Support & Share

Your Support

This is what your support feels like to our members and borrowers . . .

" Now I know that I’m so much more than someone with a bad back "

" I go from being invisible, making myself invisible, to feeling that I’ve got a platform and a voice "

" Be Your Own Boss was great - I didn't feel judged and we could all have our own ambitions for our business. Mine is a side-hustle, others are going full-out –but it worked for all of us "

" We make decisions on our own, and not just decisions about changing nappies or cooking food. It were decisions where we had a little thing going "

" I’ve got friends now, and something to get out of bed for "

" You’ve got a lot of group support. And you can learn things from each other. And you can support each other, and you can explore new things together "

" My business is becoming real – I’m still on Universal Credit but plan to be off benefits next year "

" We have a laugh and we’re making some pin money "

" I don’t feel lonely anymore "

" Working with Trust Leeds has meant I’ve set a critical path and a start date, and I’m already doing so trading so I know I can pay back my loan "

" I really like the "Be Your Own Boss" programme, because you’ve access to people that have all that experience, and the peer group that we’re in – I’ve learnt a lot from them More confident. I feel better in myself. That’s all I can say "

" Being a member of our SRG gave me the confidence to get my new job as a dinner lady "

Why do people support Trust Leeds?

In the words of . . .

Tudor Trust
Grant Funder

Committee members really liked the lively, energetic approach that Trust Leeds has taken to developing and consolidating the SRG movement in Leeds experimenting with different approaches including the SRG Camps and the Be Your Own Boss SRGs. They were also really impressed that you have been able to introduce your own micro finance programme – clearly a major undertaking! 

“The committee was interested in your plans to shift focus now that you are more established, looking to support others to facilitate SRG development as well as working with some directly, and felt that that this was a really positive development. Your relationship with Leeds Council’s community builders sounds really encouraging here, as does the fact that you have been able to bring your SRG facilitation training to others working in the community, not just the council’s ABCD workers. 

Their sense was that Trust Leeds is a very lean and highly adaptable organisation, working hard both in Leeds and within the wider movement to share the message about the potential of SRGs to help women experience an element of control and agency over the lives while also building their own network of mutual support and stepping away from the labels that might usually be used to define them. 

Committee members felt that Trust Leeds provides really gentle and thoughtful support both to developing SRGs and to individual members and appreciated the care you bring to this.”  

Responsible Finance
Our lending Trade Association

“Trust Leeds has the potential to disrupt how finance is accessed by investing in financially excluded entrepreneurs at a very local, community level as we face into the economic challenges ahead, Trust Leeds’ business support and loans will be vital for those who want to follow their passion and start a business but have long felt locked out. Trust Leeds also provides a way for those wishing to help out to ensure their money is making a big difference. We’re proud to have this innovative model as part of the Responsible Finance membership.”

Tony Pringle

“I love to hear about the different people that Trust Leeds is supporting, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to the business pitches of members on the Be Your Own Boss programme: very impressive women working to create opportunities, income and self-esteem for themselves and their families.

I donate to Trust Leeds because I understand that they make lives better, and support people facing hardships to lift themselves up. I believe in the philanthropic foundation of Trust Leeds and I’m proud to support this hard-working social enterprise.”

Gary Wilson-Poe
Trustee & Donor

I give my time and money to Trust Leeds for reasons of the head and the heart. I really appreciate that for every £1 Trust Leeds spends on its micro-finance activity, the social return on that investment is £13.20.
These values were generated through the CDFI Economic Impact Tool, developed by the Community Development Finance Association, and supported by Citi.

Abigail Tweed
Our External Evaluator

In September 2020, the external evaluator assessing the impact of the work of Trust Leeds concluded: “The most prominent theme was members’ wellbeing members spoke clearly about the way their membership of their SRG positively impacted their wellbeing. There were clear benefits to members’ mental health, with increased confidence and self-esteem, distraction from everyday worries and problems and the value of the SRG to provide structure in their lives. Members felt less isolated and enjoyed socialising with their group. They often talked about the fun and laughs they had within the group and at events. Members talked about the group as an extended family.  The mutual support, friendships and networks which have arisen from the groups was apparent.”

Together, we make a difference

by enabling hope, confidence, start-up capital, and support for enterprising people. This summary infographic shows how...

How can you help?

How you can share your expertise & support our work

Shopping SRG


Use your purchasing power for good and buy products and services from Trust Leeds’ self-reliant groups, Be Your Own Boss members, and borrowers. Our shop-front catalogues the variety of enterprises Trust Leeds has supported, and links you to them so you can buy direct from members.

Individual Giving


Support the heart of Trust Leeds with a gift

  • £10 pays for a community Self-Reliant Group meeting that inspires members
  • £50 helps a new group develop their community or enterprising activity
  • £100 pays for a workshop coach on our Be Your Own Boss SRG programme
  • £1,000 provides micro-finance loans for enterprising people facing poverty, and makes you a Trust Leeds Investor


  • Trust Leeds Venture Philanthropists give £5,000 per year to underpin the micro-finance work of Trust Leeds

  • I love Trust Leeds is a ‘badge’ for businesses investing pro bono or cash support of £2,000 each year

  • Trust Leeds Investors give £1,000

  • Trust Leeds Supporters donate £10 per month/£120/equivalent per year



Share your skills & experiences to encourage others.

Most borrowers are self-employed/sole traders, and often appreciate support, encouragement and a listening ear to help them resolve challenges.

Informal, regular or ad hoc support champions business success

Tell us about the skills you’d like to pass on.



Introduce borrowers, or nurture new groups yourself.

Do you know people who want to learn more about how being part of Self-Reliant Group brings friendship, fun and a purpose?

Do you know someone who has a good business idea but who also faces poverty and financial exclusion?

Introduce us!

Our Supporters

It is thanks to our supporters that Trust Leeds is able to carry out its purpose to help enterprising people and communities to grow their confidence and business ambitions. We gratefully acknowledge the support, donations and funding from a range of people who are inspired to invest in our work.


Love and trust what Trust Leeds is doing, and give philanthropic donations of over £20,000 per year to help us achieve our ambitions.


 Rachel Lord

Trust Leeds is delighted to have someone of Rachel’s calibre, expertise and perspective as Patron. Having lived in Leeds as a student and worked in global finance since then, Rachel’s philanthropic gifts to Trust Leeds reflect her wish to give back to the city and support ‘unexpected entrepreneurs’. Rachel Lord is a Senior Managing Director of BlackRock and Chair and Head of Asia Pacific where she oversees all business activities in the region. She graduated in 1987 from the University in Leeds with a BA (Hons) First Class in International History and Politics. In 2020, Rachel was named by the Financial News (UK) as one of 100 most influential women in European Finance for the tenth year running, and was also named as the Asset Management Industry Leader of the Year for 2020.


Give grants to Trust Leeds and our projects because together we deliver their charitable objectives and programme outcomes.


love and trust what Trust Leeds is doing, and give philanthropic donations of over £20,000 per year to help us achieve our ambitions.

Trust Leeds Venture Philanthropists

give £5,000 per year to underpin the micro-finance work of Trust Leeds

I love Trust Leeds

is a ‘badge’ for businesses investing pro bono or cash support of £2,000 each year

Trust Leeds Investors

Given £1,000

Trust Leeds Supporters

donate £10 per month/£120/equivalent per year

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