Hastings Direct receives community hero award

3rd July 2012

Bexhill based insurance broker Hastings Direct has been honoured with a Community Hero Award from Young Pioneers — a charity which aims to enable and develop everyday young people to overcome adversity, be successful and lead change.

Battle based Young Pioneers was founded by Luke Lancaster aged just 12 after he had been hospitalised in an attack by school bullies. Today at 16, Luke is the CEO and founder of a movement that is encouraging everyone to make it Cool to Care. Since its inception Young Pioneers has helped over 6,000 vulnerable children and young people survive exclusion, abuse and homelessness, bringing them back into mainstream society and giving them the skills to live.

Young Pioneers approached Hastings Direct when its main transportation failed asking if the car insurance firm could help. Simon Oliver, head of customer claims, inspired his team to fundraise and called upon Hastings' suppliers who all donated generously. Thanks to everyone's efforts £7,400 was raised to resolve the transportation issues and get Young Pioneers mobile again and back helping vulnerable children in the community.

Donations were received from Hastings Direct, Copart, Auto Windscreens, Silverbeck Rymer Solicitors, National Salvage Group, Chameleon Insurance Services Ltd, AIA Vehicle Assessors, Hoopers Vehicle Assessors, Carpenters Solicitors and Nationwide Crash Repair Centres — which also loaned Young Pioneers a vehicle to help maintain essential services.

Simon: "On behalf of Hastings Direct we are very proud to receive this Community Hero award. We have been inspired by the work Luke and the Young Pioneers have done and we are now looking at how we can continue to support the essential work they are undertaking."

Luke: "I founded Young Pioneers to show young people and adults that it is Cool to Care. Hastings Direct not only shows that it is Cool to Care, but they have been a real Force for Good. The transport that they have funded is used to deliver over 1,500 health MOTs a year and is used by our youth trainers to help vulnerable young people learn how to shop and cook on a budget of £10.50 a week, manage stress, tackle obesity and take exercise. They have made a tremendous difference to my charity and their passion and commitment is inspiring. The companies that donated are amazing and I can't thank them enough for all they have done."

About Young Pioneers

Young Pioneers (registered charity number 1121680) was started by 12 year old Luke Lancaster following a hospitalisation by school bullies. Now, 16 Luke is CEO and founder of a movement that is making it Cool to Care.

Learn more at www.youngpioneers.org

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