Today we are calling on you to #GiveLoveLeeds and dig deep to show your support for those who help to brighten the lives of others.
A new charitable fund aims to raise £500,000 to support community groups and organisations across the city in a bid to help them flourish and thrive.
The Leeds Fund, which is being officially launched by Leeds Community Foundation today, has received support from Leeds-born TV presenter, Gabby Logan and John Lewis, which is set to open one of its biggest shops outside of London later this year.
The Leeds Fund, which is also backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post, will allow long term investment in the city’s communities.
Each year the fund will have a different strategic focus.
In its first year the focus will be on mental health, an issue which affects one in four people across the UK and costs employers £4bn per year.
The new scheme aims to raise and distribute a minimum of £500,000 each year from 2020.
This will support the strategic focus with large financial grants, as well as providing smaller community #GiveLoveLeeds Grants of up to £2,500 that will support a wide range of local community activity.
The fund launches this year with £300,000 to give away.
Sponsored by NatWest, DLA Piper and Rathbones, today’s official launch sees business and community leaders visit the YEP’s city centre headquarters to hear how they can get involved with The Leeds Fund.
Sally-Anne Greenfield, Leeds Community Foundation chief executive, said the fund will act as a long term vehicle for support across the city.
She said: “We are delighted to welcome Gabby Logan as our Fund Patron and are truly grateful to our anchor partner, John Lewis Leeds, for their support.
“We firmly believe that to build a strong and successful city we need to look after our local communities and help tackle the issues which they face.
“The Leeds Fund provides a long term vehicle for individuals and businesses to give something back to their city, creating positive change in the Leeds communities that need it most.”
Nicola Furbisher, editor of the YEP, said: “We are delighted as a newspaper to support such a fantastic and worthwhile cause.
“The Leeds Fund will help to support those organisations and groups that help to truly transform the lives of those living in our communities.
“And now we are calling on you to show your support and dig deep to help those who need it the most.
“Our local communities are at the heart of life in Leeds and this is our chance to give something back to them for their tireless efforts.”
Melanie Ndzinga, who is the manager of Burmantofts Senior Action, said grants provide a lifeline to community groups like hers from across the city.
She said in the face of government cuts that community groups find it more challenging to source extra cash to help support their services and activities.
She is calling on businesses and readers to show their support and help to celebrate the work of others by donating to the Leeds Fund.
She said: “We think The Leeds Fund is an excellent concept and a much needed source of funding for communities in Leeds.
“With government cuts, it is even harder to source financial and practical support to make sure vital services and weekly activities like our luncheon clubs can take place.
“We hope people will support The Leeds Fund to ensure it can fund community groups, now and in the future”
For more details about the fund and how to get involved visit www.theleedsfund.org.uk