The Weston Charity Awards, which combine funding and strategic business support for charities, are expanding to a fourth area of the UK in December. The announcement was made following the announcement of the first ever North East England regional winner of the Weston Charity Awards.
The Garfield Weston Foundation’s Director, Philippa Charles, said:
“Having seen how much charities benefit from this unique blend of funding and strategic business support we are determined to do more over the next two years. Building on the success of the Weston Charity Awards in the North of England we now want to reach charities across the Midlands, helping them to achieve their goals and provide more services to communities in need.”
Mentoring and grants
The Weston Charity Awards were established in 2014, initially benefiting charities in North East England. After a year the programme expanded across the North of England.
Over the last year, six charities from across the North East have had access to a team of senior business leaders through the organisation Pilotlight, as part of the awards.
Horden Youth & Community Centre (HYCC), which helps disadvantaged and isolated families in one of the most deprived areas of the country, was chosen as the first ever regional winner.
HYCC’s Centre Manager, Steve Clark, said:
“This has been a game-changing experience for us. I was always the financial worrier – thinking how are we going to pay this core cost? How will we afford that? However the business team really supported us in putting a new financial infrastructure and long-term strategy in place. We are now able to expand our services and our income is rising as a result. We are fighting fit and that’s a great feeling.”
Pilotlight’s chief executive, Gillian Murray, said:
“We know that many small charities are finding it tough to fund their work and cope with an increase in demand for their services. As the spending review next week looks set to announce more cuts, it’s more important than ever that charities have access to strategic business support. By bringing together charity chief executives with dynamic business leaders we see how charities benefit and become more sustainable as a result.”
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