'Hardest decision' as award winning Doncaster community project set to close

An award-winning Doncaster organisation is to close down this summer after three years of helping the community.

By Ellen Beardmore
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 2:09 pm

The Balby and Hexthorpe Community Engagement Community Interest Company was founded in 2019 by Shaun Kessell with the aim of bringing people in the local area together.

It provided events and activities focused on reducing anti-social behaviour and social isolation, operated a full time Covid support hub and ran a community helpline.

But it has been confirmed this week via an announcement on the organisation’s Facebook group; that its work is to come to an end.

Shaun Kessell is taking a step back from Balby CIC due to health issues.

Shaun said it had been ‘the hardest decision’ to make but he had to take a step back due to health issues.

He told the Doncaster Free Press: “Over the last three years I have not had a life for myself, I have given it all to the community - it’s time to take a step back.

“I’ve had a lot of messages, a lot that I can’t read because it sets me off.

“If I go round Tesco or Asda I’m having the community come up to me and thanking me for what we’ve done for the community.”

Shaun, who lives in Balby, said some of the work he was most proud of was supporting people during Covid and working closely with local PCSOs on tackling anti-social

behaviour.

Over the years the organisation has helped many other community groups, local businesses and individuals in a bid to make an impact and improve the local area.

It also worked to support the need for governors in local schools.

More than 3,000 people support the group on Facebook and some thanked the organisation for their ‘amazing’ work.

Others called for the group to keep going with the support of other people from the community.

Shaun said: “I have been trying for the last couple of months to get somebody to take it on but because of what we do and how big we are nobody wants to do it. It’s not a 9 to 5

job, “I have worked from 7am until 11pm some days then had calls from people we are supporting at 2am.”

The Balby and Hexthorpe Community Engagement CIC will officially close down on August 31.

Anyone interested in taking over should email [email protected]