ANSVAR Insurance has revealed the three UK charities chosen as winners in its 2021 Community Campaign, with each awarded a share of £25,000.

Since launching its competition back in May, the specialist charity insurer from Eastbourne received hundreds of entries to win a £15,000 prize, with two additional prizes worth £5,000 each up for grabs.

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the charity sector, and Ansvar, which has insured charities, churches and voluntary groups for more than 60 years, wanted to offer help to charities running projects that positively impact their local communities.

Youth charity Yes Futures was picked as the overall winner, receiving the top £15,000 prize. Based in Brixton, Yes Futures supports disadvantaged young people in London and the South East by helping them take part in community projects which build their communication and teamwork skills.

Yes Futures will use its £15,000 to fund further Play Your Part day trips for hundreds more students, where young people engage in vocational activities to support their local community, such as building hedgehog houses, designing outdoor classrooms, pruning shrubbery and looking after farm animals.

Sarah Cox, Managing Director of Ansvar, said: “Our winner Yes Futures impressed the judges with their fantastic scheme helping disadvantaged children by promoting self-belief and life skills, and our money will help more than 500 children.”

Sophie Bartlett, Director of Impact at Yes Futures, said:

“A huge part of our programme is about instilling confidence. The charity was founded in 2012 by Sarah Sewell, an experienced teacher who noticed that a lack of self-esteem was often holding students back from fulfilling their potential.

“Our Play Your Part days show young people they can have a positive impact on their community, and they have something valuable to contribute. The trips also open their eyes to alternative career paths, as some really struggle in the classroom but enjoy outdoor activities. The past year and a half has been incredibly tough for young people, and this funding will make an enormous difference.”

The two other charities to receive a £5,000 prize from Ansvar are littlelifts, which supports men and women with breast cancer, and mental health charity Oakleaf Enterprise.

Based in Norwich, littlelifts provides gift boxes for people undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer across East Anglia. Boxes contain products to help alleviate side effects of treatment and provide practical support, as well as mood-boosting goodies.

The charity has received a surge in requests from breast cancer patients outside of Norfolk and Suffolk since Covid-19 hit last year and launched its little Kindness Fund to send gift boxes to patients across England and Wales. The £5,000 prize from Ansvar will go towards this fund and will provide littlelifts gift boxes for an additional 75 people.

Oakleaf Enterprise in Guildford won its share of the prize money to fund further health and fitness courses for its clients suffering with their mental health in Surrey. The charity launched its Kickstart programme in January after seeing a steep rise in low mood and suicidal thoughts in its clients during the winter lockdown, as well as a decline in their physical health.

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