The story so far:

About 8 years ago Orb was  set up to give  support to local adults with mental health issues through providing access to creativity.

Around three years ago we moved into the Old Garage premises which we all know and love; this put us right at the very heart of Knaresborough.

Art, music, lighting, sound recording, gardening, creative writing, IT – all have managed to find a space in the (by now) very smart and welcoming centre.

Many of our service users have had their work recognised through their contributions to local cultural events such as FEVA.

In recent years we’ve been very grateful to receive support from Bill Hoult, Mayor  of Harrogate, and Andrew Willoughby, Mayor of Knaresborough.

Then we were nominated by national charityAttend to attend (no pun intended)  a reception at Buckingham Palace.

Now it’s Royal recognition!

Orb has been selected to receive an award from the Duke of York’s Community Initiative!


The Duke of York’s Community Initiative                                                                                                 

This award was set up by the Duke of York (Prince Andrew) when, after a visit to a community project in York, he saw ‘what a real difference could be made by the community working together.’

At first Mark (our Mark)  thought Orb had gained this award as a result of his visit to Buck House. ( See earlier blog.)

But no.

Apparently, the D.O.Y’s team had been looking at community ventures in Yorkshire, and had been impressed by our website.  So congratulations to anyone who has ever had anything to do with the  website!

Then they descended on  the premises and subjected Orb to a thorough, but fair, going over.

And guess what?  They thought we were brilliant!

Doesn’t he scrub up nicely?


‘. . .  of real value to the community,

well run

and an inspiration to others!’





So what’s so good about Orb?   (Do you need to ask?)


The Duke of York’s Initiative Award is given to organisations which fulfill certain criteria.   To quote the words from the Award’s own website:

‘The schemes need to be owned, developed and led by the people they serve.’

In other words, it needs to respond to the needs of local people, and be run by local people – not from Westminster!  We certainly tick that box.


‘The scheme should be of real value to the community, well run and an inspiration to others.

What a fantastic accolade!


A rainy day in Bridlington




So, the other Monday, Mark set off to Bridlington Spa Hotel.  The weather was so awful that the Duke’s helicopter trip had to be cancelled at the last minute but the Lord Lieutenant for the East Riding, the Hon. Susan Cunliffe-Lister,   stepped into the breach and presented the award to Orb.

‘It’s a great honour,’ said Mark.  ‘Coming after our earlier, much appreciated awards it’s another indication that Orb really is at the centre of Knaresborough life!’