Archive | Health & Fitness

WYP’s Youth Theatre Explores Mental Health With New Production


A poignant production which explores young people’s mental health is being created by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Youth Theatre in collaboration with Leeds Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Written for West Yorkshire Playhouse by Rebecca Manley, Zoetrope follows seven young people as they tackle emotional and behavioural difficulties in a timely exploration of the mental health of young people and the resources afforded to them.

In preparation for the performance the Zoetrope cast have collaborated with Leeds Community Healthcare’s CAMHS service, inviting both young people and NHS staff into rehearsals to share their insights and experiences. CAMHS provides services for young people under 18 when mental health issues get in the way of daily life.

“Being involved in Zoetrope has given the CAMHS young people a real sense of confidence and helped them realise how their knowledge and experience has made them the experts”,  said Child and Adolescent Mental Health Practitioner,Vandhna Sharma. “Our CAMHS young people have loved learning about a theatre production and were touched by how polite and considerate the Zoetrope cast are, in particular when they shared their experiences of mental health and the support they received, which helped provide authenticity and depth to the Zoetrope characters. The audience get to see young people navigate their way through mental health difficulties and support processes from their perspective, as well as understand the impact it has on every area of their life.”


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Healthy Lifestyle Campaign ‘One You’ Launches in Leeds


This month sees the launch of a free healthy living service that aims to help Leeds residents make positive changes to their lifestyle and behaviour to improve their health.

Commissioned by Leeds City Council following a comprehensive health needs assessment,  One You Leeds provides personalised support planning and allows people to access a range of important healthy lifestyle interventions.

People can access smoking cessation support, adult weight management services, physical exercise activities, healthy eating support and cooking skills classes.

Throughout October and November a range of activities will take place, including a Drop-In Centre from 1st – 3rd November at the Merrion Centre, where members of the public can receive free health and lifestyle advice from the One You team.

For more information visit or call 0800 169 4219

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Launch of New Book to Help Caregivers


Local author and speaker, Linda Sage, is launching her new book ‘Caring for the Caregiver’ on 25th November and she’ll be joined by singer/ songwriter Fuzzy Jones, performing her new single (recently reviewed in North Leeds Life) and other songs.

Presenting an introduction to her book, Linda will talk about how those working in caring professions, which require putting the needs of others before their own, very often neglect their own mental and physical health.

The book seeks to investigate common beliefs and habits related to this issue. All caring professions have a propensity for compassion fatigue and burnout; anyone regularly giving a large part of themselves to others and dealing with trauma, needs to protect themselves.  Not just for their own wellbeing, but also for those they care for.

Compassion Fatigue has been around for decades but few people involved in care take steps to combat it.  This is not just an issue for those seen to be on the front line – doctors, nurses, dentists, social care, the emergency services etc. Volunteers, home carers, professional support workers, PAs, admin and receptionists all also build up barriers to trauma and sadness as a protection, but suppression is not the solution. In learning to deal with Compassion Fatigue effectively, being able to enhance personal beliefs to become more powerful and positive is a great step forward.

The launch will be between 2 pm and 4 pm on the Saturday with refreshments, tickets are  a  donation of £ 2.00 when booking via Eventbrite at

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The William Merritt Centre’s New AccessAbility Exhibition


The William Merritt Centre’s new AccessAbility Exhibition will take place on 11th October at the Centenary Pavilion, Leeds United Football Club, 10am – 3pm. Once again, it will showcase new assistive technology and provide information and advice to help both adults and children with disabilities achieve greater independence.

“Both professionals, end users, their families and carers are invited to attend this free event”, said Annette Abbott, Senior Occupational Therapist. “As well as companies demonstrating a range of assistive technology (including beds, seating, walking aids, bathing aids, tricycles, scooters, wheelchairs, and car adaptations), a number of charities will be attending to offer support and information. This is a great opportunity to meet companies and try products that can enhance your everyday life and enable greater independence. It is also useful for professionals to attend with clients to assess which equipment might best meet their needs.”

There will be a special gaming area showcasing the options available for adaptations so everyone to access computers, toys and computer games. And, William Merritt Centre’s Car Safety Consultant and Occupational Therapist will be on hand to check that children’s car seats (both mainstream and special needs) are fitted correctly.



