Char­ity beats NASA to win global award

Loughborough Echo - - NEWS - By Liam Cole­man Liam.cole­man@trin­i­tymir­

A LOUGH­BOR­OUGH home­less char­ity has beaten space giants NASA to win an in­ter­na­tional award.

The Bridge East Mid­lands, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity, Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Charn­wood and Charn­wood Bor­ough Coun­cil, won first prize in the In­ter­na­tional Knowl­edge Man­age­ment and In­tel­lec­tual Cap­i­tal Awards.

The award is for its project called ‘Charn­wood Con­nect’ - which is a re­source for lo­cal peo­ple seek­ing help with is­sues such as wel­fare rights, ben­e­fits, hous­ing, home­less­ness, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, im­mi­gra­tion, dis­crim­i­na­tion and debt.

This new way of think­ing is a ‘Joined up Ap­proach’ of ad­vice and ad­vo­cacy ser­vices across the bor­ough of Charn­wood, and it beat NASA and the Euro­pean Patent Of­fice to first place in the cat­e­gory.

The ‘Charn­wood Con­nect’ project re­ceived £346,000 in Na­tional Lot­tery fund­ing and has taken two years to de­velop.

The Bridge East Mid­lands is a Lough­bor­ough-based hous­ing char­ity, pro­vid­ing spe­cial­ist hous­ing ad­vice, sup­port and as­sis­tance to peo­ple at risk of home­less­ness across Charn­wood, Le­ices­ter­shire and Rut­land.

Part­ners of the project are work­ing to­gether to pre­vent any risk by of­fer­ing ad­vice, in­for­ma­tion and sup­port on so­cial wel­fare law with a ‘One Front Door’ pol­icy.

The need for such a ser­vice was trig­gered by the part­ner agen­cies who recog­nised a joined up ad­vice ser­vice would help im­prove the lives of vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in the area.

Lough­bor­ough MP Nicky Mor­gan said: “My warm­est con­grat­u­la­tions go to The Bridge East Mid­lands and their part­ners in beat­ing such highly re­garded or­gan­i­sa­tions to first prize, they cer­tainly are keep­ing rar­efied com­pany.

“The best part of this story is that the in­no­va­tive work­ing prac­tices that have been recog­nised means di­rectly bet­ter help and ad­vice ser­vices to some of the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in Charn­wood. It’s a great suc­cess story.”

Pic­tured from left to right are Gil­lian Rags­dell, reader in Knowl­edge Man­age­ment from Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity, Paul Snape, Busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, the Bridge East Mid­lands and Lough­bor­ough MP, Nicky Mor­gan.

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