Leeds older people charity AVSED wins Big Lottery Fund grant

AVSED chairman Ken Elliott with Sarah Lunt.
AVSED chairman Ken Elliott with Sarah Lunt.

A Leeds charity working to improve the life of people over 60 can enhance its services after securing more than £160,000 for a three-year project.

Aireborough Voluntary Services to the Elderly (AVSED) helps people across Yeadon, Rawdon and Guiseley to live happy, healthy and independent lives within their own communities.

The charity moved to Nunroyd Pavilion in Yeadon two years ago following a previous funding grant and became a more visible presence in the area.

Now the Big Lottery Fund has granted the charity £163,617 for its Connecting Aireborough, enabling AVSED to maintain one staff role, recruit another and continue to build a support system for older people in the community.

Project coordinating manager Sarah Lunt said: “It’s going to make a massive difference. We had lottery funding for a five-year project that ended in 2017.

“That paid for two full-time posts since then. These salaries were dependent on us finding more funding, so it’s amazing to keep these members of staff.”

As part of the new three-year project, the charity wants to build more relationships in the community it serves and encourage more people to engage with its members.

Miss Lunt said: “Older people are at the heart of what we do but we are trying to get them and the local community more involved with each other.”

A collaboration with Guiseley Football Club is part of the idea, but the charity wants the develop a basic support system in the area for older people which does not solely rely on voluntary organisations – which Miss Lunt says can fold when a leader leaves.

The charity was based by the Suffolk Court residential home in Yeadon but has moved to the Pavilion at Nunroyd Park.

“Since then we’ve just become a lot more involved in the community, a lot more visible,” said Miss Lunt.

“We’ve got a lot more knowledge. We’ve been creating a list of activities of groups and services which older people might find useful and interesting aside from what we do at AVSED.”

For details of the new role, visit www.avsed.org.uk.