Leeds Community Brought Together by Tricks and Treats

Halloween hasn’t always been widely celebrated in the UK, but has been known to be more of an American celebration. Slowly, parents have been allowing their children to dress up and go trick-or-treating. 

This Halloween in Leeds, a local has decided to set up a free Trick or Treat Trail at Hanover Square for the first time. Antony Newby, 44, is a bootcamp trainer for Trailblazer Bootcamps which is a physical fitness organisation.

“To give something back to the community, to give the kids a night to remember.” was Antony’s goal for the night, which was well achieved. He posted on his Facebook status that an estimated 1000 people turned up that night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The Trick or Treat Trail was widely publicized through its Facebook event page, which the local community managed to find while looking for an event their kids could join on Halloween night.

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Pumpkins carved by kids and their parents

During the day, volunteers who saw Antony’s request for help on Facebook turned up to carve pumpkins and bag sweets despite knowing they won’t be paid in any way since it was a free event. 

Everyone was more than eager and excited to help the Trailblazer team.

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Volunteers seen bagging donated sweets for the event later
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Antony Newby, the man behind the event caught mid zombie makeup

Antony started planning for the even about 7 weeks ahead, and had to go through the city council to gain approval for the trail event.

“I spent weeks to do the paperwork. Because there’s children involved and it’s a dark park. There’s a lot of restrictions going on and people that are involved have to be CRB checked, DBS checked to ensure that they can be working with children.” 

When asked how many people he estimated to turn up, Antony revealed that he wasn’t sure anymore.

“At first I thought it might be 50-100 people but now it looks like there might be 600-800 people!”

https://www.facebook.com/TrailblazerFitness/videos/10153657581867305/ & https://www.facebook.com/TrailblazerFitness/videos/10153656508082305/ :Click here to watch Antony’s videos on Facebook of the amount of people that came.

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Volunteer zombies and masked spooks-person awaiting for kids to pass by

Antony was also nominated to receive the Halifax Giving Extra Award.

“It’s nice to be recognised. The winner gets 300£. Or I think 60 people get 300£, and the winner gets 5000£ to put towards their next project. So I’d put that towards something like this. I’d pay for theatrical people and get props to make it even bigger.”

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Fellow volunteer Donna Sayce, 34, thinks that these community events are a great idea. “It’s gonna give the children somewhere to go that’s really safe, especially in the city of Leeds. And also it can obviously unite the community together which is great.”

As Antony is already planning to organise another Halloween Trail next year, the Leeds community can look forward to something bigger, better, and spookier!

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Note: This was initially a task for Reporting 1 module, but turned out it wasn’t needed. But I wrote it anyway.

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