A TRUST which supports former coalfield communities has celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Coalfields Regeneration Trust, a national charity that supports deprived communities, held a 20th anniversary event that highlighted the work of the trust in Barnsley and beyond.

The event was held at the Priory Campus on November 29 and had guest speakers from coalfield workers and ambassadors around the country. Since its launch in 1999, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has invested around £300m into projects around the UK in all former coalfield communities.

The trust also launched the first ever National Coalfields Day on November 29, an annual event that provides an opportunity to raise the profile of local projects in these communities.

Andy Lock, head of operations for England, said: “The anniversary is bittersweet. Over recent times, we’ve seen the impacts that pressure on resources has created in communities.

In Text Promo Image

“We have seen a lot of challenges that have increased certainly over the last ten years.

“But there is still a lot of fantastic work going on in ex-mining communities. The organisations that have come to support us are a testament to the spirit that still exists in the form of mining communities.”

Helen Murphy, a skills coach who works in the St Helen’s ward, added: “We’re working very hard in St Helen’s in areas of deprivation to offer support and build skills with the residents.

“We work very closely with the Community Shop and are due to open a digital resource space with them in January.

“We run coach clubs which reach out to ex-miners to help them with IT, confidence and skills.”