Local company Future Directions short-listed for prestigious award

Date published: 23 August 2021

Future Directions CIC has been shortlisted in the UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising it as one of the leading social enterprises in the country.

Future Directions, based in Chadderton, is a finalist in both the UK Social Enterprise of the Year and Health and Social Care Social Enterprise categories.

It is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, providing social care services to adults and young people with learning disabilities/other complex needs.

Future Directions help people live an ordinary life by ensuring they actively participate in their local community.

In the last year, it has continued its mission of living out their values to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Despite COVID restrictions, they have ensured people continue to do things they love.

Staff found creative ways to support people, including weekly video sessions, delivery of activity books, and a video Christmas party with 500 people attending complete with music, food, and presents!

According to the satisfaction survey, 97.5% of the people supported said they are sometimes or always supported to meet people/go to groups/events.

Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose.

There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £60bn to the UK economy, each one being set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face from homelessness to the climate emergency.

The UK Social Enterprise Awards run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises.

Future Directions will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Guildhall on December 8.

This year the Awards featured two new categories one recognising a Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Justice, and the other for the Social Enterprise Team of the Year – a category specifically acknowledging those teams which have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience so characteristic of the social enterprise sector over an extremely challenging year.

Previous winners have included a company set up to tackle furniture poverty, an IT consultancy employing people with autism, and a community energy cooperative – demonstrating just how diverse the social enterprise sector is.

Commenting on being shortlisted, Paula Braynion said: “The last 18 months our teams have worked on frontline through COVID to not only keep people safe but enable them to have the best lives possible during this pandemic.

"Being shortlisted for these awards really demonstrates how important their work as key workers has been and how values-driven teams really make a difference to people’s lives.”

Commenting on the Awards, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, Peter Holbrook, said: “The UK Social Enterprise Awards are back, bigger and better than ever before.

"We have had a record number of applications this year, all of which have showcased the strength, dynamism and resilience of the social enterprise community through what’s been an incredibly difficult and uncertain period.

"Over the course of the pandemic, social enterprises have been going above and beyond the call of duty to support their teams, the individuals, and communities they work with, showing the grit, determination and innovation so inherent to this sector.

"They’ve been operating directly on the frontline of the crisis, launching new products and pivoting their business models to meet the needs of communities and society as a whole.

"The Awards are all about celebrating the achievements of the UK’s social enterprise movement, which is showing us that another way of doing business is possible.

"One which has never been more important as we look to build back better and address the climate emergency.”

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