Winners 2016

overall-winner-small The Trussell Trust

Spearheading a national network of foodbanks

 

Every day people in the UK go hungry because they are in crisis and temporarily do not have enough money to buy food. There are many reasons for this, most commonly benefit delays or changes, low income and debt. Statutory organisations are often not able to respond quickly enough to these needs, yet a short-term crisis can easily escalate into difficult and costly longer-term problems, such as housing loss or criminal activity.

Trussell TrustHaving been made aware of the problem of “hidden hunger” by a local mother, the Trust’s founders Paddy and Carol Henderson launched the first Trussell Trust foodbank from their garden shed in 2000. They went on to develop the principles that hold firm today: all food should be donated and volunteers should be enlisted to administer the food and provide non-judgemental emotional support.

After three years, the pair hired a professional to collate their knowledge into a ‘Foodbank Manual’, which was to be the foundation of the Trust’s social franchise model. The first associated foodbank was launched in Gloucester in 2004, and the Trust gradually built up a team of three regional managers and 16 regional development officers.

From these humble beginnings, the network now comprises 424 foodbanks running over 1,200 distribution centres with the help of more than 40,000 trained volunteers. Each foodbank is supported by a network of around 25 educational establishments, 30 churches, 25 businesses and around 80 frontline professionals, who refer clients to the foodbanks. Each foodbank is either a charity in its own right or is run by a charitable organisation such as the church. Foodbanks are responsible for their own governance and fundraising.

In its first year, 2004, the Trust’s one foodbank distributed 16 tonnes of emergency food to 1,746 people in Gloucester. Eleven years later, 414 foodbanks dispensed 8,624 tonnes of food to more than a million people across the country. Some four million people have donated food.

The Network has forged partnerships with national businesses which provide foodbanks with benefits that would not be available to them on a local basis. For example, every foodbank has the opportunity to benefit from food collections at their local Tesco store, through permanent collection bins and up to four one-day collection events, and these are topped up by a cash donation from Tesco in proportion to the goods collected.

The Trust has developed data collection systems to record the activities of each foodbank and enable it to produce overall performance measures for the Network. Information collected includes the age and ethnicity of clients and the primary reason for their referral to the foodbank. Thanks to this system, the Trust has the best national data on food poverty in the UK.

The charity uses this evidence base to lobby government agencies on benefits and other policies, and recently successfully persuaded ministers in Northern Ireland to adopt some changes to the new Universal Credit after it had caused problems in the rest of the UK.

And in 2014 it launched a new programme, ‘More Than Food’, which brings other support services into foodbanks, as research had shown that foodbanks’ signposting to other agencies had had limited success. Now the Trust is partnering with other charities and services to offer advice on benefits, housing, budgeting, even legal advice, from within its foodbanks.

The guidelines and processes required by the charity are so comprehensive that some foodbanks have been unwilling to comply and have left the Network.

Charity Awards judge Paul Farmer described the programme as “21st century charity writ large”. Andrew Hind said the Trust’s campaigning approach was “very constructive”. And Martin Edwards said it was a “really inspiring example of charitable impact and influencing” and was the “clear winner on innovation and impact”.

www.trusselltrust.org

CC reg no: 1110522

outstanding-achievement Mark Goldring

The developer

 

Mark Goldring is no stranger to the Charity Awards podium. He was chair of rehabilitation charity Revolving Doors when it scooped the Overall Award for its link worker project in 2002. He graced the stage in 2004 as chief executive of VSO, when it won the international aid and development category for its projects to attract more volunteers from developing nations. And when Mencap carried off the Overall Award in 2011 for its campaign to get NHS staff to treat learning disabled people with more respect, Goldring was in the photos then too.

Mark GoldringBut the difference this time is that Goldring is being honoured for his own personal contribution to the sector, for an impressive career which began with a voluntary teaching post with VSO in Borneo in 1979. He’d got his law degree from Oxford University and was clear on one thing only – he didn’t want to be a lawyer. An ad for VSO piqued his interest. “It seemed very practical, action-orientated, and didn’t feel like a training scheme or a large company.” After two years he returned to London and fell into a job in commercial law – working, ironically, on a major piece of civil litigation for BP. This only served to reinforce his original opinion, and he decided to stick with international development.

