Prize projects

04 August 2016

Our funded projects are doing amazing things to bring communities together and take action on local issues that are important to them.

With such great work going on in communities across Great Britain, it’s fantastic to see residents’ hard work being recognised. We caught up with some groups who have recently received or been nominated for awards for their work.

A Local Conversation in Lozells, Aspire & Succeed – Birmingham

Lozells-based social enterprise Aspire & Succeed is supporting residents to deliver a shared vision for their neighbourhood through a Local Conversation project. Last month, residents celebrated all the valuable work that is going on locally at the Lozells Community Awards.

“The night was all about celebrating local people - the people who encourage and motivate us to be the best community we can be.  A big part of the Lozells community is building leaders – people who go out of their way to help others.

“When you read some of the nominations we received you realise just how heartfelt they are, the judges had some really tough decisions to make. There are just so many people in Lozells making a big difference.

“This is the fourth time there has been a Lozells Community Awards and this year’s theme was relationships. If we didn’t have strong relationships in the community none of this would happen, but you don’t build relationships overnight, it takes time.

“One of the main events of the evening was giving out the Lozells in Bloom awards which we’ve tried out for the first time this year. We try our utmost to keep Lozells clean but we do have a problem with people continuously dumping in our streets. One of the ideas that came about to stop this was Lozells in Bloom. Together with children from a local primary school, we put together some baskets and within a few weeks the competition was up and running. The response we’ve had is fantastic and it’s really helped to get people involved with the community. There were people at the ceremony who we didn’t know before Lozells in Bloom.

“What’s great is that it wasn’t Aspire & Succeed leading the awards, it was the community. We were able to just fade into the background and let them take control.”

Shale Ahmed, Project Manager


Young LGBT Liberators and Educators, URPotential - Blackpool

Supported by Blackpool-based organisation, two groups, aged between 13 and 17 and 18 and 25, are designing an educational pack aimed at supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) young people, families and organisations - including schools. URPotential has been nominated for the Community Organisation Award at The National Diversity Awards which will be announced in September.

“I nominated URPotential because they’re a great employer and the grassroots work we do is responsive and meets the needs of young people locally. Our nomination specifically focuses on the LGBT work we do because it’s quite unique in the local area.

“When I found out URPotential had been shortlisted I was absolutely overwhelmed and really proud. As an organisation, we do good work, but we don’t necessarily shout it from the rooftops – we just get on with it – but we know we make a difference. We’re pretty lucky to be in the final eight of a national award. I really didn’t think we’d get through because it’s quite a prestigious event but obviously we’re overjoyed.

“I’m a little bit nervous about going to the awards ceremony but I think it will be a really good opportunity to appreciate our funders, to appreciate the young people that we work with and to put LGBT issues out there both nationally and locally about the work that needs doing.”

Nina Beavers, LGBT worker


Empowering Women, Women For Well Women – Greater Manchester

Women for Well Woman is supported by Active Communities funding. The centre, based in Leigh, Wigan, is run by women for women who have experienced domestic violence and sexual abuse.  Recently, the group received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of the work they do in the community, supporting, educating and empowering young girls and women.

“When we found out we’d be receiving this award we were so pleased and proud of the organisation, but also of all the volunteers. They’re such an integral part of the work we do, they are the whole reason we can exist. All our volunteers come through as clients originally.

“Myself and Sue our counselling and volunteer coordinator, went to Buckingham Palace. Sue joined the organisation 20 years ago as a client, she then became a volunteer, from that she did a bit of cleaning for us as an employee, before becoming a full-time member of staff, so it was fantastic to be able to take Sue with me.

“Going to the palace was a surreal experience. I kept looking round and thinking ‘are we really here?’ It was such an honour and such a special day. There was a real buzz.

“We also had an awards ceremony at Gorton Monastery where we could take ten people with us, so a few of the staff and volunteers could come. Then we had a celebration within the centre so that all the clients could celebrate with us as well.

“It’s the highest award that a charity or voluntary service can get and we’re such a small organisation, so to be recognized in this way really makes you step back and look at what you do.”

Lynn Addison, Centre Manager


To view photos of the Lozells Community Awards, visit our Facebook page.

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