The Duke of York Community Initiative Awards was founded in 1998 by His Royal Highness to “actively encourage the development of community spirit” in Yorkshire and Humberside.
This year, forty-four deserving organisations received the Royal Award for their hard work in creating initiatives to benefit society.
HRH The Duke of York created the Community Initiative Awards to acknowledge the work of community-based projects in Yorkshire and to reward those projects that add real value, that are owned and developed by the people they serve and that provide an inspiration to others.
Since its inception, The Duke of York’s Community Initiative has presented awards to approximately 300 organisations at its annual ceremony.
This year’s Awards Ceremony was held in South Yorkshire at the Magna Science Adventure Centre on Thursday 16 October. His Royal Highness presented the awards to representatives from each community initiative before taking time to meet and chat to each about their work.
The 2014 awards were again marked by the special presentation of the Innovation Funds Awards which went to three organisations who are past Community Initiative award holders.
The funded awards have been offered to allow a range of innovative projects to be brought to fruition. The recipients were…
This year’s Henry Woods Outstanding Leadership Award was presented to Lewis Gell of the Jack Raine Community Foundation. Lewis manages the Community Foundation, working with excluded and rejected young people providing them with alternative schooling and training, with a 90% success rate of moving them back into school, further education or employment. He is heavily involved in preventing and dealing with the effects of child sexual exploitation and regularly gets up at 3am to drive to Birmingham to rescue trafficked teenage girls. Around 1,000 young people are supported each year and without the dedication and enthusiasm shown by Lewis, this would not be possible. In the citation for the award, Lewis was described as “a man who vulnerable children trust and they do so because of the way he encourages and supports without judging them”.
Magna Science Adventure Centre
Official photography from the day can be viewed in the Gallery section.