So in 1983 Goldring rejoined VSO as an employee and spent five years working on and then running country programmes. “Perhaps the most dramatic three years of my working life were in the mid-80s setting up VSO’s programme in Bhutan,” he recalls, with evident fondness for the memory. “I arrived in this Himalayan kingdom with a pocketful of cash and a suitcase, knowing absolutely nothing about the place, to see how VSO could most usefully contribute.

“For the first six weeks I travelled around the country on foot and by landrover, up mountains, through valleys and forests, looking at how VSO could best help. That led to an amazing teacher training programme.” The first dozen volunteers, all experienced teachers, arrived four months later and helped deliver a massive transformation of Bhutan’s national primary education system.

When he left Bhutan in 1988 – accompanied by one of the first intake of volunteers who would become his wife – he completed a Masters in social policy and planning in developing countries, while volunteering for St Mungo’s. Then he joined the United Nations in Bangladesh, but this was a shortlived diversion: “I found the UN amazingly bureaucratic, slow, and struggling to deliver”, so he quit and joined Oxfam. “I had four very stimulating years as Oxfam’s country director in Bangladesh, working on issues of women’s rights, land rights, social justice, climate change and of course floods – in fact every kind of disaster you can imagine. I’d only been there a month when there was a terrible cyclone that killed 100,000 people.”

He then spent a year working for DfID before rejoining VSO, for his third stint, first as director of international programmes and then as chief executive. He remained at VSO for 12 years, and is proud of the charity’s award-winning work to augment the hierarchical, top-down structure in which volunteers from rich countries were deployed to poor countries, to also encompass a South-South model where volunteers from one developing nation volunteer in another, or their own. He’s now pushing through a similar initiative at Oxfam – where Oxfam GB surrenders its head-office power base in favour of an international network of independent Oxfams. “We welcome Oxfam South Africa and Oxfam Brazil as members of Oxfam this year, and we are starting preparatory work in Colombia, Ghana and a number of other countries,” Goldring says.

“The long-term goal is to have an independent Oxfam in every country in which we work.”

He concedes that on one level this can make it harder to get things done: “You lose some of your ability to control things and that presents its own management and governance challenges. But I remain convinced it’s the right direction, just as I was convinced it was the right direction in VSO.”

Measuring success

The ultimate test of success, says Goldring, is whether you are making a difference for the poorest, most marginalised people. Success can come in many guises, he says, sometimes through well-planned and executed projects, and sometimes by influencing others. “You can’t say ‘I did this, I achieved this’ – you’re part of a set of forces that are trying to create an environment and move an issue along. But you get a sense of whether you and your organisation are making a difference. That difference can really vary. In Ghana, at VSO, we used to have 50 VSO educationalists supporting the education system. When I left we were supporting several thousand Ghanaian volunteers, graduates without jobs who were supporting their own education system. That felt like success.

“And at Mencap, as well as providing really important services to thousands of people, we were fighting to get the government to take seriously the need for the health service to change and for residential services to change, to treat people with a learning disability with respect. We saw momentum change on that. It’s not job done, but it felt like success.”

The Mencap job was Goldring’s only executive role outside of international development. “I felt I wanted to do something different, so I was really pleased to get the job of CEO at Mencap and spent five years working on domestic issues around disability. That was an eye-opener. It showed me how little I knew about how my own country was run, who gained and who didn’t, the challenges, the battles for people who have got extra needs to obtain justice. And equally, how stretched often very well-intentioned service providers and local councils are in meeting those needs.”

Doing and talking

Goldring believes that you are much more likely to achieve success as a charity if you can demonstrate you are “part of the doing, as well as just part of the talking”. This belief has shaped his approach to all his roles over the years, and it’s something he keeps harking back to.

