The Big Garden Party at Harewood House

Decorative plates with words and patterns ( in a LImoge style).

As part of Leeds 2023, internationally admired artists Lucy & Jorge Orta are hosting a special meal with communities on Harewood’s Terrace. Harewood House invites you to be their guest and get involved with the Big Garden Party in the grounds of Harewood House.

Eat, drink and come together as part of the Harewood community, enjoying special activities, pop-up street food and live entertainment. Together we will appreciate the way that food crosses generations, cultures and continents.

Join Us

Expect a friendly conversation exploring your stories of growing and food, and the role this play in our lives. With permission, we will be gathering  your stories and these will feed into the work the artists create for the Big Garden Party at Harewood House on 8th July 2023. Your invitation gives you admission for the whole day to Harewood House.

Admission FREE to all events

Tuesday 20th June 2023 As part of the Refugee Council’s regular sessions, as part of Refugee Week at Leeds Playhouse from 11-12.30pm

The Old Fire Station – tbc

Completed conversations:

Friday 28th April 2023  at Aberford Community Cafe from 11.00 – 1.30 pm

Thursday 20th April 2023  at Rainbow Junktion  from 11.30 – 2.00 pm

Friday 14th April 2023 at Shadwell Library from 11.00 – 2.00 pm.

If you have any questions or want to attend this event contact Mark Jackson –

A view from a terrace, where the Big Garden Party will be taking place. Image title Afternoon Tea by The Yorkshire Party Company

SAVE THE DATE: 8th July –  The Big Garden Party – FREE ENTRY 10-6pm, meal 1pm

Eat, drink and come together as part of the Harewood community, enjoying special activities, pop-up street food and live entertainment as we appreciate the way that food crosses divides.

Doors open at 10am. The Meal  begins at 1pm & you are welcome to stay after the meal for FREE at til Harewood House closes at 6pm.

Here is previous version of the meal in Philedelphia and Milton Keynes . This is the 45th iteration of The Meal worldwide.

We are Bramley: Saturday Social at Bramley Lawn

Map of Bramley and Stanningley 

On image is images that refer to the project we are bramley and small acts of defiance theme. A wall with the word love on. As well as a picture of people at bramley shopping centre  with a sign saying we'd like our seat back and bramley needs benches

So ‘We are Bramley’ project arranged a meet up on saturday 11th december 2021 at Bramley Lawn. Bramley Lawn is on the Rossefields off Stanningly rd near the Daisy pub. Its a vibrant building, with a spacious open-plan main room with kitchen, various seated areas, opening out to a community garden. It belongs to Bramley Elderley Action and lots of different activities take place here from ukuleles to the mens group.

Before the meeting we also popped in to the ‘A Place to Sit’ saturday sit in at Bramley Shopping Centre, then we popped in to the Christmas Fair at the Community Centre. We chatted with local people and asked some questions we had prepared, to find out more about what people think and want.

We created a series of questions to ask people in Bramley about Bramley and creativity/ culture. Here are some of the answers we got.

Where in Bramley is special to you?

The park. I love the park – it’s a great place to walk around and they have those long social benches that they put up over lockdown so people can sit and chat and still be distanced. Its such a big park and there is room for so much to happen there.

Stocks Hill where the Unicorn Pub is – its got a blue plaque and it’s what is left of old bramley town. I love the old stone work.

Bramley Baths, the view up Broad lane, the area around Catherines Mill

What do you love to do for fun?

Reading – I read a lot for work and try to make a distinction between what I read for fun/ relaxation as opposed to work ( academic books). I love creative writing.

Crafting – I used to love crafting.

What would you like/ love to see happen or do in Bramley?

A Bramley Museum – bramley has so much history & i’d love to see a place it could be housed.

Loved that Bramley Baths exhibited the work of a local artist recently – it’d be great if there was a space to exhibit art here in Bramley’

My partner takes photographs for fun of the area – I’d love to see those photographs in an exhibition. Maybe the shopping centre’s empty shop units could be used to display artwork -like putting images on the shop windows – would brighten up the shopping centre & add a sense of friendliness/ community.

