Green Impact submissions

Read about the charities and organisations this year’s Green Impact team have been involved with or support.

Submitted by Leeds Institute of Medical Education – Filipino Futures:

“Leeds Institute of Medical Education are proud to have had a long and successful relationship with a number of local and international community organisations.  The undergraduate medical programme offers students the chance to do short placements with our partners, giving them experience in the voluntary sector and broadening their perspective of the wider world.

One such organisation is Leeds Organic Growers.   LOGs are committed to actively promoting, encouraging and demonstrating sustainable living amongst all sections of the community, whilst protecting and wherever possible, enhancing the local environment.  2015-16 saw a decade of Leeds medical student placements with LOGs and also an exciting development to take the idea of sustainable living to a very different part of the world.

Founder and director of LOGs, Richard Veitch, is in the process of setting up Filipino Futures after visiting the Philippines and seeing first-hand the poverty and lack of healthcare in this wonderful country.  He decided that we could and should do something to improve the livelihoods and health of the local people.  Some 24.4 million poor Filipino Workers still cannot afford to buy basic needs.

Richard’s vision is based around the original Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are the world’s time-bound and qualified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions – income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion – while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability.

One of the key focuses for Filipino Futures is the promotion of sustainable agriculture as a means of both providing employment and of making healthy organic food available to local people.  Black rice is a delicious staple that is little known in the UK but can be grown organically in the Philippines using sustainable methods.  By teaching local communities in the Philippines to grow black rice Richard hopes to empower them to improve both their incomes and their health.

The commercial operations set up by Filipino Futures are social enterprises which means all profits after costs are put back into developing healthcare and schools.  Richard hopes to start exporting organic black rice internationally so keep an eye on your local health food store shelves!

Two Leeds medical school students undertook the inaugural placement in December 2015 with great success, drafting a constitution for the fledgling charity which is now being developed by Filipino Futures.  Discussions are also underway regarding the exciting possibility of a future student elective to live, work and study for a short time with Filipino Futures in the Philippines.

Richard hopes ultimately that the healthcare element of the project could be organised and run by Medical Students themselves and will provide a hands-on introduction to international health.

Filipino Futures is currently seeking volunteers to its management committee. Please call Richard Veitch on 07730 369 663 or email leedsorganicgrowers@hotmail.co.uk for further information.”


Submitted by Helen Theakston, Market Research and Insight:

“The Cinnamon Trust is a national charity which helps to support elderly, infirm and terminally ill people care for their pets. The Trust recognises that pets are treasured companions, particularly for elderly individuals living on their own. Their mission is to help ensure pets can remain with their owners for as long as possible.

Typically, this means matching volunteer dog-walkers for owners with limited mobility, but the charity also coordinates volunteers in other ways. This ranges from day-to-day support, such as fetching cat food or cleaning out the bird cage, to providing foster care and emergency care / transport.

I registered as a volunteer in 2010 and have walked five dogs, some for just a few weeks while their owners get back on their feet, others on a long term basis. There is flexibility to make it work around other commitments and you don’t necessarily have to give a lot of time  – just being able to walk the dog once a week is really valuable. It’s also an easy way to get some extra exercise!

I am currently helping to walk Wally, a beautiful and inexhaustible cockerpoo.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, or know someone who might need their support, you can find further information at http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/.”


Submitted by Karen Donnelly, Staff & Departmental Development Unit – Food for thought:

“Anyone interested in food sustainability might want to check out Slow Food; a worldwide organization which grew from protests against the opening of the first McDonalds in Rome in the 1980’s. They now have millions of supporters in over 150 countries, including the UK: https://www.slowfood.org.uk/ and are doing a huge amount of work to protect our food, our health, the environment in which our food is reared or grown and protect against damaging chemical pesticides and fertilisers. There are many worldwide campaigns to educate people about food, e.g., “The Ark of Taste”; protecting traditional food, cultures, recipes and traditions, biodiversity and small struggling farmers.  Over 2,000 foods in 70 countries have now been catalogued and preserved, also protecting them from the effects of homogenization, industrial farming, the demands of the supermarkets and degradation of the environment.  There are a huge amount of other projects going on, so if you want to get involved, it only costs from £1 a month https://www.slowfood.org.uk/about/join-us/.”