“You are always trying to strike a balance between making the world a better place for people today and changing the things that are keeping people poor or excluded in the long term. What I’ve loved about this sector, and tried to bring to each of the leadership roles I’ve had, is the combination of these two things. You can’t say to families, ‘Sorry, your kids can’t have schools today but it’s ok, we’re lobbying the government so schools can be built in the future’. You’ve always got to try and weave the two together, and I think it’s that balance of doing and influencing that is central to what I’ve tried to bring to my work, and central to the best role for a charity. Sometimes you can bring legitimacy by drawing on other people’s evidence, but I think you have more authority by being part of the doing as well as part of the talking.”

Governance and leadership

As well as holding down high-level executive jobs in the sector, Goldring has always made sure he had a seat on the other side of the table, as a trustee. “I’ve always been a trustee of at least one organisation, until I joined Oxfam this time. I joined Revolving Doors when I was working internationally so that I was also doing something domestically, and I joined the boards of Brac, the Bangladeshi development organisation, and Amref, the African health organisation, when I was working at Mencap.” He also volunteered for Sense while he was running Mencap. Today he is a trustee of the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, a new organisation established to support the training and development of people doing humanitarian work across the world, and chairs BOAG, the policy and advocacy forum for the biggest aid agencies.

“In healthy organisations, as a trustee you are mostly an adviser,” says Goldring. “You still have the governance responsibility but most of the time you are offering ideas and supporting management. Of course you have to act differently when things go wrong or when they risk going wrong, but that’s mainly what you do. Whereas in my executive role I have to make things happen.”

One gets the feeling that Mark Goldring rather likes making things happen, despite his outwardly mild and unassuming manner. As head of one of the world’s most vocal and provocative campaigning charities, he’s never far from the action, and is frequently on the receiving end of critical commentary from backbench MPs and right-wing newspapers who would prefer that charities stick to their knitting.

‘Twas ever thus

Goldring acknowledges the “increased pressure” on the sector over the last couple of years, but dismisses any suggestion that there is a crisis or conspiracy. “The combination of government, the Charity Commission, and people like the Information Commissioner’s Office all interpret the role of charities in ways that feel to me to be increasingly restrictive. It reminds you of that statement from the Latin American archbishop who said: ‘Why is it when I feed people they call me a saint, but when I ask why they’ve got no food they call me a communist’. There’s definitely an element of that. But I wouldn’t want to overstate it. Some politicians have never liked the work of campaigning charities. Oxfam was hauled over the coals back in the 80s for challenging apartheid – they said that was overly political. We were hauled over the coals back in the 40s for feeding Germany when starvation was setting in after the war. You can’t expect everyone to clap when you support unpopular causes but if you believe they’re right you’ve got to find legitimate ways of working.”

But he also believes that the sector has to get better at telling its success stories, in order to counteract the constant drip-feed of coverage from certain elements of the media committed to painting pictures of millions of pounds of aid money being wasted or the excesses of large charities – or both. “We have to tell a better story about the role of charities, not just the cuddly child and the celebrity but about the reality of that work, the successes of international development.” Just before our interview, Goldring was meeting with some journalists to try to persuade them to make a documentary about Oxfam’s recent work in Aleppo, which has brought water to over a million Syrians.

“Last year and early this year, Oxfam took out paid space to tell the story of a billion people lifted out of poverty over the last two decades. It wasn’t a fundraising campaign, it was linked to the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the work we were launching in Davos, but it was intended to say ‘look, we are succeeding, help us carry on’. And by us we meant the whole sector, not just Oxfam.”
The other big challenge facing the sector’s leaders in the coming years is of course fundraising. Along with other charity CEOs, Goldring was hauled before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee last autumn and Oxfam is one of the big charities to have its knuckles rapped by the FRSB over its lack of supervision of fundraising agencies. Goldring remains pretty bullish about the whole affair – he has publicly apologised, but admits “we didn’t like this week’s (FRSB) ruling”, and is keen to point to the long list of actions Oxfam took ten months ago immediately after the negative headlines first landed.
The bigger issue, he insists, is how charities will raise money in the future.

