YEP Voice of Leeds summits aim to improve the city

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This year has seen the launch of the YEP’s flagship series of summits to tackle some of the biggest issues facing residents across the city.

Organised in partnership with the Leeds Community Foundation, the YEP Voice of Leeds monthly summits bring together some of Leeds’ prominent figureheads for round-table debates on key problems affecting our communities.

So far topics tackled include social isolation, youth unemployment, domestic violence and the city’s digital divide.

This month marks the half-way point in our series of summits which follow on from our YEP Voice of Leeds survey last year which helped create a snapshot of life in the city. The survey attracted an unprecedented response from YEP readers to highlight issues affecting their everyday lives.

YEP managing editor Nicola Furbisher said: “The initial survey really brought home to us the issues people in the city wanted to talk about and were concerned about. The YEP isn’t the kind of paper that sits on the sidelines - we recognised the importance of the role we had to play in seeing Leeds continue to grow as a city. Partnering up with our friends at Leeds Community Foundation, giving space to people from different groups, business and other organisations to get together and talk about how we can all work to make a difference, has been an enlightening experience.”

“Through all the different summits we’ve seen time and again the willingness of people - be they from the private, public or voluntary sectors, to meet, talk and explore new ways of working for the benefit of everyone in the city.

“We’ve a long way to go - but we’re already starting to see positive changes come about.”

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation, said: “We have been really encouraged by the response to the Voice of Leeds events in terms of the interest shown by the people and organisations who have been taking part.

“There have been some very frank conversations about some very tricky issues but all in the spirit of wanting to make a difference in Leeds and help improve the lives of local people.

“We know that it has already led to new links being made, some new ideas being shared and a much better understanding of issues such as domestic violence, youth unemployment and digital inclusion, to name just some of the topics.

“The opportunity to allow people from the public, private and third sector to come together to share ideas and create new partnerships should not be under-estimated as it is already proving to be rewarding and invaluable.”

*** This week is Local Newspaper Week – celebrating the vital role local papers play and how they can make a difference. To mark this, the YEP is highlighting how we have helped bring about change.