Les McLeese

Les McLeese is the nineth person to receive the Peter Scott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Charity (2023). It’s for his commitment to the continuing provision of a vital youth service for the area’s young.

In 2006, Les started YouthAbility, to open up new opportunities for young people with special needs. Largely dependent on volunteers, it continues to grow and supports over 130 young people a week, with a number of activities. But in 2021, despite its success, YouthAbility was going to be shut down and Les was offered redundancy. Instead of accepting the loss of the service, within a few days Les had set up a new organisation and negotiated with Leonard Cheshire to support the transition of the programme and secure its future. In 2022 the charity became independent of Leonard Cheshire, and became YouthAbility Youth Services.

Since then, Les has driven the development and creation of the new organisation, Youthability Youth Services. He is completely motivated to ensure that no generation or young person is left without opportunities to take part.

The award comes with a grant of £2,500, which Les will use to organise a summer residential trip for attendees of YouthAbility Youth Services.