Hull charity wins major award - and is now looking for new trustees to help

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 27 Nov 2017

A Hull charity is appealing for business people to join its board of trustees following a successful first year at its new base.

Special Stars Foundation will this month celebrate the first anniversary of its move to new premises in Hull city centre, a milestone which was followed by securing £200,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Now the charity, which works to improve the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of families across the region affected by disability, has won a major regional business award.

It is hoped this acclaim will attract more support for the charity and introduce more families in need to its work.

Natalie Barnes, founder of the charity and chair of trustees, said: “The 12 months since we moved into our building in High Street have been amazing.

“The hard work of the volunteers, staff and trustees has been rewarded and we hope that by demonstrating our capabilities we will encourage more people to come and help us.”

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The money from the Big Lottery Fund will help the Foundation provide specialist support services from its headquarters.

Other revenue comes from the Foundation’s status as a beneficiary of the Dove House Hospice charity lottery and from fund-raising activities such as the Christmas Fayre, which will take place on Thursday 30 November from 7pm until 9pm at its centre at 171 High Street, Hull.

The Foundation’s entrepreneurial approach to raising funds and awareness has now brought further recognition in the Chamber Bridlington and Yorkshire Coast Business Awards, with success in the social enterprise category.

The Foundation was set up in 2014, and the judges examined its work to reduce social isolation by offering support, training and advice services for parent carers.

They reported: “This category had high standard finalists and the result was very close. Special Stars’ edge was their holistic approach involving child, carers, siblings and family.

"Also noted was their trustees personally experiencing the issues and supplying a solution for the lack of provision for young children.”

Ms Barnes said: “We were up against two very well-known charities and the fact that they were both highly commended shows how tough the competition was. The reaction from our members has been fantastic and we now want to use the award to raise our profile further.

“We are all working flat out to raise money for the Foundation and to provide the services which make such a difference to people living with disabilities, and we will be able to do that more effectively if we can bring in more trustees.

Read more: Small businesses could win a space in a Hull shopping centre

“The role is not particularly time-consuming because we already have professional advisers, but it would be good to have more strategic business input at the trustee meetings and more help running our campaigns.

“The benefits for the trustees include raising their own profile, developing their own skills and experience and gaining the satisfaction of having made a difference in the community.”

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