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RIGHT CHOICES WIN AN IT’S YOUR COMMUNITY AWARD.

Right Choices have won a top It’s Your Community award of £1000 to help set up a free Outreach Community network service for one to one support for people in crisis who need support in housing & welfare rights. Carle Coultas, the franchise owner from O2’s Headingley Store will be introduced to supporters, members and guests of Right Choices when he presents Cheryl Kebede the Group’s volunteer founder with an It’s Your Community Award on Tuesday 22 January 2008 at 7.30pm.

Right Choices was set up in July 2005 by Cheryl who could not find a support group for people with learning disabilities or mental health difficulties. So she decided to set up her own group by placing an advertisement in the local paper and to her delight forty five people turned up on the first night.   Now Right Choices provides leisure and recreation opportunities for its members twice a week and has developed an information service for people who might otherwise be marginalised.   Cheryl’s latest idea is to create a community networking service that offers one to one support and It’s Your Community will enable Right Choices to set up the appropriate office equipment to run the network.

“Right Choices has grown according to demand” Cheryl says “and now it wants to provide a service to people who cannot always articulate what they need.   Just simple actions like linking people to essential services in housing and welfare can make our members’ lives less stressful. Now thanks to this O2 It’s Your Community award we will be able to create a free network service and open up Right Choices to our members twice a week during the day.”   Cheryl – who was awarded a Community Champion Award for her work in setting up Right Choices, will use It’s Your Community to buy a laptop, photo-copier and a mobile phone.

“This is an exciting community initiative and I’m delighted It’s Your Community has been able to get involved, says O2’s Carl Coultas. The awards are designed to make a difference to communities all over the UK by providing the funds to get ideas off the ground,” he explains.   “We want to build a network of projects across the country that collectively make a difference.   Applying for an It’s Your Community award is simple and fast, just log on to www.itsyourcommunity.co.uk , get inspired and see what you can do.”

Right Choices is supported by Greg Mulholland MP who unfortunately could not be with Cheryl today but who sent this message “I am absolutely delighted that Right Choices has been given an award as a ‘Champion’ Project by O2!   It is right that they have been recognized. Right Choices is a wonderful project which really contributes to the community as well as being invaluable for the people who are involved.”Councilor Martin Hamilton will be dropping in to meet members of Right Choices and to congratulate Cheryl on receiving her It’s Your Community Award.

Each month up to 60 projects throughout the UK receive up to £1000 of It’s Your Community funding. Awards must be for the benefit of the community or to build community spirit. For more information about the hundreds of projects which have already received an award and how to apply for one, visit www.itsyourcommunity.co.uk .

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