Leeds businesses on board for community engagement

Supporters from Leeds Community Foundation's 100 Club took part in a unique tour bringing to life community projects supported by the successful city foundation.

Ready to board First Leeds tour bus
Ready to board First Leeds tour bus

Friday's event saw the funder forge stronger connections between business and communities. Sponsored by Sweco and supported by First Leeds, who supplied transport, the showcase provided opportunity for business bosses to meet and engage with inspirational groups that have benefitted from Leeds Community Foundation funding.

The party visited projects that make a real difference to lives of those that need it the most in the city, hearing personal stories from those that have benefited most directly. Guests visited CATCH in Harehills, Seacroft's LS14 Trust and The Old Fire Station at Gipton.

Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan hosted a Civic Hall welcome breakfast with Leeds Community Foundation chief executive Kate Hainsworth, who highlighted importance of partnership and collaboration across the city.

PCAshRazzaq makes a point at CATCH

“To attract ongoing support, it is vital we make the link between our supporters and donors, and Leeds Community Foundation’s role in distributing those funds to groups delivering most amazing work on the ground and reaching people and communities most in need," she said.

Sweco MD Max Joy added: "As proud supporters of Leeds Community Foundation’s 100 Club, Sweco is pleased to sponsor such a unique event, bringing businesses together to experience first-hand the amazing work that happens in the areas that we live and work and the role all businesses play in investing in their communities.

"Leeds Community Foundation is fundamental in providing opportunities to those that need it the most in the city,” he stressed.

First Leeds operations director Will Pearson commented: “As a member of the 100 Club, and a leading bus operator in Leeds, we’re delighted to help highlight some of the important community projects across the city.

LS14 Trust visit

"Like many businesses, First Bus is part of the community in which we work and we’re proud to partner with Leeds Community Foundation helping create opportunities for all,” he added.

Leeds Community Foundation

Leeds Community Foundation www.leedscf.org.uk connects people who want to make a real difference to our city. Thousands of charities and voluntary groups across the city work tirelessly to address these inequalities and help their communities.

Leeds Community Foundation invests in these groups to support Leeds, now and in the future, by distributing grants, convening debates, sharing advice as a catalyst for positive change in Leeds. The Foundation relies on the generosity of businesses and individuals who care about their city and want to "give something back".

Gipton Old Fire Station visit


CATCH is an award-winning volunteer-led organisation, formed by concerned and passionate residents - spearheaded by PC Ash Razzaq - sharing common goal "to help improve Harehills and, in particular, work with young people to offer them better life chances".

’The group has gone through a process of rapid expansion moving from a temporary rented porta cabin on an adjoining site, to obtaining a 25-year lease from Leeds City Council for land and developing a two storey modular community building – recycled from West Yorkshire Police.

CATCH offers regular youth sessions, led by volunteers, the majority of whom are aged 13 to 18 years old. Their volunteer development programme Superstars encourages volunteers to work with other young people from the community to develop skills, meet others and contribute to their local community.

LS14 Trust

The LS14 Trust was set up in 2009 by a group of local people who wanted to work together to change the communities that they love across Seacroft, Swarcliffe and Whinmoor.

LS14’s vision is to be a welcoming, vibrant, happy place where people feel in control and are proud of their achievements - a place where every resident is safe and respected. To be a well-connected community which recognises its power to bring about and sustain positive social change.

Their aims are to build upon the strengths of our community by working together to develop much needed activities and opportunities and promote the area as a vibrant place to live, work and to raise a family.

The Trust plays a pivotal role in helping this marginalised community to make positive changes both individually and collectively. Their Digital Lounge building is now a vibrant hub offering range of activities.

Members aim to build the resilience of our community through a rooted relational approach based on values of "Authenticity, Empowerment, Collaboration, Fun and Systemic Change". As a result, LS14 Trust is an effective and well respected anchor organisation in the Seacroft area.

The Old Fire Station

Supported by Jimbo’s Fund, which was set up by late local entrepreneur Jimi Heselden and is managed by LCF, the building has undergone a careful refurbishment to retain its original features. Yes, the fireman poles are still intact, but no you can’t go down them!

Gipton Fire Station has been renovated into a fantastic multipurpose community hub, providing a base for six local charities, along with rooms available to hire, a cookery school and café for all of the community to enjoy.