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YMCA North Tyneside awarded Freedom of the Borough

On Friday 14th December YMCA North Tyneside were honoured to receive the incredibly prestigious Freedom of the Borough award at the Council Chambers. It is the highest award a local authority can offer.

Previous recipients of the Freedom of the Borough have included Alan Shearer,  Rugby union star Sarah Hunter MBE, Ian Le Frenais, Wallsend Boys Club, Girl-guiding North Tyneside, Royal Navy vessel HMS Tyne, the Whitley Bay, North Shields and District branch of the Royal British Legion, Whitley Bay Football Club and Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade.

David Hodgson MBE receives award
Chairman of YMCA North Tyneside, David Hodgson MBE was there to sign the register and receive the award on behalf of the organisation.

“I am delighted, as Chair of YMCA North Tyneside, that the hard work of all of the staff and volunteers is being recognised by such an amazing Honour of Freedom of the Borough. Under the leadership of our CEO, Dean Titterton, the charity has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years – It is great to see how our reach and impact has been extended and how so many young people and indeed people of all ages are being helped to grow. We have a real community spirit and North Tyneside is a better place because of our activities.”

As part of the celebrations everyone was treated to some live music from a young singer songwriter, Katie Rushworth.

Katie sings live

The young singer songwriter has been supported by YMCA for the last nine months through participation in our Standing Upright project, which aims to develop confidence and leadership through music. Katie has written a number of songs and has learnt to play a variety of instruments during her time at the project. She has performed at a number of events and is rapidly becoming a talented young musician.

Project Co-ordinator David Carnaffan had this to say about the project and Katie’s involvement:

“Music and youth development are the reasons why STEAM Digital Studios exists. Katie embodies both. Since starting with us, she has written songs and learnt to play a number of musical instruments. At the age of 14, she is a core member of the group and is developing leadership skills through membership of our ‘young arts collective’. Through participation in the project, she now sees her performances and talent as something to be proud of, rather than embarrassed by. Most importantly, she has made loads of great friends and is a genuine pleasure to work with.”

Our CEO Dean Titterton said,

“To receive the Freedom of the Borough is an incredible privilege and is the biggest civic honour anyone can get and I’m so proud that YMCA has received it.

Everyone at YMCA is absolutely delighted and deeply honoured to be recognised in this way and all staff and volunteers want to say a huge thank you to our members, beneficiaries, friends, and the wider community for their continued support in the work we do.”

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