A very special club, that has been at the heart of the community in south Leeds for more than seven decades, has been selected as the charity of the year by White Rose Shopping Centre.
The Hunslet Club, founded in 1940 by local GP Dr John Wylie to keep young boys off the wartime streets of Leeds, has helped in the sporting, social, cultural and academic development of thousands of people and has a loyal membership of more than 2,000 from all over south Leeds and Morley attending its premises in Hillidge Road.
White Rose Centre Director James Bailey, said: “The Hunslet Club is an amazing community asset and one of the jewels in Leeds’ crown providing a shining example of what can be achieved through collective endeavour.
“It was established through the patronage of local businesses and has developed in recent years under the prudent and far-sighted management of Chief Executive Dennis Robbins and his colleagues, remaining relevant to the changing needs of the community and society, in terms of health, fitness, employment and enjoyment.”
Dennis, who himself has been a member of the club for 40 years said: “We have been catering for generations to address the needs of people in restricted circumstances and our membership ranges from toddlers to their grandparents. Over the years we have developed our offering from the boxing, football and rugby we started with to include a wide variety of other activities ranging from performing arts classes, education and vocational training to the hugely successful gymnastics for tots classes for young children which were established with the help of funding from the ARISE south Leeds initiative.
“We are all looking forward to working with White Rose to raise funds and increase the awareness of what we do so that The Hunslet Club can continue its work for generations to come.”
The annual fundraising partnership will be launched this Saturday (June 7) at the White Rose when the club will also be recruiting new volunteers to help support its activities.
Over the past four years, White Rose through its generous shoppers, retailers and the car dealerships Evans Halshaw and Luscombe Suzuki Leeds, raised more than £200,000 for Martin House Childrens’ Hospice and St Gemma’s Hospice, the previous charities of the year.