Improving Leeds for everyone

Improving Leeds for everyone

Improving Leeds for everyone

I don’t know how the King spent his 75th birthday, Tuesday 14th November 2023, but there were some great celebrations nationwide for 262 voluntary groups with the announcement of The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) 2023. The Award is equivalent to an MBE and is awarded for life.

“The awardees work selflessly as groups of volunteers to address every conceivable kind of local issue across all our communities. We owe them huge congratulations, but also much more than that for the inestimable value they bring to our society.”

Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, the KAVS Chair

a spotlight on two of the charities improving leeds for everyone

I received some unexpected invitations to lunch with the awesome Friends of Roundhay Park at The Roundhay Fox, followed by an evening of great celebration at The Woods, Chapel Allerton, with Homeless Hampers. What a day!

Both charities had been aware of their win for a few months, but were told to keep it secret until 14th November, Giving them time to organise these celebratory events. They were also unsure if this would be the final Queen’s Award or the first King’s Award.

I’ve been told that the detail which was required to apply was very extensive with in depth research done into every element of the charity.

These two Leeds charities are solely volunteer run, and both received this award for recognition of all the work they regularly carry out to improve the lives of our community.

All this year’s successful groups will receive a crystal award and a certificate bearing His Majesty’s signature, presented by the Lord-Lieutenant at a locally arranged event They also receive two invitations to attend a Royal Garden Party. They can also use the KAVS logo, thanks to Signs Express, Homeless Hampers have very quickly updated both of their vans.

homeless hampers


“We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our volunteers, our donors and our supporters. Your commitment, hard work and dedication improves the daily lives of our homeless and vulnerable communities.”

Tina & Aky Suryavansi – Homeless Hampers

homeless hampers volunteers
The Suryavansi family founders of Homeless Hampers

Recently celebrating its 8th birthday Homeless Hampers work tirelessly to support the homeless community in Leeds and beyond. Weekly Sunday evening outreach provides hot food and supplies, while through the week they help to settle recently homed individuals and families by providing essential furniture and white goods all free of charge. Giving them the best chance of staying off the streets for life.

Currently Homeless Hampers need warm clothes, bedding, toothbrushes, socks and supplies to help the volunteers on outreach. There’s an up-to-date Amazon wish list here:
Select Gift Registry Address when ordering for your donation to go direct to the charity. Thank you.
You can find out more about the history of Homeless Hampers here or by visiting:


Friends of Roundhay PArk


“A huge, huge thank you to all our volunteers over the years. You should be immensely proud of winning this award. The park is lucky to have such a devoted group of volunteers looking after it come rain or shine.”

Sara Dawson

Friends of Roundhay Park Volunteers
Friends of Roundhay PArk Chairpeople

Since 1994 The Friends of Roundhay Park (known locally as FoRP) have helped in projects from litter picking and gardening to clearing the becks and leading forest schools, to planting bulbs, raising money for new playgrounds, and hosting a huge 150th celebration in 2022.

If you have a love of Roundhay Park, enjoy its open spaces, wooded areas, lakes etc, then FoRP is for you!

Membership of The Friends of Roundhay Park costs just £10 per annum for individual membership, £15 per annum for couples and £20 per annum for a Family Membership (2 Adults Plus 2 Children). All proceeds go into our activities.

Find out more by visiting

16 awarded West Yorkshire charities

Friends of Roundhay ParkMaintaining and enhancing Roundhay Park for the benefit of the community and wider public.
Alpha House CalderdaleProviding housing, addiction, mental health and wrap around support to male prison releases and addicts.
51st Pellon Scout GroupImproving lives and raising aspirations by connecting young people and communities through Scouting.
Friends of Lister Lane CemeteryReclaiming and preserving the historic Lister Lane Cemetery, ensuring accessibility to families/historians from across the world.
Leeds Caring HandsProviding activity to help those who need social interaction & upliftment.
Wakefield District Sight AidProviding outstanding support for blind and partially sighted people across the Wakefield District.
Coffee Pot Memory CafeProviding a safe meeting place and support for people experiencing Dementia and other conditions.
NETPromoting wellbeing, reducing loneliness and isolation in Garforth and 12 surrounding villages.
Flourishing Families LeedsWorking alongside communities to transform futures and equip families with the skills to flourish.
The Brighouse and Rastrick BandMaintains and encourages the promotion of brass band music.
Give A GiftProviding crisis support for the severely disadvantaged and helping with their wider needs.
Homeless HampersRelief, rehabilitation and improving well-being for the homeless in the community.
Project ColtChanging lives for good. Helping people on their journey of discovery to successful recovery.
Bangladeshi Youth OrganisationVibrant community-rooted charity engaging the youth & community in Manningham, Bradford.
Holocaust Centre North (Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association)Supporting survivors of the Holocaust and ensuring that their memories and experiences are made known.
Bradford 4 BetterInspiring the community to make Bradford safer, cleaner, greener and better for everyone.

However you volunteer and support your local community – Thank you!

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