Nominations open for the Voscurs – Bristol’s social impact awards

24 October, 2019


The 2019-20 Voscurs, Bristol’s social impact awards, are now open for nominations.

This is your chance to nominate a group or individual for their hard work since January 2019. There are seven categories, each highlighting a particular strength of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Bristol.

Two categories have been added since our January 2019 event: the Young Community Leader(s) Award, and the Environmental Impact Award.

2019-20 award categories are:

The Batook Pandya Award for Inclusion*

Diversity and inclusion are vital considerations for the VCSE sector. This award is given in memory of Batook Pandya MBE, director of SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality), a prominent local campaigner for tolerance and equality who sadly died in 2014. Batook had been a fundamental part of SARI since 1988.

Previous winners of the award include Vision BME, Babbasa, Ashley Community Housing, The Welcoming Committee, Bristol Manifesto for Race Equality Steering Group, and Salaam Shalom.

Community Leadership Award

Everyone knows a community leader who goes the extra mile to support those in need, but it’s time to get those leaders recognised across the city and the wider South West. By nominating a community leader, you get to celebrate their work and show your appreciation.

The 2018 award winner was Lorraine Bush, for her tireless commitment to helping people with substance abuse problems. She founded and ran the South Bristol-based charity Hawkspring. Lorraine, who sadly passed away in April 2019, was a valued member of the Bristol VCSE sector and is deeply missed.

Young Community Leader(s) Award*

Young people – either individuals or groups – are increasingly involved in volunteering, campaigning and community projects. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to take part in the community and find volunteering opportunities or connect with peers.

They might lead a peer support group, campaign for a particular cause, or volunteer in their neighbourhood. If you know someone aged 16-25 who deserves to be nominated, don’t let them go unnoticed.

Environmental Impact Award

Many organisations and local authorities have declared a Climate Emergency, and environmental issues form part of the Sustainable Development Goals, Bristol’s One City Plan, and the UN’s Global Goals. It’s only right we acknowledge the VCSE organisations working to reduce their environmental impact.

Your organisation might be small, but there are steps we can all take to be greener – your environmental measures could include reducing printed materials; encouraging staff to car-share or go by public transport, bike or on foot; occasional working from home; or something completely different.

The Partnership Award*

Collaboration means combining your skills, resources and ideas to achieve greater things than you’d be able to as an individual. At Voscur we regularly advise groups in partnerships or collaborations, and facilitate their work. We know there are challenges to working with others, and we can help you overcome them.

Last year’s winner was Change the Seen, a partnership that brought together Many Minds, 1625 Independent People, Cardboard Citizens, Wyldwood Arts, Aglow Film and Rife Magazine, to create and produce a play about young people with lived experience of mental health issues and homelessness.

Tech and Data Award

Technology and data play a part in any organisation, but if you’ve used new or innovative tech to help your staff or service users, this award could be yours. Perhaps you’ve done great things on social media, you offer support through web chats and apps, or you’ve moved all your paper records online and cut the amount of admin time needed.

Last year’s Evidence and Impact Award had a similar focus, and was given to Young Bristol for introducing a new reporting system called VIEWS. This system helps Young Bristol centrally manage and record data about young people’s attendance, engagement, and any problems they may face.  

Resilience Award

This award, previously called Fit for the Future, recognises the commitment an organisation has made to sustain itself long-term and adapt in challenging times. Maybe you’ve bounced back from a difficult financial situation, high staff turnover, or an office move.

Last year’s winner was Avon and Bristol Law Centre. Faced with cuts to legal aid and council funding, it developed a financial recovery plan; a Volunteer Coordinator and a Communications Manager were also added to the team, and a new approach to data analysis improved signposting and referrals. 

Three of the awards are chosen by a panel of judges from the local VCSE sector. You are welcome to nominate the same organisation or individual for more than one award.

You have until 5pm on Friday 6 December 2019 to submit your nominations.

Winners will be announced at the Voscurs event on Thursday 30 January 2020, which is free to attend, and will follow the Voscur AGM.

* = These awards are chosen by a judging panel.