Community Group of the Year/Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year nominee – Natasha Gratton/Helping Angels
When former care manager Natasha Gratton set up a ‘small community group’ in 2018 her aim was to help a few vulnerable adults.
Helping Angels and Project Indi now work with around 250 people every week and mum-of-two Natasha has given up her day job to run it full-time.
The group operates out of the former Sneyd Green Community Hall, now known as the Indi Club, operates Café Indi out of The Pavilion at Burslem Park and works in the Lodge at Hanley Park.
The café, which is open to the public, was set up to provide inclusive work placements for members of the group and help some to move on to jobs in the community.
Mum-of-two Natasha, from Milton, has always worked in social care and specialised in working with people with autism and complex needs.
She said: “What I do now is a 90 hours a week job. It’s a really rewarding job but it’s stressful sometimes because every single day I have to fight for people to get what I feel they should be naturally given.”
Natasha has been nominated as a Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year in the Your Heroes Awards by Chloe Keogh. Helping Angels and Project Indi has also been nominated as Community Group of the Year.
Chloe said: “Natasha is a truly inspirational charity champion. She leads local charity Helping Angels which has gone from strength to strength since its launch.
“The charity supports vulnerable adults and children and focuses on giving them confidence and independence.
“They recently refurbished and reopened the cafe in Burslem Park, which has opportunities for inclusive work placements to help build confidence and grow independence.
“There are also lots of activities running each week out of Sneyd Green Community Centre, now known as The Indi Club, supporting the local community and charity members.
“Natasha leads all of this, working so hard to make the charity a success as well as raising a young family. I am so proud to call her my friend and she inspires me and those around her every day.”
Natasha said: “It’s really heartfelt to be nominated for a Your Heroes Award. It’s made me really emotional.”