We are extremely excited to announce that our founder and CEO, Sally-Anne Greenfield, will receive an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University this July.
Joining over 5,000 students celebrating their graduation later this month, Sally-Anne’s tireless efforts in tackling issues of social isolation, mental wellbeing, child sexual exploitation and the poverty gap in the region will officially be recognised in a ceremony at the Headingley campus on Wednesday 26th July.
The award celebrates Sally-Anne’s valuable contribution to the city and recognises a stellar career in the sector. A Cambridge graduate, Sally-Anne started her career in fundraising, running major capital projects across the North of England before being invited to start a new Community Foundation for Leeds in 2004.
Starting from humble beginnings just 13 years ago, Sally-Anne has steered the Foundation into being the organisation it is today – the largest independent grant-maker in Leeds, with a team of 17 staff and a turnover approaching £4m. Going from strength to strength, we are now in the top 5 Community Foundations in the UK and work to make Leeds a city that is better for everyone.
We have a lot to be proud of in Leeds, a vibrant historic city, thriving industry, good schools and universities, and beautiful parks. Under Sally-Anne’s guidance, the Foundation has both greatly contributed to these opportunities and strived to increase access to them. By working together with the private and public sectors and persuading businesses to engage in philanthropic activity through charitable giving, we are able to connect people who want to make a real difference in our city.
During the past 13 years, Sally-Anne has led the team in raising over £50m in donations and distributing £33m in grants to local community groups and charities. In her entire fundraising career, Sally-Anne has directly helped to raise more than £75m for charitable causes.
Joining many others, we are therefore extremely proud that Sally-Anne’s unequivocal contribution to the city is to be recognised by the University with this award.
Leeds Beckett University Chancellor, Sir Bob Murray CBE, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to award Sally Anne’s contribution to the community with this Honorary Doctorate.
“Her drive and determination to improve the lives of people in Leeds and beyond is inspirational. She is exactly the type of female role model we want for our graduating students, and shows just what can be achieved from small beginnings. Her leadership in creating what is now one of the most successful Community Foundations in the country is to be applauded.”
Sally-Anne adds: “I am delighted to receive this Honorary Award from Leeds Beckett University. My achievements are down to some amazing local people – my family, colleagues, the many donors who have supported our work over the years – but, in particular, the thousands of people who work or volunteer for charities and community projects across the city, who ensure that Leeds has a third sector of which it can be proud.
“It is on behalf of these people that I proudly accept this Award.”