Faith Together in Leeds 11
Leeds 11 is home to around 170,000 people living in 7,761 households, 20% of whom belong to ethnic minorities – an area suffering from multiple deprivation and social exclusion, reflected in high levels of unemployment and crime. It is an area where poor health and bad housing go with living in the most deprived ward in Leeds and well within the 5% most deprived wards nationally. It was against this background that this unique grassroots partnership of Christian Churches and Muslim and community organisations took shape.
A team of staff and volunteers provide a range of services for the local community that are sensitive to the cultural backgrounds of the people involved. For example, the luncheon club takes into account differences in diet, languages and customs, open to different groups on each day. In 2003 a £1.5 million Hamara Centre was completed with backing from the Single Regeneration Budget, the Community Fund, local churches and community fundraising, Church Urban Fund, Methodist Multi-Racial Projects Fund and Tudor Trust. This encompassed a Healthy Living Centre, Community Hall and Parenting Centre which aims to meet the project’s objective of ‘improving educational attainment and reducing crime and the fear of crime by tackling some of the longer-term social and economic factors that contribute to it.’
During a visit in February 2006, Archbishop Sentamu praised local people for working together. For more information visit www.faithtogether.org.uk.
Based on an extract of Angels and Advocates: Church social action in Yorkshire and the Humber published by Churches Regional Commission for Yorkshire and the Humber www.crc-online.org.uk.
The Building Blocks Centre, Maud Avenue, Leeds, LS11 7DD