“Telemarketing, direct mail, face-to-face – these all feel like they are not going to be growth industries. They’re not dead, but they’re not growing, so in three to five years’ time, how are we going to raise money? At Oxfam we are looking at a range of different things, but to me that’s the real story, rather than ‘are the big charities now complying’. It’s a very uncertain world to fundraise in.”

Full circle

Whether Goldring will still be ultimately responsible for Oxfam’s donor relations in three or five years is another matter. He still loves the job, but concedes that “the question is the pace – how long can you keep it going for”. And he has one last job yet to do.

“When I convinced my wife to leave her volunteer post in rural Bhutan and come and live with me in the capital all those years ago, she was very reluctant to leave because she loved what she was doing. So we made a deal – that our last job will be going somewhere overseas as VSO volunteers. So that’s how I will end my career, when the time comes – right back where I started.”

The Goldring years

  • 2013 – now Chief executive, Oxfam GB
  • 2009 – 2012 Chair, Learning Disability Coalition
  • 2008 – 2013 Board member, BRAC UK
  • 2008 – 2013 Chief executive, Mencap
  • 2007 – 2013 Vice-chair, Amref UK
  • 2001 – 2008 Founding board member, Accenture Development Partnership
  • 2000 – 2006 Chair, Revolving Doors Agency
  • 1999 – 2008 Chief executive, VSO
  • 1996 – 1999 International programme director, VSO
  • 1994 – 1995 Regional social development adviser, DFID
  • 1991 – 1994 Country representative, Oxfam, Bangladesh
  • 1990 – 1991 Assistant resident representative, UN, Bangladesh
  • 1985 – 1988 Field director, VSO Bhutan
  • 1983 – 1985 Field co-ordinator, VSO, East Caribbean
  • 1979 – 1981 VSO volunteer English teacher, Sarwak, East Malaysia

overall-winner-smallThe YOU Trust

Revolutionising advice services in Portsmouth

 

Recognising critical wastage and inefficiencies in the way that vulnerable people were being given legal advice in Portsmouth, the YOU Trust transformed client support through its advisory service, with dramatic results.

The You TrustThrough Advice Portsmouth, the YOU Trust provides free support and legal advice to anyone in the local community struggling with poverty, homelessness, disability, ill health or abuse, age-related problems or other care issues. But inefficiencies in the previous system resulted in waiting times of up to three hours, with many people giving up and leaving without being helped.

After a three-month consultation, the YOU Trust completely overhauled the way it was managing the service. Employing a holistic, systems-centred approach, clients’ needs were put at the heart of the advisory process. “Pointless” initial form-filling was abandoned; instead, qualified legal advisers look closely at each individual’s particular circumstance and identify the root cause of their problems. With the help of volunteers, they then map out a plan of action, providing continued assistance and support in a friendly, safe environment.

As a result of the changes, average waiting time has been dramatically reduced to 12 minutes and service cost has plummeted from £300 per case to just £22.

Despite receiving less funding, Advice Portsmouth processes on average 13,500 cases each year, up from 9,000 before, and 99 per cent of client feedback rates the support received as excellent.

Charity Awards judge John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said the charity had achieved “dramatic efficiencies”.

www.lifeyouwant.org.uk

CC reg no: 291489

overall-winner-smallEureka! The National Children’s Museum

Making the arts accessible for disabled children

 

Eureka!’s Access All Areas project set out to bring more disabled children and their families to the children’s museum. Staff at the Halifax-based museum found that disabled children were often excluded from days out, simply because of poor physical access into a building or lack of support once there. The struggle to access theatre, arts, museums and leisure facilities within local communities was something http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/cialis_generic.html Eureka! wanted to change.

Eureka!After connecting with local disability groups, the museum secured funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation for a three-year initiative to offer accessible activities and bespoke services.

Throughout the process, Eureka! would experience fundamental organisational change and focused heavily on staff development. A total of 250 staff were trained up on different aspects of disability awareness and that process has now become an automatic part of the induction process for new staff. Some 38 staff were trained in autism awareness; 15 became front-of-house sign language experts, 18 completed signed singing training, 12 were educated to deliver sensory story sessions and eight completed training in adapting activities for deaf children.

