Lancashire’s social enterprise teams “perform miracles:
day after day after day”
Social Enterprises across Lancashire celebrated and promoted for their phenomenal impacts and achievements throughout Covid at the Enterprise in Society Awards 2021
On 2nd December 2021, at the Crow Wood Hotel, Burnley, Selnet’s 10th awards event for social enterprises highlighted how social businesses adapted services to Covid challenges, in order to continue supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people across Lancashire.
Selnet is the lead organisation representing social enterprises across Lancashire, increasing our sector’s competitiveness, sustainability and impact. We support and enable the vital work of frontline social enterprises, from training, to contract delivery and enabling partnerships.
Social enterprises across Lancashire have gone above and beyond expectations in response to Covid-19, helping people in crisis and keeping lives together. Our phenomenal sector deserves the recognition, celebration and wider promotion, joining together and sharing impactful stories in person at the Enterprise in Society Awards 2021.
And the winners are!
Start-Up Social Enterprise of the Year
Sponsored by The Sewing Rooms
Start Up Social Enterprise of the Year 2021, sponsored by The Sewing Rooms, awarded by co-Directors Paula Gamester and Maureen Fazal to Growing Resilience CIC:
“We are just under a year old, set up to support people around mental health. Teaching people how to cook with foodbank items, horticulture, introducing different concepts of mental health, meditation, conflict resolution, chaotic lifestyles, becoming physically and mentally better, working with UCLan to support LGBTQ+ communities and homeless people.” Glen Duckett, Growing Resilience CIC.
Highly commended award presented to We Be Kids CIC (collected by Suzanne Murray, Groundwork)
Shortlisted were Beanstalk Business Support CIC, Growing Resilience, Mindsight and We Be Kids CIC.
Small Social Enterprise of the Year
Presented by awards judge Adam Holden
The category ‘Small Social Enterprise of the Year’ category was highlighted as the category celebrating ‘the lifeblood of our sector’, presented by judge Adam Holden and awarded to Divine Days Creative Arts:
“We tackle inequalities with health, working with people with complex needs or disabilities, helping them access social entrepreneurship we use the arts predominantly. Everyone in our category is phenomenal, so we are just so thrilled, everyone is just absolutely wonderful, and we are absolutely honoured!” Katie Whitehead, MD.
Highly commended award presented to Let’s Grow Preston.
Shortlisted were Barks and Recreation, Brew Me Sunshine, Divine Days Creative Arts, Let’s Grow Preston and SHAPE Lancashire.
Large Social Enterprise of the Year
Sponsored by Unity Trust Bank
Large Social Enterprise of the Year category was sponsored by Unity Trust Bank, and announced and presented by Margaret Porter to Furniture Matters:
“I didn’t expect this at all, we’re 20 years old, we work in Morecambe and the surrounding area of Morecambe, through Covid we really came into our own, what we’re about is helping people in need, in crisis, – where others closed around us, we kept on going and honestly, we had a really great 18 months!” – Steph Buchanan, Manager at Furniture Matters.
Shortlisted were Child Action Northwest, Furniture Matters (Calico Enterprise Ltd), Intact, Lancashire Women, Recycling Lives Social Enterprises and Travel Assist.
Social Enterprise Covid Hero
Sponsored by Recycling Lives Commercial
The Covid Hero category recognises the great efforts that organisations have gone to over the last 18 months; the new category Covid Hero, presented by David Allen on behalf of the sponsor ‘Recycling Lives Commercial’ to @TheGrange Community Centre:
“The Grange is right sat the centre of Grange Park in Blackpool, we support the residents of Grange Park, during Covid while services closed, we stayed open and we supported the people that were the most vulnerable – most of all what came to light out of it, is there are some very vulnerable people who were not known to use before Covid, but now they are known and have support and care put into place so a lot of good has come out of the work that was done during lockdowns – we did meals on wheels, Christmas dinners, housed people off the streets – and that support just continues and continues. We’re very proud of what we do!” Ellen Ryan @TheGrange.
Alistair Clarke reflected the crowd’s response: “Amazing, amazing organisation!”
Shortlisted were CANWe Solutions CIC, Intact, New Era Enterprises, The Sewing Rooms and @TheGrange Community Centre.
Work and Training Social Enterprise of the Year
Sponsored by Livv Housing
The Work and Training Social Enterprise of the Year category was presented by judge Paula Brown on behalf of sponsor by Livv Housing to Brew Me Sunshine.
Alistair Clarke said “The winners can’t be here tonight – why? Because they’re on their Christmas party!”
Video “Thank you very much for this award, it means so much here to us at Brew Me Sunshine, it’s been really rewarding to see our volunteers overcome their challenges and develop their confidence and skills throughout our training schemes – it’s been even greater to see one of those volunteers join our team as a member of staff, who will also get a well-deserved nomination in one of the other categories this evening. We are incredibly proud of our team and we are not just a café that serves a cup of coffee and delicious cakes. We continue to be a safe, accessible community space for some of the most isolated members of our community. Thank you again and you are all very welcome to see us here at Brew Me Sunshine to celebrate the hard work of all of those this evening”
Claire Lloyd – Cafe Manager
Shortlisted were AFC Fylde Community Foundation, Brew Me Sunshine, Calico Enterprise Ltd, Child Action Northwest, Recycling Lives (Social Enterprises) Ltd and Social Enterprise Solutions.
Social Enterprise Employee of the Year
Awarded by Selnet Membership Lead, Yvette Holden
Employee of the Year, presented by Selnet Membership Lead, Yvette Holden, awarded to Natalie Hall of CANWe Solutions.
