Teesside community champions top vote poll

The Advertiser Series: Karl Pemberton (centre left), a director of the Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation's partons, Active Financial Services with head coach, Lee Fawcett, and members of the Tees Valley Wheelchair Sports Club Karl Pemberton (centre left), a director of the Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation's partons, Active Financial Services with head coach, Lee Fawcett, and members of the Tees Valley Wheelchair Sports Club

WHEELCHAIR basketballers have secured £2,500 after becoming one of ten community groups to win a share of £10,000 in a public vote.

More than 50 local charities and school applied for Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation’s ‘Goalden Giveaway’. They were whittled down to ten before supporters picked the worthiest winners.

Topping the poll on the Middlesbrough Football Club’s official website with almost 40 per cent of the votes was Tees Valley Wheelchair Sports Club who will also receive a visit from two players from the Riverside Stadium.

Lee Fawcett, head coach at the sports club based at Outwood Academy in Acklam, Middlesbrough, said the money would enable them to buy three more specialist wheelchairs as they looked towards opening branches in Darlington and Hartlepool.

While its Tees Valley Titans team take part in the national basketball league, the club also holds coaching sessions every Saturday for disabled and able-bodied children and adults of all abilities.

“It’s absolutely awesome for the club to win this cash, we’re so grateful to the foundation, its patrons and everyone who voted for us,” added Mr Fawcett, a former paralympian at wheelchair basketball and fencing.

Among the community groups which also received a share of the cash were Tees Wheelyboats Club and the Sea Cadets which each won £1,000. Redcar Development Trust was given £500 to set up projects to help socially-isolated older people and a non-contact boxing club for under 10-year-olds.

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