Building communities that transform people's lives

At Two Ridings, we understand and nurture the power of community to transform people’s lives across our region.

Every day, grassroots community organisations are tackling the most pressing challenges facing our society. Issues such as poverty, loneliness, the mental health crisis and rural isolation.

They offer support and advice, essential services, opportunities for creativity and self-expression, and new sources of social connection. They build relationships of trust, generosity and care.

This is work that lights sparks in the darkness, rekindles hope and self-belief, and builds the networks of support and solidarity that enable real change. This is the power of community.

Our impact report in 2023 tells the stories of how generous giving makes this possible. We show you the shape of our region, the vital funding we distribute, and the many ways that community action is transforming people’s lives.

Join us on the journey of strengthening our communities together.

The impact of your giving 2023

£2.1 million

grants awarded

average grant made

applicant success rate

Getting the money where it is needed most

The generous support of individuals, businesses, councils and other funders enabled us to distribute £2.1 million this year. That’s 632 grants made to community organisations all over the region, enriching the lives of local people and enabling communities to survive and thrive.

The cost of living crisis has been at the forefront of both our appeals and our grant making, and we are proud to have raised over half a million pounds to tackle it.

With the enforced poverty associated with the crisis following directly on from the trauma of the pandemic, the most vulnerable people across our region are suffering most acutely.

“Moorlands created more warm spaces, extra foodbank activity and an additional 1740 meals with their funding. We want to thank all those that donated into the Cost of Living Crisis Fund. It supported so many people during the crisis.” Jacky, Moorlands Community Charity, Goole

Many of the community organisations who offer vital services have struggled themselves to keep pace with demand.

We have systematically distributed funds, firstly to the people most immediately affected, and then more strategically to enable the local organisations to survive and carry on their crucial support.

We have seen first-hand just how crucial their work remains, and how modest amounts of money can have an outsized impact.

Supporting the whole region

From inner city Hull to the isolated rural villages, from coast to dale, Two Ridings have you covered.

Poverty manifests itself from Hull to Harrogate, Scarborough to Selby. No matter where you live there is marginalisation and inequality.

Many of our coastal towns seem busy, successful and thriving, but scratch beneath the surface, and mental health difficulties, drug culture and loneliness are rife. What looks like an idyllic moors village is home to people unable to get to the services they need because of transport cuts and fuel poverty, and the digital divide grows ever greater.


People at the heart of everything we do

People across Yorkshire come up against hardship and suffering for many different reasons. The grassroots community organisations we support make a huge impact on the lives of thousands of people, often on a shoestring and with thanks to dedicated volunteers and staff.

Children’s wellbeing will always be central to our aims here at Two Ridings, and the cost of living crisis has put a huge strain on many more people, driving them into poverty.

A third of our funding helps children and young people directly, and those living in poverty. 9% of our funding goes to people experiencing homelessness and 7% supports older people.

Our funding also supports people with mental health difficulties, people from minority ethnic communities, asylum seekers, those living with alcohol and drug addictions, ex-offenders, survivors of crime, families, refugees and those from the LGBTQ+ community.

We do not leave anyone behind.

Transforming communities through grant making

No poverty grants | £414,938 distributed

Good health & wellbeing grants | £528,689 distributed

Reducing inequalities grants | £423,053 distributed

Creating sustainable communities grants| £740,397 distributed

How funding impacts different communities

Giving young people the drive to succeed

Outkast Panda Crew teach young adults vehicle maintenance and repair in a welcoming and supportive environment. They learn how to do basic servicing and put these new skills into real-world practice through race events where the young people are the pit crew and the mechanics.

Their aim initially was to reduce anti-social behaviour in communities but soon saw the root causes go much deeper. Many of the young people they work with have mental health issues they cannot address elsewhere.  They encourage those people to talk about their issues and the diverse groups of volunteers have become role models for the young people to aspire to.

“Two brothers who come from a family that have only experienced living on benefits have turned their lives around through the project. One now has an apprenticeship at Mercedes and the other is doing a welding  course at Hull College. Outkast believe everyone needs nourishing. That’s why they do it. Seeing young people grow in confidence and self belief and going on to college and employment is what it’s all about.”

Lived experience transforming lives

I owe my life and my son’s life to York in Recovery

For 30 years John watched his son slowly deteriorate through his addiction to alcohol. Dan was often out of control, regularly
hospitalised, didn’t care about his own life and his actions were deeply affecting the lives of those who loved him.

“I always thought he would die very soon, and it nearly killed me too. And then one day he came back from a hospital stay and talked, for the first time about doing some cooking and watching some television with someone. He had met Mark from York in Recovery, and that interaction, and the prospect of those two simple activities were the start of his life turning around.”

Dan realised that there were other people, just like him, who had experienced life in a similar way to him. He also saw that their lives had changed for the better.

York in Recovery gave Dan hope. Engaging in small activities that he could relate to brought meaning back into his life. Now Dan regularly cooks tasty treats at the group’s Recovery Cafe. He’s also created and hosts a pool session for the community and crucially chats and supports other people.


Using our knowledge to champion positive change

leaders supported

new leaders lives changed

local people on our panels

Building the leaders of the future

HEY Confident Futures, our Leadership Network in Hull and East Yorkshire goes from strength to strength. We continue to deliver a wide range of work focussing on three core areas: the individual, the organisation and the place.

Our training, supporting 400 leaders, runs throughout organisations, developing CEOs and senior leaders. Our work with the organisations supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic citizens has grown into a collective known as the Leadership Advocacy Network who are gaining funding and a voice for the refugee, asylum seeker and first-generation immigrant communities in Hull.

