The team at ECT Charity is celebrating this week after being named NatWest SE100 Impact Champion 2019.
The award was announced at a ceremony in London, before an audience of more than 200 social entrepreneurs from across the UK.
The judges praised ECT Charity for its skill and dedication in developing Measuring Up: The CT Social Value Toolkit, a pioneering new framework for measuring and demonstrating the charity’s social value. They were also impressed with the way ECT Charity had shared the methodology for use across the community transport sector.
Speaking at the event, Simon Jacobs, Chief Administration Officer at RBS/NatWest, who was hosting the evening, said: “It’s much harder to be a top social enterprise than a top enterprise. Not only do you need the great idea, you need to be able to sell it and communicate it. You need to be really clear about your impact.”
While accepting the award, ECT Charity Chief Executive Anna Whitty told the audience that for too long, community transport has been an “unsung hero” in terms of the crucial lifeline it gives to millions of people across the UK – whether this involves a simple trip to the shops, a check-up at the local GP or a day out with a group of friends.
She also described how loneliness and isolation among elderly people had become a major issue, and one that community transport was able to help solve. She asked: "Do you know that some people stay in their homes without talking to anyone all week?"
Speaking about ECT Charity’s focus on social value, she said: “Using the Social Value Toolkit enables us to clearly communicate the value of our services to a range of stakeholders, from councils and commissioners, to passengers or policymakers.”
She added that sharing the Toolkit across the community transport sector also illustrated one of ECT Charity’s core values: Collaboration and the sharing of success and ideas.
Patrick O’Keeffe, Chair of ECT Charity, applauded the commitment of the team and CEO – who was also a finalist in the awards’ Leadership category.
He said: “The CEO and the staff are the ones who work hard on a daily basis to bring people who are isolated and on their own back into the community. I’m really delighted that their dedication has been recognised with this national award.”
Run by Pioneers Post magazine in partnership with NatWest bank, the NatWest SE100 is an annual programme recognising the top 100 social enterprises in the UK, and among them, seven award winners across a range of categories.
The Impact Award won by ECT Charity recognises enterprises that “take considerable measures to demonstrate and communicate the social or environmental impact of their business, using this to improve their performance and win new business”.
Ben Carpenter, chief executive at Social Value UK and one of the judges of the Impact category, said: “The Impact Award was tough to judge this year. There were many excellent entries. It was particularly good to read about how social enterprises have been involving their service users in the design of their services. The winner ECT Charity should be applauded, not only for producing a very comprehensive impact framework but for sharing this with other similar organisations and allowing them to benefit as well.”
Measuring Up: The CT Social Value Toolkit enables community transport organisations to more clearly communicate their value to councils, commissioners, communities, passengers and government policymakers. See here for more information on the Toolkit, or contact email@example.com.
Read more about the NatWest SE100 here.