Nature and green spaces in Leeds with Leep1

#ConnectWithNature #metalhealthawarenessweek

This week to celebrate mental health awareness week the members at Leep1 got close to nature.

How do you feel when you walk through a forest or woods? Relaxed, calm and peaceful?

Visiting green spaces and being with nature is good for both your mental health and physical health. It has been found that living in areas where there are more trees and grass has been linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

A recent study found that people who spent at least two hours a week with nature were more likely to report higher levels of health and well-being – so nature really is good for you!

1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health difficulty at some point in their lives. Life these days seem to get busier and more hectic as each year passes. The effects of the pandemic have also taken it’s toll with many more people feeling anxious, worried and stressed. Visiting green spaces and parks is a great way of feeling an escape and getting away, a chance to walk, do some excercise and share social experiences with friends – which are all good for our mental health and wellbeing.

Making some time just for yourself is extremely important to keep a good healthy balance and good mental health.

Roundhay Park Leeds

Leeds is lucky enough to have one of the biggest city parks in Europe. Roundhay Park is not far from our offices at Leep1 and it is a popular destination for our out and about trips with our members. The park covers more than 700acres – that’s the same as 700 football fields! With woodlands, lakes and streams, grasslands, formal gardens and mansion to name a few of its attractions.

We spent this week going for lots of walks at Roundhay park. Everyone really enjoyed the good weather and one of the highlights was spotting the baby signets with it’s mother by the lake – as well as Annette trying to exericse while eating an ice cream!

Urban Green Spaces

Most cities have green havens in and among all it’s tall buildings. These spaces break up the all the grey and adds a breath of fresh air for visitors and people who work nearby. We took our members to Leeds city centre to explore some nature in the heart of the city which included an impressive 30ft planted wall at Leeds City College!

Cafe Leep Training Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities Re-opens

Cafe Leep is an award winning community cafe where adults with learning disabilities work & are trained to NVQ standard in Food Safety.

Our Cafe has been closed since March 2020 and we are so excited that on the 19th April 2021 we opened our doors to our trainees and customers again. We hope to be open five days a week again soon but in the mean time please note our new opening hours below:

New Opening Hours:
Monday: 9.30am -10.30am, 12.30pm -2pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 9.30am -10.30am, 12.30pm -2pm
Thursday: Closed
Fridays: 9.30am -10.30am, 12.30pm -2pm

During the past year our trainees have been keeping up with their studies in NVQ Food Safety with Darren online. The online sessions have proved so successful that we have decided to continue to deliver these twice a week on Zoom.

Leading the way in offering employment opportunities to adults with a learning disability the team at Cafe Leep has recently recruited three LD adults who support the work Angie and Darren do. We are incredibly proud to have such a talented and diverse team here at Leep1 and welcome Joe, Courtney and Maisie to our team. Their professionalism and adaptability to working to strict Covid regulations has been second to none.

It’s been a brilliant couple of weeks and our trainees have loved being back. It’s been so fantastic seeing our customers again too! We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for sticking with us through thick and thin and we hope to catch up with more of you soon. By popular demand we now also accept card payments as well as cash – something else our trainees had to learn was the iZettle Paypal POS card machine which is just another skill happily under their belts!

We are so proud of all our trainees who despite being away for a year have come back and got stuck in. They have worked hard to keep up with their NVQ studies over lockdown and now help us to ensure our Cafe is Covid safe.

The story so far …..

Art Project Volunteer Opportunities at Leep1

The AND project at Leep1 is an exciting new start up enterprise that designs and sells clothes. The AND team is made up of two lead artists and 8 adults with a learning disability who together build the AND Clothes brand. Their mission is to change the way the world views adults with a learning disability to show off what they can do and not what they can’t.


We are currently looking for volunteers to support this exciting new project and this is a fantastic opportunity for the right person to get experience in delivering creative activities and supporting adults with a learning disability to build confidence and flourish.

For more information about the project and how to volunteer please contact our volunteer coordinator

More information about what it’s like to volunteer with us at Leep1 can be found here: