The West Leeds Local Hero initiative, launched last week by MP Rachel Reeves, has announced its second recipient, writes Jo Fiddes.
Ms Reeves invited members of the public to nominate people who have gone above and beyond, and enriched their local community through acts of kindness and generosity.
This week’s winner was Elizabeth Richardson, of Porterhouse Cakes in Armley. She was nominated by her husband, Simon Richardson, who said:
“While it may seem biased, I want to nominate my wife. Throughout lockdown, her business has been mothballed without making a single penny. But she has spent the last 14 weeks either donating or fundraising.”
Examples of the Elizabeth’s acts of generosity during lockdown include:
- Working with other local businesses to raise over £500 for Black Lives Matter organisations though a series of auctions
- Donating all her “spare” ingredient when the bakery went into lockdown
- Making care packages for NHS staff across the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust
- Using her wholesale account to order essential supplies for local organisations providing for the vulnerable, and
- Lending out her workspace to another struggling business, and working flexibly when her bakery reopened to accommodate them
“She hasn’t complained once, and has done all this whilst remodelling her business in the light of Covid. She is constantly finding ways to represent people, and she will no doubt continue to do so. For all these reasons, she is my West Leeds hero.”
Ms Reeves said:
“Elizabeth is a worthy winner and embodies all that is good about the people of West Leeds. I want to thank her for everything she has done for our community, and I am looking forward to sampling some more of her delicious Porterhouse Cake goodies soon!”
She added: “There has been a wonderful response to the West Leeds Hero awards. We have had lots of nominations so far, representing a whole range of individuals and organisations. But the nominations are still open. If you know a local hero you think deserves a shout out, please contact my office on firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know why you think they deserve this recognition.”