The team at Trust Leeds is keen to honour and acknowledge a range of people and organisations who have inspired us to set up our own charity to emulate their best practice and bring the benefits of their work to Yorkshire.


“During my army career, and in my business life in setting up, growing and selling businesses, I’ve encountered people who have that enterprising gene: the idea, the determination and the courage to run businesses – small and large – and to work their hardest to succeed.  Some of us have been fortunate to benefit from grants, investments, support and advice from family & friends, professional advisors, and institutions. But many don’t – and can’t.” 

Tim Sinclair, Chairman


Trust Leeds’ founding Chief Executive, Liza Kellett, explains how she first came across Purple Shoots.

“When I was Chief Executive of the Community Foundation in Wales, I supported – and we funded – a new charity called Purple Shoots.  With my background in setting up, running, funding and nurturing charities and social enterprises in Leeds and Wales, and in sitting on loan panels and Boards, I recognised Purple Shoots as an excellent, needed and practical charitable business. It fulfils an important partnership role and niche in addressing social and financial exclusion by building confidence, skills, self-reliance and business.

And after I left the Foundation, and was thinking about what I wanted to do next, I couldn’t stop thinking about Purple Shoots!

I chatted to the founder, Karen Davies, and she was delighted to support me in assessing the feasibility of setting up a similar organisation for the Leeds City Region.  Several of the 50 of so people I interviewed were aware of the work of Purple Shoots, and the quiet and impressive leadership of Karen.  All attested to its integrity, values, and achievements in working for the benefit of under-served entrepreneurial people, their families and their communities in South Wales.

And when we decided to set up Trust Leeds in its image, it was Purple Shoots which walked alongside us and gave expert advice and support to help us on our way.  So it’s thanks to Purple Shoots that we have been inspired to replicate its model and bring all the benefits to fill a gap for the people of Yorkshire.


If you want to learn more, follow Karen on twitter @PurpleShoots, or check-out the Purple Shoots website, or Facebook page.


Muhammad Yunus is the father of micro-finance for people in poverty. 

He set up the worlds’ first microfinance programmes in his hometown of Chittagong in Bangladesh, and then the Grameen Bank, and he’s inspired the United Nations and the World Bank to support his, and other, micro-finance initiatives because he has proven that lending to poor people works – for them, their families and communities, and for their national economies.

He was also given the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989.

And this is his advice on how to succeed.


Emmaus is an international movement to combat poverty and homelessness.  The Emmaus Leeds community provides a home and work in a supportive environment for 26 Companions – people who were homeless and who now live ‘above the shop’, helping to run its social enterprise and support each other to build their skills and make positive changes to their own lives and the those of the communities around them.

Learn more on the website, twitter @emmausleeds, or facebook.

Better still visit the excellent second-hand furniture store at St Mary’s Street (Lincoln Green) or the market stall at Leeds City Market.


“What’s so inspiring about Emmaus is that it helps people to help themselves to move on from homelessness – by helping others.  Through working and living in the community, Companions commit to work to the best of their ability and to help their fellow companies as well as the broader community.  The shop often donates goods and furniture to those in most need, and the Companions volunteer, fundraise and run community events for their neighbours.  Understanding that you have responsibilities, and a variety of people who are rooting for you and who can help you on your way, is a great step towards changing your own story.”

Cath Follin, Trust Leeds’ founding Trustee  – who is also a Trustee of Emmaus Leeds