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Cost of living support

We've worked with residents and local charity and public sector workers to figure out what the main support needs are for our residents and across the city.

A particular focus has been making sure that the amazing community organisations which already exist are helped to grow. St Paul's Church in Ireland Wood, the Welcome In Community Centre in Cookridge, and Meanwood Community Centre have all become hives of helpful activity.

This year we will be prioritising setting up a Food Pantry in LS16.

Here are the projects we've been most involved in over the past couple of years:

A warm welcome at St Paul's in Ireland Wood. We've supported this weekly community meal with funding, advertising, and volunteer time, attending most of the sessions ourselves. 

Uniform exchanges across the ward. We've helped volunteers set up school uniform exchanges, helping parents get free uniforms and preventing waste. These now run regularly during the school holidays at Meanwood Community Centre, while the LS16 School Uniform Exchange (run by local parents) is a regular presence at school fairs and community events throughout the year.


Food bank collections from our doorsteps. For three years we've been running a monthly food bank collection from the doorsteps of Labour volunteers across the ward. It's now the biggest regular source of donations for the Leeds North and West food bank. Find out how you can support it here.


A new Food Pantry model. Food banks are, sadly, vital for emergency support. Alternatively, food pantries are a cheap, membership model to help people get weekly groceries. There is one in Meanwood and we're helping getting one set up in LS16.

Reducing waste by borrowing and repairing items. We've supported the fantastic 'Buy Nowt' Library of Things in Headingley, where you can save money by borrowing useful items like drills and carpet cleaners. And we've helped the Repair Cafe set up a regular session at Meanwood Community Centre.

Debt advice and money help. Leeds has good debt advice support available through local organisations like Leeds Citizens Advice, StepChange, and Better Leeds Communities. We've made sure that there is in person support too, with Money Buddies running outreach at the Welcome In and Meanwood Community Centre.


Bus tickets for the unemployed. We've funded bus tickets for people who need to get to a job interview but can't afford the bus ticket. 


Training for local volunteers. We arranged a meeting of local community group leaders through the 'Community Committee' for the area. At this meeting we looked back on what has been done and what still needs to be done to support people with the cost of living. The need for volunteer training was a priority, so we've arranged for collective training sessions and funded it through the council.

Read the latest news on our cost of living work below:

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