Staff Festival 2023 | Vote for your favourite charity

Voting has opened to select this year’s official Staff Festival charity.

Staff Festival 2023 | Charity nominations open. January 2023

After a break of three years due to COVID-19 restrictions, plans are in full swing for this summer’s exciting instalment of the hugely popular entertainment extravaganza, with a packed programme of events in the pipeline.

All colleagues, family and friends are invited to join us on campus on Friday 30 June for an enjoyable afternoon of activities, full details of which will be announced nearer the time.

As part of the festivities, we invited colleagues to nominate their favourite charity to benefit from the event proceeds. A record number of you – more than 90 in total – kindly took the time to do this, with a wide range of good causes championed. Of these, the 12 with the most nominations have been shortlisted. Now it’s your chance to vote for the winner.

Staff Festival Project Manager, Jo Westerman, said: “We were overwhelmed with the amazing response this year. Thank you to everyone who took the time to register their choice.

“We’ve whittled these down to the charities with the most individual nominations. Now it’s over to you again to select for your favourite. Please take a few seconds to vote – it means so much to the charities involved.”

Special Needs and Parent Support (SNAPS) received £2,422.28 when the festival was last held, in 2019.

As hundreds of you registered your vote for the 2020 beneficiary before festival plans were scrapped, we’ve made the decision to honour that result. Homeless Street Angels, which finished top out of the 10 worthy nominees, will be one of the recipients from this year’s event. They will share the proceeds with the charity that receives the most votes from the following shortlist:

  • Battle Scars
  • Candlelighters
  • Disability Rights UK
  • Hedgehog Emergency Rescue
  • Leeds Women’s Aid
  • Motor Neurone Disease Association
  • Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)
  • Trussell Trust
  • Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity
  • Zarach

A brief description of each of the nominated charities is featured below. 

Every colleague at Leeds has one vote, which must be registered by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 10 February.

Charity shortlist


ANDYSMANCLUB is a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups across the UK and online. It aims to end the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation.

Battle Scars

Battle Scars is a 100% survivor-led and run charity offering support around self-harm. The Leeds-based charity’s aim is to break down the stigma associated with self-harm, raise awareness, dispel the myths and support those affected, irrelevant of gender, age, background and location.


Candlelighters supports families facing children’s cancer in Yorkshire. The charity gets involved in all sorts of different projects to help ordinary families who are facing extraordinary circumstances.

Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK is the leading organisation led by, run by and working for disabled people. The charity works with disabled people’s organisations, public bodies, businesses and Government to influence regional and national change for better rights, accessibility, benefits, quality of life and economic opportunities for disabled people.

Hedgehog Emergency Rescue, Bingley, Yorkshire (HERBY)

HERBY is a not-for-profit organisation rehabilitating – then releasing – injured, sick or orphaned wild hedgehogs. Those who cannot be released into the wild will be found suitable homes, giving them the appropriate level of care as close to their natural habitat as possible. 

Leeds Women’s Aid

Leeds Women’s Aid (LWA) is an independent charity providing a range of services for vulnerable women and families who are victims and survivors of domestic, sexual and honour-based violence and abuse, forced marriage, trafficking, stalking and harassment.

Mind UK

Mind UK provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. The charity campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association

The MND Association focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with, or affected by, motor neurone disease. MND affects the nerves known as motor neurones. These nerves are found in the brain and spinal cord and help tell your muscles what to do.

Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)

PAFRAS is a community-based charity that supports destitute asylum seekers in the Leeds area. It provides emergency crisis intervention (food parcels, vouchers and emergency accommodation), independent immigration advice, casework and integrated mental health support.

Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks, which together provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty. The charity also campaigns for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.

Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity (YBTC)

YBTC is Yorkshire’s leading brain tumour charity dedicated to raising funds for life-changing research and patient support. Its mission is to support patients and their loved ones through the devastation a primary brain tumour diagnosis can bring, making sure they have someone to turn to at any stage of their journey, while funding innovative research across Yorkshire to find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure.


Zarach is a charity delivering beds and basics to children in poverty, to help families in crisis rise up from surviving to thriving so children can eat, sleep and learn. Its mission is to bring lasting and positive change to those children growing up in the grips of poverty crisis through bed bundle deliveries, tailored support packages, raising awareness, advocating policy change and by galvanising people and resources across the UK.

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