As many people are aware it is the 75th Anniversary of VE day on the 8th of May. OPAL was planning to have a week of celebrations with 1940’s themed lunch clubs (Shelley was going to cook Homity Pie and I was going to do trifle!). We were going to decorate the café in red, white and blue bunting and union jack flags and the staff involved were going to dress up in 1940’s outfits.  As well as this I was going to find out if some of our members had particular memories of that time to be put onto the OPAL web site.

All that has now gone as we have another “enemy” to combat in this virus that is keeping everyone apart .So instead of video/sound recordings of the memories I have been interviewing people over the phone and making notes about their stories. If I can, I’ve tried to search for pictures to give the memories a bit of “colour”.

Thank you to all those people who have taken part, I hope I’ve recorded everything accurately and I’ve really enjoyed listening to all your stories. This type of history is fascinating and each one is a snap shot of life at that time often in different parts of the country as well as Yorkshire!     Anne

Here are some of our members memories of that day.

Barbara      Chris      Dorothy        Alma      Mary

Elsie           Eric        Harry            Val        Kath2  

Jean           Kath1     Margaret      Rose     Janet

Val Cromptons poem from Adel Bells2967

Please feel free to use the resources below to help plan your own activities in the run up to and on 8th May.

  •  - Watch the specially created Leeds Libraries montage of archive footage taken at the end of the war (to be hosted on Leeds Armed Forces Facebook and Twitter). If you have any photographs or material that you would like Leeds Libraries and/or Museums to be aware of for possible future use then please contact them on          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • -  Watch Emily Nelson from Leeds Museums) reviewing the item of the day relating to archive material from the end of the war
  • - Take part in the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm, 8 May by raising a glass of refreshment of their choice 
  • - Tune into Her Majesty -  The Queen’s message to the nation at 9pm on BBC One, the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.
  • - Join in with the Royal British Legion at 9pm in coming together to sing Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’
  • - Share your Second World War stories, family histories and messages of remembrance on social media using #VEDay75


For more information click below

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OPAL members letter

OPAL have had to shut the Welcome In Community Centre & Cafe, cancel all room hires and cancel all our activities which means our income is stripped right back.

Despite this, we are
- delivering hot meals 3 times a week to older/vulnerable people,
- delivering emergency packs,
- coordinating a phone buddy scheme, a shopping buddy scheme and jigsaw/book delivery.
- providing emotional support to isolated people who are struggling.
- picking up and delivering prescriptions.

Please help

You can make a donation to OPAL by cheque, bank transfer or by our Localgiving page.

Please make cheques payable to OPAL and post to OPAL, The Welcome In Community Centre, 55 Bedford Drive, Leeds LS16 6DJ. 

By bank transfer a donation can be made to sort code 53 70 00 and account number 24503274 

If you would like to discuss your donation, then please contact Ailsa on 0113 261 9103.

Click here for our Localgiving page which gives the option to make a one-off or regular donation and this could be done anonymously if you prefer.

Please support us and will will make sure every penny counts.

Thank you x



OPAL members letter

Little Heroes

We are 3 brothers (Nick 12, James 8 and Ben 5), that want to try and make a difference during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Our mum works with older people at OPAL. OPAL is currently operating as a support centre for older people living in the LS16 area, struggling through the lockdown period. The staff, alongside a dedicated team of volunteers, are delivering home cooked meals, shopping and providing phone support, information and resources for anyone that needs help. 

We have decided to set ourselves the challenge of completing the Tour de Yorkshire by cycling, running and walking the distance - a total of 305 miles. We will be adding up the miles we complete during our daily exercise. 

It'd be amazing if you could sponsor us, so we can help OPAL carry on doing their invaluable work in the community. Thank you so much, and please stay safe. 

Nick, James and Ben  

Watch their short video here Little Heroes film



Brilliant effort, thank you boys.

Any funds raised by Nick, James and Ben will go directly to our COVID-19 Support project.

 Please support them by clicking here - every penny counts.

 Thank you x




OPAL members letter

Easter Bunny

The Easter bunny paid an early visit to us at Welcome In Community Centre today. Easter eggs and Easter Boppers for staff working on Good Friday & Easter Monday supporting people through the Coronavirus lockdown.