The YOU Trust’s Advice Portsmouth wins at the Charity Awards 2016

10 June 2016

 

The YOU Trust is delighted to announce that it has taken the top prize in the Advice, Support and Campaigning category at this year’s Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector.

The YOU Trust won the award for the changes to its advice service in Portsmouth, which provides free support and legal advice to anyone in the local community struggling with family issues, employment, housing, welfare benefits and debt issues.

Before the changes made in the advice service, the previous system saw inefficiencies which resulted in longer waiting times with many people giving up and leaving without being helped.

After a three month listening exercise, The YOU Trust completely changed the way it was providing the service. Employing a holistic, systems-centred approach, clients’ needs were put at the heart of the advisory process. “Pointless” initial form-filling was abandoned and qualified legal advisers worked closely with each individual and identified the root cause of their problems. With the help of volunteers, they then provided continuing assistance and support in a friendly, safe environment.

As a result of the changes, waiting times have been dramatically reduced from up to 3 hours to an average of 12 minutes, Advice Portsmouth processes on average 13,500 cases each year, up from 9,000 before, and 99% of clients rated the service at 9/10 or higher.

Alongside nine other category winners, the Overall Winner and the recipient of the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, YOU Trust was presented with the award at a star-studded black-tie ceremony at the Mermaid Theatre in London on Thursday 9 June, hosted by former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull.

Tania Mason, editorial director at Civil Society Media which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated YOU Trust on winning the highly-coveted award. She said:

“We had a record number of entries this year, and the standard was particularly high, so YOU Trust should be very proud to have won their category. Their project delivered amazing results.”

 “For 17 years the Charity Awards have been identifying and celebrating the fantastic work that UK charities do, and the rigorous judging process ensures that only the very best-run charities win awards.”

 John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, overall partner of the Charity Awards, said:

This year’s Charity Awards celebrate the inspiring people working in neighbourhoods and communities across the UK and overseas to make the world a better place.” 

“Celebrating these successes – as these awards have now been doing for 17 years – is an important part of maintaining and building Britain’s proud culture of civil action and generosity.”

 “The organisations which won awards and those who were shortlisted demonstrate a great sense of teamwork, collaboration and management excellence.”

 “It is humbling to see the amazing work being done by people who are changing lives in so many ways. Their stories are an inspiration, and my congratulations go out to them all.

 Nicola Youern, Chief Executive of YOU Trust, said:

 “We were thrilled to have won this award which belongs to the brilliant staff and volunteers at Advice Portsmouth who are dedicated to helping the people of Portsmouth.”

 

The Shortlist and Winners 2016

OVERALL WINNER: The Trussell Trust

DANIEL PHELAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: Mark Goldring

CATEGORY WINNERS AND HIGHLY COMMENDED:

 

Advice, support and campaigning WINNER: YOU Trust
Highly Commended: Migrant Help
Highly Commended: Women’s Resource Centre
Arts, culture and heritage WINNER: Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
Highly Commended: Northern Ballet
Highly Commended: Unlimited Theatre
Children and youth WINNER: Active Change Foundation
Highly Commended: Children’s Food Trust
Highly Commended: For Jimmy
Disability WINNER: SignHealth
Highly Commended: C-Change Scotland
Highly Commended: English Federation of Disability Sport
Education and training WINNER: The Boxing Academy
Highly Commended: Place2Be
Environment and conservation WINNER: Keep Britain Tidy
Highly Commended: Eden Project
Highly Commended: RSPB
Grantmaking and funding WINNER: Winner, the Preston Road Women’s Centre
Highly Commended: The Bulldog Trust
Highly Commended: SHINE (Support and Help In Education)
Healthcare and medical research WINNER: Combat Stress
Highly Commended: Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes
Highly Commended: Streetdoctors
International aid and development WINNER: Vision for a Nation Foundation
Highly Commended: Camfed International
Highly Commended: Omid Foundation
Highly Commended: Send a Cow
Social care and welfare WINNER: The Trussell Trust
Highly Commended: Community Links Northern
Highly Commended: Open Road

 

The YOU Trust makes the shortlist for Charity Awards 2016!

The YOU Trust provides an advice service for people served by Portsmouth City Council and has made the shortlist for this year’s Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector.

The YOU Trust has been shortlisted in the Advice, Support and Campaigning category for its Advice Portsmouth service which aims to provide free, independent and confidential advice on debt, welfare benefits, housing, employment and family issues. Advice Portsmouth, funded by the council, is based in Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth and last year supported a record number of over 13,000 people.

The Charity Awards is the sector’s most highly-regarded excellence recognition scheme. All 30 shortlisted charities this year have been judged by an independent panel of sector leaders as having demonstrated outstanding best practice from which other organisations can learn.

