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Applications are now open for the Weston Charity Awards 2024!

Who is eligible to apply for an award?

To be eligible to apply, your charity must have:

  • A registered charity number
  • At least one paid full-time member of staff in a leadership position
  • Delivered a service for at least two years
  • Income of less than £5 million per year
  • Provide direct services to beneficiaries or take practical action on the environment 
  • A degree of financial stability that enables full engagement in the programme 
  • A majority of activity or beneficiaries based in the North or Midlands of England or Wales. To check that your area is eligible to apply to the Awards, take a look at our full location list here.
  • A willingness to meet in person for four out of ten meetings (three in London and one at your charity's location).

Your charity must also be working to alleviate disadvantage in one or more of the following fields:

  • Community: This includes volunteering work, practical projects to improve an area, running community centres and providing a range of services for their local community, especially for those who may be vulnerable or in need.
  • Environment: This includes practical action around sustainable land use and fishing, renewable energy, recycling schemes, biodiversity, species preservation, marine life, education, climate change science and conservation.
  • Welfare: This includes helping adults experiencing exclusion, social or economic hardship; people experiencing homelessness; people who are at risk of offending or reoffending; and charities supporting older people or people with disabilities.
  • Youth: This includes providing services to children and young people up to the age of 25, such as offering advice and guidance, work experience, training and coaching. Schools are not eligible to apply to the Awards.

Charities that have applied previously can apply again, but only if there has been significant changes in their circumstances. Winners will be selected based on their willingness to benefit from Pilotlight 360. The leader of the charity applying must be willing to travel to central London for a minimum of four out of ten meetings.

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What kinds of charities benefit most from the awards?

The Awards work best for charities that:

  • Are ambitious for their future
  • Aim to pursue best-practice in their field
  • Are open to change and to challenge existing ways of working
  • Have an engaged board that is bought into Pilotlight 360; a board member is expected to attend at least one in three meetings.
  • Are able to commit sufficient time to the meetings

Designed to look at your organisation strategically and help build leadership capacity, Pilotlight 360 is tailored to be responsive to your charity’s needs. Outputs can include creating a robust future-proofing strategy, a refreshed governance structure, revised vision and mission statements or an action plan for key operational improvements.

If your organisation would benefit from the support of the Weston Charity Awards but doesn’t quite meet the criteria, please take a look at other ways Pilotlight may be able to support your charity.

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Case Studies

SELFA charity

SELFA's seven-year triumph

23 November 2023

In 2016 SELFA Children's Charity were recipients of a Weston Charity Award, which not only supported the organisation with a core grant of £6,500 from the Garfield Weston Foundation, but also began a period of transformation through the Pilotlight 360 programme.

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Supporting Jericho Foundation to optimise its social enterprises

19 October 2018

"Overall, Pilotlight has helped us transform our corporate offer, our social impact reporting, and our human resources processes and management. These were key things we needed to address, but we just didn’t have the knowhow to work them out on our own. The work we’ve done will benefit our organisation and those we serve for many years to come."