Group keeps a low profile to put support for others first

It may not be the most prominent name in Whitby, but for Coast and Vale Community Action that position is quite deliberate.

The charity is part of the backbone of the community, providing a wealth of support to many varied organisations across the town.

But it has a deliberate ethos that it is “about them” and sets out to provide the support which allows charities and community organisations to operate as effectively as possible.

Coast and Vale Community Action operates across Scarborough and Ryedale as well as Whitby, with its origins in the larger town it amalgamated with Whitby and District Voluntary Action in 2007, with Ryedale Voluntary Action also joining forces more recently.

In Whitby, it operates Church House, which is a hub for the voluntary sector and the Green Lane Centre, which provides a home to business tenants as well as training space and a community hall.

That building emerged from what had been a children’s play centre, carefully redesigned because of its close proximity to Whitby Abbey in 2007.

The work was supported by a £1.5m grant and included a forward-thinking geo-thermal heating system, because the site is detached from mains gas supplies.

Coast and Vale Community Action building from the air

Chief executive Mel Bonney said: “We try to provide support in a low-key way, because it is about them, not us, so we are not necessarily well known.

“We were a community support organisation during the Covid-19 pandemic, in partnership with North Yorkshire and the borough councils.

“We were very much involved in making sure people didn’t slip through the net. We didn’t put staff on furlough but redeployed people to provide community responses.”

Coast and Vale Community Action also works with other bodies in the area, to help to provide as complete a service as possible to those needing assistance, which includes helping to ensure people in the community with complex needs get the support they need to maintain social contact with others.

Coast and Vale Community Action’s work is financed largely with income from the buildings it operates, providing a platform that allows other organisations to make the most of their potential.