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Leeds United & The Leeds United Foundation

The Leeds United Foundation is a registered charity established to promote healthy lifestyles, education, social cohesion and access to healthy activities across our region. We do this through a broad ranging portfolio of projects both at the stadium and in community settings, funded through a variety of bids, grants and income streams. We use the power of football and the iconic Leeds United brand to engage all aspects of the community. Deploying a full time staff of 12 and a sizeable cohort of part time and casual staff, we deliver high quality, targeted interventions aimed at meeting the diverse needs of our user groups. These range from primary school children to adults in the third age, and involve practical activities, supported visits to the stadium, and sport for all. We work alongside Leeds United Football Club which currently plays in the Football Championship and attracts regional support and worldwide interest.

15 January 2015
Yorkshire and Humber
Local Alliances:
Leeds Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

The Leeds United Foundation impacts on the lives of around 25,000 people across Leeds each year. This includes community based activities and programmes held at the Elland Road Stadium.

Leeds United FC is the only professional football club in the city and attracts an average of 23,500 fans to home matches in the English Football Championship. In addition to spectator facilities commensurate with a high level football club, the stadium boasts retail facilities, catering venues, and conference and banqueting facilities. All of these attract public usage both on match days and during the week.

The Leeds United Foundation already provides support for those in our community who are living with the effects of dementia via “The Corner Flag Café”, run monthly at the stadium.We plan to increase the frequency and reach of the Corner Flag Café concept by introducing more sessions both at the Stadium and in community settings including care homes, day centres and other similar reminiscence cafes. We intend to widen the scope of our dementia friendly work by developing outreach work and exploring ways to enhance our match day provision, and to adapt our environment to become more amenable to those with dementia and their carers.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Historically, sport in general has attracted support from adult males with a propensity for fitness and active lifestyles. Facilities are developing to become more inclusive, though there is still some way to go in changing the culture surrounding sport, particularly with fans and spectators, and raising awareness of health and social issues among the majority of users.

As with any charitable organisation, funding projects and developments can be an issue and the Leeds United Foundation is no exception. While we are a “not for profit” organisation, we need to pay for staff, facilities and resources to manage developments, and there are limitations on available funds.

The Leeds United strategic and operational involvement is prioritised to promote success in competition and resources to support other developments are finite, though the club has a stated intention to interact positively with supporters and the whole community. Time and effort devoted to this development will match ambition to ensure the appropriate level of success.

2. Actions

  • Raise awareness of the issues surrounding dementia

    Editorial and promotional content in the match day programme to raise awareness among fans and service users. Web posts on both The Leeds United website and that of the Leeds United Foundation discussing dementia and our response to it. The use of linked branding in a range of contexts to inform those who engage with our organisation of our commitment to dementia awareness. 

    Initial Scoping, Planning
  • Understanding of Dementia within our organisation

    Appropriate staff to become “Dementia Friends” and progress to “Dementia Champion” training. Training and understanding cascaded through staff development events for appropriate members of staff including stewards, retail staff, and front of house staff to improve customer service relating to those with dementia. 

    Initial Scoping, Planning
  • Corner Flag CafĂ© - User Group Support

    Continue to deliver current Corner Flag Café to engage and support those living with dementia. Develop peripatetic “Corner Flag Café” model to increase community outreach

    Implementation, Delivery
  • Seek further funding to continue our dementia work

    We intend to seek funding and support from corporate partners both to ensure involvement by other organisations and to fund interventions where possible.