I’d love there to be a creative/ arts centre – lots of other smaller areas of Leeds like Farsley for instance have their own arts/ crafts hubs or centre – so why not Bramley?

Love to see an arts trail here in Bramley.

Love the idea of researching the different areas (wards) within bramley and their individual distinct characters. Relating these characters to the different architectural building eras that each area has – a sense of celebrating these council housing that was built – some of the houses around broad lane (broad leas/ fairfields) were built for the workers around St Catherine Mill. Some were built for the managers but most for the mill workers. Interesting to see the difference in those two builds.

There are certain houses that were built all over the city of Leeds that are exactly the same layout inside – they are exact replicas of one another – sort of the house that ‘everyone has been in’ (and knows the layout of). Same with a number of the community centres

re-enacting the very original carnival called the Bramley Clash ( 17th century) As one of the oldest carnivals in Leeds, the Bramley Clash saw rival music floats travelling along town street until they met then playing each other out – battle of the loudest sound. Seems like even then there was a sense of rebellion in small acts of defiance.

bring back the bed races!

What three words would you use to describe Bramley?

Community. Connection. Passion.

Hilly. Windy. Green

Spread out ( geographically).Homely. A sense of belonging.

Is there a particular bit of history of a person or event in Bramley that you love?

The original stone left from the original town street. There is so much history to collected and mileage in exploring that original town street. Its very significant and meaningful to a certain age group and there is rarely a day that goes by that they don’t mention the old town street in one way or another

There’s a blue plaque for Mary Eleanor Gawthorpe. Love to see alternative plaques through Bramley to raise up the ordinary ( & also extraordinary) people. The brilliant people in each smaller community in Bramley that get stuff done and the amazing things they have done being celebrated. That would be so great.

What should we do moving forward?

Looking at mapping / walking routes to and around Bramley, what are the stories to be told, who are the local character/ characters? What is special about each area? Broadleas/ Snowdens/ … feeling cut off from the city,

The Republic of Bramley!

The defiant ones:
Filming the routes
Alternative Blue Plaques tour (lucy did this before with Light Night)
Celebrating local people and characters (telling real stories)
House blueprints & layouts/designs used all over Leeds
Looking at different identities, Identity and attachment to areas
Mental boundaries & Physical Boundaries
Community art gallery /museum
Could empty shops be used? With vinyls stuck in the window so people could look from the outside
Art trail, mapping, having an arts centre…but where? Very little unused buildings in Bramley.
Are there any old mills? (like Sunnybank in Farsley)

We are Bramley: Small Acts of Defiance is part of the Leeds 2023 #MyWorldMyCityMyNeighbourhood project and we are working to co create what meeting culture loose is in Bramley. So what creative stuff and culture do different people and communities of Bramley want more of. Check out #wearebramley #leeds2023 #whatson

Supported by Leeds 2023 
My World My City My Neighbourhood 
Arts Council England 
the Mohn Westlake Foundation and
Leeds Community Foundation Partnership

Meet some of the people at ‘A Place to Sit’

A Place to Sit is a campaign standing up for anyone who needs a place to sit at Bramley Shopping Centre. Bring back 22 benches!

The site removed the 22 benches spread across the centre. And have since reinstated 8, but its not enough and the benches are of poor quality and not very sturdy. According to Leeds City Council – the benches that lined this walkway should be restored. If they’re not restored, some people will not be able to shop on their own as usual, without places to stop and rest. Not everyone can walk this far that easily. Walking is good. Having your independence is good.

So we popped along with our tea trolley to chat with people standing up for their right to sit. Here’s what they had to say.

What surprises you most about people?

Their generosity. People give little kindnesses all the time, generosity to others. Yet we dont notice these kindnesses, we are more likely to notice the impacts of actions – especially negative impacts. So often those everyday acts of generosity go unnoticed.

