Lift the Lid: 23 Voices was a 10-week podcasting and journalism course co-hosted by LEEDS 2023 and Creative Lives, providing participants with the skills and confidence to create their own media about the culture that matters to them. In this article, Rimsha Ahmed shares personal reflections on Breeze.

Many Leeds folk recognise Breeze as a part of their childhood. The little yellow membership cards may be the first things that come to your mind, but what are they offering now?

Breeze, which operates under Leeds City Council, is solely focused on providing young people aged 0-19 with a fun-filled childhood. Since 2004 the scheme has been delivering activities to families, finding ways to incorporate new ideas and making them enjoyable. This is through the range of activities they offer around the year, varying from The Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall to Breeze In The Park, which is directed towards more deprived communities of Leeds during the summer months.

All events are child-friendly and family oriented and prices can range from no cost to £15+. With Breeze, there’s something on all year round, so you don’t have to worry about a boring school holiday at home.

The experience of Breeze as a child is a memorable one: this is evident from those, such as me, who still remember the name even after years since attending their events. The first Breeze event I attended as a child was their Tour De France event in Roundhay Park, and even though we got there late, the workers still allowed my siblings and I to play on the inflatables, showing how they go the extra mile to allow kids to have fun.

Although a Breeze Card may have been fondly remembered by many, the scheme has now moved its reward system online. A Breeze Pass is usually £5, however there are times that the pass may be free, such as for children eligible for free school meals. You can now gain access to VIP activities, offers and other goodies by signing up to a Breeze Pass online, saving you from the hassle of having to remember to bring your card.

Events like Breeze In The Park (BITP) move to different areas around Leeds such as Harehills, Alwoodley and Kippax to ensure every family has an event that is accessible to them right outside their doorstep. BITP events usually consist of inflatables like a bouncy castle and different stalls such as henna; sometimes there may be donkey rides too. Some events are ‘relaxed sessions’ to allow children with additional needs feel safe and welcomed.

It's possible to say that Breeze has quite frankly changed lives, supporting families and providing them with fun, easy and affordable activities to take part in for many years.

Breeze ensures that every child in Leeds has access to a safe environment in which they can enjoy themselves for as little to no cost, especially as it may be difficult for lower income families to find an affordable activity during the current cost of living crisis.

Because of the fun you’ll be having at the events, you won’t even notice that the day breezed away!

I'm Rimsha and I'm currently studying A-Levels at sixth form. I've always had a passion for writing hence why all the subjects I do are essay based and Lift the Lid has given me the opportunity to really showcase my interest in literature as well as allowing me to learn about constructing a podcast- something I didn't think I could do. I love to cook and enjoy learning new recipes, whether that be cultural cuisine of my own ethnicity or trying out something different! Rimsha Ahmed, Lift the Lid: 23 Voices participant