Lesly Best (Treasurer) has lived in Headingley for 35 or so years. She worked in the area at Brudenell Centre and was Chair of Governors of Brudenell Primary School. Her children and granddaughter went to Spring Bank Primary and Lawnswood. Since retiring Lesly is active at HEART as a regular volunteer and on the events committee. In the first 5 years of retirement she also volunteered at the Oxfam Bookshop, All Hallows Community Café where she helped prepare lunch for the OWLS group, did some teaching at Burley Lodge Centre and chaired the Headingley Music Festival. Now she intends to focus on HDT, 2 new grandchildren and PAFRAS.
Gill Eastabrook (Society Secretary) has lived in Headingley since she moved ‘back north’ over twenty years ago. In the last few years since retiring from paid work she has had more time to appreciate everything the area has to offer and to try and put something back. As well as being a member of HDT Board she is a governor of Shire Oak Primary School and a volunteer receptionist at HEART.
Katie Fabri – I joined the Headingley Development Trust Board in March 2013 to help contribute to the regeneration of this vibrant and diverse community. My husband and I have lived in Headingley since 2011 with our young son. We enjoy living here very much and have benefitted from support through playgroups, children’s services and the Church. The Heart Centre and Farmers’ Market along with St Chad’s and SouthParadeBaptistChurches have been great meeting places for us to develop friendships and connect with a wide range of people. My family members who spent their childhoods in and around Headingley have shared inspiring stories of the freedom and safety they experienced here as children. I would specifically like to work with others to develop a safer and more playful outdoor experience for this generation of children in Headingley, following the example of national initiatives such as www.playingout.net and www.loveoutdoorplay.net. My latest employment was in the public sector developing events and cultural projects to support the social and economic development of Yorkshire. I would like to apply my experience together with a creative approach using poetry, storytelling and art to encourage people to engage with the continuing regeneration of Headingley.
Rachel Harkness has lived in Headingley since 1967, and since she retired has been involved in community activism through Headingley Network, trying to retain and strengthen a resident community. Living on Bennett Road gives her a front-row view of the problems created by the alcohol-led evening culture, and the beneficial effect of the coming of Heart, which attracts different sectors of the community and helps to rebalance it. She is involved with the Farmers’ Market, the LitFest, the Celebrate Headingley barbecue, and other events which bring the residents together.
Sarah Johal has lived in Headingley for 23 years and joined the Board recently in March 2014. Sarah’s children went to Headingely Primary School and Sarah was heavily involved in the school as a parent governor. Sarah has really enjoyed seeing the development of HEART and other projects that HDT has supported and Sarah is keen to get involved and contribute in developing the future of Headingley with local residents and local businesses. Sarah is a social worker by profession and has developed adoption and fostering services for Looked After children in Leeds for a number of years. As a local resident Sarah has been involved in the campaign against the trolley bus as she feels strongly that this is the wrong transport solution for Headingley. Sarah enjoys playing badminton and gardening ( although is not very good at the latter!)
Richard Norton (Vice-Chair) has lived in Headingley since 2001; he was one of the founding directors of HDT and was its first Chair from 2006 to 2013, playing a leading role in the development of HEART. Through his work Richard has extensive experience of community engagement, project management and organisational governance within the third sector. Currently working at Voluntary Action Leeds as Supporting Links to Commissioning Manager, he was previously the Director of Young People and Employment for re’new and developed a number of projects and services including Archway and The Beck. Richard rejoined the HDT Board in March 2014 and took on the role of Society Secretary.
Helen Pickering – I have always had a great attachment to Headingley as I have spent so much of my life round here. I lived in West Park, attended Lawnswood High School, and my early years were spent indulging myself in Headingley’s many delights. I worked in the city for over twenty years before moving to the north east. It was nostalgia that brought me back here to retire. As Headingley evolves and changes, it needs a growing, flexible and innovative local economy combined with a high quality, sustainable, green environment. As a member of HDT’s Board, I am committed to helping foster local partnerships and deliver local projects to this end. We urgently need to secure a diverse and vibrant retail offer in our high streets. We need to retain local graduates who will stay and make their lives here. We also need to ensure there is the variety of housing available to meet the needs of a long term, stable and diverse Headingley community. These are all ambitions for the area which I hope to help meet as a member of HDT.
Mike Sells (Membership Secretary) – I joined HDT as I’m very keen that we should do all we can to ensure that Headingley works for all of the community – especially for younger people with families. I think that the look and feel of the town centre is important and we need to work with many others to try and do something useful there. I have lived in Headingley on and off since 1971, my children grew up here and the two eldest went to Bennett Road School. I began work in engineering but I’ve worked in Leeds in teaching, social care and marketing. I’m now retired from full time work (although I’m trying to see if I can earn my keep as an artist !) I’m constantly impressed and humbled by the hard work of all the ordinary people working in so many roles for HEART and HDT. Join us if you can !
Helen Seymour (Chair) has lived in Headingley for over ten years. She was one of the founder directors of HDT, is part of the Headingley Farmers’ Market organising group and in the group that organisies Apple Day. She was a founder director of the Natural Food Store and is much involved with the store. She is a trustee of the Plunkett Foundation which works for co-operatives and social enterprises mainly in rural areas. She is retired and was formerly head of projects and development at Co-operativesUK, the trade association for co-operatives of all kinds. She believes that collective enterprise of all kinds makes a real difference. It should also be life enhancing and fun.
Richard Tyler has lived all his adult life in Headingley, and as a committed resident was a founder-Director of Headingley Development Trust. Since 2000, he has been Co-ordinator of Leeds HMO Lobby which campaigns to resist the pre-dominance of shared houses (Houses in Multiple Occupation) in our neighourhood, in favour of a balanced & therefore sustainable community. He has helped the Lobby bring together local community groups, to develop planning and housing policies for the area, and to represent these in Council committees. For ten years, he edited Headway, the quarterly community newsletter, which reported news on the way we’re heading in & around Headingley. Richard welcomed the Trust in 2005 as a way to take action to support the community. Accordingly, he was Project Director of the Neighbourhood Design Statement, a community-based planning document which describes the character of the neighbourhood and provide guidelines for its future, and is now official Council policy, adopted in 2010. And he is Project Director for Headingley Homes, whose main purpose is to intervene in the local housing market, buying and leasing houses for long-term residents, to help restore balance and sustainability to Headingley. Since 2014, Richard has taken a leading role in developing Headingley Neighbourhood Plan.