The museum engaged with 500 families during the process. An ‘extra pair of hands’ service was made available and remains a service offered to visitors on request.

New posts were opened up including a permanent inclusion manager and a specialist Access All Areas enabler.

The combined result was a 45 per cent increase in visits from families with a disabled child.

Visit England awarded the programme a gold Access for All award in 2015.

The programme’s success encouraged the museum to share its new knowledge far and wide, hosting a conference in 2014 to raise awareness about the barriers that families with a disabled child face in accessing family days out. Over 80 delegates attended, reporting that they were “inspired” to carry it further and reporting the initiative as a “major catalyst for change”.

Charity Awards judge Samantha Sparrow, director of Task Squad at vinspired, said the project “demonstrated strong evidence against most of the hallmarks of excellence”.

Chair of the Charity Awards judging panel Andrew Hind said Eureka! “successfully incubated a whole new mindset throughout the whole organisation”.

www.eureka.org.uk

CC reg no:  292758

overall-winner-smallActive Change Foundation

Tackling extremism by teaching young people leadership skills

 

In 2003, Hanif Qadir witnessed rising tensions in the Walthamstow area of London – an increase in violent street crime and extremist behaviour – and worried about the impact it would have on young people growing up in the area. He resolved to take action to help.

Active Change FoundationHe formed the Active Change Foundation, which launched the Young Leaders Programme, intended to teach young people the skills and knowledge to help them identify and extinguish conflicts and radical behaviours.

Young people are recruited via assemblies at their schools, and are trained in public speaking, conflict resolution and critical thinking, as well as learning about the process of radicalisation. They are also encouraged to identify a cause they feel passionate about and helped to develop skills to effect change.
The training takes place over six months, at a cost of around £1,000 per young person, including workshops, a residential programme and one-to-one support from ACF staff.

Since its launch in 2012 around 400 youngsters aged 16-18 have been through the programme, and both qualitative and quantitative data suggests that it is having a positive impact on the individuals involved.
Since its pilot in east London six years ago the charity has rolled out the programme into nine areas – four London boroughs, as well as Slough, Cardiff, Crawley, Brighton and Birmingham. It has kept costs low by developing a wide network of volunteers, and has hired a fundraiser to diversify its income streams beyond its core local authority/Home Office funding.

Charity Awards judge Ruth Ruderham, fundraising director at Prince’s Trust International, said: “This is really difficult work and urgently needed at the moment.” CAF chief executive John Low added: “It’s a very hard issue and they’re doing it well.”

www.activechangefoundation.org

CC reg no: 1125970

overall-winner-small SignHealth

Increasing opportunities for deaf people to access therapy

 

Studies show that 40 per cent of deaf people will develop a mental health problem at some point in their lives – twice the rate of the hearing population. Despite this, only a few deaf people can negotiate barriers in the mainstream care pathway.

SignHealthBSL Healthy Minds, delivered by SignHealth, is the only national Psychological Therapy Service with a specialist workforce who are all deaf or deaf culturally aware, and fluent in British Sign Language (BSL). It is the only Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service for deaf people.

Following conversations with the British Society for Mental Health and Deafness, as well as other health bodies, SignHealth – the leading UK supplier of specialist BSL health and social care services – won a contract with the North West Strategic Health Authority to provide IAPT for deaf people.

A 2015 evaluation found that 87 per cent of service users were fully satisfied with the service. Many even told the charity that they had lived for years with problems that had been addressed after a few sessions with a psychological therapist.

Depression and/or anxiety accounted for 46 per cent of referrals, however once treated it emerged that other more complex issues were often disclosed. Domestic violence was disclosed in 60 per cent of cases.
The service achieved high recovery rates of 77 per cent, compared to a national mainstream average of 44 per cent.

