Congratulations to all the winners and finalists this year.
Another difficult time for the Judges who could not decide between Organisations between 51 and 250 staff and had joint winners. This shows the commendable work being carried out in our region to ensure a fair and diverse place of work, learning and leisure. Well done to the following winners:-
Award for Organisations of upto 50, sponsored by Your Homes Newcastle
Paul J Watson Solicitors
Paul J Watson Solicitors’ long term commitment to inclusion continues to bring success to themselves and clients, resulting in positive comments and reviews.
Being smaller organisations usually means that inclusion is either forgotton about in the day to day running of business or its prevalent in everything you do, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere in between.
Award for Organisations of between 51 and 250 Staff, sponsored by Gateshead College Foundation
Pioneering Care Partnership & Tyneside Cinema
The Pioneering Care Partnership is a leading third sector organisation working in the North East, with a focus on health improvement and reducing health inequalities through building capacity and life chances with disadvantaged communities. The organisation’s purpose is to improve health, wellbeing and quality of life for people disadvantaged by disability, age, ill health and/or caring responsibilities and reduce inequalities in health.
Tyneside Cinema’s Dementia Friendly Cinema monthly daytime fi lm screenings are based on a successful pilot project run in 2015. The pilot was initiated by the Elders Council of Newcastle, supported by a steering group of specialist partners, part funded by the Ballinger Charitable Trust and evaluated by Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing.
These both carry out some incredible equality and diversity practices.
Award for Educational & Training Organisations of up to 50 Staff, sponsored by Gentoo
Shape recognises that some learners need more support and have addressed this through building trust amongst learners and staff, with staff going above and beyond and offering learning breaks. One learner suffered from severe mental health which led to hospitalisation for a related injury. They had only attended Shape for a short while but wanted to continue their course. Shape introduced a ‘learning break’ and working with her mother, doctors and nurses supported the learner with coursework and homework. She is now ready to progress to Level 3 in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools having successfully gaining Level 2 qualifications with Shape.
It’s definitely all about the learner’s with this organisation.
Award for Educational & Training Organisations of over 50 Staff, sponsored by Bernicia
Middlesbrough College at every opportunity encourages its students, staff and wider community to recognise and embrace the diverse culture in the wider community they serve. They prioritise inclusion and encourage acceptance, understanding and respect for and from everyone.
They don’t have to think about how to embed equality it’s just their usual practice and their achievements speak for themselves.b]
Award for Larger Organisation Making a Difference in the Community, sponsored by Newcastle College
North East Ambulance Service (Dementia Aware)
The North East Ambulance Service has implemented a range of initiatives over the last 12 months to become more Dementia aware, dispel some of the myths, raise the profi le regionally, improve staff awareness, advice, guidance and support to ensure people who use their services receive the best possible care and are treated with dignity and respect.
Actions speak louder than words as this organisation realised.
Award for Individuals Who Have Made a Difference, sponsored by ConNEcting for Change
Andrew is a Sociology Lecturer based at the University of Sunderland. He has worked in the voluntary and education sectors for a number of years, including roles with disadvantaged young people, children and adults, sexual health and HIV/AIDS. He sits on various panels and campaigns, such as Amnesty International, the Sexuality Archive Project (SLAP), the Crown Prosecution Service Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime Panel, and the Operation Sex Work Steering Group. Andrew is currently exploring projects examining the role stigma plays for those living with HIV, as well as the social exclusion of older people under austerity, and the lived experiences of male sex workers.
This person continues to go above an beyond in his day job and makes a significant contribution both in his field of expertise and the community.
Special Recognition Award for Individuals Who Have Made a Difference, sponsored by ConNEcting for Change
Lucy was a remarkable individual whose passionate opposition to racism, injustice and inequality has led to her founding Crossings, an organisation which has helped hundreds of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants feel welcomed and part of the local community. Crossings started out as a music project for asylum seekers and refugees, its vision to: ‘change lives by creating opportunities to learn and perform, and change minds by opening up new worlds to the local community.’
Award for Groups Who Have Made a Difference, sponsored by Cestria
PC Gatenby, PCSO Handley, PCSO Say and PCSO Calvert are a group of offi cers in Cleveland Police force. Given only a weeks’ notice that a vulnerable group of Syrian refugee families were arriving in their community they engaged with residents by providing information about the families’ origin and explained the reality of the family’s situation and the unimaginable diffi culties they had faced and why they had come to England. Knowing that the police are not trusted and are often corrupt and violent from countries such as Syria, the offi cers produced a welcome leafl et, which was passed to the families when they arrived. This provided a warm welcome from the local offi cers with pictures of themselves and a list of useful contacts, all translated into Arabic.
This group really went above and beyond as did all the finalists. They just went a step further.
TUC Improving Working Lives Award, sponsored by Norhern TUC
A-one+ Integrated Highway Services
A-one+ is a joint venture between CH2M, Colas and Costain and are the Managing Agent Contractor in the North East, working to maintain and operate trunk roads and motorways for Highways England. They have recruited equality and diversity champions from across the various areas and levels of the business and started working towards their accreditation for Investors in Diversity. Furthermore, they have really championed mental health in the workplace on a national level and invited Highways England to take part in their initiatives. From such initiatives have come impacting outcomes, people more comfortable to talk about mental health and seek support on many issues where previously they would not.
Some inspiring work is going on with this applicant.
Award for Organisations Supporting Disabled People into Employment, sponsored by Penshaw View Training
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Trust developed their Supported Employment Scheme for young adults with Learning Diffi culties/Disabilities or Autism through Project Choice. Since its introduction in 2012, the scheme has supported 40 young adults aged 16-24 to complete yearlong internships, in addition to this over 200 students have accessed work experience placements. The positive outcomes of this scheme have resulted in the Trust achieving an enhanced connection with people who have disabilities, through the creation of a sustainable and successful pathway to work.
This organisation has carried out some exceptional work to make a real difference to individuals. They have taken and shared best practices to create opportunities for many people who have complex needs. They are empowering individuals to unlock their potential and contribute to society b]
Award for Outstanding Practice, sponsored by Gateshead College
A-one+ Integrated Highway Services
A-one+ Integrated Highway Services A-one+ understand they can’t change attitudes overnight but can keep talking, keep promoting and over time attitudes will change, people will become aware, barriers will be broken. The number of initiatives they have set up to support staff with mental health, health and wellbeing and employee assistance programme are going a long way towards this.
It is always a challenge to identify outstanding practice with so many organisations, groups and individuals going the further mile to make a difference in the lives of others and the wider community. The judges felt that this organisation is doing some fantastic work to support a very hard to reach group.