Yorkshire Choice Awards and Leeds United donate hundreds of meals to homeless as coronavirus crisis cancels event
Organisers of the Yorkshire Choice Awards (YCAs) have donated hundreds of meals to the homeless after the annual charity awards gala was postponed.
The Oscar-style ceremony was due to take place last Saturday evening at Elland Road's Centenary Pavillion, with 800 guests set to attend.
The event's directors made the decision to cancel the event last week amid the coronavirus crisis, with the government advising against social gatherings.
YCA directors Melanie Malcolm and Joanne Maltby teamed up with Leeds United and their chef, Rob Tefler, who agreed to cook the food now not being used for the event.
Working with Simon on the Streets charity and other homeless charities in Yorkshire, the food was prepared and donated to the homeless across Yorkshire.
Melanie said: “This couldn’t come at a more important time when the UK is in crisis, people are stockpiling in their homes and sadly donating less to those in need, so Jo and I had to find a way to help”
Joanne added: “Mel and I were devastated to have to postpone the Gala Awards Ceremony on Saturday, but you just can’t put a price on a life.
"Being able to still do some good with the food donations today has allowed a little bit of positivity to come from the horrendous situation we find ourselves in with the coronavirus.
"It’s a difficult time for everyone.”
The organisers were joined by Ross Knapman, managing director of Deep Blue Telecom and YCA's Business Woman of the Year sponsor, who helped to transport food to those who need it.
Ross said: "We have been involved with The Yorkshire Choice Awards since it started in 2016.
"As soon as we heard that Jo and Mel needed help with transport, we offered the use of our van. It’s our absolute pleasure to be able to join forces with them to help get food to those that need it the most”.
The gala dinner is set to be rescheduled later this year.