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A ‘Tour of Yorkshire’ for Macmillan Coffee Morning!


The Leeds Physiotherapy Clinic will host a fantastic World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in true Yorkshire style in Park Square, Leeds City Centre on Friday 29th September.

The Tour of Yorkshire was the inspiration for the Park Square Cyclo-thon. The Square will be themed to look like a rural Yorkshire scene with huge photos of countryside, scarecrows, model sheep, ducks, beehives, old fashioned road signs, plus two classic cars! JD Gyms are providing static bikes and the idea is to make it look like a moving tableau.

Teams of four riders are invited to enter to attempt to cycle the furthest distance in a 10 minute pre-booked time slot between 9am and 3pm for a minimum donation of £50 to Macmillan Cancer Support. The team that cycles the furthest in its 10 minutes wins the competition.

There will be coffee and cakes in Park Square. And, taster sessions (£5 or £10 donation) with our various therapists will be available throughout the event at Leeds Physiotherapy Clinic but these must be booked in advance. The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Jane Dowson, will be attending at 1.30pm.

Contact Gloria or Pauline at The Leeds Physiotherapy Clinic, 38a Park Square North (basement), LS1 2NY on 0113 245 7800 to book taster sessions or for more details.



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Cousins Are Running Down Dementia


Cousins Jennifer Mehta and Cath Willis are each running 100km in an attempt to raise funds for dementia research.

Jennifer from Meanwood, and Cath from Warrington, have been taking part in Running Down Dementia’s Summer Challenge, each running 100km to raise funds for dementia research. This is a charity very close to their hearts because their much-loved grandmother Monica recently died of Alzheimer’s, and the devastating effects of this cruel disease have left the whole family heartbroken.

850,000 people in the UK suffer from Alzheimer’s.  The care costs are three times higher than those for cancer, heart disease and stroke combined, but it receives a much lower rate of investment. With predictions of two million people developing the disease by 2050, a cure needs to be found soon.

Jennifer and Cath wanted to channel their grief into something positive, and when they saw an advert for the charity, they signed up for the challenge straight away.

Their team is called ‘Up Yours, Alzheimer’s’ and they were recently named ‘Team of the Week’ for their efforts. They are currently ranked in fifth place for their fundraising, so if you’d like to follow their progress or would like to make a donation, please visit:

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CityConnect – Walking Makes a Comeback!



Cllrs Elizabeth Nash and Adam Oglivie, and workers from across Leeds joined forces recently to mark the launch of a new scheme designed to encourage more people to feel the benefits of walking.

They gathered for a walking tour of Leeds South Bank development – Europe’s largest brownfield regeneration site – as part of the CityConnect Walking initiative from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and national walking charity, Living Streets. The project aims to encourage everyone to incorporate walking into their daily life.

Walking and other sustainable transport options are at the heart of plans for the South Bank site, which is projected to create 35,000 new jobs. The site will have excellent links from Leeds railway station and the new Park & Ride bus stops on Boar Lane.

“Our ambition is to improve air quality and reduce congestion in the city centre”, said Cllr Eric Firth, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Deputy Chair. “By creating access to jobs with enjoyable and connected walking routes throughout the city, we hope more people will feel inspired to incorporate walking into their daily commute to work.”

CityConnect Walking tour highlighted the connectivity between business zones, public spaces and leisure areas in which walking will be the most convenient and pleasant mode of travel. Representatives from Leeds City Council spoke about the exciting proposals for the area and highlighted just how easy it will be to get around on foot.

The project, delivered by Living Streets, will work with businesses, job centres, apprentice hubs and further education establishments to promote and encourage walking as a healthy and convenient way to access employment and education opportunities.

For more information on how you can choose healthier and more active modes of travel, please visit



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Crowdfunding Leeds First Urban Vertical Farm



Growing Better is a social enterprise dedicated to creating better mental health through growing edible produce, and has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £20,000 to create Leeds’ first indoor urban vertical farm – in a converted shipping container!

We all know that growing food is good for our mental health, and Growing Better aims to provide a supportive environment that reduces isolation and stress, improves confidence, and provides skills and work experience – all of which helps people get back into society and the workplace.

