By Joshua Robinson –
This year’s Kirklees Social Enterprise Awards were announced at a special event at Dewsbury Minster celebrating and raising awareness of the great work that social enterprises – businesses that have a clear social mission and reinvest their profits in their community – do in Kirklees.
Rebecca Clacher from The Nest Holmfirth CIC won this year’s Kirklees Social Enterprise Start Up Award, in an all-female final, alongside Laura Scully from Hello Wellness CIC and Jo Cook from Meet and Mend.
The judging panel felt that Rebecca had a classic social enterprise with clear, realistic plans, and projections that should be sustainable. They were also impressed with her passion and how she had built the organisation from the ground up with lots of involvement from local people at every stage.
Rebecca will use the prize money of £4000, donated by Locala Health and Wellbeing CIC, to fund a year-long programme of workshops focusing on parental health and wellbeing, covering topics such as:
- maternal and paternal mental health
- postnatal physiotherapy
- infant sleep
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Rebecca said: “Just over a year ago we opened the doors of The Nest, and we’ve worked so hard to grow our thriving community of parents. Winning this award is huge for us, and it’s given us the energy to enter the next stage of the Nest’s development.”
Rebecca praised the package of free training – with experts from Key Fund, TSL Kirklees, West Yorkshire Community Accountancy Service, and SEE Ahead – that was offered alongside the competition: “The award process prompted us to really think about our mission, strategy and plans, and we’ve got a solid new business plan as a result.”
Gabby Hurt from Hive Huddersfield CIC competed against eight other established local social enterprises to win the first Kirklees Social Impact Award. She submitted evidence of how her business invests in and makes a difference to her local community, alongside details of how her company is run and her latest accounts.
The judging panel was impressed that in just over two years, Gabby had managed to show that she has a viable business model, employs a mixture of staff and volunteers, and provides vocational training for adults with learning disabilities. She’s also created a safe and welcoming space for both young people from the LGBTQ+ community and people who are struggling or isolated and was partners with 11 different community groups.
Gabby will use the £1000 prize money, donated by TSL Kirklees to fund workshops and activities for a new initiative called Wellbeing Wednesday.
Chris Chinnock, from Our Creative Connection, was runner-up for the Social Impact Award and the judges praised Chris’s initiatives to help people to feel more confident and improve their wellbeing through photography.