What inspires you?

This does. People coming out of their houses to stand up for something they believe in. Something that is important. Saying what they want. Singing what they want even. Yes it’s very inspiring what we are doing here.

I’ve got time off from caring for a loved one (they are on respite for three weeks ), i’m excited. I get to be the ‘elf on the shelf’ and mischievous and naughty. I used to love walking. I was in all sorts of walking groups. Oh yes I loved walking. I don’t really get the opportunity these days.

Rev Paul Green – all his energy and rallying, enthusiasm, leading us in singing and chants about bringing back the seating to Bram-ley…

In what ways are we similar?

We all breathe, eat, sleep. We all bleed the same colour.

I guess things about our appearance are similar and different.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?


Teleport – you know click my fingers and be there in an instant.

Sex would be my super power ( laughs).

What do you think will happen to our beautiful planet in your lifetime? 

We’ll be gone won’t we. It’s a mess. Lots of things we could do differently but we dont.

Too many cars on the road and people driving singly in cars. Not enough done about flooding and saving energy. There are loads of system changes that other countries make but we don’t seem to learn from them.

What stops you in your tracks?

The sound of this small person’s scream – sounded loud enough to be a car alarm!

What makes you happy?

Drawing and art. I love painting. At the moment I’m making a viking house – original materials used to make them were mud, manure,wood,  twigs, straw….i’m making mine with tissue paper.

You could email or write to LCP and let them know what you think. Or you could let the shops you visit know that we need 22 benches back please! You can follow A Place to sit page or join the group to find out more, or get involved.

Photos by Phillip Mc Connell

Talking @MorleyArtsFestival

This weekend we have been visiting @MorleyArtsFestival with our tea trolley.

This friendly local festival was based along Queen Street and down towards the park filled with free public art, performances and family activities.

We talked with lots of people over the weekend, both Morley locals and visitors. The visitors that had travelled furthest was a couple from Hong Kong, who were in Morley visiting their daughter and grandchildren.

Here’s a slice of some of the things we talked about over the weekend…

If you had a special talent, what would it be?

Very popular was teleportation from many Morley folk. I mean, why not? We talked about lunch in New York, a seaside trip to a thailand beach and no impact/ pollution on the environment. One Morley resident said that it was a question their child had often asked them growing up , and the the answer they had always given was teleportation and time travel.

What do you love to do?

A few answers…


Learning about local history ( especially gruesome events).

I love playing volleyball – especially working out the plays that the other teams are doing. Some players can be quite sneaky… you have to watch what their feet and shoulders to see how they are going to hit. You know its like at school when you played rounders and there was always that one kid that was left handed but held the bat in the right hand until the last minute then caught you off guard.

Swimming. I love swimming. We journey from Middleton every Saturday to Morley Leisure Centre to swim. Being able to swim is so important and Morley has such a lovely pool.

Climb – I love climbing. Its really good fun & fitness, and a bit scary. You have to trust your partner literally with your life, which is incredible if you really think about it’s.

What is most important?

My health. I mean, Im 72, my health matters to me.

What is normal?

Normal? Well one person’s normal is different to another’s. Stuff like kindness and respect were just givens but I guess different folks have different beliefs. I was brought up a christian. I am not practising now but that doesn’t mean I cant respect my families beliefs. So many people and cultures and different ways we’ve been brought up. So many different norm’s – i’m sad about Afghanistan situation currently…and I would have hoped it was a norm to be educated to be treated equally and live without fear because of your gender. Yeah a lot of norms all over the world that I do not like.

Where is your favourite place?

I love being at home best.

Portugal is fantastic

We love Morley. We arrive quite early in the morning very saturday and are usually still here in the afternoon. the market is great.

Krakow in Poland, I thought, was an amazing place. I mean Auschwitz is intense and takes a whole day to really see it, but you know its really important to see the extent of what happened in the concentration camps. Also the beer in the bars is so cheap andI think vodka is cheaper than a cup of tea. Its really surprising.

