On a very blustery night at the end of November, a team from Recycling Lives headed over to Blackpool for the Selnet Enterprise in Society Awards. Selnet, (Social Enterprise Lancashire Network) supports a network of social businesses across Lancashire, and our very own Dave Allen is a Director of the business.
The ceremony at the Blackpool Hilton was a great success, and an opportunity to meet with other socially-minded businesses in the region. Recycling Lives sponsored the Social Enterprise of the Year Award, which Dave Allen presented.
Claire Dallison also attended the event, as the manager of our new FareShare charity food distribution centre, where she had the opportunity to hand out some leaflets and invite people down to the centre for a tour. Stephen Buchanan, Director of homeless charity Emmaus Preston also joined Dave and Claire at the table, along with other Recycling Lives staff and representatives from HMP Kirkham and Together Housing, all of whom have worked with Recycling Lives and our charity.
Dawn Welham, who was named Lancashire’s Social Enterprise Champion in 2014, gave a speech about her incredible contributions to Lancashire, including her work with the Lancashire Community Recycling Network. The new Social Enterprise Champion was then named as Sergeant Steve Hodgkins. Steve was responsible for setting up Jobs, Friends and Houses CIC a year ago, to help ex-offenders to prepare for their futures. The community interest company currently has a 0% relapse rate and 0% reoffending rate, helping long-term offenders with complex backgrounds to find work and accommodation.
Recycling Lives also facilitated the production of the trophies given out at the event, which were made from recycled CRT (cathode ray tube) glass from our recycling facility. Glass artist and friend of Recycling Lives, Hannah Kippax, used the recycled materials to make beautiful, 100% recycled trophies for the winners to take home.
The reception was followed by a three course meal, before Alistair Clarke introduced the awards; the night ended with music and entertainment, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Dave Allen said:
‘It was a really enjoyable night, and so great to celebrate the amazing contributions of all of the winners and nominees across Lancashire. All of the winners were deserving, but it was great to see Sgt Steve Hodgkins recognised for all of his work with ex-offenders. Recycling Lives have our own work and support programmes with ex-offenders across the region, so we understand the impact and importance of the work he does.
‘As a Director of Selnet, I was pleased that the event was such a success, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings for social enterprise in Lancashire.’