Leeds United Football Club will host a special fundraising event that will support people who have experienced homelessness across Leeds and Kirklees back into employment.
CEO at the club, Angus Kinnear, will open the Hidden Owls ‘Spotlight Collection’ fashion show, organised by The Howarth Foundation, at Elland Road on Thursday 16 September (6pm).
The fashion show will feature models currently working or volunteering at The Howarth Foundation’s Hidden Owls community project in Armley, all of whom have previously been homeless or spent time sofa-surfing due to drug addiction, mental health issues and domestic violence.
Andy Howarth, CEO at The Howarth Foundation, said: “Angus and the team and Leeds United Football Club are long-standing and hugely valued supporters of The Howarth Foundation, having provided work experience and employment to a number of our clients following our Business Building Futures – Street to Feet programme.
“We are delighted to be working with the club again for this year’s Spotlight Collection fashion show. The event will help raise vital funds to help us continue supporting people who have experienced homelessness back into skills training and employment.
“It’s going to be a fashion show with a difference. All our models come from a variety of colourful backgrounds with many recovering from street homelessness, drug addiction, mental health issues, sofa-surfing and fleeing domestic violence, and they will be modelling pieces from our Hidden Owls pre-loved store, based in Armley.”
Hidden Owls was launched in July by The Howarth Foundation as a community-led re-integration and recovery programme designed to support people who have experienced homelessness to learn skills to get back into employment.
Natalie Wells, general manager at The Howarth Foundation, added: “As part of the project, clients can choose to develop customer service and interpersonal skills working in a live retail environment at the Hidden Owls store, learning what it takes to run a shop, interact with customers and deliver excellent levels of service; all skills that are essential when it comes to securing long-term employment.”