Leeds charity wins national award for work with children and young people

A charity which helps thousands of children and young people in Leeds has won a national award.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:50 pm
Catch members with Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith

Harehills based charity CATCH won the 'Policing and Children' award at the Howard League Community Awards.

CATCH, which stands for Community Action To Create Hope, runs one of the largest youth clubs in Leeds, with a membership of over 1000 young people.

It was founded in 2010 by West Yorkshire Police officer Ash Razzaq MBE.

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PC Razzaq said: "Since founding CATCH I’ve had a vision of helping the community and transforming the lives of local people.

"Over the years we’ve worked with numerous organisations and people to ensure our vision became a reality.

“It means a lot that the hard work of everyone involved at CATCH has been recognised at such prestigious awards.

"I’m looking forward to sharing and celebrating this win with all the volunteers who work so hard to make sure CATCH is a safe and welcoming environment that empowers young people and gives them opportunities that wouldn’t normally be available.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Yorkshire Police, added: “CATCH is a brilliant example of a highly successful community group and I’m delighted that it has been recognised for its incredible work in helping young people fulfil their potential in areas of Leeds.

“I’ve been supporting CATCH since being elected as PCC in 2012 and it’s very rare to find a centre which is always open and available to support young people seven days a week, providing them with a safe place to develop positively and spend their free time.

“I’d also like to personally thank Ash for the incredible job he’s done with other volunteers and I’m currently looking at how we can use this proven work as a model to reduce serious and violent crime across other parts of West Yorkshire.”

CATCH supports the community through numerous volunteer-led initiatives including the ARK Community Café, community sports field, community garden and volunteer gym.

The charity also offers numerous sessions for young people including a youth club, dance, gardening and volunteering opportunities.