Weston Charity Award The Clock

Northern charities receive business coaching and mentoring

The winners of an award that will see charities across the North of England being mentored and coached by senior business leaders are being revealed today.

The Garfield Weston Foundation expanded the Weston Charity Awards to reach more organisations after a successful first year working with charities in the North East. The Foundation says the response from charities across Yorkshire, the North East and the North West has been exceptional and the winners were selected from a strong field of applicants.

Twelve charities working in the areas of youth, welfare and community have been selected for awards and the winners are:

  • 42nd Street – an innovative mental health charity supporting young people aged 13-25 in Manchester, Salford and Trafford.
  • Action Foundation – provides housing and support for those on the margins of society including vulnerable young people in Tyneside.
  • A Way Out – supports the most vulnerable and at-risk women and young people across the North East, helping them to live lives free from abuse, addiction, prostitution and harm.
  • Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project (CVYP) – offers a range of opportunities for young people with a focus on outdoor activities for people with learning difficulties.
  • Gateway into the Community provides social, leisure and developmental activities to people with learning difficulties in Hexham, Northumberland.
  • Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland provides free specialist nursing care for patients at the end stages of their lives who wish to remain in their own homes.
  • Lancashire Women’s Centres offers support and training to help women to get the best from life for themselves and their families, including support into work.
  • Methodist Action North West works to tackle homelessness in the region, providing support to people to help them achieve stability and independence.
  • Ocean Youth Trust North (OYT) offers young people and adults the chance to develop their skills and confidence through the experience of sailing.
  • Safe and Sound Home (SASH) uses volunteer hosts to give vulnerable young people aged 16-25 years old a home and the support to become successfully independent. It works across York, North Yorkshire, the East Riding and Hull.
  • Stick ‘n’ Step is a Wirral-based charity that provides advice, support and activities for children with Cerebral Palsy and their families.
  • The Clock provides training and support to young people in Thirsk and North Yorkshire to help them reach their potential and find employment.

The charities now have access to a team of senior business leaders through the organisation Pilotlight, which has been bringing together top business talent with small charities for over ten years.

The Garfield Weston Foundation’s Director, Philippa Charles, says:

“We’ve had an amazing response from charities across the North which are tackling some of the toughest challenges such as youth unemployment, mental health issues and homelessness. The twelve winning charities are not only doing great work but are ambitious with their plans – we are looking forward to supporting them to achieve their goals.”

The awards come at a time when charities are seeing demand for their services increase while budgets are being cut. A recent survey by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) found that 40% of charities in the North said government funding cuts were one of their biggest challenges, while 1 in 5 smaller charities (21%) said they were ‘struggling to survive’. The research also found that over three quarters (78%) of charities had seen an increase in demand over the last 12 months.

The award has been welcomed by small charities as regional research shows that government spending cuts have affected nearly two-thirds of charities (64%) in the North East.
42nd Street is a charity that has been supporting young people across Greater Manchester for over 30 years and their Chief Executive, Simone Spray, says being chosen as a winner of the Weston Charity Awards couldn’t have come at a better time:
“This is a very important year for us at 42nd Street; we have seen a 100% increase in the number of young people needing our service over the last 2 years and the issues that they are facing are increasingly complex and difficult, set against a challenging and changing political and financial backdrop.
We are determined to continue to meet the needs of young people that need us and the coaching, capacity building and expertise offered by Pilotlight could not have come at a more critical time.”
Pilotlight’s chief executive, Gillian Murray, says:

“Charities are telling us that they need support to plan for the future. Many have been hit by funding cuts and changes in the way their services are being contracted. By bringing together charity chief executives with dynamic business leaders we know these charities will benefit and become more sustainable as a result.”

The twelve winning charities will receive their awards in a celebration event being held this morning at the newly opened arts venue, HOME in Manchester, a charity also supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Having expanded the awards to reach charities across the North of England, the Garfield Weston Foundation hopes the awards might develop further and eventually cover the rest of the country.