Youth centre wins £15,000 charity award

Steve Clark, right, holds the trophy with Kate Hobhouse and HYCC trust board chair Tony Robinson looking on
Steve Clark, right, holds the trophy with Kate Hobhouse and HYCC trust board chair Tony Robinson looking on

A youth centre serving thousands of people has become the first ever winner of a charity award.

Horden Youth & Community Centre officials are celebrating after becoming the regional winner of the Weston Charity Awards.

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

Steve Clark, HYCC manager

HYCC’s prize is £15,000. That’s on top of the business mentoring and £5,000 they received when they were first selected to take part along with five other charities from across the North East over the last year.

But HYCC was eventually chosen as the first ever regional winner.

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.”

The awards are run by the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Trustee, Kate Hobhouse, said: “HYCC really stood out as they have expanded their services, reaching more people in their local community and increased their income - not easy in the current climate.”

The access to business leaders was made possible thanks to the charity Pilotlight.

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.”