Leeds today: nightclub vicar, apprenticeships, digital retune, mental health, squatting and sticklebricks!

Leeds City Council have opened up a competition for candidates to win an apprenticeship. The Build My Future; Build My Leeds competition is open to young people who want an apprenticeship in the construction industry, and is related to the new Leeds Arena build as mentioned in BGL passim. To enter, candidates submit 100 words on the Arena or Trinity to LCC before 7th October, and two winners will become apprentices. This is a great opportunity but may set a worrying precedent – one day, will all future jobs be decided in a competition style? It’s certainly a novel way of attracting candidates.

Today sees the beginnings of the end of the Digital Switchover process, where the analogue TV signal gets turned off and those people who already have digital boxes will stop getting messages saying “on or around Sept 7 you will need to retune your set-top box”. Over the next couple of weeks TV stations will go digital only across the whole of Yorkshire. If you need help there will be an advice point on Briggate from 10-4pm today and tomorrow, as well as in other locations across the West Riding. Just remember: more channels does not mean there will be anything to watch, and remember the motto from Why Don’t You[1].

A pilgrimage seems like an odd thing to spend a day on, in this secular age. But Exploring Leeds spent a day walking a new pilgrimage in Yorkshire, the Paulinus Way. The route itself seems like a very pleasant hike – albeit one that’ll take a few days – from Todmorden to York and we’ll review it at some point over the next 12 months.

On a similar note, according to the Guardian Leeds clubbers will soon get their very own pastor. Beth Tash is being charged with engaging the club culture in Leeds and says:

“There are boundless possibilities for a message of life and a mission of love. Leeds has a great reputation among students and young people which I’ve personally enjoyed – great music and great venues. I like the atmosphere – it’s quite chilled out. It’s going to be very interesting seeing it from the perspective of the people who run the venues or put on the events.”

Ms Tash will soon be found in chill-out rooms across the city, and we wish her the very best of luck in her endevour.

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra is having a concert on Sunday 11th at the Royal Armouries in conjunction with Sing Live, in memorium of those who lost their lives on September 11th 2001. Yorkshire Wind are a very popular and skilled woodwind, brass and percussion orchestra made up of musicians throughout the region and will be performing Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man, originally written to commemorate those who died in Kosovo. This will be a serious evening, but one that should be uplifting at the same time.

The Love Arts Festival, part of the Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust, is coming soon! We’ve been looking forwards to this for ages, and starts on September 27th with an evening at the Howard Assembly Rooms, starring pithy medic Dr Phil Hammond. Avid Home Service listeners will know Dr H from many programmes on the wireless, but he’s also well known from TV’s Have I Got News For You and is generally reliable to put in a well-aimed boot from time to time. The festival itself is aiming to develop the role of the arts in health and social care, with large elements of the festival aimed at fostering positive attitudes towards mental health. We’ll be covering this in more detail soon, but the Phil Hammond thing will sell out fast so we wanted to give you the heads-up.

Tonight is photo group Exposure Leeds‘ monthly Talk & Social at Old Broadcasting House, from 6pm. The speaker tonight is Kirsteen Ashton, a social documentary photographer based in Leeds. Also available tonight should be copies of the Unguide to Leeds City Centre, the results of a mad dash about the city photographing bits of it in the rain.

Leeds cultural phenomenon Bettakultcha is back at the Corn Exchange on Sept 13th; but not only that – it is also spreading to Wakefield! If you want to speak at Wakey then the organisers are still after presenters – can you talk for five minutes on something you love? BGL has been to many of these events and has never failed to be enthralled, so don’t worry if you feel that this isn’t “for you” – it really is.

Simon on the Streets asks “Is Squatting Sleeping Rough?“; and it’s a valid question as the coalition government is prepping legislation to criminalise squatters. Squatting is a time-honoured and sensible point of civil law, which can help stop buildings from being wasted, and the plans are in play for the wrong reasons (high profile media cases of squatters in Chelsea and Knightsbridge, not a group of otherwise homeless people sleeping rough in a disused warehouse). This is also a good point to remind readers of the sponsored sleep out happening at the end of the month.

Over on Culture Vultures we learn that Leeds is the home of the Sticklebrick (!) and Irna Qureshi blogs about the month of Ramadan from her Twitter perspective. Both of these are very different and well crafted blogs, worthy of attention.

And that’s it for today! Elly will be back tomorrow, so if you have a story you’d like to see featured here then email or tweet us, and we’ll see what we can do.

Thanks for reading!

[1] Why Don’t You Switch Off The Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?

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