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Walker Morris supports Leeds charity to enable critical foodbank services to continue

Real Estate lawyer, Andrew Maclean from Walker Morris, is helping Leeds North and West Foodbank move to larger premises so that it can continue its critical support of local communities throughout and beyond the Coronavirus pandemic. The new Leeds North and West Foodbank premises are at Flexspace, Burley Hill, Leeds.

With UK foodbanks facing record demand since lockdown began on 23 March, Leeds North and West Foodbank requires larger premises to enable it to comply with social distancing guidance whilst allowing as many volunteers to support its services as before the pandemic. Walker Morris has a growing relationship with the Foodbank and Andrew Maclean of the firm’s Real Estate Group acted on the Foodbank’s behalf in respect of its new lease pro bono.

The Leeds North and West Foodbank comprises nine centres running 11 sessions per week supporting people in the local area and is part of The Trussell Trust’s network of over 1,200 foodbanks. In December 2019, Walker Morris employees donated almost a quarter of a tonne of food to the charity, which is equivalent to 595 meals, to support the local community through the festive period.

The new premises will also facilitate the Foodbank in rolling out its new delivery service, launching due to current circumstances that restrict collections from its centres.

Andrew Maclean, Senior Associate in the Real Estate Group at Walker Morris, commented:

“As Leeds North and West Foodbank struggles in the current climate, given government restrictions and social distancing rules, we wanted to make sure we could support its work and facilitate its move to larger premises. We are pleased to have been able to provide our services in negotiating the lease on the new premises to enable the charity to continue its support of people in crisis across the region in this difficult time.”

Karen Burgon, Project Director at Leeds North and West Foodbank, commented:

“We saw the demand for food supplies increase by 80 % in the last two weeks of March when the coronavirus really started to affect people’s lives in Leeds, and whilst our food donations have continued to come through from generous public donations and the supermarkets, we have not been able to process these donations as quickly as we normally would, due to restrictions on the  number of volunteers allowed in our current building due to social distancing requirements. Moving to larger premises will really help with our logistics, enabling us to continue to support the many people currently struggling to put food on the table for their families.”

As a result of the government lockdown Leeds North and West Foodbank has been prevented from its usual fundraising in high footfall areas (such as Leeds Train Station and at their usual home game collections at Leeds United matches) and has set up an online campaign to cover the costs of the premises move. Donations can be made here.