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Weston Charity Awards 2023 now open for applications with new Environment strand

Melanie May | 14 November 2022 | News

A woman of colour stands facing the camera in a greenhouse. She has green trousers, a black top and wellies on.

Applications for the Weston Charity Awards 2023 are now open, offering grants and leadership coaching to small charities in the north of England, the Midlands, and Wales.

The Awards are open to registered charities that specialise in the fields of Community, Welfare, Youth, and, for the first time, Environment. This fourth strand is in recognition of the growing pressures on conservation and environmental charities. 

Eligible charities for this strand are those specialising in practical action around sustainable land use and fishing, renewable energy, recycling schemes, biodiversity, species preservation and protection, marine life, environmental education, climate change science and conservation.


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Now in its ninth year, the Awards offer a package of support worth over £22,000 through a collaboration between The Garfield Weston Foundation and charity partner, Pilotlight. The Awards are designed to nurture leadership talent while amplifying a charity’s potential impact.

Through the Weston Charity Awards, unrestricted grants of £6,500 are available for up to 22 charities. The cash contributions are available to instigate strategic change and accelerate innovative growth despite current challenges. Winning applicants also gain free access to the Pilotlight 360 programme – a ten-month package of leadership coaching worth an estimated £16,000. Charities with at least one paid full-time member of staff in a leadership position and an income of less than £5 million per year are eligible to apply.

Feedback shows that two years after receiving Pilotlight support, charities on average increase their reach by 30%, income by 44%, and leadership skills in 94% of participants. 

Philippa Charles, Director of The Garfield Weston Foundation, said:

“As the cost-of-living crisis hits families and communities hard, we see a critical role for small charities in key regions who are supporting vulnerable people. Now more than ever, charities are seeking support to ensure a robust strategic future. The Awards can be critical in helping a charity grow their services for people in real need.”

Alongside grants, award winners receive a package of leadership mentoring from four senior professionals across private and public sector organisations. These “Pilotlighters” offer in-depth expert coaching on everything from creative operational efficiencies to sustainable long-term business strategies that take an organisation to the next level. Winning charities also access: 

The application deadline is 6 January 2023. Charities can find out more about the Weston Charity Awards, eligibility, application process, and what charities get out of applying by joining an ‘Everything you need to know’ Zoom session on this Wednesday 16 November at 2:00 – 3:00pm.