A Middlesbrough charity has scooped a national award for its contribution to helping local people to lead better lives.

Trending Middlesbrough, a new-concept clothing bank designed to help those in need, took the top award in the Community Health Development category at the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) Awards 2017.

Trending is operated by Actes and is funded by Talent Match Middlesbrough’s Innovation Fund and Middlesbrough Council’s Financial Inclusion Group.  It opened in June 2016 to provide quality clothing to help young people be better equipped for employment, education and training, as well as to help other individuals in need.  It comprises of a boutique inspired store located at Bowes Road Industrial Estate, a ‘Trending on Wheels’ outreach service and a Facebook page where people can view and bid for items online.

To date, Trending has supported almost 600 people who have received around 2500 items of clothing. Beneficiaries include Talent Match young people who have been helped with interview wear, homeless people, those fleeing domestic violence and many other individuals and families in need.

The RSPH Award celebrates the work of successful place-based initiatives that improve the health of residents and community environments in a way that contributes to long-lasting change.

Describing Trending, the Community Health Development Award judges, said:

“Trending is a pragmatic and collaborative programme. Its use of social media as a shop front to deliver aspects of the programme, makes it non-stigmatising, accessible and open. It clearly knows its target audience, their fundamental needs and how to reach them.”

Commenting on the award win, Sandra Phillips, chief executive at Actes, a charity committed to helping people to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life, said: “We are very proud to receive the Community Health Development Award from the Royal Society for Public Health for Trending’s positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the local community, it is true testament to the hard work of the team that run the service and our project partners and funders.  We have already helped nearly 600 people to access quality clothing in a dignified way and hope we hope that many more people in need are able to benefit from this support.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd, who officially opened the store last year, said: “I am delighted to see the work of Trending recognised on the national stage. As an organisation it offers so much value to society by helping people in any number of ways and with any number of problems. This award is richly deserved.”

Trending was up against community health ventures in Hednesford and the Isle of Dogs in the awards.  Representatives from Actes collected the award at a glittering ceremony in London.

For further information about Trending please contact Tel: 01642 858 050, Email: paul.wales@actes.co.uk or visit the websitehttp://www.actes.co.uk/health-wellbeing or Facebook page /TrendingMiddlesbrough. Follow Actes Trust on Twitter @ActesTrust