Voluntary groups across Leeds have the opportunity to flourish after more than £60,000 was put their way.
A range of businesses from around the city, including main supporter John Lewis Leeds, contributed to The Leeds Fund, which was launched with backing from the Yorkshire Evening Post in June as a way to give extra help to community groups across our city.
Yesterday, a celebration was held at Leeds’ new John Lewis store as 29 projects received the first #GiveLoveLeeds grants of between £900 and £2,500 to develop skills and bring more people together.
Burmantofts Senior Action (BSA) has received £1,375 to put on afternoon tea dances and games for its members.
Manager Melanie Ndzinga said: “We are really, really grateful for the support. It’s a real boost for us to know that they are aware of our groups and interested in what we are doing.”
Member Violet Craig, 73, is looking forward to dancing to some Dean Martin tunes. She said: “I’m over-happy! It’s really somewhere for us oldies to go. If it was not for that, I would be at home.”
And Harehills English Language Project, whose students include refugees, can now afford to employ a second paid worker for its creche. Project co-ordinator Celia Roberts said: “It really does make a big difference to our students, many of whom live in very challenging circumstances.”
Nigerian Community Leeds was handed £2,500 to for its EXCEL @ NCL programme. This helps to educate four to 16-year-olds with extra-curricular sessions in maths, English and cultural day trips.
Representative James Adesanlu said: “Being given the grant will allow us to be more effective in what we are doing.
“Some of the children have just come from overseas and are finding it difficult to integrate.”
A large proportion of the £60,000 fund, managed by Leeds Community Foundation, was provided by John Lewis in Leeds. Head of the branch James Prince said: “We were really impressed by the quality of applications received from projects across the city.
“This process has provided us with a real insight into local communities and the vibrant and diverse projects which serve local people.”
LCF chief executive Sally-Anne Greenfield added: “We are extremely grateful to John Lewis Leeds for their support with this programme and delighted that we have been able to support an array of smaller community projects that provide vital services.”
THE 29 GROUPS RECEIVING FUNDING
Better Action for Families
Black Health Initiative
Bramley Bosom Buddies
Burmantofts Senior Action
Get Technology Together
Growing Better CIC
Happy Chinese Families
Happy Global Families
Harehills Churches Christmas Day Dinner Project
Harehills English Language Project (H.E.L.P.)
Hunslet Churches Together Initiative
Killingbeck Allotment Association
Leeds Bike Mill
Middleton Community Bowling Club
Middleton Minstrels Community Choir
More Than a Coffee Morning
Nigerian Community Leeds
Project Hope Leeds
Rags to Riches
Saxton Gardens Residents Association
Stitch Up CIC
Tea and Tolerance