CHARITIES from north Shropshire, Cheshire, north Wales and further afield have been commended at the Steve Morgan Foundation Awards.

The awards brought a fitting end to an inspirational annual conference as more than 200 charity representatives came together to share their ideas and experiences.

The second Steve Morgan Foundation charity conference, staged at Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire, was another major success with a day of presentations and workshops which was then followed by the return of the awards for the first time since 2012.

Presentations at the conference were given by representatives from a series of diverse charities – the Open Door Centre, Neo Community, Youth Shedz and Designs In Mind CIC– covering subjects such as improving mental health, the importance of volunteers, and how to build resilience within an organisation.

A series of workshops were then held also covering a range of topics with charity representatives encouraged to share their experiences, prompting many to consider linking up together in the future.

The awards, which included prizes of £5,000 for the winners and £1,000 for the runners-up, were presented by Steve and his fellow trustees Sally Morgan, Ashley Lewis and Rhiannon Walker.

Steve Morgan, Chairman of the Foundation, described the day as "wonderful and inspiring" and was impressed at the quality of applications received.

“We held our first annual conference last year, which I thought was great, but this was even better, and has set the bar even higher for future years," said Steve.

“I think all of us tend to get so busy and wrapped up in our day-to-day activities, that we forget that other people out there have issues very similar to our own.

“Charities will often experience the same situations and the same frustrations, and getting together at this conference is so valuable in sharing stories which we can all relate to.

“It was after last year’s first conference that we decided to bring back our awards, and we were really impressed with the quality of the applications.

“The judging process, which included some online voting, took a lot of time and effort but we really enjoyed seeing how much incredible work is taking place at the grass roots levels of so many communities.

“We had more than 100 applications and I think any one of them could have won, they were that good.

“I would also say that every single one of the charities that came along to our conference are winners, because of the work they do and what they put back into society.”