Winners reveal pride after North East Charity Awards glittering grand final

he winners of the North East Charity Awards have spoken of their pride following our annual celebration of the region’s voluntary sector.

St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth, Newcastle , was the big winner of the night, scooping the North East Charity of the Year accolade.

The hospice – which provides outstanding care to children and adults across the region – was named North East Charity of the Year at the fourth annual event organised by The Journal and The Gazette in association with sponsors Brewin Dolphin and Leathers the accountants.

The organisation scooped the top prize after judges heard how the Gosforth hospice provides care to people of all ages with complex, incurable conditions, supporting patients as well as their families and loved ones.

James Ellam, chief executive, said: “I’m delighted because this is a big thank you to all the supporters who help to keep us going year after year, whether they have fundraised thousands of pounds or given £1 for our weekly lottery.”

Ian Anderson, whose daughter Eve uses the hospice’s Children and Young Adults short break service said: “If I won the super lottery and the world’s riches, it would never be enough to say thank you and to repay St Oswald’s for basically giving my daughter some dignity and quality of life back.

“A lot of people would probably think that coming into St Oswald’s would be a very sad, miserable, depressing place. And yet, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You walk in, and all your troubles are left at the door and you come in here and the staff are just so wonderful, friendly – yes they’re professional but they embrace you as almost like an extension of your family.”

Simon Gordon, director of strategy and development at St Oswald’s, said: “To be awarded North East Charity of the Year is a huge privilege. As echoed in comments on the night, we would be unable to provide our outstanding services without our amazing staff and volunteers, and we thank from the bottom of hearts our local North East community for their incredible support. We were built by our community and we continue our vital, life changing work because of the help of our North East community. We are so proud of our roots and all money raised from our supporters stays in our region and helps people of the North East. 2018 has already been a brilliant year for us and has now been made even better.”

The charity of the year trophy was among 11 prizes handed out as more than 400 people gathered at Hardwick Hall in County Durham to celebrate the very best of the voluntary sector in a glittering event.

Helen Dalby, North East senior editor and head of digital, said: “ChronicleLive, The Journal and The Gazette are extremely proud to pay tribute to the amazing charities and social enterprises in this part of the world, which is so widely known and loved for its generosity of spirit.

“These are tough awards to judge – all those nominated are exceptional organisations and individuals, who make a real difference.”

BBC Newcastle radio hosts Anna Foster and Alfie Joey hosted the awards, which featured entertainment from Sasha and David France.

Prizes went to AkzoNobel Ashington for outstanding charity support by large companies.

Mark Summers, manufacturing support operative, said: “It’s just one big family at AkzoNobel. I joined there three years ago and told them about my son Taylor, who’ now 12 and basically has half a heart. We raised £16,500 for Chuf (Children’s Heart Unit Foundation) and we keep on fundraising to help the community with other charities too.

“It’s all about being part of the community and we help out as much as possible.”

Warren Access was awarded for charity support by small-to-medium firms.

Graeme Warren, the firm’s managing director, said: “We feel very humbled to receive this award. We are delighted that we can do our bit to help and we hope our contribution gives everyone involved a real boost in what they do.

“It’s nice to know we are playing a significant part in helping others. We are just providing support to the driving forces of the charities in their endeavours. Thank you for the recognition.”

Carol Briggs, who has been involved with numerous disability groups since 1979, won the outstanding individual contribution to charity award.

She said: “This goes back many years, to when I had a major spine op. I was invited to a day centre but they did nothing but sit and watch telly. So, I set up a disabled ladies group and it spiralled from there.

“I was on the community health council, a lay person for social care and this volunteering gives me as much as I ever give. It gives a feeling of self-worth and the feeling you are doing something that enables people to have a better standard of living.”

The Foundation of Light, MFC Foundation and Newcastle United Foundation won the uniquely North East award.

Lesley Spuhler of the Foundation of Light said: “I’m a little bit shocked but I think we have such great support in terms of football here in the North East and such a passion and a power in terms of using support and football to educate children, young people and families that otherwise wouldn’t connect or reach out.

“We might bring them through the door, but its the staff at our foundations and the programmes that really deliver.

“My motto this year is together we are stronger, so we can do these things together and the outputs and impacts are so important.”

YMCA North Tyneside scooped the outstanding social enterprise prize.

David Carnaffan, business development manager, said: “We’ve won because of the amount of social enterprise work we’ve done which is on more of an ‘approach’ base. We try to be as enterprising as we can and try to inject social enterprise into everything. And the fact we have 130 years of history means that we’ve got a precedent of supporting people in this way.”

Catrina McHugh, co-founder of Open Clasp, was named charity leader of the year, topping a fantastic year which has seen the group’s play Key Change go to America, receive international critical acclaim.

She said: “Key Change has reached 27,000 people around the world and it’s something I never imagined we would do.

“When I was coming here tonight my mind wasn’t on winning, but after 20 years it is really nice to get this.”

The philanthropy award went to John Elliott, founder of Ebac.

For over twenty years, he has worked with the County Durham Community Foundation, but also in his own capacity, to support people to excel in their chosen field; often sports people and community groups.

He set up a community benefit fund in 1996 to support young people, including young rower Eve Larsen who received £1,000 to help towards the costs associated with being an elite athlete. Eve has now completed the GB trial process and is at the final stage of crew selection thanks to his funding.

Since 1996 John has made grants to the value of £50,000 to benefit young people who excel in a particular field or ability or a person of any age who is achieving against the odds. Grants are also made to community groups that work with young people to help them achieve their potential.

He supports many local charities at grassroots level including football and rugby clubs in various ways to help his local community.

He said: “I’m very proud but I’m very humble. All I do is sign a few cheques but people here at the awards are giving their lives. But I’m very, very honoured, and a little bit humble.”

Mortal Fools, first launched in Prudhoe, was named small charity of the year.

Kiz Crosbie, artistic director and founder of the theatre group, which started in a Prudhoe village hall, said: “It’s a very hard thing for the arts to state their case but what I have tried to do is make it about making lives better – that’s a driving force for me, and to bring people together. Really it’s about human need, it’s about helping people connect, grow confidence and form meaningful relationships, and that’s very important in the world we live in today.”

“And I feel so strongly, that if only we could all do more a bit more and open our hearts a bit more to people.”

And the young charity champion of the year was Charlotte Sands, from Ingleby Barwick, who has been the driving force behind countless fundraising events, including numerous fundraisers for Remembering Rebecca, which was set up following the death of her sister Rebecca.

Now 14, she has been fundraising since she was six.

She said: “I get happiness from fundraising and we do all sorts of events, like sibling events where we take them to build pizzas or on trips to London.

“It’s all about getting them involved and learning the value of fundraising – showing how much that one piece of equipment you fundraise for could mean to someone.

“My mum and dad are really proud – but then I only really followed in my mum’s footsteps in all of this because I wanted to help and be involved.”

Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/business/business-news/winners-reveal-pride-after-north-15275113

Leave a Comment

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close