Event hire takes Seacroft residents across the digital divide

Andrew Grinnel writes about an enterprise which uses an event-equipment hire service to offer Seacroft residents employment opportunities, legal advice, support finding work and all the benefits of joining the digital age – all through a converted unit on Ramshead Hill shopping parade.
For the last 5 years I’ve been involved in running outdoor events within my local neighbourhood. As most of us do this as volunteers, it’s always a scramble to ensure that all the infrastructure is in place, all the forms have been correctly filled in and health and safety fully organised.
Last year, for the first time, we used LS14 Trust Event Hire to hire the generators for one of our events. There were four things that made us feel good about hiring them.

1. The equipment was new and of a good quality – we knew it wouldn’t break down during our event.
2. They run events in areas similar to ours. Therefore they know the complications that this may bring and had experience to help us make wise choices about everything from what we ‘really needed’ to where to place everything in order to be safe.
3. Most companies don’t deliver or pick up generators at the weekend. LS14 Trust Event Hire dropped it off as we were setting up and were there, promptly when we finished so we didn’t need to find safe storage till Monday morning.
4. We knew that by using them to provide their services, the money would get recycled into community development work in East Leeds. For us, it felt better than the money disappearing into someone else’s business account and inevitably away from the areas that we feel need it most. All in all, working with LS14 Trust was a great experience and as we begin planning for our events this summer, we know who we’ll be calling.

How does it work?

LS14 Trust Event Hire organises four major community events a year, and employs local people to oversee the hire equipment. Profits support the Digital Lounge, which has 650 members aged from 8 to 78. Between 30 and 50 people a day use the lounge to overcome the digital divide, mainly adults looking for work, who get help with their CVs and searches, and kids looking to check their social media accounts. A work club delivers one-to-one support, with 35% of referrals from the job centre plus going into employment or work-related opportunities.
It also offers meeting space, other IT resources, advice and sign-posts to other services.

Ls14 Trust 45 Ramshead Hill Seacroft Ls14 1BT
T: 0113 318 0522
E: info@ls14trust.org.uk

Development Manager
Nicola Greenan
E: nicola@ls14trust.org.uk

Membership Development Officer
Joanne Curtis
E: jo@ls14trust.org.uk


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