Are you a risk taker?

About some things. I mean I travelled to Australia by myself (from South Africa) and I came to England by myself when I was 21. I like travelling on my own.

Where do you draw the line?

I draw the line at the time I say the car ( lift) is leaving the house. If you are not ready at that time then I am leaving without you. And where should I draw the line re. Bette Midler films – how many is the number where I draw the line? She likes Bette Midler films, I like more sport or action related. We take it in turns and watch them together. But how many Bette Midler films is too many?

What stops you in your tracks?

When I was volunteering the other week, a man living on the street didn’t want a sandwich, and that really made me re-think my assumptions, as I had thought a person living on street would really want a sandwich. Also, he was given a coat which looked really warm and fitted hime perfectly, but he brought it back a little while after because it was a woman’s coat. That really stopped me in my tracks.

What are you ready for?

Im ready for things to get back to normal – like say Christmas. Last year we spent Christmas in the park so that we could be with elder family members safely. I’m really hoping we can have a proper Christmas this year and/ or it isn’t cold.

What would you do if you had no fear?

Travel the world – you know there are some places I cant go ( the way I look) without a lot of planning and thought.

I would get a tattoo or rollerblade (my family see these things as stuff only bad girls do).

I would start my own business….yep I’d change career.

I’d walk the high wire.

I’d play with lions and snakes.

I would let my children play without worry. I broke some ribs snowboarding the other year, and since then I’ve been too scared to go up the mountain. The children still snowboard but I don’t go up with them because I’m scared. I’d like to have no fear about them taking those kinds of risks.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @teaandtolerance

A teapot made of pewter in Sheffield 158 years ago! The shape reminds us of a butternut squash!

International Women’s Day Chats | Keighley

Well we arrived at Keighley Airedale Centre for this International Women’s Day Event. International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The focus of the event in Keighley was equality. We were invited by Keighley Highfield Community Association

So, we arrived, and found our space in and amongst the other activities, stalls and information. There was a quirky photo-booth near one of the entrances. Getaway Girls run this booth and it raises money for their project. People could choose props for their four photos and then have them digitally printed for you right there on the spot! We were based quite nearby, next to the question of the day.

What does equality mean to you?

This provoked a range of answers which artist Tom Bailey represented in drawings and words. Equality is being able to do traditional men’s jobs as a woman, and vice versa. Equality is being providing people with the things they need so that we get the same things. This could be access to education, ability to earn a good living. For others its being bale to wear whatever clothes make them feel good, or giving confidence to their children to know that they can do anything.

We asked many other questions. Here’s a few of them…

What makes you feel good?

What this makes me think of is cup of tea or coffee in the morning. Sitting there, with nothin to worry about, a blue sky, sunshine with some good music playing.

Who is the enemy?

Simple. It’s our government. I’m a carer. The government have just chosen to call me and other really skilled workers unskilled. I object. I mean its not unskilled to be a chef or a midwife and sorry no, its not unskilled to be in the caring profession. For me it is and has always been a calling. It is what I was born to do. How dare they call what I do unskilled! I mean I think that it’s those bankers at fault. What do they do of real value? Trouble is we as a country look at what someone earns as the key value in their worth.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Best advice I can give is relaxant breathe deeply. If I see a bus coming and I might miss it, I don’t worry. I just think relax, another will be along in a short time. Mine would be not to judge other people and be kind to them, because you don’t know what’s going on in their lives. I would say that you can’t always look for similarities and what makes us the same to unite people. We have to celebrate our differences and allow ourselves and others to disagree.

If you could have a superpower, what super power would you have?

Invisibility coat. Ooh I’d love to freeze time. Teleportation so I’d never have to wait for a bus again. I’d like to read minds and know what other people think and feel.

Want to know more about the Being Human Game? Click here.

