A VITAL York charity has been awarded more than £20,000 to help continue it’s work.

York-based charity Kyra Women’s Project is celebrating the award of almost £9,500 from Two Ridings Deciding Together fund for a member and stakeholder engagement programme, and another of £9,900 from The National Lottery Awards for All programme.

Kyra was founded in 2013 to help women make positive changes in their lives, and celebrates the 8th anniversary of its launch tomorrow (November 26).

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will see an ambassador programme building on a recently-completed Kyra project called Supporting Women in Rural Areas (SWIRL) which saw six ambassadors appointed in six villages around York to spread the word about what Kyra can offer to support women.

Rosemary Cook, CEO of Kyra, said: “It is wonderful to have these two grants coming in together. Through the engagement programme funded by the Deciding Together fund, we’ll be going all out to discover what the unmet needs are amongst women in York, so we can develop our services to meet them. The ambassador programme will mean we can reach many more women to tell them about these services through workplaces, shops and other outlets, with a trained contact embedded in these places ready to signpost women to our services.”

One of the SWIRL ambassadors, Caroline Kitching, held a ‘pop-up’ Kyra event in Acklam on 19 November and raised over £1000 for the charity.

Caroline said: “As a SWIRL ambassador, I’ve been putting up posters and talking to women around my local area, directing them to Kyra for support if they need it.

"I was excited to be able to hold this pop up event, which let more people know about Kyra and also raised some funds for the charity.

Rosemary said: “This is a lovely way to celebrate Kyra’s eighth birthday, with extra funds to expand our work, and a special event in Acklam.

"Thank you to all the National Lottery players who make the Awards for All grants possible, and thanks to Two Ridings for their generous support.”

If any business or employer in York would like to have a fully-trained Kyra ambassador amongst their workforce, they should contact Kyra for more information using contact@kyra.org.uk