At the beginning of every year nearly everybody vows to be a better person. From a new fitness regime and healthy diet to achieving career ambitions and financial goals, the resolutions pour out of one and all. As the saying goes: new year, new me!

For many, once the hangover diminishes and reality returns, these good intentions gradually fade away, and life continues until the next new year. But some of course do smash it, and with determination will enrich their own lives.

To help your new altruistic self along the way in 2019, there are an abundance of independent organisations doing good in Leeds. If volunteer work appeals, here are a selection of amazing places across the city to give a go. Between these and many more besides, there are constant opportunities to get volunteering in Leeds, to make a positive impact, and to achieve those new year’s resolutions!

Of the many do-gooders across the city, one which has travelled far whilst keeping its roots firmly here is The Real Junk Food Project. Set up in Armley, this non-profit community interest company have the admirable ambition to end food waste. By intercepting surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and using it to feed, the whole network has gone global, and its many strands require diverse volunteers. They cater for events and run projects such as Fuel For School and Freegan Box, as well as their Pay As You Feel cafes, all of which always welcome a helping hand to keep feeding the world.

There are others focusing on the former and doing a great job of enhancing the city and its people’s lives with straightforward and rewarding methods. Leeds Repair Cafe’s message is just that: ‘It’s good when people get together and collaborate. It’s good to fix stuff, rather than chuck it away. And it’s good to save ??.’ If, like lots of people, that’s something you can relate to, then check out their dates for meet ups and get contributing.

Hyde Park Source is another such group that is improving its immediate environment and the health of its residents in important and enjoyable ways. Their renovations of various outdoor spaces have had huge positive impacts for all around, and in particular their connection with nature assists many’s wellbeing. Hyde Park Source actively encourages everybody to get involved, of all ages, backgrounds and beings.

One such initiative says it all in its name: Leeds For Change is an online platform that connects like-minded people who are taking positive action in their communities. The idea is that by joining together and sharing resources, together becomes stronger, and collectively more powerful. Following the hub’s shared values of solidarity, equality and justice, change for good can be achieved with the same ethos in many different ways amongst this great support network.

Leeds Tidal encourages grassroots movements to challenge unfair systems that are ingrained in society and can often feel too overpowering to effect. From the economic to the environmental, Leeds Tidal believe that with with strategy and collaboration, ground up social activism can create a more just and sustainable world.

So how about it? Even volunteering an hour of your time every now and again will not only help these charities massively, but help yourself as you help impact lives. Happy New Year!