Sue Perkins announces winners of UK Social Enterprise Awards 2014

Sue Perkins announces winners of UK Social Enterprise Awards 2014
Social Enterprise UK

Last night [Wednesday 26 November] winners of the 16th annual Social Enterprise Awards were announced during a ceremony held at LSO St Luke’s in central London.

The Awards, hosted by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) and sponsored by The Independent on Sunday, recognised the achievements of social enterprises and supporters in 11 categories, including Social Enterprise of the Year, Women’s Champion and Inspiring Youth Enterprise.

Host, comedian and television presenter, Sue Perkins entertained guests and presented the winners with bespoke trophies made by social enterprises Impact Arts and Cre8. As part of ‘Buy Social’ – SEUK’s campaign to get more businesses and consumers to buy from social enterprises – the Awards featured a number of social enterprises in its supply chain, including bottled water brand Belu, caterers Brigade Bar & Bistro, beer maker Two Fingers Brewing, and photographers Mediorite, among others.

The UK now has more than 70,000 social enterprises. They are businesses with a social or environmental mission, contributing more than £24 billion to the UK economy each year.

Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK Chief Executive, said:

“Last night’s awards were a fantastic celebration of Britain’s very best social enterprises and champions of the sector. Each year the Awards help shine a light on the extraordinary work social enterprises are doing to help people and planet. Competition was tougher than ever this year and the shortlist was bursting with inspiring examples of how businesses can have a positive impact on society – the winners deserve to be widely recognised and celebrated.”


Divine Chocolate – Overall Social Enterprise of the Year (Sponsored by RBS)

Divine is the only Fairtrade chocolate company part-owned by its cocoa farmers, who get a slice of the profits to invest in their communities. In a fiercely competitive retail market, Divine has managed to build and maintain a multi-million pound turnover business. It is transforming the chocolate industry, setting Fairtrade standards for other leading chocolate brands to follow.


Monwel Ltd – One to Watch (Sponsored by the British Council)

Monwel produces signs and provides real employment to people with disabilities and those furthest from the work force. It currently employs 32 full-time people from the local community in the Valleys, 96% of whom manage some form of disability.


Furnishing Lives (FRC Group) – Social Impact Award (Sponsored by PWC)

FRC Group started out by redistributing unwanted, good quality furniture to those in need. It is now a leading UK enterprise, running commercial businesses that give people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives. It has been recognised for driving forward good practice in the sector, with what is believed to be the first truly integrated financial and social value report.

City of London Corporation (CoL) – Buy Social Market Builder (Sponsored by ExterionMedia)

The City of London Corporation (CoL) has contributed significantly to building the market for buying social both through influencing the City’s business community and through changing its own procurement practices. It has spent over £800,000 with social enterprises in the last financial year – more than three times the total of just two years ago.


Ethex & PEC Renewables – Investment Deal of the Year (Sponsored by the Co-operative Bank)

In just 7 weeks, Ethex and PEC Renewables rallied investors and local authorities to raise £600,000 in social investment, funding solar panel installations to tackle fuel poverty in the local area. Supported by Plymouth County Council, the deal demonstrates how a national platform, a community-owned organization and local authority can work together to help harness a movement of socially-motivated investors to create real change on the ground.


Social adVentures- Health & Social Care Social Enterprise (Sponsored by Bates Wells Braithwaite)

Social adVentures are a Salford-based wellbeing is a social enterprise helping people to lead healthier and happier lives. Through delivering public health and social care contracts and developing a number of subsidiary businesses, its turnover has grown by 300% in recent years, helping it support more than 3000 of the local community’s most vulnerable people.


Belu – Consumer Facing Social Enterprise (Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson)

Belu is the UK’s most ethical bottled water and donates 100% of its profits to WaterAid.

In the past year, Belu’s sales have soared and they have beaten their fundraising target for charity partner Wateraid, helping provide access to clean, safe water to roughly 40,000 people in developing countries.


PM Training- Education, Training & Jobs Social Enterprise (Sponsored by Wates Group)

PM Training is a social enterprise that provides new work opportunities to 16-18 year olds through range of training and support services. It is currently the largest provider of apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds in the country, with 75% of those who complete training securing jobs afterwards.


Kilsyth Community Market Garden t/a Kelvin Valley Honey – Environmental Social Enterprise (Sponsored by SITA)

Kelvin Valley Honey (KVH) aims to reverse the decline in Scotland’s honey bee population while improving the lives of people who may be isolated in their communities. Its work has helped increase Scotland’s honey bee population by almost 30 million, as well as provide 100 marginalised people with an income, training and employment.


Firstport & Icecream Architecture – Inspiring Youth Enterprise Award (Sponsored by Real Ideas Organisation)

Firstport supports start-up social entrepreneurs in Scotland. Icecream Architecture CIC is a team of community-led facilitators, environmental artists, designers and illustrators who aim to boost regeneration, enterprise, youth engagement and civic pride. Together, the two organisations have created Beyond the Finish Line, a unique campaign getting young people in Glasgow to regenerate local high streets using social enterprise.


June O’Sullivan MBE, London Early Years Foundation – Social Enterprise Women’s Champion (sponsored by Santander)

Under June O’Sullivan’s leadership, London Early Years Foundation has become the UK’s largest social sector childcare provider, operating 26 nurseries and providing high quality childcare to 3,000 children. It supports disadvantaged families that struggle to afford the often high costs associated with childcare; 46% of the children who attend do so through free or subsidised places. June is a leader in her field: influencing government Early Years policy, cited by UNICEF as an international exemplar, and driving campaigns for change in early years provision.