Each year the company gives out thousands of pounds to charitable community projects all over the country via the Gannett Foundation.
This year, for the first time, Newsquest invited readers to nominate which local good cause they believed should benefit from the scheme – and the “Cash for Charities” initiative received in excess of 8,000 applications, says the company.
An editorial panel considered all the nominations received, and readers were invited to collect voting tokens published in the newspapers last November to back their choice from eight charities in each of seven regions across the UK. The more tokens collected for the respective charity, the bigger the share of cash awarded. This resulted in the initiative receiving over 17,000 votes from readers.
Those awarded included Leeds Cancer Centre which received a grant towards vital signs monitors and dignity screens to help patients with cancer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
Wasim Hussain, Trusts & Foundations Fundraiser said: “The Centre has a vision to deliver the highest quality specialist and integrated cancer care to the people of Leeds Yorkshire by championing the skills, expertise and commitment of all who work there. Your kind donation will help with this.”
Asylum Welcome in Oxford were awarded a grant to help with new arrivals from Afghanistan and support a welcoming and safe environment for them.
Dr Gilberdo Estrada Harris, its Fundraising, Development and Communications Manager said: “We continue to provide intensive support – helping them feel settled, able to look forward with hope, and able to access the right resources and opportunities. Many thanks again to all of you for supporting our work.”
Another recipient was South Wight Area Youth Partnership. Catherine Hoare said: “I would like to thank you for the donation. It comes after a time that has limited fundraising opportunities, but not our work, and it is much needed.
“SWAY’s mission remains to bring hope and focus to the youth and families of South Wight. We want to engage the young people in the area with healthy activities, safe social meeting points, opportunities to increase participation, grow and discover their full potential, raise their aspirations, foster community spirit but most importantly to build a relationship based on consistency and trust reaching out to those who may be marginalised in education and society.”
Maureen Cox, Treasurer/Trustee at Amelia’s Rainbow which received a grant said: “We would like to sincerely thank the foundation for this award. It has been a hard couple of years, not only for the charity but also the families. Now more than ever it is important to show our support for many children facing daily battles.
“Our charity is currently supporting over 100 children in Dorset who have disabilities, serious illnesses or terminal conditions. We are granting gifts on such a regular basis and requests can be anything from once in a lifetime trips to software and technology to help a child communicate. Every request means the world to families and your donation allows us to make a real difference to a child.”
Dozens more grants were given across the UK for a wide variety of good causes and stories about them will be published in the relevant Newsquest in print and online in due course.
The trustees also gave £10,000 to the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ Journalism Diversity Fund awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their journalism training.
Newsquest brands and marketing manager Debbie Hellaby said: “We felt that our readers were best placed to identify those charities who were most in need of our support.
“This meant that bigger charities with the resource to write the most comprehensive grant application did not have an unfair advantage over the smaller and sometimes overlooked community initiatives.
“It has been a privilege to be involved in this project that over the years has done so much to support positive impacts in our local communities.”
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