Everyday Impact Award - Long-term Enterprises

The nominees for this category are listed below. Have a good read through each one and vote for your favourite.

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Everyday Impact Award – Long Term – Carousel

The number of disabled people working in the creative industries has flat lined at 5% since 2005 and is significantly lower than the 11% of disabled people in the UK workforce.  Carousel is focused on providing opportunities to support disabled people to train professionally, perform and create without discrimination.

Brighton and Hove has a population of approx. 4,700 learning disabled people, for many of whom the chance to live a full, creative life is a pipe-dream. The financial resources available for social care are stretched, with day centres and SEN departments in schools only able to offer limited access to the arts. For many it is Carousel that provides the necessary support and opportunity for creative people to overcome social isolation and thrive in our city.

Our aim is the challenge ideas around what great art is and who can create it, to break down the barriers between mainstream and disability arts and in doing enrich the lives of artists and audiences.

The challenges for our work are in the daily discrimination that learning disabled people undergo and the lack of understanding surrounding individuals’ creative aptitude. The current benefits system makes it difficult for those wanting a professional career in the arts but who still need a level of care. There are challenges to overcome in the opportunities available for performance within mainstream arts and little critical awareness of the value of the work.

A few years ago Carousel made the decision to become learning disability led, enabling artists to be stakeholders in the organisation. In this way they made change happen through our governance; 50% of our Trustees have a learning disability, including their Chairperson, and all their work is planned, managed and presented by learning disabled teams.

Their main resource is their artists and their work, which includes an international short film festival, six rock/pop bands, a choir, a club night, a radio broadcast and a national conference network about learning disability arts. The artists’ expertise is shared through workshops, training for venue managers in accessibility, through attendance on panels and at conferences, and through our scheme to train learning disabled people to be arts critics.  All their work is accessible; from the captioning and audio description of films, to BSL interpretation at their events and workshops, to their printed materials.

Carousel is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England, and receives further financial support from Brighton and Hove City Council and a wide range of trusts and foundations.

They are a small team doing a huge amount of work, making a real impact of the lives of people who are often marginalised in our society.

 

Tangible results include:

Singer/songwriter Daniel Wakeford is on a national tour and has just released a CD. The ‘poster boy’ for Channel4’s series The Undateables, Daniel will be profiled in the i Newspaper, in Time Out and the NME over the coming month. He plays a major gig on a bill with Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys) in September. Carousel has supported Daniel’s development as a singer through his regular appearances at our club nights and local gigs. He is about to hit the big time.

 

Our multi-media digital project, Curing Perfect, explores the potential for stem cell therapy to alter gene patterns and create the ‘perfect’ human. We are interested in the impact this might have on disabled people and our work with The University of Birmingham is reaching 3,000 people through its graphic-novel on the website www.curingperfect.com

Last year 502 people took part in a workshop led by our learning disabled experts.

Our learning disabled PR spokesperson Becky Bruzas joined Turner Prize winning artist Gillian Wearing OBE on a panel discussion during the 2016 HOUSE visual arts festival in Brighton.

Sarah Watson, chair of Carousel, spoke at the Edinburgh Short Film Festival in 2015, promoting Oska Bright. Becky Bruzas and Matthew Hellett have been selected for the national Guiding Lights film programme. Artist William Hanekom is currently under commission by The National Trust to produce 12 illustrations for Groome Park publicity materials.

They train a minimum of 51 disabled artists each year on the Arts Awards scheme, the national vocational training agency for young people and produced a teacher’s resource pack for Brighton and Hove City Council, circulated to all schools in the City.

Carousel has enriched lives of thousands of people over the three decades of its pioneering work with learning disabled artists. Through its daily activities it is having a direct impact on social change, removing stigma, building confidence and profile, enabling learning disabled artists to do what we take for granted. Becky Bruzas and Matthew Hellett have been selected for the national Guiding Lights film programme:

http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/guiding-lights/about-guiding-lights-scheme

 

Vote for the Everyday Impact Award now


 

Everyday Impact Award – Long Term – Fixers

“Working with Fixers has changed my life, and they are making a difference to thousands of other young people across the UK.” – Chelsey Jay, Media Diversity Fixer

As an organisation, their aim is to give young people the platform to speak out about issues that matter to them. Young people have so much to say, so many experiences and such valuable contributions to make to society. They saw that young people weren’t being given the opportunity to speak out and share their message, and so Fixers was born.

Fixers is a unique initiative supporting young people aged 16 to 25 across the UK to fix the issues that fire them up, however they choose, benefiting themselves, their communities and people across the world. Young people become’ Fixers’ and create high-quality campaigns and resources – including films, lTV and UTV documentaries, websites, apps, and printed materials – in order to get their voices heard. Fixers share their resources with their peers, parents, teachers, employers, experts, and policy makers to ensure impact and reach on a national scale, creating a lasting legacy. They engage people in the wider community in providing skills, expertise, time and other resources to make the project happen. Fixers’ projects have tackled issues from mental health, drug addiction and homophobic abuse to gang culture, homelessness and recycling.

Young people are often accused of not thinking about the future. The future is the focus of a Fixers’ project; young people are driven to use their experience or passion to prevent others going through what they have gone through. Throughout their campaigns they develop skills and build confidence, whilst also helping those around them. By their very nature, Fixers’ projects focus a community on solving an issue.

Any young person can become a Fixer. All that is asked is that their campaign will benefit at least one other person. Therefore, the challenge for Fixers is that they must find a way of helping others in their community. For some, this can mean going out of their comfort zone- campaigning, sharing experiences and talking about your life can at first make you feel uneasy. However, research has proven that valuing young peoples’ voices is a powerful tool for transformational change. As Fixers CEO Margo Horsley explained in the foreword to the Voice as Value report: “Through the connections Fixers make and the interaction they experience, they start to change the way they think not only about themselves and their identity, but also the way they think about other people and the way they are perceived and understood.” We have proven that Fixers who experience Voice as Value go from feeling isolated, alone and poorly understood, to feeling connected: they find others who understand their experience, and develop an awareness and understanding of themselves and others.

Evidence has already emerged of first generation Fixers who have gone on to set up their own charities, become influential campaigners and the leaders of tomorrow. Sam Thomas became a Fixer in 2008 to raise awareness of male eating disorders. His project has evolved into a fully-fledged charity and he is the leading spokesperson on this subject. He recently gave the special testimonial at Pensa Differente, the ninth edition of an eating disorders and obesity conference attended by researchers and academics across Europe, and says: “without Fixers there would be no charity called ‘Men Get Eating Disorders Too”.

The young people Fixers work with are contributing partners. They have a story to tell, and are given a platform to help themselves and others, through sharing their experiences. Unlike other organisations, their only agenda is to give young people a voice, ensuring they are supported along the way.

They have worked with the NHS, The Women and Equalities Committee, and Public Health England    to name a few, and these organisations recognise the fundamental need for young people to lead their campaigns.

Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) set up Fixers (originally called lTV Fixers) in 2008 with just two members of staff. It is now a national force to be reckoned with and almost 20,000 young people have been supported on over 2,100 campaigns.

Fixers has made a hugely significant impact on the lives of many children and young people. Since 2008, the charity has worked with almost 20,000 young people directly, on projects ranging from raising awareness about eating disorders and alopecia to cyberbullying and encouraging young people to vote.

Fixers (young people) choose the issue they want to fix and, using the skills of a team of creative experts, they work out how to make sure their message is heard by the right people, whether that’s through a unique film, a leaflet or poster campaign, a website, an event or workshop.

The resources they have created are regularly used by NHS professionals, schools, MPs and others. In fact, in the past year alone we have had over 300 individual requests for our printable resources. Fixers’ individual films have reached over 150,000 people on Facebook, and have had up to 169,000 views on YouTube.

Fixers values young people’s voices, and gives them a platform to speak out about the issues that matter to them. In the past year alone we have placed almost 300 pieces of local and national press coverage, allowing young people to share their stories and campaigns.

In January of this year Fixers conducted an evaluation ‘Giving Social Action a Voice’ which assessed the impact of the Fixers process on young people. The research has shown that the Fixers model works with everyone and is particularly powerful with marginalised young people. The benefits of the approach reach across communities, the public purse, and individuals, generating:

  • An almost six-fold return for every £1 invested (£5.81) in social and economic benefits;

 

Five distinctive features set Fixers apart from traditional social action programmes:

  • Fixers’ flexible structure allows staff to go to where the young people live their lives. This helps to develop an open dialogue in a safe setting of their choosing, which encourages the relationship to grow on their terms.
  • Fixers is focused on opening up the possibility of voice to as many young people as possible, regardless of the inequalities they face, and ensures equality of resources on the ground. Recruitment of young people takes place not only in schools and universities, but also through grassroots community projects, pupil referral units, housing associations, homeless hostels, patient liaison boards, and by working closely with local authority key workers (Fixers are active in 98 per cent of local authority areas across the UK).

The impact of Fixers is evident on an individual, local, national and international/eve/.

Please take a look at our short film, which really captures the essence of Fixers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39sYPhAg-Sw

Vote now for the Everyday Impact Award


 

Everyday Impact Award – Long Term – In-Kind Direct

In Kind Direct was founded in 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales, in response to the large amounts of perfectly usable products which were being sent to landfill every week. Instead of disposing of surplus products, why not redistribute them to the millions of people in desperate need of them?

In Kind Direct is the only organisation which has taken on the administrative and logistical complexity of receiving a huge variety of goods in all shapes and sizes and making them easily accessible to a growing network of small, grassroots charitable organisations.

Every day, charities struggle to afford products to give to people in need, whilst at the same time, hundreds of manufacturers and retailers have those same products in surplus, either because they overproduced or have a slight cosmetic flaw.  In Kind Direct’s vision is of a world where companies and communities work together to ensure that everyone has access to the basic everyday essentials of life. It is not widely known that long before people go to food banks, they stop buying products like washing up liquid and toothpaste.

The products donated range from household goods such as detergents, washing up liquid and cookware to personal care items like toothpaste, shampoo, nappies, toys, sports goods, tools, small electricals, clothing and many more.

For companies with new surplus goods, giving is an easy, environmentally responsible way to support thousands of charities. In Kind Direct accepts any quantity of goods, sorts and stores them in its warehouse in Telford, Shropshire and distributes them to carefully vetted third sector organisations across the country.

Over the last twenty years, In Kind Direct has become the UK’s leading charity for product redistribution. We have accepted product donations from over a thousand manufacturers and retailers and redistributed them to more than 8000 charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations helping them stretch their budgets further.

With the decision to donate products made at varying levels and divisions across donor companies, and the nature of donated products changing almost every time, setting up the operation required a great level of flexibility and adaptation from the In Kind Direct team. The logistics platform and the e-commerce interface through which charities are able to order the products they need, are constantly optimised to meet the growing demand and increasing expectations from the service users.

Thanks to its innovative IT infrastructure, In Kind Direct has been able to consolidate all of its business information into one place and to manage supply and demand efficiently. In Kind Direct tracks where all products have come from and where they are distributed, giving assurance to companies that products are going to people who really need them. Charities must use the goods in their operations or give them to the people they help for free ensuring effective brand protection through its strict monitoring and vetting policy. Donor companies receive regular detailed reports on the impact their donations are having on charities and the communities they support.

As charities operate in an ever more pressurised and volatile funding environment, In Kind Direct has developed an efficient, responsible and sustainable business model with its costs being covered by more than 65% operational income which complements its fundraising requirements.

Since 1996, In Kind Direct has redistributed £155 million worth of products helping over two million people in need every year.

The benefits of In Kind Direct go beyond the simple access to goods. The savings generated often mean charities can enhance and extend their service and support more people. On average, charities in In Kind Direct’s network saved £4,400 in 2015, a substantial amount considering 55% of the charities in the network have an annual income below £100,000.

In addition to regular visits to charities and feedback received by email or telephone, In Kind Direct surveys its charity partners annually asking them about the difference receiving products from In Kind Direct make to their organisations and service users. 1,024 charities responded to our latest survey, a 21% response rate, up from 810 responses and a13% response rate last year. Some examples of the findings illustrate the impact generated:

– 87% of charities said that using In Kind Direct enabled them to source goods that they would never be able to afford otherwise.

– 64% charities reported that In Kind Direct had helped them keep going

– 70% of charities said that ordering goods from In Kind Direct improved the confidence and self-esteem of beneficiaries, up from 68% the previous year.

Over time many charities have become reliant on the products provided by In Kind Direct and would not be able to offer the same level of support without the savings they make from using the service. This means that they are able to pay for additional carers, pay for educational activities or get presents and treats for people who would otherwise go without.

“We worked with a family struggling with very little income, having to choose between buying food or washing powder. We were concerned about the cleanliness of their home and were able to support them with free cleaning products. Because his family engaged with our service we were also able to support them to manage their income and access other benefits they were entitled to, improving both the environment they were living in and the outcome for the whole family.” said Emma Power, Manager at Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers, a charity in In Kind Direct’s network.

Finally here are two examples of end beneficiaries of In Kind Direct’s work:

Recently we visited a Women’s Aid refuge and met a woman named Sarah, who after yet another severe beating by her partner, had fled there with her children, Jack and Molly, and literally nothing else. After a hot bath, having been given various Procter & Gamble personal care products, a Christy towel, L’Oreal make-up, and toys for her children, (all from

In Kind Direct!) she told us it was right then, that her faith in people started being restored, that she had started feeling more confident, that her decision to leave home was the right one, and that maybe it would all work out after all.

lssy is 4 years old. In September 2015 was diagnosed with stage 4 leukaemia. Unfortunately she lost all of her hair and is often bed-ridden from the different types of daily and weekly chemo she needs. But despite this, she’s still a cheerful little girl with a great sense of humour and a huge love, like all girls of 4, of Disney princesses, toys and books. After a week of intensive radiotherapy during which she enjoyed being read books provided by In Kind Direct, lssy came home to find another package from In Kind Direct containing a dress of her favourite Disney princess,  lssy now goes to every chemo session dressed as the deserving Princess she is. Facilitating gift-giving, like this, not only puts a smile on a child going through a horrible period of her life. It makes her feel special and loved, distracted her from painful treatments and made her happy in the moment.

That is the power of product giving.

 

Vote now for the Everyday Impact Award