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Leeds Agencies Create a Little ‘Make Believe’ this Christmas


Make Believe is a new design initiative that has been introduced to support children’s charities across the city through the Cash for Kids Christmas appeal. Ten creative agencies are donating and exhibiting pieces of art based on classic children’s literature.

Each agency has had three weeks to turn a randomly assigned quote, from stories such as Alice in Wonderland and The Jungle Book, into a modern work of art, suitable for poster print and limited edition merchandise.

“It means a lot to me that we can use our creativity for good. I’m so glad we’ve had such a good turnout from Leeds’ creative agencies – it’s not often we get to come together in this way”, said Ged Savva, Director of Magpie Marketing who is coordinating the initiative.

“Through this exhibition and initiative, we want to remind people about the importance of innocence and childhood. We aim to help children across Leeds have better childhoods for longer through the money we raise.”

Radio Aire’s Cash for Kids charity helps disadvantaged children across Leeds and West Yorkshire. Last year it helped over 60,000 children, improving their quality of life with donations including specialist equipment, counseling and beds for children who have fled from abuse or exploitation.

“Sadly one in four children in West Yorkshire lives in poverty, so Mission Christmas aims to make sure every child has a Christmas to remember and receives a gift on Christmas Day”, said Lisa Sullivan, Manager of Cash for Kids. “We are delighted to be the chosen charity for Make Believe and are excited to see what the agencies create!”

The ten designs will officially launch at an exhibition at Victoria Gate shopping Centre in Leeds on 30th November and the artwork will be available for pre-sale at from the 1st December.


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Share Jewellers Celebrates 40 Years with Street Lane Snowfall



Roundhay Residents awoke to an unseasonably wintery scene recently as a six-inch blanket of ‘snow’ settled on Street Lane.  The unusual weather phenomenon saw commuters stopping for ‘snow selfies’ and children building snowmen on their way to school.

But all was not quite as it seemed. The ‘snowfall’ was actually a special delivery organised by Share Jewellers to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The family-run jewellers first opened in 1977, during a heavy November snowfall. David and Richard Share wanted to re-enact that day, so arranged for 650 kilos of snow to be deposited outside the store.

“Forty years in business is a significant milestone so we wanted to mark the occasion”, said David. “We know that a lot of people dream of a white Christmas so we’ve created the next best thing for our landmark anniversary!”

“Our ‘snow surprise’ marks the start of our two-week long birthday celebrations”, added Richard. “We’ve got lots going on including our extra-special ‘faux’ diamond challenge – the lucky customer to guess the number of loose gemstones in our four-foot ’40’ shaped sculpture, will receive a £1,000 Gift Card to spend in store.”

Share Jewellers is also offering 40% off all gold and diamond jewellery as part of its celebrations. As well as complimentary prosecco and canapes, shoppers will have the chance to take on the diamond sculpture challenge (competition and promotion ends on Sunday 3rd December 2017).

For further information, visit

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The Corn Exchange Continues to Evolve



The Corn Exchange’s evolution continues with a new programme of investment and activities for 2018 and onwards.

The building was recently acquired by property developer and investor Rushbond. Subject to planning, physical work on the building will include improving accessibility and an upgrade of the washroom facilities. Traders will be encouraged to return to independent design elements tailored to their own brand, including new signage and colourful shop fronts. The lower ground level will be home to a new cafeteria called The Yard, with a focus on independent food offerings and public space.

The Corn Exchange first opened in July 1863 and has always been a beautiful building. The dome was designed from dreams of Paris by Cuthbert Brodrick, who designed Leeds Town Hall.

One of only three remaining Corn Exchanges in the country, it has been home to corn traders, clothing manufacturers and countless new beginnings. It’s a place where new businesses are born, dreams are designed, and food is enjoyed. A place for conversations and social events.





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Awards to Celebrate Companies Making Positive Change

Business in the Community is inviting companies that show responsible business innovation and best practice to enter the Responsible Business Awards 2018.

The aim of the awards is to inspire and enlighten with the innovative business stories that are at the heart of every community, and to highlight businesses that are driving positive changes in their operations both nationally, and internationally.

The awards are free to enter and companies of all sizes are invited to showcase what practical action they have taken to address social and environmental issues such as helping young people develop skills for the future, stimulating their local economy, supporting small businesses and using natural resources more efficiently.

Business in the Community is also running a free workshop in Leeds on 28 November for companies to find out more about the awards. Book a free place at  or contact  for more details.

The closing date for entries is 9 February 2018 (17:00 GMT). For further information about the 2018 Responsible Business Awards, including the full list of categories, the assessment criteria and application forms visit

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Natural Food Store: Ten Years as a Co-operative Owned by the Community!


This month, the Natural Food Store on North Lane in Headingley, is celebrating ten years as a community owned co-operative.

When, after 23 years, former owners Chris and Sue Sharratt wanted to retire, customers and the community worried that another independent store was about to disappear from Headingley. Together they raised the money to buy the store through a community share issue and took charge of the shop in November 2007.

The opening celebration proudly sported the banner ‘Under new ownership – Ours!’ Manager Stuart McClelland was appointed and still leads the team. Chris and Sue were so delighted with the change that they stayed on a part-time basis – and are still there ten years on! Stuart and his team is supported by an elected committee, and the community owners have kept the shop thriving.

The primary aim of the buy-out was to carry on the success of the shop and be an independent, community based co-operative selling products with a provenance that customers could trust. All of which the shop has achieved. With its wide product range and knowledgeable staff it continues to hold its own as a high class grocer in Headingley selling local bread, eggs and dairy, food for special diets, and a wide range of whole foods – particularly its very competitive Wholesense range and ethical foods, as well as bathroom and household goods, and remedies.

