes it acceptable to hate people, or bar people from entering the US merely on the grounds of their religion or identity, it is not surprising that Islamophobia is on the rise.

The outpouring of support thousands of people marching in their cities against the ‘Muslim ban’ has restored belief in humanity. Exposing the ill thought out policy of Trump and the sharing of immigrant stories by thousands have been heart-warming. Political and religious leaders, sports personalities, as well as celebrities issuing statements of support for Muslims, has been overwhelming. It was profoundly emotional and encouraging to see people of all faiths and none forming a human chain around a mosque in Haringey this Friday as a gesture of solidarity in the wake of a deadly attack in Quebec and Donald Trump’s travel ban.

At a time of increased concerns about a climate of hostility, mosques throughout Britain opened their doors last weekend (Sunday 5 February). #VisitMyMosque initiative is aimed at reducing misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in Britain. These events will also highlight how local mosques are helping their local communities and fostering communal relations. The senseless violence caused by terrorists, the slowly-creeping fascism, the politics of hatred and the ‘them’ -v-‘us’ narrative can only be defeated by communities standing together, protecting each other’s liberties and striving for the flourishing of humanity.

By Qari Asim, MBE
Senior Imam Makkah Mosque, Leeds
@QariAsim

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