THE winners of the Newbury Weekly News 150th anniversary £20,000 giveaway have been announced as City Arts, Time to Talk and Citizens Advice West Berkshire.
The NWN celebrated its milestone birthday in February and decided to give £10,000 – match-funded by Greenham Trust – to local good causes.
Fifteen organisations that were registered with the Greenham Trust’s Good Exchange were selected for the shortlist and readers voted for their favourite over a 10-week period this summer.
After the many hundreds of votes were counted, City Arts had the most, Time to Talk came second and Citizens Advice was third.
Claire Struthers-Semple from City Arts, which will receive a total of £10,000, said: “Oh wow. That is such great news. I’m quite emotional.
“We are totally delighted and glad so many local folks share our vision for the Community Art Hub concept.
“Of course, we want to thank everyone who voted for us and our very loyal friends and followers who bought multiple copies of the NWN to allow them to vote more than once.
“This is a fantastic boost to our fundraising campaign.
“Let’s hope it encourages more people to visit City Arts, learn about our vision and donate to our project on The Good Exchange.”
John Hampson, a trustee of youth counselling service Time to Talk, which will receive £6,000, said: “Time to Talk West Berkshire is thrilled to be runner-up in the NWN 150th anniversary giveaway.
“The charity has been established for more than 30 years and has had a very successful year, providing more than 3,250 free counselling sessions and visiting every secondary school and college in West Berkshire.
“We have also seen an increase in the number of young people accepting the offer of counselling after their initial assessment.
“It is encouraging to see how acceptable counselling is now for young people, but the demand for our services continues to grow each year.
“The high profile that mental health has in the media, promoted by people such as HRH Prince Harry, means that we have the opportunity to help more young people cope with difficult times in their teens and early 20s.
“This award will be of huge assistance to us.
“It will mean that we can continue to see more people this coming year and to promote our services to post-school/college aged young people who may need support in taking up first jobs or vocational training, having lost the support of a full-time education environment.
“We would like to say a big thank you to all those NWN readers who voted for us.”
Jan Rothwell, chief executive of Citizens Advice West Berkshire, which will receive a total of £4,000, said: “We are so grateful to your readers for voting for us for the NWN 150th anniversary giveaway and are delighted to hear that we have come third.
“This award will help us to keep our services available to all who need our advice to assist them in resolving the problems that they face.
“Last year, our volunteers and staff helped over 3,100 people with over 13,200 problems, helping them to be over £430,000 better off and increasing peace of mind for many.
“As a local independent charity we need to raise all the funds that we require to help the people of West Berkshire, within West Berkshire, and we really appreciate this support.”