Local charity Rochdale Connections Trust is awarded a team of business coaches and funding to ‘survive, adapt and thrive’

Date published: 24 June 2020

Rochdale Connections Trust – a charity that was established over 20 years ago by local people and provides services for children, young people and adults – has had the importance of its current services and future ambitions recognised with its selection as a 2020 Weston Charity Awards winner.

The award gives the charity the chance to invest in its future with a core grant of £6,500 from the Garfield Weston Foundation and a year’s strategic planning support from a team of four business leaders, thanks to the leadership charity Pilotlight.

Kathy Thomas, CEO Rochdale Connections Trust, said: “Rochdale Connections Trust was chosen from a record field of nearly 200 applicants, all of whom are frontline charities delivering youth, welfare or community services in the North of England, the Midlands and Wales.

“I am really pleased that RCT has been chosen to receive a Western Charity Award it shows that we are a resilient, thriving local charity that is worth investing in, especially at a time when everyone is concentrating on the here and now; working with Pilotlight will enable us to develop and plan for the future.

“We have been working extremely hard over the past few months to keep in contact with vulnerable children, young people and adults, to ensure they are keeping well.

“RCT has provided care/activity packs and food parcels with ingredients to make meals together to over 50 families every week.

“By working with Pilotlight business coaches we hope to take a step back from our busy schedules and have the time to think about the future, talk over possibilities and opportunities and have a critical friend to guide us.”

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rochdale Connections Trust has continued to provide some socially-distanced services and moved some of its services online.

In congratulating Rochdale Connections Trust, Philippa Charles, director of the Garfield Weston Foundation said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the most vulnerable in our communities hard. Frontline charities such as Rochdale Connections Trust are addressing increasing demands for their services with innovation, professionalism and determination; and they are doing so despite serious threats to their finances and operating models. The support and experience of the Weston Charity Awards puts charities in a really strong position to survive, adapt and thrive into the future.”

Bruce McCombie, interim chief executive of Pilotlight, the charity which is connecting Rochdale connections Trust with a team of coaches drawn from a range of businesses and other organisations said: “Rochdale Connections Trust has been selected as a Weston Charity Award recipient on the strength of its ambitions and the openness of the leadership team to external perspectives - attributes that will help them benefit most from working with our Pilotlighters.”

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