South Tyneside's KEY Project pipped for top prize at charity awards
A South Tyneside charity was just pipped for top prize at the prestigious North East Charity Awards 2021.
KEY Project based in South Shields was shortlisted in the Charity of the Year category.
They were beaten to the top prize by the Newcastle United Foundation, but could still be proud of their “Highly Commended” status.
The charity works with a number of partners to bring tenancy support and accommodation to young and vulnerable people, offers guidance to young homeless people and runs the KEY2Life foodbank scheme among other projects.
In 2020, KEY ensured 115 young people in the borough were given a safe home in supported accommodation, move-on properties or through tenancy support and helped 9,000 vulnerable people by providing emergency food parcels.
They also supported 71 people aged 12 to 24 and their families with family intervention and mediation services; with 69 were kept together as a result.
The awards recognise and celebrate the hard work and innovative thinking by local charities and social enterprises, together with the businesses and individuals that support them.
The ceremony took place at Ramside Hall in Durham, returning to a live event after the 2020 awards were held virtually. The evening was hosted by comedian Helen Lederer.
A judging panel made up of key representations from the North East’s corporate and voluntary sectors agreed on award winners across 11 categories.
KEY was shortlisted for the top prize after a tough year for the charity, which saw a huge increase in demand for its services due to the pandemic, forcing it to find new ways to work.
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.
“It’s 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.”