During the first lockdown, the CEO of the White Rose Academies Trust, Mr Andrew Whitaker, asked the Trust’s Projects team to create a group which would bring together charities from across Leeds who were working hard to support vulnerable families during the pandemic. From working closely with around 4000 families across Leeds during this time, it was clear that much support was needed and that lots of charities were being really stretched in providing this support. The group met fortnightly initially and then this moved to monthly as time went on.
Some supported families highlighted that they were receiving four hampers of food on a regular basis, meaning they had plenty of food for which they were extremely grateful, however they were struggling to pay their rent and heating bills due to no work being available. The Group wanted to try and balance the support to ensure that the families received everything they needed.
With over 20 different local charities now being part of the group and the number still growing, the Trust have decided to set up the Leeds Community Support Group Networking Forum. This is a face to face forum which will be held at Leeds City Academy, Bedford Field, Woodhouse Cliff, Leeds LS6 2LG on a termly basis. The event will be attended by both businesses who are based in Leeds and also locally based charities. At each event there will be an opportunity for one charity to present about their visions, aims, any required support they may need and any current issues they are facing, and there will also be an opportunity for one business to present about their CSR strategy and in what areas they may be able to offer support ie funds, skills, volunteers and so on.
It is hoped that this forum will grow to include many members who will be able to work together to ensure the community of Leeds can thrive and grow and that any families, charities or businesses who are requiring support in the future can receive this from the group. We believe that this group together can really make a difference.
We would like to extend our invitation to all organisations who are members of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, with one/two places being available to each. If you would like to accept this invitation, please email Alice Ryan, Project Lead at the White Rose Academies Trust at Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your place(s).
The event will begin at 12.15pm on 23rd November and lunch will also be provided. The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan, is also confirmed to attend the launch as our special guest.
We hope you can join us, however if you would like any further information about the group or would like to make any suggestions which you feel may enhance the group further, please do not hesitate to contact myself, Yvonne Hare, Head of Marketing, Communications and Projects at the Trust on 07906699942. I would be delighted to hear from you.
Originally published on www.yorkshire-business.co.uk by West & North Yorkshire Chamber