The Bluebirds Charity have today been announced as 2018 Weston Charity Awards winners and will receive a core grant of £6,500 and a year’s strategic planning support.


The Weston Charity awards celebrate and support great front-line charities in the North of England, the Midlands and, for the first time in 2018, Wales. The charities need to be delivering youth, welfare or community services and have incomes under £5 million. Nearly 200 small charities applied, and five of the 20 winners are based in Wales.


 The 2018 Weston Charity Awards winners from Wales are:


  • Cardiff City FC Community Foundation, which runs programmes of activities to support children, young people and families in South Wales.

  • GISDA, which supports vulnerable young people in Gywnedd, such as those who are homeless or those in, or just out of, care.

  • Recovery Cymru, which supports people in Cardiff & Vale to achieve and maintain recovery from drug and/or alcohol misuse while supporting others to do the same.

  • Swansea Young Single Homeless Project, which works with young people (16-25) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

  • Paul Satori Hospice at Home, which offers hospice services to people over the age of 18 living in Pembrokeshire in their own homes.


Gavin Hawkey, Director of Cardiff City FC Community Foundation said:


“We are delighted to be a Weston Charity Awards winner. We are proud of our work to support children, young people and families to achieve their full potential. The support we receive through the Awards will help us demonstrate impact, celebrate success and become more sustainable and will make sure we continue to make a difference to people in South Wales for years to come.”


Applications to the awards reveal small charities want support to maximise their impact and help more people. Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation which established the Weston Charity Awards said:


“Small charities have stepped up to deliver essential services in their communities and are extremely adept at being highly creative with limited resources. Their directors wear many hats as they juggle multiple roles.”


Initially set up in 2014 to celebrate and support great frontline charities in the North East of England, the Weston Charity Awards quickly expanded to the North West, the Midlands and, in 2018, Wales - areas identified by the Foundation as having the greatest need.


According to the UK Civil Society Almanac, Wales has the lowest number of charities per person compared to the other home nations with 3.6 charities per 1,000 people in Scotland, compared to just 2.3 in Wales. These figures highlight how Welsh charities have to work disproportionately harder to meet the needs of the communities they support.


Gillian Murray, Chief Executive of Pilotlight, said:


“Large charities have been in the spotlight in recent months for the right and for the wrong reasons. Meanwhile small charities are quietly facing rising demands for their services. Our programme is an opportunity for the award winners to develop the skills they need to make the maximum impact, even as they are being stretched to capacity.”


The directors of the 20 winning charities will be matched with teams of senior business leaders for a programme of mentoring and coaching, to strengthen their organisations and increase impact. They also receive £6,500 of unrestricted funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation to take part in the programme, as well as access to the advice and support of Pilotlight.