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YMCA Wellington and The Holly Project nominated for national award

By Mat Growcott | Wellington | News | Published:

The charity that runs Telford's The Holly Project has been nominated for a national award.

Staff and stakeholders outside The Holly Project at its launch

YMCA Wellington and District has been based in the town for 160 years, and has been nominated for two award at this year's Youth Matters Awards.

The charity has been shortlisted as YMCA of the Year and the organisation’s Holly Project has been shortlisted as Best Family Work Project.

The project, which helps survivors of child sexual exploitation, has recently celebrated its first anniversary.

Mandie Mulloy, chief executive of YMCA Wellington and District said: “We are overjoyed and excited to be nominated for not one but two such significant awards and to have reached this stage of the process.

"The nomination itself was a huge honour as a recognition of the hard work and devotion that the team here have to the people we serve, and to make it to the final three as part of our 160th anniversary celebration would be phenomenal.

“In the same vein, the nomination for the Holly Project has blown the team away."

YMCA Wellington and District provide supported housing for nearly 30 young people with a diverse range support needs from the borough of Telford and Wrekin, including a young man with learning difficulties who has received the High Sherriff of Shropshire’s Citizenship Award and young people with mental health difficulties who have gone on to university or moved on to independent living and young families.

The Holly Project, funded through Telford & Wrekin Council, offers drop-in sessions five days a week to allow survivors and their families the chance to talk to other survivors and provide direct access to services including counselling and sexual health services. There are also links to women-only sessions with a local Boxing Academy, allowing women to channel any anger in a constructive way and to build confidence, health and wellbeing.

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People can vote in the competition for both YMCA Wellington and The Holly Project at bit.ly/2KFSub5

Former councillor Nicola Lowery attended the one year anniversary of The Holly Project.

She said: "The Holly Project provides a truly unique opportunity to change people’s lives and the drive and commitment shown by the Holly Project and YMCA to making a difference has had such a positive impact to many people.

“Sadly, child sexual exploitation is not specific to Telford and The Holly Project has and is already acting as a blueprint nationally for other locations to improve the support services available to survivors which highlights that the Holly Project is leading the way in ensuring a brighter future for survivors."

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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