Huddersfield Town FC

Huddersfield Town has played a central role in the local community for many years.

And under chairman Dean Hoyle it has redoubled its efforts to bring benefits to local businesses, schools and charities.

Marketing co-ordinator Jonathan Wilkinson said: “Football clubs have an important role to play in their local community. This is our philosophy at Huddersfield Town. The impact we have on our local community is substantial as we are seen as one of the key businesses in the town.

“As a club it is important that we understand the responsibilities that this brings.”

Among its activities, the club has positioned itself as a focal point for business through its partnership with local companies and the work of the Huddersfield Town Enterprise Academy.

It works closely with charities including the Yorkshire Air Ambulance – through its long-running Keep It Up campaign – as well as Hollybank Trust and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

The club also has its own charity, the Town Foundation, which is the brainchild of Dean Hoyle and aims to help improve the quality of life for young people through initiatives including school breakfast clubs.

During the past 12 months, the Enterprise Academy has staged several events, including a Buy Kirklees meeting attended by more than 300 businesses. Another of its events was attended by 800 delegates.

The Keep It Up campaign broke new ground with a Pedal for Pounds bike ride from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium to the John Smith’s Stadium, which involved 300 cyclists riding 250 miles. In July, the campaign broke the £1m barrier – enough to fund every call-out for the air ambulance in the HD postcode area since the campaign began in 2009.

The Town Foundation has expanded its early Kick-off breakfast clubs to serve more than 150,000 breakfasts to children across West Yorkshire while the foundation has provided 15,000 Reading Diaries has helped promote literacy among young people at 70 schools.

Over the next 12 months, the Town Enterprise Academy is planning events on topics including technology and encouraging new businesses as well as networking online.

The Keep It Up campaign will see Pedals for Pounds resume while other fundraising events will include a carol concert and a treasure hunt.

The Town Foundation, which has added Yorkshire cricket captain Andrew Gale and Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Ed Clancey to its list of patrons, is also planning new initiatives for 2015.

Said Mr Wilkinson: “We plan to carry on promoting the good work that the charity does and continue to raise funds to help our community.

“Fundraising events such as a Chairman’s Lunch where Dean Hoyle will call on his friends in football to generate money for the Town Foundation are planned and are set to raise more money to directly help our children.”

Legacy Sport

Shaun Fox, of Legacy Sport, who has been shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 award
 

Schools and community groups are getting healthy – thanks to the work of community interest company Legacy Sport.

The business promotes healthy, active lifestyles through initiatives such as providing PE curriculum support and training for primary school teachers, running school meal clubs, delivering high quality sport and dance camps during school holidays and co-ordinating and delivering the Bikeability cycle training scheme for young people.

Legacy Sport is run by four directors who set up the business after being made redundant from their jobs with Spen Valley School Sports Partnership following funding cuts in 2010.

The four took the gamble of setting up their own business, led by managing director Shaun Fox. Starting with funds of £1,000 and the goodwill of Spen Valley Sports College, which provided office space, the business began trading in September, 2011,

Legacy Sport quickly gained a reputation for high quality provision, working primarily with schools and community groups in North Kirklees.

In the past two years, the company has scaled up substantially to operate across Kirklees and the social enterprise is now based at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Its initiatives include Habits4Health, in which young people learn to eat more healthily and take recommended amounts of physical activity. They are encouraged to share what they learn with their families.

Among other services this year, more than 750 youngsters have taken part in holiday activity camps while Legacy Sport has trained and developed more than 150 young sports leaders. Over the past 12 months, Legacy Sport has delivered a competition calendar of activity events to more than 2,500 young people.

More than 3,400 young people have taken and passed Bikeability courses in Kirklees, taking the number of places delivered to more than 1,000.

Through the curriculum PE sessions and out of school hours service, more than 2,000 youngsters have accessed PE sessions and more than 5,000 have enjoyed breakfast, lunch and after-school activity sessions.

Legacy Sport, which now has 15 employees, has also taken the health message to a wider range of people by link-ups with companies including Howarths People and Safety Management and Fantastic Media as well as Sustrans and Huddersfield University.

Said Mr Fox: “Legacy Sport has spent a significant amount of time building firm foundations and developing strong partnerships over the last three years. We now have a fantastic base from which to expand at the iconic John Smith’s Stadium – the perfect location for a sports/health business.

“Legacy Sport has also been involved in the government-backed Growth Accelerator programme and our operations, sales and financial systems have developed beyond recognition.”

He said the company planned to continue investing in its workforce during 2015 and seek to expand its geographical reach – eventually operating at a national level.

Said Mr Fox: “We aim to build the Legacy brand as a social enterprise committed to fitness and health in young people and the wider community and fulfilling its mission to promote healthy, active lifestyles that have a positive impact on the community.”

Holiday Inn

Staff at a Brighouse hotel pride themselves on the service they provide – and their strong community links.

The 94-bedroom Holiday Inn Leeds Brighouse provides facilities for wedding receptions, celebration parties and Christmas party nights. This year, it won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence after amassing four and five-star reviews throughout the year.

But its 70-plus staff also go beyond the call of duty to back community initiatives benefiting local jobseekers, charities, schools and sporting clubs.

Its IHG Academy has worked with the JobCentre and Blue Training to run a three-week course for 14 unemployed people interested in the hospitality industry leading to an NVQ qualification. The course included all candidates working in the hotel’s housekeeping and food and beverage departments as well as taking part in mock interviews. At the end of the course, three participants got jobs with the hotel while the 11 others found work within a few weeks.

The hotel has raised funds for charities including the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Hollybank Trust, Overgate Hospice and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

It also staged a Hell’s Kitchen event with sixth formers from Rastrick High School, who were asked to cook and serve meals to 80 customers in the restaurant - and raise £900 for the hotel’s national charity. An evening with former Arsenal footballer Paul Merson raised £1,000 for local football club Clifton Rangers while all its fundraising for local good causes has realised more than £3,800 in 2014 so far.

The staff don’t miss out either. All employees are entitled to free meals and refreshments when on duty, there are regular treats such as buns and ice cream and the hotel operates an Employer of the Month initiative as well as a staff Christmas party. Employees are also consulted online twice a year to monitor their engagement with the business.

Operations manager Simon Markham said: “The Holiday Inn prides itself on working with the local community at any level, whether it be for fundraising or helping individuals getting back into work. We also work closely with our local schools to provide work experience for students, so they have a knowledge and understanding if they are considering a career in the hospitality industries.”

Other events planned include the hotel management team undertaking the Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for the Hollybank Trust, another sports event for Clifton Rangers, further work experience for students and unemployed people and a free Christmas lunch for a local church group.