Charity offering aid to older south Leeds residents in fundraising quest for new home

Residents enjoy a fish and chips lunch through Holbeck Elderly Aid at St Matthew's Community Centre in Holbeck. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Residents enjoy a fish and chips lunch through Holbeck Elderly Aid at St Matthew's Community Centre in Holbeck. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
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A community charity that supports older people in Holbeck will continue its search for a new permanent home.

Holbeck Elderly Aid (HEA), which has been working in the south Leeds suburb since 1996, recently set out ambitious plans to takeover Holbeck Day Centre which closed in 2009.

But a crowdfunding drive to raise £130,000 to buy the site at auction this week now looks set to be the focus of a more long-term plan to move.

Charity chiefs will now look at other buildings in the local area as it looks to expand.

The organisation has existing bases at Oak House and St Matthew’s Community Centre.

It is hoped that a new permanent site could host a community cafe and provide a space for all ages as well as offering facilities such as a laundry service to residents.

Elissa Newman, chief officer at HEA, said: “Every day we are looking at venues. If it’s not the day centre, we are looking for a site that we can develop with support of businesses and funders.

“If we can secure a new building we can move forward. It’s very much part of our business plan for the future.”

HEA, which works to support a network of 650 older people, offers a range of services and activities to reduce social isolation and support people to live independently.

The charity was recently awarded £46,000 through NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group’s Third Sector Grant scheme to set up a new ‘HEA to Hear You’ out of hours phone line and expand its outreach work.

The new helpline, which will go live from September 1, is hoped to offer help and guidance to older people when other services are not available.

Ms Newman added: “The grant shows the NHS understand what we are doing for the health of older people. It’s extremely encouraging.”

To donate visit crowdfunder.co.uk/brick-by-brick-rebuilding-the-community or for more information see holbeckelderlyaid.org.uk.

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