Theatre group gains recognition – as Pudsey Pounds are highly commended at ‘Compassionate City’ awards


A West Leeds theatre project and the Pudsey Lottery have both been highly commended in the Leeds Compassionate City Awards.

The awards celebrate the positive work that individuals, community groups and organisations do every day to make their local communities and Leeds a great place to live, work, and visit.

The 2021 awards were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were held last week i9n the banqueting suite at Leeds Civic Hall.

The Invisible Pain Theatre Company was highly commended in the cultural project of the year category/ It runs sessions in West Leeds, including Pudsey Wellbeing Centre and Swinnow Community Centre.

Invisible Pain is a community group for people affected by anxiety or depression. Drama is an excellent way of providing an outlet to express emotions or even just to take a break from day-to-day issues and create a supportive environment.

Trish Smith draws the monthly winners in Pudsey Park last July. Photo: Damon Sugden

And the Pudsey Lottery, a scheme which encourages people to shop locally and support traders in the town, was highly commended in the community organisation or project of the year category.

The lottery scheme rewards winners with Pudsey Pounds to spend at participating local businesses.

90 Pudsey businesses are part of the scheme and 50 have directly received Pudsey Pounds in payments, as Leeds and its district centres emerge post-Covid. 

Pudsey Pounds. Image: Damon Sugden

The scheme was the brainchild of Councillor Trish Smith (Cons, Pudsey). She said:

“I am incredibly proud of the work the Pudsey Lottery has achieved, and to see this recognised by others is a significant event in itself. 

“Since launching in July 2020, and through its first 18 months, the Pudsey Lottery has handed out almost P£21,000 (Pudsey Pounds) that can only be spent locally and is currently handing out around P£1,000 every month.

“We know that some of these funds have been spent on household items as well as treats, which means money has gone directly back to our local Pudsey businesses that would otherwise have been spent on the internet or elsewhere. This in turn protects our local economy and jobs, and the community benefits too as we were able to donate £1,100 to local good causes on the first anniversary of the lottery. Here’s to many more!” 

The categories and winners for a person, group or organisation this year were:

Jo Cox Award

Sponsored by Luminate Education Group

First Highly Commended: BAHAR Women’s Association
Second Highly Commended: Jeff Gantschuk

Winner: MEMEC

Cultural Project of the Year

Sponsorship Partner Leeds 2023

Highly Commended: Invisible Pain Theatre Company

Winner: Haqooq Aspire for More

Community Organisation or Project of the Year

Sponsored by STM 360 

Highly Commended: Pudsey Lottery

Winner: Little Hiccups

Health and Wellbeing Award

Sponsored by Munroe K

Winner: Battle Scars

Diversity Project of the Year 

Sponsored by Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Highly Commended: Leeds Church Institute

Winner: LASSN

Sport Project of the Year

Award Sponsored by Leeds United Foundation

First Highly Commended: Bambisanani Partnership
Second Highly Commended: Guiseley Gazelles
Third Highly Commended: Leeds Let’s Do More Basketball

Winner: Holbeck Moor Football Club

Unsung Hero of the Year

Sponsored by STM 360 

Highly Commended: Andrew Galloway

Winner: Brenda Taylor

COVID Volunteer of the Year

Sponsorship Partner Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL)

First Highly Commended: Nicola Clayton
Second Highly Commended: The Morgan Family

Winner: Kazia Knight

Outstanding Achievement of the Year

Sponsored by Munroe K

Winner: Simon on the Streets.


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