Six Charities in the North West Shortlisted for UK Finals of Lloyds Bank Foundation Charity Achievement Awards

The Lloyds Bank Foundation today announced that six charities from the North West have won a Charity Achievement Award and been shortlisted for the UK Final for which they will be travelling to London for a prestigious awards ceremony.

The Charity Achievement Awards have been created to recognise the amazing, life changing work of small and medium sized charities. The winners, who were selected from a strong field of charities across the region because of their achievements against key criteria, are:

Street Soccer Academy (Bolton) - Outstanding Impact

Cheshire without Abuse (Crewe) - Against the Odds

Manchester Action on Street Health (Manchester) - Valuing Volunteers

Community Arts North West (Manchester) - Championing Change

Moodswings (Manchester) - Unsung Hero

Carers Trust Fylde Coast (Blackpool) - Enterprising Collaboration

They will each receive £1000 and will now compete against charities from across England, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, with six overall winners to be announced at a UK final awards ceremony in London on 8th October 2015.

An additional four charities were Highly Commended for their entries and will each receive £500: Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (Against the Odds), DaDa – Disability and Deaf Arts “DaDafest”  (Unsung Hero), Emerge 3RS (Enterprising Collaboration) and Justlife Foundation (Outstanding Impact).

Chief Executive of the Foundation, Paul Streets OBE, said of the awards: ‘We are delighted to celebrate the winners of our Charity Achievement Awards. They have demonstrated excellent and inspiring practice, and have set the standard high; not just surviving in these tough times, but thriving, delivering vital services and literally transforming lives. For over 30 years the Foundation has supported thousands of such small and medium sized charities to tackle disadvantage in communities right across the North West and we look forward to doing much more in the years to come.’

The Winners:

Street Soccer Academy – Winner of the Outstanding Impact Award for the North West

Street Soccer Academy has been recognised for the outstanding way in which it has transformed the lives of ex-offenders by successfully reintegrating people back into the community through its custody to community initiative. Working in partnership with Greater Manchester Prison since 2011, their Street Soccer and Street Fit schemes have made an outstanding impact by providing a successful programme of personal development for inmates and reducing their risk of reoffending.

Street Soccer Academy have been instrumental in supporting not only ex-offenders but their families, having maintained over 90% engagement rates with inmates when released and a sub 10% reoffending rate as they have reintegrated inmates back into the community. These success rates are well above normal expectations. Importantly, the programme has offered offenders the chance to develop and has been the foundation for many of them turning their life around.

Cheshire without Abuse – Winner of the Against the Odds Award for the North West

Crewe based domestic abuse charity, Cheshire Without Abuse (CWA), won the ‘Against The Odds’ award in the North West for their ability to undergo a difficult transition and transform the charity when it was on the brink of collapse. Following the threat of closure after their contract was retendered in 2010, they devised an ambitious three year plan placing the service users at their core, whilst strengthening the services they provided. Despite a challenging period which saw them sell off property and restructure the organisation, the results have been remarkable. 

CWA now offers more services and has become more resilient and sustainable whilst continuing to make an amazing difference to lives of those they work with. The change has been transformational and has been down to the dedicated efforts of staff and volunteers who have always place the service users at the heart of everything they do.

Manchester Action on Street Health – Winner of the Valuing Volunteers Award for the North West

Manchester Action on Street Health (MASH) rely heavily on the work of their team of 65 volunteers to support the health and well being of female sex workers in the Greater Manchester area.  The volunteers are involved in all aspects of the charity including working as the first point of contact in the call centre, outreach workers and sauna outreach workers. Most of the volunteers stay for at least two years within the service and are appreciated for their wide range of skills and the fresh perspective they bring to the team. The volunteers also strive to raise the profile of MASH in their daily lives and to importantly help influence attitudes towards sex workers.

According to the volunteer impact assessment at MASH, 80% of the volunteers said they felt more assertive, self confident and emotionally resilient as a result of volunteering with MASH. The organisation continues to thrive as they constantly develop their approach to training, supporting and engaging volunteers at every level of the organisation.

Community Arts North West – Winner of the Championing Change Award for the North West

Community Arts North West (CAN), a Manchester-based arts development organisation, has been recognised for their influential refugee women’s theatre programme which has developed a unique, ground-breaking, high-profile play; ‘Rule 35’. The production, whose participants had experience of the asylum system, was highly successful in communicating the issues relating to women going through the detention system.

The project gained a national profile and received significant press interest in its ability to raise awareness around the emotional, psychological and physical impact of detention, having a powerful and lasting impact on the audience. Importantly, Rule 35 has made a significant contribution to the national debate around detention, championing change and a radical shake-up of the current system.

Moodswings (Manchester) – Winner of the Unsung Hero Award for the North West

Moodswings is a charity set up to provide information, advice and support to people with mood disorders and to their friends and family. They have chosen the chair of Moodswings, Tom McAlpine, as their Unsung Hero, without whom “Moodswings would not exist”.   Tom set up the charity in 1999 after years of working as a mental health social worker.

Over the years, Tom has personally worked with thousands of people suffering from mental health difficulties and their friends and family, literally saving lives. Tom’s philosophy is very much at the heart of Moodswings. Through his tireless dedication to helping others he has shown that severe mental health problems and mood disorders need not prevent someone from achieving goals and leading the lives they want.

 Carers Trust Fylde Coast – Winner of the Enterprising Collaboration Award for the North West

Carers Trust Flyde Coast’s collaborative work with Beaverbrooks jewellers has enabled the charity, which provides practicable and emotional support to carers as young as five, to secure a new building to use as a much needed space for carers within the community. The charity offers a range of projects focused on young carers including; one to one support, school liaison, parental mental health support and respite activities as well as one to one practical and emotional support for adult carers.  Over the last two years, the charity has been seeking a new premise and after several failed attempts, Beaverbrooks saved the day by making the decision to purchase a property for them from the NHS.

The building has been more than Carers Trust could have ever hoped for, set in one acre of land with gardens, trees and enough room to carry out their life changing activities, serving as an important hub for both carers and others in the community.