St Luke’s CARES celebrates its volunteers

On Friday (2 June 2017) south Leeds charity St Luke’s CARES held a party to celebrate the work of the many volunteers that help run its activities and string of charity shops.

As busker Jonny Walker entertained us with his songs, South Leeds Life spoke to two of the volunteers on the TRY retail skills course. Hannah Wilson, who completed the course in December, said:

“I really enjoyed getting an understanding of how a charity shop works. It really opened my eyes and I gained valuable retail experience.”

Hannah has now secured full time employment at a casino, but she hopes to find time to volunteer back with St Luke’s CARES.

Maureen Anozie said she found the course very interesting and learnt about how to relate to people. Originally from Nigeria, Maureen lived in Italy for over ten years before coming to Britain six months ago. She has now got a job at Symmingtons in Beeston.

Jackson Turner, Manager at St Luke’s CARES commented:

“As a small charity we rely on our volunteers to make our activities happen. It’s great to honour and thank them today – they make St Luke’s CARES a reality.”

As it says behind the counter in the Dewsbury Road shop: “Your money spent here funds positive activities for young people in the local community.”

Hilary Benn (who had accepted the invitation before the election was called*) spoke to thank St Luke’s CARES for all they do in the area and especially the volunteers.

“People ask me what happened to the sense of community we used to have.” He said. “I tell them it never went away. As an MP I have seen so much work that goes on in the area.”

St Luke’s CARES has recently published a social impact report which details everything from the 10,826 hours their volunteers clocked up last year to the 158 tonnes of furniture and clothing it diverted from going to landfill; to the 988 mentoring hours and 22 trips out for girls through the Shine Project.

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* Five other candidates are also standing in the Leeds Central constituency. You can find full details here: