My Yorkshire: Leeds Community Foundation’s Sally-Anne Greenfield

The area around Burnsall and Appletreewick is on of Sally-Anne Greenfield's favourites.
The area around Burnsall and Appletreewick is on of Sally-Anne Greenfield's favourites.
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What’s your first Yorkshire memory? My first visit to Leeds was for an interview at the Leeds General Infirmary for a position of fundraiser with the charitable foundation – the first they had ever employed. As it was so new, the board of trustees were very interested and they all wanted to take part in the interview by asking a question each. There were 12 of them!

What’s your first Yorkshire memory? My first visit to Leeds was for an interview at the Leeds General Infirmary for a position of fundraiser with the charitable foundation – the first they had ever employed. As it was so new, the board of trustees were very interested and they all wanted to take part in the interview by asking a question each. There were 12 of them!

What’s your favourite part of the county – and why? Too much to choose from here – the coast, the Dales, the Moors, the villages. Who could possibly choose just one?

What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, out in Yorkshire?

A trip to Whitby – eating fish and chips at Trenchers, walking in the old town and climbing the steps to the Abbey (or maybe starting at the Abbey and walking down). Returning home via Helmsley and stopping for food at Beadlam Grange Farmshop.

Do you have a favourite walk – or view? I love the walk from Appletreewick to Burnsall. It’s relatively flat and has spectacular views all along the way.

Which Yorkshire sportsman, past or present, would you like to take for lunch? Beryl Burton (1937-1996) was a racing cyclist who won more than 90 domestic championships and seven world titles, including setting the world record which, for two years, was better than the men’s record for the same event.

Which Yorkshire stage or screen star, past or present, would you like to take for dinner? Dame Judi Dench. She has played so many iconic parts and is an extremely versatile actress with a sparkle in her eye, and is still working at the age of 82. I would love to ask which was her favourite character.

If you had to name your Yorkshire “hidden gem”, what would it be? The Hollies in Weetwood. It’s a delightful wooded area which, when the rhododendrons are out, is simply spectacular.

If you could choose somewhere, or some object, from or in Yorkshire to own for a day, what would it be?

I would like to own Yorkshire Bank for the day, unlock any redundant bank accounts and reinvest the money, via the Leeds Community Foundation, in local communities. If someone from Yorkshire Bank is reading this feel free to get in touch via leedscf.org.uk

What do you think gives Yorkshire its unique identity? There is no other county that I can think of whose residents have so much pride in the place in which they live. Just remember the scenes of thousands of people welcoming the Grand Départ and how that showcased the county to the world. And, in my day job at LCF, I continue to be amazed by the generosity of people across the region.

Do you follow sport in the county, and if so, what?

Cricket, at a number of levels. My husband, Graeme, is chairman of the members committee at YCCC, so a few trips to Headingley are fairly compulsory.

I also support our local club, Leeds Modernians in Cookridge – there’s nothing better on a Saturday afternoon than sitting and relaxing in the sun, listening to the sound of bat on ball.

Do you have a favourite restaurant, or pub?

Il Sogno in Yeadon. It means “the dream” in Italian and was started by a husband and wife who had always wanted to run their own restaurant. It’s very friendly, less than five minutes’ walk from home, and serves delicious food at reasonable prices.

Do you have a favourite food shop?

MacKenzies Yorkshire Smokehouse, near Otley. It’s an amazing delicatessen, shop and restaurant, with a very wide range of biscuits, jams and chutneys and an excellent butchery. We often combine it with a walk round Fewston or Swinsty Reservoirs.

How do you think that Yorkshire has changed, for better or for worse, in the time that you’ve known it?

Sadly, I would have to cite transport. The roads are so much busier and public transport to the east and west is not great. It can sometimes take me 45 minutes to get to work and it’s only eight miles. It’s great to see local authorities across the city region and beyond making transport such a key agenda item.

If you had to change one thing in, or about Yorkshire, what would that be?

Poverty. The gap between those who experience success and can afford to live the life they want to, and those that don’t, is sadly increasing, and it means that too many people are getting left behind and not benefitting from the things that many of us are fortunate enough to afford.

Who is the Yorkshire person that you most admire?

William Wilberforce was one of the first social pioneers, who fought for the abolition of slavery – and won. Sadly, slavery still remains today but it’s more hidden, in the form of trafficking and forced labour.

Has Yorkshire influenced your work?

Massively. I only came for a short-term two-year contract in 1992, and 25 years later I am still here! That is a clear testament to how much I have grown to love the county and its citizens, as well as the charities I have been involved with, especially the 13 years I have spent as CEO of the Leeds Community Foundation.

Name your favourite Yorkshire book/author/artist/CD/performer?

The Dales books by Gervase Phinn, which provide a humorous look at life as a school inspector in Yorkshire.

If a stranger to Yorkshire only had time to visit one place, it would be? The newly refurbished Old Fire Station at Gipton. In one visit, they could: learn about the generosity of Yorkshire folk; sample some local Yorkshire delights from the community cafe run by people with learning disabilities; and meet some of the other amazing third sector organisations who are tenants there.

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