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Wrexham based charity honours founder

EMPOWERING Youth Foundation (EYF) – a North West and North Wales charity that provides life skills sessions to children through fun, golf-based activities – has recently honoured its founder Dawn Roberts.

Dawn has been named Honorary Ambassador in recognition of her long-term commitment to the charity, which she established in 2008.

Dawn set up EYF after leaving her previous role and moving to the UK from Denmark. She saw the charity through a successful three-year pilot and worked hard to develop an exciting, sustainable children’s charity initially based in North Wales and the North West of England.

Originally from California (USA), Dawn graduated from the Santa Clara University having studied Politics, Science and Italian. Following post-graduate study for an M.Sc. in European politics she entered the US Government as a Foreign Service Officer. Whilst working for the charity as the chief executive, Dawn secured many grants to support the life skills programmes and also helped secure its current corporate support from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Mack Trading. This, in turn, has enabled EYF to grow across the North West and into the Midlands, delivering life skills programmes in Wrexham, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Staffordshire.

Dawn’s connections with The First Tee, a major American junior golf skills charity, ensured that EYF was the first charity in the UK to hold The First Tee license for its programmes. Through this relationship she built connections with The First Tee trustee and golfing legend Jack Nicklaus. Amongst other things Jack extended his support by attending a charity dinner organised by Dawn, which raised £30,000 for the charity.

In 2013 Dawn re-joined the US Government, taking on the role of Console of Moldova at the American Embassy in the Independent Republic of Moldova. Dawn left the responsibility of running the charity to its former employee, now charity development manager, Molly Whelan, and remains in regular contact. The charity intends to hold an official dinner to celebrate Dawn’s honorary role, which will take place when she next visits the UK.

Molly said: “EYF was Dawn’s vision. She was committed to ensuring the charity was a success and worked hard to secure grants and corporate support to help it grow. Being permitted to re-join the US Government is incredibly rare and this in itself is a testament to Dawn’s exceptional skillset and talents – which she used to great effect whilst at EYF. We are delighted to acknowledge Dawn’s work by naming her as the Honorary Ambassador.”

Dawn added: “EYF will always be a charity close to my heart and I’m incredibly proud of what the current team has achieved since I handed over. I’m hoping that my new role will help further elevate EYF’s prominence and presence throughout the UK, which was always my dream for the charity. I am thrilled to accept the role of Honorary Ambassador, in what is an exciting time for EYF.”

EYF works with children delivering life skills programmes for those who have grown up in challenging circumstances. Participants learn valuable lessons about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences and how to define and set goals.