Mutual helps with building society links in Leeds

Pictured at the official opening is Hilary Benn MP, third left, Richard Fearon, fourth left, Elissa Newman, first left, and other HEA trustees


A charity which works to prevent social isolation among older people in Leeds has moved into new premises donated by Leeds Building Society.

The mutual, which was founded in Holbeck in 1875, has given Holbeck Elderly Aid (HEA) office space rent-free for five years.

“Holbeck Elderly Aid contacted us last year to ask if we had any space we could spare, as they’re based very close to our old branch in Holbeck,” said Richard Fearon, Leeds Building Society’s chief commercial officer.

“We were delighted to be able to help as we’re proud of our heritage in South Leeds, where we were founded more than 140 years ago, and this donation fits with our commitment to doing what’s right for our members, colleagues and communities.

“The Holbeck premises had been used for storage and we identified this as surplus space during a review of our property portfolio.

“The timing worked out perfectly – we’re currently in the midst of a significant refurbishment of our branch network but our contractors briefly had capacity to refit and decorate the space.

“They kindly offered time and labour for free in a bit of a ‘DIY SOS’ project – some even donated materials – to help get the old branch spick and span for its new users.”

Elissa Newman, CEO of HEA, said: “Working in partnership with Leeds Building Society is a big step forward for HEA. It is a great example of third sector organisations working together with companies’ CSR policies creating innovative opportunities to develop new, long-standing relationships that work for both parties.

“We are very appreciative that our new partnership with Leeds Building Society has provided HEA with a rent free-lease on the new office and we look forward to welcoming new and existing service users to the new home of HEA.” 

The office was officially opened today by Hilary Benn MP, whose Leeds Central constituency includes Holbeck.

Hilary Benn, Honorary Patron at HEA, said: “The Trustees and I at HEA are delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds Building Society.

“The move to a more central location will really benefit existing service users and will raise the overall profile of HEA so that more vulnerable, socially isolated older people in South Leeds can benefit from the services provided.”


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