Charity Awards judge Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “This is exactly what the voluntary sector should be doing outside of statutory health provision.”

www.signhealth.org.uk

CC reg no: 1011056

overall-winner-smallBoxing Academy

Fighting the effects of exclusion through boxing

 

The Boxing Academy is a nationally-recognised school, with the ethos and feel of a boxing gym. It has developed a unique method for engaging vulnerable and challenging students. Since 2010, 90 per cent of them have progressed to further education, training or employment.

The Boxing AcademyIt was founded on the principal belief that exclusion from school is an inefficient method of dealing with behaviour in education. It has a detrimental effect on the child, the family and the wider community. Generally, Boxing Academy pupils have been referred because of a tendency towards violent or aggressive behaviour, and are usually the most difficult to place.

The Academy employs an intensive mentoring system within a framework of small class sizes, high-quality teaching, personal support and daily exercise to help even the most difficult-to-reach children reengage with their education. Daily boxing training delivered by ex-professional boxers means pupils can expend their energy purposefully, and learn teamwork, discipline and the acceptance of authority – but there is no contact sparring and they do not compete.

It was underachieving when its current chief executive was appointed at the end of 2009 and undertook a complete review of strategy. All staff were consulted and contributed to a plan for growth. As a result outcomes have improved year on year. Forty children are currently enrolled, including four girls.

School attendance has risen from under 60 to 91.5 per cent. Around a third of students gained passes in English and Maths GCSEs in 2010 while last year 80 per cent passed five GCSEs. Some 90 per cent of the 250 alumni since 2010 are still in education or employment. But most tellingly, while the ‘not in education, employment or training (NEET)’ figures are almost 20 per cent in Hackney, in 2015 100 per cent of Boxing Academy pupils went on to college.

The Academy has received recognition through numerous awards while independent evaluation by the Laureus Foundation estimates that the charity has a social return on investment value of 3:1. It will convert to ‘free school’ status later this year as that has been identified as the best way of replicating the model elsewhere.

Charity Awards judge Samantha Sparrow, director of Task Squad at vinspired, said the Academy’s entry was “extremely impressive, with a fantastic record of never turning anyone away”.

www.theboxingacademy.co.uk

CC reg no: 1119931

overall-winner-smallKeep Britain Tidy

Tackling dog fouling in a low-cost way

 

Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘We’re Watching You’ poster campaign has been incredibly successful at tackling one of the most offensive forms of littering. While dog fouling has reduced over the past 15 years and more owners responsibly clean up after their pets, certain areas still have hotspots and it was clear that local authorities needed a low-cost solution.

Keep Britain TidyA cross-organisational team within the charity looked at existing nudges that have had a demonstrable impact on behaviour and focused on research that showed signage with real-looking eyes on it can be extremely effective. However, evidence suggested that a major factor in many dog-walkers not disposing of their dog’s waste is because they feel they won’t be seen if exercising it outside of daylight. Therefore the posters used by KBT needed to be made of a material that glowed in the dark – used previously in emergency exit signage, but never before in a campaigning setting.

The original experiment was delivered in partnership with 17 councils, and for the first time the charity sold the campaign materials to local authorities, instead of giving them away for free. Incidents of dog fouling were monitored, with an average reduction of 46 per cent.

Feedback conducted from residents concluded: “People were very aware of the posters, they really noticed a difference.” They are now used by over 115 councils in England and have resulted in reductions in dog fouling of up to 90 per cent. The success of the campaign and the lessons learnt have led Keep Britain Tidy to establish a centre for social innovation, which is exploring other innovative responses to littering. It has also proved that local authorities will pay for a “campaign in a box” if it takes the risk and development cost away, providing a new revenue stream for the charity.

Charity Awards judge Ruth Ruderham, director of fundraising at Prince’s Trust International, said the campaign was a “win-win, for the local authorities as well”.

