Friday, 19 August 2011

Council gives cash boost to third sector

Leeds City Council is to support 14 third sector organisations across the city to help them cope with the financial challenges they face as a result of the economic downturn.

As part of an initiative to help third sector organisations who have experienced reductions to their funding, the council launched The Leeds Transition Fund in May 2011.

Organisations were able to apply for grants of up to £10,000, from the £140k fund pot, with the aim of to help those organisations to become more resilient and enable them to respond to new opportunities. The conditions for the fund were agreed at a meeting of the city’s Third Sector Partnership Group (TSP) last May.

Successful organisations include Behind Closed Doors, Future Arts, Pavillion, RJC Dance, South Leeds Team Ministry Charity, and St. Luke’s Community & Regeneration Enterprises. Please see the Leeds Community Foundation website for a full list of successful applicants.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member with responsibility for Environment and Neighbourhoods said:
“The Council fully appreciates the value of third sector organisations who work tirelessly in our communities each and every day and we have done all we can to shield them from the brunt of government cuts.

"However, in the face of such huge financial pressures, we recognise that no organisation has been immune from budget difficulties.

“Even with reduced resources, we remain determined to help our partners respond to these challenges. This fund will help make numerous organisations more resilient and better placed to make the most of any opportunities that come their way. ”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, chair of TSP and the council’s champion for the voluntary sector in Leeds said:
“The additional funding that the council is offering should provide a lifeline to some of these organisations as they get used to the new funding climate.

“It was important to enable third sector organisations to feed into how the fund would work and doing that through the Third Sector Partnership Group allowed us to make sure they were fairly represented in this key decision around funding, and that the right conditions were put in place.”

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation said:

“Staff at Leeds Community Foundation were really impressed by the quality of many of the applications that they helped to assess. Third sector organisations are clearly looking very seriously at a range of activities and options as they learn to adapt to the changing funding climate.

“We are confident that the successful applicants will use the money well and that the Leeds Transition Fund will help them all to develop more sustainable models of working”

This decision is subject to call- in procedures under council guidelines.

A wide range of activities have been supported through the Leeds Transition Fund including adopting business model approaches for income generation, organisational quality accreditation, changing delivery activity and realigning services amongst others.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Elect your own way to register as a voter in Leeds

People in Leeds are being encouraged to make the most of modern methods to ensure their names are on the electoral register in time to vote next year.

The deadline is September 2 and you should provide your details by then so that Leeds City Council can include the names of everyone eligible to vote in your household.

If there are no changes to your details you can let the council know by text message, online or by calling a special Freephone number. Forms may also be returned free by post in the pre-paid envelope provided, although the council will save 17p for every household that uses internet, Freephone or text registration instead.

Susanna Benton, acting principal electoral services manager, Leeds City Council, said:

“We have tried to make it as easy as possible for people to confirm their details to us by making use of modern communication methods. It helps us tremendously in cutting down on costs if people can respond via text or online if their details are unchanged.”

Whichever method you choose, make sure you get your response back by the September 2 deadline. Doing this on time will also save the council further costs in sending out reminders by post or following up with visits to homes to check details, as required by law.

People with no changes should email , call Freephone 0808 284 1450, text 07786 209 350 or visit to confirm this.

If you have further queries you can call the LCC elections helpline on 0113 224 4411. It is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


Wetherby youths are picture perfect

A local group of Wetherby youngsters have been spending their free time at their local youth club producing six masterpieces to be unveiled tomorrow.

Young people who attend the Barleyfields youth centre in Wetherby have been working with a professional art tutor to create imaginative pieces of art using photography, paint and collage transferred onto canvas. Their inspirational creations will adorn the walls of the centre for all visitors to see.

Specially invited guests will see the art work will being unveiled at the youth centre on Barleyfields road at a special celebration event tonight.

The art exhibition will give the young people the opportunity to show off some of the positive youth work activities they have been involved in during their youth club.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

When: Friday 19 August at 6.30pm
Where: Barleyfields Youth Centre, Barleyfields Road, Wetherby LS22 6PN
What: Young people who have been involved in the art project will be available for photographs. Representatives from the youth service and Space 2 and East North East homes will be available for interview.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

The project, which was jointly organised by Leeds City Council’s youth services, East North East Homes Leeds and Space 2, saw around 15 young people work together to create the art work over a six week period. A professional tutor from Space 2 helped the youngsters come up with the idea and explore what methods they were going to use to create their work. It was jointly funded by East North East Homes outer area panel and Police Proceeds Of Crime Act funding.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“This is a great example of young people who are spending their spare time doing something positive and creative. The work they have produced is incredibly impressive, particularly when you consider the level of involvement they have in coming up with the ideas for the project themselves. The work is a fantastic achievement and hopefully will inspire some of the participants to pursue their newfound talents further.

“As well as providing the youngsters with new practical skills this project has also been great for their personal development by helping them improve their team working skills and boosting their confidence.”

Notes to editors:
Space2 is based at Leeds Media Centre and works predominantly with young people in the north east areas of Leeds using creativity and the arts as a catalyst for positive change. Space2’s remit is to create a focus for arts activities across the community and encourage community involvement and promote opportunities to develop creativity. Space2 facilities support curriculum development and help to build links between communities and schools. The arts activities that take place help to improve self-esteem raise aspirations and develop new skills. It also offers training opportunities and encouragement, to develop local artists and grass roots sports and arts organisations.

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

Disability sports camp for young people in Leeds

Caption: Wheelchair basketball will be one of the sports on offer at the camp

Young people with disabilities will be able to sample a range of Paralympics sports at leisure facilities all over the city next week.

Running from Monday 22 to Friday 26 August, the multi-sports training camp will see sessions being held at different leisure facilities each day around the city for young people 8-16 with disabilities.

The sessions which will run each day from 10am – 2pm will offer the chance for the young people to take part in a range of Paralympic sports such as wheelchair basketball, sailing, Boccia, football, athletics, canoeing and wheelchair tennis.

The camp organised by Leeds City Council will be held at John Smeaton Leisure Centre, Morley Leisure Centre, John Charles Centre for Sport and Scott Hall Leisure Centre with the final day’s activities at the Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre at Yeadon Tarn.

Each day of the camp is priced at £5 per person to take part, with the aim being to encourage young disabled people in Leeds to take up and stay in sport in order to capitalise on the interest in the build-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games next summer.

The camp is the fourth disability sport project in Leeds to receive the nationally-recognised ‘Inspire Mark’- linking the camp directly to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Leeds City Council’s disability sports development officer Ross Bibby said:

“There is a real sense of excitement building now for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London being a year away and now is a great time for disabled young people in particular to come along and see the great range of sports available.

“Each of the days of the camp will be full of energy and fun so we look forward to seeing lots of new faces coming along to see what we have to offer.”

For more information contact disability sports development officer Ross Bibby on 0113 395 0159 or email


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, email: