Awesome Newcastle February is fun and fresh!
After a nice holiday hiatus, Awesome Newcastle returned in full force in February! It was a fateful night full of feelings, as we said a massive thank you and farewell to Amy Tribe, a phenomenal board member who’s been a great energy and full of good ideas over the years. Thank you so much for your commitment and generosity, Amy, the board won’t be the same without you, so please don’t be a stranger!
And while we are sad to bid adieu to Amy, we are over-the-moon to welcome back Graham Batten, who served as a permanent board member in 2021, and is now back for more! Welcome back, Graham! Also retuning as guest board members were long time awesome supporter, James Barr, and also Declan Edwards, who has been on the board a few times before and also won Awesome Newcastle in 2021!
The board mixed and mingled, we were happy to see each other again, and then we got down the business of making a difference!
Our three finalists last ngiht were Claire Wheeler of Kid Biz Academy, Hannah Cheetham of Built-In-Kind and Scott Priestly Sailability Toronto.
Claire went first. She told us how she’s spent decades in the corporate business world, but she’s also taught her own kids the basics of setting up a business and the importance of entrepreneurial thinking. She was amazed how much her kids enjoyed it compared to most other school activities, and the Kid Biz Academy was born to nurture entrepreneurial minded kids in the community. She ran free workshops in January and was blown away by the interest. She can’t continue doing it for free, so she would love Awesome Newcastle’s support. She would use the money specifically for craft supplies as the kids get quiet artistic.
Next up Hannah told us about her years of experience in creative fabrication, construction, woodwork, furniture building, joinery and workshop facilitation. She’s the director of Built-In-Kind, which creates beautiful, custom, sustainable pieces of furniture while holding workshops which open the fabrication industry up to a more diverse community. Hannah wants to create a weekly open-invite gathering for women and gender-diverse folk to come to her Mayfield-based fabrication workshop to learn how to use machinery and hand tools in the preparation of timber for hand-carving, and wood-carving. She intends to create a safe environment and encourage more diverse people to enter industrial arts. She would use the money for annual insurance and also to purchase carving tools and sharpening equipment. Last but not least was Scott Priestly of Sailability Toronto. He told us about how he had a near fatal motorbike accident and is now disabled, but fortunately thanks to Sailability Toronto he is still able to enjoy sailing. Now, he is the grants officer for his club, and he has seen ho
w powerful and enjoyable sailing can be for people, many of whom have very different kinds of disabilities. He hopes to use the money for lifejackets and to maintain their boats and sails and rescue equipment to give more people the opportunity to sail.As always, the board had a difficult task at hand but at last votes were cast, and we asked James to deliver the money to the winner. James invited Claire to the stage and we all gave her a big round of applause. Congratulations Claire! We can’t wait to see what you do with those clever kids! Congratulations to all our finalists as well. Remember, applications never expire, so we might see you again soon at another Awesome Newcastle! Thanks for joining us, and if you live in the area and have a great idea, please apply!