Third Sector Workforce

An estimated 57,000 people are employed across Leeds in health and care services, collectively called the health and care workforce.

The health and care workforce is employed across the NHS, third sector, statutory and private sectors, and in Leeds it’s given a shared identity known as #TeamLeeds. A proportion of the health and care workforce is employed by charities, social enterprises, community interest companies or are volunteers, and this is collectively called the Third Sector workforce.

Training and support is available to meet the needs of the Third Sector workforce. This page pulls together and signposts to a range of available resources and information.

Third Sector HR Network

The HR Network meets quarterly and sends a monthly e-bulletin with useful information about resources, training and other staff related information/activities for organisations to access. It exists to share information and collaborate. It is an important space to hear themes from and share good practice across the health and care workforce within the third sector. Health and care is the focus of the network however as much of the emphasis relates to responding to organisational needs its work may be of interest to those organisations delivering services relating to the wider determinants of health such as housing, food aid and more.

To find out more, see the HR Network Terms of Reference (Google doc published to the web)

Network meetings

If you would like to attend the quarterly Third Sector HR Workforce Network meeting please email [email protected].

The next HR Network meeting will be on:

2024 Meetings are scheduled as follows (may be subject to change):

15 July
1pm to 2:45pm
Barca-Leeds, Manor House, 259 Upper Town St, Bramley, Leeds LS13 3JT

14 October
1pm to 2:45pm
location to be confirmed

Logo for the HR Network.

Join the network

To keep up to date and be part of the conversation, third sector organisations are encouraged to get in touch to join the network. Staff involved do not need to be HR professionals, they can for example lead management responsibilities with no internal HR support. Membership is available to members of Forum Central and/or Voluntary Action Leeds.

By joining the list you will get the monthly emails and be in the loop with what’s happening. Capacity to attend the network meetings is not essential to join the network but all new members are welcome to take part occasionally or regularly.

To join or ask any questions, please email Emma Holford or Tina Turnbull on [email protected]

Third Sector Leaders Book Exchange

Developing leadership in the third sector with a free pass-it-on book scheme.

Gain insight and learning from industry experts and leaders in their field through reading their books. Gain peer support through a network of like-minded individuals, established and aspiring sector leaders in Leeds through the group.

To get involved, access book, give feedback, start a conversation join the Facebook group: Third Sector Leaders Book Exchange  

In the Facebook group you can:

  • Offer your support, including how to donate new and used books
  • Discover books that are in the exchange
  • Share your learning after reading a book and discover feedback from others about book they have read

Note: This is a self-supporting initiative, for all information and queries please go to the Facebook group. Happy reading!

Can’t find the book you’re looking for?

Try accessing support through the BIPC (Business and Intellectual Property Centre) at Leeds Central Library. There is a library section of similar HR and leadership books available there. 


To support all Leeds Third Sector organisations, especially small organisations and those without specialist in-house HR capacity – three pallet boards are being maintained with links and resources. These are free and open to all. Suggestions for inclusion are welcomed.

HR Workforce Information Padlet

Supporting employees well at all points of employment from recruitment right through to promotion/exit allows them in turn to focus on providing an effective service to their community. A growing set of links and resources is being curated to include everything from recruitment, policies and procedures, to being an inclusive employer.

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Leadership Padlet

In response to third sector organisations who need to deal with organisational change a second set of resources have also been developed. These focus on support that health and care leaders need to start or transform their organisations from improving their digital strategy to
developing a consortium/doing a merger. Want to consider sustainability or look at a restructure and much more then this resource is what you may need.

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Training Opportunities Padlet

Third sector training sessions advertised on specific dates are available through the VAL training directory. This padlet shares the training offers for the third sector in Leeds from key partners, together with sources of e-learning and bookable training which are available ‘on-demand’. It supports everyone to help find the training they need when they need it.

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Rationale and Delivery

Over 6300 staff are employed by third sector employers in Leeds in approx.1400 charitable organisations. These organisations are of all sizes from micro to very large with nearly 170 directly delivering health and care services and much of the remainder contributing to the wider determinants of health in the city. In forming the HR Network the need was recognised to be talking to and supporting those who are responsible for this workforce across their recruitment, retention and development.

The network was established in 2022 following the 2021 Forum Central workforce survey that raised concerns about challenges being faced by the sector. These challenges have intensified since then as evidenced in the 2023 update of the Third Sector Resilience Report.

Volition and Leeds Health and Care Academy work together to coordinate the Forum Central Third Sector HR Network. On the basis that the network also holds work of interest to organisations involved in delivery supporting the wider determinants of health Voluntary Action Leeds have also agreed to promote the network and its activities/resources.

Leeds Health and Care Academy

The Leeds Health and Care Academy website is a key go-to place for many learning opportunities available to the third sector and wider health and care colleagues, including:

  • Jobs and Careers information
  • Networking
  • Toolkits and Case Studies (such as the We can Flex toolkit)
  • Free learning and development opportunities via their Learning Portal

The Leeds Health and Care Learning Portal is for anyone working or volunteering in a health and care role in Leeds. Through the Learning Portal you can access over 70 engaging video-based courses, webinars and e-Learning. Resources covering a wide range of topics from equality, diversity, inclusion to wellbeing, leadership and teamwork are available.

To use it you need to create a free account to login or create an account go to the Leeds Health and Care Learning Portal.

One Workforce Leeds

The Health and Care Academy is overseen by the Leeds One Workforce Strategic Board.

There is third sector representation on the board and across multiple workstreams and projects relating to this.

The One Workforce Strategy: 2024 outlines its vision and priorities.

Key members of the One Workforce Strategy for Leeds and also those who support the third sector in the city are

  • Forum Central
  • Leeds Health and Care Academy
  • Voluntary Action Leeds
  • Leeds City Council
  • NHS Leeds Integrated Care Board
  • Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
  • NHS Leeds and York Partnership
  • Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust