The 2015/16 Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award Winners

One Good Turn, Kirklees is an extraordinary activity which began as a swop shop and has grown into an essential mutual support programme covering areas of deprivation and need. It responds readily and positively to any and all appeals for help and support and is manned almost entirely by people who have used the services and wish to pay back. Its approach to tackling poverty and isolation in Kirklees and surrounding areas covers many areas of activity which in addition to giving advice now includes passing on unwanted household items such as white goods and carpets.

Apex Challenge, Leeds combines outdoor adventure with the very latest cutting edge technology. Indeed the Scouting Movement has an enormous reliance on the project and Scouts of all ages have benefitted greatly. It is all about participants completing activities and collecting as many points in 6 hours as they can. The activities cover mental, physical and team challenges such as problem solving, high wire, caving and canoeing; partly occurring in the dark. During the challenge each of the competitors are tracked by GPS which means that on their return their scores can be instantly downloaded to show the exact details of their route and timings.

iTrust, Barnsley was launched in 2013 in order to encourage entrepreneurial initiatives, promote business start- ups particularly by young people, and provide support, information, advice and guidance to that end. To date iTrust has facilitated the start-up of some 23 small businesses and has supported 42 others. Start-ups range from a young woman who has trained as a bricklayer so establishing a construction enterprise, another young woman skilled in fine art selling a range of portraiture and two young men who are busy developing a music production business.

North Duffield Dragons Junior Football Club, North Duffield Dragons Junior Football Club (NDDJFC) was established in the mid-1990s to promote grassroots football in the local community in a fun and exciting way for boys and girls across a variety of age groups. Today it has grown into a club which boasts 175 registered players (including 35 aged six and under) all of whom are coached by a team of 18 FA Level 1 standard coaches.

Ruddi’s Retreat, Huddersfield is a registered charity that was established in 2011 by Ruddi’s mother Ali. Sadly, Ruddi was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 6 months (he is now 6 and well) and it was an extremely stressful period. Subsequently the family were awarded a holiday by a charity in Leeds which they found this extremely beneficial. Realising the therapeutic effects that this had on the family, Ali set up Ruddi’s Retreat so that others in similar circumstances might benefit. It now has two specifically adapted static caravans in Primrose Valley, near Filey which are available at no cost to families affected by life limiting illness.

Churchfield Open Space Committee, Wiggington. Unlike most public playgrounds and open spaces which are installed, managed, maintained and run by local councils Churchfield operates as a completely separate and independently constituted body. Made up of hard working volunteers whose sole aim is to provide the best possible open space facilities for the community the project’s team oversee the 3.5 acre site in such an effective manner that on inspection Initiative assessors reported that “Churchfield Open Space’s ability to include people of all ages from every part of the local community is truly remarkable”.

Crossroads Care, Harrogate, Craven and York. This organisation provides respite care for carers. Over a period of twenty years Crossroads Care have built up an excellent reputation through reaching out to stressed, local family carers and providing a regular weekly lifeline which offers a wide range of both personal and specialist care.

Ground Floor Projects, Hebden Bridge. This project is a small co-operative style organisation that helps new initiatives to progress towards self-sustainability and stability. Over the years it has helped develop centralised resources not only for the upper valley but in the entire adjoining regions. Past and current projects include the setting up of the first ever kerbside recycling collection in the North of England, a Bio-Diesel Car Sharing Scheme and the first ever Computer Recycling Company. This will be the group’s third DoYCI award.

Conisbrough Community Association, Conisbrough. This group’s mission is to promote and benefit the residents of Conisbrough through offering opportunities for health and social care, recreation, education and training. Serving the whole community (from toddlers to the elderly and from art groups to martial arts) the committee are particularly proud of their latest venture… the introduction of a Community Cinema. The Initiative has a long and much valued association with the Ivanhoe Centre and is delighted to be renewing, once again, its status as an award holder.

Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, Middlesbrough. MFC Foundation (MFCF) is Middlesbrough Football club’s independent charity which was established in 1996 with the aim of making a real difference to the local community. Based in a purpose built education centre within the club’s Riverside Stadium, MFCF operates in six specific areas of activity: Enterprise, Education, Sports Participation, Social Inclusion, Health and Diversity.

York Carers Centre, York. Described by our assessors as: “an amazing project bringing help, counselling and support to adults and children who are themselves caring for others in their family,” York Carers Centre’s expertise has, over the last year, reached 150, 8 to 18 year olds, and over 2,500 adult carers. Working closely with schools, doctors’ surgeries and a host of other care based organisations York Carers Centre brings a particularly human face to what can often be a somewhat cold approach from statutory services.

Artistic Spectrum Ltd, Thorne. Artistic Spectrum is based in a small shop unit in a courtyard just off the town’s main shopping street. It has extensive experience in dealing with clients with autism and encouraging them to develop social skills through artistic expression. This can range from photography, to collage making and decorating ceramics. The project opened in 2014, following a pilot the year before; it is led by former Guardian Designer of the Year Emma Wilson.

Doncaster New Directions, Doncaster. Formed three years ago this organisation concentrates on keeping those recovering from drug or alcohol problems in recovery. A genuine self-help group the project ensures that as and when the standard cycle of support drops away people remain supported. Underpinned by a vision of imagination yet tempered by the harsh realities of life Doncaster New Direction’s engagement in and with the local community goes a long way to ‘normalise’ its member’s lives.

FLARA – Young People’s Space Project, Brighouse. FLARA is a fantastic example of how a community can come together and make a significant difference to the daily lives of people in a neighbourhood. Tackling anything and everything that arises; from the corrosive effect of anti-social behaviour to re-locating local bus stops the group’s determination and commitment to its programme of activities and initiatives is aimed solely at making the community a better place to live, work, play and invest.

Driffield Methodist Church, Driffield. The project DoYCI assessors were invited to consider was the total transformation of an old and dilapidated School Room into a clean, well-maintained facility in which members of the community could promote their own organisations. Up to now more than £100.000 has been raised to cover costs resulting in new windows, modern radiators and solar panels being installed. Already the School Room is being used for a wide range of community activities such as a baby signing group, slimming clubs and senior citizens parties.

Harrogate & Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service. HARCVS has many strings to its bow. With 160 members and of 70 active volunteers the group provides: a Volunteer Centre which matches people who want to volunteer with suitable local charities and specialist advice, information and guidance for the 1000+ charities and community groups in its area. It also facilitates partnership working within the local voluntary sector and where at all possible fills the gaps in the care of vulnerable people not provided by others.

St Augustine’s Centre, Halifax. This project is everything a community resource should be. Amongst its activities are: education, care, training & development schemes; an extensive early year’s project; a community café: a Welcome Programme for new arrivals (refugees, asylum seekers, EU migrants etc.) and an outreach and assistance programme that tackles deprivation.

Tigers Trust, Castleford/Wakefield. Tigers Trust is the charitable foundation trust of Castleford Tigers RLFC Ltd. However, far from concentrating solely on rugby league the group is now aimed at increasing sports participation in the widest sense amongst people with disabilities, women and girls, and older adults (50+) as well as poorly motivated and educationally challenged youngsters.

St Michael’s Hospice, Harrogate. Saint Michael’s Hospice is a local charity that exists to ensure people affected by terminal illness get the high quality end of life care they want, need and deserve. All of its services are free and continue to be available to all. The hospice serves Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Wetherby and Pateley Bridge. It currently has a register of over 600 volunteers.

Ilkley and District Good Neighbours, Ilkley. Described by DoYCI assessors as “a quintessential community support organisation” Ilkley and District Good Neighbours was established in the 1970s and with the exception of one paid employee is run entirely by volunteers. The group focusses on befriending, providing assistance with shopping, organising Over 90s parties and excursions, help with “modest” home and garden tasks and providing Christmas Parcels.

Riccall Regen 2000 Ltd, Riccall. This is the fourth time that Riccall Regen has been award a Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award. Providing superb facilities for a whole range of activities the centre proudly boasts that it is operated: “by the community for the community.” Constantly looking to seek out and accommodate new initiatives the Regen Centre’s board is a great example of how a well-established community group can share its expertise with like-minded but less experienced project leaders in other parts of the region.

Breathing Space, Northallerton. Breathing Space offers leisure and social activities for people with disabilities over the age of 18 years. Whilst the group’s day to day running is supervised by a small management team its social events and activities calendar, which includes disco’s, cinema visits, bowling nights, cookery sessions, cycling and sports sessions etc. is planned during regular “pub nights” where volunteers and members can relax and have their say.

Supporting Older People CIO, Harrogate. Supporting Older People (SOP) was founded in 1982 with the aim of alleviating loneliness and isolation amongst older people (60+) who live alone in the Harrogate District. Last year its volunteers gave in excess of 4,500 hours of their own time to visit their new friends. In addition to visiting the project runs a programme of monthly group activities such as minibus outings to local places of interest, tea and talk, computer courses and a singing group. The group also runs larger events such as Harrogate’s International day for Older People Service in October, a Volunteers’ Week Garden party in June and a Christmas party.

Friends of Skelton Grange, Leeds. Over the last 20 or so years the team behind this project have turned a 10 acre area of waste land into an Environmental Centre which now attracts between 5 and 6 thousand visitors a year. Run by a team of 6 part-time paid staff and 40 volunteers the fully accessible and user friendly site houses 2 classrooms and an activity hall, an orchard, vegetable and flower beds and a number of tree lined pathways and ponds.

Friends of Hollybush Conservation Centre, Leeds. The Friends of Hollybush Conservation Centre are exactly that i.e. volunteers at, service users in and, alongside the Centre’s independent management team enthusiastic supporters of a genuinely community wide facility. Currently busy developing what DoYCI assessors call “a cottage industry approach” to growth and development members meet regularly to discuss proposals and progress of any number of all age/all ability initiatives.

AMP Awards, C.I.C. Harrogate. AMP (which originally stood for Assoc. of Music & Promotion) gives young people the opportunity to perform on an international platform through AMP’s music awards. With 48 Yorkshire schools participating annually AMP combine both music and enterprise in a scheme which not only encourages musical collaboration but by embracing graphic design, planning, printing and PR also gives its participants important life and business skills.

York CAB, York. “An amazing group of people who in 2014-15 handled over 17,000 phone enquiries and facilitated over 500 drop ins.” Such is their level of expertise that during that period this totally client focussed group not only provided an exceptionally high standard of assistance to some of York’s most vulnerable residents but were instrumental in clients obtaining over £1.3m in unclaimed benefits and writing off £1.8m of debt.

Sara’s Flowers and Teas, Barnsley. Sara Headley’s project provides support for the some of the neediest people in our society. Following a model extant elsewhere in Europe customers to her flower and tea shop are invited to buy more than they require to provide for others less able to pay. Their donations are written on a coffee stirrer, left on the counter where those unable to pay can see what’s on offer. In terms of diversification Sara’s 5 year development plan includes a scheme to become a formal trainer for young people to become coffee shops baristas.

St George’s Crypt, Leeds. St George’s Crypt provides accommodation training and support for homeless and vulnerable people. A Christian charity based in the centre of Leeds St George’s has 15 single bedrooms for temporary residents, 12 one night emergency beds in The Hub and two specialist residential units offering a further 28 rooms for men dealing with alcohol dependency, addition and recovery. This year marks St George’s Crypt’s 85th anniversary.

Hull and East Yorkshire Villagers at War, North Ferriby. This group began when three friends decided to research the exploits of World War One soldiers from the East Riding village of North Ferriby. Now staging school and community exhibitions of over 200 WW1 artefacts the volunteers are hoping that by 2017 they will have been able to set up a joint commemoration between Hull and the East Riding and Oppy, France, where so many local soldiers lost their lives.

Yorkshire & Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability, York. The aim of this project is to provide support for convicted sex offenders who have finished their statutory and rehabilitation conditions to enable them to reintegrate into society and to prevent re-offending. It is run by 3 staff, a board of 8 trustees and 140 volunteers. Working closely with both the police and the probation service this group makes supporting sex offenders their absolute priority thus reducing recidivism – making our communities safer.

Sant Nirankari Mandal (UK), Bradford. Although this faith based organisation’s UK headquarters are in The Midlands the Bradford group could hardly be more involved with the local community. Its list of activities include: tree planting, street cleaning, giving musical performances, hosting sports activities, donating Easter eggs and Christmas food and providing adult education.

Equine Pathways UK, Leeds. “The work done by Equine Pathways is frankly astonishing in the results achieved by the very simple pairing of people with learning issues, mental and physical health problems and disabilities with rescued horses and ponies.” With its founders already training other groups from across the UK this is an idea that has gripped the imagination of so many people.

Bridge Street Pentecostal Church, Leeds. Bridge Street’s quest is simply, it’s to translate the Christian values of charity, selflessness, support etc. into practical help for one of the nation’s most deprived communities. This it does through providing a whole raft of community based services ranging from before and after school clubs, drug addiction counselling to lunch clubs for the elderly and classes in money management.

Abbots Staith Heritage Trust, Selby is a new initiative set up to save a grade II listed historic building, part of the former Selby Abbey complex, and through its restoration bring a redundant building back into public use. Run by volunteers, the group are working for the benefit of the residents of Selby and surrounding areas to renovate the medieval Abbot’s Staith to develop the building as a multi-use (cultural, social, retail, service and educational) community asset by providing facilities that can be utilised by all of the community.

Camouflage Crew is a youth volunteer group operating in the Allerton area of Bradford. It was set up by former soldier Lynne Cunningham in 2008. Its activities are based around military activities such as marching and field craft. Lynne loves to tell the youngsters stories of her days in the army. Whether at the group’s regular meetings, on days drips or residentials Lynne’s favourite saying is: “this is what I did and Camouflage Crew is my legacy!”

Daisy Chain, Stockton on Tees. Daisy Chain was established in 2003 and it focusses on providing a wide range of services, including support and activity groups for children and families affected by either autism or any of its coexisting conditions such as epilepsy, downs syndrome and ADHD. The project operates from a 5.5 acre farm in nearby Norton. Now working alongside over 1,500 families Daisy Chain’s programme includes: a therapeutic animal petting farm where besides the obvious therapeutic benefits older teenagers are being trained in animal husbandry, and a retail superstore which provides members with employment and volunteering opportunities in both retail and catering.

Denby Dale Community Project (DDCP). In 2013 the Denby Dale was facing the closure of its library. With little hope of a reprieve DDCP was formed and now, just three years later and having planned and financed the construction of a new community building the group will be overseeing not just a permanently established library with improved facilities and longer opening hours but an internet cafe and a gift shop for the local Kirkwood Hospice. The Centre will also become home to a variety of community groups, both formal and informal.

Mount Cricket Club, Batley. Mount CC has been running community cricket for over 38 years. The range of opportunities offered by this organisation is immense; from having teams playing in the Dewsbury & District and Heavy Woollen District League to being the first Asian team to establish a female academy. By using cricket as the catalyst for engagement in a whole host of local activities and working across the whole community this project embraces each and every aspect of that community by welcoming and encouraging anyone and everyone to become part of at least one of its teams.

Neighbourhood Action in Farnley, New Farnley & Moor Top, Leeds. Established in 20013 this organisation now supports over 600 older people from the age of 60 to upwards of a 100. Proud of their strong community links the group cherishes its good name which has been built up via a capacity to offer both one to one personal support and to work alongside other important providers and stakeholders such as Adult Social Care, GP Surgeries, Age UK, British Red Cross, local churches and other organisations concerned with the welfare of older people.

The Goole & District Community Transport Group (The Goole GoFar). The Goole GoFar is a Transport Charity and Social Enterprise that provides accessible transport for the people of Goole and the surrounding areas who are vulnerable, isolated or socially excluded. Many of the people the organisation serves are pensioners who particularly enjoy being able to participate in outings, meals and theatre trips.

Community Leadership Award… nominations are: Miguel Bowler, Doncaster New Directions and Richard Mole, Driffield Methodist Church.

Miguel Bowler: Miguel has a breadth of vision and imagination, tempered by the reality of a recovering drug user, to constantly see new possibilities and opportunities. She is a good leader, manager, a wonderful encourager and a brilliant organiser. A natural networker Miguel has first-hand experience of what it’s like to be on drugs, has been through cycles of treatment and has relapsed… all experiences that have earned her the high credibility she has with both her client base and with the public services.

