Home Local News Community Champion Mark Forster Wins Prestigious ‘Going the Extra Mile’ Award

Community Champion Mark Forster Wins Prestigious ‘Going the Extra Mile’ Award

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Mark Forster accepting the award from Katie Whitehead, Managing Director, Divine Days CIC
Mark Forster accepting the award from Katie Whitehead, Managing Director, Divine Days CIC

++ Mark won the award for his role as Director of Community at Endeavour Learning Trust running holiday clubs for the local community ++

++ Divine Days Celebration Awards, in its inaugural year, celebrates the outstanding work across Lancashire, emphasising inclusion and diversity ++

Mark Forster, the dedicated Director of Community at Endeavour Learning Trust, has been honoured with the esteemed “Going the Extra Mile” award at the Divine Days Celebration Awards. This recognition is a testament to his exceptional contribution to the West Lancashire Holiday Activity Food (HAF) Programme, a collaborative effort involving West Lancashire Sport Partnership, Endeavour Learning Trust, SHARES Lancashire, West Lancashire Borough Council, and other key delivery partners.

The West Lancashire HAF Programme offers targeted and high-quality holiday provision to meet the diverse needs of young people across the district. Mark played a pivotal role in coordinating the collaborative efforts of various organisations to deliver this impactful scheme, specifically designed for children and young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), in Skelmersdale and Burscough.

Operational across 25 venues during each holiday period, including a week at Christmas, two weeks at Easter, and four weeks in the summer, the programme engages over 1,000 young people each week. Through the West Lancashire HAF Programme, participants can access a wide range of activities from sport and dance to arts and crafts delivered by community and voluntary sector partners, promoting physical and mental wellbeing.

Mark expressed his gratitude for the award, stating: “It’s a privilege to receive the award on behalf of all individuals and organisations who contribute to the delivery of the West Lancashire HAF Programme. Together we help address the crucial need to deliver free holiday club provision with meals to eligible families, making a substantial impact on the lives of vulnerable children and young people.

“We are looking forward to building on the last three years of delivery and enhancing the programme further through more effective signposting onto community services, ensuring that we continue to make a real difference to families in need of additional support.”

The Divine Days Celebration Awards, in its inaugural year, celebrates the outstanding work across Lancashire, emphasising inclusion and diversity. The “Going the Extra Mile” award recognises individuals or teams making a significant contribution to their local community, showcasing dedication and commitment to overcoming challenges and improving the life chances of the people of Lancashire.

David Clayton, CEO of Endeavour Learning Trust, emphasised the significance of multi academy trusts actively engaging with their communities and positioning their academies as integral parts of the neighbourhoods they serve, extending beyond the school gates.

He stated: “Mark’s recognition is a testament to his leadership and commitment to serving every young person in the community. His actions truly embody the essence of the award, and as a Trust, we take immense pride in the impactful work he consistently delivers.”

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