Enabling State Challenge Winners Announced

September 1, 2015

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Six organisations throughout the UK have been recognised by the Carnegie UK Trust for their innovative approaches to empowering their users and local communities and putting wellbeing at the heart of their work.

This has meant that power has been given to users and communities to deliver services and decide how the services they receive are run and managed.

The recognition of the six organisations based in London, Wales, Birmingham, Sheffield, Durham and Worcestershire, comes following the Trust launching a UK wide competition to celebrate those who are doing the most to reshape services by putting citizens in the driving seat. The public are now being asked to vote for their favourite example in an online poll.

The competition follows a two year research and development programme by the Carnegie UK Trust which explored how wellbeing could be improved by changing the relationship between citizens and local and central governments. Developments towards more a flexible Enabling State have been taking place across the UK and with support from citizens, public services and the community and voluntary sector.

The winning projects have seen a care service in Wales adopting a more flexible and person-centred approach for its service users to a Birmingham based project which challenges young people to identify and tackle problems or issues in their area.

Those who entered the competition were assessed on their application of Carnegie’s eight steps towards an Enabling State, as highlighted in the Trust’s recent report. Examples include: giving people  permission to act, helping to do more themselves and investing in disadvantaged communities.

Each finalist received £5,000. They will have another chance to win an additional £5,000 when an overall winner will be selected via a public vote from 1 September and announced in November.

Jennifer Wallace, Head of Policy at Carnegie UK Trust and Chair of the Expert Panel overseeing the project said, “Despite legislation to put more power in the hands of communities, we know that most people feel that little has changed in the past five years and many people feel that they have less control now, not more.

“The enabling state competition was focused around rewarding groups and organisations that were helping to improve the wellbeing of citizens and communities and the work of our finalists are perfect examples of this in action.

“We hope the funds received go some way to helping the teams continue their great work and wish them all the best of luck in the final vote.”

The finalists of the competition are:

• Club Soda – A UK-wide support group which helps people to change their drinking habits, whether they want to cut down, stop for a bit, or quit. Its innovative approach enables it members to decide on the type of support they receive so that they have a programme specific to their needs.

• Cartrefi Cymru – A care service in Brecon in rural Wales is a floating support care service for people with learing difficulties. They have moved away from set care plans to a new person-centered and flexible approach to care.

• Envision Community Apprentice – A business and life skills programme for young people aged 16-18 in Birmingham. They work with 20 schools to challenge young people to identify problems or issues in their local community and come up with practical solutions to tackle them.

• South Yorkshire Housing Association – A housing association for people in Sheffield which has created a new healthy eating project; Eat Well, to help educate and encourage its service users to make healthier choices.

• Durham County Council – Their community asset transfer programme has seen the management of a community hub, Macrae House, taken on by members of the community. In just two years, the centre has gone from being used by just six people a week to 150.

• Worcestershire Micro-enterprise Project – A support service for the elderly, those living with a disability, as well as those looking to start their own business, started out as a pilot two years ago. It now supports the entire county as a result of its support being so valued within the community.

To vote for your favourite enabling state project visit www.enablingstate.co.uk between Tuesday 1st September and Friday 2nd October. To vote people should and view the finalists’ entries.  The result of the public vote will be announced at a celebration event in London on 25th November. To find out more about the Carnegie UK Trust’s work around the Enabling State, please visit: enablingstate.co.uk.