Touchstone | Being Human Conversations

Last week, we took our ‘Being Human’ conversations to Touchstone Bme Dementia Service. There we chatted with 15 people living with dementia and their carers from the South Asian dementia café. The cafe is at Touchstone, run by Touchstone dementia service is called Hamari Yaadain which means ‘Our memories’. Now what struck me immediately was the sense of community amongst the people in the group. They were very caring of one another, really kind and accommodating towards one another. They listened and enjoyed each other. There were lots of smiles.

I love the sounds of people talking in languages I can not speak. I get a sense of what is being said because of the gestures and facial expressions but don’t of course actually know any of the words. And this happened a lot through the session – some translating into punjabi, and also a number of moments where the conversation broke away from the english and back into native tongue.

Some of our questions are idiomatic and so as second language English speakers, people answered very literally. This was really interesting. Questions like ‘do you count?’ took on a whole new meaning, from counting sheep to go to sleep, to money and even garlic bulbs.

One of the things that worked really well was the opportunity to reflect on the change in role for some of the carers, who may have previously not been as independent or used to taking the lead role.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the questions picked and answers given on the day.

What’s your favourite food? Fish or chicken and Chips, Curry and Rice, Vegetables, best is home cooked food. In the end though, most people agreed the very favourite food was chappatti’s as they go with everything.

Have you ever been stung? Most people in the group had been stung. 

Have you ever locked yourself out?Many times….examples given were keys in car doors left overnight in the drive, and keys in house front doors. One particular story was about a time when someone went away to Sri Lanka and their postman found their keys hanging there in the front door lock. Luckily he knew there sister very well Gand she lived close by. So he gave the keys to her. Notably, it was very close to April the 1st( also known as April fools day) and so their sisters family decided to ring them in Sri Lanka and ask them where their keys were. Of course, they panicked about the lost keys until they were  told that the keys were safe. Yes many stories of lost keys.

What is your favourite word? Well, love and thank you were the resounding favourite words. ‘Sat Sri Akaal’ meaning Welcome or more accurate translation might be ‘Bless you’ and ‘hello’. The other word mentioned was ‘kuch nahi’ which is a punjabi words meaning ‘say nothing’ (as the politicians do).

What is normal? Normal is when I feel ok. Sleeping and eating are normal activities. 

What stops you in your tracks?The pink sky. Seeing the Moon, which is stunning when it is really full and big. When a car nearly ran me over. The dark.

When do you count? Well, I didn’t have to buy any garlic for a year, so that’s what I count. I count how many to place in rows. I count sheep backwards from a 100 to go to sleep. When I get my money from the bank. I have this habit of counting up to eight on my fingers then reverse counting it back down. I don’t know where that habit came from but I often do that.

How do we make things better? Philosophising. Kindness. Listening. Helping each other. Caring. Slowing down. Coming here to Touchstone.

What would you do if you had no fear? Go sky diving. Many people scared of heights and snakes. we decided it was sensible to keep ones fear of snakes. We reflected that being afraid of heights seems to come for some as they get older. One person would change nothing if i had no fear – ‘I’m not afraid of anything’. Swimming (I’m afraid of the water) . Walking alone at night.

“Quotes…” that we picked.

You don’t make mistakes. Mistakes make you.– That’s true. It can be the making of you. You learn through making mistakes. Absolutely, you have to fail to learn.

Peace begins when the people with the most power listen to those with the least. – Everyone agreed with this and it made us quietly reflective.

You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have. Before my husband got dementia, he did everything…the finances, the driving. But now I am the one that does everything. So its really true that you find out how strong you are when strength is your only option. And I have so much inner strength that I really didn’t know I had. The other week I even drove to London and I even had to drive through the Blackwall tunnel and I did it. Achieving things like that give me so much confidence.

If you think this group would fit for you, a friend or family member then get in touch with Touchstone by clicking here. For more about the game contact tea and tolerance on our website or email

This project is part of a ‘try and test’ project of @teaandtolerance thanks to generous support from Time to Shine @LeedsTTS Get in touch to find out more or how to get involved with the ‘Being Human’ game.

