A view from Leeds: Jenny Hool visits Renew

Guest Blogger | 23.04.15

My first charity visit as a LandAid Ambassador was to a project in Leeds called Renew. On arrival at their Osmondthorpe site I was greeted by a very welcoming team of Renew staff and volunteers as well as representatives from the LandAid Grants Committee and LandAid CEO Paul Morrish.

What was once a working mans club is now being transformed into a fantastic multi-purpose community space where Renew are going to be providing educational and pastoral services to young people in the Leeds community. I quickly got a sense of how proud the staff, volunteers and construction workers were of what was being achieved.

One thing that struck me when talking with Renew staff, was how the charity isn't limited by geographical boundaries, everyone is welcome. I spent some time chatting to a young volunteer who spoke enthusiastically about the services she had accessed. It was a shame to hear that some of the sporting activities that she once participated in have been suspended temporarily due to funding cuts.

Despite this; both staff and volunteers seemed over the moon with what is being achieved and can’t wait to move in to the site and start reaching out to the community.

Thanks to the visit, I have been completely inspired to get involved with Renew, however I can. Coming from an educational background myself, I really empathised with Kim, a staff member within Renew’s education team. I felt Kim really cared about what young people in Leeds need and she was passionate about helping them overcome any barriers they were facing.

I can’t speak highly enough of the enthusiasm from the site foreman who told us about the state the building was in before they started; he genuinely conveyed a pride in what he and his team had achieved and how the site is going to be used.

Phases 1 and 2 of 4 have been funded by grants from LandAid and I am so glad I’ve been able to see how fundraising from companies like mine, DTZ, can really make a difference to the lives of those around us.

I wish Renew the best of luck and urge anyone who is interested to look them up and offer a helping hand in whatever way you can.  

LandAid Charity Visits are open to all Foundation Partners and take place across the UK. Find out more.