Thanks to an award of over £500,000 from the National Lottery Fund, St Luke’s, Holbeck is to set up a community project which aims to transform lives in Holbeck, Beeston and Hunslet Moor.
Along with five community workers, the historic Grade II listed Victorian church building will be extended, enabling it to become a hub for youth activities, courses to help people towards employment, and events to bring communities together.
A year of building work will start in 2018, making space for community rooms, a catering kitchen, project offices and improved toilet facilities.
The Revd Alistair Kaye says, “This long-term project means five new community workers will be making a difference in the area. There will be a youth champion, a social cohesion worker and an employability worker supporting families throughout the estate. They will be supported by a project coordinator and an administrator.
“The building improvements will benefit all the local communities – as well as the growing, vibrant congregation of St Luke’s. The new hall will be the perfect venue for youth activities, advice drop-ins and cross cultural events, the flexible meeting spaces can be used by local community organisations throughout the week, and the new kitchen will provide the community with facilities for cookery skills courses and event catering.
“The renovation plans mean the building will soon be fit for the future and much better equipped to serve the social needs of the whole community.”
Local Councillor Adam Oglivie said, “There is a real need for a project that can offer an intensive and sustained focus on social cohesion, work with young people, employability and cross cultural programmes specifically for this area. The St Luke’s project will really help the local community and has the potential to play an important role in helping to bring together groups and individuals in the local neighbourhood.”
Local Councillor Angela Gabriel said, “St Luke’s is at the heart of the community, and these project workers and new community rooms at the church will make a big difference in the local area.”
The Big Lottery Fund
- The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
- It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded £583 million and supported around 12,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
- Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.