Established in 2012 to give something back to the community and help already established projects grow and develop, the annual donation is the highest since formation, and was helped by more than £30,000 being pledged in the final funding round of the year.
Over the last 12 months, a total of £70,840.16 was distributed to 86 projects and activities, including seven “discretionary” awards for which the panel felt the individual applicant was worthy of support in pursuing their goals, despite falling short of the Trust’s specific grant criteria.
It brings the total awarded by the Trust to £149,901.14 since 2012.
Fitmums and Friends provide support and offer friendship through running and walking in Cottingham, east Hull, Beverley and Hedon, as well as junior groups in Cottingham and Beverley, and buggy sessions in east Hull and Cottingham, on a weekly basis.
The group was awarded £1,000 from the Trust, which included £500 to help raise awareness and advertise the buggy sessions for mums and their little ones, and £500 to buy equipment, such as javelins, hurdles and athletic ladders, for Fitmums Juniors.
Ellie Birch, 45, of Sproatley, who coordinates the buggy sessions in East Park, east Hull, every Thursday morning, said: “The grant was fantastic in helping us to promote what we do and we used it for t-shirts to publicise this.
“We are helping mums to get out and about with or without their children, and encouraging them to keep active and meet new friends. It is fantastic that the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust has been able to support so many local groups and individuals over the past 12 months.
“It really does make a difference and gives them a welcome boost to help them with the great work they do.”
East Hull swimmer Natalie Moon, 19, who swims for Kingston Swimming Club, was selected to compete in the Special Olympics European Disability Swimming Championships in Belgium in September.
Due to the cost, the trip initially looked uncertain and her father, Arthur, looked into potentially taking out a loan to ensure she could fulfil her dream and goal of competing.
But the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust agreed to sponsor Natalie £1,600, which covered the full cost.
She won gold in the 100m Breaststroke Final in the record-breaking time of 1:34.16, adding to the silver medal she had already claimed in the 400m Freestyle Final.
Now, Natalie’s success is continuing after she was recognised as the top performer at the British Gas Disability Swimming Championships in Manchester.
Natalie’s coach, Graham Martin, who trains her in Hull’s Regional Development Squad five nights a week, said the backing from the Trust made a huge difference to the swimmer.
He said: “If Natalie hadn’t received the sponsorship from the Trust, she wouldn’t have been able to progress to the standard she has this year. Without doubt, it has helped her get to where she is today, which is absolutely fantastic.
“The full club and squad have been behind her in her quest for success and we hope 2015 will be no different.
“We can’t thank the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust enough for their support, not just for Natalie, but for everyone who has benefited.”
Another beneficiary of the funding was educational programme Box Clever, set up by boxing star Tommy Coyle to inspire youngsters to succceed in their studies.
The Trust pledged £12,000 to fund equipment and training packs for pupils, which they each keep after the course, along with certificates and trophies.
Jo Hudgell, chair of the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust, said: “The Trust has hopefully enabled the groups which it has supported throughout 2014 to reach out a little further in their communities.
“We try to help in the great work that is already going on across the city and its surrounding areas.
“It is a privilege to meet with groups and hear about their fantastic projects and we look forward to meeting more in 2015.”