Cafe Conversations | A Taste of Slap

Tea and Tolerance took over the cafe at York Theatre Royal to have conversations as part of A Taste of Slap 2020 on 15th February 2020.


Though storm Dennis submerged trees this weekend, we stayed nice and dry in York and chatted with visitors to the event about a really wide range of topics. People could have conversations inspired by tea trolley or our ‘Being Human Game’ From death, dreams and ghosts…to benefits of social media, how to combat loneliness to the perils of the charismatic leadership style. Here’s a little taste of the conversations we had. Thanks to Slap! for having us and to all attendees for their contributions.

We also talked about the benefits of this game to reduce social isolation because of the feeling of connectedness talking so surprisingly deeply and personally with other human beings that you have never met before. WE also talked about how it can be easier to open up to strangers, And about permission. When is it ok to talk to people and when will they regard you as w weirdo.

The Conversations

How does it feel to be vulnerable? It’s a big question. I think about the flooding this weekend and how that must feel for some people dealing with that – very real. Last year, I was made to feel really vulnerable. I’m still not sure I can forgive that person. It’s taken a long time to feel safe around people again and to have any kind of trust. Sometimes really scary things happen. And in that absolute vulnerability, everything feels really different. Looking back, being that vulnerable was the making of me.

If you had one wish, what would you wish for? I would say, to be strong and fit and have no fear so that I could be bold. To have more motivation and focus. Inner peace.

What is your favourite word? Discombobulated. Piglet is one of my friend’s favourite words. Some words just sound good. They sing

When the best leader’s work is done, people will say: ‘We did it ourselves.’ 

It’s a pity we don’t have more leaders like this. We seem to prefer charismatic leaders – hierarchies, I suppose.  I think maybe we would do better with these kinds of leaders that empower people. 

We talked quite a lot about social media and whether or not it reduces social isolation? And in what ways is it useful to us? And we talked about the pressures for young people- you know having a life being broadcast one status at a time. We talked about the limitations of twitter to have any nuance in conversations. Yet that the anonymity of social media does mean you can hear and consider the views of people you would never meet in the real world. This has helped some of us to expand our thinking, knowledge and views around some subjects.

Why are you here? Its really important to support events like this (SLAP). I came because my friend invited me

How can we forgive? When the person knows what they did. I’m not sure you always should forgive. Not forgiving can give boundaries and keep people away if you don’t feel safe around them. Though not forgiving keeps something that someone else did i wrong close to you. In teaching, I have always treated all my students with ‘Unconditional Positive regard’.

They need to know that so they can trust you. There used to be this thing called gifted and talented but studies showed that often the students that were identified as gifted and talented, whatever their actual ability, completely outshined the others. Maybe this is that unconditional positive regard. We then went on to talk a little about the human givensThese are the givens and drivers of human nature. We talked about how these help you to understand where someone is coming from. It gives clues to what they need by the behaviours they show you.

The Human Givens

They seemed relevant to a game called ‘Being Human’, so I thought I’d share them. They are as follows…

Security: A sense of safety and security; safe territory; an environment in which people can live without experiencing excessive fear so that they can develop healthily.

Autonomy and control: A sense of autonomy and control over what happens around and to us. 

Status: A sense of status – being accepted and valued in the various social groups we belong to.

Privacy: Time and space enough to reflect on and consolidate our experiences.

Attention: Receiving attention from others, but also giving it; a form of essential nutrition that fuels the development of each individual, family and culture.[12][13][14]

Connection to the wider community: Interaction with a larger group of people and a sense of being part of the group.

Intimacy: Emotional connection to other people – friendship, love, intimacy, fun.

Competence and achievement: A sense of our own competence and achievements, that we have what it takes to meet life’s demands.

Meaning and purpose: Being stretched, aiming for meaningful goals, having a sense of a higher calling or serving others creates meaning and purpose.

