Community Foundation Spotlight

Gavin Madison

Gavin Madison is a partner at Irwin Mitchell who are members of Leeds Community Foundation.

He recently sat down with to talk about what drives the firm to support Leeds Community Foundation and how its social values align with the Foundations’ work as he noted it had a “long history of supporting communities in cities in which it operates, including locally in Leeds.”

Madison explained: “As a partner, being involved with the local community is a natural element of my day-to-day working life. Whether it’s supporting local businesses to grow or working with charitable organisations and institutions.

“I believe we all need to take a certain degree of responsibility for ensuring social value.”

The pandemic he noted emphasised the need to ensure high levels of support for community organisations which provide essential services  and called on everyone to do their bit.

“Considering the cuts in public spending, the impact of Covid-19 and the degree of austerity we’ve seen in the last two years, many people in our communities have no choice but to rely on organisations for the basics such as food and shelter which we all need to help with where we can.”

However the engagement the partner said, must go beyond the basics and should look at tackling the factory which lead to inequality.

“There are many factors that lead to inequality but businesses can make changes, for example, by looking beyond offering job and training opportunities to those who are already well-educated or from a similar background.

“If businesses widen their focus, tackle unconscious bias it can unlock pools of talent for the business and reduces inequality both at a company and societal level.”

Madison who encouraged others to support Leeds Community Foundation and its vital work by becoming a member said: “Businesses need to make sure their support is not just about ticking a box. Great things can be achieved from corporates and the third sector collaborating, but you have to remember the more you put in, the more you get out.”

Leeds Community Foundation creates opportunities for all by working with partners to make a positive impact within communities across Leeds and Bradford. We do this by generating and investing philanthropic giving as well as maximising statutory funding to deliver grants and provide trusted expertise into Community Organisations, benefitting thousands of local people. You can support the work directly through an annual donation via Leeds Community Foundation membership which enables the organisation to create meaningful social impact for thousands of local people each year.

Read more about our Membership here.