Last week, the directors of the Yorkshire Choice Awards’ (YCAs) event made the difficult decision to postpone their annual charity awards Gala dinner.
The Oscar style ceremony event, which is recognised as a highlight of the Yorkshire calendar, with 800 people attending, at the Centenary Pavilion at Elland Road was due to take place last Saturday evening and from the organisers observing the state of the UK in regards to the Coronavirus it was increasingly clear they could not host the event and put their guests at risk.
The charity event was set to support Simon on the Streets who offer street-based support for those in need across Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield.
Along with several homeless charities as nominees for awards, both YCA organisers Melanie Malcolm and Joanne Maltby thought what better way of making use of some of the food that had been prepared than to donate it to worthy causes within the Yorkshire region.
A plan was put into action with Leeds United and their chef, who agreed to cook food, not now being used at the event, and give it to the hundreds of the homeless in need. Several charities covering Denby Dale, Kirklees, Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield all benefitted from the meals.
Melanie Malcolm said: “This couldn’t come at a more important time when the UK is in crisis, people are stock piling in their homes and sadly donating less to those in need, so Jo and I had to find a way to help.”
Joanne Maltby said “Mel and I were devastated to have to postpone the Gala Awards Ceremony on Saturday, but you just can’t put a price on a life. Being able to still do some good with the food donations today has allowed a little bit of positivity to come from the horrendous situation we find ourselves in with the Coronavirus. It’s a difficult time for everyone.”
Managing director, Ross Knapman of Deep Blue Telecom, and Businesswoman of the Year Sponsor of The Yorkshire Choice Awards, attended on the day to help transport food to those who need it.
Ross said: “We have been involved with The Yorkshire Choice Awards since it started in 2016. As soon as we heard that Jo and Mel needed help with transport, we offered the use of our van. It’s our absolute pleasure to be able to join forces with them to help get food to those that need it the most.”
The Gala Dinner is set to be rescheduled later in the year.