Community Development Service

Please note: this service is no longer running. For more information on our new mental health service Mentally Healthy Leeds click here.

Who does the Community Development Service Support?

CDS partnersPrimarily the eight largest BME communities in Leeds:

  • African
  • African Caribbean
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Indian
  • Irish
  • Pakistani and Kashmiri
  • Refugee & Asylum Seekers

Also other BME groups, such as Azer-Turk, Kashmiri, Gypsy and Travelers

Anyone who is interested in improving the mental health and wellbeing of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) people in Leeds. For example:

  • Community activists
  • Faith groups
  • NHS services
  • Charities
  • Community organisations

We work best with groups of people, but if you feel you are on your own, we might help you to find other people who share your concerns.

What does it do?

We help other people to do just about anything that will improve the mental health of BME communities for example:

  • Promoting the strengths of the BME communities – not just talking about gaps, problems, needs and things that are bad
  • Demystifing mental health and wellbeing– cutting through the jargon and the name calling, and talking about real life as people feel it like this
  • Giving practical support to people to make improvements for themselves
  • Helping different religious groups feel more confident at helping people in mental distress
  • Supporting the growth and development of religious and cultural events that celebrate mental wellbeing
  • Helping services think through the ways they can help achieve equal outcomes for everyone
  • Lobbying decision makers and commissioners, and  helping them to making sure services take their equality duties seriously
  • Our outcomes are set out in the Government Action Plan Delivering Race Equality

How is this achieved?

  • By being positive and solution focused – we believe that if you can see a problem you can help to find a solution
  • Helping all our partners make simple, positive changes in their communities
  • Finding shared ways to understand how we feel, and of what recovery means
  • Providing training and facilitation on mental health, ethnicity and the interplay between the two
  • Running information and awareness sessions for mental health services on things like:
    – Getting to know communities
    – Effective community engagement
    – The benefits of using asset based approaches
    – Mental health promotion within BME contexts
    – Thinking beyond accessible services
    – Building inclusive communities
    – Religion faith and belief
  • Running information and awareness sessions for community members on things like:
    – What mental health and well-being means
    – Understanding medicines and alternatives
    – How to get the right kind of help
    – Getting help with interpreters
    – How to influence the powers that be
    – Knowing how to complain effectively

How do we know we are making a difference?

  • We are very much in demand – people seem to like what we do
  • We use a variety of evaluation methods, depending on what we’re trying to do for example:
    – Case Studies
    – Focus Groups
    – Community Events and Consultations
    – Feedback from the people we work with
  • We report our progress against our targets every 3 months to our Steering Group.
  • We welcome your feedback – our contact details are at the top of this page.
  • Read our leaflet.


Leeds City CouncilThe Community Development Service is funded by Leeds City Council Public Health.

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