The Leeds Fund celebrates a key milestone, having distributed over £550,000 during the past nine months to support local communities in Leeds, which will benefit over 8,400 local people.
Managed by local charity, Leeds Community Foundation, The Leeds Fund was launched in June 2016 with support from Patron, Leeds born TV presenter Gabby Logan, and Anchor Partner John Lewis Leeds. Securing and distributing large grants to address complex mental health problems, or small grants to provide, for example, a Christmas Dinner for people with no family – The Leeds Fund helps to improve the lives of local people.
Thanks to generous support from individuals and businesses, The Leeds Fund, has supported a total of 60 community groups.
Every year, The Leeds Fund focuses on a strategic priority. With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental ill health across the UK, Leeds Community Foundation selected mental health as their strategic priority for 2016/2017. Thanks to support from Asda Foundation, 22 of the funded community projects received larger Leeds Fund: Mental Health Grants of up to £25,000. Developed by people with lived experience of mental health issues and the community groups that work with them, these services are tailored directly to the needs of local people and can make the greatest impact.
LS14 Trust is one of the projects to receive a Leeds Fund: Mental Health Grant. Set up in 2009, LS14 Trust aims to develop activities and opportunities, promoting the area as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and bring up a family. With mental health becoming an ever increasing issue, the project needed additional resources to support their local community.
A large Leeds Fund: Mental Health Grant has enabled LS14 Trust to set up a programme of activity, ranging from creative art psychotherapy groups for adults to 1:1 parent and child therapy sessions. Taking place over 36 weeks, the activities will help support people who are experiencing a variety of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar and bereavement.
Joanne Curtis, Community Development Manager of LS14 Trust, said: “Leeds Community Foundation has been a continual source of support since we set up our social enterprise. Our Mental Health Grant has enabled us to offer support services on the doorstep of our local community, saving people from having to travel elsewhere and enabling them to come to a safe space which they trust and where they can gain the support they need.”
Kate Hainsworth, Development Director of Leeds Community Foundation, said: “Thousands of charities and voluntary groups across the city work tirelessly to address inequalities and help their communities. We are delighted that The Leeds Fund has provided vital funding to these groups and are excited to see the outcomes and the positive impact they make on the lives of local people.
We want to ensure The Leeds Fund is here to stay and can continue to provide yearly financial support and guidance to our local communities. The only way we can do this is through the backing of businesses and individuals who give what they can to help their fellow citizens.”
The Fund collects donations and distributes grants throughout the year. Donations can be made online or by cheque. To find out more and donate, please visit: www.theleedsfund.org.uk