Shining the spotlight on things done well

Thursday, 28 February 2019 - 4:08pm

The Homeless Link Excellence Awards are a chance to put your organisation’s hard work in the spotlight. Steve Wyler, co-founder of A Better Way and a judge for the Excellence Awards, talks about what stood out for him at last year’s awards and what he is looking forward to this year.

Woman smiling

There were so many interesting, thought-provoking, and inspiring entries to the Homeless Link Excellence Awards last year. Three have particularly lodged in my memory:

  • Beam is an on-line crowd-funding platform with a human face.  It connects donors to individuals, where a little help can go a long way. This is tech humanising the way we do things, rather than the reverse, as is too often the case
  • Rise Bakery is a social enterprise set up by Providence Row.  It sells chocolate brownies which you can have delivered to your door.  Its motto is ‘baking lives better’ because its chefs are people who have been homeless and working at Rise helped them take a step into a better future
  • The Booth Centre involves people with lived experience of homelessness, and current people using their service, in each and every aspect of the organisation’s work. It also creates opportunities to participate in strategic decision-making right across Manchester. It gives real meaning to that word ‘co-production’.

Why did these stand out for me, and for the other judges?  Because, they were driven by a strong and simple idea, one where we thought, “yes, of course, we like the sound of that, that really makes sense”. In each case, they were delivered to a high standard, by people who obviously care about the quality of what they are doing. I am looking forward very much to the entries this year. l know that right across the country there are good things happening. But all too often they are hidden, and we don’t hear about them. So this is a chance to share what you are doing, to tell your story.  

By submitting your entry, whether or not you end up as one the winners, I am sure there will be benefits. Your entry will be a way of reminding you and your colleagues what you are proud of.  Your entry will be a way to celebrate and thank the hard-working and committed people who have achieved something worthwhile. And there is something more. Your entry will be helping to build a more aspirational, more effective movement. An awards scheme like this is a way of shining the spotlight on the things we can all be proud of, and reminds us that, sometimes with few resources, it is possible to do things very well, and really make a difference.

You can find out more information and how to enter the Homeless Link Excellence Awards here.