South Tyneside charity KEY Project has been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ status at the prestigious North East Charity Awards 2021 after being shortlisted as Charity of the Year finalists.
The awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the hard work and innovative thinking by local charities and social enterprises, together with the businesses and individuals that support them.
KEY was shortlisted for the top accolade following a year like no other for the charity that works to prevent youth homelessness and support people in hardship throughout South Tyneside.
The charity saw a huge increase in demand for its services during the pandemic and had to creatively reimagine how support was delivered to reach its beneficiaries by engaging with stakeholders in new and exciting ways.
In 2020, KEY’s vital work in South Tyneside ensured: 115 young people were provided with a safe home (in supported accommodation, move-on properties or through tenancy support); 9,000 vulnerable people in South Tyneside benefitted from an emergency food parcel; 71 young people (aged 12-24) and their families were supported within family intervention and mediation services, and 69 were kept together as a result
Ross Allen, Executive Lead at KEY Project, said: “Although we narrowly missed out on the top award at the event, we were absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for North East Charity Of the Year, an amazing achievement, testament to the hard work, passion and commitment of all our staff and volunteers, and recognition of KEY’s growth and successes over the past few years.
It was fantastic to hear about all of the inspiring work that has gone on across the region during the pandemic; warm congratulations to all the winners and finalists.”
The special Awards Evening, a highlight of the North East’s Events Calendar, 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.