Everyone is welcome at Daylight Stars Pick ‘n’ Mix on Thursdays from 10:30 until noon. Pick ‘n’ Mix takes place in Kirkgate Market’s events space and offers activities for everyone – all ages, all abilities.
Pick ‘n’ Mix brings people together and gets them talking. Nichola Pemberton explains why she co-founded Daylight Stars:
“When I became a mum I found that the time my children most needed me was evening and night, but most of my social life – classes and art events – also happened in the evening, so I lost access to them. I soon realised I wasn’t alone in this and that it wasn’t just parents with young children who struggled. There are people who have caring or parental responsibilities in the evening; those who rely on a carer who works for them during the day; people whose religious or cultural responsibilities mean they need things to happen during the day; those who feel safer attending activities during the day.”
When Leeds City Council published a report highlighting the need for Leeds folk to ‘increase a sense of belonging that builds cohesive and harmonious communities’, Nichola’s response was Daylight Stars.
She said “Loneliness and isolation are real problems in today’s society – they have a huge impact on mental and physical health which in turn has a knock-on effect on family members and even the health service; I wanted to help address that.”
Daylight Stars started Pick ‘n’ Mix in February this year with the help of the National Lottery Community Fund. Activities have so far included screen printing, land-based synchronised swimming, constructing a paper world, making hats and animals and even just doodling.
Jennyanne Smith, Project Manager and artist, who co-ordinates the activities and other artists had this to say:
“We attract people from all over Leeds, of all ages, and many languages – it’s a genuine pleasure to see them all together just getting on with stuff,” she says. “It’s not about the final piece – far from it – it’s about the process and the interaction; it’s about communication and sharing; it’s about people.”
Councillor Asghar Khan, Leeds City Council’s deputy executive member with responsibility for markets, said: “The Council works with a wide range of organisations and people to develop new approaches to tackling loneliness and social isolation. The market is a great place to bring people together and is the ideal venue for the ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix’ activities.”
No booking is required
Pick ‘n’ Mix is free to everyone and is fully accessible
On its last session on Thursday August 29th Pick ‘n’ Mix will host a celebratory sharing session with refreshments.
Enquiries about hiring the Kirkgate Market events space can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographs by Ant Robling.