Seventeen charities working in the areas of youth, welfare and community have won Weston Charity Awards this year.
The winning charities receive their awards in a celebration event held today (14th June) at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.
This year’s Weston Charity Awards winners include Blackburn Youth Zone, which provides sports, art and youth work to more than 2,000 young people across Blackburn and Darwen, aimed at building confidence and raising their aspirations for the future, Family Help Darlington, which provides safe, temporary accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic abuse across the UK, and Focus Charity in Leicester, which provides volunteering opportunities to 340 young people each year that help them contribute positively to the community and to themselves.
The Weston Charity Awards give small charities across the North of England and the Midlands unrestricted funding plus access to strategic support and mentoring from business leaders through the organisation Pilotlight.
Gillian Murray, Pilotlight chief executive, said:
“This is an opportunity for the Award winners to develop and hone the skills they need to ensure they can weather the storm and become more robust in today’s changing climate. They end the year-long Pilotlight programme with more resilient and adaptable organisations.”
Steve Clark, centre manager of Hordon Youth and Community Centre, which won in 2015, said:
“After two years, our turnover has increased by more than 50% and we’ve more than doubled our capacity. Meanwhile, our knowledge has improved and our physical structure has changed. All of this was underpinned by the work we did through the awards. It has opened up so many doors for us.”
The Garfield Weston Foundation launched the awards in 2014 to benefit charities in the North East of England and expanded their reach in 2015. Announcing this year’s winners, it said that the constantly evolving political landscape and uncertain economic environment were among the key factors impacting on the success of small charities today and called on small charities to develop ways to help them become more resilient. It has identified five areas of major disruption, which it says offer equal amounts of risk and opportunity, depending on how they are managed: politics, the economy, technology, trust and transparency, and increasing demand.
Philippa Charles, Garfield Weston Foundation director, said:
“We are living through a period of unprecedented change. Charities must be resilient and sustainable if they are to support people through such disruptive times. The better prepared charities are, the better placed they are to deliver the support needed. It is quite literally a case of adapt or die. This is why the Weston Charity Awards help charities become stronger, more effective and fit for the future.”
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