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NEWS ROUNDUP: More support for Leeds culture


17/05/21 | Leeds local news | Arts and cultural organisations in Leeds are set to get some crucial extra support to help them bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leeds City Council’s arts@leeds funding scheme provides grants to more than 40 arts groups and venues, each playing their part in delivering a huge programme of exciting, city-wide cultural activity.

Now every current arts@leeds recipient will be given an added financial boost to help the hard-hit sector recover and rebuild as they make plans to continue entertaining and engaging tens of thousands of people all across the city.

The newly-approved Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) will see recipients get an additional one-off grant, with a total of £320k being distributed proportionately to support the sector.

Among the recipients will be Artlink West Yorkshire, an arts and health based charity which delivers creative workshops alongside professional artists.

Director Sylvie Fourcin said: “Artlink West Yorkshire is delighted to receive the ARG - Restart Grant. Throughout the pandemic we have delivered more than 400 exciting and engaging creative toolkits a month across Leeds, to people with disabilities and people living with dementia.

“One of the support staff from AspireCBS described our work as ‘life changing’ for their customers as they have been very isolated during this time. The grant will enable Artlink to refresh our building and improve Covid safety measures so that as people gradually come back we can welcome them safely.”

Fellow recipients JazzLeeds said their grant would allow them to plan for their JazzReset 21 Festival in the summer, a new venue for education workshops at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm Barn and a series of concerts at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton.

Steve Crocker, chair of the JazzLeeds trustees, said: “JazzLeeds are so lucky to have a supportive local authority that recognises the value of the arts. We are a completely volunteer run charity organisation that depends on our volunteers to survive and thrive.

“The pandemic has been hard for everyone - for musicians, venues, technical staff and for audience - but it has also been hard for our volunteers without whom the jazz promotion business would collapse completely. To have this vote of confidence is a real boost at a time when many people had thought of giving up.”

Also receiving a grant will be Chapeltown-based RJC Dance, who work to empower children, young people and adults through dance, movement and exercise.

Director Kathy Williams said: “This funding will help our organisation transition from exclusive online engagement with children, young people, adults and elders to enable a new blended service following the easing of the governments CV19 restrictions and access to our base at the Mandela Centre.

“This valuable and important investment will help us to reach more people and re-connect with more local families and communities.”

Recent evaluation of the impact of arts@leeds showed that in 2018-19, funded groups generated a total of £56,799,450 of income for Leeds, delivering more 2,331 activities.

More than 126,000 also people participated in arts@leeds funded activities, which were watched by a total audience of more than 1.4 million people.

Councillor Mary Harland, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy and culture, said: “Arts and cultural organisations all across Leeds have shown such remarkable tenacity and creativity during the pandemic even in the face of so much uncertainty.

“For many of us facing challenges of our own, they also have offered a ray of hope as they found new and exciting ways to keep the people of Leeds connected, engaged and inspired.

“We hope this funding will give these fantastic organisations a chance to look to the future with a renewed sense of hope and optimism as they play a key part in getting life in Leeds back on track.”

For more details about arts@leeds, visit: http://www.artsatleeds.co.uk/



A heavyweight husky whose heart stopped after collapsing at home was brought back to life by a vet who performed CPR - in her owner's car.

Loveable rescue dog Heidi, who weighs a whopping 32kg, was then scooped up by principal vet Susana Jauregui and rushed into surgery for life-saving treatment.

Owner Rachel Armstrong, from Hull, East Yorks., has praised Susana for “saving her life” after Heidi made a miraculous recovery following her ordeal.

Rachel was celebrating her first mother’s day with baby girl Hannah when the drama unfolded.

She said: “I can honestly say this was the longest 24 hours of my life.

“This all happened on Mother’s Day — my first Mother’s Day with my little girl Hannah — and I was stood outside the clinic in floods of tears while Susana tried to start Heidi’s heart.

“I’ve had Heidi since she was four when I adopted her from the Siberian Husky Welfare Association and the fact she’s a rescue dog makes me care about her even more.

“The thought of losing her is just too heart-breaking to bear.

“I never thought I would be able to have kids — so until Hannah came along Heidi was my baby.

“Now Hannah’s here, Heidi watches over her like she’s her protector. It’s like the two of them have a bond together.”

Rachel was distraught when 12-year-old Heidi collapsed at home after falling to the floor gasping for breath.

She rushed her to a Vets Now practice in the port city but during the ten minute drive, she stopped breathing.

After Rachel shouted desperately for help, principal vet Susana came rushing out of the clinic in her full PPE and performed CPR on Heidi in the car.

Susana carried out three sets of emergency compressions, pushing down with her hands on Heidi’s chest to try to get her heart restarted.

After detecting a faint heartbeat, she climbed out of the car and, helped by veterinary nurse Emer Holtby, Susana scooped Heidi into her arms.

They rushed Heidi into the emergency clinic where they put Heidi on oxygen and placed a tube into her windpipe.

Tests revealed Heidi was likely suffering from hypocalcaemia, a calcium deficiency, that had caused her cardiac arrest.

Heidi was kept under observation overnight and the next morning she was transferred to her daytime practice for further tests before being declared well enough to go home.

Rachel added: “I was warned there was a high chance of possible brain damage to Heidi because her brain had been without oxygen – but luckily that’s not happened.

“We’re still not totally sure what caused Heidi’s collapse in the first place and she’s still due to have some more tests.

“But the main thing is that she’s totally fine and that’s because of Susana, who did such an amazing job bringing Heidi back to life.

“Thank you Susana, if it wasn’t for you, Heidi wouldn’t be here today.”

Hero vet Susana said: “It was one of the most dramatic days of my career.

“We’re so pleased Heidi has recovered totally from her ordeal. It was one of the most dramatic days of my career — and it’s not a day I’m going to forget in a hurry.“

(SWNS | Ashley Pemberton)



A man had a giggle when he noticed his tomato soup lunch resembled the shape- of the Edvard Munch painting The Scream.

Matthew Richardson, 45, said the lumps in the still-cold cream of tomato soup looked like the ghost-like face with hands raised to his ears.

The colour and pattern of the Happy-Shopper soup in the photograph is also like the swirly sunset in Edvard Munch’s painting.

Matthew quickly snapped a photo of the soup before the pattern changed, before tucking in for his supper before working the night shift on Sunday (9).

Glass worker Matthew, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, said: “It made me laugh.

“I had a bit of a mad dash to get a picture before it changed.

“I’m very familiar with that picture and it looked just like it to me.

“I saw the resemblance to the famous painting ‘The Scream’ straight after I poured the soup out of the can.

“The soup was uncooked so it was a bit lumpy and the lumpiness looked like the hands by the faces in the painting.”

‘The Scream’ is the popular name for a picture by expressionist artist Edvard Munch.

Painted in 1893, the full German name translates as ‘The Scream of Nature’.

(SWNS | Kate Pounds)

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