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Equality North East

2006

Employers of Between 51 and 250 Staff - MPH GROUP

Awards - MPHOnce again there was strong competition in this category.

The judges thought the winner was really 'switched on' about equality and wasn't afraid of diversity - a close knit team that utilises people's talents.

They are not only very aware of the actual business benefits of their policies, but also showed passion and enthusiasm in their implementation.


Employers of Between 11 and 50 Staff - KEY ENTERPRISES

Awards  - Key EnterprisesThe applicants in this particular category were very strong and the judges had a hard job in deciding the winner.

If you want a job in the winning organisation you will have to wait no one ever leaves! This is not surprising considering the support in place for the staff who work there.

In addition to strong support procedures they marked well in all of the categories, particularly in the training and development of all of their staff.


Employers of up to 10 Staff - TRINITY DEVELOPMENT

Awards - TrinityThe winning organisation says "We like to take the barriers out before people come in" the judges liked that inclusive approach from an organisation which likes to practice what they preach. One member of staff describes it as "a very nice place to work in".


Voluntary and Community Organisations - YOUNG ASIAN VOICES

Awards - Young Asian VoicesThe winner of this category is an organisation that strives to fight inequality in the community as well as their own organisation. A small organisation, but their equality and diversity policies and practices are impressive.

They offer amazing progression opportunities to the group they service, and the judges were particularly impressed with the success they have with partnership working in an area where there are often cultural differences which prevent such collaboration.


Training Providers - ETEC (SUNDERLAND)LTD

Awards - ETECThe winner of this category is an organisation that goes over and above any legislative requirements. Among the many policies and procedures they have in place to support equality and diversity in the workplace is an equal opportunities focus group which involves all staff in the development and monitoring of the action plan.

They offer an informal, flexible and proactive approach to supporting their staff needs. The same ethos is reflected in the success they have had in attracting trainees from diverse backgrounds, a particularly good example being the impressive numbers of females they are attracting onto their construction courses.


Individuals Who Have Made a Difference

STEPHEN BELL, TYNESIDE CYRENIANS

Awards - Stephen BellThe first of the two winners works for a charitable organisation that provides support and accommodation for vulnerable people, many of whom are homeless. These are often people from diverse backgrounds with severe problems, and are often addicted to drugs or alcohol and may be ex offenders.

These people face extreme prejudice and barriers in obtaining employment and re-entering society.

The winner made it a strategic goal to recruit 1 in 4 of the organisations clients as employees; this decision was not part of his remit. This gives these individuals sustainable employment opportunities, work experience and qualifications.

There are some wonderful success stories attached to this and one of them is the business itself. It has grown by 40% in the last year, and future business goals include a ratio of 1 in new members of staff to be ex clients.

This achievement can't have been easy and in driving this forward the winner has shown himself to be inclusive, passionate and visionary.


PUMMI MATTU & PARVEEN AKHTAR DIVA

Awards - Pummi & ParveenThe second of the two winners was actually a joint application that definitely threw the judges! How can you have two people put in for an individual award?

It soon became evident that you could not separate the two women who jointly established their organisation 10 years ago. Since then they have made a tremendous impact whilst often facing great personal risk to themselves and their families.

They have made a difference by tackling the issues that a lot of agencies are shy of acknowledging such as female genital mutilation and domestic violence. They have worked to improve the quality of peoples' lives, empowering women who have escaped from abusive situations to take up training and employment and play a full part in society.


Overall winner - ETEC (SUNDERLAND)LTD

Awards - ETECIt was the task of the judges to choose one of the winners from each of the six previous categories as an Overall Winner; this was an extremely hard task. Finally, the decision was based on the innovative practices displayed by the winner which promote equality and diversity in the workplace.

You have already heard how this organisation involves all of it's staff in the implementation of their action plan; they also have wonderful communication processes and we saw evidence of how staff are supported I managing specific needs and work life balance.

They also have impressive staff development policies and even have a fund from which staff can apply for £75 per year to undertake non-work related development. The aim of this is initiative is to promote life long learning and activities have included learning Spanish, violin lessons, joining the gym and even driving lessons!

All in all it was felt that the winning organisation reflected the spirit of the North East Equality Awards respecting people, valuing their differences and supporting all of their staff in achieving their full potential.