Better places trailblazers unveiled
4th July 2012
A new breed of library and an initiative designed to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs were among winners in the first ever Better Places National Awards.
Run by New Start magazine, the awards reward ‘organisations and projects that are innovative, work in economically and socially inclusive ways, contribute towards resilience in their locality and that have overcome significant challenges’.
The winners were announced at a ceremony in Manchester last night.
An initiative called We All Do Good Things run by People United won the social enterprise category. It involved a host of community activities run across Herne Bay in Kent culminating in a giant picnic. Overall, around a sixth of the town’s population took part.
The public sector category was won by Caerphilly Council and housing association United Welsh for their work on Bargoed Library – a former dilapidated chapel that’s been turned into a library, education and community hub as well as a worship space.
NuFutures for Knowsley led by Prescot Oasis took the voluntary and community sector award. Its apprenticeships and training in garden landscaping have thrown a lifeline to young people who would otherwise have remained on the fringes.
The private sector award went to Edinburgh firm Thinktastic for its Thinktastic Ambitions scheme. It’s a new model of enterprise education developed with primary schools in east central Scotland that aims to help children develop enterprising attitudes.
Austin Macauley, editor of New Start, said: ‘Amid the seemingly endless doom and gloom we felt it was important to remind people that innovation and a drive to work in inclusive and imaginative ways were very much alive and well across the UK.
‘Our winners and those on the shortlist are testament to that. Unveiling the winners is just the start of the process – over the coming weeks and months we intend to showcase projects featured in this year’s awards, to dig down into what has made them successful and to help inspire others.’
Find out more about the winners here.