Richard Mole: Richard has led the project to convert Driffield Methodist Church’s School Room with an almost tangible amount of enthusiasm, an incredible degree of skilful planning and a level of motivation that has inspired and engaged both volunteers and local tradespeople alike. The result being that Driffield has said goodbye to an out-dated and dilapidated property and hello to a clean, well equipped and environmentally friendly community facility of which it can be proud.

Innovation Fund

An Innovation Fund grant of £5,000 is being awarded to Barnsley Beacon Support Services. Through years of experience and observation this splendid organisation has learned that although the services they provide are undoubtedly life changing some of the people they assist do still become dependent on them. In a drive to counter this dependency BBSS are introducing Next Phase, a project aimed at giving carers more options for progression. Based on a programme of building up confidence and self-esteem while giving better access to basic skills support the scheme will feature one to one coaching, group training and peer mentoring, cv writing, job search skills and interview techniques etc.

Business End

In the most recent round Business End grants totalling £18,510.00 have been awarded to:

Rotary Clubs of York, York Ainsty & York Vikings who asked for help to fund a camp for 27 attendees; some referred young offenders but all referred by Social Services, schools or the police. Previous experience shows that such camps enable young people to grow and become more mature thus taking responsibility for themselves and realising they are valued by their community.

Live Music Now North East, York. This group asked for financial support in order to continue bringing live music to hospices in York and North Yorkshire. Their application was based on a tried and tested programme of music therapy for elderly people with dementia, and for young people with severe learning disabilities.

St Andrew’s Pantomime Group, Leeds. This group has been presenting a pantomime with and for the community of Beeston for more than thirty years. However, this year, with the help of a Business End grant one of the company’s thirteen performances was made more accessible for the deaf or hard of hearing by the hiring of a fully qualified BSL signer.

Christ Church Community Services, Bridlington. Christchurch Community Services provides care and support in an area of high social deprivation with a large immigrant community. Their application was for help purchasing an outdoor canopy in the childcare area for 3-4 year olds.

OPAL (Older People’s Action in the Locality), Leeds. Based in one of the most deprived areas of the UK this project continues to make a significant difference to and for the people it serves. Locally crime has reduced, social cohesion improved and the elderly are not left alone to fend for themselves. The Business End grant will help fund a welcoming meeting area in a new community centre.

White Rose Sports and Social Club, Goole. This small organisation operates in two quite specific areas: kurling and shooting. As a result of a number of open/demonstration days it has seen a significant increase in membership. With the help of a Business End grant the club has been able to replace a number of ancient rifles with new and more suitable models.

Oaken Grove Community Centre (Haxby and Wiggington). Oaken Grove Community Centre’s application for a Business End grant was to help fund a youth worker who would focus on its weekly drama group and on an open access youth club. Over the past few years, these and a number of other community based projects have helped to deliver educational workshops specifically designed to support youth progression into adulthood.

Wolds Wonders, Pocklington. Wolds Wonders works alongside adults and young people with leaning difficulties and other disabilities. Its aims are two-fold; through performance art to enhance life skills and to challenge stereotypes. This particular application is to help the group fund a series of 12 high quality workshops from visiting practitioners. These will introduce and develop various theatrical skills and would include puppetry, improvisation, dance, singing, commedia dell’arte, circus skills and mask work. Each workshop will be tailored to explore a different theatrical skill, with a view to using the skills learnt in a showcase at the end of the project.

Sight Support Ryedale. This new group exists to support sight impaired people and to help them to get online and feel confident using the very latest technology in their everyday lives. The group’s programme gives sight impaired people access to the same opportunities as everyone else and by learning within a peer group, members will be able to share information and knowledge as they become more confident in the use of tablets, smart phones and notebook devices. Particular emphasis is being placed on familiarising members with what is known as assistive software, this is a set of Apps which when installed on a portable devise can be used for any number of tasks such as magnification, communication and converting photographic text to speech.

Business End grants have previously been awarded to: Aspergers Youth Club, Doncaster; Concord Youth Music, Sheffield; The Next Step, Halifax; Wilberfoss in Bloom; FDM – For Disability Mobility, Leeds; Rydale Carers Support; Peregrin Way Tenants and Residents Association, Sheffield, Orb Community Enterprise, Knaresborough and The Edlington Community Organisation, Doncaster.