Raise the Roof at Swarthmore

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Swarthmore Education Centre has been running courses for 104 years from the little terrace in Woodhouse Square just round the corner from Joseph’s Well. It’s amazing what you can do there. Over the last 30 years I’ve started courses in classical guitar (the short-lived ‘Segovia’ phase), mime (the even shorter ‘Bowie’ period). radical psychology (the noisy ‘Reichian’ year), and British Sign Language (beginners – even that was a bit too advanced). In truth the only thing I really stuck at was the People’s Choir, a weekly gathering of about 50 of us, which I had great fun at for several years. Ok I wasn’t a great student, but the fact was I was able to have a go at all those things, and learned some interesting stuff.

In the Summer Leeds Wellbeing Web had our 2nd set of training at Swarthmore and as the course tutor I loved the relaxed atmosphere and the general friendliness. Staff seemed quite happy to be confronted by enthusiastic community journalists eager to try out their interviewing and camera skills. One particular piece of footage never quite made it to the blog at the time but it was about Swarthmore’s roof fund – here it is for the first time:

http://youtu.be/jtUCZbzU0yQ

After 150 years the old roof was getting a bit leaky, so this year has seen the replacement of 4 of the rooves of the historic pre-Victorian buildings that make up Swarthmore. That still leaves 2 to do and it’s massively expensive, so more funds are needed, and the lovely people at Swarthmore are having a party – and you’re invited! Maggie says “Everyone is welcome to attend ‘Raise the Roof’, Swarthmore’s Christmas Reggae Party with reggae music from DJ Peter James and reggae band Mojah. This takes place on Friday 14th December from 7.30pm – midnight. There’s a licensed bar, and food to share (free).

Tickets £5 in advance or on the door – available from Swarthmore’s café or reception. All funds raised will go towards Swarthmore’s Roof Appeal.

See http://www.swarthmore.org.uk for more details or about any of the amazing things you can do at Swarthmore. (There’s an open day on 3rd January, 10.30 – 1.30 and 5 -7 p.m. if you want a look around). You can always just send them a cheque to them at 2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS3 1AD, or drop in and check out the good, cheap community cafe, and free craft cafe every Wednesday.

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Instrumental evening, Love Arts Festival, October 2012

As part of the Love Arts Festival, Instrumental hosted a great evening at Swarthmore Education Centre.  This quick film shows the highlights of the evening.

I interviewed Dave Lynch who represented High Royds Memorial Garden and Mike Jolly from Cloth Cat, a music charity in Leeds.  Dave talks about how music helped him express his feelings and Mike Jolly encourages people who are in receipt of means tested benefits to take a free course.

The artists involved were Lunar Calling, Georgette Hilton, Dave Lynch, The MoMo’s, Instrumentalists and Biscuit Heads & the Biscuit Badgers. They were each very different in style and the talent really was outstanding.

Instrumental promotes gigs in Leeds to raise awareness and money for mental health causes. The evening was a collaboration between Arts and Minds, Cloth Cat and High Royds Memorial Garden.

A very inspiring evening..

Thanks Vicky 🙂