Former President of Leeds University Union and not-for-profit advocate, Antony Haddley, tells us why he's supporting the Charity Begins Up North event on Friday 13th September at the University Of Leeds
"If you look at the rich tapestry of not-for-profit organisations in this country you can’t help but be blown away by the range of causes, missions and abundance of talent. Youth groups, farms, museums, students’ unions, theatres, galleries, heritage sites, support groups… the list goes on. And it’s a list that evokes passion and pride in those that work in the third sector; those of us who proudly work towards a greater good. Nowhere does this ring truer than in the North. Yet, recently, a thinktank highlighted that it’s these northern charities that are suffering more than their southern counterparts. There are 10,000 charities in Yorkshire alone. And, let’s not forget, they’re not just there for when things don’t go to plan, they’re also there for people to come together and share their passions. Leeds boasts a brilliant range of not-for-profit arts organisations which form the backbone of the cultural scene in this city.
Last year, I had the privilege of leading Leeds University Union (LUU), a charity which represents the 30,000 students at the University of Leeds. I loved every single minute but it was tough. LUU is almost entirely self-sufficient and I saw firsthand just how hard the staff work to ensure the sustainability of the organisation. It’s a pattern I’ve seen repeated in my current role supporting the community interest company A View from the Hill. Funding streams are drying up and everyone is seeking new opportunities to survive and deliver their visions. This is why, despite so many fantastic organisations in existence, the third sector often struggles to get the attention that it deserves.
In many ways this is a great time to get together to learn from each other and meet those who have been weathered the same turbulent times. The public need charities more than ever before and, as demand for charitable services increases we must pull together and act. This strong belief I have in the worth of charities and social enterprises has led me to back a new not-for-profit event, Charity Begins Up North! The event is hosted by two third sector organisations and offers the opportunity for charities to join forces and hear from some great speakers on the big issues - from embracing digital marketing to developing great strategies - all whilst considering the looming backdrop of increasing demand for services and decreasing resources.
So please, whether you’re a cultural hub or a crisis team – come and join in!"
Full programme and tickets: