Council boost for Third Sector in Leeds

Published : 29/11/2012 00:00

Council boost for Third Sector in Leeds

Leeds City Council has announced how almost £200k in grant funding will be allocated to voluntary organisations in the city.  This is in addition to £40k, which was awarded earlier this year to five groups.

Twenty third sector organisations will benefit from one-off grants amounting to over £150k from the Leeds Transition Fund, which is jointly managed by the council and Leeds Community Foundation.  Now in its second year, the fund was set up to help third sector organisations that have experienced reductions to their funding to help them to improve their sustainability and  respond to new opportunities.

Applications for funding were assessed by members of the Third Sector Partnership including the council, third sector and NHS. The successful organisations were awarded funding as they were able to demonstrate that  they deliver high quality public services and would benefit from support to become more resilient and enable them to take up opportunities presented by an ever changing funding environment.

One of these successful organisations is Carers Leeds.  They believe that an organisational structure for carers’ services could be created that would deliver a coherent model of information, advice and support that would improve accessibility of the service to carers, enhance carers’ experience of services as well as rationalising the service and improving efficiency.

Helena Bladon, development worker, from Carers Leeds said:
“We very much appreciate receiving funding from the Leeds Transition Fund.  Carers Leeds is the primary provider of generic information, advice and support services to unpaid carers in Leeds.  We are working in a difficult financial environment and are aware of the need to deliver an excellent and innovative service to honour the hard work and contribution made by all unpaid carers.  This funding will help us to improve the way services to all carers are planned and delivered, creating a more stream-lined service which will be easily accessible, easy to understand and which will actively work to meet the needs of carers who contact us for support.”

Cat Pearson, manager of Seagulls Re-use said:
"Seagulls success in securing a grant from the Leeds Transition Fund has come at just the right time. The grant will help us develop our painting and decorating service, ReDecorate, which has suffered in recent years due to the economic climate.  ReDecorate is at a pivotal point in that the service needs to expand in order for it to become self sustaining.  The grant will enable us to employ an additional painter and decorator and purchase a much needed van. 

“ReDecorate was established by volunteers and the growth will allow us to work with more trainees from Leeds College of Building on work placements.  Over the years we have carved out a niche market; decorating properties for older and disabled people and people with mental health issues.  Seagulls has a holistic approach in working with people and this is very much transferred to ReDecorate. We hope that the grant will help secure the future of our service and make it viable in the coming months/years."

In addition almost £40k has been allocated to projects to enhance quality of services to the public by introducing input from the third sector.  These proposals were submitted by council departments in partnership with third sector partners. They include projects to increase the numbers of empty homes brought back into use, to increase re-use of household furniture and white goods, to support third sector organisations to take on community buildings and to further develop networks that support social care organisations. 
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, chair of Third Sector Partnership (TSP) and the council’s champion for the voluntary sector in Leeds said:
“The third sector is a really important part of the Leeds economy, and absolutely key in delivering community based services for residents.  I am delighted that the council was able to allocate this resource to support them, despite the challenging financial circumstances that we are currently dealing with.

“The response from the third sector to this funding opportunity has been excellent, and I am delighted that so many organisations will benefit from these grants, which will offer a lifeline to some of them.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:
“We understand how important funding can be to the third sector, especially when the economic climate continues to be so challenging.  This funding will give the successful organisations a great opportunity to secure their long-term futures and become more sustainable.”

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation said:
“Leeds Community Foundation was delighted to work with Leeds City Council on this year's transition fund.  We had an amazing response from local organisations, which just shows how crucial schemes like this are to help groups in these changing and challenging times.  Although not everyone was successful in receiving a grant there will be a series of seminars in the new year so that everyone will have access to some practical help.”

Additional info
Third Sector Leeds is an alliance of voluntary and community organisations, charities, faith groups, and social enterprises working in Leeds.

The Third Sector Partnership work together to:
• develop third sector policies regarding key strategic issues;
• engage with and influence the decision making processes of all its key stakeholders, especially the Leeds Initiative and its partners including Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds; and 
• co-ordinate representation of the third sector on statutory partnerships and boards.

Carers Leeds is part of the Carers Trust, a national network of carers centres. Carers Leeds was opened by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, on 11 January 1996.  The organisation works in partnership with carers, funders and partnership organisations including 111 GP practices across Leeds to provide support to unpaid carers.

Seagulls is an environmental social enterprise working to promote and develop a community resource centre in Leeds.
The project arose from the bin yards of Burley, LS6, Leeds back in 2001 when Cat and Kate the founders met whilst volunteering for a community project. 

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