The 10 category winners, plus the recipients of the Overall Award for Excellence and the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, will be announced at a ceremony and dinner on Thursday 9 June at the Mermaid Theatre in London’s Blackfriars. The black-tie evening will be hosted by former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, who will be joined by representatives of the shortlisted charities, alongside senior figures from the charity and civil society sector, and a smattering of celebrities from the worlds of theatre, television, music and sport.

Tania Mason, editorial director at Civil Society Media which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated The YOU Trust on making the highly-coveted shortlist.  She said:

“We had a record number of entries this year, and the standard was particularly high, so The YOU Trust should be very proud to have made the shortlist. For 16 years the Charity Awards have been identifying and celebrating the fantastic work that UK charities do, and the rigorous judging process ensures that only the very best-run charities make it through. We wish The YOU Trust the very best of luck on the night.”

John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, overall partner of the Charity Awards, said:

“CAF exists to support the amazing work of charities. Anyone looking to see some of the impressive ways in which charities make a difference would only need to take a look at the shortlisted nominees for this year’s Charity Awards. These are shining examples of charities at their very best, showing determined leadership and constantly innovating to support people in communities across the UK and beyond. It has been a difficult year for the charity sector and there are important lessons to take away from this. But it is no less vital that we continue to celebrate the success of charities which make such a difference to people’s lives in so many different ways. Recognising the achievements of charities, like those in this year’s shortlist, is a crucial part of how we continue to maintain and build a proud culture of caring for others and selfless generosity in Britain.”

Nicola Youern, the Chief Executive of The YOU Trust, said:

“The YOU Trust is honoured to have been shortlisted for this award.  The whole team at Advice Portsmouth have worked so hard over the last four years to provide an advice service that really matters to the people of Portsmouth.  We help up to 90 people a day at our free, no appointment service, and work to continuously improve what we do.”

£30 million to help people take back control of their lives

The 59 projects across England will work with more than 35,000 people to tackle the underlying causes of their crisis through advice on issues such as employment, homelessness, debt, and health problems. By putting the person at the heart of the solution, offering tailored support and access to a range of networks and services that can build on their strengths, they will gain the confidence needed to take control of their own lives and plan for a better future. The projects will initially provide immediate support to tackle the crisis such as food parcels or a bed for the night before working to address underlying issues.

The funded projects, which include collaborations between local organisations, are aimed at people who find it difficult to access support because they are disabled, have a mental health issue, live in an isolated rural community, are homeless or at risk of losing their home. Projects include training for ‘community champions’ to provide services in their local area, GPs working with partner agencies to refer people for advocacy and advice, and specialist legal experts working with disabled people experiencing hardship.

Big Lottery Fund England Chair, Nat Sloane said: “Our projects will not just provide hands-on support, advice and advocacy to address the immediate crisis, but more importantly will help people overcome and work through the underlying causes of their hardship and put them in a better position to improve their circumstances. Successes and lessons learnt will be shared so other organisations can build on the outcomes and replicate and develop further projects.”

Case study: Emily (not her real name), 45, from Leeds whilst studying for an MA had to deal with financial struggles, then multiple health problems including a bilateral pulmonary embolism and family bereavement. Having received vital support when she hit a crisis point she’s now back in control and studying again. She explains:

“After a degree I then studied an MA in Counselling Studies at the University of Manchester, which I had to fund from a private Career Development Loan. But after I had signed up for the course and university housing, the bank reneged on the loan. I undertook a number of part time jobs but struggled to make ends meet and left the course after a year.

“The stress of all the demands for the fees, accommodation costs took its toll on my health. The added stress made another long-standing illness severe and I began suffering from panic attacks. This had severe impact on ability to meet essential living expenses.

“My sister sadly passed away in February 2015. I was working and struggling with the loss, but I could no longer continue the job I had. In August 2015 I suffered from a bilateral pulmonary embolism and am now on long-term disability. I also finally had a diagnosis of another illness and was in and out of hospital having operations.

“I was unable to work and my debts and the demands for payment had become unmanageable. I decided that obtaining professional help would be the best start to getting my life back on track. I approached Better Leeds Communities, who gave me good advice, support and hope. They helped me to be proactive and worked with me to produce a clearer picture of how to manage my debts which led to me applying for and being awarded a debt relief order. This means I will be able to start again with a clean slate. Receiving support from Better Leeds Communities was essential to my life.

“I’m now undertaking a proof-reading and editing course, which means – health permitting – I will be able to work from home on a more flexible basis and I am more positive about my future.”

The YOU Trust receives £499,997 and will set up a new project to support Portsmouth residents who are in hardship crisis due to a wide variety of causes, including debt, unemployment, low pay, relationship breakdown, domestic abuse, homelessness and disability. Immediate support will include clothes, nappies, and utility top-ups. A Circle of Support worker will work with beneficiaries to their strengths, skills and the root cause of the current issues and bring together local agencies to provide longer term personalised support.