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Newcastle United Foundation named North East Charity of the Year 2021

Newcastle United Foundation has been named North East Charity of the Year at an event celebrating the best of the region’s voluntary sector.

The charitable arm of Newcastle United took the final prize of the event at the North East Charity Awards, an event organised by The Journal and its sister paper on Teesside, the Gazette.

The Foundation currently delivers 43 individual community, employability, educational and health and wellbeing projects in schools and community venues from Berwick to County Durham, as well as support from within the charity’s base at St. James’ Park.

The award comes as the Foundation moves closer to completing its most ambitious project to date, constructing NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society, in the city’s West End which will become a world-class community facility serving the North East from 2022.

Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “This award is the perfect testament to our incredible team who work tirelessly to enrich the lives of thousands of children, young adults, families and older generations across the North East.

“I am incredibly proud of every single one of our 174 members of staff and sessional team members who have truly gone above and beyond during the past 18 months in some of the most challenging circumstances many of us have ever faced.

“This award also recognises our commitment to bringing significant investment to the region – helping provide life-changing opportunities for all people, whatever their goal in life, as well as creating jobs and infrastructure around NUCASTLE.

“Our work is only possible thanks to the invaluable support of Newcastle United Football Club and the backing of funders and partners, regional businesses and generous individuals. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

He added: “We will certainly be taking the time to reflect on what we’ve achieved together and we will continue looking forward to the future and fulfilling our vision of supporting a community full of pride, passion and potential.”

Since the pandemic began, the Foundation has adapted its operations to continue to connect, motivate, and inspire North East communities at a critical time for many.

This work has included the delivery of 15,000 food parcels to combat holiday hunger and children missing out on free school meals, 1,421 young people taking part in free football through Kicks to reduce anti-social behaviour and 1,000 phone calls made to elderly and vulnerable Foundation participants during lockdown.

Helen Dalby, audience and content director for Journal and Gazette publishers Reach North East & Yorkshire, introduced the awards evening held on October 20, 2021.

She said: “The pandemic has made so many of us take stock and reflect on our sense of purpose, our contribution and our community spirit.

“Voluntary groups, charitable organisations and people who care for others have unflinchingly stepped forward and stepped up during a time of global crisis to help support, nurture and sustain our communities – and to help the people most gravely impacted by coronavirus and its primary and secondary impacts on our society.

“Never before has there been so much recognition and respect for the work our charities do.”

The awards took place at Ramside Hall in Durham, marking a return to a live event after last year’s awards had to be held virtually due to the pandemic. The event was hosted by comedian Helen Lederer, with poet Rowan McCabe providing entertainment.

A judging panel made up of key representations from the North East’s corporate and voluntary sectors agreed on award winners across 11 categories. A full list of winners and highly commended organisations and individuals can be found here.

For more information about the Foundation and programmes near you, follow Newcastle United Foundation on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter for regular news and updates.

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