Matthew Hill, who passed away in February 2022, was a passionate advocate of the sustainability agenda, a believer in the power of the community to help tackle the climate emergency, and an expert ready to use his skills and knowledge to effect change and make things happen. He was also a lovely man, kind and thoughtful, whose gentle demeanour hid a steely determination. Headingley Development Trust (HDT), of which Matthew was Co-Chair from 2020 until his illness meant he had to step down, wants to celebrate his life in an enduring and meaningful way and have asked Matthew's family if we could set up a Fund in his name: the Matthew Hill Sustainability Fund. This will be a Fund to which people can give as much or as little as they feel able, supporting local projects that make the practical difference Matthew would want to see.

The purpose of the Fund is two-fold:

  • to enable people to donate to a cause that was close to Matthew's heart and continue his work by inspiring others;
  • to provide small grants of say £500 to £2,500 for projects and activities that contribute to improving the sustainability of Headingley and the local community.

  • Although the Fund will be open-ended for donations, the intention is to "get on and do" - Matthew's approach to things. The plan, provisionally, is for the Fund to run from the summer of 2022, until its closedown in 2027. If there are resources left by this time, the Fund might be extended.

    How to Donate
    Donations can be made at any time to HDT, preferably by BACs transfer and including the reference "Matthew Hill" - see the details below. If you would like to find out more, or you would like to discuss other ways of donating to the fund then please contact

    Account Name: Headingley Development Trust Ltd
    Account Number: 65188200
    Sort Code: 08-92-99
    Reference: Matthew Hill

    Fund Applications
    There will be an opportunity at least once each year to apply to the Fund for a grant.  Grants will be quite small.  The expectation is that applicants will be seeking sums of between £200 and £1000.  What projects are trying to do is more important than the size of the project, so if in doubt, ask!

    The second round is now open to applications

    3. The Fund Geography
    Projects should take place in the local authority wards of Headingley/Hyde Park and Weetwood.    For the sake of brevity, when Headingley is referred to hereafter, it is intended to mean this geography. 
    They should:
    Have a positive impact on climate change and the local environment
    Engage and involve people who live or work in Headingley in their creation and implementation
    Benefit people living or working in Headingley by improving the well-being of local people.

    4.  Who can apply

    Applying for any grant is hard work, and the work gets harder still when it comes to the reality of starting and running a successful project, and being responsible for spending other people's kind donations.  Matthew championed the idea that a community acting together was unstoppable.  The Fund will therefore primarily consider applications from constituted community groups, as well as social enterprises, Industrial and Provident Societies, and registered charities.  

    Individuals with an idea/project can potentially be partnered with a local organisation that may support them by "holding the project". Please contact us for more information.

    Organisations that wish to apply should already have, or be in the process of setting up:

  • A bank account with two named signatories, who should not be related or live at the same address

  • A constitution, or governing document that sets out clearly how the organisation is run and managed

  • Evidence of inclusive community involvement and engagement

  • Evidence that the group works with people in the Headingley area.

    All applications will be judged in relation to the difference any grant will make to local people and the local environment.  If you feel you could with a bit of help in talking through what you have in mind before you apply, there will be opportunities to do so at the Headingley Development Trust (HDT) stand at the Farmers' Markets on 8th April, 13th May and 10th June.  HDT will also provide a pool of "Fund Friends" with whom you can have a candid chat.  

    What the Fund might support
    The kinds of projects that are most likely to be supported will do one or more of the 

  • Create a leading example of what a more sustainable future might look like

  • Enrich the daily life of people in Headingley and improve the local environment 

  • Demonstrate community engagement and community education

  • Demonstrate creativity and ingenuity in designing activities to achieve community sustainability

  • Demonstrate ways of finding solutions to local concerns

  • Promote activities that encourage the adoption of net-zero strategies, and showcase ideas and
  • Of course, projects are not expected to meet every one of these criteria!  Very often, the most inspiring projects are those that do the smallest things, like bringing colour and liveliness to drab landscapes.  Applicants are urged to be realistic about the impact they want to make.  This means being unafraid of the everyday and the simple. 

    How to Apply
    The Application Form should be downloaded from here–_Fy38o/edit, completed and emailed to:
    by 17.00 on Friday 30th September 2022.

    No late applications will be accepted

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