Leading Lives Wins Top Honours in National Award
Suffolk based Leading Lives has been namedHealth and Social Care Social Enterprise of the Yearin the prestigiousSocial Enterprise UK Awards held last night on London's South Bank.
The national competition recognises excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises - businesses that reinvest their profits for social good. The UK now has more than 70,000 social enterprises, contributing more than £24 billion to the economy each year.
The organisation beat off stiff competition from social businesses across the UK to receive the award from Lord Victor Adebowale. Leading Lives provides social care support in the home and in the community to 1,200 customers and their family carers across Suffolk and North East Essex.
The Award recognises the progress Leading Lives has made as a new public service mutual business since it 'spun out' from Suffolk County Council in 2012, providing social care support for 1,200 adults and their families across Suffolk. Judges highlighted how the organisation has successfully migrated services for 1,200 of the most complex needs customers and family carers with minimum disruption, meeting financial targets and delivering a surplus which is re-invested back into the business or into community projects. They also praised the clear leadership and vision around the business's social purpose.
In the last two years, Leading Lives has reinvested nearly £45,000 into Suffolk based community groups and organisations through its Community Benefit Fund and has been at the forefront of many community engagement programmes to enable people with complex needs to live safely in their own communities. These have included support for hate crime initiatives and safer, more welcoming communities, training for people with learning disabilities to lead independent lives and working with the Parliamentary Outreach Team to encourage adults with learning disabilities to register to vote in the May General Election.
In three years, the business has grown with over 50 new jobs being created and the Suffolk and North East Essex services formerly provided by Crossroads Care East Anglia have also recently been incorporated. A new domiciliary service, Independence Plus, has been set up to provide support in the home for a more diverse customer group, generating £400k of new business and a market shaping pilot around Individual Service Funds and direct payments is underway.
Tony Carr, Leading Lives, Managing Director said:"We are thrilled and proud to have won in the nationally recognised Social Enterprise UK Awards. It recognises the hard work of everyone in the organisation over the last three years and also our vision to establish a successful social care social enterprise that reinvests back into the services it provides and into our local community."
Over the last three years, Leading Lives has supported the growth of the social enterprise sector and has actively supported the development of new public service mutuals across the UK giving staff and executive time to share expertise and experience.
Leading Lives is an employee owned co-operative owned and run by staff members, with all the Executive Board made up of elected staff members.
Peter Holbrook CBE, Social Enterprise UK's Chief Executive, said:"Social enterprises are needed more than ever to tackle the social and environmental problems facing Britain. Congratulations to Suffolk's Leading Lives - the competition was fierce. Every year the Awards are a celebration of the social enterprise sector, but this year was truly remarkable. It was the largest Awards we've hosted to date with more than 400 guests and a wonderful evening for the UK's social enterprise business community."
Social enterprise facts and figures*
- There are 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing 24 billion to the UK economy and employing 1 million people.
- Social enterprises are experiencing a start-up boom - 35% are three years old or less, three times the proportion of SME start-ups.
- Social enterprises are much more likely to be led by women than mainstream businesses - 40% of social enterprises have a female leader, compared with 18% of SMEs and 5% of FTSE 100 companies.
Sponsors of the Awards are NatWest, The Co-operative Bank, PwC, Saxton Bampfylde, Big Society Capital, Bates Wells Braithwaite, Johnson & Johnson, Wates Group, Landmarc, GLL, Santander and the British Council. The Independent on Sunday is media partner to the Awar