A Leeds rowing group has scooped a £50,000 cash award as part of a leading housebuilder’s successful charity campaign supporting under-18s.

Persimmon Homes has handed out more than £1,000,000 in cash prizes to organisations across England, Scotland and Wales as a part of its hugely successful Building Futures campaign.

Leeds Rowing Club, who had represented Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, plans to use the prize money to purchase new boats and oars enabling the group to reduce its waiting list and teach more youngsters how to row and achieve their potential.

HD9 Community Music from Huddersfield and Bradford-based, The Light of the World Community Centre also represented Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire region and were each awarded £5,000.

Persimmon Homes congratulated 96 organisations for getting to the final stage of its Building Futures competition. And at a gala dinner, held at York Racecourse, three finalists were each awarded the top prize of £100,000, three the second prize of £50,000 and three the third prize of £20,000. The remaining 87 finalists were handed £5,000 each.

From February to May, Building Futures has also given away £128,000 to 128 organisations supporting young people in sport, education & arts and health throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

The first, second and third prize winners were decided by a public vote and more than 250,000 votes were cast.

Gavin Coates from Leeds Rowing Club said: “This is absolutely amazing news. I am still getting use to the news.

“The £50,000 will have a huge impact on the group. Across our two training locations, north and south of Leeds, we have more than 200 children wanting to learn how to row. We can now buy more equipment so we can introduce the youngsters to the sport. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.”

Christopher Hull, director-in-charge at Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, said: “The Building Futures scheme has been a great success and we had a brilliant evening at York Racecourse celebrating the fantastic work of so many organisations supporting young people in our communities.

“We have been overwhelmed by both the response to the competition, and the hard work and dedication of those involved within all the groups. We are delighted Leeds Rowing Club, from our region, was one of the big winners.”

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