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Weston Charity Awards to benefit charities in NE England

Weston Charity Awards to benefit charities in NE England

The Garfield Weston Foundation has launched the Weston Charity Awards in order to celebrate and support charities working in the North East of England.

The grantmaker, like others, has seen a notable decline in the number of funding applications received from this region. Despite the need, applications had dropped by 38% over the last four years.

Indeed, research by the Foundation published today shows that government spending cuts have affected 64% of charities in the North East, while almost 60% of charities have seen an increase in demand for their services.

Philippa Charles, The Garfield Weston Foundation’s Director, explained the background to the awards:

“As the recession took hold we were expecting to see an increase in funding applications from charities in the North East but it simply didn’t happen. We were amazed to find the number of applications actually fell by up to 40%. By creating the Weston Charity Awards we hope to give charities funded access to senior business mentoring to help them to become fit for the future and ultimately to grow, reaching more people in need.”

Six charities to benefit

The six selected charities will be given help to develop and become as resilient as possible. They will each win:

  • One year programme of professional mentoring in partnership with Pilotlight;
  • Core cost funding;
  • Profile raising in the media
  • Access to advice and support from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Pilotlight is an organisation that uses senior business leaders to mentor charities to help them develop and to face the future with confidence.

How to apply

To be eligible to apply, charities must:

  • have a registered charity number
  • have at least one paid member of staff
  • have income over £20,000 but less than £3million
  • work in the fields of Welfare, Youth or Community (or a combination)
  • operate with the majority of its activity or beneficiaries are in the North East of England

The deadline to apply is 28 February 2014.

Awards to expand to other parts of the UK

This is the first stage for the Weston Charity Awards. The foundation hopes to expand the scheme to cover other areas of the UK in the future.


[message_box title=”Survey’s key findings” color=”blue”]

A sample of 182 small to medium-sized charities in the North East region, working in youth, community and welfare, were interviewed by telephone. The survey was carried out by GfK NOP between 25 Nov and 13 Dec 2013 on behalf of CGAP at Cass Business School.

Key findings:

• Nearly two-thirds of charities (64%) in the North East have been affected by government spending cuts.

• Nearly 60% of charities (57%) in the North East reported an increase in demand for services in the last eighteen months.

• Over 30% of charities in the North East rely on government funding as their main source of income; over 80% have one source of funding from government

• Over 85% of charities in the North East acknowledged that there was a current need to strengthen fundraising and income generation, while a quarter of charities are not confident in their ability to raise funds

• 90% of charities in the North East say that income generation and fundraising has a high priority in their organisation

• Over 40% of charities in the North East don’t feel they have enough staff time to make the most of funding opportunities and have fewer resources for doing this.

• Almost two-fifths of charities (38%) in the North East have seen their incomes fall in the last year and nearly a third (30%) are expecting to see further decreases


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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