Belle Isle is full of stories of neighbours who have gone out of their way to help each other.
Ben the Belle Isle Community Builder spent a day in September 2023 at the bus stop at Belle Isle Parade collecting stories, which he published here.
He then spent a day at the bus stop by Kasa in December 2023 and here are some of the stories people told him.
Tell us a story of a time when neighbours came together to help each other
Someone has put up a community notice board with all the events happening around here. That’s a nice thing.
A community group would organise trips for families out of Belle Isle Working Men’s Club. We went to Blackpool and they gave each of the kids £5 to spend at the arcades.
When I go shopping, I pick up some bits for my neighbours, we usually chat over the fence.
“I didn’t know anyone in Belle Isle when I first moved here and I work long hours most days which makes it difficult to connect with my neighbours but I meet loads of people at the this bus stop. A few English people, a Portuguese lady and a Polish man”.
During lockdown the community came together to go shopping for people who couldn’t.
My younger neighbour comes and cuts my grass for me off his own back, I don’t even have to ask.
My neighbour suffers mental health, I regularly check up on them and make sure they are alright and I call their family if they need the help.
“There is a family down the road who go all out for Halloween, we took the kids, it was amazing! Decorations everywhere on the house, in the garden, Freddy costume loads of sweets. They were really brilliant”.
Somebody let an older person get on the bus before them.
There is a fella down our street who taught a couple of young lads how to build a shed for their mum’s garden.
There is a lady who is building a post-box for the community to post letters to people who have passed away.
I’m partially sighted and when I lost my wife over 2 years ago my neighbour stepped in and decided to help me with my paperwork for me and she taught me how to use my computer and emails.
I look after a lady down the road. I take her shopping and sometimes on days out to Roundhay Park or Temple Newsham she can’t get around like she used to.
My neighbours took my kids trick or treating for me when I was at work.
“When someone passes the community really comes together. It’s sad but really nice to see too”
“When a local lad got attacked the community came together on Facebook to raise money for him. They raised 2k for him to go holiday.
“A lady on Facebook asked for some help to feed her family. So I went round with a food parcel.”
There is a knitting group that meets regularly to make hats for the homeless.
“I bought orange juice for my neighbour’s husband when I went out to the shops”
“I’ve lived round here 46 years, I love it round here, I know everyone”
Somebody said “this is a really nice project pal, thanks mate”
My Grandad used to work the air raid siren round here. I reckon he must have saved a few lives.
During lockdown me and my neighbours used to share food with each other.
“At Christmas when I couldn’t afford presents for my kids, somebody in my community bought some and brought them to me to give to my kids”
Well I’m a published writer, I would like to think my writing has helped people
Where is the hidden treasure in Belle Isle?
“Middleton Park is a bit of a treasure. It’s not exactly hidden though.”
“BITMO volunteers and BITMO’s GATE. They put on loads of events for the community”
“There is some buried treasure underneath KASA’s it contains the secret history of Belle Isle”
“People do look out for each other round here”
“There is a little library on East Grange Square”
Who are the unsung Heroes in Belle Isle?
A local man plants fruit seeds in empty planters for free.
The people who run KASA’s have been really nice to me and my husband.
Ange from Greedy Monkeys café is really lovely, she fundraised for a defibrillator in the community on Belle Isle Parade.
The three musketeers – we cooked hot meals and took them out to the community during COVID (over 650).
I have had heart trouble for over 4 years, my wife is my full-time carer and she looks after our grandkids. She is my hero. When I was in hospital she visited me every day.
Please tell us your Belle Isle Stories.
Have you got an interesting story about the past in Belle Isle?
Can you tell a story about time when neighbours in Belle Isle helped each other?
Can you tell a story of a time when you felt proud of Belle Isle?
Has a story in Belle Isle ever inspired you?