Photo of Louise Reed

Louise Reed

Louise has been nominated by Sarah Agar-Brennan.

Sarah says “I would like to nominate Louise Reed for setting up her not for profit group Focus4Hope a couple of years ago. Her mission was simple: to show kindness and love to all those in need that the world is simply too busy to remember.

She wanted to bring hope to the forgotten few, the homeless, immigrants, elderly stuck at home. Her only purpose was to show them that someone did care. She rallied her friends and family in her local community and further afield and united everyone in this goal.”

Who has the initiative helped?

“Twice a month, Focus4Hope meet to feed the homeless in Leeds. They provide food, clothing, dental care, hairdressers. More than that, they listen and help where they can. They have strong links to the local services so can get extra help.

They hold events for the elderly in their community a few times a year where the whole community gets involved, picking up the old people, playing games, feeding them delicious meals, being a friend and listening.

Focus4Hope also collects aid for local agencies that deliver into immigration zones and have successfully sent many containers and made many trips abroad with the aid.

They raise money for the homeless in the local community and are in the process of setting up Focus4Success to help rehabilitate them so they can get their lives back on track.”

What’s worked?

“Everything they have done has been a huge success and each time they have done it again year on year it’s got bigger and better.

They have local businesses sponsoring the feeds and elderly sessions, the community has been overwhelmed by the work Louise and her friends are doing.

Volunteers hear her story and what she has done in bringing everyone together to help make a difference and they travel to be a part of this movement. I know that I am one such person. I have volunteered for her since its incarnation, giving time I don’t have quite often because the results are outstanding.

It’s been truly inspirational how many lives she has affected, not only those receiving the help but the community within which the group operates has become closer than ever.”

What have you learned? Any challenges?

“As I am nominating Louise, I feel this should be her story but I know that she has struggled with the enormity of the movement at times. She has been inundated with offers of support and help but all this needs managing and she does this in her own time.”

What’s next?

“To keep delivering the events weekly, monthly and yearly and add to them where they can. Focus4Success, a CIC, is the next step. The plan is to rehabilite the homeless and vulnerable they connect with on the streets through retraining them and getting them back into work. It is well underway now and work will begin very shortly.”

What help, resources or contacts do you need?

“They are always looking for committed individuals that can offer time, advice, passion and encouragement. Raising the profile of the group and the work they do. They are looking to further Focus4Success so they have something very positive to help those in need to work towards. Any help with this would be appreciated.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North!

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