Thanks to Rtn Dr Raj Menon, this week we had the pleasure of a visit from Pat McGeever, the Chief Executive of a Leeds charity known as Health For All. Raj is one of the trustees of the charity, which he described as ‘well run and wonderful to work for’.
Pat McGeever Chief Executive of Health for All
This was Pat’s second visit to the club in two days – she began by telling us how much she, her husband and six of the charity’s staff had enjoyed our Bollywood evening on Saturday night. They helped to swell the numbers and make this year’s Bollywood a record success, raising £1,400 for charity, on top of £600 Club members collected on Saturday afternoon at Sainsburys – quite a busy weekend of fundraising for the Rotary Club of Roundhay.
Pat explained that Health for All was founded by her 25 years ago, with the aim of redressing health inequalities suffered by the disadvantaged, initially in South Leeds. She began by asking people what was adversely affecting their lives. From her listening, she learned how people’s lives were made miserable by factors such as isolation, bullying, domestic violence and even litter, all with the potential to lead to poor mental health. After listening, Pat set about establishing support groups and then, in partnership with the local authority, NHS and other agencies, delivering services to enhance people’s lives.
The charity has grown over the years, now running family and community centres, using previously underused or dilapidated premises, revived and refurbished with support from the local authority and other funders. The latest venture is at Gipton Methodist Church.
From one worker – Pat herself- at start-up, the charity now employs a staff of 100 managed by a team of Project Managers and a Senior Management Team, and manages many projects and engages more than 5,000 people each year in activities delivered across 7 community premises.
Pat is clearly both compassionate and energetic, reaching out to groups as diverse as troubled parents facing the prospect of children going into the care system, victims of domestic violence, women from ethnic minority groups suffering from social isolation, isolated older men, refugees and asylum seekers. It was a privilege to meet her and hear about yet more good work being done in the community.