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Photo description: Chairs arc round a hall
with a projection of a hand-drawn UNION logo on the screen

The first session for our UNION Leeds programme took place on Saturday 16th October 2021.

It was an amazing feeling to have twenty four new participants all together in the room. Firstly because it is lovely to bring people together and in the context of our experiences of the pandemic over the last 18 months, this was something that we had all missed.

The location was Chapel FM Arts Centre up in Seacroft and there were three simple themes for the full-day session:

  1. To spend time finding out who is in the group
  2. What is Chapel FM?
  3. To start thinking about what people really want to find out from their time with UNION Leeds and how we will work together

Image Description: A group of UNION Leeds participants standing thoughtfully…

Who is in the group? Well the participants range in age from 19 to 60+; live and work all over Leeds doing a whole range of different things under the banner of creativity and activism; and come from a range of different backgrounds, cultures,.. As one of the participants said at the end of the day:

“It’s brilliant to be part of a group with such a diverse range of people”.

Everyone had a chance to explore Chapel FM during the day, as well as ask questions to Co-Director Tony Macaluso in a mock radio interview session. Questions ranging from ‘Why did you decide to build a radio station here?’ to ‘How does the local community respond?’

Image Description: Tony Macaluso responds to a question with a smile and hands gesturing..

And questions continued to be the means for setting out some of the key themes for the upcoming year; by the end of the day there was a full wall of questions (seventy four of them in all)… the start of creating a ‘syllabus’ for what will be a co-designed programme of work…

Image Description: Sheets of paper cover a wall with a different question on each…

The group will meet again in December…it promises to be an interesting and exciting programme.

Image Description: One of the question sheets “How do/will I know if the work I’m doing has purpose or impact” with a big hand-drawn question-mark


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