West Leeds: Volunteers making a big difference in their communities this Christmas

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Words: Martin Heaton

“Thank you to everyone who has donated and helped spread some Christmas magic,” – that’s the message from five volunteers making a difference in these trying times around West Leeds and beyond.

Originally Josie Binns of Belle Isle, started distributing toy parcels (and others) around her local area around Christmas time, funded purely by herself.

Josie did this because she had experienced what it was like to struggle when she first had children. Since then Josie has seen this expand until it was impossible to do it all on her own.

Josie was joined by volunteers Katt Cooper (Rodley), Susan Denton (Armley), Ariminta Dowgill–Foster (Woodhouse) and Georgia Stephenson (Farsley) and it has really taken off in all areas, including West Leeds.

More than 100 people have been helped in just over two and a half weeks – and this has been done on referrals alone!

Katt Cooper said:

“If you have it and you don’t need it any more PLEASE donate it.”

The non profit organisation Pay it Forward – Leeds has expanded into distributing toy parcels, food parcels, top-up school meal parcels etc, as well as advising people the best places to contact with their problems.

They intend to continue expanding the organisation in the New Year and St Thomas’s Church in Stanningley is helping by letting them store and distribute from the church, which is giving them a central hub. All parcels have been completely cleaned, disinfected in line with the Covid-19 guidelines.

If you know anyone who would benefit from this or you have anything you would like to donate please e-mail p.i.f.f@outlook.com. There is more information on the Facebook page Pay it Forward – Leeds.

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