Organisations unite to tackle cost-of-living crisis in Kirkstall and Burley

St Stephen's Church hall
Venue: St Stephen's Church Hall. By Betty Longbottom, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Third sector organisations in Kirkstall have joined forces to help tackle the provide residents with access to hEAT this winter.

From October 3 hEAT will provide a welcoming and warm space, five times a week, for the community to access a warm meal and drinks, meet other people, play games, watch films and electricity point to charge essential items.

hEAT (Heat & Eat) is a combined project by Kirkstall Valley Development Trust (KVDT), St Andrew’s Food Project and HAVA Big Local (Hawksworth, Abbeydales & Vesper Area Big Local) which will operate from St Stephen’s Church Hall, Norman Street LS5 and St Andrew’s Church, Butcher Hill LS16.

The partners are looking for people willing to volunteer a few of hours their time weekly to deliver this service, which hopes to positively impact possibly hundreds of people in the ward.

CEO of KVDT Adele Rae said: “Our community are right to be worried about the challenges ahead this winter.

“We cannot afford to heat our homes and to buy and cook the food we need to stay well and healthy through the poor winter weather. hEAT takes pressure off individuals and families, who can come enjoy a nutritious meal, get warm and socialise.

“This crisis is affecting many people in the Kirkstall Ward and nationally. We are already finding working people who previously just about managed, as well as those on benefits, who are now being financially squeezed.”

St Andrew’s Food Project, which runs the only local foodbank in the area, have already seen an increase in the number of Food Parcels being requested weekly.

Food project lead Cherie Cartwright said: “We are extremely concerned with the increased numbers of food bank users even before winter hits. We believe everyone has the right to enough to eat and to be warm. hEAT will be one way we can support our community. But we can’t do it without help.”

The organisations have been working in partnership throughout covid and now through the cost of living crisis to provide essential support to the Kirkstall Ward (which includes Burley, Hawksworth Wood and Moor Grange, as well as Kirkstall).

They have established the food support pathway for Kirkstall, available to all residents through the Food Pantry, Food Project and Community Kitchen. Full details are available on KVDT and HAVA’s facebook pages. 

Anyone able to offer time to volunteer with hEAT please contact training will be given as well as the opportunity to complete your Food Hygiene Level 2 certificate. 

They are a warm, welcoming and supportive team and would love to hear from you. 


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