Leeds Grantmaking Charity Showcases How It Can Change Lives In Leeds

Representatives of the Metcalfe Smith Trust were on hand at the Leeds Autism Services 25th anniversary celebrations in South Leeds after an award of £500 enabled them to purchase & unveil a greenhouse for service users this weekend.

Metcalfe Smith Trust Chair Jason Slack at the Leeds Autism Services Gardening Project Opening
Metcalfe Smith Trust Chair Jason Slack at the Leeds Autism Services Gardening Project Opening

The charity has been supporting the needs of adults with Autism across Leeds since 1988, moving many of its services last year to a former pub on Grape Street, Hunslet and converting it for its own purposes. The organisation has now renamed this site the Leeds Autism Services  Vocational & Community Services Centre and thanks to a grant from the Metcalfe Smith Trust now has a superb greenhouse from which to teach service users horticultural skills to grow their own fruit & vegetables which they can then learn how to cook healthy and nutritious meals with.

It may suprise many people to know that the Metcalfe Smith Trust was established in Leeds 1867 by a Victorian banker and benefactor, John Metcalfe Smith, who built Cookridge Convalescent Hospital in memory of people living and working in the city. Following the establishment of the NHS the Trust sold the land connected with the hospital. The Trust now uses the interest on the invested sale proceeds to make grants for the relief of hardship connected with sickness, ill-health or disability.

The Metcalfe Smith Trust make grants where the money will make a significant difference to the quality of life or independence of adults or children with a physical disability, long term illness or a mental health difficulty living in Leeds. It provides grants for the purchase of equipment, or pay for course fees leading to greater independence or employment, or provide a respite break which enable any of the above.

The Metcalfe Smith Trust

Says Jason Slack, Chair of the Trust

“The Leeds Autism Services Greenhouse Project is a fantastic example of the kind of work that the Metcalfe Smith Trust is there to fund. Something where an award can make a real difference to peoples’ lives in Leeds. It was wonderful to meet the enthusiastic people who will both run and benefit from this scheme. We hope that they continue to go from strength to strength.”

The trust is able to make grants to both eligible individuals and organisations up to a maximum of £2,500. The trustees hope that community groups, charities & professional support workers might be inspired by the short film that they’ve produced (see above) and go to www.metcalfesmithtrust.org.uk for further information and application details. The trust meets twice a year, in May & November to make decisions and award grants. The trust also has an emergency grants programme which can make awards within a month up to a maximum of £100.

Says Jason Slack, Chairman of the Trust

“It’s amazing to think that the legacy of  a little-known Victorian banker is still making a difference to lives in Leeds today. We would appreciate it if this information could be circulated amongst community groups and professional support workers who will be working with individuals for whom these grant programmes could make a life-changing difference.”

The Leeds Autism Services Greenhouse
The Leeds Autism Services Greenhouse, ready for its’ opening at the charities 25th anniversary celebrations
Funding of the Greenhouse was thanks to the Metcalfe Smith Trust
Funding of the Greenhouse was thanks to the Metcalfe Smith Trust

Follow the Metcalfe Smith Trust on Twitter:  @M_Smith_Trust