Wednesday, 15 June 2011

2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering deemed a big success

An independent evaluation has confirmed that the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering was a big success.

The evaluation, which was conducted by volunteers working on behalf of QA Consulting, found that the number of people putting themselves forward to volunteer in Leeds rose by over 200% over the duration of the year.

The new Volunteer Centre in Leeds city centre was confirmed as a key factor in this increase, and it continues to provide an essential focus for volunteering activity in the city. The launch of the Leeds Volunteering Kitemark and Toolkit also helped to raise the quality of volunteering in the city.

Other key factors contributing to the success of the year were;
• 100 events, linked to ten specific themes with over 8000 people attending;
• The relaunch of a refreshed Compact for Leeds, an agreement to working together between the public and voluntary sectors; and
• Increased access and promotion of initiatives such as the volunteers management network.

Based on the success of the campaign, Leeds City Council, Voluntary Action Leeds and other key partners decided to continue raising the profile of volunteering in the city for another year by supporting the 2011 European Year of Volunteering. In addition to this, and to try and support the further development of voluntary work within Leeds, new Lord Mayor Councillor Alan Taylor has made Voluntary Action Leeds his charity of the year.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, champion for volunteering in Leeds said:
“This evaluation shows just how worthwhile it was to have a yearlong focus on volunteering in the city.

“One of our aims during the year was to make it easier for people to find out about and get involved in volunteering opportunities, and Volunteer Centre Leeds has been key in us being able to achieve this. It continues to operate and is helping even more people to get involved.

“Volunteering is a really positive experience for the people who take part, and can provide a real boost to their confidence, whilst helping them to develop new skills that can transfer into the workplace.

“I hope that the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering and the 2011 European Year of volunteering will leave an ongoing legacy in the city, helping more people to recognise the many personal and social benefits of getting involved in activities in their communities, which not only improve the quality of other people’s lives, but theirs too.”

Richard Jackson, chief executive of Voluntary Action Leeds said:
“The 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering really helped the voluntary sector to develop better working relationship with Leeds City Council and other key partners in the city, including the business sector. It has been a real joint effort for the benefit of the people of Leeds.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Back the bid for Leeds to be host city for 2013 Rugby League World Cup

Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked, at their meeting next week, to give approval for Leeds to submit a final bid for the city to be a host for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

If successful, matches during the prestigious tournament would be played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and Elland Road. The city could also be selected as a training base for one of the 14 countries taking part.

The council, working in partnership with Leeds Rhinos, Leeds United and Marketing Leeds, submitted an initial bid to tournament organisers the Rugby Football League (RFL) in April. The RFL are in the process of evaluating these with final bids to be put forward by 15 July. The successful host cities will be announced in November.

To help the bid, the team in Leeds are keen to get as many Leeds residents signed up to back the bid as possible, and have opened Facebook and Twitter (@LeedsRLWC) accounts so people can show their support. Please sign up and back the Leeds bid!

Leeds is a city with a strong tradition and real passion for rugby league. Its home team, Leeds Rhinos, is arguably one of the most successful professional rugby league clubs in the world. The city also boasts one of the strongest rugby league fan bases in the country, as well as a large number of successful community and amateur clubs. Bringing this tournament to Leeds would give supporters in the region a fantastic opportunity to attend international games in the city and bring rugby league to a wider audience. . It would also be a great opportunity to promote Leeds as a tourist destination, with all the high quality restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment the city offers.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for leisure said:
“Leeds has a tremendously strong history, tradition, pride and passion not just for rugby league but for all sport as well as experience in hosting major events. We are confident that we have something special to add to this great tournament by hosting matches and training facilities for the teams taking part.

“We are very pleased to be working with Leeds Rhinos, Leeds United and Marketing Leeds on this bid, and together we hope to present the strongest possible case for bringing the world cup to our city.

“We now need local residents to come on board and back the bid by signing up on Facebook and Twitter, to give our city the best possible chance to reap the benefits that being a host city would bring.”

Chief executive of Leeds City Council Tom Riordan said:
“2013 is going to be a hugely exciting year for Leeds, with the opening of the Leeds Arena, the Trinity Leeds shopping centre and the new Holt Park Active Living Centre. It would be another major boost for the city to be hosting the best rugby league players in the world and matches in the most prestigious rugby league tournament there is."

Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rhinos said:
“The Rugby League World Cup in 2013 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the very best that our sport has to offer. Rugby league and the city of Leeds have been linked since the very formation of the game, and the city has a proud heritage within the sport.

“It would be fantastic to bring the best players from around the world to perform here in Leeds and it will certainly help inspire the next generation of young Rugby League players. Here at Headingley Carnegie Stadium we have a proven track record of successfully putting on major sporting events and we are delighted to be involved in the city’s bid.”

The tournament will be held in England and Wales from October to November 2013, with the finest players from all over the world taking part in the showpiece competition.

Hosting the tournament is expected to bring economic benefits to the UK of between £30m – £50m. Over 250,000 people will attend games, which will be broadcast in over 120 countries attracting around 20million viewers worldwide. Each match held in Leeds would give a significant boost to the local economy and wider city region, while there would also be major benefits in terms of business, culture and education.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

£770 mess for one dog owner who failed to pick up after his pooch

One visitor who allowed his dog to foul in a Leeds park has landed himself in a big mess after the court ordered him to pay nearly £800.

Peter Haddington of Prospect Place, Bradford was reported to Leeds City Council’s dog warden service after three witnesses saw him fail to pick up after his dog, on a two separate occasions in Calverley Park, in January and February this year.

Haddington pleaded guilty by post and Magistrates ordered him to pay a £100 fine, an additional £655.25 in costs plus a £15 victim surcharge at a hearing at Leeds Magistrates Court on Wednesday 8 June.

Councillor Mark Dobson executive member responsible for environmental services said:
“We are very grateful to the community-minded people whose own detective work help us investigate and bring about this prosecution.

“It is not acceptable to allow your dog to foul without clearing it up. Dog fouling in a public area is not only unsightly it also poses many health risks, especially to children who may be playing in the park. This case shows such laziness and disregard for other people can be very costly too.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713