The jewel in crown of the network is the ‘New To Leadership’ programme, described as ‘life changing’ by every one of the 26 leaders who have taken part to date. It is a personal journey for every person;  intimate, transformative and giving them the space to understand themselves and permitting them to get off life’s complex treadmill. Through that, they grow themselves, support their team and the whole region flourishes.

One leader reflects “I have loved every minute of the experience, I feel incredibly privileged and lucky to have been gifted this opportunity and I have already seen the impact on my life.

“I am more confident in my role, I have better skills in leading a team and hopefully this will translate into amazing impacts and outcomes for our people and project.”

Shifting the power

Why working in a participatory way matters

How many people does it take to make a decision? But more importantly who should those people be?

We are actively working to devolve the power of decision making to people living closest to the issues impacting them.

Over the last year, 90 people have taken part in our funding panels, ensuring money is directed to the people and places most in need of it.

“The most important thing for the young people is the approach and their involvement in the decision making process. Because everything is participatory, it’s brilliant, and chimes with how our youth project is structured.

Young people are more confident and have a sense of ownership. They have become the bosses and are experiencing holding organisations to account. It’s an exciting dynamic. Sidewalk and Two Ridings are working really well together.”   Steve, Sidewalk Youth Project

Inspiring investment into Yorkshire

Endowment funds

Revenue funds

Place based funds

Richard set up a fund with Two Ridings

because of his deep roots in Yorkshire

With fond childhood memories of holidays in Goathland and a career working in Yorkshire-based businesses, Richard wanted to give something back to the communities and places that had given him so much.

He was amazed and a little surprised to hear that Two Ridings support around 600 charitable organisations. When Richard started looking into them, he quickly realised that they all deserved money. “Many are very small but all are making such an impact in their communities. It’s difficult to know where to start when you’re looking to make charitable donations, and I didn’t want the charities themselves to have to expend a lot of valuable time explaining or justifying their missions to me.”

“Two Ridings had already done that work. They clearly knew the organisations personally and thoroughly understood
the issues they’re facing. I loved that there’s a simple process for groups to apply for funding and for Two Ridings to get the grants out to them.”

Richard also likes the people at Two Ridings.

“I appreciate that the people at Two Ridings aren’t pushy or aggressive. They have an intimate knowledge of the area, the issues communities face, and the people who live there, and that’s their drive.”

Richard set up a fund with Two Ridings to benefit people in North Yorkshire. He feels Two Ridings has the expertise and the heart to make sure that money will do the greatest good possible.

Janet left us a legacy

so her local community benefits long after her death

Knowing she had a terminal condition, Janet contacted Two Ridings to discuss leaving a legacy after her death, in memory of her daughter. She wanted her money to support the community they lived in and the local people within it. And she wanted that to be their legacy, for ever.

It’s never easy to think about your own demise, but Janet felt good about leaving a positive legacy in the community she loved which will support people in York and the East Riding for years to come.

Nimbuscare set up a community fund with Two Ridings

to further support the communities they work in 

Nimbuscare is a primary care provider with 11 GP practices around York. Patients are at the heart of their every thought and, as a not-for-profit, being able to give back to the community is important. Their grant making addresses issues they see affecting their patients.

They chose Two Ridings as they had heard great feedback about the team’s knowledge and relationships with local groups. They find the decision-making panels extremely well chaired, and appreciate the transparent and open process.

Nimbuscare have enjoyed visiting some of the groups their fund has supported. They have loved seeing how Two Ridings connect the groups up and facilitate shared learning and partnerships. Those relationships bring all the work together, completing the circle.

David and Sara donated to the Cost of Living Crisis Fund

to help break the cycle of poverty for local people

David and Sara were early donors to the Cost of Living Crisis fund. David is a local businessman and Sara recognises
the foundation’s important role in the region.

“We were really keen to support this appeal from the offset, because we knew the impact the cost of living crisis was going to be felt strongly by people and charities across the region.”

David and Sara like how Two Ridings have a good ear to the ground. They strongly believe that it is vital to support people affected by food and fuel poverty and the complexities of the welfare system.

“We have been fortunate in life and want to give back, especially to families and children in need. Two Ridings raised funds quickly for this cause and distributed to over 130 groups in the first phase. They are helping break the cycle of poverty, and we support that.”

Working together to create change

Our small passionate team brings extensive community knowledge as well as expertise in grant making, finance, fund raising, leadership development and charity management. The eleven of us work closely with a board of trustees and a number of dedicated volunteers.

Richard Frith, our Chair of Trustees said:

“Taking up the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees has enabled me to see first-hand the deep dedication of the Two Ridings team and their determination to support our region’s communities in the best way possible. They ensure that we continue to deliver the highest standards of grant-making, while also ensuring rigorous financial management and careful stewardship of the charity’s resources.

In particular, I would like to extend my grateful thanks to Jan Garrill, our Chief Executive until May 2023, for all she achieved in her nine years at the foundation. Two Ridings raised over £10million during her tenure, building key relationships, growing the whole organisation and even hosting royalty. We are tremendously grateful. We also want to offer our appreciation to Hannah Harris and James Naylor, who stepped down as trustees after many years of service. The board was greatly enriched by their contributions.”

To all our donors, supporters, partners and volunteers, we want to personally thank you for supporting Two Ridings and for helping us all make such a difference in our region.


Have a flick through the full Impact Report here

Interested in making a difference in the future?

Perhaps you want to leave a legacy in Yorkshire in the future, be part of a collective fund to make your money work harder for local people.

Maybe you want to support the work of the foundation to ensure the long term future of support in the region, or you want to alleviate poverty and contribute to our cost of living fund.

Have a read through our Giving and Philanthropy page.

Of contact Celia directly on 07519 485103