2018 Most Effective Collaboration

The Birchwood Centre has been recognised for excellence in collaboration at the annual Enterprise in Society Awards.

As a social enterprise, Birchwood support vulnerable homeless or young people at risk of homelessness in the Skelmersdale and wider Lancashire area. Life is hard for many in Skelmersdale, with higher levels of deprivation at all stages of life.   An area experiencing high levels of economic and social deprivation; high unemployment, limited opportunities for work and welfare reforms has impacted on many families. It is unsurprising that there are many vulnerable young people whose lives have been impacted the wrong way by family breakdown, poverty, drugs, mental health and lack of opportunity and hope for the future.


“Navigating Safe Pathways”


Birchwood provides vital accommodation for very vulnerable young people at critical points in their lives, facing a complex mix of challenges and disadvantages, to help them navigate safe pathways through to adulthood.  Underpinning this is a range of individually tailored support services to meet the needs of each young person, Birchwood provide a warm and nurturing environment that inspires, challenges, encourages and enables; supporting them to take responsibility and to become thriving, self-sufficient citizens.

Birchwood’s approach focuses on individual strengths, capabilities and talents.  Our commitment to building trusting relationships with young people, families, and partners allows us to break down barriers, assess and identify needs using various methods and techniques over a significant period; enabling transformation and change to occur at key transition points in their lives. We have evidence that clearly demonstrates the impact our work has on securing and sustaining employment, education, training, volunteering, mental and physical health, confidence, self-esteem and aspirational building.

Having worked in the local community for 40 years, the organisation is committed to improving the lives of young people, families and the local community. Their aim is to prevent youth homelessness and social isolation by empowering young people to make positive and informed choices supporting them to take responsibility and to become thriving, self-sufficient citizens.

Birchwood’s approach and commitment to changing the lives of young people has gained Birchwood a reputation as a locally rooted, credible and capable organisation well positioned to target services, engage with the most vulnerable and respond creatively to the needs of the local community.

“This has been an exciting year for Birchwood. We are absolutely delighted to have won the Most Effective Collaboration award! This recognition means everything to our trustees, staff and volunteers who demonstrate diligence, commitment and drive on a daily basis which impacts widely on the lives of vulnerable individuals.”

“We continue to strive for excellence, maintaining the passion and determination to pursue our social mission: ensuring young people and vulnerable individuals have the opportunity to thrive and grow. It is a great achievement and we feel extremely proud “

Birchwood is a growing and ambitious organisation taking the lead in innovation and forward thinking.  Birchwood have contracts with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust to provide Mental Health Crisis beds & support, a new 10-bedded facility in partnership with Tanhouse Community Enterprise an employability programme with Re-Vision Charity and the Job Centre.

Birchwood’s commitment to measuring and demonstrating impact has secured long term funding from foundations to develop and sustain core services and to develop our thriving Junk Food Café and Birchwood Counselling Services. We are delighted to announce that Birchwood have recently been awarded the highly prestigious national GSK Impact Award for our work to improve community health.


“Leading Lights”


The award was presented by Social Enterprise UK CEO, Peter Holbrook who said “Social enterprises like Artz for All, The Sewing Rooms and Preston Vocational Centre bring innovation and impact together brilliantly whilst organisations such as the Birchwood Centre and Lancashire Women’s Centres are leading lights in how civil society organisations can embrace social enterprise and yet retain their values, services and character.”

Highly Commended: Bootstrap Enterprises / Community Clothing
Category Finalists: Artz for All C.I.C, Lancashire Women’s Centres and Urban Organic (UK) CIC



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