Questions and quotes added. 

“Its our power to make others’ shine”

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

“Don’t do other people’s work.”

“Behaviour is communication.”

“If I knew what my own prejudices were, I wouldn’t have them.

‘Do you believe in dreams?”

“Let your life speak.’

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Being Human: the conversation game.

When I was a child I was labelled a ‘bad loser’  when it came to playing games. For me, it was all about winning.  I would take games so seriously that my family would often just ‘let’ me win to keep the peace. Monopoly, especially, brought out my most competitive characteristics. I wanted all the properties and all the hotels and all the cash. Looking back on this, maybe there were more useful things to learn in playing games.

“It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part.” Have you ever heard that phrase? Do you live by it?

What would a game look like if the aim was not to win or be in competition, but to play with other people?  What if the point of a game actually was the ‘taking part’?

So Tea and Tolerance have begun to explore this question. To create a game that is about taking part in conversation: discovering what we each think, feel and want. What kind of world would you like to live in? How can we disagree agreeably? The answer to both these questions takes time, thought and space. How can we create the space and focus for these questions. How can we have more useful conversations?

So we introduce ” Being Human: the Conversation Game.”

It contains 5 sets of cards: questions, quotes and instructions. These are  placed on a tea towel ( the game board) and with ‘teapot’ playing pieces for each player. This is all contained within a tea caddy. There are guidelines and specially devised Play Nicely rules, which help you enjoy the game.

We are embarking on initial design and print over the next two months and hope to have games available later in the year, so watch this space. Follow us on Facebook or email us at to register your interest in buying the game.

A little more explanation of our original conversation model.

When we take our tea trolley to different groups we provide two hosts. People choose if, when and how long they participate. Consent and freedom to choose are key elements.

In practical terms, they choose a teapot or other receptacle and they choose a question, then we invite others to do the same and we all have a conversation ( if we want). One of the hosts will take the role of active’ listener and the other will ‘hold the space’. Between these two hosts, conversations are navigated and gently supported so that listening is maximised and any conflicts or provocations that arises have space to be  heard and not swiftly judged. Part of our ‘Play Nicely’ guidelines: we agree to disagree agreeably.  Each person listens to the other and is curious about the other’s viewpoint. They allow the other their view. This is important in the aims of the game. This enables people to have difficult conversations without shutting other people or themselves down. If we can not talk about it, how do we propose to ever move on?

Find out more about our game here

Summer Tea chats in Leeds

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*Photo taken by Jon Dorsett at John Lewis Store, Leeds ( part of the summer activities programme.)

This weekend Tea and Tolerance visited the John Lewis Store in Leeds and then popped in at the Lingfield Community Hub Retro Fair. It was an amazing weekend. 

Amongst many topics, we talked about the kind of world we would like to live in, and the most important qualities we can have as human beings. Kindness and patience came up as forgotten but very key qualities. Speaking nicely, and being kind were talked about. Could we be kinder and more patient with each other we wondered? Will we? Will you? You decide. We spoke to lots of people of all ages and these are some of their responses to questions they answered…

Do you think before you speak? No. Not as much as I should.

In who’s interest? Sometimes it’s easier not to think about it…sometimes it can be too much and you want to just close the door and shut it out. Once you open your eyes to whats happening in the world you can’t shut them again.

The lack of resources for communities, I mean can you believe that police stations are only open certain days!! What’s that about? That’s not in anyone’s interest.

When people don’t look out for each other.

How does it feel to be wrong? Not being right can be good as it’s how you learn to do something better.

I don’t like it when I get told off – is that getting it wrong?

Where do you belong? I belong with my family. In the pub – having a drink and a nice time with friends. Wherever I feel comfortable and welcome. Wherever I lay my hat…(who sung that song?)

If you had a superpower, what superpower would you have? Patience. All the Super powers in the world!!