Whether a buy-out by the community or by staff members, the success of co-operatives arising out of private businesses is a proven model for the continuation of successful businesses but receives little publicity.

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Levi Solicitors Support St Gemma’s in Jail & Bail


Steven Newdall, Managing Partner of Levi Solicitors LLP, recently took part in Jail and Bail 2017 in aid of St Gemma’s Hospice.

On 13th October, volunteers from West Yorkshire Police ‘arrested’ Steven for breaking laws against hoarding in his office. His secretary, who recently tidied his office, found copies of 20 year old magazines, his notes from his law degree and a small handheld television!

The officers took Steven to the Court Room at Leeds Town Hall be tried for his terrible crimes. He was presented with evidence collated by his colleagues, and eventually found guilty. He then spent time locked up in the Victorian cells below the Town Hall! St Gemma’s kindly agreed that he should be allowed to escape from the cells as he had raised enough ‘bail money’ for the charity.

“St Gemma’s Hospice does great work for the people of Leeds and we are proud to support them throughout the year”, said Steven. “Taking part in Jail and Bail is a fun way for us to raise money and awareness for the Hospice. While I am sure some of my colleagues would rather have paid for me to stay in the cells, we have already raised a very generous sum.”

If you would like to contribute to Steven’s bail fund, please click here.

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Free Public Speaking Workshop


Fall into Place Theatre is running a free public speaking taster workshop on 12th October, 2 – 3:30pm at HEART, Bennett Road, Headingley, as part of Leeds Business Week.

The workshop aims to improve skills and confidence in public speaking. “We use drama techniques to learn key skills and see public speaking as a form of performance”, said Sarah Goodyear, facilitator and co-founder of Fall into Place. “This taster is great for people who are a bit nervous about public speaking, or just want to improve their skills.”

Fall into Place provides training workshops in public speaking, stress relief and team building. All profits go back into the community, providing accessible, fun workshops for all ages and abilities.

The workshop is free to attend, but you need to register as places are limited. To register, visit or email


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Leeds Mencap & Barclays Yorkshire raise an amazing £32,500



Leeds Mencap’s 2016 partnership with the Barclays Yorkshire and North East Region has raised £32,500 to support very young children with learning disabilities across Leeds in their specialist Hawthorn playroom.

“We have worked closely with Barclays over many years but 2016 was fantastic as the staff threw themselves enthusiastically into raising money for us,” said Cath Lee, CEO of Leeds Mencap. “They had a corporate golf day, worked up a sweat with a ‘rowathon’, organised a sporting dinner at Headingley and put on a private showing of the BFG for our service users. Some lovely volunteers also got green fingered and did some hedge trimming and gardening. They were amazing.”

“The whole business got involved and really got behind Leeds Mencap and the fantastic work that they are doing at the Vinery Centre,” said Barclays Business Manager, Dawn Spencer. “We wanted to support Leeds Mencap’s Hawthorn Specialist Playroom as it is critical that very young children with learning disabilities get early intervention when they most need it. It was great to have the cinema showing for some of Leeds Mencap’s families as it is sometimes difficult for them to go to the cinema together as a family.”

People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate.  Leeds Mencap offers support to people with very different needs and aspirations in order to help ensure that they live a fulfilling life and achieve their goals. To continue to provide these valuable services, Leeds Mencap are on the lookout for more corporate partners who would like to make the most of the teambuilding and engagement opportunities that working with a charity presents.

If you would like to help Leeds Mencap to help others, either as a corporate or an individual then please contact Sarah Hooker on or call 0113 2351331.







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George’s Great British Kitchen – Classics with a Unique Twist



George’s Great British Kitchen, the idea of two childhood friends, Andrew and Nick from Nottingham, recently opened at The Light on The Headrow.

Andrew’s father, George, opened his first fish and chip shop in the 60s. “As teenagers, I remember Nick and I spending our school holidays painting the shop to make sure that everything was spot on for our customers”, said Andrew. “I used to help in the shop, frying fish, serving customers and everything in between – which all helped to shape the type of service I wanted to provide.

“We dreamt of creating a place where people could meet with friends and family and have a great time together, with good food and great music. We’re all about people feeling comfortable in a non-scripted, non-chain like environment.”



Having run successful fish and chip shops, Andrew and Nick had a vision of adapting traditional British classics, and adding a unique twist.

“We wanted a visit to our restaurant to bring back childhood memories of enjoying ice cream by the sea, tucking into freshly made doughnuts, and exploring all that’s best about the British coast. That said, the classic British fish and chips are just a small part of our menu!”

George’s menu offers buckets of variety, including Ham Hock and Mushy Pea Fritters, covered in crunchy seaweed batter and served with wasabi mayonnaise, and Cauliflower and Mushroom Jalfrezi Pie.

To find out more, visit their Facebook page.


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Ed Mayo to Speak at Talking Heads at HEART


On Thursday 11th May, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, will present ‘Can business be values led?’ as part of the Talking Heads programme at HEART on Bennett Road, Headingley.

When ethical issues in business are rarely out of the news and when many are thinking about forms of ownership, involvement, and indeed the very purpose of business, this is a timely issue, especially in the middle of the General Election campaign!

In 2014, Lucy Siegle of The Observer, commented that “Ed has played a leading role in almost every environmental and ethical business initiative over the last two decades”, while the Guardian has nominated him as one of the top 100 most influential figures in British social policy.

He recently published ‘Values: How to Bring Values to Life in your Business’ and is editor of The Co-operative Advantage. Ed Mayo was one of the team who founded the Fairtrade Mark, and rose to prominence as director of the New Economics Foundation from 1992 to 2003.


Talking Heads takes place on the second Thursday of the month, 7.30 – 9.00pm at HEART, Bennett Rd, Headingley, LS6 3HN

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