CAF chief executive John Low said the results were “first-class”. Andrew Hind, chair of the judging panel, said Keep Britain Tidy had been around for over 50 years and “are still coming up with new and innovative ideas”.

www.keepbritaintidy.org

CC reg no: 1071737

overall-winner-smallWinner, the Preston Road Women’s Centre Ltd

A social investment scheme that allows private landlords to provide safe housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence

In Hull, an estimated 25,000 women and 19,000 children will experience domestic abuse each year. In the past, women fleeing such relationships were forced to choose between hostel accommodation and unsuitable move-on housing. The charity wanted to develop safe houses to meet the demand from its service users, but cuts in funding from its usual sources meant it had to think innovatively about how to develop these houses.

WinnerIt built an initial portfolio of ten properties with help from the Social Investment Business, grew this with additional grant and loan funding, and then teamed up with the Hull Empty Homes Consortium to bring empty houses back into use.

A “lightbulb moment” came when the charity saw an opportunity to link in with socially-minded private landlords prepared to provide housing to vulnerable service users in return for a financial return; this became the Safe As Houses scheme. An advertising campaign to promote the scheme attracted more landlords.

The model has endured; a mixed portfolio of properties owned by the charity itself, properties with public landlords, and properties owned by private landlords. In eight years, the housing stock has grown to 92 properties – 22 of which are in the Safe As Houses scheme – and 232 women and 580 children have been supported to rebuild their lives. Referrals come from social services, Women’s Aid, and various other agencies.

The income raised from the property management service has been reinvested in other services at the Preston Road Centre, such as nursery provision, outreach work and training courses. National return-on-investment information suggests that for every £1 invested in domestic violence services saves the public purse £7.82.

Charity Awards judge Martin Edwards said the provision of 90 safe houses in a city the size of Hull was a “massive transformation” that deserved recognition.

www.purplehouse.co.uk

CC reg no: 1106884

overall-winner-smallCombat Stress

Providing  intensive residential treatment for ex-service personnel

 

Combat Stress provides specialist clinical treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women with mental health conditions.

The PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme is a six-week residential programme to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder alongside other mental health problems. One in five armed forces veterans suffer from mental illness – 4 to 6 per cent of them with PTSD – and often find it difficult to engage with civilian programmes.

Combat StressLaunched in 2011, it is one of the first charity-led programmes to gain NHS specialised commissioning status, to treat people with complex combinations of PTSD and depression. Before attending the residential programme participants are stabilised with medication and other treatments.

It was the first time that the charity had designed an intensive treatment programme, as opposed low- level respite care, and it recruited a team of people who had experience of running similar programmes elsewhere.

Residents take part in group skills training and one-on-one cognitive behavioural therapy. Psychometric tests are used to monitor the effectiveness of the programme and results published in peer-reviewed journals including the British Medical Journal reveal that participants experience a reduction in symptoms over time.

Results from study of 246 veterans who had participated in the programme show that 87 per cent experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, with 63 per cent no longer meeting the criteria for PTSD six months after taking part.

The programme now runs across three of the charity’s centres, with more than 1,000 veterans having received treatment.

Charity Awards judge Su Sayer said: “What Combat Stress is doing is great, and hugely needed.”

www.combatstress.org.uk

CC reg no: 206002

overall-winner-smallVision for a nation foundation

Delivering primary eye care to the whole of Rwanda

 

Vision for a Nation is a high-impact charity that supports health ministries in emerging countries to deliver nationwide access to local and affordable eye car.

Visual impairment is a hugely neglected global health issue, with some 285 million people living today with visual impairments and over 2 billion who live with poor vision but have no access to local eye care.
In 2009 the Rwandan Ministry of Health estimated that some 1.2 million of Rwanda’s 12 million citizens were in need of glasses and that some 300,000 of its citizens were clinically blind. Yet the country had just one ophthalmologist per million people.

Vision for a Nation FoundationIn 2012, Vision for a Nation (VFAN) successfully supported the Rwandan health ministry in an initiative to provide all of the country’s citizens with access to local and affordable eye care. Through the organisation’s efforts, it has been able to achieve something that no other low-income country in the world has managed.
VFAN helped train 1,600 eye care nurses in the country; the equivalent of two specialist nurses in each of the country’s 502 local-level health centres. VFAN-trained nurses have provided over 426,000 screenings; distributed eye drops to 230,000 people with allergies and infections; corrective glasses to more than 61,000 and referred over 70,000 people for specialist treatment at local hospitals.

These services have already had a direct and positive impact on the country’s productivity with many people being able to return to work or remain in work longer, and thousands of children being able to continue their education.

The programme can become self-funding as each pair of glasses are purchased for 46c and sold to their wearer for $1.50 – a price deemed affordable by the Rwandan government.

The Rwandan government is now keen that the country becomes a global centre of excellence for eye care.
Charity Awards judge Su Sayer, chair of CPRE, said: “This is a win for the charity, a win for the Rwandan government, a win for everybody – a real no-brainer.” Judge Prem Goyal added: “This is a really well planned and executed project, and the results are excellent.”

www.visionforanation.net

CC reg no: 1140123

overall-winner-small The Trussell Trust

Spearheading a national network of foodbanks

 

Every day people in the UK go hungry because they are in crisis and temporarily do not have enough money to buy food. There are many reasons for this, most commonly benefit delays or changes, low income and debt. Statutory organisations are often not able to respond quickly enough to these needs, yet a short-term crisis can easily escalate into difficult and costly longer-term problems, such as housing loss or criminal activity.

Trussell TrustHaving been made aware of the problem of “hidden hunger” by a local mother, the Trust’s founders Paddy and Carol Henderson launched the first Trussell Trust foodbank from their garden shed in 2000. They went on to develop the principles that hold firm today: all food should be donated and volunteers should be enlisted to administer the food and provide non-judgemental emotional support.

After three years, the pair hired a professional to collate their knowledge into a ‘Foodbank Manual’, which was to be the foundation of the Trust’s social franchise model. The first associated foodbank was launched in Gloucester in 2004, and the Trust gradually built up a team of three regional managers and 16 regional development officers.

From these humble beginnings, the network now comprises 424 foodbanks running over 1,200 distribution centres with the help of more than 40,000 trained volunteers. Each foodbank is supported by a network of around 25 educational establishments, 30 churches, 25 businesses and around 80 frontline professionals, who refer clients to the foodbanks. Each foodbank is either a charity in its own right or is run by a charitable organisation such as the church. Foodbanks are responsible for their own governance and fundraising.

In its first year, 2004, the Trust’s one foodbank distributed 16 tonnes of emergency food to 1,746 people in Gloucester. Eleven years later, 414 foodbanks dispensed 8,624 tonnes of food to more than a million people across the country. Some four million people have donated food.

The Network has forged partnerships with national businesses which provide foodbanks with benefits that would not be available to them on a local basis. For example, every foodbank has the opportunity to benefit from food collections at their local Tesco store, through permanent collection bins and up to four one-day collection events, and these are topped up by a cash donation from Tesco in proportion to the goods collected.

The Trust has developed data collection systems to record the activities of each foodbank and enable it to produce overall performance measures for the Network. Information collected includes the age and ethnicity of clients and the primary reason for their referral to the foodbank. Thanks to this system, the Trust has the best national data on food poverty in the UK.

The charity uses this evidence base to lobby government agencies on benefits and other policies, and recently successfully persuaded ministers in Northern Ireland to adopt some changes to the new Universal Credit after it had caused problems in the rest of the UK.

And in 2014 it launched a new programme, ‘More Than Food’, which brings other support services into foodbanks, as research had shown that foodbanks’ signposting to other agencies had had limited success. Now the Trust is partnering with other charities and services to offer advice on benefits, housing, budgeting, even legal advice, from within its foodbanks.

The guidelines and processes required by the charity are so comprehensive that some foodbanks have been unwilling to comply and have left the Network.

Charity Awards judge Paul Farmer described the programme as “21st century charity writ large”. Andrew Hind said the Trust’s campaigning approach was “very constructive”. And Martin Edwards said it was a “really inspiring example of charitable impact and influencing” and was the “clear winner on innovation and impact”.

www.trusselltrust.org

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