Accepting the award on her behalf was Michelle Dixon, Head of Service at Child Action Northwest: “I have the pleasure of working with Natalie and her team. She’s heavily pregnant and was advised to take some time off to rest! Working with Natalie she’s amazing, she gives her all to everything – on behalf of Natalie thank you very much!”
Shortlisted were Carl Simms of Child Action Northwest, Craig Kirby of The Sewing Rooms, Jez Palmer of CANWe Solutions CIC, Julie Smith of SHAPE Lancashire, Natalie Hall of CANWe Solutions CIC and Vicky Hutchinson of Lancashire Women.
Striving for Equality Award
Sponsored by Calico Enterprises
The Striving for Equality award was sponsored by Calico Enterprises and presented by Sam Howarth to Equalities and Justice Northwest.
Presented to Zed Ali, Chief Officer: “We help organisations in the public, private and voluntary sector to implement best practice policies that promote equality. We provide advice and advocacy on a whole range of practical issues and we are absolutely blown away to win this award, all I can say is thank you!”
Shortlisted were Child Action Northwest, Equalities & Justice Northwest and URPotential.
Environmental Champion of the Year
Presented by Chair of Selnet, Graham Jones
The Environmental Champion award was awarded to Recycling Lives Social Enterprise, and presented by the Chair of Selnet, Graham Jones:
When asked how he would sum up what Recycling Lives’ actions are, he said:
“I think that in a nutshell, I have a team that perform miracles, day after day after day”. Alasdair Jackson, Operations Director at Recycling Lives.
Shortlisted were Furniture Matters (part of Calico Enterprise), Let’s Grow Preston and Recycling Lives (Social Enterprises) Ltd.
Volunteer of the Year
Presented by Selnet’s Deputy CEO, Donna Marshall
The Volunteer of the Year award was presented by Selnet’s Deputy CEO, Donna Marshall, who invited all shortlisted nominees to the stage for recognition of their work, and then announced the winner of the category as Jessica Marina Bridge of Renaissance UK.
“I’m a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and I work with Renaissance UK, volunteering hours with them, I work with individuals suffering with sexual health issues, trauma, addiction, drugs, alcohol and the LGBTQ community as well, so I was working with them while I was qualifying as a CBT therapist and since then I’ve been volunteering my hours ever since. I couldn’t imagine not being with them, they’re just a brilliant team! – Jessica Marina Bridge, Renaissance UK.
In recognition of the shortlisted candidates’ work, awarded highly commended certificates were presented to Beryl Lymer of Spring into Action, Donna Hannigan of URPotential, Katy Smith of Child Action Northwest, Krysti-Ann Monroe of Lancashire Women, Tina Calderbank of SHAPE Lancashire and Yasmin Shakir of PUKAR.
Social Enterprise Champion 2021
Presented by 2019 Champion Paula Gamester
Paula Gamester of The Sewing Rooms in Skelmersdale was the Social Enterprise Champion winner in 2019; Selnet’s last Awards ceremony due to Covid. Paula presented this award, saying: “I am absolutely delighted to announce that the 2021 Social Enterprise Champion is Tony Carr”:
Tony was very surprised, and on accepting the award, said “It’s very kind and thank you to the judges, and everybody who has been involved in this awards ceremony. I’m very lucky – I’ve had 2 careers, my first career was 30 years as a retailer, then I moved to our sector and its given me enormous job satisfaction, because now I enjoy going to work and I enjoy the results of the work, which is something that never happened before.
That work was all money-based, and this is about people. Job satisfaction is everything: when we can see the fruits of our work and see that peoples’ lives have changed. So, thank you very much for this award!”
Shortlisted nominees were Annie Wynn of Let’s Grow Preston, Dave Scholes of Mindsight, Linda Markey of URPotential and Tony Carr of Social Enterprise Solutions CIC.
Social Enterprise of the Year 2021
Sponsored by Social Enterprise UK
The final category, sponsored by Social Enterprise UK, shortlisted 27 candidates from all social enterprises shortlisted at the 2021 awards.
Liz Tapner presented this award on behalf of Social Enterprise UK, saying “I am so pleased to announce that for the second year running the Social Enterprise of the Year 2021 is Child Action Northwest”
Michelle Dixon, Head of Service at Child Action Northwest said: “I work with these wonderful people, the only thing that I can say is that everyone does an amazing job, day in, day out – as I’m sure everyone does in the room, to win it the second time – we thought there was no way, so I’m absolutely thrilled, I’m more thrilled with friends and colleagues who stand by me because they’re the ones who go out every day and do what they do – thanks guys, you’re brilliant!”
About the 2021 Enterprise in Society Awards
- Hosted by Vice Chair Alistair Clarke MBE, awarded MBE in 2020
- Welcome address and Social Enterprise of the Year award presented by Liz Tapner MBE, awarded in July 2021.
- Sponsors: Recycling Lives, Calico Enterprises, The Sewing Rooms, Social Enterprise UK, Livv Housing and Unity Trust Bank.
- The largest social enterprise awards in England, outside of Social Enterprise UK.
- Judging panel: Adam Holden, Paula Brown, Investment Manager of Livv Housing Group and Margaret Porter, Relationship Manager of Unity Trust Bank
- #BuySocial giftbags produced by The Sewing Rooms: 5 staff members and 5 volunteers were involved in design and production, with each bag made from end of roll textiles and salvaged textiles otherwise destined to landfill; 1500 metres of fabric were used, the equivalent to cover 2 full sized football pitches!
- Awards held on 02/12/21 with hashtag #SelnetAwards
- Selnet’s Tagline: For People | For Business | For Good