Written by Leeds Community Foundation 14/07/2015
We are Leeds Community Foundation
and over the next nine weeks, we are asking the residents of Leeds to send us their photographs depicting what Leeds and their local community means to them – by entering our photography competition My Leeds in Focus
. Traditionally, we’re not strictly public facing, so this is a new venture for us. And we’re excited to reach out to our local Leeds communities to engage with them creatively.
As a charity we are celebrating ten years of supporting local community projects that deliver vital services to local people. Since 2005, we have distributed more than £25m in grants to over 3,500 community projects that are tackling the city’s most significant issues, including domestic violence, homelessness, social isolation, mental health and getting more young people into work. Essentially, we bring money in through partnerships with local businesses and people, and distribute it out to community groups through our grant giving – you can learn more on our website.
Through the photo competition we want to be able to showcase, visually, the amazing people, activities and places that are at the heart of our city, and simultaneously raise awareness of the importance of supporting and giving back to your local community.
Through our work with a variety of community groups who work creatively but have a social aim, like East Street Arts
, Seagulls Re-use Ltd
and Space 2
, we’ve been able to see just how important arts and creativity can be for people to express themselves, raise aspirations or recover from addiction or mental illness. We realise that because of the diversity of the city, it’s a really special opportunity and essential, socially, to ensure we all see the Leeds that others see – to understand how others experience the city we call home. We also know that expensive equipment isn’t a necessity these days and photography has become more accessible through the rapid development of technology and prevalence of smart phones which usually have a decent camera.
All submitted entries to the competition will be visible on our gallery on Facebook
– which you can view whether you have a Facebook account or not. Thirteen shortlisted entries will feature as part Light Night
, the city's annual multi-arts and light festival on Friday 9 October 2015. An independent judging panel will select one winner in each category ‘Under 16’ and ‘16 & Over’ and prizes include a half day photography session with local professional photographers, Jonathan Turner
and Peter Mitchell
. The public will also be able to select their winner by voting through the Facebook page for the photograph they want to see crowned as the 'People's Choice Winner 2015'.
So with all this in mind, we want to call out to you and your friends, colleagues and wider Leeds networks to have a think about what image you really consider representative of your community and how you experience Leeds. Then take a photograph of it on your phone or camera, along with a short description of why you’ve chosen it, and submit it to our competition, either through our Facebook page (though you will need an account for this) or by email, following the steps on our website:
Lead image: Betty Lawless / Leeds Inspired
All other images: Helen Maycock