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Thousands of Volunteers to bring the Year of Culture to life across every community in Leeds

IMAGE CREDIT: Sculpture activities at Yorkshire Sculpture International street party in Wakefield during the opening weekend. Photography: Nick Singleton

Our Volunteering Manager, Lee Ashworth talks about the power of volunteering and how you can get involved…

The power of volunteering cannot be underestimated. It brings people and communities together to do extraordinary things and allows people to live their very best lives.

You get to know some amazing people that you wouldn’t otherwise have met, you learn loads of new skills, and you can discover so much about your community – and yourself.

I’ve worked as a Volunteering Manager in many different organisations over the years and I’ve seen just how transformative volunteering can be for people who get involved.

It can create stronger wellbeing and resilience, enhanced skills and confidence, and routes into training. It can even launch people into a new career after trying something they’d never even thought about before. 

The aspect I love the most about volunteering is that it builds a community from scratch. I’ve seen it time and time again. You see friendships form as people get to know each other and bond over their shared interests and passions. The wide smiles on people’s faces when they know they’ve made a real difference together is electric. 

This is exactly what we hope our volunteers will get out of the LEEDS 2023 volunteer programme. We’re looking for around 1000 volunteers to bring the year of culture to life all across the city, in every community, and we’ll be launching recruitment at the end of the spring.

There’ll be loads of really exciting opportunities to get closer to the events during 2023, whether you’re interested in theatre performances or sport, food and drink festivals or outdoor arts. You’ll be able to choose the kinds of projects you’re interested in and give as much time throughout the year as you like. 

We want to create a community of volunteers for the future, not just for 2023. Leeds will have a hub of proud and dedicated people ready to get involved in all sorts of events and showcase the city as a powerhouse of culture. 

Everyone over the age of 18 is welcome to become a volunteer at LEEDS 2023 – no matter your interests or background. It’s not like applying for a job. We want to know about your motivations and what you think you could bring to our volunteering community.

Most of all we want to hear about your love for Leeds and the incredible things going on here.

We want people from every part of Leeds, and you don’t need to have any experience in arts or culture. All you need is curiosity.


Come along to one of our Roadshow events this summer to find out more about our Volunteering offer and to meet the LEEDS 2023 team.

Sign up to stay in the loop with when Volunteering applications goes live.