Gipton’s COVID-19 Testing Centre

A government funded testing centre, operated by Leeds City Council, will be opening at The Old Fire Station in April 2021.

The meeting room spaces normally hired out to the public will be occupied daily by invited groups. This adds yet another service to those already provided by the community hub, which include food parcels, activity packs and hot meals.

Funded by Leeds Community Foundation through money donated by the Heselden family’s ‘Jimbo’s Fund’, The Old Fire Station is a beacon of positive change for local communities, home to third sector collaboration and joint working, and a vital resource for a huge range of people and small organisations.

Kate Hainsworth, CEO at Leeds Community Foundation: “There is no denying that times have been really tough and Leeds, like every other city, has had to grapple with the impact of the Covid-19. As soon as our cafe, nursery and room hire temporarily closed down, our team worked closely and collaboratively with the six charities and third sector organisations, for the whom The Old Fire Station is home, to deliver a huge range of new activities and initiatives, quickly and effectively adapting to become a response leader in East Leeds.

Not to be thwarted by the threats of the pandemic, attention turned immediately towards how, through partnership and lateral thinking, the spaces could be repurposed to support the crisis response. Working with Leeds County Council, Leeds Community Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund and in partnership with local organisations, we have been instrumental in providing urgent resources to local people to address food poverty, health inequality, isolation and exclusion.

It’s testament to the nature of our model and our amazing team and occupiers, that we have not just survived, but continued to meet the changing needs of our local community. We are very excited about our privileged position in East Leeds, and our ongoing role in making Leeds a city of opportunity for all.”

The Old Fire Station provides a high-quality environment for third sector organisations, Space2, Zest, Healthwatch, SLATE, GIPSIL and People in Action. Flexible room hire, a community cafe and Leeds Cookery School are also thriving here. For more details about The Old Fire Station, Gipton Approach, Leeds LS9 6NL visit here.

Photograph shows Kate Hainsworth, CEO at Leeds Community Foundation outside The Old Fire Station in Gipton.

Helen Morgan

Helen's interests are wide-ranging, from food to music to art and comedy.   She is especially keen on writing about local charitable activity and events as well as the opportunities the City Region has to offer to those with hidden talents.

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