If you could change anything, what would you change? Everything. It all needs changing. Where do you start? I would change the school system….as people learn in different ways and that needs to be accounted for or you can cause damage to young people.

* Photographed and drawn by Jon Dorsett for John Lewis Store Leeds as part of the community activities taking place there every weekend this summer.

When do you ask for help? When I need to go to Hospital? Didn’t you just ask me for help to read this question? Oh my god. I did, didn’t I! You’ve really hit on something there with me. That’s deep. This is brilliant!

Not often enough as I don’t like to bother people…(do you mind when people ask you for help?) No not at all it’s a privilege…that’s a good point.

What do you think will happen to our beautiful planet in our lifetime? Well there’s pollution – that’s already happening…and then there’s certain leaders, they are going to change this planet beyond recognition. It’s going to get worse before it gets better!

What is the difference between you and me? We have different skin but we are the same on the inside. Everyone is different and unique but then we are all the same as well. Our finger prints are all different

What inspires you? Everything inspires me: Nature, science, beautiful buildings, nice people, art, talking about exciting ideas.

What floats your boat? Adventure. Gymnastics. Dancing.

What are you grateful for? Friends. My health. Being alive. Sunshine. My kids everyday.

*Photos at Lingfield Living Local and John Lewis Store,Leeds.

What makes you happy? Ice cream in the park on a sunny day. Being with my family.

What stops you in your tracks? Rats. I don’t like them. One came right up to my foot. It was huge.  I was terrified.

What makes you hopeful? Events like these that bring people together and inspire people.

What are you afraid of? Nothing….Spiders!

What makes your blood boil? When someone sets the way things will run and then nobody else sticks to the plan…that does my head in.

Trump!! The state of the world.

People dropping litter – things like that where people don’t show respect.

Why are you here? Like what is my purpose? I try to connect the older ones with the younger ones and vice versa. They don’t always understand each other’s ways of living in the world…I try to help with that.

Do you believe in ghosts? Yes. Some people say when people die they appear like a light in the room. Is that a ghost or just energy? I believe in energy.


Do you believe in Unicorns? Yes! (Performs a little unicorn movement.)

What’s your favourite word? Mermaid. Explore. Ice cream!

How much are you worth? Those two are priceless to me- they mean absolutely everything. ( About his kids) Am I priceless to them too? I guess so.

How does it feel to be vulnerable? In a way, not nice. But it can be really helpful and it happens to everyone at some point. I guess it depends how you handle it.

Can you laugh at yourself? Yes – all the time. I even laugh at my own jokes. You have to laugh don’t you!


*Photo at Lingfield Living Local ‘Retro” Fair, July 2017.

Article written by Zoe Parker and Lucy Meredith of Tea and Tolerance. Tea and Tolerance is a live art ‘installation’ – a roaming tea trolley brewing up refreshing conversations which go beneath the surface. We support better cohesion, understanding and tolerance within our communities. This weekend was possible thanks to generous funding from John Lewis and Leeds Community Foundation #GiveLoveLeeds fund.

Tea and Tolerance received a Leeds Fund #GiveLoveLeeds Grant, thanks to support of the Fund’s Anchor Partner, John Lewis Leeds. Managed by Leeds Community Foundation, The Leeds Fund creates positive change in the communities of Leeds that need it most by distribributing financial grants and support to community projects across the city.


Leeds Big Lunch ( & #BIGconversations)

Who was it that said an image is worth a thousand words?

Well I would have to agree in this case. Tea and Tolerance with Eden Communities and The Real Junk Food Project ( and their Fuel for Schools project) outside Leeds Art Gallery ( Victoria Gardens). Lovely conversations and people, and a beautiful scorcher of a day! We were able to test out our new ‘Conversation Picnic” which includes a pack of cards containing questions, instructions and quotations, jam jars and chatterboxes. This all happened on May 26th 12-2pm 2017 – thanks to everyone who came down. Wonderful photographs by Angels of Youth. Feel free to  share your experiences about the day below….