After a successful summer in 2016 growing baby leaf salad at Red Hall nursery and supplying local shops such as Haley & Clifford on Street lane and The Fruit Stall on Harrogate Rd, the Growing Better team realised that growing outdoors wasn’t going to be sustainable outside the Yorkshire growing season. However people need support with mental health all year round – so they went back to the drawing board and after a lot of research and trials decided to create Leeds first indoor urban vertical farm.

Growing Better’s vertical farm will use hydroponics to grow micro greens, pea and sunflower shoots and wheatgrass. Although new to many people, hydroponics is well understood in the horticultural industry. Most British-grown cucumbers and tomatoes are grown hydroponically, in huge glasshouses. What’s different about Growing Better’s setup is that growing takes place on several levels, hence the term ‘vertical farming’.

Founder Rob Moores told North Leeds Life “When you’re experiencing poor mental health, it can take a huge effort just to get out of the house. We wanted to create our farm in the suburbs that was easy for people to get to, and we decided to build it in a shipping container so we’re not at the mercy of the elements. It also means that it’s secure and fairly portable, and helps us keep costs to a minimum.

“Our crowdfunding campaign is on track, and it recently received a huge boost from Santander’s ChangeMaker fund for social enterprises. If we can raise 50% of our target, the fund will provide the remaining 50% – which effectively means that the value of every donation is doubled!

“Every donation – from £5 upwards, takes us a step nearer to helping people recover from poor mental health. In return for a donation we’re offering some great rewards, and we’re hoping that the community will back us to make this a success, and a first for Leeds.”

You can find out more about Growing Better’s plans and make a pledge to the crowdfunding campaign here


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The Martin House Hospice Colour Run


Dazzle and dash for cash as Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People holds its annual Colour Run on Sunday 23rd July.

Martin House is asking runners from around the region to wear their whitest whites and prepare to be pelted with paint as they run around the 3.5km course at Stockeld Park near Wetherby.

Perfect for families, friends and workmates, runners set off dressed in perfect white and end up as unique works of art as they pass through yellow, blue, green, red and pink paint stations on the route.

“This is the ultimate fun run – you can walk, run or even dance your way round, becoming more colourful as you go. In fact, the brighter you are at the finish line, the better,” said Ellie Barker, events fundraiser for Martin House.

A fitness coach will get the crowd warmed up before the start of the run, and everyone who takes part will receive a Colour Run medal. There will also be Martin House merchandise on sale. Stockeld Park will also be selling cakes and refreshments, and it will be open at a discounted rate for people who have taken part in the run.

Martin House provides care and support to children and young people with life-limiting illnesses throughout West, North and East Yorkshire – along with their families – at its hospice, in hospitals and in their own homes.

It costs £20 for adults, £15 for children (five to 15), £50 for a family ticket (two adults, two children) and group bookings of five or more adults is £15 each. There is also a free goody bag for people who raise more than £50 in sponsorship. You can sign up at, by emailing or by calling 01937 844569.



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Charity Cycling Fun Day to Support Great Britain Transplant Sport Cyclist


Cyclists from across West Yorkshire are invited to take part in a Charity Cycling Fun Day at the Brownlee Centre on Sunday 18th June between 1-4pm.

Proceeds from the event will enable Leeds-based junior cyclist, Esben Rost, to represent Great Britain in the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain later this month.

Esben, aged 13, underwent a life-changing liver transplant in 2008 and, since then, has become a keen, competitive cyclist. His cycling gold medal at the British Transplant Games last July meant selection for the Great Britain Transplant Team for Malaga.

The Fun Day will give the opportunity to ride on the mile-long, traffic-free cycling circuit, part of the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training centre. There will also be skills sessions and fun races for children and refreshments. Tickets will cost £4 per person.

“I’m really proud to be selected for the Great Britain Transplant team and represent my country at the World Transplant Games,” said Esben. “It would be lovely to see lots of fellow riders at the Charity Fun Day for a great day of cycling to raise funds for me and my team mates to go to the World Games in Malaga.”

The biannual World Transplant Games are supported by the International Olympic Committee. It represents the largest organ donor awareness event in the world with over 2000 athletes from 55 countries competing.

For further details email and to pre-book tickets go to

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