Join us in making an owl and share your hopes, dreams and expectations for the future of Leeds

Logo for the MindWell Give a Hoot campaign. It's a blue and peach coloured owl with its eyes closed, in a peach circle. The words outside the circle say Give a Hoot! and Make an owl 24 April - 6 May.

What is it all about?

We’re inviting the people of Leeds to take part in our Give a Hoot! campaign.

Get creative and share your hopes, dreams and expectations for the future of Leeds by making an owl to add to our ‘wish tree’.

We want to create as many owls as we can to show that people give a hoot and have something to say about the future of the city.

Every owl we receive represents someone who gives a hoot – so the more hoots the better!

How can I get involved?

Please join us on Twitter @MindWellLeeds and spread the word and a photo of your creation using #GiveAHoot!. View an accessible plain text version of our campaign pack.

Step 1: Make your owl

Any owl will do

So long as it fits in the palm of your hand, you can create your owl using whatever materials you can find or have lying around at home. Crochet, painted, hand-drawn or origami – the more creative, the better.

Here are a few inspiring handmade owls we found to kick-start your creativity! You can also find lots of free or reasonably priced instructions for owls online.

Some owl inspiration!

Origami owls

If you would like to make a simple origami owl, follow these instructions.

Step 2: Share your hopes, dreams or expectations for the future

Don’t forget to include a message with your owl. You could write this on the owl itself or send your owl with a handwritten note. Here are some prompts if you’re stuck on what to say:

  • If I could change one thing about Leeds, it would be….
  • To make things better for people in Leeds…
  • I hope that in future…
  • For a better future, we must…

There is no right or wrong answer – just write whatever matters to you.

Step 3: Send your owl off to roost!

Once you’re happy with your owl, drop it off at one of the below community libraries any time before Friday 14 April and we’ll do the rest.

Participating libraries

  • Headingley Community Hub and Library, 9B North Lane, Headingley, Leeds LS6 3HG
  • Compton Road Library, The Compton Centre, Harehills Lane, Leeds LS9 7BG
  • Seacroft Community Hub and Library, Deacon House, 1 Seacroft Avenue, Leeds, LS14 6JD
  • Reginald Centre Library, 263 Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3EX
  • Moor Allerton Library, Moor Allerton Centre, King Lane, Leeds LS17 5NY
  • Morley Library, Commercial Street, Morley, Leeds LS27 8HZ
  • Rothwell Library, Rothwell, Leeds LS26 0AG
  • Hunslet Library, Waterloo Street, Hunslet, Leeds LS10 2NS
  • Garforth Library, Lidgett Lane, Garforth, Leeds LS25 1EH
  • Central Leeds Library, Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 3AB
  • Armley Library, 2 Stocks Hill, Armley, Leeds LS12 1UQ
  • Pudsey Library, Church Lane, Pudsey, Leeds LS28 7TY
  • Horsforth Library, Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5BL

Owls can be dropped off near the library desk – speak with the library attendant if you’re unsure.

Alternatively, you can:

  • Bring it to Leeds Playhouse during the takeover event. The ‘wish tree’ will be on display at the Playhouse from 24 April to 6 May.
  • Send us a photo of your creation via Twitter @MindWellLeeds using #GiveAHoot!
  • Email us a photo of your creation to

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee the return of individual creations.

Bonus: Join our free origami workshops at Leeds Playhouse

Where: Leeds Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UP
When: Tuesday 25 April and Tuesday 2 May
Time: 11am – 2pm

You’re invited to join us at Leeds Playhouse to learn how to fold origami owls and explore the fascinating myth behind the 1000 origami cranes.

  • Free event for anyone over 60 years old
  • All materials provided
  • Two informal, guided workshops – drop in whenever suits

While we won’t be folding 1000 cranes in this workshop, we hope to make enough owls to show that older people give a hoot about the future of the city.

Don’t worry if you’ve never folded paper before – our experienced friendly artist will guide you through each step.

No need to register, just turn up, join in, and leave whenever you need.

Visit Leeds Playhouse website for information about their accessible facilities.

Why origami?

Origami is an ancient Japanese art form that involves folding paper into intricate designs without the use of scissors or glue. The art of origami has been practised for centuries and is now enjoyed by people all over the world.

One of the most well-known origami myths is the story of the 1000 origami cranes.
According to this myth, folding 1000 origami cranes will grant the folder one wish. The story became popular after Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who survived the bombing of Hiroshima, began folding cranes while she was in the hospital, hoping to recover from leukemia.

Although Sadako did not reach her goal of folding 1000 cranes before she passed away, her story inspired others to continue folding cranes as a symbol of hope and peace.

We want to create as many owls as we can to show that older people give a hoot and have something to say about the future of the city. Who knows, we might even make it to 1000 owls and be granted a wish!

Why owls?

Instead of cranes, we’re making owls to represent the people of Leeds. Owls feature on the Leeds Coat-of-Arms and can be spotted all around the city on buildings and signs. In fact, there are twenty-five owls on the official Leeds Owl Trail!

How can I help others get involved?

Run your own creative session

Organising a group session

If you’re part of creative group or know others who might like to take part you could even organise your own owl making session.

So long as it fits in the palm of a hand, owls can be made using whatever materials you can find. Crochet, painted, hand-drawn or origami – the more creative, the better.

You can find free or reasonably priced instructions for how to make different owls online.

Your group could also make simple origami owls by following these instructions. You can use normal coloured or plain paper, so long as it is cut to be a square. Or you can buy reasonably priced origami paper from arts and crafts stores or online.

You could also download and print our digital pack or poster from our campaign materials and hand this out at your group session.

If you have any questions or would like a printed copy of our campaign pack, please contact and we would be happy to post one out to you.


Information about the 1001 Stories takeover event


The 1001 Stories Takeover, taking place in Leeds Playhouse’s front of house areas between 24 April and 6 May, is made up of up of events, screenings, performances, workshops, talks and a whole range of creative activity you can get involved with. The building will be buzzing with the rebellious sounds and sights of older people having their say – bringing every corner of the Playhouse to life!

Visit Leeds Playhouse website for the full programme of free and ticketed workshops and events.

Campaign materials

Getting creative can have great benefits for everyone, no matter what age we are. Visit our Get creative section to learn about the many wellbeing benefits of being creative and find ideas for other activities and groups in Leeds.