Support for those furthest from the job market

Over £70,000 has been distributed by Leeds Community Foundation to 8 community led projects around enterprise and employability to enhance the skills of those further from the job market.

Seeded by a personal donation of £25,000 into The Leeds Fund from former Chair of Leeds Community Foundation – Rachel Hannan, the fund was further boosted by investment from Businesses, Balfour Beatty, Squire Patton Boggs, along with philanthropists Gary Shuckford and Chris Miller.

The Leeds Fund (managed by Leeds Community Foundation) current priority is around loneliness and inclusion with over 37,000 people in Leeds affected by loneliness and around 160,000 people living in neighbourhoods that are amongst the 10% most deprived in England, the Foundation is committed to supporting community-based projects that build a happier, healthier and more connected city.

The projects funded by The Leeds Fund Enterprise and Employability grant include: FareShare Yorkshire, Getaway Girls, LED Community Foundation, Life Connections, Oblong Ltd, People Matters (West Yorkshire), Sport Works Yorkshire and The Canopy Housing Project.

-FareShare Yorkshire – The project will work with people to gain the skills, confidence and experience they need to move into sustained employment through 3,000 hours of volunteering and training. The project will redistribute 65 tonnes of surplus food across Leeds in that 5 month period, growing the number of people in need within Leeds who have access to surplus food by an extra 500 per week.

-Getaway Girls – With the funding, they are now able to fund ‘SNAPSHOTT’ – a social enterprise hiring out 2 photo booths for events to raise funding support the work of Getaway Girls. Young women aged 18-25 will have the opportunity to build knowledge skills and practical experience through training and development of the photo booth enterprise.

-LED Community Foundation – in partnership with the Youth Justice Service (West North West Leeds team) and with the Neighbourhood Police Team Inspector, the project will help those young people furthest from the job market to learn and develop new skills, techniques and communication methods to aid them into finding employment and sustaining that employment through 1:2:1 support, group work sessions, mentoring, careers guidance and work placements

-Life Connections – They will deliver a second round of the award-winning Spear Programme, currently delivered across London, in order to help 16-24-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds, into work or training in partnership with employers in Leeds.

-Oblong Ltd – The funding will bring together a diverse community to develop a World Foods catering service which will combat isolation, develop a realistic and needed enterprise initiative, whilst also serving to address recent growth in mistrust and tensions within the local area.

-People Matters (West Yorkshire) CIC; the grant will fund Job Clubs with a difference for adults experiencing significant disadvantage. This can be through long term unemployment, mild learning difficulties, autism or mental health issues. Service users will receive individual job coaching to find paid work and support in that role for the individual and employer as part of their job match service.

-Sport Works Yorkshire – Their community-based Nu Futures programme uses the power of exercise to engage and inspire learners to improve their confidence, self-esteem, and physical and mental well-being, alongside employability skills, to enable them to progress into jobs or further learning. The project ‘Nu Futures Leeds’ seeks to support 12 Long-term unemployed people in the Bramley area of Leeds, over 4 months.

-The Canopy Housing Project – providing a pathway to employment in Harehills, to residents who need additional support to access employment. Unemployment is twice as high in this area alone than across Leeds. The area also has a high amount of people claiming Job seekers universal credit, and their project is extremely vital.

For more details about The Leeds Fund, please visit or email the team at for details on how to get involved.