Seacroft stories


“We’re from Seacroft and that’s who we are, we’re not some big corporate person coming in.”

Stacey (Sports Coordinator SCOT)


Seacroft is an outstanding example of how communities can work together. Residents are using their own skills and interests to develop their community, for the benefit of everyone who lives in the area. One Thursday afternoon, Cat and Stacey gave me a warm welcome at the Denis Healey Centre, home of Seacroft Community On Top. The spring sun is shining down on us from a blue sky. No matter what the weather, the centre always feels welcoming, and provides a friendly space for many people of all ages and backgrounds.


The Denis Healey Centre is a hive of activity; with lots of work going into the running of the inclusive and affordable activities on offer. When I arrive, Cat and Stacey are busy doing some planning and admin work. Our chat gives them a chance to pause and reflect on the history, progress and legacy of Seacroft Community On Top. The group began on 13th May 2019 with their first Stay and Play session for young families. There are beaming and proud smiles all around as we talk about these key dates. Stacey tells me how it was all new to them at the start. “It was a mad year!” laughs Cat, who co-founded the group with Stacey, after they recognised that there weren’t any inclusive groups run locally for children.


Cat and Stacey have always developed the group’s activities in response to the needs that they and the local community are experiencing. Nothing here is pie in the sky, everything they do addresses a community-centred need and purpose. “My grandson is disabled” shares Cat, “he asked to go to the park” and his parents said “if you want to go to the park, you go with me and your dad”. “Nothing was going on” says Cat, “we’d been to the PTA and had a coffee and chat, there was nothing in the area for the kids”. This inspired Cat and Stacey to take action for their families and the community. They began to knock on some doors to see if anyone could help them develop new activities and groups.

“Everyone did it out of the goodness of our own hearts.” Stacey

When SCOT first started up, Cat explains that “everyone did it voluntarily for two to four years” before they secured funding for some wages. Scots Tots football group began for toddlers at first. Stacey’s young nephew found it difficult to find the confidence to join other clubs. He asked his Auntie to set up a small club so he could join. Now re-named Saturday Fun Football, the club at SCOT has grown and has been going for three years, with lots of kids aged four to sixteen taking part. “When we first started Scots Tots I had four coaches, now I’ve got twelve” shares Stacey proudly; adding that the are all “local residents and parents” who volunteer their time for the club SCOT FC.



Seeking outside funding for SCOT FC is competitive, and not always guaranteed. Stacey tells me how she achieves so much with so little funding, whilst keeping the club accessible for all families: “It’s about planning ahead, being prepared and knowing the people around you, knowing the people you can go to and ask for help, the local councillors are fantastic”. Stacey’s knowledge of how to fund and operate local children’s football leagues inclusively is incredibly impressive, and comes from the heart. She reflects: “the fun factor is what we’re about, giving them that fun experience”.

“We’ve lived it and we’re still living it. We’re not moving away from it, we’re here. We’re just trying to make it a bit more fun and insightful.”  Stacey


The cost of living crisis has been felt strongly in Seacroft. The community is not alone in their struggles, and residents that work in the community groups are also impacted. We reflect on life in Seacroft and Stacey explains: “we’re living it. We’re living the exact same as who we are working with. I’m not from Roundhay, living in a mansion; I’m from down the street living in a council house. One’s working, one’s not, one’s fighting for a job. We know what it’s like to be in this environment and that’s why SCOT works, thats why it’s lasted four years so far”. Stacey and Cat’s wisdom and action in the community are inspiring others, there’s so much energy, lived knowledge and truth behind what they do.


Cat and Stacey have also established dance classes and a Big fitness club for higher-weight residents, in response to frequent requests from the community. A local young resident that was taught by the volunteer coach in the dance classes is now passing that kindness forward and volunteering to run a cheerleading group at SCOT.

“If it wasn’t for our volunteers, we wouldn’t be around.” Cat

 I ask them, how does it feel to do work like this? There is a pause, I can feel the weight of the emotion and consideration behind their response. The answer to this question means a lot to them. Cat reflects on how her role boosts her wellbeing: “the more I see that can join in, the more that have smiles on their faces, that makes me feel better”.


Stacey explains that she was in social care when she was younger and has volunteered here since she was sixteen; she reflects that “it’s nice to then grow up and give back. It’s “tiring and time-consuming, but worth it. It’s helped others see what pathways they want in life”. Stacey’s lived-experience demonstrates the importance of community-run spaces. SCOT provides a space for personal growth and transformation for many vulnerable people in our community. When we see local residents thriving in community-based voluntary roles and employment, it has a legacy for future generations and for everyone who is open to helping out and exploring what their true calling is.

For more information on the activities and groups that are available at SCOT, or to get involved, please visit: