And the winners are…
July 4, 2012
The winners of the first Better Places National Awards were announced at a ceremony in Manchester on 3 July.
We were searching for projects and programmes that demonstrated innovation and a commitment to inclusive approaches – you didn’t disappoint.
Here’s a rundown of the winners and those who made the shortlist in our four categories: private sector, social enterprise, public sector and voluntary & community sector.
WINNER – Thinktastic Ambitions, Enterprising Education: Thinktastic
Thinktastic Ambitions developed a new model of enterprise education with primary schools in east central Scotland.
Run by Edinburgh firm Thinktastic, through creative sessions such as games and drama it helps children think differently about the future and develop creativity and enterprising attitudes. Since launching the project with Prestonfield Primary School in Edinburgh (pictured left), Thinktastic has gone on to use the model with more than 600 students and 70 teachers in 18 schools.
The overriding aim is to encourage a different approach and attitude to enterprise. As Thintastic explains in its entry: ‘We have taken part in 15 events across Lothian, creating enterprise days where schools come together to learn not so much about enterprising businesses (the traditional model of getting across the message of enterprise), but about enterprising attitudes and creativity.
‘In other words, we have worked with schools to formulate the kind of thinking required, helping youngsters to discover this thinking for themselves rather than presenting them with some model of enterprising education.’
Prestonfield Primary School hopes its ongoing parliamentary project – which led on from its enterprise work with Thinktastic – will eventually become the standard approach to citizenship education.
The judges said: ‘When times are hard it’s tempting to only focus on the here and now, effectively firefighting in the face of recession. That’s why it’s vital we also highlight projects like this that recognise the need to look to the future and inspire the next generation to do things differently.’
St Andrew’s Square, Woodcock Street, Hull: Keepmoat
St Andrew’s Square is a housing development in west Hull in an area once known as ‘Little Beirut’. Keepmoat has built the first homes in the area for 25 years and the scheme was developed via close engagement with the community.
Three-quarters of homes on Woodcock Street were either empty or abandoned before the project was launched and it is now the firm’s fastest selling scheme in the country despite the recession. Training and jobs for local people were at the heart of development proposals, as well as the involvement of local schools. Community engagement led to a lower density development than first proposed and better sized gardens and more off street parking. Keepmoat and its partners, Hull Council and Places for People, now see the development as key to supporting the wider regeneration of the area.
Details: David Carmichael, 01302 341 005
Outset Bristol and Outset Torbay: YTKO
Outset Bristol, run by YTKO and funded by Bristol Council and the European Regional Development Fund, delivers intensive start-up support and enterprise coaching for unemployed people, helping people from groups that are under-represented in enterprise to move into self-employment. So far women have made up 64% of business start-ups through the programme, compared to 27% of the self-employed population in the UK. In the last 18 months 121 new businesses have been launched, creating 146 new jobs. Outset Torbay runs along similar lines to Outset Bristol and was also set up by YTKO. Both tailor their offering to clients’ needs, and deliver programme at the grassroots level in plain language to help those who may never have considered self-employment before. Since launching in October 2010 Outset Torbay has supported 85 new businesses, creating 97 jobs. Both projects aim to reach out to those furthest from the labour market by offering an alternative to employment and unemployment. In Outset Torbay’s case, some 34% of clients are long-term unemployed, almost a quarter are over 50 and more than half are women. The emphasis is on creating tailored support to help people into self-employment that can be sustained.
Details: www.outsetbristol.co.uk / www.outsettorbay.co.uk